Tag Archives: #romantichauntins #ghosts #booksigning

#Sundaysnippet THE HAUNTING OF WILTON JUNE, #pnr #romantichauntings #readromance

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.


“Thanks for setting this up,” Will told Genevieve the following morning when he arrived at her office.

Looking at him with skeptical eyes, she nodded and accepted his handshake.  A man who could have been her twin in the looks department stood to her right wearing a three thousand dollar suit and if Will wasn’t mistaken, the remnants of a rough day or two. Railroad track red lines crisscrossed in the whites of his eyes and the stubble on his jaw was at either an attempt to grow a beard, or he hadn’t had the compunction to shave for a while. Before Will could be introduced, the guy tugged a handkerchief from his pocket, muttered a choked, “Excuse me,” and then blew his nose twice.

“Sorry,” he said, swiping at his nose with the swatch of white. “Allergy season. Gavin Gordon.”

Will’s eyes ping-ponged between the realtor and this man.

As if hearing the unasked question, he said, “I’m her brother.” He hitched a finger toward Genevieve.

“He’s also my lawyer,” a new voice said from behind him.

One of the most beautiful women Will had ever seen stood in the doorway.

No, beautiful was too tame a word. Striking and exotic were much more appropriate.

Hair the color of a raven’s feathers at midnight – dark and sleek and shiny – fell to below her waist in a mass of curls he knew instinctively were natural. Eyes the color of tempered chocolate regarded him from across the room. The corners were tipped upward in a delicate line, her brows, the twin color to her hair, two perfect arched wings above her eyes. High cheekbones any number of actresses he knew would have killed for covered unlined skin, rosy from the Fall winds blowing about outside. The tiny indent under her lips, bifurcating her chin was the sexiest thing he’d seen on a woman in… forever.

The vision came into the room, nodded at the realtor, then moved to hug the lawyer. For an insane instant, Will grew jealous of the contact between the two of them.

“Thanks for coming down, Gav.”

“Anything for you, babe.”

“Let’s get started,” Genevieve said. Indicating a chair behind the round office table, she said, “Mr. June?”

When all of them were seated – Will on one side of the table and the three of them across from him like opposing counsel in a courtroom – he said to the homeowner, “Thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me. I understand you have a few questions?”

She nodded, tossed a quick glance at the lawyer, then leaned her elbows forward on the table and folded her hands together.

When she dragged in a breath heavy with nerves, Will had the sudden urge to reach across the table, squeeze her hand and offer some kind of comfort.

“I understand you want to film a movie in the house.”

He nodded.

“That’s an unusual request. Don’t you usually film in a studio or on a sound stage?”

“I could, but I’d have to construct a prop house. Your home is absolutely perfect for the storyline of the film and it’s already standing. It would be cheaper in the long run to use an already viable structure.”

“What about my house makes it absolutely perfect, to use your words? Ms. Gordon told me you looked at six other properties that are all similar to mine. Surely any one of them would suit your… needs.”

Will couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen a grown woman blush. Her cheeks turned apple-red as she spoke and he’d be damned if it wasn’t the most alluring thing he’d ever seen on a woman.

“True, but when I saw your house it just spoke to me. Screamed to me, in fact,” he said, grinning.

“Sc-screamed?” Jerica swallowed and a fine tremor started in her folded hands. “What do you mean… screamed?”

Will grinned and leaned back in his chair. “The movie I’m set to make is a modern-day love story about two people who try to solve a one-hundred-year-old murder mystery that occurred in the house where the heroine lives. Your house is perfect for the time period, aside from being huge, which is another plus, because of the size of my film equipment. After I walked through it with Ms. Gordon yesterday and got the lay of the land and the room sizes, I’m more convinced than ever it’s the perfect house for my filming needs.”

Her shoulders dropped down from where they’d been hugging her ears. He couldn’t for the life of him figure out why his explanation calmed her nerves, but the response encouraged him. Leaning forward, he told her, “I know it’s a huge intrusion to have people and gear in your home, but I can assure you, we’re all very professional. And my crew is only five people plus me. And the actors, or course. I have a very well-oiled machine of people I trust and who are tops in their fields. I promise nothing will get broken or damaged, and we won’t move a thing unless we ask first.”

She tossed a quick glance at the lawyer who caught the move and nodded.

“Should Miss Toussaint agree to your filming in the house – and that’s still a big if – we would ask you to sign a separate waiver stating you’ll take full responsibility for the costs of any damage.”

“Not a problem,” Will said.

