My Books!

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Silver Sphere

Do you like fantasy novels?  If so, maybe The Silver Sphere by Michael Dadich is exactly what you've been waiting on.


Shelby Pardow never imagined she could kill someone. All she wants to do is hide from her troubled father… when she is teleported to awaiting soldiers on the planet Azimuth. Here she is not a child, but Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members whom Malefic Cacoethes has drugged and imprisoned. He seeks to become dictator of this world (and then Earth by proxy).

His father, Biskara, is an evil celestial entity, tracked by the Assembly with an armillary device, The Silver Sphere. With the Assembly now deposed, Biskara directs Malefic and the Nightlanders to their strategic targets. Unless….

Can Shelby find the other Kin, and develop courage and combat skills? Can the Kin reassemble in time to release or replace the Assembly, overthrowing Malefic and restraining Biskara?





I’ve been writing since first setting pencil to steno pad at age 8. A year later, I began developing the world of my current series-in-progress, and even created its title, The Silver Sphere. Now, with the support of years of experience, those early maps and back stories have progressed into what I hope is a fresh and entertaining take on the classic young adult fantasy adventure.

Despite my frequent escapes into parallel worlds, I root myself firmly in my very real family and community. When not pacing the yard maniacally after every few pages of writing, I spend as much time as possible hanging out with my studly 9-year-old son, and my inspirational wife Jenna. I also coach several local youth sports teams in Beverly Hills, and alternate between yelling at my two crazy Corgis and hiking with my trained German Shepherd.

For more, join me in my favorite fantasy worlds, from Lord of the Rings to the creations of C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Brooks. Even more importantly, stop by and say hello on my Facebook page at AuthorMichaelDadich, tweet me at @MichaelDadich, and stalk my website at

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Does She Love Him Or Not?

Today's excerpt comes from my current WIP.  This story is about how the war in Afghanistan affects a young couple.  Riley is their son, and Angel is her best friend.  It'll be awhile before I get this manuscript finished.  I just signed another contract with Astraea Press which means I'll be doing edits for two different books.  In this excerpt my heroine Anna just talked to her husband on the phone.  The call leads to a lot of soul searching because...  Sorry, I can't tell you too much.  Don't judge Anna too harshly either.  You haven't heard the whole story.

She almost got up to look at a picture of Jack, but she worried she would disturb Angel if she did so she stayed in bed.

These days Jack was a disembodied voice in her ear, not a real man at all.  She couldn’t take care of him, sleep with him, or share his child with him, and forget about building a life together.  If they had had a little more time before he left for Afghanistan it might have been different, but they had been torn apart after only four weeks as husband and wife.

So did she still love him?  Anna had no idea.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Super, Super, Super News

Hi, folks, Marley Matthews here with some great news.  Elaine just signed another contract!  That makes two books scheduled to come out in 2013.  The first contract is for a book called Blue 52 which is best described as action-adventure for women, and the second contract is for The Enchanted, Elaine's first fantasy romance.  Would you like to read an excerpt?  How about one from Blue 52?  Hank is my hero, and Dr. Sinclair is my heroine.  Elaine and the senator are Hank's grandparents.  This excerpt takes place on the morning after a party.

Elaine reached for the coffee pot.  “You stay away from Dr. Sinclair, Hank.  I can see you enjoyed that kiss, but there are plenty of women you can kiss.  Leave her alone.”

“Talk to your friend Millicent,” Hank protested as he passed her the sugar bowl.  “It was all her doing.  I didn’t ask to be involved in that ridiculous stunt.”

“Millicent may have forced you to kiss Dr. Sinclair, but she didn’t make you like it.  You should not have let yourself enjoy it.”

For a brief moment Hank and the senator stared at each other; then they burst into laughter.    

Photo from

Fashionista Friday: Marley LovesTurquoise

Hello, readers.  Marley Matthews here.   Remember me?  I'm Elaine's heroine in The Table in the Window.  Christmas is over, but there are still New Year's parties to go to.  My husband and I have been invited to one really nice party.  I have my outfit picked out.  What do you think?  (Rob picked out the hair clips, but I don't like them.  I'm not going to use them, but don't tell him. I promise he'll never notice.  They do look pretty as decoration, don't they?)


