Fourteen-year-old William Gannaway Pritchard is in deep trouble--as usual. This time he's picked up an unusual-looking object from an airplane crash site. He thinks it's a giant seed pod, but he's wrong. It's an egg that hatches a rare baby dragon! Now, along with his best friend Amanda Laura Fitch (called Spunk), he is in a race for his life. He's lied to government agents, the police, his school principal, and his father. What's even worse, Wil and Spunk are forced to form an uneasy alliance with another 14-year-old, Jerrod Hathaway, the bad-tempered stepson of the very man who is leading a desperate mob, chasing them and the dragon all over Southwest Virginia. Wil can understand the government being desperately interested in the dragon, but why "Preacher"?
As "Preacher" Hathaway closes in Wil, Spunk, Jerrod, and Dragonbreath, are forced to hide in Collingworth Mansion, a sprawling, dark, abandoned hulk of a building overlooking the Clinch River. The attic is allegedly haunted by the ghost of Ernest Ignatious Collingworth, a murder victim whose vengeful spirit is said to have already killed two intruders visiting his house.
What Dragonbreath finds in the attic, however, is more terrifying than any ghost. His hideous discovery leads to a wild chase through the rugged Clinch Mountain country that involves three teenagers, one dragon, a mob of desperate men, and the Federal government.
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As a youngster, I remember sitting with my grandfather in Pine Orchard, Maryland, listening to tall stories. Of course, I was much too young at the time to appreciate the value of those old tales. One of the great tragedies in my life was that fact that I never wrote down any of his yarns. Today I have a difficult time remembering even a portion of one of them.
About 10 years ago, after a lifetime in journalism, I was taking a Scottish Studies course under Dr. Thomas Burton. Dr. Burton, along with fellow English professor Ambrose Manning, had traveled through East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Western North Carolina collecting stories and ballads from the mountains. It was though Dr. Burton's influence that I gained an appreciation of Southern ghostlore and legends. An assignment in this class was to write a 10-page final paper. I did a little research and presented him with 140. Dr. Burton grumbled something about colleges being much better off without students. Then he suggested that I publish it. And I did. That paper became Haints, Witches, and Boogers: Tales of Upper East Tennessee (John F. Blair, Publisher, 1992).
In the past seven years, I have written 15 books, mostly collections of ghost stories gathered from Tennessee and Virginia. But I have also written a bizarre history, The Day They Hung The Elephant, and a couple of novels for young readers, Danger Train and Lullaby Aggie of Sweet Potato Cave. One of my novels, however, is a bona fide mystery, Something Evil Lurks In The Woods.
I have spent a great deal of time in schoolrooms, telling stories to kids.
I presently live in semi-dignity with my family, two neurotic cats and sundry woodland creatures (I have deer and rabbits out the ying-yang), on a farm near Gate City, Virginia.From the Back Cover:
A suspenseful, spooky mystery that opens with a fiery crash and then explodes into fast-paced adventure. It's a dragon-sized mystery that you won't be able to put down. -- L.J. Singleton, author of the REGENERATION series.
Oh, to be ten again! Courageous young detectives and a lovable dragon brave a haunted house to escape pursuing villains. A shiver on every page. -- Mignon F. Ballard, author of Aunt Matilda's Ghost and Angel At Troublesome Creek.
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Book Description Overmountain Press. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book shows minor use. Cover and Binding have minimal wear and the pages have only minimal creases. Bookseller Inventory # G1570721343I3N00
Book Description Overmountain Press, 2000. Book Condition: Very Good. N/A. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP78249124
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