Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Barrage: 'Gem Stone (A Gemma Stone Mystery)'

Gem Stone (A Gemma Stone Mystery, Book 1)
by Dale Mayer
Published by Valley Publishing (Indie)
Length: 200 pages (eBook format)
Contemporary YA
Contains elements of action, adventure and mystery/thriller


A juvie kid trying to stay on the right path stumbles into trouble...

Gemma takes her camera everywhere. From juvie hall to a halfway home, the new hobby gives her a focus she'd never had before and... hope in a future. Until she takes pictures of something that could get her killed.

And not just her...after she and another juvie girl are chased by a stranger to the halfway home that same night, the other girl goes missing and Gemma knows she needs help. But who can she trust?

Not the authorities that's for sure. Trusting them is impossible for a girl with her damaged history, and besides, who cares about a troubled kid...especially when trouble just naturally seems to find her.

Read an excerpt:
Without warning, a bright light flashed on, then its beam circled through the woods around them, shining light where there shouldn't have been any.

"Come on. Let's make a run for it." Gem stood up and at a dead run, bolted for the opening in the stone wall behind the center.

They were almost there, with Misty crashing behind Gem, when the searchlight swung toward them from the right.

Pouring power into her muscles, Gem ran faster. Realizing the light was going to catch them, she snagged Misty and pulled her to the ground.

"Shit. Shit. Shit," Gem whispered softly, turning to stare at Misty sprawled in wide-eyed panic while the light panned above their heads.

"What do we do now?" hissed Misty.

"We keep our heads down, wait a few seconds longer for the light to move off, then we run. It's not far. Let's bail through the wall into the backyard and run around to your bedroom. One, two three… Go!"

The one good thing about Misty was she understood and took orders well. Jumping to her feet, she sprinted the short distance, her legs pumping as hard as they could. Gem's longer legs easily caught up and passed her. At the wall, Gem dove through, grunting at the hard landing on rocks and gravel on the other side. She'd be covered in bruises tomorrow.

"Hurry up," she whispered to her friend. "Come on!"

After Misty clambered through, Gem quickly replaced two of the rocks in the wall. She needed it to look like nobody had gone through.

At her side, Misty gasped for breath and held her side. "Damn, that was close."

"I don't think we're out of trouble yet," Gem warned. They both hunkered down at the edge of the wall and watched the brilliant beam of light bounce toward them through the cracks and holes in the wall.

"Are they chasing us?" Misty's horrified voice had risen to a high-pitched squeak.

"Shhh!" Gem pulled Misty back down to the ground when she tried to stand for a better look.

"We didn't do anything wrong." Misty said it in a normal voice, as if she didn't understand what this was all about.

"Doesn't matter. Shhhh." Gem's heart stopped at the crunch of footsteps coming toward them from beyond the fence. Her heart slammed against her chest.

Reflexively, Gem slapped a hand over Misty's mouth as Misty tried to speak again.

Neither moved. They stared at each other in frozen horror.

"I thought they went over here?" shouted a deep male voice. "Could they have jumped the wall?"

"Don't think so. There's no sign of them anywhere."

"Damn it."

Gem closed her eyes and shuddered with relief as the footsteps retreated, the voice fading slightly as it called out, "Let's check the woods on the left."

She waited another long minute. Then removed her hand from Misty's mouth. "Come on. Let's get back inside."

Moving quietly, they headed around to Misty's bedroom window. Giving Misty her knee as a step up, they both almost fell back in shock as Mark's shadowed face appeared in Misty's window. He grabbed Misty's arms and hauled her up.

"Get in here before you're seen," he hissed. Gem jumped up to where she could pull herself in and found Mark's strong arms reaching around her and dragging her inside…just ahead of the searchlight's cycling beam. The two stood locked in place behind the curtain as the light bounced off the window and onto the wall beyond.

Gem shuddered when it passed by. Thank you.
**My thoughts**

I think Dale Mayer is now one of my favorite YA authors. Her books and characters simply come alive. They are real and believable, even in some unbelievable situations. This is the fifth book of hers that I have read, and I was not disappointed.

I love Gemma. She is a strong individual who is protective of her fellow juvies and  fights for what is right and fair. She has a nose for mysteries and a nose for getting herself into trouble. She has a brilliant mind at school and is also quite "street smart," smarter than many adults would be. She knows how to collect evidence and process it to be used appropriately. 

The pages of this book keep on turning, as it is action-packed and attention-grabbing. I look forward to more books about Gemma.

About the Author:
Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She's best known for her Psychic Visions series. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in several different genres. To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series . All her books are available in print format as well.

Visit Dale online at:

Psychic Vision Series
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