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I Didn't Go Looking For Trouble

A novel for young readers

When Willy Storey heads out on the road to save her family home from foreclosure, the first lesson she learns is a hard one. She only has a few summer’s-worth of experience traveling the back roads of the midwest buying antiques with her father and it turns out that making money is harder than it looks. It takes more than luck but a little magic might be just the trick.

In Chicago she purchases what appears to be a worthless bell jar and a beat-up old silver platter, then finds that she might have got more than she bargained for. When the jar begins to glow, she realizes that it might not be as empty as it first appeared.

Finding a tiny winged being inside, Willy’s first instinct is to turn right around and take it back to the lady she bought it from. The inhabitant of the jar, a sprite to be precise, becomes agitated, begging Willy not to take her back.

Returning home, Willy surprises everyone by showing up with a trailer full of valuable antiques, she proves she deserves the freedom to be out on the road, giving her father more time to heal from a severely broken leg.

When Willy decides to tell Neuma her family’s biggest secret, regarding a certain American Treasure rumored to be tucked inside a picture frame behind a worthless print, Neuma shows her true value, bringing Willy closer to the treasure than anyone been in years.

When Willy discovers that the sprite, who she names Neuma, proves that she has certain abilities that might prove helpful in the antiques game, Willy decides she might have found exactly what she needed. In addition to being able to tell Willy the difference between something old and something really, really old, Neuma provides Willy with something truly valuable—friendship.

As they go from town to town sorting the gems from the junk, Willy and Neuma manage to stay one step ahead of Neuma’s previous master, a gangster from Chicago who desperately wants her back and will do whatever it takes to get her.

Then Neuma is confronted with a real threat, a charming hitchhiker named Ty Cosgrove. But when her past catches up with her, Willy and Ty head back to Chicago to set her free.


I Didn’t Go Looking For Trouble is 54,800 words in length.