“Now, about the use-of-location contract,” Gavin said, taking a stack of papers from a briefcase that materialized at his feet. “The fee mentioned seems a little low since the house will not only be inhabited by you as a resident but your film crew as well—”

“The crew stays off-site. I’ll be the only one actually living in the house at the time of filming.”

“Be that as it may, the recompense paid to Ms. Toussaint should be higher. After all, the film will be seen, potentially, by a large audience.”

“That’s always the hope.” Will grinned.

“People who may actually want to come and see where the movie was filmed. You can see where this may pose a problem with security for Ms. Toussaint. A higher fee would enable her to employ security if needed. This is, after all, her home. We want to ensure her safety.”

Will’s gaze raked over Jerica Toussaint’s face. “Of course. What price were you thinking.”

When he named an amount twenty-five percent higher than the offer, Will hid his surprise, then did a quick mental math shuffle. He could swing the payment increase if he cut the budget a bit somewhere else.

“Okay. Consider it done.”

Surprise galloped around the table, but it was Jerica Toussaint’s wide-eyed face Will settled on.

“Anything else?” he asked after noting the glances between lawyer and client.

Genevive spoke up for the first time. “The sixth-month rent clause is ironclad. If you decide to leave, for whatever reason, before the lease expires, you won’t be issued a refund.”

“Understood. And I’m prepared to write you a check for the full amount today, as soon as you agree to sign the lease,” he told Jerica.

When she took a corner of her mouth between her teeth, that sexy little dent in her chin winked at him. In a hot second, the lower half of his body went on high alert and he was thankful the desk hid him from the waist down.

Intrigued? If you are, here’s where the book is available: The Haunting of Wilton June



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#sundaySnippet MERRY’S GHOST #pnr #socialiteromance #ghosthunters

Today’s snippet comes from my first Magnolia Blossom Publishing books, MERRY’S GHOST.

When writer and paranormal investigator Chase Seacort comes to spend a few weeks at a friend’s Hampton getaway, all he wants is to be alone, finish his current book about East Coast hauntings, and try to put the horrid events of his past year behind him.

All thoughts about a quiet respite alone vanish when he meets his quirky, gorgeous neighbor. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty captivates him with her perpetual smile and free and easy personality.

Merry June lives a quiet life in her beach house, devoting herself to her two loves – art and photography. Once she discovers Chase’s identity, she can’t wait to introduce him to her great-grandaunt Davinia. But Davinia rarely shows herself to others.

You wouldn’t either if you were a ghost trapped between this world and the next.

With Chase’s help, he and Merry investigate the mystery that’s kept Davinia’s spirit prisoner in the house for over 100 years, and in so doing discover a history of infidelity, heartache, and murder.

When a face from Chase’s recent past puts Merry’s life in danger, he must fight two battles for the woman he’s come to love – one on the spiritual plane and one in the physical world.


From across the street, he watched her work.           

“Okay, Sam. Now open your arms wide like this.” Merry moved back from behind the tripod and extended her arms out to the sides, palms up. “Turn your face up to the sky, close your eyes, and smile as big as you can.”

Sam, all red hair and freckles and just turning eleven, did as he was told.

Merry smiled and crouched down behind the camera. “Okay. Stay that way until I say three.” She counted, snapping away as she did.

“That was great, Sam. Just great.”

The boy ran down from the gazebo steps, his smile the size of a cavern opening. “Really, Merry? Was it good?”

She laid a hand on his shoulder. “Better than good. Can I call you again if I need a male model?”

Sam lifted his shoulders and puffed out his chest with pride. “Sure thing, Merry. Anytime. You just call.”

“I will. And thanks for the soda. Thank your grandma, too.”

“Sure thing.” With that, he hopped on his skateboard and headed back towards the beach.

Chase watched her reload the camera and move the tripod to a new location, a few feet forward from where she’d been. All around her on the ground stood bags of what he assumed to be photographic supplies. Each satchel was open, and he noticed two extra hand cameras lying together next to the curb.

But it was to the woman his eyes strayed to and stayed. She was dressed as she’d been when they’d met, her feet still barefoot even though the concrete had to be scorching. With the sun shining full force down upon her head, the blondness of her hair seemed white in the bright light. Her face was free, no sunglasses to bar the glare of the sun. She stepped back from the camera, made a rectangular lens with her index fingers and thumbs, and peered into it. Chase saw her nod, once, then go back to the camera.

In rapid succession, she took numerous photographs of the aging town gazebo. It stood four square in the center of Main Street in front of the City Hall and courthouse. Against the fading red brick of both official edifices, the Victorian-spiraled, circular gazebo stood out, contrasting against them with its newly painted white facade. Hundreds of purple, pink and white Impatiens had been planted around the outer edge of it.

