ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Catching Hope
Author: Kathy Cassel
Publisher: Haven Point Publishing
Release Date: March 22, 2022
Genre: Teens/YA, Christian
Catching Hope: A pursuit fraught with danger.
Newly adopted Lexi Michaels is taking her first real vacation as she, twin brother Levi, adoptive brother Chad, and new cousin Jen head to Haiti where their dad, a pediatrician, will be volunteering in an island clinic. But who is the man who displays such hatred for the Michaels when they arrive at their resort? Is an attempted burglary as random as it appears? Will Jen ever accept the newcomers to the family? When the four teens set out to explore Haiti’s sights and history on their own, an unexpected encounter and natural disaster plunge them into adventure and danger. With their very survival at stake, can the four teens work together, or will Lexi’s dream of a “forever family” end in tragedy?
Ahead of us, the terrain broke away into a deep gorge. If Levi hadn’t stopped, we’d likely have raced right over the edge. And unlike the crevice I’d been so terrified of earlier, this one was far too wide to jump—at least twenty feet across—while the tangle of green vegetation I could see at the bottom was a sheer drop a good fifty feet straight down.
I could feel the usual panic and dizziness sweeping over me as I stared into the awful depth. I could also hear the shouts of the kidnappers, closer than they’d been. We were trapped!
Then Levi grabbed my hand. “Come on!”
He was tugging me to the right along the gorge rim. From the corner of my eye, I saw Jen and Chad keeping pace beside us before I realized where Levi was pulling me and yanked to a stop again. A few more yards ahead, a dirt-like bridge, no more than a yard wide and covered in mossy vegetation, spanned the gorge. Stalactites overgrown with vines hung from the bottom.
“Are you kidding me?” I exclaimed. “The thing’s made of dirt! We can’t cross!”
Chad was now passing us, Jen on his heels. “Yes, we can!” he shot at me over his shoulder. “If it is dirt, it would have collapsed under its own weight. And we don’t have a choice—unless you see any other way to cross!”
As Chad headed out onto the bridge, Levi grabbed my hand again. “Come on! We’ll go together!”
Chad was already halfway across with Jen right behind him. I glanced back. The kidnappers were now in sight, running full-out toward us, no more than a hundred yards away. I could either cross the bridge now or be recaptured. Worse, I would be getting Levi recaptured too.
As though taking for granted I would follow, Levi stepped out onto the bridge. I kept my eyes on his back as I stepped out after him. Chad and Jen had now reached the other side.
If Jen can, so can I! I told myself fiercely. Levi took another step, and I did too. Then another. Behind us, renewed shouts told me the kidnappers had seen what we were doing and were gaining on our lead.
“Hurry!” I told Levi. He quickened his pace, and so did I.
We were almost to the far side when I felt a slight tremor shake the bridge. I screamed and fell to my knees. My gaze dropped to the terrifying drop below us.
“Go!” Jen screamed from the bank. “Get out of there now!”
Levi turned back. “Grab my hand!”
Even as he yanked me to my feet, I could feel the bridge disintegrating beneath my feet.
“Run! Run!” Jen shouted. “The bridge is going!”
As though we weren’t aware! Levi practically dragged me the last few feet. No sooner had we cleared the bridge than the dirt, moss, stone, and whatever else spilled into the gorge below. As I realized how close we’d come to joining the rubble at the bottom of the gorge, a shudder passed through me, and I began to tremble.
Angry shouts brought me out of my fear. The kidnappers had reached the other side and were screaming with fury at the sight of the collapsed bridge. And with a sheer rock face below them, they now had no way to cross. At least some good had come from our close call.
As though with one mind, we all hurried away from the gorge until we could no longer see the kidnappers. A well-trodden path led through the brush and trees, probably trampled down by animals or even people crossing the bridge.
We heard no sound from our pursuers. They must be searching for a way across the gorge. The relief allowed us to slow down. Once I’d recovered my breath from the desperate race, I looked over at Chad. “That bridge could just as easily have fallen with you and Jen. We could have all died back there. And you wonder why I don’t like heights!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathy Cassel is the author of eleven books for Christian preteens and girls and three Young Adult Fiction books.
Kathy grew up in northern Indiana, lived on three different continents while her husband was in the USAF, and now lives in the Florida Panhandle. She and her husband have eight children, five of whom are adopted, three from Haiti and two from the United States. They also have six grandchildren. Kathy’s favorite activities are those that involve traveling and adventures that include her children and grandchildren.
In order to better relate to the characters in her stories, Kathy has done things such as whitewater rafting, certify in scuba diving, and get her motorcycle endorsement. She draws the line at sky diving.
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