Synopses & Reviews
It was driving her crazy, to let that box sit there on the small credenza beside her desk and not open it. Roseleen White could have sworn she had more wilIpower than that, but apparently not when it came to her one and only passion. She still. tried to ignore it, and the fact that she was glancing over at it every few minutes.
Tune was getting away from her. She had to finish grading her students' papers tonight. Ordinarily, she would have taken the papers home with her, but she wasn't going home tonight. She was driving straight from the campus to her friend Gail's house, where she was spending -the weekend. And she wasn't coming in on Monday either. A long-delayed dentist appointment had seen to that, so she had to leave the papers in her desk for the substitute to hand out on Monday.
The next three days had been perfectly scheduled, which was the way she liked her life to be. She hadn't counted on the delivery notice in her mailbox when she'd arrived home yesterday that said the long-awaited box had finally arrived from England, or the emergency last night when she'd had to take her neighbor Carol to the hospital, which had kept her from grading the papers.
She'd stopped by the post office to collect the box on the way to the campus that morning and had even stuck scissors in her purse so she could open it immediately. But again, she hadn't counted on the long line at the post office that ended up giving her only enough time to get to her first class without being late. And she hadn't found a free moment since when she could have satisfied her curiosity.
Fridays were always her busiest days, with three classes in a row and the inevitable questions after each session from those students who didn't have to rush to their nextclass. She'd also had meetings today when she'd had to inform two of her students that they were failing the semester Then, just when she thought she'd have enough time to grab a quick dinner and to open the box before she tackled the grading, the dean had sent for her.
She was still simmering over that meeting. Dean Johnson had said he wanted to break the news to her gently, before she heard it elsewhere, that Barry Horton was being offered tenure. Barry was the biggest disaster of her life, proof positive that a woman could be naive and gullible at any age. He was going to be her equal now.
The dean had been very diplomatic about it, but the gist of his summons was to tell her he hoped she wouldn't cause any trouble about it, that she wouldn't renew her old allegations against Barry. As if she would bring all that humiliation back to suffer through it again.
Now she was hungry, angry about Barry's undeserved good fortune, and unable to concentrate on the papers in front of her because that box was sitting there tempting her to open it. It had come down to a test of strength. She wasn't going to open it until the last exam paper was graded and ... and to hell with that.
Antique weapons were her passion, the only thing that interested her besides medieval history, which was her field of expertise. Her father had collected them, an unusual hobby for a small-town reverend, and she'd inherited his collection when he died, and was slowly adding to it as she could afford to do so. Each time she visited England, she spent about as much time in antique shops as she did researching the book she was writing on the Norman conquest.
She'd brought the long box into her classroom only because she hadn't wanted to leave it in her car -- or out of her sight, actually. She'd waited too long for its arrival. Three years of tracking down the owner after she'd first heard of the existence of Blooddrinker's Curse, the elation in finding out the ancient sword was for sale and that it wouldn't be sold at auction, where she knew the price would soar out of her reach. Then the frustration in trying to deal with Sir Isaac Dearborn, the eccentric owner Another four months had passed in haggling over the price and the particulars, all of which she hadn't been personally involved in, because Dearborn simply wouldn't sell to her.
"No woman may own Blooddrinker's Curse," she'd been told at her initial inquiry, and without an explanation. Dearborn wouldn't even answer her subsequent calls and letters. But David, her dearest David, the brother of her heart if not her blood, who had been orphaned as a child and taken in by her family, had taken up the gauntlet for her And after four months and finally agreeing to Dearborn's unusual demands, David had managed the purchase.
She had been ecstatic when he'd called her from England to tell her he would be shipping the sword home to her, then amazed when he'd added, "You cant reimburse me, Rosie. I had to sign a sworn affidavit that I would never sell the sword, or even bequeath it, to a woman. Nothing was said, however, about simply giving it away, so consider this your birthday present -- for the next fifty years.
Considering what the sword had cost, which would have taken every bit of her savings, plus a loan for another twenty thousand, she was definitely in David's debt, even if he had been joking about it being a birthday present. The cost of the sword was nothing to him, for he had married an heiress who adored him and lavished her wealth on him. His wife, Lydia, collected houses -- mansions, actually -- the way Roseleen collected weapons.
A day at the beach holds many surprises for Gilbert, in this fun story. Full color.
Gilbert is excited for a perfect day at the beach . . . until Lola is scared of the water and Gilbert forgets his bathing suit! Even after buying a cool new suit that says "Surfer Dude" on it, will Gilbert end up in deep water?
About the Author
Diane deGroat is the illustrator of more than 120 children's books and the author-illustrator of another I Can Read Book about Gilbert, Gilbert, the Surfer Dude
, as well as bestselling picture books about Gilbert, including: Ants in Your Pants, Worms in Your Plants! (Gilbert Goes Green)
; April Fool! Watch Out at School!
; Mother, You're the Best! (But Sister, You're a Pest!)
; Last One in is a Rotten Egg!
; Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet
; Jingle Bells, Homework Smells
; Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in a Zoo
; No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!
; and the New York Times
bestseller Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink
. She is also the illustrator of Charlie the Ranch Dog
by Ree Drummond.
Diane deGroat is the illustrator of more than 120 children's books and the author-illustrator of another I Can Read Book about Gilbert, Gilbert, the Surfer Dude, as well as bestselling picture books about Gilbert, including: Ants in Your Pants, Worms in Your Plants! (Gilbert Goes Green); April Fool! Watch Out at School!; Mother, You're the Best! (But Sister, You're a Pest!); Last One in is a Rotten Egg!; Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet; Jingle Bells, Homework Smells; Happy Birthday to You, You Belong in a Zoo; No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!; and the New York Times bestseller Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink. She is also the illustrator of Charlie the Ranch Dog by Ree Drummond.