Friday, February 27, 2015

Lost in the Hotel - Part 2

Friday Felicitations,  Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
 (Can you think of any more F words to include in that greeting? :) )

It's been another busy writing week. I'm loving this newly discovered ability to write more in a week than usual and the ability to keep the momentum going! I need to write 1,000 words today and I'll have written 8k every week this month! I'd say that was pretty good since I've NEVER written that much in one month! I'm planning on keeping my goal at 5k a week, at least for now, because conference season is coming up which means business. but I certainly won't be trying to only write 5k. I'd love to write 8k a week next month. Or 9k or more. :)

I've been working on finishing up some short (or longer) stories to post while I write TCR-5. I've got a good amount written now so . . . I'm hoping to start work on TCR-5 on Monday! I'd covet your prayers as I write. I've got so many ideas for these books that I'm going to have to do some figuring and decide what stories/events I can include in this book and what ones I should save for another one.

Update–I thought you might like to know that yesterday I approved the draft cover for "Gift from the Storm" (Dr. Morgan). Hopefully next Friday you can all see a preview of the front cover. :) Would you like that? I'm still hoping to have this finished by the beginning of April. We'll see how quickly my test readers can get it read and their reviews to me and then how quickly I can get the layout done and all the other little things. But at least you all don't have to wait for an illustrator. :)

Progress is being made on TCR-1 audio. I've approved the first 15 minutes and my producer said she thought she'd be able to move pretty quickly with the rest of it. I'll keep you updated.

But now, back the the final part of the hotel story. And remember, this really happened. The phone conversation you will read is what really took place though maybe not exactly word for word. Enjoy! And don't laugh too hard. :)

Lost in the Hotel
Part 2

    Thoughts of all the mystery books she had read came flooding through her mind and her vivid imagination pictured escaped convicts behind the next water heater, thieves creeping up behind her, or stumbling suddenly upon a secret gathering of men in the underworld of crime. No! She was getting carried away. “Perhaps everyone slept in this morning,” she told herself half aloud.
    On she went, trying to find a way out. Even had she wanted to, she knew she would never be able to find the door where she had entered. “I’m lost,” she told herself after wandering around for what felt like hours. “I’m really lost.”
    Finally, after more wanderings among water heaters and other strange things, Mrs. Blossom came to the largest laundry room she had ever seen. “Why, I could wash every article of clothing and bedding and rugs I own all at one time,” she chuckled gleefully, forgetting the horrors of the past. “I should have brought my laundry.”
    Then she remembered that she needed to get out of the basement.
    There seemed to be almost a labyrinth of washing machines and dryers, and before Mrs. Blossom was able to find her way out, her cell phone rang.
    A quick glance at the ID told her it was her husband. Finally someone who could help her!
    “Hello, Jerry?”
    The voice on the other end was deep and casual but it sounded so safe. “Gen, where are you?”
    “I don’t know. I’m lost somewhere in the hotel”
    Mrs. Blossom frowned, “I think I’m in the basement, but I can’t get out!”
    “Well, I’m going to go eat breakfast.”
    “But, Jerry!” Mrs. Blossom wailed, “I’m lost!”
    There was a grunt on the other end. “I’m going to eat.”
    “Jerry! I really am lost!”
    Another grunt was the sympathizing answer, and then Mr. Blossom said, “You can find me at breakfast, I’m not waiting.”
    The line went dead and Mrs. Blossom stared down at her phone. “Oh, dear!” she sighed. Her husband wasn’t going to be any help. And it didn’t look like anyone else was going to come to her aid either. She would just have to find her way out “or die of starvation,” she reflected sadly, hearing a rumble in her stomach.
    Starting forward once again, Mrs. Blossom was delighted to discover an elevator. “At last, I can get out of this place!”
    There was a sign on it which said, “Employees Only” but Mrs. Blossom sniffed. “Why would you put a sign like that on an elevator down here? As if any normal person would want to explore your hidden rooms.”
    Pushing the button, she waited with a growing feeling of hunger.
    The door opened and Mrs. Blossom heaved a sigh of relief as she stepped inside. She pressed the button for the first floor, the door closed, and she felt the familiar sensation of half suppressed movement.
    When the door opened, she stepped eagerly into the hall. Only, this wasn’t a familiar hall. Where was she? No one was to be seen and she couldn’t get back on the elevator because the door had just closed and a special key was needed to operate it from this floo. “Oh, dear! she groaned, realizing that the elevator must have opened the back door instead of the front one.
    “I never thought of a different door opening,” she sighed. “Now what do I do?”
    She thought of calling her husband, but knew she’d get no more help than before. “If I knew the number for the front desk I’d call that and have them come find me. But I don’t know it.”
    The tantalizing smell of cooking bacon, sausages, omelets and waffles drifted down the hallway. Mrs. Blossom’s stomach rumbled louder.
    “There has to be a way out of here,” she muttered, growing hungrier and more frustrated by this hotel experience each minute. “I’ll just find it!”
    Attracted by the mouthwatering smells, she started down the corridor. The noise of clanking dishes was soon heard, along with the muffled sound of  voices.
    “Well, at least I can ask someone how to get out.” She continued walking. “I am getting my walk in. But it sure isn’t the scenery or fresh air I had envisioned. This is the most ridiculous hotel I’ve ever been in!” she fumed. “Who ever heard of stairway doors setting off alarms, or of no one in the laundry room, or elevators that don’t open into the right hallway?”
    At last a door was reached and, opening it, Mrs. Blossom found herself in the kitchen. No one seemed to notice her standing there uncertainly and she hated to interrupt anyone as they all looked so busy. Perhaps . . . ah, wasn’t that a door? It looked like it might lead to freedom!
    Without giving herself time to reconsider, Gen Blossom started across the kitchen, her eyes on the new door ahead. Then she was there. Where would it lead? Placing her hand on the cool metal surface, she took a deep breath and pushed.
    Mrs. Blossom’s eyes lit up and she heaved a great sigh of relief. She was out! This was the dining area and there, right before her, was her husband waiting in line for an omelet and a waffle.
    “Where did you come from?” Mr. Blossom asked her in a gruff but surprised manner.
    Stepping in line beside him, Mrs. Blossom replied, “I told you, I was lost!” She wasn’t sure he believed her, but he did look from her to the door and then back again before grunting, “Huh.”
    Mrs. Blossom has never again had the courage to venture down the stairway of a fancy hotel in search of an early morning walk. She has had her fill of shadowy basements, gurgling water pipes, labyrinth laundry rooms and secret hallways. She stays in the safe and known realms open for guests and never ventures off on explorations alone.

