Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Mateya Arkova
Publisher: Chelshire Inc
Publication Date: 7.19.2017
Genre: Children, Children’s Stories, Children’s Spine-Chilling Horror
Susannah Maya Logan is not having a good day. She doesn’t want to go to her best friend, Lola’s sleepover. Susannah thinks the house is big and spooky, not to mention the ghost that is said to live there. Lola’s big brother, Kai, loves to tease Susannah with scary stories.
Throughout her day, she sees people deal with things that scare them. Her sight-impaired friend, Macy, is terrified of unicorns, of all things. She sees a boy at a party who’s frightened of clowns. Her teacher is afraid of getting a cold. Susannah realizes everybody is scared of something. She wishes she was more like Lola, who is not afraid of anything, or so it seems.
Susannah discovers people have different ideas of what is scary and what is not, and only they can determine the difference.
Join Susannah as she learns to confront her fears and not let her imagination prevent her from having fun.
Chapter 1: Business
The sun peeked through the blinds, making a striped pattern across the bottom of Susannah Maya Logan’s comforter on the bed. Susannah opened her eyes and counted five panels of sunshine.
The little brass alarm clock’s larger hand moved over the twelve, the shorter hand jerked to the seven, and the tiny hammer started to hit the bell. The clock shook and trembled as if it were dancing. Susannah reached over, depressing the button, silencing the alarm.
Her door cracked open. Mom was tucking her shirt into her skirt.
“Wake up, sleepyhead.” She smiled.
Her mother walked into the room, bent, and picked up the large red envelope that had been left there after they had cleaned out her overstuffed schoolbag. “You never told me what this was for.”
Susannah slid out of bed, reaching for the invitation. Her mother opened it before she could grab it. “You’re invited to a sleepover at the Simons’. That sounds like fun,” she said cheerfully.
Susannah watched her mother look over the handwritten cardboard invitation to search her daughter’s face. Mom waved the invitation, and Susannah could see Lola’s oversized letters. “What’s wrong, honey? Didn’t we say we were going to share our problems, so they don’t overwhelm us?”
Susannah thought for a minute. Is this a problem? She wondered. Not understanding homework was one thing; admitting that you thought a house was haunted was quite another.
Mom handed the invitation to Susannah.
“Sounds like fun. It says here they want you to come home with Lola on Friday after school, and we’ll pick you up on Saturday morning.”
“Yeah.” Susannah sighed with resignation. “Loads of fun.”
“Wait, Susannah. Don’t you like Lola anymore? Do you not want to take her to the nail salon next week on your birthday?”
Susannah was turning eight next Thursday, and instead of a party, they had decided to have a mother-daughter spa date to celebrate.
Susannah bit her lower lip. She was a big girl now. How could she tell her mother she was afraid to stay at Lola’s house?
“I love being with Lola, and even her brother, Kai – not that I want him to go with us to the nail salon. It’s just that -“
“Yes?” Mom raised an eyebrow as she watched Susannah intently.
Susannah almost wished Mom was busy with her own work, as she had been the day before her school bag exploded. It was easier to ignore an issue when nobody was paying attention to her.
“Did I hear you’re going to a sleepover?” Her father popped his head into the room. He was fastening his tie. “Well, that’s perfect. We have that dinner thing with Mr Ort. We don’t have to get a sitter.”
“Perfect!” Mom agreed. “Janey’s busy and can’t watch Susie. I was going to have to call a babysitting service.”
Susannah watched Mom and Dad exchange a long look and wondered what that was all about.
Mom picked up the new backpack and walked toward the door. “I’ll call Lakeisha Simon and let her know you’ll be happy to sleep there on Friday.”
“Great,” Susannah grumbled as she pulled out her jeans and got dressed. “That’s just great.”
Both Mom and Dad decided to sit with Susannah for breakfast. Dad drank his coffee and ate toaster pastries as if he had all the time in the world. Mom made both Susannah and herself open-faced grilled-cheese sandwiches. Mom and Dad chatted about their big dinner, while Susannah picked at her sandwich.
“I thought you liked this better than oatmeal,” Mom said as she put an apple into Susannah’s lunch bag. “No banana today!” she said with a huge grin, followed by a chuckle when she remembered the time the banana had exploded in her bag. What a mess!
Susannah forced a smile to her face. They were trying so hard. She remembered yesterday when she had to fight to get their attention. Now it felt like she had too much!
Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children’s books. Whether it’s pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children. She hosts a blog radio program called Indie Authors Roundtable and is one of the founders of the magazine, Indie Author’s Monthly. She’s been interviewed twice by Forbes Magazine. Carole has co-authored two self-help books: Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing with Julie A. Gerber, and Marketing Indieworld with both Julie A. Gerber and Angela Hausman. She published Mindfulness for Kids with J. Robin Albertson-Wren and a new joke book called The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes!