In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass...
Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it's time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal mystery offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.
Standing by the bay window in the front room, Mattie watched the car approach. She wanted to run, but instead glanced at the kindhearted spirit of Opal, her distant grandmother. Dressed in her best early American gown, the many layers of her petticoat swished with a soft hiss when she moved.
“There’s no reason to be nervous. Once you meet Amber, you’ll see she caps the climax,” Opal voiced in a soothing tone. “Your Aunt Rachel is absolutely thrilled to have a descendant from her branch of the family as keeper.”
Looking beyond her at the rest of the room, Mattie searched for the other members of the family council. They always offered her their support when she faced a big decision. Yet, today they were conspicuously absent.
“Don’t worry. The whole family is behind you. We just thought it better if we didn’t all hover.”
Shifting from foot to foot, she wrung her hands together. A simple process of a changing of the guard for them, Amber’s arrival marked the end of the life Mattie loved.
The beautiful spirits around her didn’t understand how cruel humans could be to each other. What if she screwed up and the girl left? Or the girl hated living with a house full of spirits?
Unease pricked at Mattie’s mind. She had no experience in dealing with strangers. All her business associates understood her likes and didn’t force her to attend any social events.
A quick glance out the window, and a car rounded the fountain. She wasn’t prepared to entertain Amber. How could she be? She never invited guests to the estate.
“Now, Pumpkin, there’s no need to worry. It’s time another branch of the family realize what a pain it is to be keeper.” Opal smiled, offering her special form of reassurance. “We’re all here to help with the transition.”
The high notes of Beethoven’s Fifth sprang from the piano. Mattie jumped in surprise at the sudden noise. She whipped around to see Uncle Samuel, the artist of the family, standing next to the piano.
“The game is afoot.” He arched his eyebrows and grinned, then disappeared.
“I’d better leave.” Her aunt patted Mattie’s shoulder. “Just remember, the girl is uneasy too.”
With a deep breath, Mattie turned and gripped the cold metal knob in her hand.
Soon her home would belong to a stranger, and then what would she do?
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