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Carol A. Guy


Carol A Guy is a former newspaper reporter who has authored a true crime book, a suspense novel, several cozy mysteries and, more recently, two paranormal mystery/romance series. She makes her home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Email : cguy1943@yahoo.com

Website : http://www.goodmysteries.webs.com

Be Mine, Dead Valentine

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Crescent Falls #2
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Adelaide McBride sat at the kitchen table in her 1930s retro-style kitchen on this cloudy February first, staring out the window as she nibbled on a cranberry croissant and sipped at her tepid green tea. In her mind she was trying to envision what this, the shortest month of the year, would have in store.

For one thing, she knew she must make a trip to the hairdresser. A quick glance in the bathroom mirror this morning had reflected back at her a head of auburn hair that badly needed a trim. Her normally bright green eyes had been a little bloodshot also—the result, no doubt, of late nights spent reading because she couldn’t get to sleep. In turn, the sleepless nights were the result of stress brought on by the nightmares she still had regarding her ordeal in December, when she’d been held captive in her own basement by a deranged killer. The broken wrist she’d suffered on that night had long ago healed, but it still ached on days like this, when the clouds hung low with unshed moisture and the temperatures dropped below thirty degrees.

January had been bleak and basically uneventful, but now that February was here, she knew her good friend, Reverend James Preston, would probably be leaving Crescent Falls. He’d chosen to come out of retirement in December when their pastor at the Crescent Falls United Methodist Church had been relieved of his duties because he was a suspect in the murder of a parishioner. Adelaide was sure that the ensuing scandal resulting from that murder would have ruined the church had it not been for James’s strong leadership. But that wasn’t the only reason she hated to see him go. During that ordeal, James, a widower for several years, had made it perfectly clear he had a personal interest in Adelaide.

She felt her stomach flutter a little as she thought of Vernon Dexter, another suitor. Might as well just come out and say it. Vernon. Dear, dear Vernon. How I treasure our friendship that began while he, Albert and I were still schoolchildren. Now, Vernon wants more.

As always, her thoughts turned to her beloved late husband Albert. She still missed him every day. She knew life moved on and he would want her to find happiness again. But was she ready to begin a romantic relationship with someone else? Vernon had been in love with her since high school, this she knew. James, on the other hand, hadn’t made his interest known until recently. Both were wonderful, caring men who any woman would be lucky to have. “Well it may be a moot point anyway, as far as James is concerned. He’ll be going back to his home in Columbus sometime this month and I have no intention of maintaining a long-distance relationship,” she said. A bold knock on her back door caused her to almost jump out of her chair.

She glanced at the kitchen clock. “Who could that be at eight in the morning?” She got up and went to the door, only to find James Preston standing on the back stoop.

“It’s going to snow again,” James predicted as he stepped inside. He pulled the knit cap off his head and stuffed it into the pocket of his wool pea coat.

Adelaide studied him for a moment, taking in the dark hair now standing up at odd angles from static electricity. His face, as always, was a little ruddy, his kind brown eyes twinkling with humor. She’d noticed over the past month or so that his paunchy mid-section had slimmed a little. The gray slacks and blue sweater he wore today fit him very nicely.

Oscar, Adelaide’s gray tabby cat, came through the doorway separating the kitchen and dining room and approached James, waiting for the cat treat he’d grown accustomed to when James visited.

“I didn’t forget you,” James said cheerily, reaching into his jacket just before hanging it on the peg by the back door. Out came a small sandwich bag with several triangular-shaped treats inside. Oscar meowed loudly, weaving a path around James’s legs.

“He’s impossible. Such a mooch. He acts like I never feed him,” Adelaide said. “You look frozen, James. How about some hot tea and something to eat? Or, I can put on a pot of coffee if you prefer.”

Once Oscar was contentedly munching on his treats, James took a seat at the kitchen table. “I think a cup of tea would hit the spot. I don’t suppose you have any of those croissants left?” He nodded toward her plate, where the half-eaten pastry remained untouched.

Adelaide warmed his croissant in the microwave. Although her stove was a thirties-style Magic Chef and her kitchen table, floor tile and cabinets also reflected that decade, she did have some modern conveniences. Then she brought it and his tea to the table. Sitting down at her place again, she said, “So, what brings you here so early this morning?” In her gut, she feared the answer.

James eyed her across the table as he took a sip of the tea, then a bite of the croissant. Once he swallowed, he said, “I wanted you to be the first to know, Adelaide.” He hesitated a moment.

Adelaide felt tears spring into her eyes. “You’re leaving. They’ve found a replacement, haven’t they?” She knew James deserved his retirement after serving many years in various pastorates, but she was just selfish enough to want him to stay.

James smiled. “Well you’re half right. There will be a new minister coming on Wednesday. But I’m not going anywhere. I’ve decided to come out of retirement and resume my pastorate here.”

Adelaide wanted to jump up and shout. She wanted to hug him and plant a big kiss on his ruddy cheek. She wanted to dance a jig around the kitchen. She did none of these things, of course. Instead she said, “Then why is a new minister coming?”

Price: $4.99
Dead of Night

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Canid #4
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

It is October in Arcadia and shape shifter Talia Coe is now the proud mother of twins, Mahra and Aaron. As Talia a...

“What the hell are they doing here?” Talia asked, her voice full of disdain.

The detectives conferred with two of the firemen who were now walking around in the charred remains of the cottage. The rest of the fire crew members were coiling up hoses and putting away other equipment.

Lucas decided to join them. “Stay here,” he told Talia.

“Forget it, Lucas.” She followed him across the yard to the blackened ruins.

The man who came to greet them had the words Fire Chief emblazoned across the front of the hard hat he wore. “You’re the owners?” he asked.

Lucas nodded. “What happened?”

“Looks like an explosion,” the man said. “I’m Chief Hennesy, by the way. Sorry for your loss.” He took off one of his heavy, soot-coated gloves.

Lucas shook the man’s hand. “Was it the gas line?”

Chief Hennesy suddenly looked a little uncomfortable. As if on cue, Muncie and Reed joined them.

“Someone blew up your house, Ms. Coe,” Muncie said, his gaze fixed on Talia.

Chief Hennesy quickly said, “There are remnants of an explosive device, a timer to be exact. We’ll know more when we get the items to the lab in Kinnard. They’ll be sending an arson investigator to inspect the premises.”

Talia looked as though she couldn’t quite take it all in. “Someone did this on purpose?”