So, what did you think?
Did it make you want to wander alone in large hotels?
What would you have done in Mrs. Blossom's place?
Are you interested in seeing the cover for the new book?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lost in the Hotel - Part 1

Hello FFFs,
It certainly is winter here right now. We've had snow on the ground since Sunday night! But I think we're supposed to get rain today. We'll see if we later end up with ice on everything.

I know, I know, you came back today hoping and expecting the next part of "Dr. Morgan." Well, I have some news for you. First, I have finished writing that book and am expecting to divide it into chapters today and get it to my test readers over the weekend. Second, that means you won't be reading any more parts of "Dr. Morgan" (now titled "Gift from the Storm") on this blog. :( So sorry, but I did warn you. But, . . .  Lest you groan and sigh thinking you'll have to wait for months to read the rest of it, I have someone who is going to do the cover and she is even kind enough to work on the front of it first so you all can see it even before I get the rest of what goes on the back to her. Weren't we nice? ;) And I'm not expecting my test readers to take very long reading this story. So, all that said, just to let you know, I'm hoping for the beginning of April to have it done. I'm not promising because I know how busy things get sometimes when you least expect it, but you can pray things all come together. :)

And on another note, I just received the first 15 minutes of TCR-1 Audio! I can't wait to go listen to it!

This month has been a busy one for writing. In January I wrote 5k each week or more. I don't think I ever reached 6k, but this month I've written 8k each week. This week I've gotten a little more than 6k written so far. If I can get 2 thousand more words written between today and tomorrow, I'll have my 3rd 8k week.
Perhaps you are wondering what I've been writing since "Dr. Morgan" or "Gift from the Storm" has been finished. Well, I finished this story for one. I finished another short story the next night and last night I was working on a "Ria and the Gang" story. :) I'm trying to replenish my stock of stories to post before I start in on TCR-5.

