I am so stoked to announce that I’m included in a wonderful new ghost anthology releasing on march 27, 2023, THE GHOSTS OF NEW ENGLAND:LAST LIGHT POINT.
Award-winning authors Lisa Olech, Kathryn Hills, Nancy Fraser, and moi have each written a story about the Crowe’s Nest Tavern, located in the fictional New England town of Last Light Point.
Don’t look at the gibbet… Legend has it that disaster will strike all those who do. The townspeople of Last Light Point have come to respect the centuries-old advice. Those that didn’t, paid the price. 4 stories – 4 time periods – 1 haunted tavern…
The Pirate’s Promise by Lisa A. Olech
The Crowe’s Nest Tavern was located in a fortuitous place. If you were condemned to hang in Execution Square, they were your last stop.
Everly Crowe along with her father and two sisters ran The Crowe’s Nest that was rumored to be slightly haunted, although Everly never believed in such foolishness….until she did.
John Beckett was a pirate, or not. Forced upon the account, he’d lost his belief in many things before he caught the eye of a bonny serving lass who was fierce enough to go toe to boot with his captor and captain, Bartholomew Jacques.
Jacques held a note on the tavern and tormented Everly and her family as he terrorized all the small towns up and down the coast. But even his threats couldn’t keep Everly and John from promising themselves to each other, “‘till death do us part.” After Jacques and his crew are captured and sent to the gallows, Everly learns those fateful words have little meaning when love is forever.
Smoke and Mirrors by Kathryn Hills
Sometimes when you knock on heaven’s door. . .the dead answer back.
Willow Pinch lives life on a razor’s edge in world of deception and disguise. By day she hides in plain sight as Will, a servant boy. Nights are spent as a table knocker, aiding so-called spiritualists in duping townsfolk into believing loved ones speak from the grave.
That is until the ghosts of Last Light Point unmask her before the only man she’s ever cared for. Dare she trust Morgan Blackwell with her secrets?
Morgan invests every hard-earned penny in The Crowe’s Nest. He doesn’t trust strangers. Yet the last thing he expects are charlatans hell-bent on destroying his reputation with so-called séances. Not to mention there are ghosts in his tavern now! Be damned, must he turn his back on the infuriating woman he longs to protect?
Will the dead of Last Light Point guide Willow and Morgan to lasting love? Or will the dark forces they’ve unleashed lead to ruin?
For the Love of Grace by Nancy Fraser
Grace O’Hearn has lived in Last Light Point since long before the ’29 stock market crash took so much from so many. Ten years later, things are looking up. When Grace’s father is murdered, Grace becomes the sole owner of the Crowe’s Nest Tavern–an establishment that dates back centuries, and comes with its own resident ghosts.
FBI agent, Max Stewart, is sent to Last Light Point to investigate racketeering and police corruption. Could it be connected to man’s murder? When he first meets Grace, he’s convinced she’s hiding something. Yet, her keen insight about the town, and everyone in it, may be the best lead he has.
Can they work together to bring down the guilty? Or, will an attraction neither of them wants keep getting in the way?
A Promise Fulfilled by Peggy Jaeger
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?
From A PROMISE FULFILLED…
The door blew open a moment later, pulling her out of her musings of swashbuckling pirates, bar wenches, and spectral messengers.
The wind whipped the door backward and for the thousandth time, she cursed the fact she hadn’t made Cooper change it to a push open instead of a pull open door. Her obsession with historical accuracy sometimes made things more difficult than they had to be.
A man, backlit by the partly sunny day, stood, holding the door ajar with both hands. She couldn’t make out his features, just the fact he was tall.
With both hands, he yanked the door closed as he stepped inside and shook his head like a dog shucking rainwater from its coat.
“Lord. It’s windy here,” he muttered. Standing inside the doorway now, she had a full view of him. Hair the color of warm chestnuts flirted with the collar of his jacket in a chaos of waves. With a flick of his head, he flung them back from his face as he turned and lit on her.
Daisy didn’t recognize this workman from the too many she’d already met since the renovation project started. One face and name inevitably bled into another as the number of Cooper’s guys grew almost weekly.
But this face? This one she would have remembered.
She wouldn’t have been able to forget it if she tried.
Eyes the color of a savage sea peered across the room at her, the corners tilting upward. The brows over them mimicked the warm deer-tones of his hair. The line of his jaw was sharp and hard as steel forged in fire, the cheekbones slashed across his face, chiseled from marble. All those granite lines and steely angles were a total contradiction to his mouth, though. Full, thick lips made her suddenly think of poets and love sonnets and promises whispered in the dark.
