In NINE days, Keeper releases. All your friends from the first three books are back except for Ana. But November 7 is Ana’s birthday, so we’ll celebrate her birthday with the new book. 🙂 In the meantime, here is an excerpt from Keeper:
Excerpt 1 (Lily talks with her father, followed by encounter with Arturo.)
“What’s next?” I asked him after a few minutes of small talk. I kept bringing up the Movement; he kept avoiding it.
“I think we should let your mom know where you are.”
“Sure,” I said. “You can do that?”
He gave me a look that said, What do you think? I am James Gardener, after all.
“Oh yeah, right.” I wasn’t about to bring up the security breach that had landed him in jail and devastated the Movement.
“And maybe—” he was looking down, talking to his feet, “—maybe send you back to her.”
I didn’t see it coming. The happiness I’d felt seconds earlier dissolved like snow in hot water. Neither did I anticipate the tears. I ran toward the door with my head down.
“I just remembered something,” I called, keeping my voice steady.
* * *
“Hey, slow down. Where you going?”
I kept running, not wanting to explain my tears. Arturo ran after me, his hand soon catching my shoulder.
“What’s up, Lily?”
My nose was running and I sniffed as I met his gaze. “Nothing. Just jogging.” I sniffed again and dabbed at my watery eyes. “I think I have allergies.”
I watched his face closely. Was he struggling with the word allergy, or trying to decide whether or not to believe me?
“Oh,” he said at last. “Me, too.” He sniffed and coughed a dry little cough. “I am not accustomed to this forest.”
As we walked along the path, I let the sweet mountain air calm and soothe me.
“It’s so beautiful here,” I said. The woods were absolutely gorgeous. The trees, changing clothes in the fresh fall air, were a kaleidoscope of oranges, reds, and yellows.
“Yes,” he agreed. “Very peaceful. And the weather is not so hot.”
“I’m learning the names of some of the flowers. These are false foxgloves,” I said, breaking off the end of a purple stalk.
“Like Aubrey’s hillside.”
“Yes, I think so. And yesterday I learned black-eyed Susan and skunk goldenrod.”
He smiled. “Ew, skunk? Is it stinky?”
“Hence the name.”
“I like here,” he said. “Is better than the places we pass through.”
“But it was an adventure,” I said. “And it did have its scenic moments.” I was thinking of the view from the fire tower and the place where we swam.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “And the birds here very good,” he added.
We went on like that for awhile, talking about nature, reminiscing about the incredible journey that brought us here. Before I knew it, I was crying again.
“This is happy crying?” Arturo asked, in shock. Hoping, maybe.
I burst out in a combination laugh/cry as I turned and threw my arms around his neck, shaking my head no.
He patted my back. “’S okay, Lily. ‘S okay.”