Bullying-the word itself brings negative connotations. It doesn’t differentiate race, gender or creed. Boundless with its grip and cruelty, the assistance of the internet leads it slithering through homes, schools, cities and countries.Meet Abigail, a victim of bullying that has hurt her mentally and physically. Hiding in the woods, away from words and hands that can hurt her is her only solace. Hannah, daughter to Cherokee Indian Chief Daniel Littlejohn, is continuing his work , after her father’s passing, locating Cherokee that perished deep in a thousand acre tract of woods to reunite them with their ancestors. At midnight is when Hannah enters the woods to be undetected. The forest seems to come alive! Walking by a stream she catches a glimpse of a girl. Hannah calls out and the mysterious girl disappears. “Who is this girl and why is she here?” Running to find her Hannah sees a pair of red eyes glaring in her direction. “Is this what father meant when he warned me about coming in the woods alone? Abigail watches Hannah. “Why does this Cherokee girl beckon me? Does she mean me harm?” Exiting the woods Hannah decides to seek help and assemble a team of trusted friends. Will time run out for the girl by the stream? The author has taken a mystical tale weaved with characters depicted in Indian folklore to spread the message of hope and kindness for anyone that has been a target of cruel behavior. Abigail takes us through the kind of despair where only isolation makes her feel safe. This happens too often in real life. Memorable and heartwarming the authors message is to look beyond someone’s nationality, disabilities , gender creed and see the individual for who they are.
About the Author
Bunny Lee was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. She resides in Golconda, Illinois.
A Mystery unfolds when pizza delivery boys along with their pizzas keep disappearing, mostly pepperoni pizzas.
Keah is puzzled by strange noises that happen around the apartment building where she lives.
With the help of her friends, Keah is determined to find out why these things are happening before her family get back from the cruise.
Bang, bang, bang!
The knock on the front door made Keah jolt awake. Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes she stretched and yawned.
“Who is it?” she shouted as she stretched again.
“Pizza!” The voice from the other side of the door shouted back.
“I didn’t order any pizza,” Keah replied.
Walking over to the front door, she picked up a small stool and placed it by the entrance before stepping on it. She pushed her eye up to the spy hole. Her dad had assumed that everyone was going to grow six-foot-tall when he had the spy hole fitted, but for Keah, who was struggling to reach five foot two, a stool was the only option.
Keah could see a mass of curly black hair with a red cap perched on top. A boy about her age, sixteen, moved away from the door and turned to face Keah’s front door. He stood awkwardly, holding a stack of pizza boxes.
“Someone at this address did, Miss. Someone has to pay for all these pizzas. My boss is gonna be livid if I take them back.”
“I didn’t order any pizzas. Go away. I’m calling the police.” Keah stepped away from the door.
That’s when she heard that noise. The sound that grated through every bone in her body. It was the noise that made her spine tingle like fingernails running down a blackboard. A thought rushed through her head: Is that two pieces of metal scraping together? She shuddered and took a deep breath.
Looking back through the spy hole, she watched the boy look around quickly, then turn and head back down the hallway, shaking his head. She heard him talking loudly and cursing to himself as he shoved the boxes back into the pizza warmers. His boss was going to be so annoyed. He had just walked past Mrs. Joy’s front door—Mrs. Joy was Keah’s neighbour—when he stopped and turned. Walking back to Mrs. Joy’s front door, the pizza delivery boy spoke to someone, but Keah couldn’t quite see who.
Keah thought she saw dark shadows enter the hallway and move around the pizza delivery boy. But she couldn’t quite see who it was before the hall light switched off. Keah desperately wanted to go out into the hallway and turn on the light just to see who the boy was speaking to, but instead, she stepped off the stool and slid down the door onto the floor.
Taking a deep breath, she crawled over to the coffee table, grabbed her iPhone and then edged her way back to the door. Even with her ear pressed against the door, she heard nothing but silence. Pressing her phone to wake, she opened her keypad. Slowly she pressed the button 000. She then placed her phone on the carpet next to her. What if Mrs. Joy had visitors, and they had ordered the pizzas? How stupid would I look? She thought to herself as she rested her head against the door and yawned. What a weird smell. I feel so tired. Keah thought before she finally closed her eyes.
