Eight-year-old Khadija, her older brother, Hamza, and their parents have just arrived in Canada from Pakistan. In their classrooms on the first day of school Khadija and Hamza are confronted by a sea of unfamiliar faces. Everyone looks so different from the way they did back home.
At first Khadija and Hamza feel left out at recess, and they both become the targets of school bullies. It's really hard to have to speak English all day long. And Khadija just can't figure out how to get enough water out of the drinking fountain. Hamza, in particular, misses everything about Pakistan -- his friends, his school and his grandmother. But gradually, Khadija and Hamza find new friends and begin to feel more at home.
Jaclyn Wentworth is on her own with three little kids. She used to be married to the golden boy - former golden boy - of their small Nevada town. The marriage was a disaster because her ex-husband never grew up. And he sure wasn't much of a daddy.
Now Jaclyn's living in Reno. And who, of all people, does she run into there but Cole Perrini, bad boy of Feld, Nevada. Former bad boy. He was her ex-husband's opposite in every way - and he still is. Because Cole's made good in every sense of the word.
Will Jaclyn and her children get the husband and father they deserve? Not a Scrooge, but a Santa!
Kit secretly pursues the investigation, yet witnesses keep turning up dead. Then Frannie stumbles upon an astonishing discovery in the nearby woods, and their lives are altered in ways they could never have imagined. Simply knowing the secret of Max -- the terrified 11-year-old girl with an amazing gift -- could mean death.
As more and more diabolical details are unearthed, the murderer's bloody trail ultimately leads the trio to an underground lab network, known as "the School." Here scientists conduct shockingly incomprehensible experiments involving children and genetic alteration.