………and it was released on July 18th, 2011……..
In this second book, Sarah and Meagan are in their first year of college and they are on a winter break where they are visiting their grandparents in British Columbia. Sarah and Brad have become quite close in heart although they are separated often due to classes and homework. Meagan is now wearing a purple Amethyst ring which Ali has given her, and both girls are looking forward to their last weekend of the visit when the guys will join them for some outdoor fun.
During the last Saturday, their grandfather and his friend take his punctured boat for their weekly fishing trip against all advice to have it repaired first. They are gone for hours and the guys arrive and soon afterwards, their grandmother receives an unclear distress call from their grandfather. Since the small town is engaged in its yearly festival there is no one else to turn to for help, and so the teens adhere to the grandmother’s pleas and head out into an unfamiliar forest to locate their grandfather’s secret fishing hole and bring the injured men home.
Sarah and her team are all excellent hikers and the urgency of finding and saving the men is a timely and demanding trial. But they face an even greater challenge and that is surviving a forest that will soon surround and trap them in a threatening fire that they aren’t prepared to battle.
Excerpt from Firestorm:
Meagan and I stood beside Don as the guys lifted the stretcher and stepped up and onto the swing bridge. Even though the bridge seemed long, it was solid with high mesh sides so they were able to carry him safely across it without worrying about slipping or falling. We watched as they took one step at a time, slowly but surely, and with each one the bridge swayed slightly. I was relieved that finally Grandpa was getting across and soon we’d be on our way back home.
At one point they stopped and both looked to the left of them. Filled with curiosity, Meagan and I took a few steps closer to the bridge to see what they were looking at and we both gasped.
“Meg, it’s getting closer by the minute. This is getting really creepy.”
Meagan grabbed my arm and motioned for me to step back with her towards Don.
“You know, Sarah, I was watching a Discovery show on TV a few weeks ago about forest fires, and this guy said that he was trapped in a forest fire, and that once the wind picked up where he was, the entire forest was in flames within about
“Two hours? If that’s true then that fire will be here in a few minutes.”
“I know and that’s why we have to stay calm because we need to get out of here safely, and this issue here is going to really be a problem if he doesn’t start co-operating.”
Don suddenly became very quiet as he leaned against the tree.
“Don, are you okay?”
He looked at me with blank expression and then shifted his eyes back and forth.
“You hear that?”
Meagan and I looked at each other and then towards the guys on the bridge and then behind us. I couldn’t hear anything but then we’d also been talking, and on top of that my ears were ringing from all the stress. But Don was insistent that he could something and I tried to hear what he was hearing, but I couldn’t hear anything. I thought it was his imagination starting up again.
“Hear what, Don? I don’t hear anything.”
“There’s something in those trees behind us.”
That gave me an instant adrenaline rush.
“The fire? You can hear the fire? Oh no, is it that close?”
“No. Not fire.”
Meagan was already uptight from the suspense and she snapped at him.
“What noise? What are you talking about? I don’t hear anything.”
Don cocked his head slightly and put his finger up as if to tell us to be quiet.
“Hear it? Crackling. There’s something behind us.”
He was adding even more fear to my already jittering insides, and just listening to his frightened voice sent goose bumps up and down my arms. Whatever it was that he was hearing was very real to him and the fear it brought on was becoming very real to Meagan and I, too. I had to say something to stop this from getting out of hand.
“There’s nothing behind us, Don. All the animals and birds are gone, remember? Grandpa and the guys are almost across the bridge and we’re next. We’re fine. We’re going to get across it and then home. Okay? And the fire is still way over there.”
“No, we’re not okay. Something is behind us in those buses behind those trees and it’s getting closer.”
My nerves were now almost raw with fear. I began wondering what it could be that he was hearing but I brushed off any possibilities because I really couldn’t deal with any more challenges right now. Meagan, on the other hand, became angry at Don for adding more stress to an already horrible situation.
“Don, I’ve had enough of your nonsense, okay? I’m not a foolish teenager and we didn’t have to come out here for you guys. We could have just said who cares and stayed at home. But we came out for you and the least you could do is stop trying to freak us out. I don’t hear any noise and what you’re trying to do is make us more scared than we already are, but you know what? I’m already too darned scared to care about anything else except getting out of here.”
Just then, we could hear Ali’s distant voice echoing from the other side of the bridge as he yelled to us and then waved. We all looked over at him and I was so relieved just knowing that Grandpa was out of the direct path of the fire.
“Meg, they made it. Okay, let’s stop this nonsense and get ready to cross.”
We watched as Brad came running across the bridge by himself with his hands just gliding along the railings. The bridge
was swaying back and forth and I knew that if we didn’t have this dilemma that he could actually have enjoyed his little jaunt. He jumped off and came up to us and took the rope from Meagan.
“Okay, let’s go. Meg, you and Sarah get going and we’ll follow you.”
But Don had no intensions of moving. He stood with his back to the tree and his arms wrapped around the trunk behind him. His face was white and without expression.
“We’re dead if we go and we’re dead if we stay. I hate fires. I don’t want to die in a fire.”
Brad tried to loosen Don’s arms.
“Well, neither do we, so that’s why I’m going to carry you across to where there is no fire. You can keep your eyes closed and we’ll be across in no time.”
Brad pulled Don’s arms off the tree and picked him up around his legs and then flung him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Meagan jumped onto the bridge first but when she turned to say something, she stopped and turned a million shades of white. She didn’t say a word. I was standing beside Brad and I asked her what was wrong but she didn’t answer. She just stared behind us as she slowly lifted her hand and pointed.
Brad and I both turned and stared into the woods. I had no idea what Meagan was referring to.
“Do you see anything, Brad? I don’t. The fire’s still way over there.”
Brad stared straight ahead into the woods and then down to the ground. His eyes followed the path that we had just come from and then spoke in a sombre voice.
“They smell the blood.”
Brad was now wearing his own shade of white, and I quickly searched the woods with my eyes to see what they were looking at. He grabbed my arm and whispered as he pushed me.
“Move slow and get on the bridge. Now!”
I glanced back at the tall, dry grass that was spread out between the trees and I saw them staring at me, wolves with eyes that pierced my soul.