Dear Kids and All Readers,
As I promised, today, July 23, begins two excerpts a week from Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse.
We are approaching the October 20 launch. Yay!
So, get a clue, Readers. I hope you enjoy this week’s sneak-peek!
From Chapter 1, “A Mystery from Eucalyptus Street”
A tremendous thunderclap propelled thirteen-year-old Lanny Wyatt right off the plush living room sofa. He had been dozing there after a heavy dinner, mesmerized by the drumming rain outside and the fire roaring in the enormous fireplace of the historic mansion on Eucalyptus Street. The immense estate had once belonged to an old-time Hollywood actor and actress. Their portraits, among others, had been staring down at him. Earlier he’d thought it was funny that the portraits’ eyes seemed to follow him around the room . . . but later, lying on his backside, not so much. The thunderclap was the final straw. He had scrambled to his feet
Lanny walked toward the floor-to-ceiling French doors and squinted through their tiny square glass panes. Beyond the flagstone patio, on the estate grounds, he noticed darkness had overtaken the old, windswept eucalyptus trees. Sheets of rain were blowing sideways, pelting and rattling the mansion’s windows. For split seconds, lightning illuminated the foliage with eerie strobe-like effects, giving the trees and expansive, rolling lawns a surreal, colorless appearance. This was the kind of night anything could happen. . . .
From Chapter 2, “Emeralds and Ancestors”
Isabela de Cordoba, the young woman who has hired the detectives to find an enormous emerald hidden on her family’s enormous estate in 1940, is about to read a letter. It is now 2015:
“I received an unexpected call two days ago from an attorney, a Mr. Troy Landis. He’s a partner in a long-established law firm here in town. He said he would be giving me a ‘secret letter’ written to me by my great-grandfather Lorenzo—more correctly, written to ‘Lorenzo and Alondra’s eldest descendant three generations hence’ and to be presented by an attorney on that person’s twenty-first birthday. My birthday.
She reads the letter from Great-Grandfather Lorenzo (excerpted):
“My dearest and eldest descendant of your generation — . . . You are no doubt wondering why you are receiving a letter today from your long-deceased relative. No doubt you have also heard many stories down through the decades about “The Leticia Emerald” that was found in India. The emerald is indeed the primary focus of this letter.
I received the emerald in the mail from my sister, Leticia, who was in India in 1940. In the last five years, I have been unable to determine whether or not my brother and sister were ever the legal owners of the stone. This has haunted my dear wife, Alondra, and me to the point where we recently decided to hide the emerald for the rest of our lifetime and the lifetimes of the family’s next two generations. Hopefully, by the third generation descended from me, of which you are a part, some information will have come to light as to where and to whom the emerald truly belongs.
You are hereby charged with finding it if you choose—a Birthday Treasure Hunt . . .”