Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Buried Secrets Tour and Giveaway

 

Buried Secrets
Craven Falls Book 2
by Donna M. Zadunajsky
Genre: YA Mystery

My name is Robyn Wilde, or at least that’s the name the state gave me when I was five years old. I have no idea what my real name is or where I came from, who my parents really are, and why they didn’t want me.

But I can tell you this:

I’m fifteen and ran away from my foster parents’ house after finding a file hidden away in their room with not only my name on it, but also the name Crystal Rosmus. According to the file, she knows a lot about me. How, I have no idea. But she lives in Craven Falls, Ohio, and I’m on a bus right now to find her.”


Prologue



I’d have to admit; I wasn’t used to the physical exertion. The muscles throughout my entire body ached and burned like they were on fire. Sure, I did my share of chores around the house, but digging a hole was beyond the kind of work I normally did. It wasn’t a routine for me. I had never done something like this before. I just prayed that the hole would be deep enough. Because it would be terrible if I did all this work for nothing. A waste of my precious time. Because God knows that I don’t have time to waste.

I stopped once the hole was the exact size I needed it to be. Like I said, I had never done this sort of thing before. I hadn’t planned to dig a gigantic hole in the woods big enough to bury a body in. A body I hadn’t intended to kill. If I said it was an accident, would you believe me? Probably not. You don’t even know anything about me. And neither did she.

I wiped the sweat from my brow, feeling satisfied. A job well done, that’s if I were giving out compliments to myself, which I’m not. No one has ever praised me for anything that I’ve done in my life, so why start now?

I turned and drove the shovel into the mound of dirt beside the hole. I had to finish this before it got too dark or worse, someone came into these woods and saw what I was doing. Then I’d have to get rid of them too, and I wasn’t sure I could handle killing someone else.

I walked over to where I had left her body and grabbed her arms, pulling her toward the open grave. Her back scrapped against the earth, cutting her skin, not that I cared. Once I was at the edge of the hole I had just dug, I dropped her arms and sat down beside her. 

Dirt covered her body from being dragged, but she was still beautiful. I ran my fingers over her hair, now tangled in a brownish red. The blood had dried in a crust form, matting the hair to her head. If you saw her now, you wouldn’t know that her hair was once blonde, though browner at the roots like mine. 

I wondered if they would miss her, but quickly blocked the thought from my mind. I wouldn’t let her. Or at least I wouldn’t miss her. To be honest, I really didn’t even know her all that well. We knew nothing about each other because the truth of the matter was, we had just met for the first time in fifteen years. A secret that was kept from me. Actually, there were many secrets kept from me, but she was the one that mattered most. But I won’t sit here and waste any more time reminiscing over the past I hadn’t known about until just a few days ago.

Getting to my knees, I rolled her into the hole. The hole wasn’t deep, maybe two or three feet. Her body hit the bottom with a loud thud. No sound escaped out of her, which told me she had to be dead. She needed to be dead for this to benefit me.

Leaning forward, I peered into the open grave. She didn’t move. Was I expecting her to? When I arrived here in Craven Falls, I had only one thing on my mind and that was to find out who I really was. Well, until her. This girl now lying in front of me. I hadn’t meant to hurt anyone when I arrived in this town, but I did and there was nothing I could do about it now.

I jumped down into the hole and laid her on her back, whispering in her ear. Words only meant for her to hear, that’s if she were alive. I wished that she hadn’t provoked me into killing her and wondered at that very moment if we were alike? If we shared the same habits and loved the same things as clothes and music. It didn’t matter now. I made one tiny, infinite mistake, and now I have to cover it up. 

A low chuckle escaped from deep inside my throat as I stared down at her. I wasn’t sure where it had come from. Why did I think this was funny? I wondered if it would have ended up differently for her if she wouldn’t have been such a pest? Well, I couldn’t think about that now. She was already dead. She was in the woods where no one would come to look for her. Because in all honesty—they wouldn’t even know she was missing.

I climbed out of the hole and stood above her. My lips spreading wide as a smile appeared. A side of me that felt all too new. 

A gust of wind with a faint smell of rain came from out of nowhere. I needed to stop dicking around and cover her body before it rained. There were no leaves on the trees to help shelter me from the rainwater, just scrawny twigs like branches.

I turned and picked up the shovel, scooping the dirt onto her body until the hole wasn’t a hole anymore. 

Then I walked away.



The Dead Girl Under the Bleachers
Craven Falls Book 1 

Three girls…
Three dead bodies…
The quiet town of Craven Falls is depleting in population. One by one…
Scarlet Fitzgerald thought it would be fun to play a game on Laura Stevenson, a nobody at Craven Falls High. But what happens when the game unleashes buried secrets Scarlet doesn’t want anyone to know? Secrets that could get someone killed, including herself.
Three can play a game, but one of them ends up dead…



I bent down, slipped off my high heel shoes that were sinking into the mud, and peered over my

shoulder, scanning the football field. Darkness loomed like a haunted cemetery, as if waiting for the dead to rise. I couldn’t see a damn thing in front of me or behind me.

Water splattered behind me. I knew I had to get out of here fast.

