July 30, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Wind Whisperer by Krista Holle

Cover Art by Janice Duke
Title: The Wind Whisperer
Author: Krista Holle
Genre: YA
Release Date: Expected publication October
15th 2013

At fifteen, Anaii is the most important member of her tribe—and the most mysterious.  Ever since Anaii can remember, the spirits of the wind have whispered of fertile hunting grounds and imminent enemy attacks.  But when her people are ambushed by a brother clan without any apparent cause, the spirits remain eerily silent.

As the village prepares to retaliate, Anaii is pressured by her best friend, Elan, to marry him.  It’s an old plea—Elan has spent a lifetime loving her, but Anaii only sees a childhood playmate out of an imposing warrior.  Stifled by Elan’s insistence, Anaii escapes into the forest where she meets Jayttin, the beautiful son of the enemy chief. 

Enamored by Jayttin’s carefree spirit and hope for peace, she repeatedly sneaks away to be with him, but when her deception is discovered, Elan is devastated.  Pledging his lifelong affection, Elan gives her a passionate kiss, and Anaii begins to see her friend in a new light. 

While Anaii is tormented over which man she must choose, the wind whispers of a new threat that could destroy both tribes.  Only a union will afford a chance at survival, but the reality of that union is based on one thing—which man Anaii chooses to die.

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Krista has been writing since she was nine-years-old when she scribbled out her first adolescent work entitled Merish, the completely illogical but heartfelt story of a girl who was part mermaid, part fish. As a young mother, Krista added to her repertoire some middle grade readers and picture books she’s wary of mentioning.

In 2004, Krista began an intensive four year period working part-time as a critical care nurse while homeschooling her four children. During this hectic time, courses of writing were taught and learned, and rules of syntax were scolded to memory. Ironically this period of study equipped Krista with the tools she needed to enter the next phase of her writing experience. Now equipped with the mysteries of the comma, Krista was ready to tackle a much bigger project—a full fledged novel.

After the kids were enrolled in public school in 2009, it occurred to Krista that there is an insatiable audience of women and girls who want to read books filled with stories about true love. Convinced that there was an unfulfilled audience waiting for what Krista loves to write—romance, she sat down in the family’s dungeon, a.k.a. the basement, and began to furiously type. In no time, her first novel was drying on crisp white paper.

Krista currently resides in Midlothian, Virginia with her husband, four daughters, and an eccentric cat with an attachment to the family’s socks. She continues to write obsessively every chance she can get.

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Interview and giveaway with author Phyllis Edgerly Ring

It is my great pleasure to welcome
author Phyllis Edgerly Ring to My Book Chatter today for an interview.
Phyllis has also very generously offered to send one lucky reader a goodie pack, which includes a print copy of her book Snow Fence Road!!!
(see rafflecopter at bottom of this post)

Welcome Phyllis :)

Why did you want to be a writer?
Possibly the result of too much time alone in my room as a kid, together with the fact that I come from a family of writers. Stories came and found me and have never stopped. My making the commitment to go the distance and stay with them, learn and grow and be shaped by them, as they take shape, until I discover what they want to show me is what feels like the real practice of writing, for me.

Where did the idea for Snow Fence Road first come from?
I dreamt it, more than 25 years ago. I saw the incident that shatters one character’s life (and remains a mystery full of secrets in the story) just as if witnessing it like a bystander.

How did you choose the genre you write in?
I’ve always yearned to write about the many-layered complexity of relationships, the recognitions we reach within them about ourselves and others and life, which can set us free, or keep us imprisoned -- and the growth and redemption that are the goal in everything of value in life, and in fiction, for me. I’m interested in how souls meet what it is they encounter and work with it and through it in order to recognize and claim whole new depths in themselves and their lives, and accompany others as they do the same. For this book’s story, which explores how compassion heals others and ourselves, sweet, inspirational romantic fiction was the route. Also, the book has a very regional flavor, as well as a small-town one, both vital elements, for me. By contrast, my current novel-in-progress has historical elements, set in Nazi Germany, as well as contemporary, women’s fiction, and generational-story ones.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your books or getting them published that you would change?
I’d have worried less about trying to please any sort of “gatekeeper”, or meet or match any trends and instead really respected the writing process itself, first and foremost. That, in my experience, is how work takes shape in the way that benefits it best, and also, I believe, works best for this writer. Rather than try to impose or engineer writing, I seem to need to meet and serve stories as they come through and forth from what feels like the inside-out.

