It seems appropriate to start 2017 with a new book. I’m thrilled to launch Book 2 in the Shellwater Key Tales. The action returns to The Paradise Dinner Theatre, with Chef Emma Bertram’s tale.
Emma had the perfect childhood, until her father left her mother for another woman. She’s carried bitterness toward her father ever since and had little to do with his new family. But when a tragic accident takes the life of her father and stepmother, Emma’s foundation is rocked…and that’s just the first volley. Returning to Shellwater Key for the funeral, Emma receives the shock of her life….
“Why don’t you tell me what’s so important that it can’t wait until later?” Emma asked.
“Because later you might escape again,” Reece said dryly. “Judging by your past behavior, I wouldn’t be surprised if you took flight in the dead of night.”
She wouldn’t run like an escaped convict. Most likely. Her mother did have a room at the inn after all.
“I already told you I’m not going anywhere,” Emma said, fighting to hide any reaction. Fighting not to care that Reece Casings seemed to hate her. “At least not tonight.”
He glared down at her. “If I have my way, you won’t be going anywhere.”
“What does that mean?” Emma asked. “Are you going to lock me up or something? I’m not a prisoner, you know. My father and I didn’t get along, but that’s not a crime, and really it’s none of your business.”
“Everything having to do with you is now my business, Miss Bertram,” he said. “As executor of his estate, everything left behind after your father’s death is my business. Including your sisters.”
“Are you their guardian or something now?” Emma asked in confusion. “I thought Mona’s mother would have been named. Where is she, by the way? Why isn’t she here?”
He froze for a moment. “You don’t know?”
“Mona’s mother had a severe stroke about a month ago,” he said. “It was quite debilitating. She’s in a rehab facility right now, and it will be some time before they know how much function she might regain. She’ll probably never be able to live on her own again.”
“No, my father didn’t tell me.” Calls to her father had happened sporadically, especially once she’d started working on the Queen’s Ransom. Her sisters must have been devastated. Mona’s mother was practically the only relative they had. Her father had been an only child, and his parents had died when Emma was a little girl…
“Wait…” Emma said, a new kind of tension gripping her. “If she can’t take the girls, who will?”
Reece Casings simply looked down at her, his expression pointed, as if he were waiting for her to connect the dots.
When she did, a whole new level of panic swept over her. “No…” She shook her head. He couldn’t be saying… She couldn’t.
“Emma, there’s no one else,” he said, his tone gentler now, as if he didn’t want to spook her.
The book is up for pre-order now. As a bonus, I’m offering a chance for everyone who buys a copy of the book by January 24th to WIN A KINDLE FIRE! Once the book has downloaded, just click on the link inside to enter!
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Kristin Wallace is the USA Today Best Selling Author of inspirational and contemporary romance, and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith”. Sign up for Kristin’s newsletter and get a FREE holiday novella, Finding You At Christmas, plus the latest on new books, happenings and more. Newsletter Signup