Tag Archive | mystery

Proof of Lies: Blog Tour + Giveaway

Proof of Lies (Anastasia Phoenix, #1) by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Published by Entangled Teen

Published on March 7th, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28143051-proof-of-lies?ac=1&from_search=true

Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/index.php/proof-of-lies.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Proof-Lies-Diana-Rodriguez-Wallach/dp/1633756084

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/proof-of-lies-diana-rodriguez-wallach/1124230937?type=eBook

Some secrets are best kept hidden…

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.


Diana Rodriguez Wallach is not the child of super spies, as far as she knows. But she is an avid traveler, and every scene in her books comes from a place she has lived or visited—from her senior year apartment in Boston, MA to the hotel where she stayed in Cortona, Italy. In addition to the Anastasia Phoenix series, Diana is also the author of the award-winning Amor and Summer Secrets series; the Mirror, Mirror short story collection; and essays in both Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories and Latina Authors and Their Muses. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. But of course, this all could be a masterly crafted piece of disinformation…

Website: http://www.dianarodriguezwallach.com/

Twitter: @dianarwallach

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dianarwallach

Playlist:

Check out the Proof of Lies playlist here: http://dianarodriguezwallach.com/wp/proof-of-lies-playlist/

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Review: The Roanoke Girls

Title: The Roanoke Girls

Author: Amy Engel

Date of Publication: March 7th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

My Review:

What. Was. This. Book.

I was drawn to this book for the fact that I loved the author’s other book, The Book of Ivy. I already knew ahead of time this would be completely different. First it is a mystery book which I normally don’t read, but I would give it a chance anyway. This isn’t your normal type of mystery book here.

Lane, our MC, has to go live with her grandparents in a farm town in Kansas. She meets her cousin Allegra (No, not the medicine), and I could not stand her. Allegra was selfish and messed up. I can understand why, but she still did terrible things, especially to Tommy.

Lane has got to be the worst MC I have ever read in my life, and that is saying a lot. The way she treated Cooper was awful, and for whatever reason he liked he. I don’t understand. Her thoughts were just mean a lot of time for example Tommy’s wife… I mean what did she ever do to her? The way she criticized her looks and also doing the same to Jeff’s wife, etc. Also, I feel like Lane needed to be going to AA meetings, she either got wasted a lot or still had alcohol every time. I mean would it kill her to drink some water?

The chapters are told in now, then, and one chapter from each of the other Roanoke girls. The Roanoke girls chapters made me hate all of them too. These characters weren’t meant to be liked I guess? Cooper was the only person in this whole book I could stand. Everyone else just had me feeling icky sticky.

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Now, the writer can write, and I did want to keep reading the story to find out what happened next. There were twists and turns, and I guessed almost every single one except for one. I don’t want to give anything away, but I don’t even know how I feel after reading this book besides sick.

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Cover Reveal: Gardenia

Title: Gardenia

Author: Kelsey Sutton

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“Given the setting of the story and the proximity of Ivy’s home to a train depot, we landed on the headlights of an oncoming train as the perfect visual metaphor for Ivy’s ability to know when she will die.”

About the Book:

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Erickson has one month, twenty-seven days, four hours, fifty-nine minutes, and two seconds to live.Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been able to see countdown clocks over everyone’s heads indicating how long before they will die. She can’t do anything about anyone else’s, nor can she do anything about her own, which will hit the zero hour before she even graduates high school.

A life cut short is tragic, but Ivy does her best to make the most of it. She struggles emotionally with her deep love for on-again, off-again boyfriend Myers Patripski. She struggles financially, working outside of school to help her mom and her sister. And she struggles to cope with the murder of her best friend, another life she couldn’t save. Vanessa Donovan was killed in the woods, and everyone in town believes Ivy had something to do with it.

Then more girls start disappearing. Ivy tries to put her own life in order as she pieces together the truth of who ended Vanessa’s. To save lives and for her own sanity.

