It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
About the Author:
Bill Myers is a bestselling author and award-winning writer/director whose work has won forty national and international awards. His books and videos have sold eight million copies and include such titles as The Seeing, Eli, The Voice, My Life asâ€¦series, and McGee and Me. (ISBN#9780310711933, 128pp, $4.99)
Zach Dawkins headed for the schools.
â€œSchoolsâ€ as in the high school, junior high, and elementary school that were all lined up side by side on the same street. â€œDeath Row,â€ he called it.
Zach was pretty good lookingâ€”sixteen with dark hair that stuck out in so many directions it looked like it got cut by a lawnmower gone berserk. Itâ€™s not that Zack was sloppy â€¦ he just had better things to do than worry about his looksâ€”especially when he was late for school, which was like every day.
Zach wasnâ€™t exactly the responsible type.
Unfortunately, Piper, his thirteen-year-old sister, was.
It seemed her job was to remember everything Zach and the rest of her family forgot. Like her brother, she was good-looking (though you couldnâ€™t convince her of that). She had these chocolate brown eyes that were incredible â€¦ but you had to work hard to find them beneath all that hair she hid under.
Piper was a bit on the self-conscious side.
At the moment, she was trying to keep up with Zach while also shouting back to her little brother. â€œElijah, come on, hurry up!â€
As usual, six-year-old Elijah dragged behind them. Nothing new there. The guy was always lost in his own world and he hardly, if ever, talked. Piper loved him fiercely and she always looked out for him.
But there was no getting around itâ€”the kid was weird.
â€œCome on,â€ she called. â€œWeâ€™re going to be late!â€
Elijah nodded and then immediately slowed to watch a butterfly.
Piper blew the hair out of her eyes and stopped with her hands on her hips. â€œElijah â€¦ â€ She was about to traipse back and get him when she heard Zach use that voice he reserved only for making her life miserable.
â€œWell, well, lookie here â€¦â€
With a certain dread she turned to her older brother â€¦ and cringed.
Cody Martin, the all-school heartthrob, walked just across the street. He was tall with deep blue eyes and a smile that literally made it hard for Piper to breathe. Of course he didnâ€™t know her from Adam, or Eve, but that didnâ€™t stop her from pulling up her sweatshirt hood or ducking further under her hair whenever he was around.
Unfortunately, she had stupidly asked her brother about him when the two had played baseball together. And that was all the ammunition Zach needed.
â€œLook whoâ€™s across the street,â€ he teased.
â€œWho?â€ Piper asked, trying to sound bored. â€œOh, you mean Cody. What do I care?â€
â€œYeah, right,â€ Zach snorted. â€œSo you donâ€™t mind if I call him over?â€
Suddenly her heart was in her throat. â€œZach!â€
With a sly grin, he shouted, â€œYo, Cody. Whatâ€™s up?â€
Cody turned and spotted them. â€œHey â€¦ Zach?â€ Then, nodding to Piper, he added, â€œHowâ€™s it going, Patty?â€
â€œPiper,â€ Zach corrected.
She turned away, whispering between her teeth. â€œZach!â€
â€œWhat?â€ Cody asked him.
â€œMy sisterâ€™s name, itâ€™s Piper. Actually, itâ€™s Naomi Sue, but if you donâ€™t want her to beat the tar out of you, Iâ€™d stick with Piper.â€
â€œGottcha,â€ Cody grinned.
Zach turned to her and whispered, â€œSo do you want me to call him over?â€
â€œPlease, no!â€ She begged.
â€œThen you admit youâ€™ve got a crush on him?â€
â€œNo, I justâ€”â€
He turned back to Cody and yelled. â€œSo, Codyâ€”â€
â€œAlright,â€ Piper whispered, â€œAlright, I admit it!â€
Zach grinned. â€œNothing. Just wondering if you were going to play ball this spring.â€
â€œCool.â€ Then, spotting a geeky, overweight friend, Cody speeded up to join him. â€œTake care.â€
â€œRight,â€ Zach called.
â€œYou, too â€¦ Piper.â€
Piperâ€™s head snapped up to him. The only thing more startling than hearing him speak her name was the grin he flashed her before moving on.
He had grinned …. at â€¦ her.
