It's hard to believe it's release day! Time flies when publishing a book. I big thanks goes out to my talented editor Nancy Sparks and to the entire Wild Rose Press team for helping bring this book to you. Friends to the End had a bit of a journey from first draft to publication, and like many of my books, I was fortunate to have my wonderful critique partners to help along the way. There were so many people who read bits of this story over the years. Too many to list here. But I would like to say a special thanks to my close writer friends and critique partners Kym Brunner and Katie Sparks, to my family for their continued support, and last be definitely not least, Xpresso Tours and the lovely bloggers and Instagrammers who are participating in the Blitz. You rock!
Friends to the End
Publication date: September 27th 2021
Genres: Action, Adventure, Middle-Grade, Supernatural
Zach doesn’t believe in ghosts…but he should.
Twelve-year-old Zach is convinced he’ll never be happy without his best friend Jeremy by his side. But both of their lives changed with a bang five months ago, and as far as Zach’s concerned, it’s his fault Jeremy will never see his twelfth birthday.
When Zach moves with his family to a Chicago suburb, he quickly becomes friends with a group of thrill-seeking kids trying to find a disappearing haunted house. But Zach’s not worried. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, so he follows them into a wild, dangerous encounter that becomes a battle to decide what’s real and what’s not.
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“We were going to look for the ghost house.” Dom adjusted the faded NY Yankees baseball cap he wore. “But Morgan has to be home by five.”
“We’ll never make it there and back in time, and we never leave a man behind,” Josh added, dropping a backpack on the grass next to him. It landed with a clunk.
“Ghost house?” I repeated, picturing a boarded-up, decrepit building built during the Civil War or something.
“Haven’t you heard the stories?” Josh asked, eyes wide in amazement.
I shook my head.
Dom walked over to our open garage, grabbed my skateboard out of one of the boxes, and said, “It’s known as the disappearing house.”
My bewildered gaze slithered from Dom to Josh, finally coming to a stop on Morgan as I tried to decide if they were crazy.
“If the house is invisible, how do you expect to find it?” I asked.
Morgan sat on the stoop next to me. “It’s not always invisible. My brothers saw it once. They said it’s a big house with a long porch. It vanished before they could set foot on the first step, and I’m glad, too.”
“Why? What would have happened if they were on the steps?” I asked. Not because I believed an old ghost story had any truth to it, but I was curious to know what she’d say.
Morgan had to pick her jaw up from the walkway before she could answer, and when she did her voice came out in a high-pitched squeak. “If they had been on the porch or worse—” she swallowed loudly “—inside, they would have disappeared with it.”
“That’s a myth,” Dom said as he rode the skateboard down the driveway.
“It is not!” Morgan shot back.
“Come on, how is a solid person going to disappear?” Dom asked from the sidewalk.
“The same way the house does! Duh!” Morgan shook her head as if Dom was the loony one.
“Isn’t the whole thing…um…you know…a myth?” I asked. There were no such things as ghosts, and buildings didn’t just go poof and disappear into thin air. “I mean, you don’t really believe in—”
“The house is real, dude,” Josh said.
“And we’re going inside of it.” Dom did an Ollie, lifting all wheels of the skateboard off the ground.
“No, we’re not!” Morgan shook her head as if that reinforced what she’d said. A dark auburn curl snuck out from under her baseball cap.
“We are,” Josh confirmed.
I was with Dom and Josh. Not the part about believing in disappearing houses, but if one happened to exist and I managed to find it, I’d want to see inside of it, too.
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