Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Catching Hope by Kathy Cassel,
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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?
Chad quickened his pace. He was breathing hard, so I urged, “Slow down, Chad. Save your strength.”
He only walked faster. “I don’t want to slow down. Not when I’m seeing what might save our lives. Come on!”
He had shifted direction to head toward what looked like a grove of tall palm trees to the right of the broken-down shack. Only when we got close did I see the long, rounded pods, looking like fat zucchinis, hanging down below the palm fronds, much like a bunch of bananas. Most were green, but a few of the lowest among each bunch ranged from mottled green and orange to bright orange.
“Are those edible?” Jen asked eagerly. “Right now I’d eat about anything that won’t poison me!”
“They’re papayas,” Chad answered, reaching up for one of the bright orange pods. “It’s a fruit. You’ve seen them at the resort buffet. The brighter orange they are, the riper. The bunches grow down from the top of the tree, so the ripest are always on the bottom.”
Chad handed me the papaya and reached for another. I had to use both hands to hold the fruit pod, which must have been a foot long. The skin was soft and yielding under my fingers.
“Levi, you got your knife?” Chad had already pulled off his backpack and was now taking out the knife he’d bought at the mission. Opening the blade, he cut the fruit he held in half lengthwise and gave half to Jen. Levi had taken my papaya and was doing the same. As he handed me half, I noticed the fruit was as bright orange as the skin. A hollow in the center was filled with black seeds.
“You don’t eat the seeds, do you?” I asked.
“Well, they won’t kill you,” Chad replied. He had already scooped the seeds onto the ground and broken a big chunk of his half of papaya, gobbling the flesh from the skin as though eating a watermelon.
“Sorry, not trying to be rude,” he mumbled around a mouthful. “I need to get this into my system—glucose plus liquid.”
I hesitantly popped a seed—coated with a slimy membrane— into my mouth. I chewed, wrinkling my nose. “It tastes peppery. It may not be poisonous, but I don’t think I’m going to eat the seeds.”
Following Chad’s example, I scooped out the rest of the seeds, wiping the slime they left on my fingers against a tuft of grass. Then I broke off a chunk, nibbling the fruit watermelon-style, though more neatly than Chad. I moaned with pleasure as the sweet juice trickled down my dry throat. If not quite as thirst-quenching as cold, bottled water, at least the fruit would tide me over.
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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