This story is based on a true experience by a friend of ours. She told us the story herself and, before I wrote it, I asked her to tell it to me again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :) Names have been changed to protect the guilty. :P

Lost in the Hotel
Part 1

    It was early morning and Mrs. Blossom found herself wide awake. “This is odd,” she thought, after looking at the glowing numbers on the clock beside the bed. “I never wake up this early at a hotel.” Giving a sigh, she turned over and closed her eyes. The only sound to be heard was her husband’s soft snoring. It had been a long and busy last few days with traveling and meetings and more traveling and meetings. This was the only day Mr. and Mrs. Blossom had to relax before getting back on the road for a final few days of business before they at last reached home.
    Finding herself wide awake, Mrs. Blossom turned over again and stared into the blackness in the direction of the ceiling. “I could get up,” she thought. “I could get some laundry going. . . . There is a park right across the parking lot and I’m sure it would be a lovely place to walk before breakfast. I could use a good walk after all the sitting I have been doing.”
    Thoughts of all the things she could do if she got up flooded her mind, and the next minute she was slipping from her bed in an eagerness to get going.
    Her husband was still sleeping when she tiptoed from the room and out into the silent hall.
    “Everyone must still be sleeping,” she thought, gently closing her room door behind her. “Now, should I take the stairs or the elevator,” she mused. The elevator was all the way down the hall while the stairs were only two doors down. The Blossom’s room was on the seventh floor, but the thought of so many stairs didn’t bother Gen Blossom as long as she was going down.
    “I’ll be good and take the stairs,” she decided, turning to her right. “Then I won’t feel guilty about a big breakfast.” Her footsteps made no sound on the thick, soft carpet. “I like it when business pays for us to stay at such luxurious hotels. And I’m sure breakfast will be delightful. A brisk walk will give me a good appetite and I’ll be able to enjoy the meal to the fullest.”
    Upon reaching the stairway, Mrs. Blossom opened the door and saw a sign: No rooftop access. With a smile, she nodded. “That’s okay with me. I didn’t want to get to the roof anyway.”
    Descending the stairs, she noticed that at each level there was a sign exactly like the one she had first read. “I still don’t want to go to the roof. I am seeking a lower level of exit,” she chuckled softly. The mental image of herself on the roof of the hotel was humorous.
    Finally the first floor was reached and, giving a sigh of relief, Gen Blossom stepped over to the door and reached for the doorknob.
    “Emergency Exit Only. Alarm Will Sound.”
    The words of the sign on the door seemed to leap outward, and they startled Mrs. Blossom almost as much as an actual alarm would have done. Quickly she jerked her hand back. “What!” The exclamation came out loud and sounded strange in the silent stairwell as their echo bounced around. “This is the first floor, isn’t it? Yes. Then how am I supposed to reach the lobby or get outside?” Slowly Mrs. Blossom’s eyes traveled to the stairs. There were still more stairs going down. And then there were the stairs going up.
    “What if all the doors on the other floors say the same thing? Surely they couldn’t because I went through one on the seventh floor.” Gen Blossom thought a moment. “But I think it was already open. Or did I open it?” The more she thought, the more confused she became. “Oh, I don’t know!” she almost wailed. “I can’t climb all those stairs to find out!”
    That was when she decided that if the stairs went down, she would go down too. “Perhaps the hotel was built on a hill and this is the first floor but not the floor with the lobby,” she reasoned. “Maybe there is an exit, but it isn’t a main one so they marked it as emergency only. If that is the case, the lobby would be down one more floor.” With these hopeful thoughts in her mind, Mrs. Blossom started down. Her legs were tired of stairs, but she reached the bottom at last. There was a door, and there was no “Emergency Exit Only” sign. Instead a sign was posted which read, “Employees Only.”
    “Well, of all things!” Gen Blossom exclaimed, folding her arms and almost glaring at the sign. “I’ve never heard of a hotel that won’t let people out!” She glanced back up at the stairway where hundreds of stairs seemed watching and laughing at her fix.
    “I won’t do it. I just am not going to climb all those stairs. This sign doesn’t say anything about an alarm. And if they didn’t want me to go in, they should have provided a different way to get out or at least said there was no regular exit.” She reached out a hand. “I wonder if it is locked.”
    The doorknob turned at her touch and she pushed the door open. Stepping in, she let the door close behind her and turned to gaze about. “Wow!”
    She was in what appeared to be the basement. The floors were a cold cement, and up above were pipes running in every direction. Water heaters of immense sizes stood here and there, with pillars reaching up to the ceiling standing like giant pieces on a chess board. The lighting was dim and the shadows strange. Mrs. Blossom gave an involuntary shiver. This was certainly part of a hotel she had never been in before.
    Timidly she stepped forward, her footsteps sounding loud to her ears. Creaks, groans, gurgling noises and strange sounds came from above her and timidly she looked up and then off into the shadowy corners. What might be lurking behind that water heater? Had something just moved? It felt as though she was the only one alive in this strange world of pipes, water heaters and shadows.
    “There has got to be someone around,” she muttered, trying to keep up her courage. “I’ll soon find someone who will help me.”
    Thoughts of all the mystery books she had read came flooding through her mind and her vivid imagination pictured escaped convicts behind the next water heater, thieves creeping up behind her, or stumbling suddenly upon a secret gathering of men in the underworld of crime.