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fried Pickles and the Fuzz

Hello!  Please help me welcome guest blogger Calico Daniels to the blog.   Calico, thanks for coming.
Country Bumpkin

I have never been ashamed of being country. Okay, so that’s a lie. There have been a few times in my life, both as a child and adult, when others have found my country ways to be an easy target for their jokes.  I just smile and remember…when the zombies come ;) who will be better equipped to deal?

I know how to shoot, I can process game, can, preserve and even know how to hand wash clothes…and let me tell you hand washing jeans sucks J I am the only person I know who dreams fondly of actually owning a house that has no electricity and a hand pump for water. In fact, hubby and I have the plans all drawn out for our dream hunting cabin. Old wood burning cook stove. Pot bellied stove and fireplace for warmth. Hand pump for water in the kitchen.  Wash room out back.

Crazy? Eh, I guess it depends. Would I want to live there full time? No. I like my internet a little too much J But I would LOVE to live in it off and on through the year. I once told my husband that I would give my right arm to live with an Amish family during harvest time. He didn’t look at me like I was a loon. Quite the opposite in fact. He actually agreed J We are just “that type of folk”. We love being self reliant. It makes us proud. Does that make us nuts? Nope…just a little different J
Calico Daniels

Fried Pickles and the Fuzz coming January 2013 to Astraea Press

Blurb: Big Creek might be a stereotypical small town but even they have drama.

Heather loves her little café, and her best customer is the county Sherriff. She’s been waiting months for him to ask her out…maybe she won’t have to wait much longer.

Bronson feels at home in Big Creek even though he hasn’t been the Sherriff for long. Small towns have their perks and a pretty café owner who cooks like an angel certainly doesn’t hurt. Now, if he could only get over his nerves and drum up the gumption to ask her out.

Throw in a gossip mill, a redneck festival and an ill timed attempt to help and you end up with some laughs, some ruffled feathers and a town that is….Redneck Fabulous.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope your day is filled with joy, warmth, and good company.  If you are finished with all the Christmas rush, I have three or four free Christmas stories at my blog at  Do enjoy them.

News From a Dog, Not a Reindeer

Mama tried to make me dress like a reindeer to tel u that she signed a contract four a new book. The conract is with Whiskey Creek Press, an' the title is Blue 52. Here's a blurb.

In 2018 the headlines read, First Lady Kills President Lovinggood. In 2048 Hank Lovinggood embarks on a quest to prove his mother’s innocence and to find and punish the killers.Together Hank and lovely physicist Dr. Kathryn Sinclair confront an implacable, twisted, and merciless enemy who’ll do whatever it takes to hide the truth forever.
Sounds good 2 me, but I don't like the reindeer antlers. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Bad Father

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday.  Are you ready for Christmas yet?  I'm finally getting there.  My excerpt for today comes from a manuscript I just submitted.  Keep your crossed for me.  This is the first fantasy I've written, so it was a lot of fun for me.  Anyway, here are the first six sentences of the manuscript.

King Bowdyn sprang from his throne and paced around the room like a crazed tiger as his son knelt before the huge golden throne studded with crimson and emerald stones.  “Perhaps you did not understand me, Alan,” he snarled.  His hands clenched into fists held rigidly to his side.  “This is not a request, but a command.  You will marry Lady Maybina before the next full moon has passed.”
Alan dared not raise his eyes from the floor.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season.

Picture from

Nothing Like a Good Defense

Today's excerpt is from my current WIP.  In this excerpt, my heroine's husband is in Afghanistan, and his people have invited her to come to dinner on Christmas Eve.  Sheila is the heroine's mother-in-law.  Riley is her child.

She had never liked Jack’s cousin Miranda and still didn't. Miranda wore a beautiful red sweater that set off her dark hair and made her look like a picture from a magazine.  She looked Anna up and down before smirking at her overalls.  “You’ll need something a little sexier when Jack comes home, Anna, and you might consider gaining a little weight.  You aren’t anorexic are you?”