Lucas found it hard to swallow around the lump of fury in his throat. Then it hit him. I was supposed to be staying here tonight, just like I’ve been doing. This was meant for me.

The same thought must have occurred to Talia because when she turned to him, he could see the terror in her eyes. “My God, Lucas, you—”

He silenced her with a shake of his head. “So you’re on the arson squad now?” He was addressing Muncie and Reed.

Reed answered, “We just heard about the fire. We’ve been tied up on an assault out on Carver Road. A man was almost killed. In fact, he’s not expected to make it.”

Muncie took over. “We were on our way to tell you, Ms. Coe.”

Talia looked from one detective to the other. “Tell me what? Stop playing games. I’m not in the mood!”

Lucas knew. Deep down, he knew. He put an arm around Talia’s waist, holding tight.

“Your father was attacked on Carver Road, Ms. Coe. He’s at Bradford County Hospital. It doesn’t look good,” Reed said.

As Talia’s body began to sink, Lucas took her in his arms. “Two alphas in one night, that was the plan,” he whispered in her ear.

It is October in Arcadia and shape shifter Talia Coe is now the proud mother of twins, Mahra and Aaron. As Talia and her mate Lucas Knight plan their November wedding and try to adjust to parenthood, Talia is again plagued by nightmares of doom and disaster. Their archenemy, Abby Stewart, is still at large and they know it will only be a matter of time before she returns to exact her revenge. Victor Kane and his lover Caroline Thomas are struggling to maintain their rocky relationship in spite of their feelings for other people. Victor has finally acknowledged his love for his former mate, Lilah, who is Talia’s mother. Lilah struggles with the hard truth that she loves her husband, Caleb Sinclair, but is in love with Victor. Caroline is still seeing Neil Wade, who became her lover when Victor was on the run from murder charges. However, Caroline feels she has too much to lose if she leaves Victor, since she is now a partner in his prosperous art gallery and they have a son together. Ben Walker, a shifter hunter who has joined forces with Lucas’s pack, has settled into a comfortable life in Arcadia, working for Victor and Caroline at the art gallery. He’s also become smitten with the new DA, Lana Russell. Little does he know that beneath the surface, the cool, blond beauty is not what she seems. When Lucas is almost killed by a hit and run driver, it looks as though Abby Stewart, out to destroy Lucas, Talia, Victor, Caroline, Neil, Caleb and Lilah, has begun her campaign of vengeance. But she isn’t in it alone and after someone close to Talia is killed and another is critically injured, it becomes clear that others have joined in the vendetta. As evil forces hover over Arcadia and the final battle looms, unseen enemies reveal themselves, loyalties are tested and lives are lost. Who will survive?
Price: $5.99
Echoes of the Past

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Spirit Lake #2
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

It's mid-October and now that her divorce is final, Erica Parkhurst is free to return to Spirit Lake and Joe L...

It's mid-October and now that her divorce is final, Erica Parkhurst is free to return to Spirit Lake and Joe Lakota, the man she left behind. Yet she is riddled with doubts and fears. Can they rekindle their romance of the summer? And can she put aside memories of her terrifying experience at the hands of a coldblooded killer and go back to the small town in Western Pennsylvania?

An urgent call for help from Evelyn Black, proprietor of the Spirit Lake Inn where Erica stayed during her last visit, decides the issue. Accompanied by her best friend, Paula Bascilla, Erica leaves New York City again for the Allegheny Mountains and an uncertain future. But once more, trouble comes Erica's way when she learns that Joe has another dark secret hidden in his past, one that makes him a prime suspect in a new murder case.

Paula Bascilla, a woman with psychic abilities, can feel the spirits surrounding her the minute she steps into the inn. Excited at the prospect of contact with some of the wayward ghosts, she is looking forward to her stay. What she isn't counting on however, is being blindsided by tall, unassuming Cal Motega, co-owner of The Eagle Hill Cafe. 

As Erica and Paula contend with the inn's unpredictable guests, arson fire and at the same time try to clear Joe's name, they discover a valuable link to Erica's past that could tie her to Spirit Lake forever. But there are still many unanswered questions. Will Erica's love for Joe survive this latest test? Who are the ghosts haunting the inn and why can't they rest? Is Paula willing to give love a chance with the mysterious Cal Motega?

Return to Spirit Lake and find out.

EXCERPT:

She moved on to the next painting, which was totally bereft of people. Then she recognized the landscape. It was the hill where the inn now sat and below it the lake, only the dock wasn’t there, just the woods surrounding it.

“I see you recognize it,” Cal observed.

“Was it a burial mound?” Paula asked.

Cal’s hands now rested lightly on her shoulders. When had he put them there? She wasn’t sure, but it felt good. No, it was more than that, it felt natural. Like they belonged there.

“That story has circulated since I can remember, but there’s no proof.”

“Surely there are records somewhere.”

“The Hartsburg Historical Society has volumes of records going back to the 1700s, but I’ve never bothered to go looking. Most of what I know about my own ancestors comes from stories handed down through the generations, and they don’t mention it.”

“There’s no local historical society?”

Cal shook his head. “Combined them years ago. Financial reasons. Hartsburg had more funds available and the one here was dying.”

Paula smelled the aroma emanating from the kitchen. “Hazelnut coffee?”

“Thought you might like it,” he told her.

He withdrew his hands and she suddenly missed his touch. “My favorite. How did you know?”

“Psychic,” he quipped.

They drank their coffee at the small drop-leaf table by the kitchen window and talked some more. She loved the sound of his voice, deep, resonant, masculine.

She’d chosen her outfit carefully for this evening. The skirt was of a rich deep tan chamois, and hit her just below the knees. She had shapely calves, or at least she’d been told that, so she wanted to make sure he saw them. No hose. She had a good tan. Her shirt was emerald green, with three- quarter length sleeves and a scoop neck that showed just enough cleavage to be enticing, but not slutty. At least that’s what Erica had told her before Cal picked her up. Of course there was an abundance of jewelry, including a pair of gold double loop earrings with the smaller loops hanging inside the larger ones.

Cal offered her cookies, she declined. “Got to keep my girlish figure, you know. At least what’s left of it.”

“Your figure looks just fine to me, at least what I can see of it,” he countered, eyeing her with a little more intensity than his tone indicated.

Paula knew, this moment would set the tone for the rest of the evening. Casual and friendly or very friendly, it was up to her. Cal had effectively put the ball in her court to make that decision. “I like you, Cal. A lot. It would be very easy right now to—”

He got up, came around the table, pulled her to her feet, into his arms and kissed her soundly. The minute she felt his body against hers, his tongue probing her mouth, she forgot her little let’s-start-out-slowly-and-see-what-happens speech.

