Many of you may know that before I wrote full length novel fiction, I dabbled in literary short stories. I did well, too. Had over 30 published. A goodly amount of thosse stories were murder mysteries – at the time, my favorite form of reading material.
Recently, I transposed my favorites of those spooky tales and am now releasing one story a week on my Vella account.
Can a weekend visit to Last Chance Beach undo decades of brokenhearted memories? Conjuring up some island magic might just be their trick. Or treat!
Kyle Worthington hasn’t returned to Last Chance Beach in years. He’s worked hard to prove himself to his overbearing father and the rest of the world. Now it’s October, and the vacation island paradise is celebrating the season with an island-wide Fall Festival. Family obligation demands he participate. Everyone will be there, including the ghost that haunts his grandparents’ B&B.
The running joke that Kyle never sticks with anything—not a career or a woman—will continue to plague him. Unless he brings a knockout of a date to the weekend-long event. Cassandra Corwin fits the bill perfectly. Kyle’s had his eye on his brilliant, beautiful coworker since day one. But Cassie is an enigma, a loner. There’s no room in her life for anyone except Odin, her goofball of a Great Dane.
Will this woman of mystery agree to Kyle’s scheme to impress his family? Can two near strangers from opposite worlds survive family gatherings and back-to-back Halloween events while pretending to be a couple? Kyle’s father seems hell-bent on derailing everything before they even shout “Boo!”
Or will the island’s magic prove too powerful for them to resist?
“I just want a chance,” he urged, meeting her intense stare.
“You move around a lot. From place to place, woman to woman. Heck, you even trade in cars faster than anyone I’ve ever met. I’m just me. Same old Cassie. I don’t want to live life on the edge like you do. I did that growing up, and it doesn’t work for me anymore. Granted, I wouldn’t mind moving back to New England. I even asked to be put on a list for transfer if any opportunities opened in the Boston area.”
A lead weight dropped into his gut. “Wait, you want to leave?”
“Yes. Maybe. I don’t know. Last week, I was sure. This week…today…I… Maybe things have changed,” she revealed. “Honestly, I’m torn, because I know you’re a dedicated company man. You’ll go wherever they send you and be fine with it. I’m looking for a place to call home. So…despite our wicked chemistry, I think it’s best we remain just friends.”
“I’m not going anywhere, Cass,” he promised. “Same job, same location. Right here with you. And you’re hardly the ‘same old Cassie.’ Seriously, woman, I’ve never been so surprised by someone. Can we just give it a try? See where this thing takes us?”
She stared out to sea for a long time before saying, “Maybe?”
“I can work with maybe.” He gave her a dazzling smile. “I have the rest of today and all of tonight to convince you. Let’s see if we can conjure up some of Gran’s island magic.” He twined his fingers with hers and tugged her to her feet. Walking backwards, he drew her out onto the hot sand. “Gran believes Last Chance Beach has a certain love magic. She told you…it brings people together.
“Love magic? Are you sure you’re okay? Maybe your lobster roll was bad, or you’re getting sunstroke? Did you drink enough water today?” Cassie tugged off her sandals to walk barefoot in the water when they reached the shoreline.
“I’m fine. Better than fine, actually.” Kyle followed her lead, leaving his sneakers and socks in a hastily made pile.
“And you’re saying you believe in this ‘island love magic?’” she asked in a sexy little voice, speaking over her shoulder as she strolled away from him.
“Hell, yeah. I believe it now. Certainly after you said, ‘maybe.’”
Cassie began walking faster. Soon, she was running and laughing.
Kyle gave chase. “Just so you know, I played quarterback in high school.”
“Of course you did, hot shot.” She squealed and giggled when he swept her off her feet and up onto his shoulder. “No, no, no,” she cried when he headed for the water as if to throw her in. “This dress will turn completely transparent if it gets wet.”
“You do not understand even the basic rules when dealing with men, do you, Cassie Corwin?” Kyle stopped just short of the water. He let her body slide down his slowly until her toes touched the wet sand. Waves lapped at their legs. Hers were bare, so she didn’t care. He wore pants, yet he cared even less.
“You’re right,” she murmured when he continued to hold her. “I don’t understand men. You’re an enigma to me, Kyle Worthington.”
He gently cupped her face in his hands, holding her to him, as he nuzzled her silky hair. “I don’t want to be a mystery. I want only you.”
She released a long, shaky sigh a split second before his lips brushed hers.
The rich history and many mysteries of New England are the perfect backdrop for many of KATHRYN’s books. Winding roads lined by old stone walls, forgotten cemeteries, grand homes with shadowy pasts…all sparks for her imagination. Whether it’s a quaint seaside town or the vibrant city of Boston, it’s easy for this “hauntingly romantic” author to envision the past mingling with the present. No surprise, some of Kathryn’s favorite stories include ghosts! Sprinkle in some magic, and you’re off on a great adventure.
When not writing, this best-selling author is reading, researching, gardening, or cooking up something special in her chaotic kitchen. She shares her colonial home in the north woods with those she loves most – her wonderful husband, daughter, and three crazy dogs.