"The pace and the suspense make Race With Danger an exciting adventure that all ages will enjoy. " Cherie, Goodreads
Race With Danger (#1)
Champion runner Tanzania Grey, 17, has to win the Verde Island Endurance Race's million-dollar prize to save the life of her friend Bailey. The treacherous five-day race traverses a remote volcanic island that's home to beasts that slither, fly, swim, and slink through the jungle. But the wildlife turns out to be the least of Tana's problems when she draws the name of Sebastian Callendro as her partner. Sebastian's personal life has put him in the national spotlight, and his nosy followers are the kind Tana can't afford.
Her name isn't really Tanzania, and everything else in her biography is invented, too. She’s been running for three years─from the men who murdered her parents. If her cover is blown, she could be next.
The breeze is cold and getting stronger the higher we climb. I’d be shivering if I wasn’t running. The clouds are slithering down the mountain, too. One minute they shroud us in dense fog; the next they blow away to reveal dark skies above. It’s eerie. I don’t want to get lost in fog on a snowy mountaintop.
The terrain changes from crunchy snow to a jagged ice field. I’ve seen this spiky morphology on Mount Baker, a volcano close to where I grew up—the serrated ice is caused by the dramatic freeze and thaw cycles each day at high elevations. The hotter the sun and the colder the nights, the more the ice fractures. Sometimes Sebastian and I can simply jump over the cracks, but other times we are forced to slip carefully into shallow troughs and climb over ridges. My hands and legs are scoured by sharp-edged ice. Sebastian has a bloody scrape on the back of his right thigh. I try to keep my mind on the hot food ahead.
We come to a big crack in the snow that is too wide to leap across. A crevasse, I know from Mount Baker—my middle school class took a course in mountain rescue there my last year in Bellingham. A lot of people climb Baker every year, and there even used to be a race up it a hundred years ago, before the politicos decided that contest was too dangerous to continue. And yet, here we are, running up another volcano halfway around the world.
Sebastian and I study the problem. Thankfully, this crevasse doesn’t extend all the way up the mountain. We climb a little higher to where the wind has piled snow into a furry surface, a soft white carpet waiting to welcome us.
We’re halfway across the white velvet strip when it collapses beneath our feet.
Champion endurance racer Tanzania Grey, now 18, is haunted by disturbing email messages from the mysterious P.A. Patterson, who seems to suspect her real identity as Amelia Robinson. Four years earlier, she was the only one to escape when the Robinson family was professionally “eradicated” in Bellingham, Washington.
When Tana receives an invitation to compete in an extreme version of the Ski to Sea relay in her home town, she decides to use the race as a cover to gather information about who killed her mother and father, and what became of her then-nine-year-old brother.
Tana soon discovers clues that hint of something terribly wrong in the company her mother helped to create, Quarrel Tayson Laboratories. Worse, her sleuthing attracts the attention of a very frightening man in Bellingham, who knew both her parents. It now seems more a matter of “when” than “if” she will be the next to be killed. Can she turn the tables and reveal who was behind the death of her parents before she becomes their next victim?
Xavier holds out my PFD. I jam my arms through the holes. He’s still pulling on a tab to tighten it as I jump into the boat. As we push off, I remember to unsnap my bike helmet and toss it at him, and then we are off.
My right buttock cheek plops down on an energy gel pack and as we back away from the bank, I take a second to squeeze some gel (cherry) into my mouth, followed by a squirt of water from the bottle at my feet.
Then I drop everything and paddle hard. We pass by the trees overhanging the river and zigzag between a couple of rocks and branches that I don’t remember from two days ago. The river is moving just as swiftly as it was then. The weather yesterday was warm and the snow has been melting in the mountains, so maybe the current is even faster.
“Strainer ahead!” JJ yells from the back of the boat.
At least now I know to look for a log jam. It might be my imagination, but I think the damn thing is even bigger than it was during our practice run. It is a colossal obstacle that reaches halfway across the stream, and the Nooksack is swiftly sweeping us toward it.
We nearly upset the canoe as we frantically paddle on the same side to pass the log jam. But just as I think we’ll make it, our back end starts swinging in the direction of the strainer like a nail pulled toward a magnet.
“Damn it, Zany, paddle like you mean it!” JJ shouts.
What the hell does he think I’ve been doing? I want to yell back that I ran ten miles and then I biked forty-two miles before I even got into this canoe, but what good would that do? So I switch sides and dig in, but the current has us in its clutches, and we slam broadside into the logjam of debris. I swear that this farrago has tripled in size since I last saw it. It’s a gigantic dam of branches.