In your experience, what are the best and worst things about being a writer?
Because I did a lot of nonfiction writing and publishing of article-length work, I learned lots of useful tools for the process of writing longer work, and fiction. There just wasn’t ever opportunity to feel concern about being blocked – my inner attitude is that I’m always living in writing, and in the process of how a completed work is coming into being. That’s my own “atmosphere”, so to speak. I think that writing for magazines and newspapers, demanding and constrained as it often was, helped me feel more ownership of writing and how I wish to go about it. The focus for me now is to bring myself to a work of writing as fully as I can, so that it can inform, instruct, and lead. It’s an inextricable part of spiritual life, for me. Saying “yes” in this way winds up leading to saying “no” in many others, as time goes on.

Who are your ‘must read’ authors and who would we find on your bookshelves/e-reader?

Some favorites for fiction are Tracy Chevalier, Ursula Hegi, and Barbara Kingsolver. I’m also falling in love with the friendly, insightful work of a writer here in New Hampshire named Betsy Woodman. For support in the writing life, I appreciate authors Maureen Murdock and Eric Maisel. And for her fiction-like nonfiction, I really appreciate Diane Ackerman.

Fast Five
Favorite food…
Peaceful Pumpkin gluten-free indescribably yummy muffins from my hometown’s Good Karma Café.

Favourite movie…
I credit “The Snow Goose” (from the long-ago novella by Paul Gallico) with launching and setting the emotional tone and yearnings of my inner writer, at an early age.

Cat lover or Dog person…
Dog, by inheritance, with an ever-growing regard and respect for cats.

Celebrity crush…
Colin Firth.

If you weren’t a writer, you’d be…
Helping writers, somehow. Or perhaps an herbalist, an interest that will probably be with me for life.

Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed Phyllis <3


A village on the coast of Maine holds painful secrets—
the kind only the miracle of new love can heal.

Tormented by her fiancé’s death, Tess Johansen escapes to the only place that can still comfort her—the Spinnaker Inn in coastal Maine. Here in this place by the sea she feels close enough to the man she lost to numb the pain, if not the guilt.

For local craftsman, Evan Marston, the ramshackle inn serves only as a grim reminder of the accident that shattered his life and killed the woman he once loved. But while the Spinnaker’s walls may hold guilt and grief and suspicion, they might also house a bright new spark.

Drawn together by a love they never expected, Tess and Evan begin to unravel the mysteries of their pasts and question the miracle at work in their wounded hearts—until one fateful evening along a snow fence road…


“Are you ... all right?” he asked finally as he slid slowly into a sitting position.

“I can’t sleep.” Her voice, barely audible, was flat.
As though the words had tapped the last of her reserves, she slumped suddenly and Evan knew she was going to fall. As he moved to intercept her, the only way to avoid the edge of the coffee table was to close his arms around her and guide her down until she landed beside him. Her head lolled as she came to rest against him, sliding down onto his chest until he reached to cradle it gently and move it back onto his left shoulder.

Evan struggled to sit upright but it was impossible. He sat wondering what to do as the moonlight shed soft pools of light on her pale skin and dark hair. He had no idea which room was hers and she certainly wouldn’t be able to tell him.

She shivered with little gusts of tears that trailed off as she slipped into sleep then startled out of it like a restless child. He decided the best thing was to remain still until she fell asleep then find a way to disengage and let her rest here.

Instinctively, he stroked her hair, which seemed to have a quieting effect. “It’s all right,” he murmured. “You’ll get through this. Even if you can’t believe it now.

“Just rest,” he urged softly. “There’s nothing you could have done differently. Let sleep take you away for a while.”

As he said these things, he felt a sense of peace he dimly remembered but would never have anticipated. In the days after his accident, there had been no one to console him and, perhaps worse, no one to console. This, he realized, is part of how people get through loss, though each goes through the needle’s eye of grief alone. It was that great loneliness that had made him want to die or, more exactly, struggle to find the will to live—made life itself seem like the worst of punishments. It was odd to suddenly feel so close to that again when he’d worked hard to distance himself from it. She lay heavy against him now. In a little while, he’d probably be able to disentangle himself without disturbing her. But for now, there really wasn’t any hurry. The unexpected peace of this contact seemed to hold him in place.

