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The Ghost of Gold Creek

More than anything, fifteen-year-old Misty wants life to go back to the way it was before. Before her mom took the one wrong step that changed all their lives. Before Misty was left with only her dad, who never understood her and probably never will. Before her best friend Lou stopped making sense. Before buried treasure and ghost legends and all her tangled feelings left her in danger of losing her mind and her life.


But then comes this horse, a wild miracle of a stallion, and a boy named Ford. There is no going back to before, only forward into now. But how can she, when it’s impossible to know what the next step should be, when all she knows for sure is that one wrong step can change everything?

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Four authors who also happen to be friends. Sixteen unique short stories. From tales of spies and trains and John Wayne, to monks, magic and marriage, you’ll be entertained, challenged and inspired.


Valerie D. Gray, Lisa Michelle Hess, Peter Leavell and Rebecca Carey Lyles met several years ago at a newly formed writers group in a back corner of Rediscovered Books, an Idaho indie bookstore. Over time, they became critique partners who share the ups and downs of the writing life as well as act as first readers for one another’s work.


(Read the excerpt below from one of Lisa's stories, and additional passages on her "Excerpts" page.)

Paul looks up with big blue eyes that match my own. There is no trust in those eyes. He knows I’m not up to this task, that I cannot save us. I see no hint of hope in his baby face—only terror, and his fear makes me feel protective of him for the first time in my life. Slowly the realization that I am not just the third child, but another layer in the line of defense, settles on my shoulders. I’m so far down in the hierarchy, I never should have been called upon, but here I am.


I think of the heroes and heroines from all those stories our mother read us, Bible stories and family histories about brave pilgrims and pioneers, and a part of me realizes those stories weren’t just for our entertainment. They were also my mother’s way of preparing me for a world where bad things happen, decisions have to be made, and people must act courageously.


But she’d also instructed us to, “Never leave your seat until the bus stops. Never talk to strangers.”

~ Lisa Hess, from A Small Mistake in Passageways

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