Everyone likes books.
And everyone has that favorite book they loved as a child.
Maybe it was a picture book or a book of poems. Maybe it rhymed or had no words at all.
But I’m going to do one better.
The fabulous girls over at SITS had a big Spring Fling Marathon Tuesday where hundreds of blogs were giving away all sorts of wonderful things. Never one to follow the pack, I decided to do my giveaway Friday.
So for everyone who has left a comment about their favorite children’s book, you are in the running….
For your own, hand-created children’s book written by me! You pick the topic, the type, whatever you like. I’ll create it just for you. It can be a story about your daughter with pictures or a whimsical tale with illustrations. It can be a tale from your childhood or a dream you once had. Whatever you like!
To enter, just leave a comment about your favorite children’s book. That’s all. Comments close Sunday at 5 p.m.
And now, for Twirl. And yes, you’ll find out what’s in the box.
For the previous Twirl, go here.
For my new Invisible Friends, Twirl is the story of a feisty, sassy ballerina named Vivi and her handsome cowboy named Wade. After falling in love swaying on the dance floor to the sound of a fiddle and steel guitar, the couple have stumbled onto a old Texas legend that might possibly lead to riches! On top of everything, Vivi is fighting her controlling father and over involved dance teacher, who are trying to trap her into a life she may not want. Add in a mysterious secret with her mother, a scheming evil boy in her dance class and regular teen angst and you’ve got DRAMA!
And now, for the rest of their story…
Vivi looked through the window at the box sitting on the table. She was desperate to open it. Gazing at the tight black lid, she opened and closed her fingers into a fist. Then she sighed and looked up into Red’s twinkling blue eyes.
“You know I want to,” she said, her voice accusatory. “But I can’t. Not without Wade.”
Red nodded in approval. “Well, come on, Vivi girl,” he drawled, escorting her back into the house with a light hand on her shoulder. “Finish your supper. You can’t weigh more than 100 pounds soaking wet.”
“Why is everyone always telling me to eat?” Vivi grumbled, her eyes fixed on the box as she slammed down into her seat harder than she intended. “First I can’t dance right or make decent decisions. You think at sixteen I’d at least know how to feed myself, for God’s sakes.”
Red said nothing. Sliding his lanky frame into the wooden chair, he picked up his fork and began to spoon cold brisket and beans into his mouth. Glowering at the black box taunting her inches away, Vivi shoved her plate away. “I’m just sick of it,” she muttered, glaring at the box. “Sick of everything.”
Red merely chewed, his blue eyes lowered to his plate. Frustration raced through Vivi’s body, zinging back and forth in her chest like a cat’s twitching tail. She could feel it pushing at the backs of her eyeballs, racheting her jaw tighter and tighter. “You know, Wade has it easy,” Vivi growled, folding her arms. “He doesn’t have an insane father to deal with. He’s got you.”
Red stopped chewing. Raising an eyebrow, his quiet gravely voice rolled across the room. “Vivi, Wade couldn’t go to college because he had to pay off his father’s debts. He gave up a full ride to help me run this ranch. Because of his father, Wade will be stuck in this town all his life. In a couple years, I’ll be dead and Wade will be saddled with a ranch full of employees in a world that thinks cowboys died with John Wayne.
“His mama is a drunk who ran off with his sister and only comes around when she wants money. If Wade doesn’t go to school by next August, his scholarship runs out at Princeton and he can’t apply for another one. Now, I don’t know what problems you have or what your daddy has done to you, but Wade doesn’t have anything easy. Don’t you ever think he does. He works for everything he and I’ve got.”
Her cheeks burning, Vivi bit her lip and refused to look at Wade as he banged through the door. “Gave him to J.W.,” he said, scraping off his boots at the door and hanging his hat on the hook. “It turned out his mama thought he ran off with some friend of his cousin and was up to no good, so she’s been hollering at J.W. for the past hour.”
“And now?” Red asked.
Wade grinned. “She’s hollering at Damien.”
“Good,” Red murmured. He picked up his spoon as Wade plopped into his chair. He leaned over to Vivi and squeezed her hand.
“Are you all right darling? Did you get enough to eat?”
