Today we're excited to spotlight To Right the Wrongs by Sheryl Scarborough! Read on for more about Sheryl and her book, plus an excerpt, and a giveaway!
Meet Sheryl Scarborough!
SHERYL SCARBOROUGH is an award-winning writer for children’s television. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives with her husband and writer-cats in Washington state, across the river from Portland, Oregon. She has always had an obsession with forensics. When she was twelve, her home was the target of a Peeping Tom. Sheryl diligently photographed his footprints and collected the candy wrappers he left behind. Unfortunately, he was never caught. But the desire to use evidence to solve a great mystery was sparked inside Scarborough all the same.
Barely three weeks after catching the killer of Erin’s mother and their biology teacher, Erin and her crew are back, up to their elbows in forensics projects. But this time it’s with the full approval of their parents.
With Uncle Victor at the helm, Erin and her best friends, Spam and Lysa, are prepping a new classroom for CSI summer camp, where they will serve as camp counselors. Meanwhile, Erin's super-hot new boyfriend, Journey, is graduating, just in time for him to take a position as Victor’s intern in the new CSI lab on campus. Journey and Victor are going to take another look at the evidence in the murder trial that sent Journey’s father to prison. The girls are under strict orders not to meddle with the murder case, but that's easier said than done...
“If you witness a crime, it’s important to record your memories as soon as possible; otherwise there’s a risk that what you remember will become warped by hearing other versions of the incident.”
— VICTOR FLEMMING
So, after an hour of our lives that we’ll never get back, we drag ourselves out of the Detention Dungeon and wander toward the parking lot with the rest of the incorrigibles. The group is so huge it feels like half the school. Lysa and Spam are bickering over which one of them should give me a ride home. Personally, I don’t care. I wouldn’t even mind walking today. This new principal thing has me feeling very weird and unsettled. Just when things were supposed to finally fit into place. Now we have her to deal with.
I can tell she’s definitely not keen on us.
We stop on the front walkway next to the flagpole. If I’m going to ride with Spam, she parks in the lot to the right. Lysa, who is rummaging in her bag for her sunglasses, parks in the one to the left.
“Spam, how did you do that? How did you know Blankenship was coming?”
“It was amazing, wasn’t it?” She peers at her phone as if it’s magic. “It totally worked.”
“She was expecting us to be goofing off,” Lysa says. “Did you see her face? She was disappointed that she couldn’t add to our misery by handing out more D- slips. No doubt she has severe rules about misbehaving in detention.”
“But seriously, how did you know?” I ask.
Spam looks up from her phone. “That purple highlighter clipped to her notebook was mine and it has a tracking beacon hidden in it. There’s an app on my phone programmed to track the beacon. When I turned it on I could tell she was coming toward us.”
“Is the beacon expensive?” Lysa asks. “Can you track her wherever she goes?”
“The electronics are cheap, just a few dollars. As for tracking, I think you need to be fairly close. But I could probably work on the range. Why?”
Lysa finds her sunglasses. We wait while she puts them on and checks her look in the mirror on the back of her cell phone case. “Ahh, that’s better. We hate giving up Cheater Checks because it made us special. But we promised . . .”
I instantly get where Lysa’s going. “So, what if we sell apps instead? Knowing when someone is lurking around might be valuable.”
“It’s genius,” Spam says. “Both of you. Why didn’t I think of that?”
“The highlighter might be a problem, though. If everyone started carrying one it could be suspicious.” Lysa, the practical one.
“Good point. I’ll figure out another type of bell for our cat,” Spam says.
“Seriously, how weird is she?” I slip my head through the strap of my bag and adjust it so it hangs cross- body style. “A massive number of detention slips, and she’s like this super-spy or something.”
Lysa removes her sunglasses to polish them on the hem of her skirt. “I think she’s just establishing her Alpha power over us. She’ll calm down.”
“Did you not see the same thing I did?” I say. “Everything about her is deliberately calm . . . calm and grim, like a little boy pulling the wings off flies. She enjoys torturing us.”
Spam fluffs her hair. “Have you ever noticed how the first thing Lysa says is always something nice, whether it’s the truth or not? You have to wait awhile for her actual feelings to rise to the surface.”
“That’s not true,” Lysa argues. “I say what I feel inside. Especially to you guys.”
I hide my smile because Spam’s right. Lysa does tend to paint things in a sunny light.
“You actually believe that after that impressive show of force, she’ll drop back and become a normal, everyday principal?”
“Hey.” Spam spins in a circle as a guy we’ve never seen be-fore zips past her on a skateboard. He’s so close, his wake ruffles her hair.
Skateboarder guy skids sideways to a stop and flashes a huge smile. “Hey yourself, shortcake.” He points to the GoPro attached to his helmet. “Smile.” Then he frames the shot with his fingers.
On command, Spam offers up more than just a smile, moving quickly through a series of silly fashion model poses while the skateboarder slowly pans all three of us. Spam ends with a kiss blown off her palm. “What’s your name?” she says.
