Thousand Islands Book Tour…and more
I can’t wait! I’ve been waiting all year for these next few weeks to visit the Thousand Islands and the beauty that it holds. I’ll be doing several book signings in the area, enjoy visiting family and friends, and even have a memorial for my wonderful husband who passed away in February.
For those of you who aren’t on my newsletter list, be sure to sign up in the upper right-hand corner of my website so you can see my book tour schedule. I’ll be sending it out this weekend.
In the meantime, I thought you would enjoy another excerpt from my latest book Devyn’s Dilemma. It’s about Singer Castle on Dark Island in 1910:
Mrs. VanLeer quirked a brow and smiled. “And I had the distinct impression that you were none too happy to be here. Well, carry on, then.” She turned on her heel and left the room, leaving the door slightly ajar.
Devyn reflected on the missus’ comment. Yes, she had been frank about her dislike of the river and working on Dark Island. Had Brice shared her thoughts with others? If so, he would get an earful, to be sure! But … she had to admit that the castle was growing on her, and the river wasn’t quite as distasteful as she had once thought. She
walked over to the window and, for once, tried to admire the view without her sieve of bitterness marring it.
Sparkling sunshine dancing on the tiny waves.
Birds swooping and soaring on the breeze.
Boats traveling along the main channel of the mighty river.
And beyond, the many tiny islands dotting it.
It all made a rather pretty picture.
She closed her eyes and whispered a prayer. “If you can, Lord, take my pain, my
hatred, my fear, and wash them away with the current below.” Could He do that? Shaking herself from her melancholy, Devyn glanced around the circular room. It
wasn’t huge, maybe twelve feet in diameter. The walls were the same heavy granite that covered the outside of the castle, roughly grouted but somehow fitting for a gentleman’s office. The room had two desks, two typewriters, and a huge safe.
She tentatively went up to the safe and ran her fingers over the gold letters on the door, “F. G. Bourne,” and above it “Herring-Hall Marvin Safe Co” in smaller letters. Devyn’s heart skipped a beat. The safe was … open? Why? What should she do? Someone might accuse her of opening it, and then what?
Afraid to touch it, she stepped back and turned away. She bit her lip as she glanced over her shoulder at the small, dark cavity before picking up her cleaning cloth and avoiding the predicament altogether. She would decide what to do about the safe later.
Where to start her cleaning? Spiders. They had to go first. She took her broom and covered it with a cloth, using it as a weapon to chase away every eight-legged
intruder. She stomped on those that fell to the floor and scurried away from one that was intent on getting into her hair. Dangling from a fine web, the spider seemed to dance midair, chasing her like a miniature bully. She swatted at the creature, squealed once, and finally triumphed over it, squashing it until it was pulverized into nothing.
Once the spiders and their webs were eradiated, she turned to the dusting. A large wooden letter holder stood about three feet high on a second desk, which she decided belonged to Mr. Bourne’s assistant or secretary, whomever that was. She counted the cubbyholes—one hundred—and dusted every one of them as well as the top and sides, careful to replace the dozens of papers in each used cubby.
She hummed a tune as she worked and turned to the desk and the clutter on it, careful to replace each item exactly. Would Mr. Bourne really notice if an item was an inch or two off, especially if it wasn’t his desk? Shrugging her shoulders, she glanced over at the safe again. How could someone so meticulous leave it unlatched?
Suddenly, Brice walked into the room and stopped mid-step. “Oh, I didn’t know you were here. Top of the morning to you, my bonnie lass! ’Tis a crackin’ day, aye?” His face flushed and his ears turned pink as he glanced around the stone-walled room. He whistled when his gaze fell on the desk she had cleaned. “Thank you. I had intended to get rid of those spiders myself but haven’t had the chance. And my desk is immaculate. Right fine job you’re doing, Devyn. Mr. Bourne will be pleased as a peach pie, he will.”
Check out Devyn’s Dilemma, Book 2 of the Thousand Islands Gilded Age series You can experience this wonder yourself and/or read about it in my latest novel, Devyn’s Dilemma.
1910, Thousand Islands, New York. Others may consider The Towers castle on Dark Island an enchanting summer retreat, but to Devyn McKenna, it’s a prison. Yet as she works as a maid for Frederick Bourne, former president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, her life blossoms under the kindness of his family and fascinating entrepreneurs such as J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lipton, and Captain Vanderbilt. But more than anything, the growing friendship of Mr. Bourne’s valet, Brice McBride, begins to pry away the painful layers that conceal Devyn’s heart.
Brice is drawn to the mysterious Devyn even though he’s certain she’s hiding a secret, one far more dangerous than the clues they find in The Towers that hint of a treasure on the island. When Devyn is accused of stealing Bourne’s investment in Vanderbilt’s New York City subway expansion, he might not be able to protect her.
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