Then, he surprised the hell out of her when he pulled back and led her to the sofa. “I want to hear about you, Paula. How about some more coffee?”

It's mid-October and now that her divorce is final, Erica Parkhurst is free to return to Spirit Lake and Joe Lakota, the man she left behind. Yet she is riddled with doubts and fears. Can they rekindle their romance of the summer? And can she put aside memories of her terrifying expericence at the hands of a cold blooded killer and go back to the small town in Western Pennsylvania?
Price: $6.99
House of Secrets

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Spirit Lake #4
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

It is spring in Spirit Lake and Erica Parkhurst, part owner of the very haunted Spirit Lake Bed & Breakfast, i...

Erica was crossing the foyer headed for the parlor when a tall, dark haired man wearing blue Dockers and an open neck yellow shirt stepped inside. He was tan and muscular. He removed a pair of expensive looking sunglasses and scanned the room. His eyes were the most amazing shade of turquoise she'd ever seen. To say he was good looking didn't begin to cover it. He was hot!

"I'm obviously in the right place. I recognize this foyer from the publicity shots on the website. I'm Andrew Harrington."

"Erica Parkhurst. Welcome to the Spirit Lake Inn. Thank you for agreeing to cancel your other reservation and stay with us on such short notice." She couldn't help but enjoy the view.

"Christine will be along. She's gone around back to take a look at that wonderful lake of yours."

Erica hoped poor Christine wasn't being treated to a view of the Richters making love, or worse yet, renewing their argument. Andrew Harrington seemed to be looking for something as he glanced around and even peeked into the parlor.

"I can give you the guided tour," Erica offered.

"No need. I'm sure we'll see it all in good time. I'll go get the bags, unless you have someone who takes care of that."

"Raymond is out overseeing the work being done in the garden, I'm afraid."

"That tall older man, yes I saw him. He has a dog with him. Don't bother him, I can manage."

Erica smiled. It would seem Mingo and Raymond were bonding after all. "I'm afraid you'll have to move the car, also."

"I figured as much. Just let me get the bags first. Where should I park it?"

Erica stepped around Andrew and went out onto the porch. In passing, she caught a whiff of his after shave--tangy, spicy, and sexy. The Harringtons were driving a sleek, black Corvette.

"You can park on the access road at the bottom of the hill, next to the driveway," she told him. "The workmen should be gone in a couple of hours. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. The rain threw things off schedule."

He smiled, exposing the most perfect teeth she'd ever seen. "You don't have to tell me. We drove through torrential downpours yesterday. Christine hates to fly."

Erica recalled that the Harringtons were from New York City. "Well, it's not that much of a drive. I lived in the Big Apple for many years."

Andrew Harrington's smile faded. "Do tell." His tone showed disinterest. "Oh, there's Christine, now."

The woman who came around the corner of the house was of medium height with short, stylishly cut auburn hair and deep brown eyes. A pair of oversize sunglasses rested on top of her head. She was wearing yellow slacks and a matching blouse. She looked crisp and cool in spite of the humidity.

"That lake is beautiful, Andy, you should look at it. Do you allow swimming?" Her gaze was now focused on Erica.

"No…there's an undertow," Erica said quickly. She never went into the real reason with guests.

"Pity," the woman said. "I'm Christine Harrington, by the way. And you are?" She joined her husband who was now taking two pieces of expensive looking luggage out of the trunk of the Corvette.

Erica introduced herself but didn't offer to shake the woman's hand. Somehow she could sense that Christine Harrington wasn't the type to welcome such an overture. Now that the Harringtons were standing side by side she could fully appreciate what a striking looking couple they were.

"It just feels good to stretch my legs. Why Andy insisted on bringing the two-seater on this trip, I'll never know," Christine said.

"Stop complaining, Chris. It has plenty of legroom and trunk space to boot. That why I like this model. Plus it is a convertible. What more could you want?"

Christine looked around. "Where's your bellman?"

"It's not the Hilton, Chris. We tote our own here," Andrew Harrington told her.

Erica noted that Christine Harrington's nose went up in the air just a little but that the space between her brows didn't move even though the rest of her face played at making a frown.

Botox. No doubt about it.

Just then the Richters rounded the corner of the house from the parking area. Erica was glad to see that things had settled down between them for the moment. At the same time, the cement workers headed down toward the dock, carrying their lunch pails.

Raymond joined Erica and her guests. Mingo was nowhere to be found.

When the Harringtons introduced themselves to the Richters, Erica was surprised to see that Pamela hung back, acting almost shy. Andrew Harrington, however, seemed to take a special interest in her. He was standing very close and even brushed a stray strand of her long black hair off her face when another sudden breeze ruffled it.

Christine Harrington, seemed to be cool with the attention her husband was lavishing on Pamela, but Erica could see that she was seething inside. Her soft brown eyes now had golden flecks dancing in them.

Erica decided it was time to move things along. Laying a hand on Andrew Harrington's arm she said, "Why don't I show you to your room? We have snacks available, nothing fancy, just sandwich makings and a veggie tray," She led the Harringtons inside. Raymond followed, carrying one of their bags.

Christine examined the foyer with a critical eye and insisted on taking the elevator. The men took the stairs.

When Erica opened the door to their room, Christine stood for a moment, surveying things. "It's certainly cozy. Isn't it, Andy?"

Andrew Harrington put his bag on the bed and indicated that Raymond should do the same with the one he carried. He then reached into his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill, thrusting it at Raymond, who backed up and flinched as though he'd been struck in the face. He then left the room without uttering a word.

Erica felt embarrassment color her cheeks. "He's also a guest. He's just helping out with the garden restoration. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear."

Christine Harrington raised an eyebrow. "So you put your guests to work? Maybe we should have checked in at the Hilton after all, Andy."

"It's a Hampton Inn, Chris," Andrew Harrington said idly, then asked Erica, "Tell, me, where's your co-owner?"

Erica turned around and faced him. "She's been ill. Why do you ask?"

"Just curious. The website mentions you both," He favored her with that perfect smile again.

Christine flung open the closet door and peered inside. "Where's the bathroom?"

"There are two, at the other end of the hall," Erica told the woman. She was beginning to like her even less than she liked Pamela Richter.

Christine sniffed with obvious disdain. "We have to share a bathroom with the other guests?"

"Is this your first visit to a bed and breakfast?" Erica shot back before she could stop herself.