Here he was with the last thing in the world he’d have ever expected—a pleasantly warm, fragrantly scented, and distinctly female body wrapped in his arms. You just never knew what you were waking up to some days.
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Phyllis Edgerly Ring's current novel project follows the lives of three women there during the second world war in Germany. She loves writing, travel, and the noblest possibilities in the human heart. She is also author of Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details, nonfiction from Baha'i Publishing about balancing the spiritual and material requirements of life. She has worked as editor, nurse, tour guide, and conference program director, taught English to kindergartners in China, and served as instructor for the Long Ridge Writer’s Group. Her articles and essays have appeared in such publications as Christian Science Monitor, Ms., Writer’s Digest, and Yankee.
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And now for the giveaway!
Its easy-peasy to enter and open internationally - good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 27, 2013

Swaggy Saturday Giveaway!!

Its Saturday night, I've had a bit of a clean out and I've ended up with a HUGE stack of swag that needs a new home!!

So, I figure it's time for an impromptu giveaway!

There are more than 90 items of swag...
signed bookmarks, unsigned bookmarks, magnets, collectors cards, postcards, note-lets, mouse-pads, keyrings and more!!

For your chance to win 1 of 10 swag packs,
just enter the rafflecopter below
Giveaway is open internationally :)

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July 24, 2013

Cover Reveal: Melted Tears by Annabelle Blume

Here it is - the long awaited
cover for Melted Tears

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Release Date: August 2013

Two lovers face off against a government determined to keep them apart. It’s only brave if it’s hard.

After a decade of being alone in the wilderness, Cressenda is still adjusting to life with the man of her dreams. When Beckett hatches a plan to break her parents out of The Affinity prison work camps, Cressenda must make the biggest sacrifice of her life; trading her freedom for her parents’. Cressenda’s fortitude is tested at every turn, from surviving the conditions of West Fallen work camp to believing in Beckett’s dedication to their plan and their love, even when it looks like all hope is lost. With the help of a unlikely ally, Cressenda learns to stop fighting against her fears and embrace the power of fighting for her dreams.

Will trusting Beckett to take down The Affinity be the ultimate show of faith or a fatal mistake?

Annabelle is a Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy Romance author, that is, when she's not checking homework or begrudgingly cooking dinner. Wife, mother, and creator of alternate worlds, Annabelle has a penchant for that which is outside the norm.

Her Sociology degree has given her the ability to construct worlds that exist only in her head and translate them passionately to the page. The time spent studying individuals, interpersonal relationships, and particularly, women, within the constraints of our society led to Annabelle's unabashed ability to talk about sex as it fits into our modern lives.

She's also the author/personality of The Bombshell Mommy at Vitacost.com, where she expounds her knowledge of being a vixen clad in sweatpants.

A serial book monogamist, Annabelle is deeply devoted to the literary love of her life until the next amazing book falls into her clutches and she obsesses anew.


Don’t forget to check out the first book...

A decade surviving on her own. 

Three days with the enemy. 

Can love conquer all?

Cressenda knows how to survive. With her sled dogs as her only companions, she’s spent the past ten years hiding in the snow covered wilderness from the oppressive regime of the Affinity. When a routine trip to civilization takes a turn for the worst, Cressenda is forced to take refuge with the enemy or lose her life to the frozen countryside.

But Beckett, a Guard of the Affinity, is more than a man in uniform. His desperate need to help Cressenda escape both- the blizzard and the Affinity- makes her feelings for him all the more troubling. Will Beckett be true to his word and set Cressenda free? Will her heart let her leave after all they’ve shared?

Release Date: August 7th, 2012
Format: eBook and Paperback
Length: NovellaISBN: eBook: 978-0-9851483-6-2

July 22, 2013

Book Review Tour: Branded by Abi Ketner & Melissa Kalicicki

I realized while writing my review for Branded that I couldn't justify giving it a rating at or above 3 stars, and so, at the request of the tour organizers, I will not be posting the review here.

Twenty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Abi Ketner is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.

Melissa Kalicicki received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan.

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Twitter @
Website and Blog www.abiandmissy.com

July 16, 2013

Spotlight On: Remembering Love by Nadine Christian with GIVEAWAY!

Today I'd like to shine a Spotlight On author Nadine Christian and her book Remembering Love, and thanks to her generosity I have an e-copy to giveaway :)
(see rafflecopter at the bottom of this post)


Title: Remembering Love
Author: Nadine Christian

Release Date: February 1st 2013 
Publisher: Eternal Press

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When all is lost, how do you remember love?

