The final installment to the GHOSTS OF NEW ENGLAND: LAST LIGHT POINT is my tale, A PROMISE FULFILLED which brings the entire story home.
Late October, Present Day
After winning millions in a national lottery, local librarian Daisy Morgan sets out to revitalize the infamous Crowe’s Nest Tavern. After saving the historic inn from the auction block, Daisy begins a major renovation only to discover some hidden secrets – and a few unearthly spirits – tied to the tavern’s history.
Writer Keegan Warren arrives to do a story on the tavern weeks before the grand re-opening. Keegan’s got a few secrets of his own about why he wanted the assignment – secrets that unfold no matter how diligently he tries to keep them hidden. With Daisy’s help, he unearths a centuries old murder tied to his family’s past.
As they investigate, their mutual attraction grows. But will their budding relationship suffer when the truth is discovered?
Daisy slid the phone back into her purse and took a tour around the taproom. Natural light bathed the room through the obscured and etched glass windows covering the front two walls. She’d paid a small fortune to replicate them, forking over extra to temper them in order to protect against the strong bay winds that battered the building every day of the year.
The Crowe’s Nest Tavern stood at the sharpest jut of land on Last Light Point and had weathered several hundred years of New England storms and tempests, dozens of owners, and a history that dated from before the birth of the nation. Daisy wasn’t about to let that history go the way of the dinosaur on her watch.
Her critical eye for detail roamed around the room taking in all the updates done, while keeping the original feel of the old tavern alive.
The establishment had been up for auction for a year, the previous owner dying without ever making provisions for its sale. Daisy, as head of the historical society, had tried valiantly to get it made a protected historical site. The fact the structure had stood for over three hundred years should have qualified it outright, but her attempts fell on deaf legislative ears. The bank, who owned the mortgage, had put it up for sale. When no buyer came forth, they placed it on the auction block. Daisy was terrified it was going to be sold and subsequently knocked down. When an outside developer expressed interest in the property and the rest of the boardwalk to build upscale condos, Daisy had gone into fight mode to block his every attempt.
Just when it looked like her struggle would prove futile, several prayers and one stroke of heaven-sent luck had come her way and she’d been able to purchase the building and, with it, the leases for the remaining shops on the boardwalk.
Unexpectedly flush with disposable cash, Daisy spared no expense to bring the tavern back to its long-ago beauty.
If you could call its twisted history beautiful, she thought. She supposed the sight where pirates and thieves hung out and where they were, subsequently, hung then placed into the dreaded gibbet and left to rot for all the citizenry to gawk over, could be classified as historically significant, if not pretty.
Oh, she wished she could have seen it in its heyday. Filled to the rafters with brigands and soldiers and sailors all stopping for a pint and some grub to fill their bellies. Buxom serving girls bustling about, filling tankards, listening to tall tales of sea monsters and hidden treasure; of mermaids and sirens and Davy Jones’ Locker.
Daisy sighed, her imagination running rampant as it always did when she thought of the tavern’s history. Her gaze traveled to the mirror Cooper’s crew had discovered in the basement when they’d begun shoring up the ancient walls. Covered with a black tarp and decades of dust, they’d uncovered it and immediately called her.
“It’s wicked old,” Cooper said as he accompanied her to the tavern’s underground level. “And worth a fortune, I’m thinking. That frame’s real gold. I’d bet the house on it.”
Daisy stooped to inspect the mirror. Cooper’s eye was good, because the frame was genuine gold and decorated with a filigree pattern on all four sides. About five feet wide and three-quarters of that in width, the glass was murky with age and dust. She could barely make out her reflection.
“I bet it hung on the wall behind the bar,” she mused. “Take it upstairs and put it in my office. I’ll call Mrs. Cashman over at the antiques store to come over and look at it. She should know how to clean it, too, to bring it back to life.”
“What are you planning to do with it?” Cooper asked.
“Put it where I’m sure it used to hang: back up behind the bar.”
Cooper cupped his neck and shook his head. “It weighs a ton, kid. Mounting and securing it’s gonna be a nightmare.”
“I’m sure you’ll do your best.” She swiped at the dust collecting on her jeans and stood. A momentary wave of vertigo over took her, making her sway. Cooper’s hand shot out in an instant to clasp her upper arms right before she dropped to the floor.
“Easy,” he said. “You okay?”
“Yeah, thanks.” She swiped at the sweat suddenly covering her brow. “I missed breakfast,” she lied, shaking her head of the subtle hum ringing through it. She hadn’t felt this sensation in too many years to remember. Not since…she clucked her tongue and shoved the memory down. “I’ll go call the antique shop.”
Now, as she stood in front of the cleaned and polished mirror, the glass just slightly milky from age, she smiled. And, now that she knew what it really was, she could admit a small amount of anxiety about hanging it behind the bar. So far, none of the workmen or staff had commented on anything…strange, about the piece. And thank goodness for that. That it looked perfect hanging there was a minor consolation.
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writes contemporary romances and romcoms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go “What??!”