Name: Karen lee Hallam
Title: AbeGale Force
Genre: upper MG
Tagline: Abegale's turning thirteen, and life has become as foreboding as the number itself, filled with may-not-be-human landladies, a missing grandmother who could be right under her nose, and a horrifying discovery at an abandoned cottage.
1st 250 Words:
It’s not as if I want to keep secrets from my best friend, and I sure don’t want to meet her new landlady—privately, or at all, with the way she stares at me. Mrs. Egremony doesn’t even stop, when I catch her doing it.
But I have to speak with her before Stephanie gets home, and find out what she meant saying my “grandmother Rose is near, but far.” Yeah—far, she disappeared in the Andes three years ago—that’s pretty far.
I better hurry.
The Maiden Villas sit at the highest peak of Pine Crest, hiding under the shadow of trees. Why Mrs. Egremony named them Villas, when they’re more like shacks, is a little weird. Three years ago, they were Donald’s Cliff Cabins.
I sometimes imagine Mrs. Egremony up there in her nest of twisting vines, waiting for some unwilling creatures…
Ridiculous. She’s just an old woman -- I know, but there’s something not right. Like the way she dresses in those Little House on the Prairie skirts dragging along the ground, and wearing a full body apron. And why she call herself Mrs. when she’s not married? Stephanie tells me she sees her sometimes, working in her garden late at night. Creepy, if you ask me. Now Mrs. Egremony tells me she knew my grandmother, and said I should come first thing this morning, alone, which is why I’m racing over.
I have to stand on my pedals to reach the top of Ridge Road, heaving like a billy goat, and swaying side-to-side, when the black mass of what I later realize is a crow, swoops in front of me--CAW!