Andrew laughed out loud. "Is it that obvious? This was my idea, I'm afraid."

Christine sniffed haughtily. "I'd never heard of this place. I didn't even know we were on the cancellation list until Andy informed me we'd be staying here instead of a real hotel." She opened a suitcase and began hanging things up in the closet.

Andrew sidled up to Erica, keeping his voice low. "Christine is more of a luxury hotel person, but I thought that it might be fun to do something different. Don't worry; she'll live right through it."

He kept moving, forcing Erica into the hallway. Before she could reply, the door was closed firmly in her face.

 

* * * *

 

After her unceremonious ouster from the Harrington's room, Erica returned to the first floor. Somewhat miffed by Andrew's abruptness, she decided to leave the food in the refrigerator. If they wanted something to eat, they could ask. She wandered out the back door in search of Mingo, only to find him digging in the freshly turned earth where the gazebo would sit. The workmen were gathered around the area, pointing and chattering like excited school children. Raymond was kneeling by the hole, using one hand to brush at the dirt. As she drew closer she could see that he'd uncovered something.

"What's going on?" she called, joining the group. Then she saw what the furor was about.

"It is a gun," one of the men said in a heavily accented voice.

Raymond pulled the object out of the dirt and held it up for all to see. "Indeed it is."

It was a revolver with a barrel Erica surmised was at least six inches long. The handgrip, although caked with mud, looked like wood.

Raymond stood up and examined his find. "I say, this is quite an antique. He brushed it off as best he could. "It's an old forty-five caliber Colt Peacekeeper. Six shot cylinder."

Erica took a good look at the weapon. "How can you tell? It's filthy."

Raymond turned the revolver over and over in his hands. "Guns have been a hobby of mine for a good many years. This baby was manufactured by Colt around 1873. Some call it the single action Army revolver."

Erica didn't like this one bit. What was a gun doing buried in the garden, especially under a cement slab? "Who do you suppose put it there, Raymond?"

By now the workmen had all closed in, wanting a better look at the weapon. Raymond held it away from them and turned to Erica. "I don't know, but we need to get it inside and clean it up. It looks like it's in good shape, in spite of some rust. The handgrip has held up well. I'd say it's been in the ground for a long, long time though."

"Should we report it to the authorities?" She looked nervously over her shoulder and was relieved to see that the Richters were no longer in the driveway. She assumed they'd gone back inside the inn.

"Look….the dog…" one of the workmen yelled, pointing to where Mingo now dug furiously a few feet away.

Erica rushed at the animal then took a sudden step back when she looked down and saw what he'd uncovered. Memories of July when he dragged a skeletal hand into Joe's cabin, and of December when she'd found him just sitting near this spot staring at the place where the gazebo once stood, came flooding back. "Oh God, Raymond, is that a--"

He finished the sentence for her. "Skull?" He knelt next to Mingo and brushed the rest of the dirt off the object. "Yes, it's a human skull."

It is spring in Spirit Lake and Erica Parkhurst, part owner of the very haunted Spirit Lake Bed & Breakfast, is looking forward to her June wedding to Park Ranger Joe Lakota. Erica’s best friend and co-owner of the inn, Paula Bascilla, is getting ready to move back to the inn with her fiancé, Cal Motega, as they await the birth of their first child. A former guest, Raymond Livingston, is also on hand to oversee the restoration of the rose garden, which was destroyed by fire last fall. The antique show at the community center has brought hundreds of bargain hunters to town so the inn is booked solid. For the first time in a while, Erica has a real sense of well being. Then tragedy strikes Cal and Paula, skeletons are unearthed in the garden, a rapist stalks the town’s women, a guest is murdered and Joe disappears. As Erica’s life spins out of control, she finds herself once again surrounded by secrets, lies and deception. All she wants its the truth, but will it be too much for her to handle?
Price: $6.99 $1.59
Jolly Dead St. Nicholas

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

The residents of Crescent Falls, Ohio are ready to celebrate the Christmas holiday. The beautiful falls on the out...

“I think the worship committee did a superb job this year,” Adelaide McBride said on Thursday morning as she viewed the sanctuary of the Crescent Falls United Methodist Church.

“Well, I have to admit I was skeptical when Reverend Underwood suggested bringing in live Christmas trees, but now that I’ve smelled that wonderful aroma, I’m completely sold. The one in the social hall is every bit as lovely as this one. The children put a lot of effort into making the ornaments,” Adelaide’s best friend Ethel Henshaw observed.

“Have you put in a bid for one of the trees?” Adelaide asked.

The two live trees would be sold via silent auction once the holiday season was over.

“Carl is determined to have the one from the social hall,” Ethel said, referring to her husband of thirty-eight years.

Adelaide looked over at the rotund woman who had been her friend for so many years. Her snow-white hair was carefully styled, her cheeks as plump as those of a cherub. “I kind of favor this one,” Adelaide commented, admiring again the perfectly shaped branches of the six-foot fir tree.

With the annual Christmas Bazaar starting tomorrow, they’d arrived early to finish setting up the various tables of craft items. A year’s worth of work had gone into making crocheted afghans, unique tree ornaments, and a variety of embroidered, knitted and hand-sewn items. Other clever gifts that couldn’t be bought at local stores would also be available.

“I hope it isn’t going to put too much stress on some of our people, having this thing for two days instead of one, like we usually do,” Ethel said.

Adelaide knew some church members had opposed expanding the annual event. However, the finance committee pressed the issue. Ethel had expressed concern about overworking some of its older members, since they created most of the handmade items along with the baked goods sold during the  bazaar.

Of course, people took sides, so several church board meetings erupted into heated debates. What else was new? In the end, the finance committee won out, citing that the influx of tourists that came each Christmas season to see the beautifully lit falls and accompanying holiday displays would mean more sales if the bazaar was a two-day event. Adelaide knew from past experience that many of the decisions made by the board were money-based.

“Well. since we’re holding it for two days we will realize more of a profit, which means the UMW will get a bigger cut.” Ethel said, referring to the United Methodist Women. She was president of the organization this year, a position she’d held several times through the decades.

As had been the arrangement for as long as she could remember, the UMW, whose main focus was mission work, would split the money from the annual bazaar equally with the church. Unlike some churches, the women’s group had a separate treasury, making it autonomous within the church structure. Adelaide had served on almost every church committee, also holding various positions in the UMW through the years. She knew the inner workings of the church, which made her acutely aware that personalities were bound to clash over even the smallest thing. That was why she always tried to evaluate both sides of a situation before expressing an opinion. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. You just never knew.

