Read Fox Island Online

Authors: Stephen Bly

Tags: #family secrets, #family adventure, #cozy mystery series, #inspirational adventure, #twins changing places, #writing while traveling, #family friendly books, #stephen bly books, #contemporary christian novel, #married writers

Fox Island

BOOK: Fox Island
13.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



Fox Island


The Hidden West Series
Book 1



Stephen and Janet


Copyright©1996 by Stephen Bly and Janet
Chester Bly


Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
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purchased for your use only, then please return to
and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author.





Originally Published by:

Servant Publications

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107


Cover design: Left Coast Design, Inc.

Cover photo: Steve Terrill



For the

Class of’62





Chapter 1



Until recently, Fox Island’s fame was
limited to a footnote in art books, as the home of reclusive and
mysterious 1930s artist Jessica Davenport. But the Northwest
population flood of the late twentieth century has bridged its way
into every corner of Puget Sound. Situated in the southern reaches
of the Sound, Fox Island still offers residents and guests a sylvan
retreat, only seventeen miles from Tacoma and forty-eight miles
from Seattle.


Of course, it is 1,454 miles from
Scottsdale, Arizona.


Tony Shadowbrook stormed into the
kitchen in stocking feet. His long-sleeved black-and-red Brooks
& Dunn western shirt dangled, unsnapped and untucked. He waved
a magazine in his left hand. “Did you read this? This clown
Publishers Weekly
even read my book. Did you see this review?”

“Tony, do you think these earrings are too
flashy for going on a plane? You know, daytime travel and all?”
Price held the ornaments to her ears, pulling back the
shoulder-length ash-brown hair streaked with highlights, some
natural, some not.

“But listen to this....” Tony’s eyes
squinted close to the flying pages, his tanned face framed by a
light line where his cowboy hat usually perched.

“Daddy, that’s homemade oatmeal raisin
chewies you’re smelling.” Kathy’s long blond hair straightened as
she whirled around, then folded again in tucked, perfect waves.

“Oh, thanks, kiddo, my favorite. But why do
you think...?”

Price, with soft scent of roses and musk,
slipped between her daughter and her husband. “Have either of you
seen Kit? She does know we’re about to leave?”

Kathy took a bite of cookie. “She’s out in
the garage, I guess. Do you want me to put these things in a bag or

“You didn’t have to do that.” Price she
buzzed her daughter’s cheek. “Put them in a bag. They won’t take up
as much room.” She marveled at her daughter. Hair in place,
spotless white shorts, crisp denim blouse, not a sign of flour
splotches anywhere. She wondered how many times Kathy changed
clothes already this morning.

Tony jammed on his steel-rimmed glasses as
he circled the oak-topped kitchen island. “‘Shadowbrook’s latest
offering is like looking at the Black Hills after you’ve seen the
Rockies. Nice, but lacks stature. It should cause Louis L’Amour to
rest easy in his grave. The mantle has certainly not been passed
yet.’ What does he mean, ‘lacks stature’? Who is this guy, Albert
Cummings III? Teaches English at some junior college, no doubt, and
moonlights to make ends meet by writing nonsense garbage like this.
I know the type. A frustrated writer masquerading as literary

Kathy wiped off the sink and refrigerator
with a dish towel. “Oh, Daddy, come on... teachers aren’t that bad.
Mother teaches English.”

“Well, sure, at Arizona State. That’s
different. Besides, your mother happens...”

to like your books?”

Price stepped closer. “The earrings. Tony,
what about these silver-and-gold feather earrings?”

He grabbed the wall phone. “I’ll call Liz.
She’ll be indignant. Probably will want the publishing house to
voice some public protest. I’m not about to let...” He stopped as
Kathy motioned to him to look at his wife. Price’s almond-shaped
eyes and full lips flashed warmth his way. “They’re stunning,
absolutely stunning. You look classy, as always. And such a young
lady. Now, what about...?”

“But are they overdone for daytime

“No, no, no... I love ’em. Hey, what time is

“It’s 9:10.” Kathy quickly tied back her
honey-colored hair with the woven southwest belt she pulled from
the waist of her shorts and scooted through the kitchen picking up
scattered sections of the Scottsdale Progress Tribune and Wall
Street Journal.

Tony hung up the phone. “When should we be
at Sky Harbor?”

“No later than 9:50. I do think I’ll wear
them. They sort of soften the gray, don’t they?”

“Mother, you don’t look a day over
thirty-five and you know it.”

Price felt a sudden stab of emotion. She
would miss her girls. Why wasn’t it ever easy to let their kids go?
“You’re the sweetest liar in this whole family, Kath, but I feel
every bit of forty-nine, especially with my babies in college.”

“I can’t believe you’re going to be fifty
next year.”

“Is anyone going to listen to this
cheap review of
Shotgun Creek
or not?” Tony slammed down the magazine on the countertop and
tried to snap his buttons and tuck in his shirt at the same time,
his face blotched with streaks of red.

Price patted his cheek. “I promise to read
it on the plane. How’s the temp outside?”

“It’s June 10th in Scottsdale. What do you
think? Definitely over a hundred. Where’s Kit? She’ll blow a gasket
when she sees this.”

“Kristina’s in the garage, but you’d better
finish getting ready first. Is your suitcase packed?”