“Miranda, leave her alone,” Sheila scolded.  “She has Riley to take care of.  She can’t be worried about her clothes or how she looks.”

Rascal is sharing another excerpt if you'll scroll down. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rascal Loves Futball

Hello, reders, Rascal here.  Marley Matthews is yore hostess for Dec. but she sed I could share a bit from my favrite book A New Dream.  Matt, my Mama's hero, plays futball with the Green Bay Packers.  That's why I'm wearing my jersey.  U can buy A New Dream at!/~/product/id=2676585 and most other places where they sell books.

Matt awoke early the next morning because the dull, aching pain in his legs made him sick to his stomach. Must have been one rough practice, he thought. He didn’t much want to get up yet. He still felt tired out and kind of …heavy. Yeah, that was it; he felt heavy. Too heavy in fact to bother opening his eyes, but Stacey was holding his hand, so he forced himself to wake up.
A short, round, little woman, not Stacey, held his wrist. The way she looked at her watch he decided she must be taking his pulse. Where was he? What had happened to him?
He had to clear his throat before he could speak. “Who are you?” he croaked.
She beamed at him as if he had done something wonderful. “Oh, you’re awake now. I’m Nurse Whitaker. How do you feel?”
“I’m tired, and my legs hurt. Where am I?”
 “You had a car accident last night, Mr. McCallum.” She pulled a sheet and a thin white blanket across his chest. “You’re in the hospital.”
“Your girlfriend is fine. Don’t worry about her.”

att closed his eyes for a moment and rubbed his throbbing temples. “I don’t remember what happened.”
“That’s normal. You may never remember everything.”
Matt tried to sit up, but he couldn’t muster enough energy. “What’s wrong with me? Why is it so hard to sit up?”
“Oh, that’s because of the medication we gave you to help you rest.” She patted his arm and checked an IV that he hadn’t noticed until she touched it. “We didn’t want you tossing and turning all night.”
“What’s wrong with me?” he repeated.
“Shh, don’t worry about that now. The doctor can talk to you later when you feel better.”
Matt didn’t like the blank expression on the nurse’s face at all. I must be hurt pretty bad. “No, tell me now,” he insisted.
Nurse Whittaker stuck a thermometer in his mouth. “You have some trauma to your legs, Mr. McCallum, but the doctor says you’re going to be fine.”
Matt spit the thermometer out. “Trauma to my legs?”
“Yes, sir, and I’d rather you talk to Dr. Williams about it.”
It’s bad. It has to be. “Tell me,” he demanded.
“Mr. McCallum…”
Matt forced himself to sit up. His head spun and made his stomach turn over, but he managed to pull the sheet off his right leg. Wow, he must really be out of it. It looked like most of his leg was gone. He shook his head to clear away the cobwebs and looked again. His leg was gone!
 He started to shake and grabbed the nurse by the arm. “Where’s my leg?” he cried.
The nurse took a look at one of the monitors in the room and called, “Jenny, would you bring me another dose of Mr. McCallum’s medication?”
A nurse arrived with a syringe which she injected into Matt’s IV. “There you are,” she soothed. “You’ll be comfortable in a few minutes.”
Dizziness washed over Matt. “What did…you…give…me?”
“Something to make you rest,” Nurse Whitaker answered. “You go to sleep and don’t worry about a thing. We’re taking very good care of you.”


Fashionista Friday: Merry Christmas

Blue Christmas

Dolce Gabbana lace slip dress
$1,880 -

Faux fur coat

Giuseppe Zanotti leather shoes

Box clutch
$1,605 -

Asprey white pearl earrings
$17,025 -

Dazie Gold Metal Decorative Garland
$6.49 -

to the one i love christmas card
$3.65 -

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter's Magic

Hello, readers!  Please help me welcome Cynthia Gail to the blog.  Cynthia is the author of Winter Magic, and she agreed to share a blub and excerpt with us.  Thanks, Cynthia.  Your cover is downright beautiful.  Here we go.