The clock is always ticking. And Ivy’s only hope is to expose the truth before it runs out completely

 

About the Author:

Kelsey Sutton is the author of teen novels SOME QUIET PLACE and GARDENIA. She is also the author of two novels for middle grade readers, THE LONELY ONES and BENJAMIN. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She is currently working on a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore. You can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KelseyJSutton.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6425045.Kelsey_Sutton

Twitter: @KelseyJSutton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kelsey-Sutton-139415419471775/

Website: www.kelseysuttonbooks.com

 

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The Row: Excerpt + Giveaway

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The Row
by J.R. Johansson
Genre: YA Mystery
Release Date: October 11th 2016
FSG/Macmillan

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Summary from Goodreads:

A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.

Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.

Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.

 

Meet-Cute of Jordan and Riley Excerpt

 

Riley is a people watcher. She regularly escapes from her own problems by going to a mall on the other side of Houston and seeing what other people are dealing with. Sometimes she even pretends to be someone else. But on this particular outing near the beginning of the book, she ends up meeting someone who makes her want to be herself…she also meets his hot older brother, Jordan. Enjoy!

 

On a Wednesday afternoon, the mall isn’t too busy, but there are about ten tables already taken with late lunch customers. I order a thick Oreo milkshake and start studying the people around me. One nearby table is full of teens. I scoot to the edge of my booth and pretend to scroll through my phone as I try to eavesdrop on their conversation. Before I get a chance to hear much, though, I feel an impact against my right sandal.

When I bend over, the first thing I see is a red Matchbox car. I pick it up and squint at it.

“Sorry about that. Driving skills obviously need improvement.” A deep voice speaks from the booth behind mine and I spin to face it. My first thought isn’t exactly articulate: Wow, hotness. His warm eyes are a slightly lighter shade of brown than his dark olive complexion.

Hot Guy extends his hand. I freeze, not sure if I should shake it or stick the car into it. As if he can read my mind, he drops his hand back to his lap and provides me with an alternate option.

“Unless you’re interested in joining our competition? Any experience on a pit crew, by chance?” His eyes now have a wicked sparkle to them that draws me in.

“Pit crew?” I raise my eyebrows.

“Girls don’t like cars.” I hear a small voice from the other side of his booth and slide to the side a bit to see who spoke. A seriously adorable little boy looks up at me. He can only be Hot Guy’s little brother. His Angry Birds T-shirt is just a smidge too big for him. He has the same skin and dark wavy hair, the same athletic build, the same square jawline and Roman nose—he is his brother in miniature. When he beams up at me, one of his front teeth is missing. “Hi!”

“Hi . . .” I can’t help but smile back at him.

“What’s your name? You don’t like cars, right?” He continues to smile at me while I consider my answer. The kid couldn’t be more than six years old. “I’m Matthew.”

“I actually do like cars.”

“Then you’re cool.” He lifts his cupped hands up and releases no fewer than eight cars onto the tabletop. His big brother frantically shoots his arms out, trying to prevent them all from careening off onto the floor.

Matthew slides out of his seat and walks to my table. “You didn’t tell me your name.”

Maybe all of my friends should be six. The questions of children seem to be so much simpler than those of adults. Something deep in me really doesn’t want to lie to this kid. “I’m Riley.”

His brother jerks his head up with an embarrassed expression. “Matthew, she doesn’t have to tell you her name if she doesn’t want to.”

“But . . . she already did.” Matthew looks at his brother like he just said the dumbest thing he’s ever heard. He sticks his small hand out to shake mine.

“Nice to meet you,” he says, sincerely. The gesture melts me and I place my hand in his. All my worry about Daddy’s hearing dissolves as he grips my hand firmly and shakes it like this is the most important meeting each of us will ever have. “Now, tell me what your favorite color is.”

After tossing the cars into a green plastic container, Matthew’s brother gets up and puts his hands on Matthew’s shoulders. “Sorry, he has no filter with strangers.”