To be concluded next week.
What do you think?
Have you ever experienced a situation like this?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Dr. Morgan - Part 24

Hello Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
I really, really am not sure how it could possibly be Friday again so soon, but everything says it is, so I guess I had better post. And yes, you may have another part of "Dr. Morgan." Just don't get too used to it because it will stop. I'm giving you warning right now. Once I get this book finished (I reach the end of the story) and have something else to post, you may have to wait to read the rest of it until, *gasp* it's published! However, before you start to panic, I will be offering a very special discount to all my blog readers who have been faithfully reading "Dr. Morgan."

Speaking of "Dr. Morgan," I have a hope that I can reach the end of the story this week. At this point I don't know if I can or not, but I keep hoping I can. I've already written my weeks quota of 5,000 words. And it sure has been fun because I finally got the "who's, what's, when's, where's and how's" that everyone has been longing to have answered. :) The thing I don't know about, it how much longer the end will be. Do you like longer or shorter books? I think I have a start on Part 60 right now which is as long as the 2nd TCR book.

And now, my biggest news of the week!
Triple Creek Ranch - Unbroken is being recorded! Yes, I listed it on ACX last week and on Sunday I had two auditions! After listening to them both, and having my sister listen to them, we knew that one voice wasn't quite right for the story. The other one was gracious enough to record a few other short parts to see if she fit and answered many questions. The end of the matter is that she accepted the offer I sent her and now has the book and is reading it. She also said she wanted to record the rest of the TCR books! How many of you enjoy listening to audio books while you travel or work on projects? I do! I'll let you know how things are going.

But you've waited long enough for this next part. (Unless you skip this part entirely and go directly to the story.) :)

Dr. Morgan
Part 24

    He looked across the room to his father. “I know you made inquiries in all the nearby towns, Dad, after they came, and in some of the nearby cities. But I thought it would be a good idea to actually talk to some of the folks there. I also wanted to check in some of the more out of the way places.”
    “Did you check the resort near Jackson?” Justin leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees.
    “Yep. No luck there. However, I did learn from a retired forest ranger something which might be of help.” Adam paused and poked at the fire. “About a week or so before Amy arrived here, there was an avalanche farther up in the back range. It was bad.” He stirred the fire before continuing. “Three hikers were lost. They only uncovered their bodies right before Thanksgiving.”
    A gasp came from Sara. “Do . . . do they know who they . . . were?”
    “Two of them were from out of state, the other was local. The ranger couldn’t give me any names, but suggested I check with the police in Jackson. I just haven’t had the chance to get there yet.”
    “You can use my truck if you need to, Adam,” Justin offered. “In fact, maybe I’ll just go with you.”
    “And leave the hospital?” Mrs. Morgan shook her head. “Don’t you have patients?”
    Justin gave a groan and leaned back. “Yeah, but I’m finding I don’t have much patience.”
    After Sara’s first question, she had fallen into a thoughtful silence and gave no answering sally to her brother’s last comment. Into the midst of the men’s talk about which truck Adam should use the following day, she said, “So, if they were related, and Amy managed to escape from it with the children, are they the only family? Or did the any surviving relatives think they were all killed in the slide?”
    “I suppose we won’t find the answer to that until we find out who the two people were.” Mr. Morgan replied quietly. “Why don’t we have a word of prayer for Adam’s venture and then get to bed. It is growing quite late.”

