The Basics
Release Date January 1, 2011 (webseries); August 31, 2014 (ebook); June 7, 2015 (re-release)
Tagline "I remember feeling low, and I remember losing hope, and I remember all the feelings and the day they stopped..."
Theme Song Innocent, by Our Lady Peace
Interlude(s) Fireworks, Part Three
Wordcount 69,580
Casualties Brett Woodward (stabbed; non-fatal)
Preceded By Tangled Webs
Followed By Dirty Little Secret

Independence Day, Book Three: Innocent released as a webseries on January 1, 2011, and as an ebook on August 31, 2014. It contains ten chapters and the third part of the Fireworks interlude trilogy.

It was re-released on June 7, 2015, revised and expanded. The original version of the book was pulled from sale on this date.


Unexpectedly, Shane found himself cornered by Peggy over lunch at the diner, but his day only got worse when he also encountered Michael there. Michael congratulated Shane on his "little hero moment", referring to the way he discovered that Lucas was actually Caleb Hennessy, and then revealed he might have had a little hero moment of his own. Michael related that on Marnie's suggestion, he'd gone to the beauty shop to have a chat with some of the ladies and there, he met Miss Miriam Tate, a former flame of Jeff's. Miriam told Michael how she and Jeff often made dates in a small motel in Cottage Cove, and that Jeff was quite superstitious, always preferring one room in particular. Michael uncovered that Jeff had rented room number seven at that motel on the night of the fourth, casting serious doubt on whether or not he could have murdered his fiancee. Michael also offered up the possible theory that the murders were connected, and that Terri might have had a hand in orchestrating them, something that Shane did not want to hear.

In Casper, Caleb awoke in a haze, after a night of heavy drug use and found that Terri had left. At first, he was concerned that she was hurt, or worse, but soon reality dawned on him that she'd left him to return to Haven Park. Hurt and betrayed, he did his best to put that out of his mind and instead focused on getting to her before she could tell the cops his secrets. While hitchhiking out of town, he was picked up by a young woman named Kelly Ann, and wasted no time carjacking her to get to town faster.

Terri emotionally told her hungover brother Brett about her conclusion that Caleb and killed both Carol and Lance, then repeated the same thing to Shane. Michael, deeming that Shane was way too soft on what he considered a viable suspect, took over the interrogation and drew out of Terri that she had not only been having an affair with Caleb, but that she was aware of the illegal way he made his money. However, he was not able to needle her into admitting that she'd had any part of the murders.

Marnie arrived home early from work to find a seemingly normal Evan preparing dinner. Still stinging over the revelation that Jeff was in fact sleeping with Julia, Marnie lamented having trusted him so many times. Evan briefly consoled her before the phone rang. The caller was a mysterious Brit named Harold, who asked to speak with Evan. Immediately, Evan took the phone, tearing into Harold and accusing him of threatening him. When he hung up, Evan dramatically declared that Harold was unstable and told Marnie that if he called again, he wanted her to call the police. Marnie asked what was going on, but Evan refused to answer, only telling her that he was sorry she had to see that, because he'd worked very hard to keep all of it from her.

At the station, a hungover Brett waited for Terri and he and Shane discussed what was going on with Julia, before Michael interrupted, saying that Terri wanted to speak with Shane. He then joined Brett and did his best to make casual conversation, which Brett hardly seemed in the mood for. Michael told Brett that he admired his strength, and apologized for misjudging him initially, because he really was the real deal. Unsure how to take that, Brett merely shrugged it off.

The next morning, Evan made sure to make his daily stop at the Chester Bourne library early, because he wanted to confront Harold, who worked there, on the phone call from yesterday. Evan struggled to restrain his temper, as he tore into Harold for calling his home and threatening his wife. Harold insisted that he did no such thing and balked when Evan offered to buy his silence. Harold said that the truth had no price, and they were interrupted by Mrs. Crawford, the older woman that manned the library's information desk, who cautioned both about keeping their voices down. Embarrassed and wanting to avoid any further public suspicion, Evan left, but vowed that if it was a fight Harold wanted, it was a fight he would get.