Beth Sergeant and Nick Chester come from opposite ends of the social food chain. While he sees a rare beautiful woman without an agenda, she sees a wealthy playboy. Can he convince her to let go of her insecurities and take a chance on love, when challenges from his past force her to reveal her most guarded secret?

Owner of La Bella Vita, a five-star day spa nestled in the affluent suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee, Beth Sergeant knows her elite clientele first hand. She attended their private schools. She was even engaged, although briefly, to one of their most recognized bachelors. But she never fit in to their social-elite world.

After losing his parents to a car accident at a young age, Nick Chester was raised by his grandfather, the wealthiest man in Nashville. When he chooses to socialize, he has a never-ending list of exclusive events and beautiful women vying for his attention. Yet he never lets himself forget that everyone has an agenda.

Beth can’t resist Nick’s charm and accepts an invitation to dinner, despite her deep-seated insecurities. She proves she’s nothing like other women Nick's dated and learns to trust him in return. But just as the last of their resistance crumbles and true love is within reach, challenges from Nick's past threaten to destroy everything and force Beth to reveal her most guarded secret.


“So, are you still free for dinner tomorrow night?” Nick asked.

“I am.” Beth could just imagine what she looked like, standing in front of the craft store with a grin that wouldn’t stop. The temperature had dropped to thirty degrees and flurries had started to fall a few minutes before they’d arrived. She loved the winter. Loved the holidays. A ripple went through her stomach at the thought of possibly sharing Christmas with Nick this year. She quickly stamped it out. She could give in and let herself be excited about the date, but thinking further ahead than tomorrow could be a very bad idea.

“We have reservations at Carlino’s for seven o’clock if that works for you.”
“Really? You’ll have to tell me your secret. I didn’t think you’d be able to pull it off.”
She heard him laugh. “I can’t tell you all my secrets. My grandfather’s cook was a big stretch.”
“I bet I can get the truth out of you by the end of dinner.” Beth couldn’t believe her own flirting, yet he played along. Something about him drew the words out of her without thinking.
“Hmm. I don’t know.” He paused. “I might be willing to trade secrets. You’ll have to go first, since I’m already one ahead.”

“What if I don’t have any?”
“Everyone has secrets.” He chuckled.

She loved the sound of his voice. And his laugh. Warmth filled her, despite the chill in the air and the snow continuing to fall.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Home is where you hang your hat. A native Missourian, my family relocated twice during my teenage years, taking me from a high school freshman class of over 1,200 students to living in a small town in Kentucky with a total population of less than 1,000.

Home is where your heart is. Despite the culture shock and challenges of those shy, teenage years, I met my true love in that tiny town and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to experience a community where everyone waves, calls you by name, and treats you like family.

My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our eighteen-year-old son and three dogs. When I’m not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.

I hope you enjoy my stories. Each one touches on modern day issues, fears, and challenges that women face every day. And each one illustrates that love is within reach if you let down those walls and allow your heart to open. Our lives and experiences are so much more meaningful when we have someone to share them with.



Barnes & Noble

Soul Mate Publishing





Monday, December 17, 2012

Secret Santa Blog Hop

Welcome readers!  I hope your Christmas so far as been outstanding.  The rules for the blog hop are found at  Don't forget to go there because even though you can win a prize here, the grand prize is a Kindle Fire. 

I have a few holiday eating tips to share.  They've been floating around the Internet for a long time, so I have no idea where they came from, but in case you've never read them, here goes.

1.Avoid carrot sticks.  Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit.  In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.  Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls
2.Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly.  You can’t find it any other time of year but now.  So drink up!  Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip?  It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something.  It’s a treat.  Enjoy!!!  Have one for me.  Have two.  It’s later than you think.  It’s Christmas!

3.If something comes with gravy, use it.  That’s the whole point of gravy.  Gravy does not stand alone.  Pour it on.  Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes.  Fill it with gravy.  Eat the volcano.  Repeat.

4.Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating.  The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free.  Lots of it.  Hello???

