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Time of Honor
Time of Honor
by Margo Sorenson
Genre: Tween Mystery Adventure
Tags: Knights, castles, Crusades.
Release: October 12, 2012
Editor: Nancy Bell
Line Editor: Valerie Haley
Cover Designer: Charlotte Volnek
Fourteen-year-old Connor’s smart mouth gets her in and—luckily—out of trouble on her prep school’s debate team and in the classroom. On a field trip to the U.K., when she is suddenly catapulted into the year 1272, she finds her royal new friends’ lives are threatened by a conspiracy fueled by greed. When William and Maud learn that their father has been murdered on the Crusade, they beg her to help them find who is plotting against them. William must confront his enemy in battle, but what does Connor discover about herself and her ability to use words well when she tries to save her new friends—and herself?
I knew my smart mouth was definitely going to get me into big trouble, because it always does. Not that I really care all that much—after all, trouble can be a lot more fun and interesting than just plain old vanilla life. But, what happened to me because of opening my mouth at the wrong time was—well—I still can’t believe I said what I said—and that, well…
It all started on the field trip to Grafford Castle in the U.K. No, wait, not exactly. It started, if I really have to be analytical, which is one of my strong points, when my dear mother decided it was a great idea to dump me, her darling and only daughter, in a boarding school. That way, she could travel the world and write, instead of having to drag me along while she tried to get in the culture of whatever God-forsaken corner of the world she landed in. That’s what she is—a travel-writer. Everywhere we go, people are always bowing and scraping to her; fluffing her pillows and snapping pictures with their cellphones—all that junk. When you get to be fourteen, like I am, you begin to notice a kid kind of gets in the way of that free-wheeling lifestyle. It really put a cramp in the ol’ lady’s act when she wanted to have an extra glass of Fernet-Granc with the person of the hour and suddenly there was her fourteen-year-old daughter staring at her.
To be honest, which I really am, most of the time—I sort of caused her a problem with a potential publisher the last time we were in Rome. Which really put the ol’ nail in the coffin, as our geeky science teacher, Fairborn, likes to say. I met these hot American guys in school uniforms (love those crests on the blue blazers) outside the Pantheon. I’d gone there to get a break from Mother and decided to hang with them for a while. Have a glass of wine at one of those really cool sidewalk cafés in front. Yes, a glass of wine—it’s Europe, remember?
Well, I guess I forgot I was supposed to be with Mother in the lobby of our hotel at six p.m., because she was meeting this new editor she wanted to schmooze about a new travel series. So, my cellphone rang right in the middle of this really funny story one of the guys was telling about skiing in Gstaad. Of course it was Mother.
“Where are you, Connor?” she snapped. As if I was one of the help. Which I am so not. “My editor and I are going for a drink, and you’re not here.” By the hollow echo of her words, I knew she had it on speaker phone again, which she always forgot to turn off.
I looked at the guys around the small table and no one was listening to me. I was pretty tired of her yanking me around with her everywhere during my school vacations, so I blurted out, “I’m making out with some hot Italian guy named Aldo.”
If it hadn’t been about fifty degrees Celsius outside, I would have sworn the airwaves froze in midair all the way from her phone to mine.
“Connor, get to the hotel. Now,” Mother said, icicles forming on her words.
Long story short, I had a hard time getting a taxi back to the hotel—my Italian’s not as good as my French, and I guess I didn’t look like a big tipper to the cab drivers. When I finally got there, Mother was waiting by herself. You guessed it, the editor had to leave.
“Do you know what she asked me?” Mother said, glaring at me.
“Umm, how Aldo was?” I said, unable to stop myself.
Mother looked as if steam was going to curl out of her ears. “For your information, she heard your answer loud and clear. No, actually, she asked me how I could meet deadlines for writing a travel series and handle a wayward daughter. I! With my international reputation.”
So, Mother shipped me off to board at Chadbourne School outside Boston. Now, when she had travel-writing assignments even during one of my school vacations, she could just go off and write and research and leave me at Chadbourne. Uh-huh, you’ve heard of Chadbourne. It spewed out future little debutantes and Skull and Bones guys, who all went to Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Princeton. Not that all that stuff is so bad, it’s just that, well, you know.
The only reason I got in—beside my fantastic intelligence and wit—was my mother’s reputation as a travel-writer. Yes, she does have international acclaim, I have to admit. The headmaster and admissions head decided my presence at Chadbourne would be a coup they couldn’t pass up. Imagine—being able to say that Connor Ames was a Chadbourne student. After all, Mother’s books were routinely on the New York Times best-seller lists, since she always spiced up her travel stories with a little of the you-know-what. Not enough to give Chadbourne’s headmaster the Big One, but just enough for the books—and my mother—to have, as they say, cachet.
So, here I am at Chadbourne, in the fourth form (that’s the kind of snooty stuff they like to say around here). The planned special field trip over spring break for our European history class was an excursion to the U.K. to visit the castles and all that. Seriously. That is the kind of school it is. Because I like medieval history and all that castle and knight stuff, I tried to watch my mouth in the weeks preceding the trip. I didn’t want to get interdicted, and everything was going pretty smoothly. It all went well until…
About the Author:
Author of twenty-seven books, Margo Sorenson was born in Washington, DC, and spent the first seven years of her life in Spain and Italy, where books became her first friends. After teaching high school and middle school, Margo is now a full-time writer for young people of all ages and she believes they are ready for new ideas and experiences and have fun "living" the lives of the characters in books. Margo has won recognition and awards for her books, including the ALA and being named a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in YA Fiction. After having lived in Hawaii, California, and Minnesota, Margo and her husband now live full-time in California. When she isn't writing, she enjoys visiting her grandchildren, playing golf, reading, watching sports, traveling, and hearing from her readers. She enjoys meeting with her readers in school and library settings from Minnesota to California and Hawaii.
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