Thursday, August 18, 2016

Returning to a Favorite Read

When reading isn't occupying my time, usually writing does.  This summer I am having a great time working on a sequel to my novella, Shadows from the Past.  Shadows was one of my favorite books, set in an old mansion in the Northwest called Redfern Manor.  For some reason that fictitious location kept calling to me and I have decided to write another book featuring it.  Fittingly, the story is named Return to Redfern.

What I am enjoying about writing this story (beyond being able to return in my brain to a favorite place) is that it is allowing me to again write a shorter story.  These days many novels seem to be getting shorter, and many readers seem to prefer a shorter read.  Return to Redfern will also fall into that shorter, novella category. If you haven't hread Shadows from the Past, here's a quick introduction:

When Stacey Moreno goes looking for answers to a friend’s mysterious death at spooky Redfern Manor, she finds trouble instead. She doesn't like being drawn to her sexy, mysterious new boss, Mack Warren. From the moment they meet, the sparks fly, but Mack is looking for escape, not romance. He'd rather be in love with a ghost!

Stacey is no super heroine like the cartoon character she draws, but she may have to become one to survive the secrets… and suspects… of Redfern Manor. Can she save them all from the  shadows from the past that threaten to destroy the future?

Here's an excerpt:
Mack sighed and Stacey could feel the vibration of his frustration. The fire had taken a toll on his work, and he probably blamed her best friend for the loss. 
            Stacey attempted a smile. “If you’re worried about trusting me...”
            His eyes shot to her, blue spheres, as cold as ice. “I don’t trust anyone. The sooner you learn that, the better we’ll get along.”
            Stacey licked her dry lips, uncertain what to say. “Why…why wouldn’t you trust me?”
            His gaze pinned her to the back of the chair, blazing with something she couldn’t define. “I spent years as a journalist. I figure everyone has something to hide.”
            Her heart skipped. She felt as though he could see into her brain and discover her connection to Helen.
            Then a corner of his lips twitched into a smile. “But then, you’re probably the only person in the world who couldn’t hide anything. Your face is like reading a lie detector readout. It turns bright red every time you get flustered.”
            Stacey brushed her hand across her cheek. It was burning right now, which meant it was probably the color of a valentine.
            “I’m sorry if I sound like an evil tyrant,” he continued, his face softening. “Peg had to fire my first assistant and the second just left. Now this thing with Helen Stanton…”
            There had been other assistants before Helen? “Yikes, and you’ve hired me?”
            “What does that mean?”
             She wiggled her nose, making a face. “I guess that’s my secret. Mom calls me a jinx. My first employer was shut down by the city. My second job lasted three months before I got laid off and my last employer closed after 93 years in business.”
              His gaze grew so intense that for an instant she feared he might fire her on the spot. Then he inhaled sharply and lurched to his feet. “As long as you do your work, you’ll be fine.”
              Obviously he didn’t want to bring up the puzzling death of his last assistant. But she was here to find out the truth.

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