Release Date: November 5, 2019
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.
Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.
Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.
With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots.
Miranda Asebedo was born and raised in rural Kansas with a love of fast cars, open skies, and books. She carried that love of books to college, where she got her B.A. and M.A. in English, with an emphasis in Creative Writing and Literature. A Seaton Fellowship recipient, her short fiction has appeared in Kansas Voices, Touchstone, and Midway Journal.
Miranda still lives on the prairie today with her husband, two kids, and two majestic bulldogs named Princess Jellybean and Captain Jack Wobbles. If Miranda’s not writing or reading, she’s most likely convinced everyone to load up in the family muscle car and hit the road.
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My hand slips into the woman’s gaping purse like it’s my own. Fingers nimble and sure on her wallet, I brush against her as if I am just impatient to get through the crowds of people milling around in the Eastside Mall. It’s not hard to do. Everyone here is in a rush to get to the next big sale. That’s why I always pick this place. And because it’s lightly patrolled by burly security guards who stand idly outside upscale department stores and watch for the wolves among the placid, woolly shoppers.
My touch is only the softest graze against the woman; she doesn’t even notice. Before I can inhale a full breath of her expen- sive perfume, I’m gone, her billfold in hand. I stuff it into my beat-up bag and lose myself in the throngs of people. This is the third wallet tonight, and by the glimpse of the designer insignia, I’m guessing that I can retire for the evening. I only need enough to cover the week at the motel and maybe something to eat a couple times a day. I steal just enough to get by. No more, no less.
I follow the stream of other shoppers as they trickle out of the mall, but when they go to the parking garage to load up their Mer- cedes and their BMWs, I pull on my hood and walk into the wind. It’s barely September, but lately the evenings are cool enough to make me hope I remembered to turn the radiator on low before I left the motel.
One of the security guards making the rounds in the parking lot briefly scrutinizes a girl with a black hoodie and ripped jeans and says something into his walkie-talkie, but I don’t worry about him.
You see, I’ve got a gift.
Once I watched a movie about this little boy who could heal people with his hands. They said he had “a gift from God.” I’ve never seen God, and from the few times I prayed with the pious foster mom whose husband whipped me with a belt when I spilled juice on their new carpet, it became clear to me that if there was a God, he didn’t see me, either. But my gift is okay, too, regardless of where it came from. My hands are swift, undetectable. I was born a thief.
I’m sure there are more people out there like me. Some strange twist of DNA giving us gifts like perfect pitch or immor- tal cells or quick hands or even healing ones. I don’t think I was chosen or found worthy. I think I’m just damn lucky. Sometimes for fun I like to watch the security-camera footage at the bodega next to the Happy Host. I wander in the aisles, loading up, barely a shadow on the screen above the register, just someone in a hoodie with her hands firmly in her pockets. No one sees a thing. Ever.
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