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Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's been a few years . . .

It's been a few years (say, about 14?) since the publication of the last Rainbow Rock book. That seems a bit too long. Hence, a new book is coming, appropriately titled RETURN TO RAINBOW ROCK. Marcie Carmody was 13 when she first visited her Aunt Meg in Rainbow Rock, Arizona. That was the summer she met Lydia Sherwood and her dad met Lydia's mom. The rest of that story was told in A LITTLE NIGHT RAINBOW.

Now time has passed, in Rainbow Rock as in the rest of the world, and it hasn't all been good to Marcie. Here is the opening of her story:


Late February

The sun was setting behind her, lighting the clouds ahead in delicate pastels that would have been beautiful on any other day. It was the kind of winter sunset tourists came to the desert to find, but Marcie Carmody only found it worrisome. “Damn,” she muttered, slamming her hand against the steering wheel and pushing hard on the accelerator. It was bad enough to be crawling home broken and defeated. She didn’t want to have to call for rescue just because the lights on her old clunker had shorted out somewhere this side of San Bernardino.

She passed Joseph City on her way to Holbrook, grateful for light traffic on I-40. “Can’t you make it twenty more minutes?” she grumbled aloud. With luck, the miles would run out before the last of the light.

That was when she spotted the Highway Patrol car sitting under a billboard for the Sagebrush Trading Post: “See our Jackelope! Cold Cherry Cider!” As she passed, going some fifteen miles per hour above the limit, she wasn’t at all surprised to see the trooper pull in behind her and light her up. She ran a hand through her mop of unruly auburn curls.

“Dammit twice!” She slowed and pulled to the shoulder. “This is not my day. Or my week, month or year, for that matter.” She rolled down the window, dropped her head against the back of the seat in a gesture of utter exasperation and waited for the next blow to fall.

“Napping out, are we?” The officer at her window was grinning.

“Danny? Oh, Danny! I’m so glad to see you!” She clambered out of the front seat and threw both arms around the handsome man in the tan uniform who eagerly hugged her back. Over the next few minutes, Marcie explained between hugs about the lights shorting out and why she was speeding.

The officer got out his ticket pad. “You know I’m going to have to write you up, anyway,” he said.

Marcie choked and coughed. “I guess if you have to—”

Danny grinned. “Just teasing. Come on, Sis. I’ll light the way and you can follow me. You’ll get a police escort all the way home.”

Marcie kissed his cheek. “Thanks, Danny. You always were the best.”

Susan Aylworth is the author of eight published novels, all currently available in digital form for various e-readers. Her ninth book, ZUCCHINI PIE: GRANNY'S RECIPE FOR LIFE, is coming from Covenant in June. RETURN TO RAINBOW ROCK will soon be available as an original e-book. Find Susan at or follow her @SusanAylworth.