by Lew Moll
Young Jason Miller is bored because he's missing youth baseball while on a family vacation at Lake Tahoe, California. To make matters worse, he learns that his girlfriend has dumped him. Feeling like the world's biggest loser, he meets pretty fifteen-year-old Stephanie on the shore path and sees an opportunity to make up for being dumped. When she fails to show interest, however, he decides to try his older brother's Recipe for Making Out on her. His awkward and comic attempts to apply the recipe to Stephanie, though, cause him to weave a tangled web of deceit. When Stephanie suddenly becomes a suspect in a crime, Jason plays detective in the hope of clearing her name and winning her gratitude. Along the way, he learns that there is far more to teen relationships than a goal of making out.
ISBN 1-59431-626-0 Young Adult / Fiction / Mystery
Cover art Lewis Moll
There ought to be a law against parents dragging their kids half way across the country right after school is out and wrecking all their summer fun. Maybe then they'd think twice before cheating a guy out of life, liberty, and the pursuit of young love.
Of all the rotten luck! I'd just started hitting it off good with Charlotte McIver, the most gorgeous blond that ever swiveled her hips down a school hallway. Why, I'll bet half the boys in school were major candidates for open mouth surgery the way they drooled over her. Including me. Then, two days after she broke up with Steve Turner, a.k.a. Super Brain, she practically begged me to take her to a movie. Naturally, I swore right then and there that nothing could keep me away from her and those luscious lips.
Bummer. I found out I wasn't any tougher than gummy worms when it comes to bucking Parent Power.
To tick me off even more, I was missing out on Youth Baseball. Coach Harris had been counting on me to play shortstop and hit clean-up for the Tigers. But try pleading with your parents and what do you get? Just a short pat on the head and a long ride across the Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Nevada desert to Lake Tahoe in California..
The trip out West was endless boredom. I kept wondering if Charlotte would stay true blue to me and fight off all the other guys dying to take her off my hands. And it didn't help matters one bit either when Mom put on her teacher hat and kept saying to my sister and me in the back seat, "Now that we've left Minneapolis, pay attention. This trip should provide you with a lot of good geography lessons."
Duh. The only geography lesson I learned was that every last inch of four states was standing between me and the girl who was making my hormones go bonkers.
By the time we arrived at the Sierra Paradise Resort on Lake Tahoe, I'd had it up to my armpits. Riding fifteen hundred miles in the back seat of a station wagon with your sister and feeling like you're a prisoner on a Third-Grade field trip can only be described as cruel and inhuman punishment. Even Spike, my dog, gave a yelp of joy when we finally rolled to a stop.
Our two-story vacation condo in the resort was about a mile from King's Beach, one of several small towns on the California side of Lake Tahoe. It was pretty fancy, I'll admit, but it still looked like a poor step-kid compared to the luxurious mansion hogging the rugged shore of the lake two hundred yards to the north.
I'm mentioning this because that mansion was about to become a crime scene. What's more, a really cool girl living there would find herself caught right smack in the middle of it. And before I could blink twice, she'd turn my life upside down, inside out, and any other direction you can think of.