If one more person asked Vivi what she wanted to eat, she was going to scream. And if someone didn’t open that box, she was going to explode. After Damien and her father and the weird historian with yellow teeth, she needed to know what happened to Bullet Bill and Adie. Digging her fingers into her palms, she simpered at Wade.
“Can we open the box now?” she asked, trying to unclench her jaw. If they didn’t find out this hidden treasure in the next few days, her jaw was going to fuse together from anticipation.
Wade burst out laughing and entwined her fingers with his. “What do you say?” he asked, looking at Red. A smile stretched across Red’s lips.
“Don’t know what took ya’ll so long.” Standing up, he placed his leathery fingers on the edge of the lid. Vivi sucked in her breath as he slowly lifted it. She leaned forward and gasped.
The box was overflowing with books, maps and crumpled papers shoved in various envelopes and folders. Red marker circled tiny points Vivi had ever heard of and hot pink scribbles in delicate writing covered nearly surface. Picking up a few of the folders and flipping through them, Vivi gulped.
“It’s going to take hours to go through all this,” Vivi said, scanning over some of the papers. “It looks like your grandmother
“I guess you weren’t kidding when you said Grandma was obsessed,” Wade said to Red pulling a leather bound satchel out of the box. He untied the thick cord binding it together and gently pulled the still satchel apart. The leather creaked in protest as Wade fished thin pieces of yellowed paper covered in spidery blue writing out. With wide eyes, Wade skimmed the papers. Vivi jumped as he whooped and pumped his fist in the air just inches from her ear.
“Gosh, Wade, you almost gave me a heart attack!” Vivi shrieked, smacking him on the arm. Red snorted, leaning back against the wall and crossing his arms.
“Vivi, do you know what this is?” Wade asked, waving the papers in her face. “Do you know what we can do with this?”
“No,” Vivi replied, leaning back to avoid being slapped with the old documents. “What is it?”
“These are letters that Grandma found in dancehalls all over the Hill Country!” Wade shouted, his hands shaking with excitement and nervous energy. “This is what Margaret wanted to steal when she broke in that one day!”
Vivi nodded, her eyes widening. “When we left, she told me to come to her for help with anything. She seemed so desperate. I just thought she was weird. But really, I think she just wanted our letter.”
“You got to watch ol’ Margaret,” Red warned, a shadow flickering over his worn face. “She’s meaner than a one eyed snake, I’ll tell you what. She’d do whatever it takes to find that treasure.”
“I would never imagined her to be the type greedy for money,” Vivi murmured.
“It’s not money she wants,” Red replied. “It’s recognition. Do you know how many people have looked for Bullet Bill’s treasure over the years? Hundreds of people, from historians to treasure hunters to just folks looking for some free money. No one has found it. The woman has a doctorate in Texas history. She’s made it her life to find this treasure. If she knew what your grandma, some uneducated ranch wife found out, she would kill ya’ll to get it. And don’t think she wouldn’t.”
Vivi gulped and looked up at Wade. “We’ve got to keep this safe.”
Wade nodded. “I think the best thing for us to do is split it up. You take half and I take half. We’ll make copies too and hide them somewhere else, just in case.”
“Susanne would keep them for me,” Vivi said, nodding.
“I’ll keep the maps here,” Red offered. “I’ve got a safebox. That way, even if she gets to both of you, you’ll still have something.”
“That’s a good idea,” Wade replied, nodding gratefully to his grandfather. He looked up and froze. “Oh, hell.”
“What?” Vivi asked, immediately looking out the window. She peered into the darkness, expecting to see a flash of rotten yellowed teeth or Damien’s twisted smirk.
“It’s almost midnight,” Wade said, his voice panicked. “And it’s Sunday night! Your folks will kill me! I’ve got to get you home.” He began to dig through the box, separating the papers into three separate piles.
Vivi didn’t have the heart to tell him that her folks didn’t care where she was. They only cared if she was dancing.
To be continued….
Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! Tomorrow we have a fun adventure with the Rubber Chicken and another week of whimsical fun! Stay tuned! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway by leaving a comment about your favorite children’s book!
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