Adelaide had lived in Crescent Falls her entire life. Until three years ago she’d been married to a wonderful man, Albert. He’d been her high school sweetheart. They’d married when they were twenty-one. Now, at the age of fifty-six, she was a widow. Albert had succumbed to pancreatic cancer after a grueling battle with the horrible disease.

Adelaide ran a hand through her hair, which she’d noticed just that morning seemed to be showing more touches of gray at the temples. “All we can do is hope for the best, Ethel. Our members will rise to the occasion. They always do. We have some beautiful merchandise this year, plus we’ve done some expanded advertising, so I’m looking forward to a big crowd and lots of sales.”

Not much of a pep talk, I must say, but it’s the best I can do. Many people are giving of their time to make this the most successful bazaar ever. I don’t want to see them disappointed. We have to do well, or some much needed church repairs will have to wait, to say nothing of the fact that the UMW might not be able to expand its mission program.

It hadn’t been a particularly good year for the small town of Crescent Falls. Its largest employer, L&C Precision Machine, closed its doors in August, throwing over a hundred people out of work. While some had found jobs in Crescent Falls, others found it necessary to search for work in the larger city of Marietta, ten miles away. A lucky few had found work in the adjacent town of Rosewood. A large majority, however, remained unemployed. Adelaide had a feeling things were going to get worse before they got better.

If it weren’t for the annual lighting of the magnificent falls on the east end of town, which brought tourists from all over the state to view the display for a three-week period in December, she wasn’t sure how Crescent Falls would survive. Still, the town couldn’t live all year on what they made during that short time span.

“I thought I heard some cheery voices in here!”

Adelaide turned to see Reverend Douglas Underwood striding into the sanctuary from the short hallway leading to his study.

“You’re here bright and early. It looks great, doesn’t it?” He made a sweeping gesture with one hand. In addition to the fir tree sitting just left of the altar, pine boughs hung all around and live red poinsettias lined the altar railing.

“It’s amazing,” Adelaide assured him. She observed the minister. He was quite handsome, really, with thick dark brown hair, hazel eyes and a rich, even tan. Many of the women in the congregation had huge crushes on him. She could see why. He was a very charismatic man who dressed with impeccably good taste. Today he wore a pair of gray slacks, a light blue shirt and a navy blue blazer. His shoes were shined to a high gloss.

Such a contrast to his plain, mousy wife, Fran. Stop it Adelaide! That was unkind. Well, at least I didn’t’ say it out loud.

“…by tomorrow morning. We have a good crew coming in today. In fact they should be arriving any time now to start setting up,” Ethel was saying.

Adelaide snapped her attention back to the conversation. Both Ethel and Reverend Underwood were staring at her expectantly. “Yes, well, let’s go to the basement, Ethel. There’s no time to waste,” she said briskly. She turned on her heels, walking purposefully toward the main hallway.

As she passed the church secretary’s office she thought about popping in to say hello, but noticed she was on the phone. Continuing her brisk pace she glanced into the church parlor before descending the stairs. She could hear Ethel’s footfalls behind her trying to keep up.

 

The residents of Crescent Falls, Ohio are ready to celebrate the Christmas holiday. The beautiful falls on the outskirts of town are resplendent with multi-colored lights and other displays that attract tourists annually from around the tri-state area and beyond. Main Street is adorned with decorations reminiscent of a Currier and Ives painting.
For Adelaide McBride and her friends at the Crescent Falls United Methodist Church, the annual Christmas Bazaar is about to get underway. Good cheer is in the air, as the church members anticipate a healthy profit from the sale of the beautiful handmade items they’ve worked hard all year to create.
But also in the air is a sinister undercurrent that will rock not only the church members but every resident of the sleepy little village. Murder and scandal will mar the celebration and propel amateur sleuth Adelaide McBride into an investigation that will hit very close to home.
 
Price: $5.99
Night of the Canid

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Canid #1
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Amnesia victim, Talia Coe, has found the perfect haven in the small Pennsylvania town of Arcadia. She lives a quie...

As Talia got dressed, she thought about her upcoming meeting with Victor. He was a strange man. And she was almost sure something was going on between him and his office manager, Caroline Thomas.

For some reason, Talia sensed that Caroline didn't like her, although she couldn't recall doing anything to offend the woman. She almost acts jealous of the attention Victor gives me.

She ran a brush through her hair and applied a smattering of lipstick. She needed little else to make herself look presentable. Her skin was clear and smooth, with just a few freckles scattered across the bridge of her nose.

A knock at the cottage door startled her and she jumped. When she saw her visitor though the screen door, she muttered, "That will teach me to close both doors."

Craig Lynch smiled a greeting from the small stone stoop, which served as a front porch. "Hey, Tally, want to come out and play?" he finally said, the grin widening.

"No comment," Talia responded. She did not open the door or invite him inside.

"Good one, very funny. Actually I'm here in my capacity as a reporter. I want to do a story about you and the upcoming art exhibit for the paper. Need to set up a time. How about over dinner tomorrow night. You pick the place."

He was, she would guess, somewhere in his mid-thirties. He was partially balding and slightly built. His pale blue eyes ogled her from behind a pair of rimless glasses.

"I'm just on my way out, Craig. Call me later," she said, opening the screen door. She remembered she didn't have her purse or keys. She went to grab them from the coffee table, and when she turned around, he was standing right behind her.

"Nice dress, by the way," he said, reaching out to touch the silky skirt. He rubbed the fabric between his thumb and forefinger.

"I have to go, Craig. As I said, call me and we'll set up a time for me to come by the newspaper office and do the interview."

Craig had been flirting with her since she'd moved to town and it hadn't taken her long to grow tired of it. However, he never seemed to get the message that she wasn't interested. In fact, something about him almost repulsed her.

He let go of her skirt and moved his hand to her hip. Sidestepping, she walked around him and went to the door, opening it wide.

He followed her. "Need a ride?" he asked, his thin lips curling up in a half-smile. They both stepped outside.

"I'd rather walk into town. It's a great day and I like being outdoors," she said as she locked her door, then strode past him and down the cobblestone walk.

 

When Talia entered the art gallery, the first person she saw was Caroline Thomas, hovering over an older, middle-aged couple who were studying a bronze sculpture.

She looked around for Victor, but didn't see him so contented herself with examining some of the pieces that were propped against the far wall. In fact, most of the paintings that usually hung on the walls had been removed and the place smelled of fresh paint. Victor was obviously sprucing things up for the upcoming show.

