#Excerpt “Relatively Normal Secrets” by C.W. Allen

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Middle-Grade Mystery Adventure

Release Day: September 7, 2021

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Tuesday and Zed Furst are perfectly normal children with perfectly strange parents. Their father won’t discuss his job, their mother never leaves the house without her guard dog, and the topic of the family tree is off limits.

When a last minute “business trip” gets the adults out of the way, Zed and Tuesday decide to get to the bottom of things once and for all. Too bad some thugs with shape-shifting weapons have other ideas. Their escape leaves them trapped in the modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim, where everyone insists their father is a disgraced fugitive. They hope whoever is leaving them coded clues may have some answers, but they’re not sure they’re going to like what they learn.

If they ever want to see their parents again, they’ll need the help of a smuggler with a broken compass, their unusually talented dog, some extremely organized bandits, and a selection of suspiciously misquoted nursery rhymes.

Zed and Tuesday may not have all the answers, but one thing is certain—when it comes to normal, everything is relative.

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EXCERPT

“It will only be for a couple of days. You and Tuesday are going to stay next door with Mrs. Alvarez until we get back. You’ll be at school most of the time anyway—you’ll hardly notice we’re gone.”

Zed doubted that. For one thing, unless Nyx was also invited along on this trip (unlikely), the dog was bound to spend the next two days pacing and whining incessantly. Nyx was rarely more than a few steps away from his mother, and any time they had to be separated for even a few minutes the dog fretted as if Mrs. Furst had been kidnapped by pirates or something. Two whole days might cause her a complete meltdown, which would be hard to ignore. It wasn’t so much that Zed minded his parents leaving—after all, Mrs. Alvarez was a sweet old lady who had been their neighbor his entire life, and had been delighted to watch them for shorter periods of time on many occasions. She’d probably spend the whole time insisting they eat third helpings of empanadas and hot chocolate. And his mother was right, they would be at school most of the time anyway. It was just…something didn’t seem right.

If Zed had expected his sister to share his misgivings, he was wrong. When Tuesday stepped off the middle school bus twenty minutes later and Zed informed her they’d be spending the next two days with Mrs. Alvarez, she acted like Christmas had come early. “Yes!” she gushed, punching the air in celebration. “Empanada time!”

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About the Author

C.W. Allen is a Nebraskan by birth, a Texan by experience, a Hoosier by marriage, and a Utahn by geography. She knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she read The Westing Game at age twelve, but took a few detours along the way as a veterinary nurse, an appliance repair secretary, and a homeschool parent.

She recently settled in the high desert of rural Utah with her husband, their three children, and a noisy flock of orphaned ideas. Someday she will create literary homes for all of them. (The ideas, not her family.)

Relatively Normal Secrets (Cinnabar Moth Publishing, Fall 2021) is her debut novel. She writes fantasy novels for tweens, picture books for children, and short stories and poems for former children. Her work will appear in numerous anthologies in 2021. She is also a frequent guest presenter at writing conferences and club meetings, which helps her procrastinate knuckling down to any actual writing

Contact Links

Author’s page

Twitter

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Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

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