Dragonfly Nightmare by Erin Richards
Release Date: September 12th 2016 by Midnight Muse Publishing
Series: Once Upon A Secret #1
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense, Young Adult
To be a normal teenage girl.
To forget about the past.
To fall in love for the first time.
Is that too much to ask?
Sixteen-year-old Allie Bailey just wants a break—a break from her overly-protected life. And Dragonfly Meadows summer camp is the answer. A summer away from her parents in the California Sierras with her best friend is exactly what she needs.
But once at camp, Allie notices that things are a little off. Paid excursions are cancelled and staff is replaced with shady new people. When the camp's founder goes "missing," Allie starts to worry. Unable to let it rest due to her past, she starts to investigate, enlisting the help of Logan Montgomery, her best friend's older and adorably geeky brother.
When hauntingly familiar flowers appear in Allie’s cabin, she’s not sure what to think—has her past caught up to her? Yet, after Allie stumbles across a murder conspiracy and chases down the truth, she becomes a target. Pushing through her paranoia and fear to find strength, it's up to Allie to save herself and the campers from a deranged killer before it's too late.
The girls’ room had windows on the side and front, but not the back, and they’d left the blinds shut. I snuck to the rear of the building to peek through my alcove window and lifted on my toes along the edge of the window. At first, I didn’t see anyone, but low thumps on the floor gave my intruder away. Dante pulled the drawers open beneath my bed. Whoa, Nelly.
He rummaged through my clothes, discovered my stash of bills, and stuffed the money into his front pocket. The money didn’t satisfy him, and he continued rifling through my belongings, maintaining my natural neat order. Had he stolen my snow globe? I pressed on my leather band, my arms crossed over my chest. No, no, not my phone. If he found it, I was up crap creek without a paddle.
Without another thought, I flew around the cabin and tiptoed up the wooden steps. Logan’s self-defense moves revolved in my head. I opened the door, glad that it didn’t squeak. Dante had closed the curtains separating the alcove.
Silent, my sneakers ate the short distance on the hardwood floor to my alcove. Through the gap between the curtains, I watched him scavenge my room. So far it didn’t appear that he’d found the phone. Just as I was about to back up to the doorway and pretend I was just entering the cabin, a pinecone thunked onto the roof. I froze.
Dante slipped through the curtains, his toolbox in hand. We came face-to-face.
I mentally zipped through the self-defense steps one more time.
“What are you doing here?” he demanded.
“I could ask you the same.” I gripped the doorway molding until my fingertips hurt.
His lips ruffled up in a furious half-sneer, half smile. “Just doing my routine cabin inspection. We can’t always count on the CLs to report repair items.”
I spread my feet apart in preparation for defense. “Do you make it a habit of snooping through campers’ belongings?” I couldn’t prevent the question from tripping out of my mouth any more than I could stop eating a slice of my favorite key lime pie if shoved in my face.
“Don’t know what you saw, but I was checking a loose floorboard,” he said as if crunching on glass.
I tensed, ready and willing to put him in his place. “Funny, I don’t recall packing floorboards in my dresser drawers.”
He took a step toward me. “You saw wrong, little girl. Now get out of my way and get back to your group.”
I held my ground, confident in my ability to take him down a notch. Enough of a notch to escape him. “Not until you hand over the money you stole, and my snow globe.”
A dark evil crept across his face as he inched another step toward me. “You were supposed to hand over all your money. This is to pay for extra excursions and events.” He patted his pocket. “You disobeyed the rules. I’m correcting your behavior.”
“What extra excursions am I paying for?”
“I think it’s time you went home.” He reached behind him and tore a clunky satellite phone off his belt. “Shall I call your mother now and ruin the rest of your summer? The summer you paid dearly for after four years of shackles?”
Shock liquefied my knees. What did he know about that? Had my mother said something in her overprotective way? Is it in that mysterious file Martina possessed?
“That’s right. I know all about why you were able to attend camp this year, why Logan came. Logan and I’ve spent free time talking about you, getting to know one another.”
My knees buckled. My death grip on the doorjamb was the sole support holding me upright.
“Why’re you spying on me? You know you’ve broken so many rules. What would your parents say?” He moved so close I smelled the hazelnut coffee on his breath. “You think they’ll lock you up for another four years?”
“Stay the hell away from me. You’re talking smack.”
“You sure about that? Ask Logan how much I know about your past.”
I spun around to run, but he was quicker and yanked my arm behind my back.
He whispered in my ear, blowing my hair onto my cheek in a tickling wave. “You gonna cause more trouble for me, or do you want to go home now?”
Erin Richards lives in sunny Northern California. She writes young adult fiction and adult romance, where you’ll typically find her characters in peril, whether based in reality or a contemporary fantasy setting. Magic, murder and mayhem are all in a days’ work! In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and re-landscaping her backyard, even though she hates digging holes…unless she’s burying fictional bodies! Erin also confesses to a fascination with American muscle cars…and reality TV shows. Keep up with Erin’s latest news, exclusive content, and giveaways and subscribe to her Newsletter.