Author: Kim O'Brien
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Aren’t the relationships between best friends fascinating? In Bone Deep, Paige and Emily grew up together following their fathers around the Southwest. Paige’s father was an archeologist and Emily’s was an anthropologist. Emily was always considered the smarter and prettier of the two girls, but it was Paige’s imagination that proved to be the most powerful bond between them. Both girls got dragged around to the various work sites and had very little supervision. So they made up a game, essentially of dares, which turned out to be a very dangerous one.
We found the cave by accident, one morning when we were exploring the rock formations rising in Chalupa Canyon in New Mexico. It was well-hidden, the opening so disguised it looked like a shadow between two rocks. I stuck my face into the darkness. I couldn’t see much, but I knew it was a perfect place to play our game.
Emily grinned. “The best-told stories are the stories told just before dark.”
I hesitated. The last time I had played the game, I’d almost fallen off a very tall rock. For a long time now, I had wished we could stop playing these games. I actually thought what our fathers were doing was a lot more interesting, but I’d always done what Emily wanted me to do. The bottom line: I didn’t want to lose her friendship.
I promised myself this would be the last time. “Okay, but I’ll have to get inside before I’ll know the story.”
To prove I wasn’t afraid, although I was, I went first. What little light there was vanished almost immediately, but I moved slowly, waving my arms around like a blind person, making noise, and taking tiny baby steps. The air grew cooler, smelled musty.
“We’re in a si’papu,” I said, pausing as Emily shuffled up behind me. “And we’re going backward in time, to the world that existed before ours.”
Emily’s hand dropped on my bare shoulder, connecting us, but startling the hell out of me. “Shit,” I said, and she giggled. The noise echoed in a terrible way.
With Emily’s hand on my shoulder, I led us deeper into the cave. It was very dark, but we were used to it. The deeper we went, the more the walls became increasingly narrow. Each bend became harder to squeeze through.
The sounds became magnified, or maybe we were just breathing harder and harder. My heart thumped loud and fast, and my sides scraped against the rock that was pressing now on me from both sides even though I was mainly turned sideways. I told Emily that the cave had a heart and lungs and if we listened closely enough we could hear them. I stopped. We listened.
“Oh, shit,” Emily whispered. “I hear it. I’m totally freaking out.”
“Let’s go back.” I thought about lying, saying that the cave ended. It was too tight for her to pass me. She’d never know. But I didn’t. Instead, I led us deeper, embellishing the story, releasing my fear in the story I told as we inched our way through the darkness.
The bat came out of nowhere. I didn’t even hear it until it was flapping by my head. I ducked to the side, and then it happened. One minute there were walls and floor, and the next they were gone. I had long enough to realize I was in serious trouble, and then the ground flew up at me. I heard something crack, and then Emily’s weight smashed into me.
My leg exploded into a thousand knife-points of pain. It blazed up my body, took my breath, and lit my brain on fire. I had to clamp my teeth together to keep from screaming.
“Emily… Emily…” I croaked out. “Are you okay?”
“I think so,” she said. In the darkness, it seemed like her voice was everywhere—around me, on me, even inside me. She shifted off me. “Are you okay?”
The pain was terrible. I couldn’t keep myself from making a horrible groaning noise.
“I…I think my leg is broken. And I’m bleeding.”
Emily sucked in her breath. “Oh, shit,” she said, and for once there was no excitement in her voice, only fear.
When Paige Patterson travels to Arizona to spend the summer with her archeologist father, she expects answers. Why did her parents divorce? Why did her father choose his career over family? She doesn't expect to be reunited with her best friend Emily Linton, a girl she has always admired and secretly wanted to emulate, or to find herself falling for the project manager's son, Jalen Yazzi.
But the summer takes a terrible turn when Emily vanishes. As the police struggle for answers, Paige sets out to find the truth.
The search takes Paige from the Cliffside ruins of prehistoric Native Americans to the Navajo Nation to the horrifying possibility that the answer is much closer to home. Emily, it turns out, was not the ony one good at hiding things.
Her father has no alibi for the night Emily disappeared. An intern with the motive insists he's innocent. And Jalen has some secrets of his own.
Old bones might not be the only things buried in the ruins. As Paige digs deeper into Emily's disappearance, she realizes that uncovering the truth may cost her everything - even her life.
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About the Author
At Emory University in Atlanta, Kim earned a B.A. in psychology. She then attained a M.F.A. in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She worked for many years as a writer, editor, and speechwriter for IBM before becoming a full time fiction writer. She lives in Texas with ehr husband, daughters, and four-legged friend Daisy.
Kim is the author of eight inspirational romances and seven non-fiction children's books. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at www.kimobrienbooks.com, Facebook, and Twitter (kimobri).