Marnie spent most of the morning on the phone with her mother, who ranted about Lance's funeral service, or lack thereof. Brett showed up late and briefly spoke to Helen, before settling behind his desk. Marnie longed to tell him that Jeff had confessed to sleeping with Julia, but quickly realized that she could not hurt her friend in that way. Then, an irate Caleb called, demanding to know Terri's whereabouts. Brett did his best to play dumb, but when Caleb threatened that he would kill him if he didn't tell him where Terri was, he hung up the phone and left to check on his sister, but not before asking Marnie to lock the door behind him and call Shane to tell him about this. Brett took Terri to a secluded motel and they spent the day together. Terri, reeling from the recent turn of events and her own drug withdrawal, did her best to focus on Brett and asked about what was going on with his marriage. At first, Brett did his best to deflect her concern, but soon confided that Julia was having an affair. He admitted how broken he was, and took responsibility for the way his life had crumbled, insisting that he'd let everyone down. Terri tried to convince him that was not the case, but Brett refused to hear it, shifting the focus back to her again.

Michael paid a visit to Jeff, who attempted to slam the door in his face, due to Marnie's description of him the day before. Michael persisted, however, getting Jeff to let him in with the promise that he could clear his name. At first, Jeff stuck to the story that he'd been looking for Carol on the night of her death, but when Michael produced the receipt from the motel in Cottage Cove, he finally admitted that he'd lied. Michael deemed the receipt Jeff's alibi, but said that he needed to speak with his girlfriend to corroborate the story. Jeff hesitated, unsure whether he should sell Julia out, but soon relented, reasoning that he had far more to lose than she did if for some reason his alibi could not be verified. Michael then paid a visit to Julia, and gently broached the subject. Julia, still rather upset about Brett's knowledge of her affair, wanted to deny it, but emotionally admitted that it was true.

Meanwhile, at the church, Marnie was joined by Shane and ranted about how angry Michael's visit the day before had made her. Then, they were unexpectedly joined by Jeff, and again, Shane and Jeff squared off. Marnie managed to diffuse the situation by taking Jeff outside, and he told her about Michael's visit and how he'd sent Michael to Julia's door. Jeff worried that this would mean that Julia would hate him, and as much as she didn't want to get involved, Marnie still had compassion for him, though she couldn't exactly help. She stressed the importance of talking to Julia before Michael did, and then told Jeff that he needed to leave before Brett returned, because she had no idea how he was going to lie his way out of being there.

That evening, as Michael compiled his report on Jeff's alibi, he was joined by Mayor Pierce, who wanted to speak to him about the complaint Marnie made against him. Michael expected a stern talking to, and immediately apologized for his behavior, but Mayor Pierce instead apologized to him, saying he should have warned him about how dramatic Margaret could be. He likened her to a car that was flashy and desirable, but that was far more trouble than it was worth. Seizing the opportunity, Michael asked about Marnie's relationship with Jeff, and the mayor confessed that he'd always thought the two would end up together in the end. He even went so far as to call Jeff Marnie's "weakness", and related how much that strained the already tense relationship between Marnie and Carol.

Jeff finally managed to get ahold of Julia, later that evening, and apologized for having sent Michael by. He did his best to explain why he'd done what he did, but Julia surprised him by affirming that she understood. She said that she knew he had to do what he had to do for himself and for the children. Then, Jeff confessed that he loved her, which took Julia by surprise. She asked if he really loved her, and Jeff emotionally affirmed that he did - he loved her enough to let her go, because things could never work out between them. Julia shocked even herself by admitting that she loved him too, something she'd never admitted before. Jeff immediately argued that she loved Brett, not him, but before she could repeat it, Brett arrived home and Julia hurriedly hung up the phone. When Brett walked in, he left a trail of blood behind him, and Julia was horrified to find that he'd been stabbed twice. She did her best to keep him calm as they awaited an ambulance, and profusely apologized for the way she'd hurt him, begging him not to leave her. Shane, the first officer on the scene, arrived in time to save his friend from choking on his own blood, but showed little concern for Julia, something that told her that he was aware of her affair.

Michael showed up at the hospital to lend emotional support to Shane, who didn't seem to want any part of it. Instead, he sought Stanley Rogers, his mentor and father figure. Clearly shaken, Shane blamed himself for this, because he did not anticipate that Caleb would carry out his threat. Stan did his best to convince him he had no way of knowing that Caleb would find Brett, but Shane insisted that he needed to get out there and get Hennessy, now convinced that he had in fact killed both Carol and Lance. Michael, meanwhile, encountered a very emotional Terri on his way out of the hospital and took the opportunity to needle her some more, baiting her into admitting that she was adopted. He then made more than one reference to how close she was to Brett, despite the fact that he was not her real brother. Terri only grew even more upset by this, demanding that Michael leave her alone - and her reaction told him that while she might have coerced Caleb Hennessy into killing two people, this was one time that he'd acted alone.

