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MATTOON — A former teacher at Mattoon High School has self-published a conspiracy thriller book, titled “Saving Amy.”

Chris Lawrence of Mattoon said this is the second book she’s written, but the first to be published. The paperback book consists of 310 pages and was published by AuthorHouse in June.

“Saving Amy” is available from the publisher at;;; in paperback, hardback and e-book versions.

Lawrence said she taught biology and zoology at MHS for 20 years, until about four years ago. She now works with her husband, Jim, in his dental lab business.

Beyond the classroom, she also took students to Key Largo, Fla. to scuba dive; and spent 13 summers accompanying JROTC students to military bases for summer camp.

After leaving teaching, her new adventure has become writing. She has two more books in the works.

According to a press release from AuthorHouse, readers of “Saving Amy” will find themselves trying to answer this question: “Would finding a cure for cancer result in a Nobel Prize, or a death sentence?”

According to the plot synopsis, written on the back cover, the thriller involves a character named Adam Yates, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, which is a mild form of autism.

“But, in the vein of some autistic people, he has his gifts. When he discovers a cure for a particularly difficult type of breast cancer, he’s kidnapped, drugged, and tortured by his captors. What they want: his journals describing how cancer growth can be arrested. His captors don’t want this information for their own gain or for the good of the human population. They want it for something far more sinister.”

The storyline also involves Regan Riley, a forensic scientist, who worked for the state of Illinois crime lab. As it happens Adam Yates and Riley cross paths, along with Adam’s twin brother, who is a county sheriff, Drew Yates, who work together to solve the mystery, while risking their own lives.

“I want readers to come along for an adventure of a lifetime,” said Lawrence.

“When they put my book down, I want them to feel like they have just been with the characters helping them solve the mystery. I want them to live through them.”

Book signing set at Common Grounds

MATTOON — Christie “Chris” Lawrence of Mattoon, author of “Saving Amy,” will have a book signing of her first-ever self-published book from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Common Grounds, 1612 Charleston Ave.

She will also have some paperback books there to sell for $15 each.

Anyone wanting to meet the author, purchase a book, or have a book autographed is invited to attend.

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