This was my first novel, published by America Star in 2001. Available in paperback from Barnes and Noble’s website.
Drip. . .plop. . . drip. . . plop. . . drippping, dripping from unseen limestone icicles, into unseen pools–drip. . . drip. . . drip. . . dripping on my head, down my neck, creeping slowly down my back. Shivering. Can’t stop shivering. Shrieks. Bats? Rats? Odious smell of vermin. The sense of tiny creeping cave dwellers. Rocks. Cold, steely hard, slimy rocks. Never been so alone. Don’t know how long I’ve been here. Afraid to move. Afraid I’ll fall down the pit. can’t think clearly. Darkness. Cool, clammy, black nothingness. Can’t see the rocks! Can’t see the path! Can’t see my feet! Can’t see my hand in front of my face! I’ll never find my way out of here!
“Martin, will you saddle Arctic Sun for me, please? I have to go back to the house and pack my things. I’m sure you heard my exchange with Mr. Smithers. I’m terribly sorry Victoria kicked you,” she said looking down at the ground. Fawn gnawed at the inside corner of her jaw a moment before continuing, “For some reason, today I didn’t have any control over her at all. Are you all right, Martin?”
“Ah, sure and no harm done,” he said in his broad Irish accent. “P’rhaps I’ll be needin’ to wear shin guards from now on though,” he chuckled. Then he turned to concern for Fawn.
“I’m sorry you got let go like that. ‘Tain’t right. What that young ‘un needs is a good sound paddlin’. . .Well, I s’pose I shouldn’ta said that, but truth’s truth. I hope you can find another post and next time with nice folks.”
“Thank you, Martin. You have been a good friend. I guess I’d better get my things together. You take care now.”
The enormity of Mr Smithers’s words stung as Fawn turned them over in her mind. How dare he accuse me of being incompetent without a hearing? He sure has some nerve, saying the only reason he took me in was as a debt of friendship to my parents, she thought as she stomped back to the house in a blind rage. Fawn gathered her things and went back to the stable to retrieve her horse. Mr. Jacob Wallace Smithers has not heard the last of me, she thought.
Leading Arctic Sun out of the stable, recounting her troubles, Fawn literally walked into a well-dressed young man in a camel brown tweed suit. Joel Taney heard Fawn telling her horse, “You’re lucky, Sun. No once can accuse you of things you haven’t done and find ways to insult you bcause they’ve been kind to you in their own eyes. Let’s go home so I can tell Nanna what happened. Tomorrow I’ll find a lwayer and take that overearing, pompous old bully to court. it probably won’t do much good because I’m young and female. Be that as it may, we’ll see how the townsfolk treat him and his precious daughter.”
Not wanting to startle the young woman whom he knew by name, though she did not know him, Joel waited at the corner of the barn. Fawn was looking at her horse, not paying attention to where she was going when she bumped into him.
This is the beginning of the book. Find out who Fawn’s friends are, who she can trust, and who is untrustworthy. Find out the secrets the state senator is hiding. What do her enemies want and why? Who ends up in the cave? Why are they there? Will they escape?