It’s September, and kids are going back to school. Here in Tennessee, they’ve been back for a month already. And while I know everyone's busy with homework and those assigned books, surely you still want something fun to read on the weekends or on the bus, right? With that in mind and to kick off another school year, I’ve invited a bunch of Middle Grade and Young Adult authors to share excerpts from their novels that take place in a school setting. The plan is to post every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, so keep checking back!
First up is Laura Wolfe. She is sharing a scene from her hot-off-the-presses first novel Trail of Secrets. It's a mystery with horses. Ingredients for awesome YA! Read all about it and scroll on down to find out where you can get your copy. Please leave a comment below. The guest authors and I love that.
Trail of Secrets, by Laura Wolfe
Fire and Ice YA (August 27, 2015)
Spending three weeks of her summer at the elite Foxwoode Riding Academy in northern Michigan should have been one of the happiest times of sixteen year-old Brynlei’s life. But from the moment Brynlei arrives at Foxwoode, she can’t shake the feeling she’s being watched. Then she hears the story of a girl who vanished on a trail ride four years earlier. While the other girls laugh over the story of the dead girl who haunts Foxwoode, Brynlei senses that the girl—or her ghost—may be lurking in the shadows.
Brynlei’s quest to reveal the truth interferes with her plan to keep her head down and win Foxwoode’s coveted “Top Rider” award. To make things worse, someone discovers Brynlei’s search for answers and will go to any length to stop her. As Brynlei begins to unravel the facts surrounding the missing girl’s disappearance, she is faced with an impossible choice. Will she protect a valuable secret? Or save a life?
Laura: “My YA mystery, Trail of Secrets, takes place during the summer, but my main character has a flashback to her first day of school when she met her best friend.”
Brynlei and Rebecca Adler had been best friends since the first day of second grade at Birchwood Elementary. She had often wondered if their teacher, Mrs. Miller, was aware that her seemingly random assignment of seats would result in a lifelong friendship. Sitting at her assigned table, Brynlei’s freshly-trimmed bangs and crisp blue jeans had suddenly felt plain next to Rebecca, with her cascading auburn hair, violet dress, and sparkling silver shoes that matched the glistening buttons on her sleeves. Rebecca lunged for some scissors and paper and began to cut shapes out of construction paper, per Mrs. Miller’s instructions, but Rebecca’s scissors would not cut the paper. She gripped, maneuvered, tugged and turned, but the scissors wouldn’t cut. Brynlei stared at her orange piece of paper, pretending not to notice, until Rebecca turned to her. “My scissors aren’t working.”
She lent Rebecca her scissors, but those didn’t work for Rebecca either. Then Brynlei noticed the scissors in Rebecca’s left hand.
“You need lefties,” Brynlei had said to her.
“Oh, yeah,” Rebecca responded, as if she had completely forgotten that she was left-handed. They had both unleashed an outburst of laughter that nearly caused Brynlei to fall out of her chair. It was only when Mrs. Miller threatened to move their seats that they’d managed to regain their composure.
She and Rebecca had been inseparable ever since. Things were easy with Rebecca. Rebecca could glide through any social situation like a butterfly flittering from flower to flower. When Brynlei froze up in front of people, cotton balls filling her mouth, Rebecca stepped up and shot out one-liners that invariably made people laugh or, at least, back off. Most importantly, Rebecca knew everything about Brynlei.
Where can you get Trail of Secrets?
Barnes and Noble
Fire and Ice Young Adult Books
Laura Wolfe lives in her home state of Michigan with her husband, son, and daughter. She holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan and a JD from DePaul University. Her writing has been published in multiple magazines, including Practical Horseman.
Laura is an accomplished English rider and a lover of animals and nature. When she is not writing, she can be found playing games with her highly-energetic kids, growing vegetables in her garden, or spoiling her rescue dog. She dreams of living in a log cabin on a minimum of one hundred acres, ideally, in a slightly warmer climate.
D. G. Driver
Author of Young Adult books Cry of the Sea and Passing Notes.