I’m so excited about Willows of Fate coming out this Friday! And it’s the first day of my two-week blog tour! If you’re a blogger and haven’t signed up yet, then you need to scoot over to Lola’s Blog Tours.
During the blog tour, there will be a giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card and a coupon for a free copy of Willows of Fate. The blog tour will have more excerpts and reviews. Keep checking in for updates on the schedule.
If you are a subscriber of my newsletter, then you’ve probably already been treated to an exclusive excerpt of Willows of Fate already. This is why you should sign up for my newsletter (form at the right), so you can be the first to read news and excerpts. Read on to get a peek into the wonderful world beyond the willows…
The ride back is quiet. I feel like I’m on a boat being tossed on a storm-whipped ocean. Any moment, a wave is going to sweep me into the watery dark.
When we turn onto my home street, Eric asks, “Do I take you to Mrs Winslow’s?”
“No. Just home. I mean, my mother’s.”
“You sure? It might be safer if you stayed at someone’s place.”
“If that’s the case, I don’t think I’m safer at the home of a seventy-five-year-old retiree.”
He snorts. “Not going to argue with that. You could come home with me.”
“Are you sure your parents are all right with that? I’ll be putting them in danger.”
“Where’d you get the idea that I live with my parents?”
“You said you came down to take care of your folks.”
“No, I said I came down to take care of my dad. Dad recovered, and when that happened I got a place of my own. Mom doesn’t need any help around the house anymore. She’s sixty and as healthy as we could hope and Dad is as stubborn as he ever was.”
“Well, I don’t want to be a bother.”
“You won’t be.” We pull into the drive. “Des, I’ll feel a lot better if either you stay at my place or I stay here, at least until we figure out what’s going on.”
I weigh my options. To be honest, I’d rather not be alone. Or as alone as I think I am in that house. “All right. Let’s just go through the stuff in the living room and I’ll pack a bag.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
As we walk from the car to the house, I keep my eyes trained straight ahead. Like a small child who thinks that if she hides under her blanket the bad things in the dark will go away, I feel that if I glance around, I’ll be calling forth the phantoms. If I don’t, then there’ll only be trees, sky, and the wavy lines of heat rising from asphalt.
The house is as I left it that morning, the paper and shreds of clothing laying scattered across the living room like strewn feathers. I shuffle through the mess while Eric sweeps the house again.
After the strangeness of the morning, I feel silly, as if I overreacted. That’s the only explanation my overburdened mind has come up with: that my mother’s and brother’s deaths have thrown me from my center and I’m looking for any way to make sense of it. Perhaps there are no reasons. Perhaps I’m just going crazy. Perhaps there are no phantoms; just the products of a mind finally breaking. I thirst for a drink.
Eric returns. “All clear.”
“Good.” I sit back on my heels, clutching papers. “Eric, what do you think about what all is going on?”
He squats and begins gathering up sheets of paper. “I think there’s definitely something odd going on. I mean, first your brother goes missing, turns up dead, and then your house gets ransacked. It doesn’t feel like a coincidence.”
“But there was nothing in the trunk. No false bottom. And nothing else in the house was touched.” I sit down. “I mean, if whoever is behind this is looking for something, why stop at the trunk? Why not assume that I found it and then go through the rest of the house?”
You have something special.
I gulp, gripping the paper more tightly.
“It is weird. Maybe whoever it is knows that it’s a secret that you probably don’t know. I mean, we’ve pretty much already established that your mother hid things from you. No offense.”
I shrug, forcing myself to continue gathering letters. “None taken. But if that’s the case, then that still doesn’t explain why they didn’t go through the rest of the house. Mom could have taken it out of the trunk and hidden it elsewhere. Nothing about this makes sense!”
“We’ll figure things out. It’s just going to take time. The answer is probably in these letters. How about we gather them up, stop at Tito’s for some takeout, and then pore over them together? A second pair of eyes will help and I’m a cop. I’m trained for this. Weird mysteries crop up all the time.”
A small smirk pulls at my lips and I tilt my head back. “Really? I just thought Hammondville cops pulled over speeding teenagers and busted potheads.”
“Oh, there’s all sorts of crime in this bustling metropolis.”
I laugh. “Sure there is.”