When her beloved foster parents pass away, Holly discovers a past both shocking and heartbreaking: the murder/suicide of her biological parents on the South Pacific island of Pitcairn, famous for the HMAV Bounty mutineers. Travelling to a home she does not remember, Holly reconnects with long-lost childhood friend Jack. An old friendship quickly becomes more…until a dark secret is uncovered.

Will joyous love remembered become heartbreak? Can she find out the truth before someone else is hurt?

Purchase Links

Nadine Christian lives on Pitcairn Island, a small isle in the middle of the South Pacific, with her husband, five children, four goats, two cats and thirty chickens. With its rich maritime history, Pitcairn's romantic past comes alive in her novels, capturing the taste of life on an isolated tropical island, miles from the rush and bustle of normal city life.

You can find Nadine here

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July 12, 2013

Spotlight On... Cedar Hollow by Tracey Smith

It is with great pleasure that I shine a Spotlight On Tracey Smith and her latest release Cedar Hollow :)


Title: Cedar Hollow
Author: Tracey Smith
Release Date:
May 7th 2013

Cassidy St. Claire still wasn't sure what she'd been hoping to find when she began the search for her birth parents, but all she’d uncovered was a bunch of death certificates and one ailing great-uncle who’d finally kicked the bucket last week. Since Cassidy is the last surviving member of the family that means his estate, a small seaside bed and breakfast in New Hampshire, has been left to her. An odd stipulation in his Will requires that she appear in person to inherit the property. Cassidy isn't very hopeful that this weekend trip will lead to anything more than a momentary distraction from her busy life, and an excuse to take her convertible for a long drive up the coast.

She certainly isn't prepared for Mr. Tall Handsome and Brooding; Ben Riley has been running the bed and breakfast for the last several years, and he is definitely less than welcoming. His instant dislike for her is staggering, but his penetrating green eyes burn with a dangerous mixture of hostility and attraction.Within days of her arrival an attempt is made on her life and then another. Suddenly Cassidy finds herself trying to unravel the mysteries of the past, while outrunning the dangers of the present and finally turning to the strong, protective arms of Ben Riley and a future she'd never imagined.

Meet the author

I grew up in Southern California, but as a teenager moved with my family to a small town in Arkansas. It was there that I met my husband, who had also recently moved to the state. Fate brought us both to that same small town and into each other’s lives and it is where we remain today raising our two children and living out our happily ever after. As you can probably tell I’m a hopeless romantic.
I began my writing career in 2009 with the publication of my first novel Love’s Fate, which quickly grew into a romantic series. Since that first day that I sat down to write I haven’t been able to stop. Writing is my passion and has become a necessary part of my life. My new release, Cedar Hollow, is a romantic suspense novel.