In the wee hours of the morning, Caleb arrived at Terri's home, intent on confronting her but was apprehended instead. Shane took the opportunity to exact a little revenge for the way Caleb had harmed his friends, by kicking him three times while he was handcuffed, something that Caleb used against him later. While at the station, Caleb refused to speak to any of the officers that tried interrogating him, insisting that he wanted a lawyer. Michael was the only one to somewhat get through to him, by telling him what he was charged with. The news appeared to take Caleb by surprise, and he bargained with Michael that if he got him a lawyer and got him out of this mess, he would tell him whatever he wanted to know. Michael obliged, pulling a few strings in order to secure Caleb an attorney, but in his estimation, Caleb refused to hold up his end of the deal. Michael had expected him to fully implicate Terri for being the mastermind behind the murders, but instead, he only vehemently proclaimed his innocence and offered up where he'd been on the nights in question - dealing drugs in Colorado on the night of the fourth, and nearly getting robbed in Laramie on the night of the ninth, which was Caleb's explanation for why he and Terri ran off to Casper and assumed new identities. Michael sadly accused Caleb of using him to get an attorney, and told him that this was not the time for lies or fake identities. He said that he already knew who Lucas Brady was, and he already knew who Paul Robinson was, but he had no idea who Caleb Hennessy was, and that that was a vital piece of the puzzle. This prompted Caleb to decry his former identity as nothing but unwanted trash, and to declare that he'd killed Caleb Hennessy, but that was the only person he'd killed.

Marnie's mother called to alert her of what had happened to Brett, while Evan regretted having "found that man at his door" the night before. Marnie quickly joined Julia at the hospital, where they did their best to remain positive and support one another. Julia thought about how controlling she'd been during her marriage, and all over again, felt guilty of the way she'd treated her husband. Marnie, unsure whether she should let Julia know that she knew of her affair, finally brought it up gently, saying she knew that Julia did not mean to hurt Brett. Emotionally, Julia declared that she didn't even know why she did what she did, but before she could elaborate much further, a doctor emerged and advised them both to pray for Brett, because his condition was not looking good.

At the police station, Shane drank and lamented his inability to protect his friend. He was caught by Elton Frazier, who expressed concern for one of the first times in his life. He repeated what Stan had said earlier - that Shane had no way of knowing that Caleb would make good on his threat, especially given that no one knew that he even knew where Brett lived. He also surprised Shane by admitting he was right about being the best man to find the killer and saying he was proud of him. Shane, however, told Frazier he hadn't done anything to be proud of, because Carol was still dead and Brett was still gravely injured. Frazier urged an exhausted and inebriated Shane to go home, or at least go to the hospital, and at first, Shane resisted, but did eventually go home, where he collapsed into bed. Julia called and woke him up a few hours later, saying that Brett wished to speak with him. When Shane arrived at the hospital, he found Terri in the room with her brother, and rebuffed all of Julia's attempts to even speak to him. Having seemingly no memory of what happened, Brett asked Shane and Shane told him, adding that he'd not only captured Caleb, but that he'd roughed him up a bit. Brett did not appear to approve of this, telling Shane he needed to stop doing such things, but refused to elaborate any further.

Marnie got a surprise visit from Harold, who said he'd come by to see Evan. He asked her a few questions about how long she'd been married to Evan, and how well she knew Francine, which made her incredibly uncomfortable. Harold told Marnie that she was a far more together girl than Francine was, describing Francine as "beautifully defenseless" and emotionally fragile. He also implored Marnie to take good care of Evan, as he deserved to be happy. Marnie, still relatively suspicious of the man due to her husband's resentment of him, did her best to be gracious, rationalizing that Harold was likely lonely after the death of his wife.