“Oh, yeah. Just a couple more things. I’ve
got the batteries charging for our laptops.” Tony shoved the
magazine in his mouth and finished tucking in his shirt.

“Daddy, did you pack your gun?”

The magazine dropped to the counter.

“Why on earth would I need a gun?”

“I read one of those clippings in your Fox
Island file, about the two prisoners who escaped from the federal
prison and held a family captive.”

“That was forty years ago.”

“But the prison is still on that neighboring

“Yes, but I am not taking a gun. They’re all
locked in the safe.” He looked her in the eye. “And they better
stay that way. I’ll get the laptops. Price, be sure and pack that
lousy review. Should keep my adrenaline pumped for a week.”

Price packed the cookies and the magazine in
her purse. Tony didn’t need his adrenaline pumped since this was
the summer he promised to slow down and take it easy. One last time
she glanced around the kitchen at the white walls, white cupboards,
and red tile floor. The only color accent was the turquoise pottery
dishes Kathy left to air dry on the white drain board, and
fresh-picked blooms of Indian Blankets, marigolds, daisies, and a
few paintbrushes bursting from a white ceramic pitcher on the oak
board center island. “To remind us this is a cheery going away,”
Kathy explained at breakfast.

Price peeked at her watch. “I hope we’re not
forgetting anything.”

Kathy hugged her as doors slammed from the
master bedroom. “We can ship it to you, if you did. Fox Island
sounds like such a peaceful place. I bet you and Daddy have a
really tranquil time writing this new book.”

“It surely won’t be as hectic as last summer
in Utah.”

“All because Kit decided to rebuild that
diesel engine in the family room of the house we rented.”

“In fact, I was thinking about the Saturday
nights that blond Adonis couldn’t get you to the house before 3:00

“Nicholas is the only guy I ever dated who
spent more time looking at himself in a mirror than he ever did
looking at me.”

Price heaved a sigh. “Seems strange to be
leaving you and Kit for the entire summer.”

“Mom, we’re eighteen and going to be college
sophomores. We’ll be fine. We’re mature women now.” Kathy opened
the cupboard door under the sink to toss a paper towel into the
trash. “Oh, yuck!”

“What is it?”

“There’s water running out of that crooked

“Oh no. Tony!”

One Justin cowboy boot jammed on his left
foot, he hobbled to the kitchen trying to pull on the other.

“We’ve got a leak.” Price pointed to the
chrome trap under the sink.

“No kidding.”

“Daddy, what am I going to do?”

“Stick a bucket under it, and don’t use that
side of the sink until the plumber comes. I’ll call Dewitt.” He
looked at Price. “A ten-dollar job that will cost a hundred bucks

“Do you know what time it is?”

“Right. I’ll call, then load up the
luggage.” Tony mumbled his way down the hall.

Price placed a bucket under the leak and
glanced at her earrings again in the small mirror next to the
kitchen sink. “Kath, you’d better go get Kit. What’s she doing out
there, anyway?”

“I think I’d better let her explain.”

By the time Price and Kathy traipsed in,
Tony had all four suitcases and two briefcases stacked on the red
tile entryway. “Honey, you better go talk to your daughter.”

“What’s Kit up to?”

Kathy straightened the collar of her
father’s shirt. “She’s replacing a water pump on your car.”

“She’s what?”

“You said that we ought to take your
Cherokee to the garage this week and get the water pump checked.
So, Kit decided to replace it herself.”

Tony groaned. “Tell her to clean up and come
on. We’ve got to go.”

Price nudged him in the ribs. “You need to
talk to her, Tony.” Clutching his straw cowboy hat, Tony
Shadowbrook rambled through the scattered cacti and succulents of
the front patio toward the three-car garage.

Price attempted to lift the luggage. “You
know you girls can call us anytime, day or night, don’t you?”

“Don’t worry so much, Mom. Mark and Josh
both promised they’d check on us.”

“Yes, but a married brother in Tucson won’t
get by too often and Josh...”

“He’s just a few minutes from here,” Kathy
reminded her. “Unless he’s hang gliding in the Canyon, or jet
skiing on the Colorado, or ballooning in Yuma.”

Kathy giggled. “Or falling off some building
at Rawhide. Isn’t that new stunt totally awesome?”

“I refuse to even think about it. Makes me
angry to know several thousand people pay money to watch my son
almost kill himself four times a day.”

She stared across the patio, expecting
a husband and daughter to appear.
when do they get on their own so much that Mom and Dad can
Other people had normal children... peaceful,
simple, easy care. Yet she really loved her kids the way they
were—most of the time. And she was the one who wanted to marry this
guy who wasn’t peaceful, simple, or easy care.

Kit led the way across the patio.


Kit reached out to hug her mother, her
hands, clothes, freckled face, and bobbed brown hair smudged with
grease and dirt. She pulled back. “Hey, I like the earrings, Mom.
They really bring out the shiny gray strands in your hair.”

Price grimaced. “Did you finish with your
father’s car?”

“Almost got the sucker done. It’s a lot
easier than I thought.”

“Did you say, almost?”

“She’s really doing a pretty good job,” Tony
bragged. “Maybe I should let her fix that drip under the sink. Kit,
you can buy one of those traps at Wal-Mart and...”

BOOK: Fox Island
13.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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