Bang, bang, bang!
The vibrations from the banging on the door awoke her with a start. The light was now streaming in through the window, and the traffic sounded noisy. She felt the door vibrate against her back as the knock came again. Realizing she must have fallen asleep by the front door, Keah crawled into her bedroom, crouched at the side of her bed and listened. She heard people outside in the hallway. Someone banged on her neighbour’s door. Mrs. Joy is getting a lot of visitors lately, she thought.
She showered quickly and got ready for school. Slightly hesitant, she opened the front door and stepped out into the hallway. A tall policeman stepped in front of her.
“Oh,” she announced, quite startled. “What’s going on?”
“Morning, Miss. Do you live in this apartment?” The policeman had a broad Australian accent. Keah stepped back. She turned and glanced at the door before nodding dumbly.
“Why didn’t you answer your door when I knocked earlier?” The policeman leered at Keah, making her stomach turn.
“Got ID?” Keah said, avoiding eye contact.
The policeman fumbled inside his tunic and eventually pulled out a wallet and showed her his identification card. By now, he had been joined by another man. This one was not in uniform but in a dark grey suit.
“Morning, Miss. Got a name? I’m Detective Sergeant Paul Grimes.” He whipped out his ID before she could even think of asking.
“Keah. Keah Madelia.”
Keah had stepped back again and was now squished up tight against her own front door.
“Where are your parents, Keah? You don’t live here alone, do you? You off to school?” The DS bombarded her with questions, and all she could do was shake her head.
“Well?” DS Paul Grimes said.
The uniformed policeman started to look around the hallway as if he was losing interest in Keah.
“My-my parents are cruising around New Zealand, somewhere. I’m on my own till they get back. I am old enough. I’m sixteen—well, I’ll be sixteen in a few weeks!”
“Are you off to school?” DS Grimes asked again. “Which one?”
“Yeah. St. Luke’s, at the corner of Holden Street,” Keah replied. Looking up at the DS, she asked him what all the police were doing in her building.
“Don’t suppose you’d let my young officer here just poke his nose inside, would you? Only a pizza delivery boy went missing last night, and we believe this was his last delivery before he disappeared.”
Keah’s eyes widened, and her heart quickened. I saw him—I saw him talking to someone at Mrs. Joy’s front door. Keah wanted to scream at the detective, but instead she looked at her front door again then back at DS Grimes.
“I’m late for school, and I didn’t order any pizza, perhaps Mrs. Joy did,” she declared boldly, pushing her key in the lock and letting the door swing wide open. “Knock ya self out.”
Keah watched two policemen step out of Mr. & Mrs. Guey’s flat before she stepped back inside hers.
She saw the uniformed policeman pull a pair of white disposable gloves from his pocket and watched as he rummaged around in the kitchen bin. Satisfied nothing was exciting in the waste bin, the policeman walked into Keah’s room, emerging a few moments later. Glad I tidied up after showering this morning. That could have been embarrassing, Keah thought. DS Grimes emerged from her parent’s bedroom. Her sister’s door was wide open. Mia would not be happy if she found out they’d touched her doll collection, which sat the whole length of one wall.
“Did you hear anything last night, Keah? About 9 o’clock?” DS Grimes enquired softly.
Keah was already shaking her head from side to side and looking toward the window.
“No, nothing, sorry. I-I um, I fell asleep quite early last night.”
The DS reached into his inside pocket and pulled out what looked like a business card. He held it out to Keah.
“Well, if you do recall anything, please call me. No matter how silly or small you may think it is, I would still like to hear about it. Okay?”
DS Paul Grimes pushed the card into Keah’s hand and left. The other policeman quietly followed, not even looking at Keah as he walked past her. Keah studied the card. Her older sister was around his age and single.
And he is cute for a cop. Maybe a bit grumpy for Erin, Keah reasoned with herself.
She slipped the card into her school bag before throwing it over her shoulder. Slamming the door behind her, Keah rushed past the policemen in the hall and skipped down the stairs into the street. She didn’t look back or slow down until she’d reached her school three kilometers away.