“It’s fine. I like being told that I’m cool.” I shrug before lowering my eyes to Matthew. “My favorite color is purple.”

Matthew dives for the green bin and starts digging through it without another word.

“I think that was your official invitation to play . . . in case you didn’t recognize it.” Hot Guy rubs his hand on the back of his neck. His cheeks flush slightly and then he smiles at me. “I’m Jordan, by the way.”

“Your brother is really cute.” I lower my voice so Matthew can’t hear us.

“Yeah, that’s what all the girls say.” Jordan shakes his head.

“Oh, I see.” I lift one eyebrow, deciding these two might be the perfect pair to distract myself with today. “This is part of your game then? Bring your adorable brother to the mall. Hit girls with tiny cars. Have him get them to tell you their names . . . very smooth. Will he ask for my number next?”

Jordan looks horrified for an instant before he picks up on the fact that I’m joking and a grin spreads across his face. “Or maybe we’re part of a research project and he’s just a very small scientist.”

The server comes with my milkshake and I stick my spoon into it. “What would you be researching?”

“The effects of tiny cars on complete strangers.” Jordan sticks his hands into his jeans pockets as his face turns mockingly serious.

“Fascinating.”

Matthew drops a bright purple convertible onto the table in front of me. I pick it up to look at it and before I know it, Matthew is pushing himself and his green bin of cars into the seat on the other side of my booth.

Jordan blinks at Matthew and then me before shaking his head. “Buddy, we need to stay in our booth. I think we’ve bothered Riley enough for one afternoon.”

Matthew freezes in the middle of organizing his cars on my table and looks at me in shock. “I’m bothering you?”

I shake my head fast and firm. “Not at all.”

“He’s fine.” I look up at Jordan and then gesture to the seat beside Matthew. “Looks like I’m officially part of your experiment—or pit crew—depending on where this afternoon takes us. Care to have a seat?”

 

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About the Author

J.R.  Johansson’s books have been published in a dozen languages and more than twenty countries worldwide. She has a B.S. degree in public relations and a background in marketing. She credits her abnormal psychology minor with inspiring many of her characters. She lives in Utah with two sons, a wonderful husband, three cats, and a hot tub named Valentino.
She is represented by the stellar  Kathleen Rushall of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

 

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Review: Shutter

Title: Shutter

Author:Laurie Faria Stolarz

Date of Publication: October 18th, 2016

Shutter

Goodreads Summary:

THE FACTS
• Julian Roman, age sixteen, is an escapee from the Fairmount County Juvenile Detention Facility.
• His parents, Michael Roman and Jennifer Roman, are dead.
• Julian is wanted for murder.

THE QUESTIONS
• Why is Julian Roman on the run?
• Just how dangerous is he?
• And who did kill Michael and Jennifer Roman, if not Julian?

Seventeen-year-old Day Baker views life through the lens of her camera, where perspective is everything. But photographs never tell the whole story. After Day crosses paths with Julian, the world she pictures and the truths she believes-neatly captured in black and white-begin to blur.

Julian is not the “armed and dangerous” escapee the police are searching for, but his alibis don’t quite add up, either. There is more to his story. This time, Day is determined to see the entire picture . . . whatever it reveals. Did he? Or didn’t he?

Day digs deeper into the case while Julian remains on the run. But the longer her list of facts becomes, the longer the list of questions becomes, too. It’s also getting harder to deny the chemistry she feels for him. Is it real? Or is she being manipulated?

Day is close to finding the crack in the case. She just needs time to focus before the shutter snaps shut.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is a master of suspense and romance. In this page-turning thriller, Stolarz tackles dark truths with a powerful, contemporary voice. Shutter will keep readers guessing until the very end.

My Review:

I normally don’t read a lot of mystery and suspense novels. I think the last time was way back in junior high when I read Lois Duncan and Joan Lowery Nixon books.

