So now we have Allee Mae, who, no surprise, is Davee Jones writing YA under another name. It’s obviously Davee Jones day. And I’m so tempted to write DJ but I don’t know her well enough (or at all), and who else is having flashbacks to Full House? xD
Finding Love Under a Rock is a YA romance and is the first book in my Critter Getter series. I write YA as Allee Mae and the second book in the series, Finding Love and Bigfoot is scheduled for release November 2013.
Kalista Bristow and Leandra Lehigh moved to Oklahoma not just to attend nursing school, but, to find some adventure. When Leandra reads about the sport of “noodling”, she is literally “hooked’, and reserves top-notch guides, Caleb Chandler and Owen Guthrie, to give them a true southern experience.
Wading through the murky river, Kalista finds herself drawn to the handsome Caleb and his red-dirt good looks. He manages a few shy glances in her direction, intrigued by her tenacity. Could this cute city girl bring him out of his awkward insecurity when it comes to dating? However, thoughts of blossoming love move to the wayside as the girls find more than they bargained for under the surface of that shadowy river. They must rely on Caleb and Owen to keep them safe, all the while beginning to believe the mysterious legends the guys have been telling them are probably all true.
They hit two holes with no success as the clouds furrowed and darkened the sky. The breeze picked up along with the humidity and offered a blanket of atmospheric warmth with a strange chill. Every once in a while the sky offered a fat droplet of rain. Kalista looked up just in time to get pelted in the eye with such a bead. “Ouch! Who would have thought rain would sting?”
“That rain is coming from some high clouds. I’m not surprised it smarted. Are you all right?” Caleb asked her gently.
“Yes, I’m fine, I blinked it back to good.” Kalista winked to prove her statement.
Leandra sighed heavily. “Wow, not much going on today for us, huh?” Each visit and inspection yielded emptiness.
At the second hole, Owen offered his opinion. “Look, sometimes, fish like to be out moving and feeding before a storm. They sense the pressure change in the weather and move around aggressively looking for food.”
Caleb chimed in. “I agree with Owen. I know fishermen all have different thoughts and ideas about when the best time to go fishing would be. Noodling is a little bit of a challenge sometimes. Add in uncooperative weather and it really creates uncertainty.”
“I’d really hoped we wouldn’t strike out this time. Well, that I wouldn’t strike out again,” Kalista grumbled, smacking at the water with her palm.
“Owen, let’s go down by the big fork in the river.” Caleb said with determination in his tone.
“Are you sure? That’s kinda deep isn’t it?” Owen looked toward both girls, almost as if they were not there to hear him.
“It will be fine, I will check the hole before I guide Kalista down. The sky is gonna open up and monsoon on us soon, so it’s our best chance at success before we call it a day.”
“Okay, you’re the boss of this show. Today.” Owen shrugged and began leading the raft down river.
“So, where are you taking us?” Leandra asked with eager anticipation hanging onto every syllable.
“Yea, we aren’t going to drown or anything, right? You are sure we are okay to do this? You guys are the experts you know.” Kalista tried to disguise the worry in her tone.
“Yep, definitely good to do this.” Caleb answered confidently. Looking to the sky once again, he conceded, “It will be our last attempt of the day. The sky will pour, I say, in about thirty to forty minutes. We have just enough time to give it one last shot.”
The quartet once again waded to the edge of the river and then headed toward their last hopeful location. The water was only up to their knees, but still they sloshed and trudged as the guys pulled the raft along by ropes. Goosebumps popped up along the girls’ bare arms.
Trying to take her mind off how cold she felt, Leandra changed the subject. “You know an awful lot about weather, Caleb.” She stated admirably, “Did you take some meteorology in college too?”
“Actually, I took a few classes. I contemplated changing my major at one time to meteorology. But I decided I didn’t want to be inside a television studio as much as they have to be.” He spoke without turning around. Caleb gazed around in several directions, appearing to be studying nature’s mood. When he held his shoulders high, an appreciative smile grew from the corners of his mouth.
“Well, those reporters from the satellite TV networks do quite a bit of field work. I could see you almost blown over during some massive hurricane while you deliver the live, up to the minute report.” Kalista giggled, an image forming in her mind. “You probably wouldn’t even hold on to anything. You’d tough it out.”
