For sixteen-year-old Shaw Huntley, a normal day includes running from two men who want to kill him. Shaw has a dark ability: using only the power of his mind, and visualizing a specific gold and jeweled dagger, he can telekinetically cut or slice objects. If he gets angry enough, he can even cut people. Unfortunately, the two men chasing him murdered his father in search of the physical gold dagger currently in Shaw’s possession—and they will stop at nothing to track him down and obtain it.
When Shaw ends up in Rockpoint, New York, he meets Melody Tufts, a gamer who finds a mysterious triangular symbol on the hilt of Shaw’s dagger. After some investigation, Shaw learns his connection with the dagger and his dark ability were the results of a secret ritual—The Ritual of the Four—performed centuries ago by his ancestors. His dagger is number one in a group of four unique items, each one representative of the four magic elements: fire, water, air, and earth. He also learns there’s a way to reverse the Ritual of the Four forever so he can stop running, settle into a school, and perhaps even begin a romance with Melody. But after the two embark on a dangerous quest to reverse the ritual, decoding clues and unearthing maps, Shaw questions if he wants to toss away his ability—or finally face his foes.
Silver Seal Winner
Adult Contemporary/Mainstream Fiction
In the summer of 1988, on their last day of eleventh grade, childhood friends Kyle, Brandon, and Vanessa make a pact. As a tribute to their friendship, they each place their most valued possession inside a yellow Tupperware bowl, seal it, and bury it beneath the tallest pine tree at Blueberry Pond, their neighborhood hangout. The friendship pact is secret, and they vow to never dig the Tupperware bowl up again, no matter what.
Twenty years later, the friends have gone their separate ways, and each one is enduring a difficult life struggle. Kyle is battling alcoholism, Brandon is in the midst of losing his business and his home, and Vanessa is going through a messy divorce that has left her family in turmoil. It is during this time of struggle that each one realizes they desperately need the one item they left behind in the Tupperware bowl, years ago at Blueberry Pond. That one item, they each believe, will pull them through. But in the quest to recover their lost items, the friends find something more valuable: a friendship among them that has stood the test of time, a romance between Kyle and Vanessa that never truly died, and the memories of a carefree youth they’d long ago forgotten.
Finalist 2016 International Book Awards