Day loves to take pictures, and when she runs into Julian by accident in a convenience store and not recognizing him at first as the boy on the run from the cops and wanted back into custody for murder, she follows him without him knowing anyway to get the perfect picture.

Later on she runs into him again and decides to help him and hides him outside in the shed. She believes he didn’t do the crime that he is accused of, but the stuff he says doesn’t add up either.

I really liked the characters in this book even though Day did a lot of things that didn’t make sense like sit here and hide a guy she doesn’t know accused of murder.  I mean it wasn’t like she was even friends with him before, so the situation was weird.

The mystery part was actually pretty good because I did keep going back and fourth with what the outcome could be and even though it was predictable it was a very entertaining read.  I would recommend this one.

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Review: Freeks

Title: Freeks

Author: Amanda Hocking

Date of Publication: January 3rd, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.

My Review:

Mara has been with a traveling sideshow pretty much her whole life with her mother who is a necromancer. This time the sideshow is coming to Caudry which a small town that is going to give a pretty nice payout. Mara meets a guy in town who she is instantly attracted to named Gabe. Mysterious attacks begin to take place at the carnival to the workers, and Mara is going to find out what is going on.

I love this cover! The cover automatically drew me in along with the fact that I love anything that has to do with oddities. Not only that but set in the 80’s??? Count me in!!

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I loved the beginning and learning that a lot of people that worked at the carnival had actual powers, and I really liked all of the side characters. As for Mara the main character I loved reading from her point of view. She was a good character and didn’t make dumb decisions.

Gabe was a very likable character, but as for the romance to me it is what brought the book down a little. There was pretty much no build up to the relationship and every time they were together they were kissing. I really liked Mara and Gabe together I just wanted to see more dialogue and more of them getting to know each other.

The mystery aspect of the book is what had me on my toes and wanting to know what the heck was going on and what was attacking these people and why. The author was great about adding details to the attacks!

The paranormal elements towards the end were a little far fetched for me, but I still enjoyed them. I did however want to see more carnival themed elements throughout the book. This was a quick read and while I did not like this as much as Amanda’s Trylle/Kanin series I still liked it.

 

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The Lost Eye of the Serpent: Short Story + Giveaway

The Lost Eyes of the Serpent
Jeremy Phillips
(The Rose Delacroix Files, #1)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 8th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult

It may sound crazy, but Jonathan Delacroix is certain his sister Rose really is Sherlock Holmes…

Girls are not detectives. But in the summer of 1893, in the small western town of Hope Springs, Rose Delacroix is bound and determined to prove them all wrong. When the famous Emerald Serpent Jewels are stolen from the Delacroix family hotel and the blame lands solely on her older brother Bill, Rose recruits Jonathan as her Watson-like counterpart to solve the case.

Proving your brother innocent is difficult when the evidence keeps stacking up against him…

Before Rose and Jonathan can properly start their investigation, another robbery is committed. The rusty revolver purported to have once belonged to Wild Bill Hickok has been stolen from the general store and found hidden amongst her brother’s belongings. With Bill in jail, and the owner of the Serpent Jewels planning to sue the Delacroix hotel, Rose knows she has to find a lead, and soon.

A witness comes forward claiming they saw Bill steal the jewels, but Rose isn’t about to be bullied into ignoring the facts…

Rose and Jonathan must put their sleuthing skills to the test or witness their family fall to ruin due to…

…the lost eye of the serpent.

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Bonus Scene (short story):

Rose Delacroix Versus the Box

By Jeremy Phillips

Rose Delacroix sat on a stump in the bare and dusty yard behind the Delacroix Hotel, staring at a metal box sitting on another stump, a few feet away from her. She regarded the box with an ever-increasing intensity, not sure how to proceed. Time was very short, and she wished that she had more of it available to her right now.

“Whatever am I going to do with you?” Rose said to the box.