Here's a teaser...
Chapter One
She drove up I-95 with the top down. The wind whipped through her long blonde hair and she enjoyed the feel of having it loose, rather than pulled tight. Her scalp thanked her for the reprieve. It was a perfect summer day, with the warm sun shining down on her pale skin. She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d taken the time to enjoy the feel of the sunshine, too many hours spent indoors.
This was why she’d chosen to drive up the east coast rather than fly. In the two years since she’d bought her Miata coupe convertible she’d yet to take it for a drive with the top down. It was about time. She needed this. She needed a break.
As she listened to Mick Jagger sing about how you can’t always get what you want, the familiar ping of her cell phone interrupted the radio. The irony was not lost on her. She pressed a button on the console.
“Cassidy St. Claire.” She answered.
“Ms. St. Claire, its Roger. I’m so sorry to bother you on your vacation.”
“I don’t take vacations, Roger.”
“Of course, Ma’am. Well nevertheless I wouldn’t be bothering you unless it was of the utmost urgency.”
“Get to the point, Roger.” Cassidy smiled to herself, everything was of the utmost urgency to Roger.
“It’s Mr. Belfour, Ma’am. He’s trying to back out of the deal.” Poor Roger sounded as if he was at his wits end.
“Has he told you this?” Cassidy questioned calmly.
“Well no, Ma’am, not in so many words. But Carl Jenkins from accounting was at the Tavern Golf Club having dinner last night and Mr. Belfour was there as well. Carl overheard him talking about how he was regretting his decision to sell the hotel, and that perhaps he might hold onto it a little longer until his grandson was old enough to take over. Then this morning Mr. Belfour called requesting a meeting with you. I’m not sure what to do, Ma’am.”
“Set the meeting.”Cassidy instructed matter-of-factly.
“But, Ma’am, aren’t you on your way to New Hampshire?”
“I am.” Cassidy confirmed. “Set the meeting with Mr. Belfour for tomorrow morning at the Grand Highlander, private dining room. Full spread breakfast buffet, mimosas, full staff on hand. I want Mr. Belfour waited on hand and foot, five star treatment. Have Rebecca Gardner meet him, then deliver a message to Rebecca that I’m running late and that I insist they start breakfast without me. Once Mr. Belfour has had his breakfast and has enjoyed the royal treatment deliver another message that I’ve been held up and must reschedule our meeting. That should buy enough time until I get back on Monday.”
“Yes, Ma’am, I’ll call Ms. Gardner and let her know right away.”The relief in Roger’s voice was evident. The poor boy had way too much anxiety for someone so young, but Cassidy still felt confident in her choice to bring him on as an intern. His knack for picking up gossip was unprecedented and in the business world reliable gossip was as good as gold.
“Good work, Roger, I’ll see you Monday.”
“Enjoy your weekend, Ms. St. Claire.”
Cassidy clicked off and once again the music flowed through the car speakers, this time it was the Eagles living it up at the Hotel California. She loved the classics. Cassidy turned it up and sang along as she sped along the highway. It wasn’t long before her phone pinged again.
“Cassidy St. Claire.”
“Cassi, are you seriously going to make me have breakfast with Mr. Can’t-keep-my-hands-to-myself!” Rebecca was not happy with her.
“Becca, he’s an important client. We need that property for the new resort. It’s just breakfast.”
“I swear if he tries to grab my ass one more time…”
“You’ll tactfully avoid it like you always do.” Cassidy finished the statement for her.
“He’s a perverted old man!”
“Who owns a prime piece of real estate.” Cassidy reminded her.
“I know, I know. What’s the deal with the old goat? Why are we doing the whole wine and dine routine again, I thought this one was in the bag.”
“It’s never in the bag until the contract is signed. Mr. Belfour just needs a little reminder of what the good life will be like once he has all that money in his pocket and isn’t being weighed down by a failing hotel. And who better to remind him than an attractive young woman who has a nice ass.” Cassidy laughed.
“Easy to say when it’s not your ass.” Rebecca mumbled.
“I just need you to stall him until I get back. I’ll seal the deal on Monday and we can be done with Mr. Grabby-hands.”
“Thank God! So you really think you’ll be able to wrap this up by Monday?” Rebecca asked, switching topics.
“I don’t see why not. I’m not really sure why the executor insisted that I sign the documents in person, but I am curious to take a look at this bed and breakfast. Who knows, it might be a prime spot. But if it’s not worthwhile then I’ll just arrange for the sale of the property and be done with this whole mess.”
Cassidy wasn’t really hopeful that this would lead to anything other than a weekend distraction and a chance to take her Miata for a long drive. She was already regretting her decision to try to find her biological family. She wasn’t really sure what she’d been looking for when she started the search for her birth parents, but all it led to were a bunch of death certificates and one ailing great uncle, who finally kicked the bucket last week. Since Cassidy was apparently the only other surviving member of the family that meant his estate went to her. He was by no means wealthy, but he had been the owner of a small seaside bed and breakfast, which now apparently belonged to her.
“Do you think you have any other family up there?”
“No. If there was any other family the inheritance wouldn’t be going to me.”
“Oh, I guess that’s true. Well try to relax a little, have some fun. You know, do whatever they do in New Hampshire.”
“Thanks, Becca, see you Monday.”
Cassidy clicked off and once again music flooded the car. This time Carly Simon was wrongfully accusing her of being vain, which was ridiculous because in fact she didn’t think the song was about her at all.