"I'm going to use easels for a lot of the paintings, especially yours," Victor said, from the mouth of the short hallway that separated the showroom from the offices.

Funny, she could have sworn he hadn't been in there when she'd looked for him a few moments ago.

He came to her, then reached out and took both of her hands in his. "You look beautiful as always. So what do you think of the place?" He beamed proudly.

It did look good. The new, lighter shades made a world of difference. "It's perfect." She smiled at him, thinking that he really looked more suited to big city life. So why had he tucked himself away in this little village so off the beaten path?

Caroline joined them, looking Talia up and down, before turning her attention to Victor. "The Swansons want that sculpture. I'm sending it out tomorrow, but they want a word with you."

As Victor went to talk to the Swansons, Caroline leveled her gaze on Talia. "Victor is quite enthused about your paintings. They will be ready, won't they?"

The other woman's animosity was obvious. "They'll be ready," Talia replied coolly.

"See that they are. I wouldn't want to see Victor disappointed," Caroline said before walking away.

Suddenly, the hair at the nape of Talia's neck stirred and she shivered. I'm being watched, but from where? Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a fleeting glimpse of someone staring in the front window. But when she turned to look, there was no one there.

Amnesia victim, Talia Coe, has found the perfect haven in the small Pennsylvania town of Arcadia. She lives a quiet life, immersing herself in her art, thanks to her mentor, local art gallery owner, Victor Kane. But Caroline Thomas, Victor's lover, suspects there is more to the relationship. Driven by jealousy, she enlists the aid of local reporter, Craig Lynch, in finding out who Talia is and how she ended up in Arcadia. Talia craves peace and quiet, but is plagued by dreams of a mysterious man, whose presence stirs up uncertainty and fear inside of her. One night during an art show at the Kane Gallery, the man of her dreams appears, shaking her to the core and setting in motion a series of events that will redefine what and who she is. Later, when Craig Lynch is found murdered in the woods near Talia's cottage, things spin out of control for everyone involved as Talia discovers that she is at the center of a terrifying deception that could destroy her.
Price: $5.99
Nightwatchers

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Canid #3
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

It's a snowy February in Arcadia and Talia Coe is again besieged by nightmares as her father, Victor Kane, is...

Talia settled into the hot bath water and sighed. Lucas, standing at the bathroom sink was trimming his goatee. "I'm starting to resemble a sailor who's been at sea too long," he said.

"I sort of like the shaggy look, gives you an aura of mystery," she said, with a smile. She sighed and laid her head back against the cool porcelain.

"What are you doing under those bubbles anyway? You're doing an awful lot of cooing," he asked.

"You're a pervert. Besides, if you're so curious, why don't you join me and find out?"

He turned and looked at her. "I think I just might take you up on that," he said, stripping off his under-shorts and walking toward the antique claw-foot tub.

Once he was settled opposite her, his feet wrapped around her hips, he said, "Bliss. Pure bliss."

"Oh, you haven't seen anything yet," Talia promised, feeling a sense of contentment she hadn't experienced in a long time. She'd been a real bitch at the shop earlier, she realized that. Rachel Lewis was just a young woman trying to earn a living and had been fortunate enough to come across Lucas's ad. Of course she was enthused and felt good about herself--she had a job she liked and was good at. Jealousy was an evil monster and Talia had made a vow tonight to never let it get the better of her again. "I'm thinking we should have Rachel over for dinner soon. She's probably not rich by any means, having just gotten the job at the shop and could probably use a free meal now and then."

"What changed your mind about her?"

She met his gaze. "I didn't have any particular mindset about Rachel, Lucas. I just was surprised by her, that's all. Now I want to get to know her better."

Lucas shrugged. "Sure. Let me know when and I'll ask her. But right now, I have other things on my mind."

Talia smiled. "Oh, like what?"

"Guess."

She bent her knees and scooted toward him. "Meet me halfway?"

It's a snowy February in Arcadia and Talia Coe is again besieged by nightmares as her father, Victor Kane, is scheduled to go on trial for the murder of local reporter, Craig Lynch. Tension runs high as Talia tries to cope with everyday life, including news that some of her artwork will be displayed at a New York gallery in the spring. On edge and frightened for her father, Talia sometimes finds herself at odds with her lover, Lucas Knight, when he doesn't seem to be as devoted to seeing Victor go free as she is. In the meantime, Lucas is planning to expand his antique shop and has hired some help, an antique-savvy woman named Rachel Lewis. Willing to do what he can to comfort and support Talia, he is still no fan of Victor's, and knows the feeling is mutual. Their history as two alpha males fighting to control the same wolf pack has made it impossible for them to ever be friends. For Caroline Thomas, Victor's lover, it is a time of turmoil as she tries to repair the Kane Art Gallery's reputation. Added to that, she must cope with their infant son, Alex, who has already shown signs of shifting into wolf cub form. Hiring Clair Fontaine as Alex's nanny seems to be the perfect answer. Now if Alex will just refrain from shifting in the woman's presence, and if Caroline can convince herself that Victor will be acquitted and come home to them, things might settle down. That hope is dashed, however, when she learns that Neil Wade, one of the lovers she acquired when Victor was on the run, has been subpoenaed to testify for the prosecution at Victor's trial. As the trial date approaches, it becomes apparent that evil forces are now at work in the small town of Arcadia. For Talia, Lucas, Caroline and Victor, things become even more dangerous as murder again taints their lives, a vandal lays waste to the cozy cottage Talia shares with Lucas, and a vicious kidnapper strikes without warning.
Price: $5.99
Shadows in the Night

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Canid #2
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

It’s autumn in Arcadia and Talia Coe is still plagued by uncertainty and nightmares, even though she now kno...

Talia stirred, muttered something, then became fully awake. She sat up, clutching the down comforter around her naked body and looked at the other side of the bed.

Empty.

She glanced at the bedside clock. It read just after midnight.

She listened for movement, hoping she would hear him walking around in the living room, or bathroom. Nothing. She was alone in the house.

Where is he at this hour?

Memories of their ferocious lovemaking came back to her in a rush. She'd been like a woman possessed. Was it because she saw the attention he'd been paying to Abby Stewart?

Lucas had explained the scene she's walked in on and she believed him. There was something innately conniving about that woman.

Talia glanced at the French doors. It was then she noticed they were not locked. Getting quickly out of bed, she went to them and pushed the white curtain aside, peering out. Satisfied that no one was lurking around, she opened one of them and stepped out into the night.        

