Thursday, April 4, 2019

Before She Was Found: Excerpt

I am so happy to get to share and excerpt from a book that I will be reviewing very soon.  If the excerpt hooks you, scroll down to get some info about this book and the tour!!! And don't forget to click the link to add it to your Goodreads tbr shelf.

by Heather Gudenkauf

Nikki always waits patiently while the younger girl wanders the aisles with a dollar bill clutched in her hand. She doesn’t roll her eyes or heave big sighs when her sister chooses a pack of gummy worms, puts it back and then reaches for a bag of potato chips. The sister does this three or four times with different snacks and eventually always settles on the gummy worms. Nikki just waits, absentmindedly spinning the metal rack that holds everything from key chains to sunglasses. When her sister finally makes her decision, they lay their purchases on the counter and I ring them up.
I want so badly for Max to talk to me about Nikki but whenever I ask him about his friends he just says that everyone in Pitch is stupid. I try not to push it, afraid that if I do he will stop talking to me altogether.
Sam pulls open the front door for me and waits by my side as I debate whether or not to lock it. Max has a key but Violet didn’t bring hers to the overnight. “It will be fine,” Sam says. “You’ll probably only be gone for thirty minutes, tops. Your daughter’s got a phone, right?”
“Yeah, but I better leave a note,” I tell him and then dash back inside and scrawl a few words on the back of an envelope. Violet, went looking for Max. Lock the door behind you if you get home before we do. Mom
Outside I find Sam sitting in his car, the engine idling. My car—not the one that we arrived with in Pitch, but one with fewer miles and fewer dents—is parked in the driveway just in front of Sam’s SUV. The night air is chilly and I wish I would have thought to grab a sweatshirt. I climb in next to Sam, who, seeing me shiver, cranks the heater to the highest setting.
“Where to?” he asks. Though I’m grateful for the ride, for his willingness to come along with me on this trek, a persistent voice in my head is telling me to get out of his car and into my own.
“Let’s check his friend Clint’s house first,” I say. “He lives out on Highway 162 about four miles.” Sam backs out of the gravel driveway before stopping in the middle of the street.
“Or,” Sam says, sliding his eyes toward me, “we can follow the sirens. Might put your mind at ease.”
His suggestion makes sense. We can drive all around the county and not come across Max, but if we go toward where we think the emergency vehicles went, then I’d know for sure that Max is safe. Or not.
“West, I think,” I say and Sam throws the car into gear and tears off toward the railroad tracks that split Pitch in half. No one can say that one side of Pitch is any better than the other. The north side has the Lutheran church, the library and the Fuel and Feed while the south side has the Catholic church, the middle school and the old opera house. Both ends of town have their share of foreclosed homes.
Sam turns onto Main Street and I tap my foot nervously as we pass the hardware store and an antique shop with a vintage soda machine sitting out front. He reaches for my hand and I pull it away to cover up a fake cough.
I should never have invited him over. Though tonight was our first official date, Sam and I have spent time together. He comes into the Fuel and Feed twice a week—the first on his way to see his parents and the second on his way back home. He buys a cup of coffee or a pack of sunflower seeds and we talk.
He learned that after coming to town, instead of fixing my car and heading on to Green Bay, I got a job at the convenience store, rented a two-bedroom house with peeling paint, no air-conditioning and a temperamental furnace and enrolled my kids in school. I learned that he grew up in Pitch, now lives forty miles away in North Liberty and works as a researcher in the College of Dentistry at the University of Grayling.
Tonight, with Max out with friends and Violet spending the night at Cora’s, Sam and I drove to Washington to eat at an Italian place he knew about, and after one too many glasses of wine, we ended up in bed together. Big mistake. But big fun.
We glide pass the post office and two empty storefronts with soaped-out windows and past Petit’s Bar and Grill. The closer we get to the railroad tracks, the faster my foot taps against the rubber floor mat. I want to tell Sam to turn around, to go back to the house. Max has been out all night before, shown up in the wee hours, bleary-eyed and rumpled and probably hungover, but he always comes home.

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A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence .

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover--movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora--and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted--not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe--even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds completely amazing and something I need to read. Thank you so much for featuring this! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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