Jeff took a break from the infighting of the children and was immediately cornered by his across the street neighbor, Maryellen James, who told him about Brett's stabbing the night before. She added that various sources were telling her that Julia was also injured and, unable to bear such an idea, Jeff ran inside to throw up. He intended to call Julia and get to the bottom of the whole thing, but Julia showed up before he could and the two shared a lengthy embrace. Julia told him about what had happened and emotionally declared that she didn't know where to go, because she could not go home, but Brett did not seem to want her at the hospital. Jeff offered that she could stay with him, but Julia realized that doing so would be a very bad idea and decided to stay with her mother instead. That evening, she returned to the hospital after Terri had left, and sat with her sleeping husband for a while, thinking over what had happened. Brett awoke and Julia attempted to leave, but he told her he wanted to talk to her. He asked what had happened between them and brought up how they'd first met a decade ago. He asked Julia if she'd ever loved him, and while she insisted she had, Brett did not seem to believe her, pointing out that she hadn't liked much of anything about him, so he couldn't see how that was ever love. Brett accused his wife of viewing Jeff as another "project", someone much like him a decade ago. He said their marriage was based on a sick game, and though Julia attempted to deny it, he told her that he wanted a divorce.

That evening, Terri paid a visit to the police station, where she again encountered Michael. She told him that she wished to see Caleb, but refused to tell him why, despite his repeated questions. It was only when Elton Frazier got into it that Terri revealed her secret: she was expecting Caleb's child. Frazier appeared to take pity on her and allowed her to see Caleb for five minutes, under the condition that an officer accompanied her at all times. Angrily, Terri tore into her former lover for killing those closest to her and told him that she was not afraid of him anymore. Caleb, meanwhile, tore into Terri for her multitude of lies and called her crazy. Terri attempted to tell him she was pregnant, but he discounted that as yet another lie and she ended up leaving, feeling even worse than before.

Later that night, Marnie awoke, surprised to find that Evan was not beside her. She found him outside, sharing what she believed to be an intimate moment with Francine, and initially debated whether or not to leave him to it. Ultimately, she opted to open the door, with the rationale that they were in this fight together - and what she found was surprising. Evan was not sharing an intimate moment with Francine at all; rather, he was sharing a kiss with Harold. Stunned, Marnie demanded to know what was going on and Harold attempted to tell her, while Evan stumbled over himself and begged Harold not to. Harold refused to be deterred, however, and sadly told Marnie that he and Evan were lovers, and had been for more than a decade.

In the third installment of the Fireworks interlude, Evan paid Carol a visit, intent on confronting her about what she'd said to Marnie earlier in the day. Evan asked Carol about what she'd said to Francine shortly before her death, and while it was never explicitly stated, it was strongly implied that Carol somehow found out about Evan's affair with Harold and told Francine. She insisted that she did not know what she was doing, but Evan angrily tore into her, calling her a cancer to everyone around her. He swore that one day, she would have to answer for every single person she'd hurt, before Carol made a hasty retreat into the house.

Shane paid a visit to Brett, where he was taunted further about his encounter with Peggy. Conversation turned serious, however, when Shane recounted a visit from Mrs. Spears earlier in the day, and the fact that she'd mistook him for his late father. Shane admitted that he barely remembered his father, but Brett said that he did - he particularly remembered when Shane's father paid a visit to his father after Brett broke his hand. Julia interrupted this conversation and worried that their silence might have been due to her not-so-subtle attempt to diffuse Shane's earlier anti-Jeff rant, then vowed that she would make her meeting with Jeff that evening short and sweet, because she could no longer bear lying to her husband.

Upset over another fight with Lance, Terri showed up at Caleb's door, ranting about how much she hated her husband. Caleb pointed out that she always seemed to align herself with controlling people, a pattern that dated back to her oppressive childhood, and related that Carol had come by earlier in the day to offer him money to leave town. Terri, irate, demanded that they do something about it and vowed that Carol would never interfere in her life, or anyone else's again.

Shortly after midnight, Carol sat in the park, hoping to catch Jeff and Julia, as she had a few weeks before. She lamented having trusted Jeff and vowed that in the morning, she was going to throw him out of the house. She also decided that in order to hit him where it hurt, she would have to keep him away from the children. Then, she was joined by an as-yet-unknown person, who was strongly implied to have been her killer.

Formats and Pricing:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook



The book is $2.99 USD on all American outlets.


The theme song for this book was Innocent, by the band Our Lady Peace.

The theme for this book was intended to be "broken people and how they got that way", which is explored through the revelation of abuse in the Woodward home, the path that led Caleb Hennessy to become Lucas Brady, and what might have led up to Francine's suicide.

At the time of this book's release, it was the longest volume. That record has since been eclipsed by book four.

Links: -- --