“‘Uncovering Cobbogoth’ is an exciting story in which both danger and romance take a starring role,” wrote this blog tour reviewer. Add this review, and many like them, to last week’s Deseret News review, and you’ve got solid evidence that this book is worth your while.
Author Hannah Clark hosted the book’s launch party last week. The event was a success, even though the cake took back seat to the other delicious food that was served.
“Uncovering Cobbogoth” is available in book stores and from online retailers.
After nine months of being away, Norah returns to her home in Belmont, MA. She is welcomed home by James Riley. James was once Norah’s only friend—perhaps even something more—but has become estranged from her since his Gram’s death. Almost the moment she steps off the bus that brings her home, Norah is bombarded with memories of their past. The following excerpt is the first of many.
“You ready?” James asked.
We stood side by side in the driveway of his house. There was a car parked there. It belonged to the hospice nurse who came last summer, Tuesday through Thursday, to help Gram. James wanted to care for his grandmother by himself, but Gram insisted on hiring help to give him a few nights off each week.
James motioned for me to go ahead of him up the winding drive to my own house. I was wearing my hair long and straight that night—something I’d started doing since James mentioned he liked it that way. Subconsciously—or perhaps consciously—I hoped he’d find a chance to run his fingers through it like he had once before.
James stayed behind me for the first leg of the path. I was still in the beginning stages of discovering my feelings for him and consequently felt shy.
From the side, I saw a pensive smile hitch up the corners of his mouth, exposing my favorite dimple.
We were by the hydrangeas, on the way up to my porch when I felt something tug at my head. I turned. James was there, holding up a strand of my hair. He shrugged. “You got snagged on some flowers.”
My face felt hot, and I fumbled for something to say. “Y-you know, you didn’t need to walk me home,” I said. “I’m sure there’re a million things you’d like to do tonight.” We were just reaching the top of the stairs leading to the porch.
“A million things? Like what?”
“I don’t know. Hang out with your friends, go see a Sox game, go play a game . . . ,” I offered.
James just shrugged, fiddling with his baseball cap; we were at my door now. “I could do all of those things, sure, but I’d rather be with you.”
“Y-you would?” I was facing the door, my hands trembling to get the key in the lock. But I could see the reflection of his face above mine in the window. He was still smiling. Why hadn’t I noticed the effect he had on me until recently?
James reached up and placed his hand on my shoulder, turning me to face him. I was so terrified, yet excited at the same time. None of it made sense to me.
“Didn’t you know that, Nor?”
I shook my head. His hand was still on my shoulder, and he took a step closer to me.
“How could I not, when you’re the only person who’s ever made me feel this way?”
I gripped the doorknob. “Um, what—what way’s that?”
James chuckled, completely bewildered. “You’re the only girl I’ve ever liked and not known what to do about it.”
I leaned back against the door. “Don’t know what to do? What do you mean?”
He took another step closer, letting his hand slide down my arm till it gripped my hand. “I know what I want to do, but I’m not sure if I should.”
I swallowed. “Oh?”
“And yet . . .” James leaned forward.
But then the door gave way.
I stumbled back, my only anchor being James, who tightened his grip on my hand. Then I spun around.
Uncle Jack stood in the doorway, a smile that didn’t reach his eyes plastered on his face.
“Nilla. James.” He let his gaze slide from one of us to the other until it lingered on our joined hands.
Mortified, I quickly dropped James’s hand and moved past Uncle Jack into the house. “I’ll see you later, James,” I called just before darting up the stairs.