Rebecca Cohn A Heartbeat Away

ISBN 13: 9781553952800

A Heartbeat Away

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9781553952800: A Heartbeat Away

Come along with two little girls on an unexpected journey into the unknown.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Cohn is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and a first-time novelist.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

They loved each other so much that a couple of years ago, in a secret ritual in the old barn behind Jessica's house, they pricked each other's fingers with an old pocketknife. Dancing around a candle and chanting they slowly and carefully placed their fingers together and pressed them hard into one another. The ceremony was complete; they were blood sisters, sisters for life. If Jessica's mother had known about the girls' antics, she would've surely had one of her famous - but thank God infrequent - "Olivia Conway fits", without a doubt mumbling something about " lockjaw and just wait till your father gets home" and "borderline work of the devil". So, to prevent having to write about a thousand sentences each, the two girls pinky-swore to never, ever tell a soul about the late-night ritual.

Day would soon be turning to night and Jessica and Edie's lanterns began to softly reflect off the snow-covered path. At Hanover's Pass they left the wooded trail and jumped onto the train tracks. They were halfway home. Even though they were bundled from head to toe, the cold night air was piercing and their cheeks were beginning to sting from the icy air. In the distance, the train trestle became visible. It was the landmark that told them they were almost home. The day was, sadly, almost over. But Jessica's mother would be expecting them soon, and the little wooden farmhouse would be warm and cozy. They would warm themselves by the fire and the familiar smells of Christmas would fill the air. Pearl would have freshly-baked Christmas cookies and warm vanilla milk waiting in the kitchen. Pearl baked the cookies only once a year and the anticipation of them started growing every year after Thanksgiving. They could already taste warm butter and sugar melting in their mouths.

As they approached the trestle, they knew to cross single-file. So they released hands, and Jessica led the way. As Jessica crossed the open tracks, she could see the dark river raging below. Huge blocks of ice occasionally passed beneath the bridge, creating illusions of clouds in the water. The girls had crossed the bridge at least a hundred times, but they unconsciously always crossed in utter silence. It wasn't day, but it wasn't night either. Brilliant shades of deep orange and purple created a beautiful point of twilight and a million stars and a full moon already adorned the clear country sky. Their familiar path was still visible without their lanterns, but they steadily burned bright as a beacon toward home. In perfect rhythm, they crossed each board one by one, steadily making their way. The clunking of their boots on the old wood bridge and the steady roar of the river were the only sounds filling the silent forest.

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Rebecca Cohn
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