In all, the scene was a beautiful one to his untrained eye. He wondered how it would look captured on film from her viewpoint.

His breathing quickened as he found himself walking over to her. He hadn’t planned this, he told himself. Didn’t know if he wanted to see her again so soon. But he had no choice as his body took over his mind and propelled him toward her.

She was changing film again, securing one of the other cameras to the tripod.

“So you’re a photographer as well as a sea shell collector,” he said when he was sure she could hear him.

Her smile came first, as she folded the film into the camera. He thought it was as if she’d known he was there, watching her, all along, and had just been waiting for him to approach. Then she turned to him. The sun blasted full force into her face and she squinted against its blinding glare. She said, “Among other things.”

The cannonball that shot into his mid-section when she stared up at him made his stomach muscles tighten into tangled knots.

 Switching the cameras, she turned the tripod away from the gazebo, aiming it straight in his direction. While he stood, watching her, she bent and winked into the viewfinder.

“Going to take my picture?” he asked.

She stood up, hands on hips, and angled her head to one side. “Not unless you want me to. I’m trying to get to the Post Office before the sun moves.”

“Don’t let me disturb you, then.” He turned, intent on walking away.

“You don’t have to go,” she said, squatting down again. “I don’t mind being watched when I work.”

“Being watched?” he came towards her, hands in his pockets.

“Hmmm.” Hands in place, she clicked the shutter. “You were watching when I was photographing Sam, weren’t you?”

Damn. She’d seen him. His embarrassment made him silent.

Merry clicked a few more shots then straightened and turned to him. “It’s okay,” she said, smiling. “Like I said, I don’t mind. Sometimes an audience is good for me. Keeps me on my toes.”

Why, he asked himself, every time she smiled like that, did he want to drag her against his body and cover her mouth with his own? Where had this desire come from? And why was it directed at her, a woman he didn’t know and couldn’t make up his mind if he even wanted to?

To hide his uneasiness, he decided to challenge it by being honest. “I saw Sam come into the grocery store. He was all excited about being photographed by you. He practically flew out of the store with your drink.”

She started packing up her gear, taking the film from the cameras and putting them into the pockets of her shorts. “Sam’s always been a ham. I first photographed him when he was seven and I found him sitting on the beach, a caramel apple dripping all over his face. His mother loved the shot so much she used it for their Christmas card that year.”

Her laugh gamboled through the air. He’d never heard a sound that was at one time so childlike yet so thoroughly seductive.

“His grandmother thinks he’s in love with you,” he said, picking up one of her bags and handing it to her.

“Thanks. Selma’s a card, smokes too much, and has a heart as big as the ocean. She loves that boy no end.”

“I thought the same thing when I was in her store.”

“Speaking of the store,” she tossed the last of the bags over her shoulder, “I’ve got to get a few things myself.”

When she went to pick up the tripod, her hand collided with his as he’d had the same idea.

Together, their fingers stayed twined around the pole for a few seconds. Neither of them had the desire to remove their grips.

The heat that Chase had felt before was now at a boiling point. For the briefest of seconds, he found himself energized by her touch, vitalized by the feel of her skin against his. It was almost like being struck by lightning.

“Where’s your car?” he asked, barely able to keep the aching going on within him banked from her ears. “You’ve got an awful lot to carry. Let me take this.”

“No car. I walked.”

“You came all this way, carrying this load, alone?”

“Sure. I do it all the time. I can manage.” The gentle tug she exerted on the pole was met with resistance. “Can I have my tripod?” she asked, a playful smile dancing on her face.

His eyebrows furrowed above the glasses. “It’s too hot to walk, ” he said. “My car’s about two blocks away. Come on, I’ll drive you home.”

“It’s okay, I can walk. Besides, I need to stop at Selma’s.”   

“I’m parked right outside her store,” he said, taking one of the bags off her shoulder.

He began walking and she had no choice but to follow.

“Are you always so bossy?” she asked, matching him stride for stride, even though she was barefoot and carrying a third of her weight on her shoulders.

“I’m not bossy,” he said, “just practical. It’s almost ninety degrees. You’d be exhausted by the time you got home, carrying all this.”

“Like I said, I’m used to it.” One arm slung over the bag across her shoulder, and she peered at him from the corner of her eye as they walked along.

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Photo of the day, day 199

I had such a good time at Romanticon and as requested by Magnolia Blossom Publishing, here’s a photo of me hawking the recent books they published with me.


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