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October 22, 2015


It's Day 4 in the PUNISHMENT SUMMER Book Blog Celebration! For a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, take a moment to visit the following blogs hosting my author spotlight!


Reading in Sarah's Corner - http://readinginsarahscorner.blogspot.com/


Margo Bond Collins - http://margobondcollins.com/






And here's a peek at Nicki's 7th day living in the woods...


Queenie raced after a gray squirrel and I continued along the narrow path that cut up the slope east of Grandpa’s cabin. After a full week of hiking the hills, I was less edgy when the dog left me on my own, yet my shoulders loosened when she returned. Squirrel successfully treed, Queenie loped back to me. I rubbed her flank. “Good girl.”


“Whatcha doing?”


I jumped. Queenie growled, the fur along her spine jutting up like a picket fence. I turned toward the voice. Surrounded by towering pines and silent trails, I’d thought Queenie and I had this bit of woods to ourselves. A few yards away, a dark-haired boy leaned against a thick tree trunk. The boy I met my first day at Grandpa’s. Ben. That was his name. The rude one. Right. I checked to make sure my shirt sleeve covered my right wrist. “Where’d you come from?”


“Home.” He gave a smirk. “How about you?”


“You know what I mean. Been here long?”


He shrugged. “Saw you heading this way, so I waited.”


Ben waited for me? Weird. He acted so cold when we met six days ago. Maybe he was in a bad mood then. “Why?”


“Thought you might want to join me for a little Eco Warrior work.”


“Some what?”


“Eco Warrior. That’s what me and Todd do. In our free time, we hunt through the woods for illegal pot farms.” Ben moved down the hill toward me.


Queenie growled again. The dog either disliked or didn’t trust Ben. I hadn’t spent much time with her around other people. Was this normal behavior? When Ben moved close, an uneasy feeling settled in my gut. A reaction to the dog’s attitude – or something else? “Queenie. Stop that. You’ve met Ben before.” I took a step back. “Hold out your hand, let her sniff it.”


Ben tucked his hands in the front pockets of his jeans. “I’ll pass. That dog’s mind is made up. She doesn’t like me. Sniffing my hand’s not gonna change that. But I don’t mind if she comes along. She doesn’t have to like me. As long as you do.”


Like him? Was he kidding? I hardly knew him. Maybe he was used to girls throwing themselves at him. By anyone’s standards, he was handsome. But I wasn’t about to start drooling over the guy. “So, you’re like anti-weed?”

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