Suddenly Piperâ€™s hood was up, her hair was down â€¦ and her knees were just a little wobbly.
It wasnâ€™t until she heard Zach snicker that she came to earth and turned on him. â€œIs it your goal to be the jerkiest brother on the face of the planet?â€ She demanded.
Zach laughed. â€œItâ€™s not a goal. Itâ€™s a duty.â€
She blew the hair out of her eyes. Looking back to their little brother she called, â€œElijah, please hurry!â€
Elijah came to attention and ran toward them. Thatâ€™s when Piper noticed the KWIT-TV news van heading up the street.
So did Zachâ€”which explained him immediately waving and shouting. â€œHey, TV news guys! Over here. Check me out. Youâ€™re next TV star is right here!â€
Piper gave another sigh. What was God thinking when he made older brothers?
Suddenly, she noticed a small Cocker Spaniel puppy running into the street in front of them. It was followed by a little girl, probably in kindergarten.
Neither of them saw the car coming from the opposite direction.
â€œWatch it!â€ Piper shouted.
The little girl looked up but was too late.
The car hit the brakes, tires screeching. Its right front wheel ran over the dog with a sickening K-Thump while the front bumper hit the little girl. It knocked her hard to the ground causing the back of her head to slam onto the concrete.
Neither the girl nor the dog moved.
The shaken driver opened his car door and slowly stepped out. The crossing guard, who had seen the whole thing, began running toward them. And the news van had jerked to a stop with the woman reporter now leaping out.
â€œGet the camera rolling!â€ She called over her shoulder.
â€œIâ€™m on it!â€ the cameraman shouted just behind her.
Students quickly gathered, pressing in around the car and little girl. By the time Zach and Piper arrived, the crossing guard was already shouting, â€œStand back! Give her air! Everybody, stand back!â€
Piper glance around for her little brother, but he was no where to be found.
â€œElijah?â€ She called. â€œElijah?â€
She turned to Zach but he was too busy trying to get a look at the girl to pay attention.
The news crew pushed past them for a closer shot.
â€œHey, check it out,â€ the reporter pointed. But she wasnâ€™t pointing at the little girl. She had noticed something across the crowd and on the other side of the street.
Piper followed her gaze to see â€¦ Elijah.
He sat on the curb holding the dead puppy. But instead of crying, his lips quietly movedâ€”almost like he was whispering to it. And then, to Piperâ€™s astonishment, the puppy began to move. A little at first, but it soon began wiggling, squirming, and even lifting up its head to lick Elijahâ€™s face.
â€œDid you see that?â€ The reporter cried.
â€œIâ€™ve got it!â€ The cameraman shouted.
â€œItâ€™s like he healed it or something!â€ She exclaimed.
With a grin, Elijah set the dog down. It began jumping and running around like it had never been hurt.
â€œGet in closer,â€ the reporter ordered. â€œIâ€™m going to talk to him.â€
Only then did Piper realize what she had to do. â€œElijah!â€ She brushed past the reporter and raced for her little brother. â€œElijah, come on!â€
The little boy looked up, grinning even bigger.
â€œExcuse me?â€ The reporter called from behind her. â€œMay I ask you a few questions?â€
Piper ignored her. â€œCome on little guy,â€ she said as she arrived. She put her hand on his shoulder, looking for a way to get out of there. â€œMom and Dad wonâ€™t like this. Not one bit.â€
â€œExcuse me!â€ the reporter shouted.
Spotting the school, Piper figured it was better than nothing, and started toward it. â€œLetâ€™s go.â€
They walked faster.
They started to run, neither turning back.
* * * * *
Judy Dawkins was struggling with the vacuum cleaner when her husband burst through the front door.
She looked up startled. Seeing the expression on his face, she asked, â€œMike, whatâ€™s wrong?â€
He tried to smile, but something was up.
â€œMike, what is it?â€
He walked over to the TV remote. Without a word, he snapped it on and found the news. Finally, he spoke. â€œTheyâ€™ve been playing this all morning.â€
An anchorman with gray hair was addressing the camera: â€œCarly Tailor, our Newsbeat reporter is still on the scene. Carly?â€
A young woman appeared on the screen. She stood perfectly poised in front of the news van. â€œThank you, Jonathan. As weâ€™ve been saying, something very strange happened over on Walnut Boulevard this morning. Letâ€™s roll the footage, please.â€
The scene cut to an accident sight where a little girl was being loaded into an ambulance.