5. Did someone mention fruitcake?  Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost.  I mean, have some standards.

Remember this motto to live by:

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.  But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, “WOO-HOO what a ride!”

To win a copy of my Christmas novella The Table in the Window, leave a comment telling me what your favorite Christmas food is. Commenting will get you one entry for the Kindle Fire.

If you follow my blog you get an extra entry to win the Kindle Fire.  If you just leave a comment and don't say what you favorite food is you still get one extra entry to win the Kindle Fire. 

Remember, go to for the rules of the blog hop.

You can get a copy of The Table in the Window at most all online retail outlets and at

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Changes

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday.  You know how sometimes something bad happens to you, and you're just miserable?  Well, that's what happened to Marley Matthews in my Christmas novella The Table in the Window.  Marley's finace dumped her for another woman just before Christmas.  In this excerpt, Marley ponders the changes in her life.

Marley went inside and locked the door behind her. Then she poured herself a glass of wine and sat down to think about her evening. She had expected that it would take years to get over Michael and Julie’s betrayal. Instead, she had found a whole new group of friends and a man she suspected might be a better man than Michael ever could be.

It was funny how things had worked out, but her grandmother had always said things happened for a reason, and maybe she’d been right. Breaking up with Michael—okay Michael dumping her—had certainly made a difference in her life.

Buy link: available at most online retail outlets and from the publisher at

Christmas Excerpt: The Sentence

Hello readers, Marley Matthews here.  I'm Elaine's heroine in her Christmas novella The Table in the Window.  Last Saturday I shared a Christmas excerpt from The Table in the Window, so today how about a Christmas excerpt from The Sentence?  In this excerpt Elaine's hero, Clint Hayes experiences his first real family Christmas.  First a blurb, then the excerpt.  You can buy the book in most retail outlets and from the publisher at!/~/product/category=662255&id=10046831

How could he do it! How could her father bring the guy who burned the church into their home for six months? Yeah, it was an accident and her dad’s a minister, but if he wanted to help this man, why didn’t he go to the prison to do it? And no matter what anyone says, she doesn't watch him all the time.


“Your turn, Rachel,” Cynthia said with a smile.

To Clint’s surprise, Rachel picked his gift first. She held the box to her ear and shook it. “Hmm. It doesn’t weigh too much. And it’s too small to be a tee shirt.”She smiled at Clint. “He was looking
at tee shirts with rebel flags on them at the grocery store.  ”Everyone laughed so Clint knew the shirt wouldn’t have made a good gift. He watched on pins and needles as Rachel unwrapped her package and pulled the lid off the box.

“Why, Clint!”She held the twinkling chain with the little music note up to the light to see it better. “It’s…It’s really beautiful.”
He wondered why she suddenly looked so guilty but guessed it might be because she had treated him like dirt ever since he arrived.

She scrambled across the paper in the floor and sat down beside him. “Will you put it on for me?”
She smiled at him, a sweet, open, sunny smile that made his knees go as weak as water. He fumbled around with the tiny catch and finally got it fastened.

Rachel turned around to face him. “Well, how does it look?”

“Pretty, Rachel. It looks real pretty.”

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fashionista Friday: Christmas Delights

Wouldn't this be pretty to wear to the theater or maybe the ballet?  I'm conflicted about the shoes.  I love, love heels, but the ballet flats are so good with the outfit.  You choose, or better yet, suggest something for me. 

Pretty at Christmas

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Over The Mountain and Back

Dear Reader,

Thank you very much for joining me for Over the Mountain and Back blog tour. The story of Over the Mountain and Back began over twenty years ago when I was fourteen years old and decided to write a novel as an anniversary gift for my parents. It was going to be a fantasy adventure about a boy named Peter and a girl named Lara set in a magical country, Transadonia. I remember writing studiously on the pages of an ornate notebook I had acquired especially for the occasion. Back then computers were not yet widely used, so I had to pay extra care to my handwriting. A year later, Over the Mountain and Back was completed, or at least I had thought so at the time. Needless to say my parents were very surprised with their anniversary gift.