The air smelled fresh and clean. She looked up at the moon and felt a stirring deep within her that had nothing to do with sex. Then she recalled the way she'd felt earlier when she'd begun to change, to transform. Fear slithered up her spine.

Lucas said we could control it, that we wouldn't turn unless we wanted to. We promised one another we'd never transform again. Not after the awful things that happened in the spring.

All at once, she knew where he was, and she felt sick inside.

It’s autumn in Arcadia and Talia Coe is still plagued by uncertainty and nightmares, even though she now knows the truth about her past. Or does she? She still feels there are things her lover, Lucas Knight, is keeping from her. And how does she deal with the hot, burning desire that flares inside of her at a moment’s notice? And where is her father, Victor Kane, who is wanted by the police for the murder of local reporter, Craig Lynch? And what about the new tenants of the nearby estate, Nick and Abby Stewart? Nick’s unwelcome advances make Talia uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as the attention Abby lavishes on Lucas. For Caroline Thomas, Victor’s lover, it is a time of turmoil as she tries to run the Kane Art Gallery and cope with her pregnancy. Hiring an assistant, Jeremy, has helped alleviate some of the workload and Caroline’s loneliness. But when Neil Wade moves into the townhouse across the courtyard from her, she is torn between two romances. But once again murder strikes when Jeremy’s body is found behind the art gallery. Then a mysterious fire at Caroline’s townhouse almost takes her life. Has Victor returned seeking revenge against those who have betrayed him? Or are other forces at work?
Price: $5.99
Slay Bells Ring

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Spirit Lake #3
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

It's the holiday season and Erica Parkhurst, part owner now of the Spirit Lake Inn, has organized an event cal...

She ran through the darkness, her breath coming in short rasps, her heart hammering painfully against her ribcage. The lake was behind her and she could hear the water slapping against the dock pilings. She didn't dare stop to look back, although every fiber in her being wanted to do so. She had to get away from him, had to hide somewhere.

Her dress was in tatters, her hair a tangled mess around her face. It was becoming harder and harder to run, her legs didn't want to work, they felt weak and shaky. She could still feel the slap of his hand against her swollen cheek.

Get away…never look back…run…run.

"No! Leave me alone!" Erica Parkhurst shouted. She sat up in bed and frantically looked around her, still half asleep and unable to fully recognize her surroundings.

Next to her, Joe Lakota stirred and mumbled, "Hmm…what's that?" Then he sat up and turned on the bedside lamp, casting a soft, amber glow over the cozy bedroom. From the floor, Mingo whined and yawned, stretching as he stood. His coat was multicolored and thick. The eyes were amber, set in a face that looked like it wore a mask of gray. Part wolf, part dog, he'd been raised by Joe from a pup.

Slowly, Erica took in the sturdy furniture and the thick comforter that was now in disarray around her. She was safe, with the man she loved, in the cabin he'd built with his own two hands.

Mingo laid his head on her leg and searched her face with big soulful eyes. She absently rubbed the canine's head. "I'm sorry, Joe. I had a nightmare. But it was so real."

He scooted closer to her and put a muscular arm around her shoulder, pulling her against his bare chest.

Erica had met Joe when she first happened upon Spirit Lake in July. She'd been running from a broken marriage, looking for a place of refuge and solitude. One night's stay at the local bed and breakfast had turned into something much more, when she found herself embroiled in not only a murder investigation, but a ghost hunt as well. Months later, the inn's owner, Evelyn Black, had asked her to return and run the business while she recuperated from surgery. Erica had done so, bringing along Paula Bascilla, her best friend. Actually, Erica would have come without Paula if it had meant seeing Joe again.

"Want to talk about it?" Joe asked, kissing the side of her head.

She looked at him and smiled. His dark eyes studied her with concern. His Iroquois heritage gave his skin a coppery glow, especially in this lighting. She felt her heart flutter a little as he stroked her cheek with a fingertip.

She shook her head and felt some of her thick, coppery hair tumble over her face. He made no move to push it back. She knew why, he liked the way she looked when she was "bed tumbled" as he called it.

"It was just a dream." She smiled again.

"Maybe I need to hang another dream catcher," Joe whispered, nodding backwards toward the feathered charm dangling above the headboard.

"To catch and destroy my bad dreams?" Erica asked.

Mingo snorted as though in disdain and resumed his previous position on the floor.

"I don't think Mingo appreciates my interrupting his sleep," Erica chuckled.

"Why don't you tell me what's really going on, Erica?" Joe asked, his expression somber.

Erica stroked his chest lightly. "Well, let's see…Christmas is only three weeks away and tomorrow our guests arrive for the inn's very first--"

He interrupted, "I'm not talking about that. You know what I mean." He put a little distance between them and propped himself up on one elbow. He looked at her, waiting for an answer.

Erica sighed. "I've been having this recurring dream. I'm back in time I think, because my clothing is old fashioned. I'm being chased up the hill from the lake. I'm desperate and frightened. It gets all muddled after that." She thought for a moment. "Forget it. It's no big deal. It's probably just the stress of the upcoming events. That and all the research we've been doing on the inn's past."

"You don't think what happened in October has something to do with it?" He eyed her closely, worry creasing his brow.

She had to admit, he had a point. "We had some damage control to do after the murder of a guest, that's for sure. And that is why this Christmas event is so important. I just don't want anything to go wrong."

Joe looked at the window and pointed. "It's snowing again. Should be the perfect atmosphere for your guests tomorrow."

Erica got up, put on one of Joe's flannel shirts, which hit her slender frame mid- thigh, and went to the window. She sat down on the window seat that, just months ago, had held one of Joe's best kept secrets. The snow was falling in large, lacy flakes, covering the two inches that had settled over the landscape yesterday.

"Looks like the stage is set," Joe said, joining her. He'd brought the comforter which he now wrapped around them both.

They sat there for the next hour, snuggled together, watching the snow fall.