She finally pulled into Cedar Hollow just as the sun was setting. It was a picturesque little New England town, with small shops lining a main street that looked like it belonged in another time. Cassidy traveled down the narrow road, noting that most of the shops were closing with the setting sun. Upon closer inspection she realized that the shops were not touristy gift shops, but rather functional businesses. The downtown strip consisted of a hardware store, grocery, pharmacy, post office and beauty salon. All of which apparently closed at sundown. This little town definitely could not support the tourism that one of her resorts attracted, she thought to herself as she slipped into acquisitions mode.
She pulled into a small corner diner, one of the few establishments staying open, and as she raised the roof of her convertible she couldn’t help but notice the customers inside with their faces plastered to the plate glass window. She wasn’t sure if they were staring at her or the car.
She stepped out of the car and self-consciously stretched out her sore muscles, it had been a long seventeen hour drive up from Chicago. As she walked into the diner some of the customers had the decency to look away, some did not. She used the rubber band that was around her wrist to pull her hair up into a pony tail then twisted it into a messy bun.
“Welcome to Jenny’s, Miss. Go ahead and grab yourself a booth.” The plump, middle-aged waitress behind the counter gestured to the booths along the window.
Cassidy nodded and seated herself in the first booth, squirming a little on the hard wooden bench seat. She couldn’t wait to slip into a warm bath and relax.
“You’re not from around here.” A younger waitress observed as she came over to the table and smiled down at Cassidy.
“No I’m not.” Cassidy confirmed, apparently they didn’t see too many new faces in this small town.
“I’m Melissa.” The waitress told her smiling kindly. Melissa’s pale blonde hair was pulled into a high ponytail which gave her a youthful appearance that was only betrayed by the crinkles around her eyes when she smiled. Cassidy estimated her to be in her mid-thirties.
“Cassidy St. Claire.”
“Oh I heard about you, you’re here to shut down the old Miller place.” Several customers turned in their seats to listen, not so discreetly.
“Well, um, I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with it yet.” Cassidy said honestly. “I only just found out about it last week.”
“Belongs to Ben Riley.” A crackly old voice rose above the crowd and Cassidy turned to see where it had come from.
A grisly old man sat at the counter, his long grey hair and beard forming a wiry halo around his heavily lined face. “Old Man Miller hasn’t run that place in years. It’s Ben Riley who’s been putting his sweat and tears into that place. He’s the one who you’re going to be putting out when you close it down.” The old man continued looking at Cassidy with cold milky eyes.
“I’m not here to put anybody out.” Cassidy assured the room, because at this point every eye in the restaurant was on her.
“Leave the girl alone, Arlis.” The older waitress reprimanded, but she eyed Cassidy warily.
“Don’t mind them.” Melissa whispered. “Can I get you something?” She asked taking out her order pad.
“What’s good?” Cassidy asked looking over the hand-written menu.
“The turkey and gravy is tonight’s special.” Melissa shrugged.
“Sounds good, I’ll have that.” Cassidy agreed.
As soon as Melissa left the table Cassidy pulled out her phone to check her email. She could feel the other patrons watching her every move, but she kept her eyes locked on the screen until Melissa had returned with the food.
Cassidy ate quickly, more eager than ever to just get this weekend over with and get out of this creepy little town. After she finished, Melissa gave her directions to the bed and breakfast. She headed out of town with her mind made up, tonight she would stay at the bed and breakfast, then tomorrow morning she would meet with Mr. Woodard, the executor of the will, to sign whatever papers were required to acquire and then sell the property. Then she was going to get the hell out of dodge.
Cassidy followed the directions out of the valley where Cedar Hollow was located and traveled up a narrow mountain road. The gravel road eventually turned into a single lane dirt road. There were no street lights, no city lights, no houses on this lonely little road. The woods around her were so tightly packed she began to feel claustrophobic. She felt completely isolated and it was creeping her out.
Finally she reached the end of the road and a large dark three story Victorian-style house loomed in front of her. It was too dark to see anything other than the imposing outline of the structure, complete with turrets and spires. It looked like a haunted house. She pulled up shining her headlights across the wide front porch. A single dingy yellow porch light had been left on, otherwise she was surrounded by complete darkness. As she stepped out of the car she could faintly hear the ocean surf off to the right in the distance, but it was too dark to see anything beyond the glow of her headlights.
Slowly she made her way up to the front of the house, feeling like an intruder. This was not the welcoming hotel atmosphere that she was used to. This was dark, and private, and creepy. She walked up the creaky steps and something rustled in the bushes next to the porch making her jump and hurry the rest of the way to the front door. Hesitantly she knocked.
She stood on the threshold trying not to feel like the first victim in a B-rated horror movie. She heard heavy footsteps inside and her breathing accelerated as she watched the handle slowly turn. She had no idea what was going to greet her on the other side of that door.

The Chosen One watched as the sleek black convertible pulled up to the house. The time of reckoning had come. It was finally going to be over. It must be done.

Chapter Two
“You must be Ben Riley.” Cassidy said brightly trying to hide her shock. Her imagination had conjured the image of a crusty old loner living in this haunted house on a hill. She had not been prepared for Mr. Tall, Handsome, and Brooding. He glared back at her for what felt like an eternity, but in reality was probably only a few seconds.....

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