Imagine with me a city. You’re almost there. It’s a city you’ve always wanted to go to. The [enter your favorite mode of transportation] is creeping ever closer. Then it stops. Almost there, but not quite. Laurel Garver is with us today to talk about her book, Almost There. Let’s see how many times we can use the title in different contexts.
About the Book
Paris, the City of Lights. To seventeen-year-old Dani Deane, it’s the Promised Land. There, her widowed mother’s depression will vanish and she will no longer fear losing her only parent, her arty New York life, or her devoted boyfriend.
But shortly before their Paris getaway, Dani’s tyrannical grandfather falls ill, pulling them to rural Pennsylvania to deal with his hoarder horror of a house. Among the piles, Dani finds disturbing truths that could make Mum completely unravel. Desperate to protect her from pain and escape to Paris, Dani hatches a plan with the flirtatious neighbor boy that only threatens the relationships she most wants to save.
Why would God block all paths to Paris? Could real hope for healing be as close as a box tucked in the rafters?
About the Author
Laurel Garver is a writer, editor, professor’s wife, and mom to an arty teenager. An indie
David turns onto my grandfather’s driveway. We pass through towering brick gateposts and a grove of imposing oaks, then come into a clearing. Poppa’s ranch house sits on a small knoll like a beached warship with its gunmetal-gray siding and front porch sticking out like a prow. A cluster of cannons sits in the shorn grass and oversized toy soldiers guard the front door. Tall shrubs hunker around the house like evergreen sentinels.
“Welcome to the fortress, girls,” David says. “You impressed? You’re supposed to be.”
Heather gives me a sideways look.
“I didn’t know about the cannons. Holidays are always on our turf. Dad’s rules.”
As we park beside the equally imposing garage at the far curve of the driveway, Rhys runs alongside the truck, barking.
“How the heck did he get loose?” my uncle says. “I had him tied up out back. He must’ve jiggered the latch, little devil.”
We pile out of the truck into the muggy evening air, thick with the scent of grass clippings and musky, sticky-sweet flowers. A billion crickets chirp a threatening cacophony, reminding me that this is their crawly, leggy, wingy territory. I shudder.
David unloads our bags and we follow him up to the house and into the air-conditioned foyer. The cool air smells stale and attic-like. At first glimpse, I can’t tell why Mum was worried about social workers freaking about “the conditions he’s living in.” If anything, Poppa’s living room looks like a museum. Banks of shelves hold all kinds of trophies, medals, and ribbons. The walls are lined with framed newspaper clippings and photographs. Rhys sniffs around the white leather sectional sofa that faces a pale brick fireplace and a huge painted portrait hung over the mantel — Poppa in the dress uniform of a Navy officer.
“Wow,” Heather whispers in awe. “Your grandfather must have been quite the heroic guy back in the day.”
“Nope,” my uncle says. “He never served, just pretended with a re-enactment group. Bought that uniform at an estate sale and had Mama paint him in it.”
My stomach twists. What else in this room is a lie?
The shelves, I notice, hold awards not only for breaststroke — Mum’s best swim team event — but also baseball, field hockey, track, wrestling. “Where’d all these come from?”
“Some are your mom’s for swimming and art. A few are mine from debate. You might say they started his passion for collecting.”
“You mean he bought them?”
David shrugs. “He likes flea markets. He likes success.”
“Could be worse,” Heather assures me. “My great uncle Vance collects taxidermy birds. Feels like you’re in that Hitchcock movie at his house.”
You’re almost there! Just a few clicks here and a few clicks there and you’ll arrive! Arrive where? Why, you’ll arrive at the rafflecopter page to enter the creative giveaway.
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