It's the holiday season and Erica Parkhurst, part owner now of the Spirit Lake Inn, has organized an event called Enchanted Christmas. The weeklong event was to be open to couples only, but again fate intervenes and things don't go as planned. Paula Bascilla, Erica's best friend, is now living with her lover, Cal Motega, but things are not on an even keel. Cal is harboring a secret he will not share with her, yet one that keeps him up nights and causes bizarre behavior that is beginning to frighten her. But soon, Paula makes a discovery that will change both of their lives forever. When the guests arrive, Erica is in for an unpleasant shock when one of them turns out to be someone from her past and another one is there to promote a business deal that could adversely affect the inn's future. Then when a guest is murdered and Cal arrested for the crime, Erica, Paula and Joe must get to the truth. In the meantime, ghostly activity is running rampant, involving the guests this time to the point where one is injured. Yet Erica and Paula feel they are getting closer to unlocking some of the secrets of the inn's spectral residents. Spend the holidays in Spirit Lake where more secrets are revealed, lives are changed and romance still blossoms against the backdrop of a winter wonderland.
Price: $5.99
Spirit Lake

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Spirit Lake #1
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Nestled near the base of Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest is the small town of Spirit Lake. Rich in fo...
Nestled near the base of Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest is the small town of Spirit Lake. Rich in folklore, it has become a tourist attraction due to its quaint atmosphere and unique antique shops. When Erica Parkhurst flees New York City in the wake of a marital split and accidentally discovers the little hamlet she is intrigued by the ghost stories surrounding the local inn and the mist-shrouded lake nearby. Then one night she encounters a mysterious man on the dock but before she can find out his name he disappears into the fog. Did she imagine him? During a trip into town the next day she see's the man again and follows him into a dead end alley, where he vanishes once more! Hot on the trail of his soon-to-be ex wife, Grant Parkhurst shows up unexpectedly at the inn but Erica flees out the back door into the surrounding woods to avoid a confrontation. Lost and frightened, she is met by a rescuer of the canine variety who leads her to a secluded cabin where she finally meets her elusive stranger, Joe Lakota, and his trusty wolf/dog, Mingo. Soon Erica finds herself involved in a murder case when a skeleton washes up at the edge of the lake and Joe becomes the prime suspect. Can she risk falling in love with a man who may be a murderer? And what other secrets are hidden beneath the glassy surface of Spirit Lake?
Price: $4.99
Vows of Silence

Written By: Carol A. Guy
Series: Spirit Lake #5
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Erica’s return to Spirit Lake is soon overshadowed by a series of shocking events that will alter the course...

Addie Goddard stared across the dining room table at her husband Charles, again struck by the sheer magnetism of the man. To say he was merely handsome did him a great disservice. Even though he’d just had his forty-first birthday, he was still as good looking as the day she’d met him twenty-one years ago.

She’d noticed a little gray at his temples the other day, but it didn’t detract from his appearance. His black hair, worn a little longer than she preferred, was still thickly luxuriant. He had finely chiseled features along with a strong jaw line.

He looked up from the roasted chicken, settling his cobalt blue gaze on her. “You’re awfully quiet tonight, Addie.”

Her eyes met his. He seemed a little apprehensive. She wasn’t surprised, considering. She forced a smile. “There’s a letter from George on the table in the foyer.” Their son, now twenty years of age, was a student at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“I’ll read it later.” His voice had an edge. He took a deep breath, putting his fork on his plate. “Anna Mae won’t be home tonight?”

Addie bit back a sharp response. He knew the answer to that question. “No, she’s staying the night at the Hastings’ in town. She and Ruth are working on that school project.”

“Oh, yes, of course.”

“I took her in the carriage this afternoon while you were working in the den,” she added.

A look of irritation briefly crossed his flawless face. “I remember, Addie.” As though realizing he’d spoken too sharply, he smiled.

She felt her heart squeeze a little as it always did when Charles smiled at her. She’d often wondered why he’d married her in the first place.

Of course, they always marry the plain ones, don’t they? It’s the beautiful ones they have the affairs with.

She shook that thought from her mind, even though she knew it was true.

“How did your work go this afternoon?” She was trying to focus her mind on this evening, this moment, anything to keep from remembering what happened earlier. In a nervous gesture she ran her hand over her sleekly pulled back brown hair. Lackluster brown, that’s what her mother had called the long, thin tresses. “You remind me of a little sparrow,” she’d often said.

A sparrow. Nondescript, easily ignored, with my mousy brown hair and pale green eyes. Sometimes I felt invisible. Until Charles, that is. He made me feel vibrant, like a beautiful swan. At least for a while.

Charles was speaking. “….into town tonight later. This client won’t arrive until after eight but he wants to meet me at the office.”

Another client in town. Another late evening meeting. She should be used to it by now, but it still wrenched at her heart when she had to sit here pretending to believe the lie. Usually Charles’s affairs fizzled out quickly, leaving Addie with a certain sense of security, albeit an uneasy one.

“Let’s have coffee out on the porch,” Charles suggested as he rose from the table.

He was a tall muscular man who took pride in his appearance. He’d removed his suit coat, but still wore a white starched shirt and navy blue trousers. “It’s a warm evening, how about we row out onto the lake after we have our coffee. You can watch your precious mist rise off the water.” His tone lacked the light quality that usually accompanied any comment he made about her penchant for wanting to watch the mysterious fog rise each evening.

Their housekeeper, Mrs. Fitzgerald, came into the dining room to clear the table. Addie said to her, “We’ll have coffee on the porch. Then you can leave as soon as you’re finished with the dinner dishes. We won’t need you any longer tonight.”

The woman nodded as she began gathering up the plates, cups and silverware. Addie followed Charles outside.

The house, sitting on a hill just outside of Spirit Lake, was a three story Georgian style structure with one peculiarity. Instead of a portico, which was usually part of such architecture, it had a generous wrap around front porch. Addie stood for a moment, looking at the rose garden to her left. It was mid-June. The bushes, some planted by Josephine Billings, wife of the original owner, others planted by Addie herself, were blooming. Their heady fragrance filled the air. She inhaled deeply.

Erica’s return to Spirit Lake is soon overshadowed by a series of shocking events that will alter the course of her life forever.
 
It is a steamy summer in Spirit Lake. After a year away, during which her father, Harold, died of a heart attack, Erica returns with her daughter, Joanna, and her mother, Diane, in tow. The reason for her return is twofold: Jake Lakota has planned a memorial service for his brother, Joe. Also, Erica plans to sell her half of the inn to her friend and partner, Paula, after which she will return to Florida with Diane and Joanna. Soon, however, it becomes apparent that this plan will not unfold as expected, since things are in turmoil at the inn. It seems that the casino will be built across the lake after all. Also, the ghost in the basement continues to terrorize any who venture near the wine cellar.
Murder and deceit and deadly secrets are the order of the day as the town of Spirit Lake prepares for its annual July Fourth Founders’ Day celebration. In the midst of it all, Erica is blindsided by unexpected events that her turn world upside down.
Price: $5.99