The reporter continued. â€œAt approximately 8:00 this morning, LeAnne Howard ran into the street after her dog and was struck by an oncoming car. From there she was taken to St. Jeromeâ€™s Hospital where her condition is reported as critical. There is speculation that she will shortly be transported to the Childrenâ€™s Surgical Unit at Eastside Memorial. But there is another issue to this story that we found most interesting . . .â€
The scene cut to a Cocker Spaniel lying if front of a car.
â€œThis footage was taken immediately after the accident. As you can see, the dog looks â€¦ well, he looks dead â€¦ or, at least severely injured.â€
Again the picture changed. This time a little boy sat on the curb holding the dog and whispering to it.
â€œOh no.â€ Mom brought her hand to her mouth. â€œItâ€™s Elijah!â€
The reporter continued, â€œBut moments later, as people were trying to help the girl, this small boy picked up her dog and â€¦ youâ€™ll have to see for yourself. This is simply unbelievable.â€
Tears filled Momâ€™s eyes as she watched the dog suddenly sitting up in Elijahâ€™s lap and then lick his face.
â€œThatâ€™s amazing,â€ the anchorman said. â€œLetâ€™s see it again.â€
While the scene replayed, the reporter continued. â€œWe tried to interview the boy, but a girl, the girl you see here, led him off.â€
Mom stared at the screen as Piper appeared and hurried Elijah away from the camera and toward the school.
The report continued but Mom no longer heard. Tears blurred her eyes as her husband wrapped his arm around her.
â€œDonâ€™t cry, sweetheart,â€ he said. â€œWe knew this day would happen, didnâ€™t we?â€
She tried to answer, but her throat was too tight with emotion.
Dad repeated the words more softy. â€œSooner or later we knew it would happen.â€
* * * * *
Monica Specter and her two male assistants sat in the dingy, cockroach-infested hotel staring at the same newscast.
With a sinister grin, she switched off the television. â€œAlright team, the objectiveâ€™s been sighted.â€ She rose and started for the adjacent room. â€œPack up. Weâ€™re leaving in fifteen minutes.â€
Bruno answered. He was a hulk of a man, whose neck was as thick as most peopleâ€™s thighs and whose upturned nose looked like heâ€™d run into a brick wall as a child (several times). â€œUh â€¦ okay. Where are we goinâ€™?â€
Monica stopped, flipped aside her bright red hair, and stared at him in unbelief. â€œSanta Monica, you dolt. You saw the news. The boy weâ€™re tracking is in Santa Monica.â€
Bruno nodded. â€œUh … right.â€
She looked at him another moment. Then, shaking her head, she disappeared into the other room.
Silas, their skinny partner with a long, pointed nose, shut down his laptop. â€œYou shouldnâ€™t ask stupid questions like that,â€ he said to Bruno.
Bruno nodded then stopped. â€œBut how do I know theyâ€™re stupid if I donâ€™t ask â€˜em?â€
Silas sighed. â€œBecause youâ€™re going to try something brand new.â€
â€œYouâ€™ll try thinking before you speak.â€
Bruno frowned, not completely sure he understood the concept. Then summoning up all his brain cells, he answered, â€œHuh?â€
Silas answered. â€œWeâ€™ve been looking for this kid eight months nowâ€”checking newspaper articles, surfing the net â€¦ and, then out of the blue, he suddenly winds up on TV?â€
Bruno grinned. â€œYeah, some coincidence, huh?â€
â€œYeah, right. That was no coincidence.â€
â€œYou think Shadow Man had something to do with it?â€
Silas shrugged. He never liked talking about the head of their organization. To be honest, the man gave him the willies.
â€œCome on,â€ he said, changing the subject. â€œLetâ€™s get packed and grab the kid.â€
Click the bookcover or title for more info or to purchase a copy. Look for other FIRST Wildcard member posts and opinions also. Don’t forget to click the author’s name or photo to visit his website. My review is coming soon.