Her best friend Abby was waiting for her at the gate as usual. A total contrast to Keah’s fair complexion and strawberry blonde hair, Abby had olive skin and dark hair that matched her equally dark eyes.
Keah turned and scoured the street before entering the school. She linked her arm through Abby’s as they walked the long driveway to the school building.
“Did you hear what happened last night?” Abby asked.
Keah shook her head from side to side as if she hadn’t heard and glanced at Abby.
“Another pizza boy disappeared. That’s four now,” Abby said, quite anxious.
“Oh yeah, that—apparently it happened in our building. The boy delivered pizza to someone in our building then vanished,” Keah tried to act nonchalant but didn’t dare look at Abby again, in case she saw the guilt in her eyes.
Keah knew she had been acting strange since her parents left for the cruise and that she should have gone to help that boy last night, but she hadn’t.
“Oh, Keah! Did you see him? Did you order pizza? No—you wouldn’t—I know that, but Keah, how dreadful,” Abby cried as she let go of Keah’s arm and swung around to face her. “Have you told the police? Are you alright?”
Keah nodded. She looked fine, but her stomach was knotted, and she felt shaky.
No one had been there when Keah was woken up at 2am by the dreadful screams. She felt as if she was going mad with the scratching from the inside of her wardrobe. It came from the ceiling, from under the floor. She felt tired but didn’t want to tell anyone in case they thought it was because she was on her own and couldn’t cope. Although she often spoke to her neighbours, neither had commented on the noises to Keah. The sounds started two days after her parents left with her six-year-old sister Mia. She now wished she had gone with them, but it was too late. At the time her exams were more important. Plus, the excitement of staying home all on her own for three weeks was more than she dared wish for.
Keah had planned get-togethers at her place and even a massive party. She had run the party idea through her mum because she knew someone would tell her parents. So, she told her it would be very low key and if her mum had wanted her oldest sister Erin, who lived way over at Happy Valley, to come and supervise, that was cool. At the time Keah had felt that she was old enough to cope with a few friends on her own. Now, she was not so sure.
About the Author
Tracey C Ayres writes action-packed mysteries which are fun and exciting for young readers. Most of her books have heroines rather than hero’s, for no particular reason, and her characters are intrepid, quick-witted and smart, and sometimes they are even fearless. Because Tracey believes when we lose ourselves in a story, our imagination should hold no barriers.
Best known for her book Gularian Islands (the one with the blinking dragon eye on Youtube) which received an incredible five stars LitPik review.
Tracey was born in England where she grew up with two older sisters and three younger brothers. Studied childcare, social work and psychology and wrote for a local newspaper but now loves her current job the best and that is writing stories for young children.
Living in Australia with her husband, daughters, grandchildren and a menagerie of pets she loves to find a shady tree and lose herself in her adventures while writing.
Jupiter is a 12-year-old nerd and hacker with mostly online friends. She hacks using the handle, White-Rabbit. Then one evening comes to a lightning storm to end all storms, a storm that zaps the computer, freeing computer-gnomes. The gnomes escape the computer and surround Jupiter where she sits at the study desk. Using magic, the gnomes turn her into a tiny, digital girl and shove her through the lens of the camera and into the monitor.
Now, Jupiter is lost inside the computer, in a digital world filled with dangers, a world that has a gateway to the internet where a digital girl could get duplicated and spread across the world-wide-web onto tablets, cellphones, videos, and well, cyberspace.
Oh, heavens, the technology to turn a human being into a digital being is valuable and everyone seems to want a piece of Jupiter!
How will she ever escape back to her world and become a real girl again?
Time is running out as Jupiter struggles to break free of her cyber prison.
About the Author
Before writing fiction full time, B. Austin was a Computer Programmer, Web Developer, and Software Engineer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics. She used her technical experience to bring to life a tale of a girl who is sucked into a computer and turned into a digital girl. She writes Science Fiction and Fantasy, spellbinding tales filled with suspense, mystery, and unique magic. She loves creating future worlds with cool technology.