“The Lone Ranger.” He flip-kicks, swiveling his board, and rides off. It’s not until this moment that we notice the car speeding toward us.
The car surges straight for the skateboarder, but he manages to pivot and deflect danger by pushing off the front fender with his fingertips. As he swerves around the moving vehicle, the driver overcorrects and aims for us.
We scream, grab for each other, and tumble backward.
There’s a series of terrifying scrapes and bangs as the car jumps the curb and slams into the flagpole with a teeth- jarring, metallic thwang.
For a second everything is silent.
Then people scream and run in all directions.
The flagpole teeters briefly before it snaps and plunges forward, landing on the roof of the car with a giant crash. The force of the falling flagpole explodes the car windows, and glass flies in all directions. More students scream and run.
Coach Wilkins and a security officer appear at the vehicle and try to wrench the door open. But it’s bent in such a way that it won’t budge.
A trail of smoke drifts up from the crumpled hood in a question-mark shape.
My movements are slo-mo. I’m barely aware of distant sirens and warnings to run because the car is going to blow. I sit up alongside Lysa and Spam. We contemplate the black skid mark that runs across the cement only a few inches from our toes.
A familiar chill compels me to turn my eyes into a recorder and take in the whole scene. My suspicious mind goes to a dark place. Was that really an accident?
“Holy crap.” Spam scoots back.
Blankenship stands off to the side, arms crossed over her chest. She’s not looking where I would expect her to be looking, at the rescue operation for the driver of the car. No, she’s staring at us, and the scowl on her face suggests that she thinks we had something to do with all of this.
A shiver traces through me.
Lysa is babbling. “I skinned my knee. But it’s fine. It doesn’t even really hurt. Everything is fine, though. Are you fine? Because I’m fine.”
“Erin. Erin. Oh my god!” someone yells.
Spam and I help each other up, then reach down to help Lysa up too. Everything is shrouded in a strange fog and nothing makes sense right away.
Especially because the voice yelling my name belongs to Journey and he’s racing toward me across the open area between the Administration building and what used to be the flagpole. Victor is a few feet behind him, but veers off to help the driver out of the car. The chief of police is here too, walking fast and talking on his cell phone. But Journey’s not supposed to be here at all.
The sirens are suddenly loud and upon us.
I go through a minimal check for injuries.
“Yep. Skinned knee. That’s all for me. What about you?” Lysa asks.
Spam sticks her finger into a new hole in her jeans. “Tore my jeans a little. But they actually look better like this.”
Journey arrives at my side. He grabs me and pulls me into a protective hug. Then he holds me out at arm’s length and brushes the hair off my face. “What happened? Are you okay?”
I stretch out my neck. “I’m fine, I think. But why are you here? I thought you had to leave early to take your suit to the cleaners?”
Journey shifts from one foot to the other. “I did. Or I was supposed to but then Victor called me to come to his office. We were just finishing up when we heard the crash. When I saw you on the ground I was so scared.”
I shake my head to clear the cobwebs. “Wait a minute. What office? And why did Victor want to talk to you?”
Journey slips his arm around my shoulders and starts to lead me toward the building. “Come inside and I’ll tell you.”
Spam and Lysa are still adjusting their clothes and their bags. Lysa obsessively cleans off her sunglasses with the hem of her dress again.
“Lysa. Spam. You guys come too,” Journey says. “We need to make sure you’re okay.” Spam and Lysa hold on to each other.
“We are a little shook up,” Lysa says.
Spam shakes her head. “I don’t even know what happened.” The Fire Department arrives and hauls out a giant tool to pry open the car door. They’re helping the driver out and to her feet as we pass. We pause to watch the end of the rescue. There’s some blood on her face from all the broken glass, but otherwise, she looks okay.
“She just looks like somebody’s mom,” Spam whispers.
She does look harmless. Maybe it was just an accident—wrong time, wrong place.
“It was that skateboarder’s fault,” the woman says. “He cut in front of me and caused me to lose control of the car.”
“What skateboarder, ma’am?” a fireman asks her.
“The skateboarder!” The woman points at us. “You girls saw him. He was wearing a blue jacket.”
Lysa, Spam, and I exchange pensive glances.
Spam shields her mouth with her hand. “She’s lying,” she hisses. “He was wearing a plaid Pendleton.”
Not that it means anything, but I notice that Journey’s jacket happens to be blue. “Maybe she’s just confused,” I say.
“He never left the walkway,” Lysa whispers. “She was aiming for him.” “Or us,” Spam adds.
“But why lie?” Lysa murmurs.
“Come on,” Journey says, and we follow him. I’m anxious to see this mysterious office, but at the same time I’m wondering if there’s a mystery here with the woman and the skateboarder, or if it’s all what Rachel likes to call my overactive imagination.
To Right the Wrongs
By: Sheryl Scarborough
Release Date: February 27, 2018
One winner will receive one hardcover copy of each of To Catch a Killer and To Right the Wrongs (US & Canada only).