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Running Scared

Author letter

Dear Reader,
Here’s the deal: I love this book. So when I was asked to rewrite it, to ramp up the suspense, I jumped at the chance! Originally titled WISHES, the book with its new, more intense scenes is now RUNNING SCARED. Yes, the characters are the same and the story, too, is much like the original, but this version has been retooled; scenes added and deleted, the suspense notched up, and a deeper insight into the characters added.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved the original version, enough so that I was thrilled the book would be reissued, with a new emphasis on suspense. How fun is that?

Few authors get the privilege to go back and rewrite one of their favorite works, so I feel extremely lucky that I was offered the chance to hang out with these characters again and tweak their story. It was a fun ride! I hope you agree.

Lisa Jackson

Run, run, run!

Jon raced through the dark streets, his sneakers slapping against the wet pavement, his heart pounding so hard he thought it would explode. Piles of dirty slush lined the unfamiliar streets, snow feel from the sky, dancing in the pools of light cast by the street lamps. Far away he heard the sound of a siren and over it all the muted strains of a Christmas carol.

“God rest ye merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay…”

Where the hell was he?

And who was chasing him?


The word rang through his brain.


The one who wants you dead.

As in dead and buried. Six feet underground, covered in ripe soil…


Breathless, he glanced over his shoulder and saw a looming shadow, dark and swift, a weapon in one gloved hand as it swept the poorly lit streets.

God help me.

Jon turned sharply, slipping and catching himself with one hand, to sprint forward, into a narrow alley, where the cheery Christmas lights no longer blinked, where only dark oblivion invited him.

Please don’t let this be a dead end, he silently prayed as the sounds of the carol oozed through the night.

“… to save us all from Satan’s power when we have gone astray…”

He nearly ran into the brick wall.

Oh, God, a blind alley!

He heard the sounds of his pursuer so close behind, felt his skin crawl and his soul go numb as he turned and knew that there was no way out . . .

Jon Summers opened his mouth to scream…

And woke up with a jolt. He was shaking, the sheets of his twin bed wet with sweat, his heart tattooing in his eardrums as the recurring dream…the nightmare he knew to be a premonition, faded into the gray light of dawn.

He let out his breath and hoped to God that he hadn’t screamed aloud and woken his mother. Fingers twisting in the bed sheets, he slowly let out his breath and knew, deep in his heart, that his dream was a foreshadowing of events to come. They might not play out exactly as he’d envisioned, but they sure as hell were going to play out.

Running Scared
by by Lisa Jackson