She bobbed her head a few times to clear it of the strange thoughts and moved toward him, hand outstretched. “Yes. Yes, that’s me. Daisy Morgan.”
He took her hand, those storm cloud eyes widening when a spark shot between them.
“Sorry,” she said, tugging her hand back and fisting it into her jacket pocket like a naughty child clutching something it didn’t want to be caught with. “It’s wicked dry in here, still. Old wooden floors and walls, you know? No moisture. The new heating unit’s supposed to have a built-in humidifier, but I don’t know if it’s working or not. Maybe you can tell.”
A babbling brook’s got nothing on you, girl. Get a grip. The guy’s gonna think you’re cuckoo for coco puffs.
His forehead grooved like a Venetian blind as he stared down at her.
“You want me to tell you if your new humidifier is working?” he asked.
“Yeah. Cooper said the system is top of the line, and after doing all the research I agreed, but I don’t want people getting shocked every single moment they’re in here because the air is dry.” She started walking toward the back of the bar to the utility room Coop had set up. “Maybe the moisture valve needs to be turned up higher. Who knows? Come on, I’ll show you where it is. You can look at it before you deal with the switches and see if it’s an easy fix.”
The man followed behind as she walked into what had originally been the tavern’s storage area. Over the decades, needed architectural changes were made to the building, including during the time the place had been a speakeasy in the 1920s.
“An easy fix?”
Jeez, this guy’s like a parrot. Why is it the gorgeous ones are always either a little slow on the upbeat or know-it-alls?
“With the opening in two weeks, I want this place locked down and ready to go way before that. I want nothing to ruin it.”
“Yes, about the opening, that’s why I’m—”
“The schedule was tight to begin with, then with these nuisance things popping up, like the switches, I’m worried we won’t be ready. Did you bring new ones?”
She moved into the room, devised originally as a tiny storage chamber. The modernization of the tavern to 21st-century standards had been one of the most expensive issues when Daisy bought the place. New lighting, plumbing, and some structural updates she’d expected and budgeted for. Having to install a new heating and cooling system with all the necessary state and federal codes to bring it up to date, had added considerably to the cost.
“Here’s the system,” she said, pointing to a behemoth four-foot rectangular unit. She glanced down at his empty hands. “You didn’t bring tools with you?”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t have any tools. If you’d give me—”
She sighed. “I don’t think I’ve ever met a repairman or contractor who doesn’t cart his own toolbox around like a bad habit he can’t break. Oh well, I’m sure Cooper’s got something around here you—”
“Miss Morgan, please. Stop.”
He stretched out a hand to prevent her from leaving the room and Daisy swore she felt her arm singe under the layers of her jacket and sweater. She stood, rooted to the ancient wooden floor as the most delicious warmth she’d ever felt oozed deep, deep into her very core. Like freshly poured champagne bubbles bursting over her lips, her entire body…tingled.
Those storm-colored eyes peered down at her, their brows tugged low, a question blazing across them. His gorgeous mouth pulled into an upside-down U as his fingers pressed into her arm.
“There seems to be some confusion here,” he said, after taking a sizable breath, his attention never wavering from her face. “I’m not—”
“Hey, Daisy? You in here? Oh, good. You are. Cooper sent me over to have a look at the switches.”
They both turned to see a burly, middle-aged man sporting a toolbox in one hand and a to-go coffee cup in the other, looming in the doorway.
This guy she recognized. Brad? Ben? Bill? Something with a B, at least. His gaze ping-ponged from her to the man at her side, then back to her. “Everything okay, Daisy?”
No. No, it definitely wasn’t. If Ben/Brad/Bill was here to work on the switches, then just who the heck had she been speaking to for the past ten minutes?
“Like I told you,” the man said when she glared at him. “There’s been some confusion.”
“Who are you, and why are you in my tavern?” Daisy asked, pulling out of his hold. He let her go then shoved his hands into his jacket pockets.
“Keegan Warren. I’m a writer and I’m here to do a story on the renovation of The Crowe’s Nest Tavern,” he told her, adding, “and you.”
Starting on March 1st, I’ll be highlighting each individual story – one a day! Come back for more entertaining snippets of ghosts and romance!!! Until then, preorder the book here: GHOSTS OF NEW ENGLAND: LAST LIGHT POINT
And add it to your TO BE READ list on Goodreads, here: GHOSTS