YAPC would like to welcome Christa Nardi to the blog today. She is here to share an excerpt and some info about her book The Mysterious Package. If this looks like a book you would enjoy, please go pick up a copy! 99 cents for a limited time only!
On the long ride to Vermont, Hannah and Tamar are quick to offer assistance when a fellow passenger – a girl in her late teens – is hassled by a rough-looking young man. Grateful as she may be for their help, Gwen thrusts a mysterious package into Tamar’s hand and disappears in the Rutland train station. Hannah and Tamar set out to locate Gwen and unravel the secret of the mysterious package.
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(From Chapter 1)
The scenery flew by as Hannah and Tamar rode the first leg on Amtrak from Baltimore, Maryland to Rutland, Vermont. It was the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and the girls were on the way to their grandparents’ house to help prepare for Thanksgiving Day. The rest of the family would arrive Wednesday or Thursday.
It hadn’t been easy to get the high school to excuse the students from two days’ classes the following week. But both were honor students and they had promised to keep up with their school work. With over eight hours of train ride, Wi-Fi, and available plug-ins, the girls would have plenty of time to get their pesky homework out of the way.
Even though Tamar and Hannah had travelled this route many times, the scenery distracted them. They enjoyed the view of the cities, small towns, and landscape. As the train edged north, vestiges of the last snowstorms were evident. Dirtied piles of snow, not big enough to even call drifts, dotted the landscape.
“Leave me alone!” A woman’s high-pitched plea shattered the constant drone of conversation and the hum of the train as it moved along the tracks.
Both girls turned toward the source of the scream. A girl, about their age, was pushing a young man away. She had medium brown, straight hair to her waist that swung from side to side as she tried to pull away from the man. Conversation stopped as passengers watched the two, but nobody moved. Hannah and Tamar exchanged glances and as one they walked up to the pair.
“Hi! Do you know where the restrooms are?” Tamar asked the man. As she spoke, she and Hannah positioned themselves on either side of the girl. While her polite words and sweet tone were innocent enough, the sisters stood firm and stared him down.
Up close, the young man appeared to be a few years older than the girl. He had dark hair, piercing blue eyes and the shadow of a beard. His wrinkled shirt, dirty jeans, and more than hint of body odor contrasted sharply with the girl’s coral V-neck cashmere sweater and black designer pants. She clutched her Kate Spade bag and tears trickled down her cheeks.
He glared at Tamar without speaking. When Tamar held his gaze, he released the girl’s arm and slithered away.
“I’m Hannah, and this is my sister Tamar. Are you okay?”
“I… I think so. I’m Gwen Singleton. Thank you. Can you believe that jerk followed me from the Café Car.” She considered the two girls in their casual jeans and sweaters. “I think I’ll go back to my seat now. Business class.” With a forced smile, Gwen sashayed down the aisle and into the next car.
“I wonder what that was all about.”
About the Author: Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery/crime along with romance and scifi/fantasy are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to the Cold Creek mystery series. For this new series, Christa has teamed up with Cassidy Salem, author of the Adina Donati Accidental Sleuth series.
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