After Bess Silver had settled into her new home in Pineview she thought her biggest problem would be settling into a new school. She was surprised to learn that it was a one room school house which was different from what she was used to.
That all changed when Megan Skye, her best friend and cousin, dashed into their kitchen late one afternoon with exciting news. Megan’s father discovered an old cabin, hidden behind a wall, when he started doing kitchen renovations. Megan asked him to take the suitcases, ledgers and trunk they found over to Bess instead of throwing them out. Clues turn up in the suitcases and in a secret compartment in the cabin which leave Bess puzzled. When she first looked around the cabin she sees a ghostly figure that disappears in an instant but is as real as Megan. Dreams about the cabin and occupants haunt Bess. These feel so real that she can’t shake the feeling that she was actually near them.
Who is the figure that Bess saw in the cabin? What is she trying to tell her? Why is she having dreams about the old cabin? Will Bess be able to figure out who the mysterious figure is? Or would these secrets remain secrets forever?
The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin is the sequel to Bess’s Magical Garden and can be read on it’s own.
Bess’s Magical Garden
Published: October 2015
Bess’s mother moves them to Pineview, away from her best friend Megan, and she terribly misses her. Six months earlier, Bess’s father died in a car crash, and she’s also in the midst of recovering from the final stages of polio. She’s in a sad and lonely place.
From the moment she and her mother settle into their new home, Bess hears whispering voices and encounters a ghostly figure in the well-kept garden and in her dreams. She can’t make sense of everything and so shares her observations with Megan by writing her regular letters.
During the summer, she makes new friends, including an orange and white tomcat that she names Pumpkin, and her new neighbour Josie. With the help of Mrs. O’Toole, the woman who watches her, Bess continues to recover, both physically and emotionally. She becomes more and more curious about the garden and the unexplained clues that she finds there.
In Bess’s Magical Garden, Bess discovers her own true strengths through enduring life’s struggles. She – with Josie and Megan’s help – also finds some hidden items in the garden, including a map, that leave the girls with more questions than answers. Who was the figure that visited Bess? Will Bess and her friends be able to uncover the garden’s secrets? Or will those secrets be mysteries forever?
Marjorie (M.E.) Hembroff is the author of Bess’s Magical Garden, a middle grade novel and picture book Gramma Mouse Tells a Story. Marjorie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and Writer’s Guild of Alberta.
Marjorie has been an avid reader since early childhood and has always been imaginative. Growing up on a farm before television aided in her using her imagination to create a variety of pastimes. Stories formed in her mind but most of them were never written down until later in life. It wasn’t until her children were growing up that she started to take art and writing courses. At that time, her writing improved and short stories formed. It was when she retired that the idea for Bess’s Magical Garden surfaced.
After Marjorie’s divorce she worked in the plant industry. First at a greenhouse and then looking after tropical plants in downtown offices. For awhile it looked like her adult children would never leave home but they have now all flown the nest and are having their own life’s adventures. After retirement she moved to Strathmore where she lives with her pets.
Markus Simmons, a 13-year-old 8th-grader, wants to hang with the cool kids. When his social studies class begins a Holocaust project, some A-listers befriend him to get him to work with them so they can have access to his Oma, who was in Auschwitz, and he discovers that there are Holocaust deniers in the world, one of whom is in his class. Then someone identifies his Oma as having played a criminal role during the Holocaust, and he has to reconcile his love for his grandmother, his desire to work with the cool kids, and his anger at the deniers and the others who attack his grandmother.
About the Author
William McCauley was born and grew up in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, in a delightful little town called Vienna. His B.A. in German and M.A. in English are from George Mason University, and at the ripe old age of 29, he “ran away from home” to do doctoral work in linguistics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After two years, his Wanderlust attacked again, and he trekked on down to Miami, FL, where he did more doctoral work at the University of Miami. Then the powers that be at The German School Washington, where he had taught English for six years, tracked him down and asked him to come back. That brought him back to the DC area, where he taught at the German School for another eighteen years. He finished his career in education at the end of school year 14-15, retiring after ten years as a Gifted and Talented Education specialist with Howard County Public Schools in Maryland. Now all he wants to do is write – and read.