“No, no, no!” JJ bellows as we hit. And then we both lean right to dig our paddles into the water.
It’s a fatal mistake. The canoe tips sideways and the current pushes the icy water inside.
Jason goes into the river first, and although I try to hang onto the upward side of the boat, I get only a second more of air before I’m sucked under the surface, too.
When champion runner Tanzania “Tana” Grey receives a mysterious invitation to the Extreme Africa Endurance Challenge, she fears it might be a trap. The multi-day race is in Zimbabwe, the violence-prone homeland of her brilliant biochemist mother, who was murdered along with Tana’s father. The killers, never apprehended, seem to suspect that Tanzania Grey is actually Amelia Robinson, the girl who escaped their deadly grasp.
But when Tana sees a Mom Lookalike in the promotional video for the race, she can’t say no. She doesn’t know whether to be alarmed or delighted when her former race partner Bash Callendro, the “love child” of the U.S. President, arranges to run with her.
Tana’s determined to find any remaining family in Africa, and expose the secrets that led to her parents’ deaths. As the clues pile up, Tana realizes that her quest for the truth could destroy not only her and Bash, but will also endanger the lives of everyone she cares about back home.
The email message includes a link to a website. When I click and go there, I am bombarded with advertising about wonderful accommodations for racers and media and fans—exotic game lodges and luxury hotels. There’s even a video. I click the play button and watch a trio of lean dark-skinned runners lope along an exotic course. Zebras graze in the distance. As the runners pass a checkpoint, the camera zooms in on the smiles of enthusiastic fans clustered together behind a barrier tape. Among them is a woman photographer with curly chestnut hair pulled up into a ponytail. With her eye pressed to a camera, she turns with the crowd, tracking the racers. The crowd then disperses, leaving the photographer, who lowers her camera and looks directly at whoever is filming this vid. It feels like she’s staring into my eyes.
My heart stops. My whole body throbs with a sudden longing to throw myself into that woman’s arms. I play the vid over and over again, stopping it every few frames to stare at her straight nose, her curly brown hair. When she looks up, she’s smiling, just a little with her lips closed, like my mother did when she had a secret.
Could it be? I found my brother last year, after four years of believing he was most likely murdered along with my mom and dad.
I saw my parents’ bodies lying in a pool of blood on our living room floor. Could it be possible that my mother didn’t die that night? Could she really be alive?
The woman turns away, following the crowd, and I’m not sure. Her hair is longer and several shades lighter than my mother’s. She’s wearing a khaki uniform that implies she’s working there.
I know it’s too much to hope for. Maybe I no longer remember what Mom looked like. The only picture I have is small and grainy, a photo of her with her colleagues at work.
Videos can be altered. If my enemies suspect I’m Amelia Robinson, then they know I have a personal connection to Africa. This P.A. Patterson could be luring me to Zimbabwe, where I’ll be eaten by a lion or ambushed by armed thugs, and die an easily explained death. This might be a setup by the black-clad ninja invaders I escaped from four years ago.
I know this might be a trap designed especially for me.But I also know that my next race will be in Zimbabwe
Book #1 is only .99 cents!! (for a limited time)
About the author:
Pamela Beason, a former private investigator, lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she's not hard at work on another book, she explores the natural world on foot, on cross-country skis or snowshoes, in her kayak, or underwater scuba diving.
Pam is the author of eleven full-length fiction works: RACE WITH DANGER, RACE TO TRUTH, and RACE FOR JUSTICE in the Run for Your Life YA suspense trilogy, THE ONLY WITNESS, THE ONLY CLUE, and THE ONLY ONE LEFT in the Neema mysteries, ENDANGERED, BEAR BAIT, UNDERCURRENTS, and BACKCOUNTRY in the Summer "Sam" Westin series, and the romantic suspense novel SHAKEN. She's also the author of the romantic adventure novella CALL OF THE JAGUAR, and nonfiction titles SAVE YOUR MONEY, YOUR SANITY, AND OUR PLANET and SO YOU WANT TO BE A PI? She is currently working on a sequel to SHAKEN and the next Sam Westin novel.
As an avid nature and animal lover, Pam challenges the human assumption that we are the superior species. Each of her titles takes readers on an adventure while reminding us that drifting through life is not enough; you have to live it.
Pam writes and tweets about writing, animals of all sorts, outdoor adventures, and the value of being present in the moment. She looks forward to connecting with readers on her website, Twitter, or BookBub.