    Justin paced the limited floor space of his office, glancing down now and then at the time on his watch. Had Adam arrived in Jackson yet? Would he find the right people to talk to? Were those victims related to Amy? If they were, what a tragedy for all three! A new thought struck him. What if the two who had died had been the parents of Danny and Jenny? Could Amy be a cousin or maybe a step-sister? Why didn’t Adam call?
    “Morgan, what’s going on?”
    Justin halted his steps and looked towards the door. “Oh, good morning, Hollend. It’s nothing really. I’m just trying to make the time pass more quickly.”
    “For some particular reason?” Dr. Hollend stepped into the office and stood regarding his friend and fellow physician with a quizzical look.
    “Adam’s gone to Jackson.” He glanced at his watch again.
    “Christmas shopping?” Hollend’s casual tone had the effect he had planned.
    With a start Dr. Morgan looked back up and wet his lips. “No! He might have discovered something about Amy and the children.”
    “Really?” Dr. Hollend was all attention and Justin quickly told of Adam’s reason for making the long trip to the city. “That could turn into something, but, Morgan, what if it doesn’t? What if those two people had no connection with your trio, what then?”
    With a sigh, Justin gripped the back of his chair. “Then we’re back where we started.”
    “And if they are, or were, related, what are you going to do?”
    “Find out if there is any kin.”
    “Does Dr. Stern think her memory will come back?”
    “He doesn’t know. No one does with these things. But if it was an avalanche that sent her and the children to us, maybe the talk of it would trigger her memory.”
    For a moment both doctors were silent, thinking of the stranger with no remembrance of the past. Then Dr. Hollend spoke. His voice was low. “What a thing to remember suddenly. Morgan, is she a Christian?”
    Justin shrugged, his face grave. “I don’t know. She doesn’t know. But I have a feeling that whatever is keeping her from remembering is going to take faith and prayer to get through when she does remember.”
    “Then you don’t think it was just a simple thing like a bump on the head?”
    “No—from some of the things she said when she was sick and later mentioned, she had to get the children out of something dark or bad, but she couldn’t remember what.”
    “Well, my wife and I will keep praying for her. And all of you. But it’s time I made my rounds. Don’t wear the floorboards out, Morgan.” And with those parting words and a quick smile, Dr. Hollend disappeared down the hall.
    “I should get busy,” Justin muttered to himself, sitting down and pulling a file closer and flipping it open. “I do have work to do. But I wish I were in Jackson!”

    It was late afternoon. There had been no word from Adam and Justin felt as though he couldn’t wait any longer. “This is worse than Christmas mornings,” he complained to Dr. Hollend and Dr. Wright. “I’d wake up at three o’clock, often earlier, and I wasn’t allowed to wake anyone up until five-thirty! Those were the longest hours I ever spent until today.”
    “There’s no need of you staying around now,” Dr. Wright reminded him. “You’re off duty, you know.”
    “You’re right. Maybe a walk will calm me, not to mention make the time go by faster.” He picked up his coat and slipped his arms in. “Call me if you need me.”
    “Where will you be?”
    For a moment Dr. Morgan looked blank. “Um, either at my rooms or at Dad’s office. I’m not planning on going up to the cabin tonight unless I need to.”

So, what do you think?
Did you enjoy this part?
Do you want a copy of the finished book?
Do you listen to audio books?
P.S. If you have read any of the TCR books, I would really appreciate some reviews! There are still none on book 4. :) 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Dr. Morgan - Part 23

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
And what a morning it is! The sun is coming up and it's supposed to be in the upper 60s today. I'm looking forward to getting outside for a bit later on.

I would have had this post up sooner, but I was listening to audio samples from someone who just contacted me about TCR-1. Yes, I finally got the first Triple Creek Ranch book listed on ACX yesterday and was praying for the right person to record it. We'll see what the audition sounds like. For those of you who are really hoping to be able to enjoy these books on audio, be praying. And those of you who aren't really into audio, can still pray too. :)

This week has been a good week for writing. Since just about everyone who voted has asked for "Dr. Morgan," that's what I worked on. I've been able to write every evening so far this week (except Sunday) and have already passed my 5k goal. In fact, I'm already at 6,617 words! And if I can write tonight and tomorrow night . . . :) I think I'm on the home stretch. When I get there, I always seem to be able to write faster and more at a time. Right now I'm about half way done with part 51. So, I'm guessing this book will be about as long as a TCR book. How does that sound? Keep praying.