Years passed; I finished high school and went on to college. Lara’s and Peter’s story faded from my mind, replaced by the hustles and bustles of everyday life. Then, one day – the day that happened to be my thirtieth birthday, my parents presented me with a gift: it was oblong in shape and wrapped in shiny paper. After I opened the wrapping, I was stunned to find the long forgotten story I had written all those years ago.


Long story short, after two years of extensive work, I rewrote and expanded Over the Mountain and Back into a novel of 95,000 words. For me it had been an exciting journey to be reunited with my old friends: Lara and Peter, Forest Witch Ramona, Chancellor Libra, Bookbrownies, and, of course, Carnelion, among the many others.


I hope that you will join Lara and Peter on their adventure in Transadonia.


If you would like to find out more about my books, please stop by website:


Marie Astor


Books by Marie Astor:

For Young Adults:

Over the Mountain and Back – a fantasy adventure novel


Kindle link:


For Adults:


To Catch a Bad Guy – romantic suspense


This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true love match.


Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.


On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.


A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.


Social Media Links:








Twitter: @marieastor

With his father gone missing and his mother losing her grip on reality, Peter Bailey’s life is no picnic. Peter’s gray existence changes unexpectedly after he takes his new snowboard for a ride in the mountains of Colorado and is stunned to find himself in Transadonia – a hidden world

that coexists alongside with the Earth.


Lara Grover never listened to her elders, so warnings like “do not talk to strangers” mean nothing to her. When a boy from an unknown world saves her from an avalanche with the aid of a snow dragon, Lara is not stunned in the least. Instead, she joins Peter on his quest to help him realize the purpose behind his arrival to Transadonia.


Together, Lara and Peter embark on an adventure filled with perils, trickery, betrayals, and unexpected alliances.


The children walked quietly along the tracks. Once they left the clamor of the busy train station, the scenery changed to luscious woods that lined the tracks on one side and a gleaming silver streak of the river on the other. Here, in the valley, winter was almost over; the snow had melted completely despite it being the middle of January. The trees were dressed in coats of green leaves, and a carpet of springy, green grass covered the ground. They walked silently for some time, trying to go as fast as they could, mindful of the long distance they had to cover. Ethan kept up for as long as he could, but soon he began to feel tired and started to complain.

“Could we stop for some rest?” he asked peevishly.

“We have to keep going,” said Lara, “or we won’t make it to your uncle’s house in time, and I’ll have to tell him why we missed the train in the first place. Would you like that?”

Ethan did not answer and continued to shuffle his feet defiantly with a sullen expression on his face. But they did take a short break after all. Peter found that he still had some of the mushrooms that the Viglians had given him, and although it wasn’t much of a meal, it helped them quell their hunger. The children were on the lookout for a place where they could get a bite to eat, but there was none, so they kept on walking.

“We are getting close,” announced Lara as they passed by the next train station.

The scenery began to change, and while thick woods still continued on the left side of the tracks, on the far right the children spotted a string of brightly colored houses. The small, cheerful houses were of all colors imaginable: bright yellow, green, blue, and even red. Each house was complemented by a blossoming garden and was encircled with a neat fence. A sign read, Welcome to the Town of Migdad. This part of the country was mostly rural with intermixed stretches of farmland.

“Perhaps we could find something to eat over there!” exclaimed Ethan, pointing in the direction of the town. By now, Ethan had forgotten everything about his previous lapse and was back to his old self; to be fair, however, it should be noted that his little short legs were exhausted from walking, and his stomach was grumbling with hunger.

“Very well,” said Lara. “I suppose we could look for a place to eat, but we are not straying too far from the road.”

As the children walked towards the town, they saw an inn sign not too far from the road. Ethan was the first to notice it and quickly ran up the inn’s steps.

“Not so fast, Ethan!” called Lara. “Wait for us.”

The inn was painted a bright green color and was surrounded by a neat fence. A big, lettered sign on the front porch read Inn & Restaurant; underneath the sign, Dinner Served Daily, was hand-written in white chalk.