Welcome to Pine Lake
Olive Belmont’s sleepwalking has placed her at the scene of a crime and in the crosshairs of a vicious killer…
It’s been a while since I checked in and there is a lot going on in my little neck of the woods. My first Intrigue in over five years is coming out on October 1 and I’m so excited! Writing this book was like going home again and I loved every minute of it. For those of you who found me through The Graveyard Queen Series, this book is a departure, but I hope you’ll give it a try just the same.
For more in the same genre/wheelhouse as The Graveyard Queen, a short story in a Southern Gothic anthology also coming in October. I’m super pumped about this one, but mums the word for now…
In January, another Intrigue titled Whispering Springs set in the Texas Hill Country. A college reunion goes really, really bad.
Starting in 2018, an Intrigue trilogy tentatively titled Twilight’s Children. Set in my beloved Charleston, a serial killer leaves a crimson magnolia petal as his calling card. More on this later, too…
And…in between all these Intrigues, I’m still working on my gothic mystery, The Lonely Hour. The main character, Alice Morningstar, is introduced in the short story I mentioned above.
Back to my new Intrigue…
Pine Lake is a small-town murder mystery set in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Inspired by a trip to the eerily beautiful Caddo Lake, it’s the story of a sleepwalker who ‘witnesses’ two brutal murders nearly fifteen years apart.
I’ll have the first chapter up on my website soon, but in the meantime, here’s a little sample:
Jack dropped the phone in his pocket, his gaze still on the body. He cut the spotlight. The garish brilliance somehow seemed offensive. As darkness slid over him, he had the uncanny feeling that he wasn’t alone. He told himself it was just the situation. The similarities to Anna were bound to unnerve him. But he couldn’t shake the notion that someone was near. Someone watched him.
Turning on the spotlight, he raked the powerful beam all along the muddy bank and then into the shadowy corners of the bridge. He almost expected to see someone at the guardrail staring down at him. No one was there. He was alone on the water with the dead woman.
He made one more sweep, this time slanting the beam up in the trees. As he shifted the light, he caught a glimpse of something white through the cypress branches. A barn owl, he thought, or a snowy egret. But as he focused the light, he realized the shimmer of white wasn’t in a tree, but at the very top of the bridge. For a moment he could have sworn someone was up in the rafters.
He shook his head and moved the light away. Crazy notion.
He sat in the gently rocking boat and let the night sounds settle over him. Then he angled the beam back to the truss. The white object was still up there.
Pushing off with the paddle, he let the boat float back into the center of the channel before he started the motor. The outboard hummed throatily as he navigated toward the bridge. Backing off the throttle he aimed the light up through the Spanish moss. Whatever he expected to find was not what he saw. Never in a million years could he have imagined such a sight.
The floor of the bridge was a good fifteen feet above the water and from the deck, a series of braces and struts climbed another twenty feet to the iron beam that ran the length of the bridge.
On top of that narrow girder, a woman lay curled in the fetal position.