BOOK BLURB: ~Sometimes the only road to the truth…is one you’ve never taken. ~
“Until I found Gideon’s journal in the tool shed — locked in the cedar box where I’d once hidden my old diary — I’d been led to believe my brother was dead. But the contents of his journal changed all that.”
THE ROAD TO DISCOVERY
Two years ago, Aurora Gray’s world turned upside down when her big brother Gideon and his best friend Jeremy disappeared. Now, during the summer of her 18th birthday, she unexpectedly finds her brother’s journal and sees that it’s been written in again. Recently. By him.
THE ROAD TO DANGER
There are secret messages coded within the journal’s pages. Aurora, who’s unusually perceptive and a natural puzzle solver, is hell bent on following where they lead, no matter what the cost. She confides in the only person she feels can help her interpret the clues: Donovan McCafferty, Jeremy’s older brother and a guy she’s always been drawn to — even against her better judgment.
THE ROAD TO YOU
Reluctantly, Donovan agrees to go with her and, together, they set out on a road trip of discovery and danger, hoping to find their lost brothers and the answers to questions they’ve never dared to ask aloud.
“In that expectant space between silence and melody, our trip began…”
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I could count on one hand the things I knew were true about Donovan McCafferty:
He was twenty-three—just over five years older than I was.
He’d escaped into the Army at age eighteen and, except for a few quick but memorable visits, hadn’t returned to Minnesota until this past winter.
He had an excellent mechanical mind.
And he made me very nervous.
Underneath my skin, every nerve fiber was fast twitching. Just thinking about Donovan always did that to me but, this time, it was also about the trip. I couldn’t have been more eager to get on the road to Crescent Cove, and I really didn’t want to make a stop at Donovan’s workplace.
But, awkward though it would be, he knew a few things I didn’t and might signal to me (whether he realized it or not) some very useful directions.
I waited until after dinner, biding my time. Made the three of us broiled chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli. Boring, yes, but it wasn’t like anyone cared.
Then I excused myself from the usual watching of TV news and Thursday-night shows, repeat episodes anyway, and drove to the only auto repair shop and gas station in town. The one I avoided like the plague whenever possible, preferring to fill up in places where no one knew me, like Alexandria or St. Cloud. Places where Donovan McCafferty…wasn’t.
It was 7:05 p.m. by the time I got to the shop, and I parked a fair distance from the entrance. They closed at seven, but the work light in the back was on and two out of the three garage doors were still open. I knew he was in there. Not because I’d caught even one glimpse of Mr. Tall, Dark and Intense yet, but because the only other car in the lot was a crimson Firebird Trans Am with the giant bird decal in black and gold across the hood. His, of course.
I pushed open my car door, grabbed my tote bag with the journal tucked safely inside and inhaled several lungfuls of the cloying summer air. So early in June and already every breath was wrapped in sticky-sweet bugginess.
I didn’t make it more than five steps before he came out. A solid, broad-shouldered, six-foot-two mass of frequently impenetrable emotions. Not impenetrable enough this time, though.
Even at a distance of half a parking lot, I detected two powerful sensations that crashed, one after the other, into my awareness:
One, he was hugely curious about why I was here.
And, two, he very much wished I hadn’t been.
He walked up to me and cleared his throat. “Car trouble, Aurora?” He glanced at my hand-me-down, smoke-blue, five-year-old Buick Century, which had done nothing but purr contentedly during my drives around town. Donovan was the type to have noticed this, so I could tell he knew it wasn’t the car.
I shook my head. “I need to show you something,” I told him. “Privately.”
A small flash of amusement quirked one corner of his mouth upward. I was surprised he allowed me to read this, especially since he knew I could. Surprised he was letting me see that one of his possible explanations for my presence was flirtatious in origin—even as he immediately dismissed the idea.
I rolled my eyes. “It’s not like that,” I murmured.
He pressed his lips together, but the amusement still simmered just beneath the surface. “Too bad. ‘We’re both young andinconspicuous,’” he said, parroting the hideously embarrassing words I’d said to him one night when I was a sophomore and had snuck into our brothers’ secret high-school graduation party with my best friend Betsy. The guys had held it forty minutes away in St. Cloud so none of our parents would know.
I fought a blush. “We’re not that young,” I told him, trying to stand straighter and look older. “And we’re not inconspicuous here.”
“Ain’t that the truth.” He turned and motioned for me to follow him inside, clicking the shop’s cool new garage-door opener so the second of the three garage doors came down behind us, shaking until it touched the concrete.
He led me into the back office and ushered me in. “You want me to close this door, too? Snap the blinds shut?” He was mocking me as he asked, but there was a layer of concern beneath it. He knew something serious was up. In a town of 2,485 people, where you’d run into the majority of the residents a handful of times each week, I’d spoken with Donovan McCafferty in private exactly six times in the past five years.
Here’s to lucky number seven.
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AUTHOR INFO: As a former teacher, library staff member, freelance magazine writer and national book reviewer, Marilyn has spent much of her life lost in literature. She is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of eight novels to date and, recently, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) selected her as their 2013 Illinois Author of the Year.
Her debut coming-of-age/new adult novel, ACCORDING TO JANE (Kensington, 2009), featuring the ghost of Jane Austen giving a young woman dating advice, won the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart Award and the Booksellers’ Best, and it was named one of the “Top 100 Romance Novels of All Time” by Buzzle.com. Other novels have been Doubleday, Book-of-the-Month Club and Literary Guild picks, and a couple of her eBooks have hit #1 on both the Kindle and Nook Top 100.
THE ROAD TO YOU is her newest release.