ROMANTIC MYSTERY/THRILLER series of three large Kindles. Spine-tingling, cat-and-mouse-suspense with a whisper of spectral. It all starts at Springhill Estate in New England, centcom for intrigue and mystery. Top-dollar showhorses and top-dollar people. Drop in for a visit if you dare, everyone’s waiting.
ELLIOT WHITBECK: ‘Grand Poobah’ overseeing his two-thousand-acre estate. Supreme nitpicker and bully of employees.
CECILY WHITBECK: Silver-haired and tanned to leather, running the showhorse operation with an iron fist.
LUCINDA WHITBECK: Wealthy, blonde and vicious, still beautiful despite avoiding most food groups. Always eager to dig up a little trouble to amuse herself.
JANE HUSTED: Show rider and coach, training horses and demanding riders; newly aware of a talent for telepathy that’s bringing the mansion’s murky past out of the woodwork. A childhood on welfare makes Jane an easy target for Lucinda. She’s blindsided when a man from her past appears on the scene.
DYLAN RIPLEY: Head stable boy, fresh out of high school. Handsome, wisecracking, full of jokes and mischief. Secretly refers to Lucinda as ‘Stinkerbell’.
OWEN FLINT: Narcissistic and bad tempered, spooking horses and women alike, strutting around in breeches and long boots.
LARS WALLENBERG: Coach from the Spanish Riding School in Austria; European classy and smooth.
BRIAN CANADAY: Wealthy investor in the Estate’s imported sport horses; a new face around the barn and a big surprise for Jane.
SAM NOONE: Former jockey, now stable manager. He watches the soap opera unfold around him and begins to sense nasty vibes floating in shadows of the monster barn, making the hair stand off the back of his neck and salute. Something’s not quite right.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
See, but dont be seen.
Stay out of his line of sight.
The aisle they traversed was a jumble of display counters and enticing aromas of food mingling with salty ocean air that flowed right out of the harbor and into the buildings wide open doors. Seagulls attracted by the wafting scents of seafood, roast beef and fresh-baked pastry, were manically swooping and screeching around the building. The aisle ceiling was hung with carved wooden signs, each one struggling to be fancier than its neighbor, and Jane kept busy reading these signs so as not to stare constantly at Brians back. She abruptly slowed and turned to the opposite side when he stopped at a bakery to purchase loaves of French bread.
Her anxiety was increasing by the moment, being so dangerously near him. It didnt help that he was still hyper-alert to his surroundings; eyes snapping around devouring the immediate area just as in high school. Jane found herself staring at lobster salad rolls on display in a glass case belonging to the Boston and Maine Fish Company. She was almost directly across the aisle from the man, but at least her back was to him, and she would appear to be completely involved in food. Not that hed be likely to recognize her. She took comfort in the fact that she had grown some since high school, and now that she usually had three meals a day, no longer so stick-thin. Her clothes followed the contours of her body, unlike the over-size hand-me-downs that used to billow scarecrow-like on her slight frame. Janes masses of dark hair also looked far different than the chopped fright-wig of the old school days; the long fall of satin, blue-black hair now framed her face like a comforting lead shield that defied Supermans gaze.
Jane occasionally turned her head just slightly, observing Brian in peripheral vision, to be aware of the direction if he left the building. As she stared dumbly at chopped lobster, she mentally berated herself for chasing after a man. What in heck do I think Im doing? It seemed she was helpless at controlling her own mind, and just letting him disappear into the crowd. I must be overcome with curiosity, Jane decided, and excused her actions that way.
On the move again, struggling through a wall of bodies, Brian and Jane entered the open-air spaciousness of the Great Hall under the rotunda. Brian walked as far as the middle, then turned left down steps leading out to the Bull Market, and then through glass doors back onto the brick mall. Jane rushed to keep up. A small canvas bag was slung on her shoulder, and her shopping bag bounced against her leg. They crossed the busy pedestrian thoroughfare between the long Quincy Market and North Market buildings, weaving around pushcarts, shoppers and granite seats. Janes ankles began to wobbleeven in low-heeled sandal shoes. The fast walk over ground that changed from brick paving to granite squares, and then to large cobblestones was a challenge for strappy shoes and a short skirt; she was accustomed to living in breeches and riding boots. Jane decided on the spot that civilian clothes were a menace.
When Brian entered an alleyway that had been chopped right through the North Market buildingright between fancy plate-glass storefrontsJane knew he was taking a short cut to Clinton Street and the Dock Square Parking Garage. She followed him into the narrow alley, with its brick walls, brick arches, and brick paving underfoot, and held her breath. The yellow brick road, she thought. At that isolated moment in time, Jane and Brian were the only two people in Boston traversing the alleyway. She was eight yards behind him, but her heels echoed alarmingly in the dark narrow passage, giving away their owners eager pace:
Ca-clack ca-clack ca-clack....
Dont look back, she chanted in her mind.