The box didn’t look like much. It was the size of a shoebox, but constructed of solid steel, with tight, straight corners. Its only visible feature was a place for a key to fit, in the front of the box. Really, it seemed simple enough. But looks, as Rose knew very well, are often deceptive.

In her hand, Rose held a couple of metal clips from out of her hair, clips which she had straightened out to use for this particular purpose. Except, it hadn’t worked yet. Rose approached the box again, the box which had at first glance appeared to be so simple, and yet had thwarted all of her prior attempts at entry.

Rose shook the box, which was deceptively heavy in addition to being deceptively difficult to break. Something solid thunked around inside of it. Whatever it was, Rose meant to have it out of that box, and soon.

Drawing a deep, calming breath, Rose tried once more to pick the lock on this thing. The books she’s been reading, the Sherlock Holmes mysteries in addition to other lesser Detective tales, always make this seem so simple, don’t they?

Using one of the hair pins that she had straightened out, Rose carefully massaged the top of the lock, to where she believed the pins that she needed to trick ought to be. She could feel the pins moving, so that was good. With a second hair pin, she applied a constant pressure on the bottom of the lock in the hopes of popping it open, when the pins were all equally deceived into believing that the proper key had been applied into the keyhole.

After another long effort, she stopped again. What time was it getting to be, now?

Really, she needed to pop this lock open. She needed, rather desperately, to know what was inside of this thing. All of her logic told Rose that whatever was inside of this deceptively secure box, was of vital importance to her investigation. Even as she sat there in this yard, monkeying around with this locked box, her brother Jon was confronting the box’s owner. Jon needed her, and he needed her now, not whenever it was that she managed to finally get this thing open.

Perhaps the problem was too obvious. This box, which she had confiscated, perhaps inappropriately, from its hiding place in a guest room of the Delacroix Hotel, belonged to a man who liked to think of himself as the world’s greatest “cracksman.” This was a term that Rose had only recently learned, but which referred to the man’s impressive ability to break into locked safes. Given the great trouble that this person had managed to cause to Rose and her family in the last few days, he had a point concerning his abilities, after all.

Rose took a moment, and tried to think about the problem logically. She had in her possession the small personal safe of a man who considered himself to be the greatest safe-breaker in the world. It only stood to reason, that the security on the safe of such a person would defy any normal attempts at lock picking.

Really, attempting to pick the thing was ridiculous, given the fact that she was an amateur at this sort of thing in the first place. Rose was self-taught, having only popped a few locks around town during her free time when no one was looking, to see if she could do it. To Rose’s way of thinking, skills such as lock picking were just the sorts of things that a self-styled Detective simply ought to know, after all.

Not that everyone was likely to understand this. She put this into the same category of small-minded thinking as seemed to possess most people that she met, the same type of small-minded thinking which implied that, given her status as a female, she was simply incapable of actual logic thought. Or much else, either. This was in the category of things that she simply refused to agree to wholesale, in other words.

Turning the safe around and looking into the keyhole with the aid of the heavy summer sunlight, Rose suddenly understood the problem more fully. The lock itself seemed to run deeper than most locks did, and what’s more, there appeared to be pins on the right interior side of the lock too. Those extra pins were placed at a different angle than were normally seen, in all of the others locks that Rose had encountered around the town of Hope Springs. This was actually a rather extraordinary lock, which would take a rather extraordinary key. It was a lock the likes of which Rose had never encountered before.

Given enough time, Rose was fairly sure that she could have broken the lock anyway. It would require another hair pin, and perhaps another hand too, to apply pressure to the lock with the tension wire while she worked at the pins from two different angles at once. But, time was something that she simply didn’t have much of. This was going to require a different approach.

Rose placed the box back on the tree stump, then went into a large work shed, which was attached to the barn in the family’s back yard. She returned a minute later with the heaviest wood chopping axe that she could find, and took a mighty swing at the top of the metallic box.