Caleb also began laughing, but more heartily than her joke incited. “Oh, you just reminded me of a funny story my momma tells about me.” He stopped, turned to Owen and the girls, “Do you know the one I’m talking about?”
Owen joined him in laughter. “I sure do! Want me to tell it?”
“Please, be my guest.” Caleb continued chuckling.
Owen turned his head to both girls as they resumed walking. “One day, Caleb’s momma was inside their house and she started hearing this ka-whack, ka-whack, ka-whack against the wall, right outside the kitchen. When it didn’t stop for about five minutes, she charged outside to see what the heck was going on. There stood me and Caleb. Caleb had a long stick of bamboo in his hand.” Owen broke for a moment to stifle merriment. “She said, ‘what in the tarnation are you doing with that stick Caleb?’” Owen then turned the tale over to Caleb. “Wanna finish this one buddy?”
“Sure thing. I looked up as seriously as I could muster, and told my momma, ‘I’m playing Weather Channel!’ And I demonstrated by smacking that bamboo up against the house like it was a green screen weather map—ka-whack!”
Owen broke in again. “She got such a kick out of us she didn’t even yell anymore.”
“We were always doing things like that. I don’t remember ever being bored when we were growing up.” Caleb fondly shared with the girls. “I bet you two were a handful growing up, especially with Leandra’s sense of adventure.”
“One thing we always refused was to ever be bored. We always found something interesting to do. We made up recipes, climbed trees, tried to blow stuff up with our chemistry sets, you know—the usual girl stuff.” Kalista admitted with the same fondness.
“Kalista and I have been like peanut butter and jelly since…well…since forever.” Leandra shared warmly. “I don’t know what I’d do without her.”
“You’ll never have to figure that out, cause, you’re stuck with me, bestie.”
“Okay, not trying to dampen our lively conversation, but we are reaching the area I wanted to try. We need to wade out deeper. It’s gonna be chest deep on you two girls, I’m fairly certain.” Caleb’s voice took on a serious quality. “Hold onto the raft and let me know if you need something.”
They walked slowly out to a type of miniature island in the narrow, deepest part of the river. The dampened dirt mounded minimally above the water level. Dead tree stumps poked in erratic locations around the small landmass.
“There are holes all around this odd lump of dirt in the river. They are under the water and some are pretty deep and almost completely underneath this visible part.” Owen cautioned.
“Look, I’m gonna take the stick and start poking around the parts closest to the surface of the water.” Caleb informed them. “Hopefully, I’ll find something there and you won’t have to submerge much.”
Kalista gulped, really wishing the storm would unleash and they could just leave. She felt uneasy at this location and could not put a finger on her discomfort. All of a sudden, it was like something was monitoring them, studying them, watching their every move. “Does anyone live close to this spot?” She asked weakly.
“Nah, this is a more secluded area of the river, no one comes here unless they intend to,” Owen answered her question, missing her underlying fear.
“Why, what’s up, Kalista? You nervous about something?” Leandra asked, completely serious with concern for her friend.
“I think it’s just the deeper water. I’m being silly.”
Caleb joined their exchange. “If you don’t want to do this, we can wait for another day and stick to something more shallow.”
“No, darn it, I want to get this over with and just get a fish already. Once I do it the first time, I’ll be over this ridiculous dread.”
“You can do this, girl! We are right here,” Owen offered.
“Okay, Caleb, see what you can find for me.” Kalista gritted her teeth, steeling herself for the challenge.
Caleb began moving the stick into the crevices and indentions in the muddy depths. The first spot yielded nothing, so he moved a few feet over and started again. Almost immediately his eyes lit up in recognition. “I think we have something,” he whispered to the group. “C’mon over here, Kalista.”
Kalista still felt eyes on her back and turned around briefly to see what was there. Leandra mistook her movement. “Caleb is over there. You aren’t going to find anything moving backwards towards us.”
“Nah, it wasn’t that, I was just…I thought…oh, never mind. Here I come, Caleb.” She moved gingerly up next to him.
And that’s it for Davee Jones (sometimes writing as) Allee Mae day! Three for three! Whee!