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Then one day, Steven finds a little girl lying unconscious, perilously close to the woods. As the two get to know one another, Steven experiences real friendship for the first time—and gets closer than ever to knowing the darkness that skulks between the trees.
He dedicates himself to keeping his new friend safe, but the tranquility of their fragile hidden world doesn’t last long. When an act of cruelty pushes Steven to his limits, his secrets—and those of the dark woods—come close to unraveling, threatening to destroy the one thing making his teenage life bearable. Can Steven save everything he’s built from crumbling under the pressure?
An exclusive excerpt:
Judge Watterson got back in the wagon and Butch looked around the yard. Steven was still watching with interest, especially Butch. He was leaning on the table where Bob had put his plastic cup and crossed his ankles, scanning the row of cars parked for repairs and washing. There were a decent number of high-end cars in the lineup and Butch nodded approvingly. A moment later, he caught Steven staring at him with a wet sponge in his hand. They didn’t greet or offer each other the faintest nod of recognition. The tension was palpable in the hot afternoon as Judge Watterson’s engine roared to life.
“It could be the piston slap or the connectin’ rod bearings,” Bob said above the noise. “Hard to say without givin’ it a thorough check.”
Butch uncrossed his ankles, put his hands in his pockets, and stood up straight, watching Steven with narrowed eyes. Steven squeezed the sponge tighter.
“Trouble is, there’s been an increase in the number of cars here lately, Judge. I may need a day or two before I can take a look at it. If you can leave your car here in the meantime, it’d be fine. But if you need to use it, you can bring it another day,” Bob explained.
“Oh, that’s okay, Bob. I’ll just use my BMW while you fix this one. Always good to hear business is doing great.” Judge Watterson winked.
“I’ll swing by in three days, if that’s okay with you,” he said.
“That’d be fine. You and your son need a ride back?”
“No, that’s quite alright. My driver followed us in the Beamer just in case I needed to leave this here.” He tapped on the wagon’s hood.
“Alright, then. See you later, Judge.”
Butch and Steven were still glaring at each other like two angry pit bulls when the judge put an arm around Butch’s shoulders. He had no idea what was going on. “Come on, son. Let’s go,” he said, slipping on a pair of sunglasses. Butch turned away slowly and followed his father out of the yard as Steven looked on.
“He's your friend, Stevie? Seems like you two know each other,” Fenton asked as father and son walked out of the yard.
“He goes to Halstead High,” Steven replied, eyes still on Butch, who was now getting into his father’s black BMW.
“Well, he’s gone. You better get washin’ that car. Soap’s dry by now.”
Steven wiped his forehead and got back to work.
About the Author:
Rosemary lives in a small town in Malaysia and travels as often as possible to broaden her cultural horizon. You can find out more about her books, giveaways, and new releases on:
Her debut fiction Pork can be found at Amazon. NOTE: “Pork” will be free on Amazon June 21-23, 2016
What others are saying:
“Stay with this new author. She’s impressive.” – G. Harp
“The plot is elaborate leading to an unexpected twist in the end which I loved. It is a very good read-- you won't be disappointed!” – D. Mantzari
“...makes for an entertaining read, just prepare yourself to have a few WTF moments while enjoying the experience...” – Book Mafia Blog
“The author has a lovely writing style with clear, sparse prose that allows the story to breathe. Bit by bit each character plays a part in unraveling the mystery...” – The Welshbird
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