SECRETS OF CLAYTON COUNTY
MAIN CHARACTERS: Sarah Hunter, investigating agent for the Chicago based IRS Branch; KC (Kent) Crodin, AAA towing service owner; Ralph, Kent's Scottish Terrier; Wilma Frisbie, owner of Wilma's Cafe; Peter Wulfric, Nursing Home Administrator; Carl Mueller, Ford Dealer; Doc Bendenhoff, Dentist; Barb and Brian Darling, Country Club managers; Norm Fischer, Bait and Boat shop owner; Vickie Banks, realtor; Warren Nickel, Sarah's eccentric and secret third-party confidant.
STORY LINE: Contrasts are drawn immediately when Sarah Hunter, a dyed-in-the-wool city girl, is faced with the rural lifestyle of Clayton, Iowa. Her appearance; their behavior; the lack of luxuries and personal services cause uneasy tension. Sarah Hunter finds a mentor in Wilma Frisbie at her cafe. Supportive one moment, and gruff the next, this kind hearted woman coaches and consoles Sarah, and mother's Sarah as she deals with the realities of life. The bartering habit in Clayton is wide-spread. One incident leads to two others, and they lead to another two, creating a spider web of activity. Our IRS agent Sarah Hunter needs help. Her boss suggests third party interviews to gain insight into the matter. So, Sarah complies and finds a third party to help her. It's just that this third party is the looniest man in town, picked upon by middle school boys who hang out downtown every Saturday morning. But it's his secret that she learns to manipuilate him into helping her.The apple she leaves by his walking path signals her need for another secret meeting. There are the automobile accidents requiring that handsome man Sarah's trying to avoid, KC Crodin, to appear and rescue her. Not once, but three times, and even a two day trip together to the dealership for repairs.
There's joy in meeting KC's sister Rita. But learning KC's secret stuns her, confuses her, and makes her so curious that she gets in trouble. In the middle of her struggle to deal with rural life, and the spider web of bartering activity, disaster strikes. A tornado hits the town. KC Crodin is seriously injured while saving Sarah's life, and Sarah is left homeless by a tree that fell through the roof of her rental house. Treating her as one of their own, town folks come to the rescue providing housing, clothing, comfort and kindness. They even repair the roof of her house for her. Could this be the secret of rural life? Responding to her experiences, Warren Nickel prays with her; he counsels her; and he challenges her to learn the difference between "being right and doing right." Their meeting in the dark of night, before she leaves Clayton, reveals Warren's secret love that broke his heart. Then a man in Clayton proposes marriage to Sarah. It's heart breaking for her because it's the right man in the wrong place. Her life is in Chicago. It's taken years to build her career. She can't give it up. So, she kisses him good bye and leaves for home. But the rose colored glasses are gone now. She sees her life as it really is. The man who loves her only for his gain. The boss that is heartless. The life that is filled with luxury, but few friends. And so, the decision is hers. She can either be right and gain the promotion she desired, or she can do right and return to the small town lifestyle of Clayton. How does she want to live her life? True love requires sacrifice. Can she make the sacrifice to follow her heart? Sarah must decide if she is willing to sacrifice her dream of escaping her family dairy farm, for love and a life in the small town of Clayton, Iowa.