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Skunk Chronicles

Thornton Mysteries

The Wild Rose Press

Heat Rating: SWEET
Word Count: 98,940
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A hit-and-run pickup truck driver severely injures twelve-year-old Trent Stone and kills his best friend. He is left shattered, alone, and struggling with the reality of permanent loss.
As Trent tries to put his life back together and uncover who was driving the truck that fateful day, he is met with an onslaught of ever-mounting problems. He attacks his challenges with the naïve and playful honesty of youth, while at the same time experiencing the overwhelming miracle of a first love.
When Lindsey, the subject of that love, disappears, Trent is not only implicated in her disappearance but accused of her murder. How can he prove his innocence when she made him promise not to tell what he knows?

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Hurt her? I’m protecting her! From you!

Aunt June took the broom in a deep, wide swing during her last step, aiming it at my right ear. I ducked just before she smacked me up the side of my head. The broom continued its full arc and hit Lindsey right in the face. As Aunt June cocked the broom for another swing at me, blood started trickling from Lindsey’s nose. Anger flooded my mind, washing away rational thought. I felt my veins popping out.

I shouted, “You old cow! Look what you did!”

Her aunt paused long enough to see the damage to Lindsey’s nose, and then she spit at me with even more venom, “If you hadn’t been kidnapping her, it wouldn’t have happened.” She wound up so she could put full force into her second swing, this one aimed lower. The handle struck me on my hip with a solid thump and sent a sharp pain vibrating through my bones.

“Ouch!” I screamed so loud her cat-eye glasses were in danger of cracking. By now a few neighbors had appeared in their front yards to witness my beating.

Aunt June swung again, wildly, making it easy for me to dodge the broom. She lost her balance when it didn’t strike me, and she fell to the ground, losing her hold on the broom. It dropped at my feet. I swiftly picked it up, ready to protect myself and Lindsey, only to realize that Lindsey had retreated to her front porch.

“Quick! Leave right now!” Lindsey called to me.

I had the broom firmly in my hands. Aunt June had regained her feet but lost her direction in the tumble. Her wide rear end ended up directly in front of me. I didn’t stop to think. I cocked the broom like it was a Louisville Slugger bat, and I swung for the bleachers. The flat part of the broom’s sweeping end caught her square on her left butt cheek. Because it was a home-run swing, there was a satisfying slaaaaaap as the broom made contact. The handle broke as I followed through on my swing.

Holy cow! What I had done shocked me like I had peed on an electric fence. Aunt June yowled mightily. Her scream brought Lindsey’s uncle to the door. In no time he analyzed the situation and burst out of the house. Pushing Lindsey aside, he charged me like a wild boar protecting its young.