BOOK TITLE: Haven
PUBLICATION DATE: Fall 2009
PUBLISHER: Blooming Tree Press
ABOUT THE BOOK: With his Christmas wish for an ATV dashed, Rudy Morris isn't sure how he fits into his family anymore. Latonya Dennis just wants a family to fit into. Their paths cross on Christmas Day, when Latonya ends up as the annual orphan at the Morris household. But Latonya doesn't disappear from their lives the day after Christmas like the other orphans have. She pulls Rudy and his best friend, Stark, into a scheme to fix up a rusty old ATV and use it to help her run away from her group home, The Haven. Rudy reluctantly agrees but as the day draws near, his own feelings for her get in the way. What’s a getaway driver to do?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Beverly Patt writes from her suburban Chicago home, which she shares with her high school sweetheart husband, four wonderful kids and faithful dog, Hally. Before becoming a writer, Bev worked as a Sick-Bird-Catcher, Waitress, Licorice Inspector, Family Counselor and Special Education teacher. HAVEN is her first novel. Close on it's heels is BEST FRIENDS FOREVER: A WW II SCRAPBOOK (Marshall Cavendish), due out in Spring 2010.
EXCERPT: Dad always says starting with the bad news makes the good news sound even better. That’s assuming that there is some good news. As I stood staring at Latonya’s All Terrain Heap, the only good news I could scrounge up was that it wasn’t that pink. Ok, technically, it was pink but almost in a reddish sort of way. Almost. Who would buy a pink ATV? That’s probably how it ended up in The Haven’s barn. Someone was too mortified to be seen on a ride that looked like it should have the name “Barbie” scrawled across its fender.
But that was the least of my worries. Like I said, that was the good news. The other good news was that I knew how to operate a can of spray paint. The bad news was…well, where do I start? Everything was dented. And the few spots that weren’t dented were rusted through. There was a thick, dark puddle underneath the motorish area, looking like something had died there.
“Well,” I mumbled, “maybe it’s not as bad as it looks.”
Latonya and I clanked down the metal mountain to the ATV. We stood, arms folded, totally quiet, staring at it. The thing seemed to almost shrink under our gaze, cowering, apologizing for its dents, its rust, its really ugly paint job.
Latonya dug into her too-big coat. “I brought this.” She handed me a small blue pencil box.
“Tools.” She looked at me expectantly, like I was going to push up my sleeves and start on the repair job right that second. Well, I was no Captain Mechanic but I was pretty sure we were going to need tools bigger than a Number 2 pencil. We were also going to need someone who knew what those tools should be and, of course, how to use them. Unfortunately, there was only one person I could think of who qualified. And I had just hung up on him a few hours before.
“Black Bread” a la Rudy’s Mother