And now the next part in this story. :)

Dr. Morgan
Part 23

    A few days passed and Amy seemed more content, more cheerful. Nothing had happened to upset or startle her and her smile was beginning to come readily when someone spoke to her. Though her leg was stronger, it still gave her twinges of pain now and then, at which times she was content to sit and read either to herself or to Danny who often demanded, “Read me!” When his demand wouldn’t work with Sara or Adam, he would dimple into a smile for Amy and say, “Read me peace.”
    Amy seemed unable to refuse his request and would read until her voice was gone or until the young tyrant felt the need for action and would run off.
    “Amy,” Sara chided one morning after Amy had read the same two stories to Danny ten times, “you spoil that boy. You can tell him no.”
    With a shake of her head, Amy turned to watch the sturdy figure drive his train recklessly down the track and into the tunnel. “Maybe I should, but I can’t seem to help it. I have a feeling of . . . well, I don’t know how to explain it. It’s almost like I’ve done the same thing hundreds of times before and it feels—right.”
    “You have read those books dozens of times at least. Aren’t you tired of the same ones? I am!” And Sara put the offending books back on the shelf. “I can’t stand to read the same one over and over like you do.”
    Amy didn’t reply. She knew she couldn’t make Sara understand the feeling she got from reading to Danny.
    The sudden barking of Captain out in the front caused both girls to turn and look out the large window. “That’s Justin’s truck! I wonder what he’s doing up here in the middle of the week?” Sara quickly stuffed the scarf she was knitting into a bag and disappeared down the hall with it.
    Still watching, Amy saw Adam come around the house and the two brothers stand talking. Neither had made a move towards the house before Sara came back.
    “The difficulties of making Christmas presents,” Sara remarked to Amy as she crossed the room to stand by the window, “is having to hide them every time that person shows up unexpectedly. Justin has always done that. Except,” she amended, “when he was in medical school. Here they come.”
    A few minutes later the brothers entered the room and Danny raced over to them shouting and waving his train. Tripping over his sturdy shoes, Justin caught him before he fell. “You wild Indian,” he laughed. “What do you have?”
    “Train!” Proudly Danny showed his engine by shoving it in Justin’s face. “Adam!” he shouted, squirming and wiggling in the arms that held him. “Play trains!”
    Setting the little tyke back on the floor, Justin laughed. “You’re in demand, brother.”
    “You’ll have to wait a few minutes, Danny,” Adam said in his calm, easy-going manner. “I have to fix the fire first.”
    At that, Danny forgot his train and ran over to watch. From the couch where she had been resting her leg, Amy looked on with a smile. Danny’s endless energy often left her tired, but it was a good tired, she decided. Suddenly she straightened.
    “Danny, no!”
    Amy’s words had been quick and firm. Danny jerked back his hand from the lovely glowing embers and turned to look at her. “Don’t touch,” was all she said, but Danny put his hands behind him and didn’t touch a thing until Adam was ready to play trains with him.
    “Well!” It was Sara’s surprised exclamation which broke the silence. “I thought you couldn’t say no to him. And I’ve never seen Danny obey so quickly when someone tells him no for the first or even the second time. How did you do it?”
    There was no reply from Amy for a moment. She herself was surprised and a little confused by the whole thing. She had never told Danny no in her life, had she? “I . . . I don’t know.”
    Justin must have read the look on her face, for when his sister started to say something else about it, he silenced her with a quiet, “Not now, Sare.” And it wasn’t until late that evening, after the little ones and Amy had retired to their beds that he brought it up again.
    “Adam, did you notice how quickly Danny obeyed Amy when she told him no?”
    “I didn’t think Amy could tell Danny no.” Mrs. Morgan looked questioningly at her sons. “What happened?”
    Sara told the story quickly and added, “It reminded me of when Timothy tells Brandon not to touch something.”
    A log snapped and hissed in the fireplace. “Do you think it means anything, Justin?” Mr. Morgan turned from watching the flames to look at his elder son.
    “I’m not sure,” Justin began slowly. “It seems as though Danny knows he has to obey Amy, but that leaves the question of why.”
    “When they were out in the mountains?”
    “That doesn’t seem to fit, Sara,” Adam said slowly. “They might have been out there for days or a week, but the instant obedience seemed too engrained for so short a time.”
    “That leaves before they came to the mountains or at least before they got lost.” Sara tucked her feet up under her on the couch and folded her arms. “She isn’t their mother?”
    Justin shook his head. “No. If she was, Danny would have called her so, and Amy herself denied it. But she could be an older sister? A friend? A close relative?” With each suggestion, Justin looked around hoping for a nod or another suggestion.
    “I think I’d rule out friend.”
    “Why, Dad?”
    “How often do children obey a friend of the family as quickly as you said Danny obeyed Amy?"
    “Point taken. Sister? Relative?”
    “Probably a good guess. I did a little checking on Saturday,” Adam remarked.

What do you think is the right answer?
Did you enjoy this part?
What do you think Adam found out?