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Operation Normal [MultiFormat]
eBook by Linda Palmer

eBook Category: Young Adult/Romance
eBook Description: Ally desperately wants "normal" for her half-sister Kayly, something she never had herself thanks to her liberated mom. First on her list of to-dos is contacting Kayly's dad, who promised he'd stay out of Kayly's life just as Ally's own dad once did. When Kat leaves the country on assignment, Ally drops in on the guy to introduce him to his baby daughter. But Kayly's dad doesn't live there--her half brother, Zach, does. And his shocking offer to help Ally find "normal" is nothing compared to what happens next.

eBook Publisher: Uncial Press, Published: 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2010

1 Reader Ratings:
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"So cool this read was. Although geared toward young readers it is Entertaining for the "older" readers as well. I totally loved It. I had a hard time putting it down. Suspenseful and yet sweet at the Same timeOperation: Normal has a bit of everything a reader likes in a Good book. 4Cups!"--Matilda, Coffee Time Romance and More "...Palmer delivers yet another exciting and wonderfully written young adult with suspense, romance and a bit of paranormal elements to have you falling in love with all the characters and never wanting the novel to come to an end. I give this book 4.5 Open Books"--Phoebe Jordan's Reviews "Love, suspense, and a bit of action make Operation Normal an interesting read from page one to the very end."--Jessica Coulter Smith, TheNovelBlog.com

I barely noticed when the car turned. But the sudden crunch of wheels on gravel got my attention and told me we'd left the asphalt. I guessed we'd be stopping any time now, and just the thought of that made my heart start jack hammering again.

Too soon we rolled to a halt. The driver killed the engine. I guessed we'd been traveling a good hour. I heard the doors open and felt the car shift as my kidnappers got out. Tensing, I waited for the trunk to be opened again. I wasn't disappointed.

The fresh air felt good, but damp. Someone grabbed me by the arms, pulling until I sat up, then lifted me from the trunk and set me on my feet.

"Who are you?" I demanded. "What do you want with me?"

No one said anything, which was even scarier than their answers might've been. Abruptly shoved from behind, I almost tripped over my own feet. The creeps should've served as guides to wherever we walked since I couldn't see a thing. But no. They just kept shoving whenever I stopped moving, which left me groping the air in front of me. Though no one actually laughed, I felt sure they got a sadistic kick out of my efforts not to slam into anything.

I thought about trying out some of the self-defense moves I'd learned, but gave that up for the moment, since I couldn't see squat.

I felt a subtle change in the ground beneath my feet. Gravel no longer crunched beneath my shoes. Instead, the terrain felt smoother, like dirt. My toe bumped into something, almost tripping me. I felt around with my foot and realized I'd run into a step. I climbed it. Instantly the scent of hay and manure assaulted my stuffy nose, and I sensed a slight rise in temperature. I heard the soft whinny of a horse and another rumble of thunder.

A barn maybe? I walked slowly, feeling along with my toe.

Suddenly someone grabbed my shoulder, nailing me to the spot. I heard some swishes, the creak of a rusty hinge. Hands engulfed mine and set them on something wooden. A ladder I realized as I automatically explored what I now touched.

"You're going down now."

Down? Down where? I pulled my hands sharply back.

"Just push the bitch in."

In what? I suddenly remembered horrible stories about kidnap victims who'd been buried alive.

Once again my hands were placed on the ladder. By feeling all around, I determined that it stuck out of some kind of opening in the ground. I managed to get my feet on the rungs and began to slowly descend into an unseen hell. When my feet touched solid ground again, I released the ladder. I heard the scrape of wood on wood as someone pulled it out of reach. Hay and dirt rained on my shoulders as the trap door banged shut above me. I heard the sound of footsteps, leaving. I stood absolutely motionless for long moments just listening, but heard nothing else.

"Hello?" I called, my voice sounding a little nasally and a lot scared.

Eerie silence was my only reply.

Time to get the blindfold off. I tested the fabric, which felt like denim or canvas too thick to tear. So I found the knot again and fumbled at it, breaking a nail but finally loosening the cord enough to work it loose. With a cry of relief, I pulled it over my head and threw it on the floor.

I turned slowly, assessing my surroundings with the aid of a single light bulb, screwed into a socket on the wooden ceiling. Mounted next to it was a surveillance camera, which slowly rotated three-hundred-sixty degrees to cover the entire room.

What is this place? My frantic gaze jumped from the hay-covered floor to the rough wooden walls to the trap door, way out of reach. I also saw a bucket. My bathroom, I guessed.

I walked along the edge of the room, testing the rough-hewn wood walls by pounding them with my fists. They felt solid, unmovable. Careful to stay behind the camera, I slipped my phone from my shoe and checked out the signal. No bars. Not even a half of one. Damn. I left it on and stuck it back in my shoe. That's when I saw it. A pair of glasses, one lens cracked.

So I wasn't the only human who'd been locked in that hole. Impulsively, I kicked at the straw beneath my feet and found other things: a child's barrette, a single earring.

Goosebumps raced up my arms.

What Is. This. Place?

Knees suddenly wobbly, I sank to the ground and leaned against the wall. My head felt light; my stomach churned.

I might die here.

But not before I puked.

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