So excited to share that Book 2 in the Romantic Hauntings series, THE HAUNTING OF WILTON JUNE is out today!
We met WIll in book 1, Merry’s Ghost. He’s Merry’s older brother, an Academy Award Winning indie filmmaker. In this book, he’s filming the script of Merry’s Ghost, as penned by CD Seacort – his now brother-in-law and Merry’s hubby, and he’s found the perfect house to shoot in. The only problem? The owner is very reluctant to have a film made in her home.
Here’s the blurb and a little taste of the story…
Hotshot movie director Wilton June is in pre-production for a new movie. The moment he sees Maison Toussaint he decides it’s the perfect setting for the film and wants to rent it. The one stumbling block? The owner isn’t sure she can let her ancestral home be used in a movie.
Botanist Jerica Toussaint needs cash – a lot of it – to keep her home up to code and her herbal healing business alive. June’s financial offer is oh-so-tempting, as is the director himself. But the house has a secret Jerica’s guarded her entire life. Can she, in good conscience, rent it to a man who may expose it?
Convincing Jerica to trust him with her home – and her secret – is no easy feat and after a time Will realizes he needs to convince her to trust him with one more thing: her heart.
As far as spooky, make-your-skin-crawl, haunted-looking houses went, this one was perfect, Wilton June mused as he gazed up at the Victorian structure. It could have been on the cover of a coffee table book titled The House Buyer’s Guide to Ghostly Mansions.
Four stories tall, it was by far the biggest house he’d seen since he’d started scouting for locations in Boston and the surrounding area.
The uppermost level consisted of a single, square room, circled by floor-to-ceiling windows on all four sides, and set in the dead center of the house.
I bet you can see the entire town from any window you look through. The natural light must be incredible on a sunny day.
Always a bonus for a cinematographer. The ground floor was ringed by a full, covered porch, Corinthian columns supporting the overhang awning every few feet. Stained glass windows filled the second level, the third supporting a half balcony running along the length of the front of the house. The paint, a steely, cold grey, could have been the original as it was faded and peeling in spots. The drab, lifeless color added to the house’s eerie aesthetic. The shutters ran to black and a few hung from their hinges. A huge front yard sported beyond rust-laden wrought iron gates and boasted an overgrowth of dead grass and weeds he’d bet hadn’t seen any action from a lawnmower in some time. Off to one side stood a rose arbor, withered vines and decayed blooms covering it from top to bottom and once again adding to the dead look and feel of the place.
“It’s perfect,” he told the woman standing at his side.
Realtor Genevieve Gordon tossed him a look indicating either, a, he was crazy, or, b, she was afraid he might be pulling her leg and wasting her time.
No one who viewed this place would ever use perfect as a description.
But for what Will wanted, it was.“What are the specs?”She handed him a brochure filled with the home’s dimensions. Will calculated the necessary room he’d need for three stationary cameras, sound equipment, and extra lighting.
Perfect shot through his mind again.
“Can we go inside? I’d like to see how the rooms are situated and get an idea of the space.”
Ms. Gordon made a face his mother would have termed pinched.
“Are you sure you want to? I mean, the spec pages have pictures of the main rooms and all the dimensions. Isn’t that enough?”
He wondered what prompted the concern lacing her tone.
“If you don’t mind, I want to see the setup for myself, the flow from room to room, to ensure it can fit all my equipment and if it’s big enough for what I need to do.”
She sighed. “I’ll have to call the owner for approval.”
He cocked his head. “Don’t all owners want potential tenants to do a walk-through? In my experience, that’s what usually seals the deal.”
“You’re the first person in over two years who’s expressed any interest in the place.”
He could tell the moment she uttered the words, she regretted giving them life. Her mouth slammed to a hard, closed line and she glanced down at her shoes.
Strange response for someone looking to make a commission.
“You mentioned at the office the owner refuses to sign a rental agreement until she meets the potential renter, right?” he asked. “Wants to size them up? Interview them?”
“That’s the major stipulation for her leasing it. This is her ancestral home. It’s been in her family for four generations and she wants to ensure whoever does rent it is going to take care of it.”
“Got it.” He glanced back at the structure, saw in his mind’s eye the opening scene, how he’d film it, the angles he’d shoot from.
“I have every intention of taking care of this place.”
“Just know as another condition for renting,” the realtor said, “Miss Toussaint would require six months’ rent, up front. No refunds if you leave early. No matter what the reason.”
Again, strange wording, but he let it slide. He’d only leave when the project planned was complete and the film was in the can. Nothing else would make him leave, because one thing everyone said about Academy Award-winning documentarian and director Wilton June, he never walked away from anything before he was done with it.
With anticipation to start working twitching about within him, he turned to the petite brunette and said, “I want to see the inside of the house. Go ahead and give her a call. Let’s do this.”
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