By: Rita Monette
Nikki Landry Swamp Legends #2
“When one man’s treasure is another man’s curse.”
Nikki Landry is turning eleven years old, and is looking forward to riding her bike to school. That is until it falls apart. Papa can’t afford a new one. Is she doomed to ride the smelly old school bus from now on?
Hearing of an old pirate ship, and a legend about long-ago pirates burying treasure on a nearby swamp island, Nikki sees a way out. But when she makes a birthday wish for the pirate’s gold, things go terribly wrong. Did her wish trigger an ancient curse?
Join Nikki and her friends as they find themselves sailing away aboard a haunted schooner with ghostly pirates into the Gulf of Mexico … and into the year eighteen fourteen.
How will they ever find their way back home?
Juvenile, Adventure, 192 pages
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Eleven. I thought I’d feel all grown up and stuff when that day came. I looked at my hands. Same as yesterday. Nothing really changed, ’cept—for a few months anyway—I was older than my best friend, Patti. I poked my dog, Snooper, in the side. “Wake up, lazy bones. It’s my birthday. I’m Uh-lev-vun.” A giggle crept up into my throat. Papa had said when I turned three syllables I could ride my bike to school instead of taking the smelly old school bus. And today—the second day of February—is that day.
The early dawn light peeking through my window threw ghostly shadows around my tiny room. A tugboat’s horn honked in the distance. Soon, it would make its way down the bayou, pushing a loaded barge past our houseboat. Papa’s roosters crowed one after the other as if competing for the morning call. The strange creature living out there on Ghost Dog Island still howled across the swamp sometimes at night, but I’d sorta gotten used to it. Bayou Platte seemed eerily peaceful.
“Nikki, you up?” Mama yelled from the kitchen.
“Yes, ma’am.” I swung my legs over the edge of the bed, and my bare feet touched the cold floor. I quickly pulled ’em up and jerked the covers back over my toes. “Brrr, it’s freezing in here.”
Mama came into my room. “We got a little bit of a cold snap last night. Put your boots on today.” She walked over to my closet. “Here’s a flannel shirt you can wear. It’s only fifty degrees out, but it should warm up later today.” Mama laid the shirt and a pair of socks on my bed and sat down next to me. “By the way, honey, happy birthday.”
I smiled wide as a bullfrog’s grin. “I get to ride my bike to school today, right?” I slid on my socks.
“That’s what we talked about.” She handed me the shirt. “It’s a long ride, and I’m still uncertain if that old bike is safe.”
“It’s not that far. I’ve—” I pressed my lips together so I wouldn’t blab. Mama didn’t know how many times I’d snuck off to town on that rusty old thing.
“We’ll talk some more about it at breakfast.”
“Humph.” I slammed my head back down on the pillow. I knew what talking more about it meant. Snooper growled from under the quilt as if to say, let me sleep some more.
Mama stood up. “Stop acting like you’re still a baby, and I might think you’re mature enough to ride to school by yourself.” She crossed the small room, her slippers scraping against the rough wooden floor. “Now get dressed and come to breakfast.” She closed the door behind her.
“She’s not gonna let me, Snooper. I just know it.” I sat up and threw my clothes at the door. “That’s okay, I’ll ride my bike far, far away and she’ll never even know where I’m at. Then she’ll see how mature I am.”
About the Author:
Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. She loves to write stories set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. She is currently retired and lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee. Besides writing and illustrating, She enjoys participating in festivals and craft shows where she does face and body art, along with selling her books.