Delay of Game

LiWD cover March 2018Hi folks,

The production team for the Carding novels is behind on layout and design so we’ve had to delay the publication of the fourth Carding novel, Lights in Water, Dancing, for two weeks.

In the meantime, we thought you might like a preview of the book. So today, we’re sharing the opening chapter.

And stay tuned for a special offer—free books for subscribed readers!

Details to follow.

Here’s the opening of the fourth novel of Carding, Vermont, Lights in Water, Dancing.


Last Day of Winter on Sunrise Hill, Carding, Vermont

Tupelo barely heard the roar of the school bus as it turned back to town. She was its last passenger, and she still had a bit of a walk ahead of her before she reached home. The question was: Which way should she go?

Straight uphill toward the rivulets murmuring down the creases among the hills? If she chose to go that way, she could watch water drip from the last ice of winter. She knew some of it would refreeze on the rocks, making and then remaking tiny icicles. But some of it would stay liquid in the sun that was riding higher in the sky now. When that happened, the water would shimmer and wiggle in the light, reflecting the blue of the sky and the red tips of the twigs that were now free to think about spring.

Tupelo found water fascinating to watch, and she’d worn her tallest boots just in case she decided to go to that way.

On the other hand, she could turn left and hike to the Big Apple Tree to see if the redwing blackbirds had come home from their journey south. They’d be all full of chatter and chaff. Her favorite place of all places was in the top of the Big Apple. From there, she could see the whole Corvus River Valley, all the way to the waterfall at the head of Half Moon Lake.

Just then, the wind kicked up, tossing the still-bare branches of the maples and birches. Their shake and shiver reminded Tupelo just how cold it would be in the top of her tree.

She cast her eye up the slope of road that led to the home she shared with her family. As much as she loved them, Tupelo regarded the outdoors as her true kin. It was the place where she could always be “just Tupelo,” no one’s child, no one’s charge.

Today was the last day of winter, she reminded herself, and the last day of winter is a special day. Everything in the woods changed fast on the crest of a new spring. Tomorrow, the waters and snow and ice would be different in the creek than they were today.

“And now it’s safe,” she whispered to the wind. “It’s safe for me to go anywhere.”

Tupelo laid her books on the ground so she could reach inside her boots to pull up her socks. Then she marched straight uphill to catch the lights in water, dancing.


You can visit Carding any time in my novels, The Road Unsalted,Thieves of Fire, and The Dazzling Uncertainty of Life. The fourth in the series, Light in Water, Dancing, will go on sale on June 30, 2018. And yes, it will be available on Amazon.com.

You can subscribe to the Carding Chronicles by clicking the subscribe button on my home page. When you do, my stories speed from my keyboard to your inbox every Thursday without any further effort on your part.

If you would like to get in touch, my email address is: Sonja@SonjaHakala.com.

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