Bone Deep

Bone Deep Cover

Title: Bone Deep

Author: Kim O’Brien

Release Date: May 19, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

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Synopsis: When Paige Patterson travels to Arizona to spend the summer with her archeologist father, she expects answers. Why did her parents divorce? Why did her father choose his career over family? She doesn’t expect to be reunited with her best friend Emily Linton, a girl she has always admired and secretly wanted to emulate, or to find herself falling for the project manager’s son, Jalen Yazzi.

But the summer takes a terrible turn when Emily vanishes. As the police struggle for answers, Paige sets out to find the truth.

The search takes Paige from the Cliffside ruins of prehistoric Native Americans to the Navajo Nation to the horrifying possibility that the answer is much closer to home. Emily, it turns out, was not the only one good at hiding things.

Her father has no alibi for the night Emily disappeared. An intern with the motive insists he’s innocent. And Jalen has some secrets of his own.

Old bones might not be the only things buried in the ruins. As Paige digs deeper into Emily’s disappearance, she realizes that uncovering the truth may cost her everything—even her life.

Kim’s comment:

In Bone Deep, I tried to use the scenery as another character. I wanted to capture some of the mysteriousness as well as convey a vague sense of danger. Originally I thought this book would be a ghost story, but the more I thought about it, what really interested me about the ruins of prehistoric Native Americans was the idea of people vanishing, which became the central idea in Bone Deep. What would happen if a girl vanished in a national park? I thought the ancient cliff dwellings reeked of abandonment, of timelessness, of mystery – They were the perfect setting to explore Paige’s own devastation and confusion as a result of her parent’s divorce.


My feet pound the bed of gravel lining the path in the cactus garden and then carry me down the concrete path snaking around the sand-colored walls of the cliffs. The ruins sit in their niche, their broken walls smoothed by the distance, and black, empty windows gaze back at me as if they’ve seen every bad thing in the world.

I keep moving, even though my father is going to kill me for not waiting for him. I run until my lungs burn and my legs turn to rubber. And then I push myself farther. But what am I running from? Jeremy? My father? Myself?

The sweat streams over my body when finally I stumble to a stop. Breathing hard, I look around. I’m past Tacoma Well, basically the middle of nowhere. Around me the barren landscape seems huge and as foreign as the surface of the moon. The posed cacti, scrubby, hunched-over trees and stubble of browned-out grass look like the sole survivors in a war the sun has long won.

I wipe my hot, sweat-slick face, take a deep breath of burning air. I should go back; I’m going to have to eventually. But I press forward, daring whatever happened to Emily to happen to me. Stupidly, I want to prove to myself that my father wasn’t involved. Even if it means I get killed, it’s worth it. The thought is irrational, but nothing, I’m discovering, is really very simple. You can love someone and hate them at the same time. You can think you know someone and then suddenly they seem like a total stranger. You can look in the mirror and not see the truth about yourself.

I randomly follow the trail of trampled grass along an irrigation ditch. What really happened to Emily? What is it that I’m not seeing?

Close, close, a voice inside me whispers. I keep going, not understanding how far I intend to go. The heat increases. The sweat pours off me, reminding me how stupid I’ve been to walk into the desert without water. I should turn around, but I don’t. I don’t know why.

I walk until I come to a cornfield. The plants aren’t quite as tall as me, but they’re lush, packed together tightly, and utterly motionless. My mind flashes back to another time, another field. I hear Emily’s childhood voice in my head. There’s this special place I know…

All at once goose bumps break out on my arms and the back of my neck prickles. I stare at the field, picturing Emily, not as a teenager, but as a ten-year-old in a frayed pair of denim shorts and an oversized pink T-shirt knotted at her waist. She smiles, the gap between her front teeth giving her a slightly mischievous, slightly sinister look. She beckons me forward.

Somewhere deep inside the cornfield, a cricket begins to buzz. The single rattle quickly swells into a loud and insistent chorus as if thousands of crickets are buzzing. It’s almost like the insects are calling me, daring me to walk into the tangle of corn leaves.

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Author Bio:

Kim_Obrien_Author Photo

Kim O’Brien grew up in an old Victorian house in Bronxville, NY. Her mother loved telling her bedtime stories, especially ones about the ghost in their attic. Kim not only believed the house was haunted but also fell in love with books and the art of storytelling.

At Emory University in Atlanta, Kim earned a B.A. in psychology. She then attained a M.F.A in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. She worked for many years as a writer, editor, and speechwriter for IBM before becoming a full time fiction writer. She lives in Texas with her husband, daughters, and four-legged friend Daisy.

Kim is the author of eight inspirational romances and seven non-fiction children’s books. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at, Facebook, and Twitter (kimobri).

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