The first blow did nothing but mildly dent the box, causing it to bounce a foot or so up into the air with the force of her assault. A second and third blow did little more. But on her fourth attempt, after getting a reckless running start at the metal box from the other side of the yard, Rose managed to lodge the blade of the axe into the top of the steel box. Rose’s arms were feeling sore already, from the exertions of trying to break this thing.

It was almost comical. The axe was now lodged directly into the lid of the steel box. Feeling her anxiety increase, Rose wondered what time it was now getting to be. She wondered how things were going for Jon, who was even now confronting the burglar…a man who, the night before, had proven that he was not above pulling a gun on her brother. He might not be above murder, even.

With great effort, Rose was able to pry the axe blade back out of the top of the box. This left a large cut along the middle of the lid of the thing, but she could still not get to the contents of the box, or even really see what those contents were, rolling around inside of that damned box.

Rose set the box up on its edge. This time, it would have to work. She stepped back again, hefting the axe up over her head. She stepped back farther, and farther yet. An absurd feeling came over Rose, as though she were a baseball player up at bat, facing the third strike in the last inning of a tight game.

Well, and wasn’t that pretty much what this was, after all? How much time did Jon really have, facing off with that criminal? This was her last inning, and what all was on the line? Only the freedom and future of her other brother, Bill, who had been framed for two robberies and one attempted murder that he didn’t commit. Oh, and the possibility of the entire Delacroix family losing their ownership of the Delacroix Hotel to another criminal, and being kicked out into the streets of Hope Springs in the summer of 1893; there was that minor detail, too. Only those things. And Jon.

Steadying herself, Rose took a deep breath. In her mind’s eye, she imagined the cut that she would have to inflict to make this thing happen. She’s read someplace about the power of the mind, the power to make things happen by carefully visualizing them, first. This was something she believed in wholeheartedly.

The blow would have to be perfect. It would have to land squarely on the edge of the lid, to exactly where the hinge must be. Only that. Or else, perhaps she could go over to the Blacksmith’s shop and see if he couldn’t pop the thing open for her somehow. But there would be a lot of questions asked, then. And a lot of precious time wasted. She thought again of Jon, headed over to the Bromwell Hotel, across the street.

With a cry, Rose ran wholeheartedly up towards the box, to where it sat there on the tree stump. She brought the axe down with all her might, producing a bone-jarring ringing in her hands clear up to the shoulder, an ear-cracking SMACK when the unstoppable force of her axe came down on the immovable object of the steel box’s lid…and then the miracle happened.

The blow was perfect, more perfect than seemed fair. The hinge of the box gave way, and the contents of the box flew everywhere, scattering around to land everyplace on the dusty ground.

Rose quickly rushed around the yard, ignoring the ringing pain in her arms, picking up the box’s former contents and placing them back in the now-broken box.

There was a little leather pouch full of lock picks, proper ones, made of some fine thin steel that Rose had never seen before. These she would keep, if things turned out as she hoped they might. There was also a collection of paper money and coins. And there, sitting separate and apart from the rest of the stuff, was a round object about the size of an apple.

Quickly picking the object up, Rose examined it closely.

After a few moments a large smile came across her face, as she realized what the object in her hand was…and what it meant, for her and her all-consuming Investigation. This was becoming like a Sherlock Holmes story after all, Rose thought, which filled her with excitement and a powerful sense of adventure, although she might not have admitted this to anyone, perhaps not even to her twin brother John.

Holding on to the object and rushing out to Main Street, Rose found herself running as quickly as she could to go help her brother. Yes, this might help fix things. It might help fix things very well.

 

Author Bio:

Jeremy Phillips has been interested in Buddhist philosophy for more than twenty years, and attends services at a Shin Buddhist temple in Spokane, Washington. When he isn’t writing or keeping busy being a father and husband, he works as a Respiratory Therapist at several different hospitals. He lives in Spokane with his wife, children, dogs, and bonsai trees.

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How does this book sound to you?