I turned around too quickly and stumbled forward. My foot had caught the fabric of my homecoming

dress, causing me to trip, but managed to catch myself before falling completely to the ground. Once I

righted myself, I took off running again.

The light posts that stood along the edges of the field casted a faint glow, but it wasn’t enough for me

to see where I was going. Suddenly, a lightning bolt shot across the sky, lighting my way. Up ahead I could see the bleachers. The same bleachers I had sat on since the beginning of high school at Craven Falls High.

It was where all the football games were played in our small, quaint town. It was also the only place to hide from the person that was chasing me.

“I’m coming for you, bitch!” the voice closing in on me hollered.

I didn’t stop; I just kept running until the connection of something hard hit my head, sending shock

waves of pain through my skull and down my spine. My eyes squeezed shut, an instant reaction to the pain coursing through my cranium. The automatic reflex of my hand went to my head. Feeling something warm and wet. I was sure it was blood and not the rain that had begun to fall from the sky. I didn’t have time to

think about how the person had caught up to me so fast.

I had to run.

I had to hide.

By the time I made it to the bleachers, hoping to find shelter, I was hit once again; this time on the back of my leg. My high heel shoes and clutch purse flew out of my hand as I fell to the ground like a hundred and twelve-pound bag of potatoes.

I tried to scream, but the sound was knocked out of me when my body smacked the wet, hard ground.

This was a nightmare. A bad dream. I couldn’t be living this, but I was, and it was more real than anything I had ever experienced before in my life.

I grabbed my right leg as the pain shot through my body. Undoubtedly, my leg was broken. Shattered

in several places. I crawled, dragging my right leg across the wet, freshly cut grass, gritting my teeth as I slinked along, fighting the sharp, throbbing pain coursing up my leg and into my back. I would be killed if I didn’t find safety, but the bleachers wouldn’t save me, only camouflage me behind the monstrous metal seats, still I moved toward them.

Once under the bleachers, I collapsed onto my side. My breath rushed out in quick gasps. I couldn’t go

any further; not only from the pain, but because I was losing blood from the large gash I had on my head. 

Someone wasn’t just trying to hurt me. They wanted me dead.

Water slid between the metal slats of the bleachers and fell onto my face. The rain changed from a light drizzle to pouring down in an instant, dropping onto my bloody split-open head. My vision was hazy as I looked out the corner of my eye, blinking away the water as it fell harder from the sky.

My head pulsated from the blow I’d received just minutes ago. A headache wasn’t surfacing; it was

already there, shouting out obscenities. My reflexes took over when a movement to my left appeared. I curled myself into a fetal position, which caused me more excoriating pain, but I needed to shield myself from what looked like a wooden bat about to slam into my body.

“Please, stop!” I screamed as the bat came down, shattering the bones of my ribs. Sharp pain surged

through me. It became harder to breathe as I sucked in an agonizing breath and cried out again, “I’m begging you. Please stop!”

They didn’t stop.

They weren’t going to stop until they ended what they had started. This person would finish the job,

and I would die here. No one would ever know the truth of how I died. School was closed on Monday. By Tuesday, who knew what I’d look like after lying in the wet, soaked grass for two days?

The blows came down hard one after another, hitting every part of my body. I could feel the anger in

each hit. I believed my attacker hated me with everything they had inside of them. I wasn’t going to leave here alive. They would make sure I didn’t because I knew the truth about what they had done.

I whimpered.

They stopped.

I forced in another breath, holding it as I laid immobile on the ground.

Listening.

Waiting.

It was as if the world had stopped around me.

The rain dripped onto my head and ran down my face, mixing with my salty tears. I looked out the

corner of my eye, not one, but two shadows were standing over me. Had there always been two people chasing me?

The second shadow knelt in front of me. I drew in haggard breath, nearly choking. My lungs were

screaming for me to exhale as piercing pain sliced through my chest. I couldn’t believe with my own eyes who was kneeling in front of me!

“I’m sorry, but this needed to be done,” the voice said.

“Yeah, you should’ve known better than to fuck with us, bitch!” another voice echoed.

Immediately I recognized the voice and I knew who had beaten me to a pulp, leaving me broken and

bleeding, unable to move. It was the one person I truly hated with every essence of my being.

I blinked several more times, unsure of what I was seeing. My vision was not only distorted by the rain

and the darkness surrounding me, but from the blow to my head, making things blurry. I was hoping I had imagined it all, but I hadn’t.

The person stood and walked away without a single goodbye, as if I meant nothing to them. The faint

sounds of laughter were drowned out by the raindrops that splashed off the metal bleachers all around me as my killers left me here to die.

Another drop of rain fell from the black, thunderous sky above and landed on my body, soaking my

already wet and ruined clothes. Pain surged through me, like a fury of fire.

I couldn’t move.

I was afraid to move.

My body was shattered.

Broken into pieces as I was left to die here under the bleachers.

No one would come looking for me, not on a night like tonight. Not in the pouring rain. I sluggishly

blinked as I drew in one last and final breath, staring out at the football field.



Donna M. Zadunajsky started out writing children's books before she wrote and published her first novel, Broken Promises, in June 2012. She since has written several more novels and her first novella, HELP ME! Book 1 in the series, which is about teen suicide and bullying.




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