Weekend Excerpt–Happy Halloween!

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove, still waters harbor dark secrets.

Happy Halloween! In the mood for a haunted house/dark and stormy night/steamy romance kind of book? I’ve got you covered!

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Spoilers abound in this revealing Halloween snippet from MIDNIGHT COVE.

Bree glanced around, but Jake was nowhere to be seen.  Reluctantly, she joined April and Rusty in line.  Ten minutes later, they each held a black plastic bucket containing a fruity alcohol concoction.

“Thirty-two ounces of different kinds of rum with a tiny splash of juice.” April giggled. “Any other day, it’s called a voodoo bucket, but on Halloween, they call it Witches Brew.”

Bree sipped hers, deciding the combination of different rums and juice was an enjoyable mixture. 

“Okay, what now?” Rusty asked.

“I really need to find Jake,” Bree responded.

“I thought we could work our way over to the nachos.”  April sounded a bit disappointed.

“You guys go ahead,” Bree told her.  “I’ll catch up with you in a little while.”

April looked to Rusty and rolled her eyes comically.  “The girl has the serious hots for your best friend,” she told him.

Bree laughed with more patience than she felt.  “Really, I’ll find you again.  And thanks for the drink.  Next round is on me.”

Now you’re talking.  Okay, go find Jakey-boy,” Rusty teased.  “We’ll see you in a while.” 

Bree watched the pair make their way to one of the food tents.  Then she turned and headed back toward the other end of the street.  Her sense of unease growing, her gaze flitted around as she scanned the crowd searching for Jake. 

She finally spotted him just as he was leaving the children’s game area.  Before she could reach him, he was stopped by Darlene Bright, who was sporting a very short plaid skirt and a white blouse tied around her bare midriff.  Her long blond hair hung in pigtails, and she wore white knee socks and black stilettos. 

Nodding at something Darlene said, Jake looked up and saw Bree coming toward them.  Grinning broadly, he excused himself and met Bree in three long strides.

“Hello, beautiful!  You make just about the sexiest witch I ever saw.”  He leaned down to kiss her lightly.  “And I see you found the official Halloween libation.  Where are Rusty and April?”

Bree hooked a thumb over her shoulder.  “They went to get something to eat.  I wanted to find you, though.”

“The festival’s going really well,” he commented, looking out over the crowd.  “The weather is perfect, and everyone’s having a great time.  Are you hungry?  The onion rings are to die for.  My treat?”

Shaking her head, she put her free hand on his arm.  “I need to talk to you.”

At her urgent tone, he frowned.  “Is everything okay?”

She sighed deeply.  “It’s just…”  She looked around.  “Can we talk someplace quiet?”  She dropped her drink into a nearby trash can.

He nodded.  “Sure.  Come with me.”

Taking her hand, he led her through the crowd to the police station.  The front doors were unlocked, and he led her through a swinging wooden gate into the inner office.  Brow furrowed, he turned to face her, leaning a hip on one of the desks.  “What’s the matter, Bree?  You’re worrying me.”

She exhaled sharply and paced a few steps away.  “This is going to sound nuts.  But I need you to believe me.”

Jake crossed his arms and nodded.  “Just tell me what’s going on.”

“Mr. Meyer killed that girl all those years ago.  Christie.  And he killed his brother, Steven, too.”  She wrung her hands together, desperate for Jake to believe her.

His frown deepened, and he swiped his hand across his chin.  “What makes you think so?”

Bree chewed her lip, hesitating.  “I saw him do it.”

She watched his eyes widen.

“You saw him.”  He shook his head.  “Bree, that murder happened forty years ago.  How could you have seen it?”

“I know how this sounds, Jake.  But I saw him.  Out on the island.  I don’t think he set out to do it, but he strangled Christie, then he hit Steven in the head with a rock.  He buried Steven in the basement of the lake house.”

Pushing away from the desk, he approached her, taking her hands in his.  “Bree, I just don’t understand.  What do you mean, you saw him do these things?”

“It was a dream.”  Her voice was nearly a whisper.

Relief flooded Jake’s face.  “A dream.  Bree, you just dreamed you saw Meyer do those things.”

Frustrated tears threatened to spill down her cheeks, and she swallowed hard.  “Jake, I need you to believe me.  It’s true.  The murderer has been here the whole time.  People should know the truth.  Steven and Christie deserve justice.”

He watched her for a moment, then pulled her to himself, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.  “It’s not that I don’t believe you, babe.  But let’s say I do believe you.  I can’t act on something you saw in a dream.  I need concrete evidence, something irrefutable.  I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to–”

With a grunt, Jake went limp and slid to the floor.  Where he’d been, Eric Meyer stood glaring at her, a heavy glass paperweight in his hand.

“See what you made me do?” he said to Bree.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–A Halloween Surprise

They say desperate times call for desperate measures.
Charley Weatherly is about to realize that it’s true.

Life isn’t working out exactly the way Charley Weatherly imagined it might when she walked away from her steady paycheck as a copywriter to start her own business. But as it turns out, not everyone in town is knocking down the door of her tiny independent bookshop. She has lost money every quarter since she opened.

Now, with her grandmother in need of more care than Charley can provide, some difficult decisions have to be made. The rest of her 401k plus the proceeds from selling the bookstore might keep Nana in Pacifico Manor for about a year. That would give Charley time to figure out her next move.

But when that money is irretrievably lost, Charley is faced with an impossible decision. Being a gestational surrogate for a couple who can’t have a baby on their own will bring in the kind of cash she needs. Can she really follow through?

Between trying to keep her small business afloat and caring for her grandmother, Charley’s personal life has been nonexistent. But when she moves to the city for a few months, she finds she enjoys the freedom of her part-time gig at Bravo Java. She especially enjoys chatting up the handsome local artist who spends his mornings there. Now that her life is taking an unexpected turn, has she finally met the right man at the wrong time?

Artist Ben Campbell has had his fair share of romantic disasters. For the time being, he’s content to follow his self-imposed schedule: gym, coffee, work, repeat.

But the new barista at his favorite coffee shop piques his interest. In fact, if he’s honest with himself, she looks a lot like the elusive redhead who haunts his dreams.

She seems to be attracted to him, too. So why does Charley insist on keeping him at arm’s length?

Prefer your romance with plenty of heat and tons of heart?
You’ll love The Girl in the Guesthouse!

Read a Halloween scene from THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE.

The late-model Camry eased to a stop in front of the historic mansion at 2219 Prescott, and Ben swung open the rear passenger-side door.

“Thanks, man,” he nodded to the Uber driver as he grabbed the black tricorn hat on the seat beside him and stepped out onto the sidewalk. Straightening his deep-red brocade pirate coat, he slid the hat over the red scarf covering his head and glanced up at the house. The place was lit up like Christmas, but knowing the party would be out back, Ben headed toward the narrow driveway around the end of the house.

Gravel crunched beneath his black leather thigh-high boots as he made his way around the house. He had opted to take an Uber to the party to avoid having to scramble for a place to park his beloved VW van, something he was sure other party guests had done as well. And he had considered walking the dozen or so blocks between his loft and the Shepherd-Wang’s but Halloween or not, he’d decided that he’d rather not traipse through Pacific Heights dressed as a buccaneer of the high seas.

As he made his way down the driveway, the sound of happy conversation mixed with music grew clearer, though it was certainly not loud enough to cause the neighbors to complain.

Besides, he smiled softly to himself, if I know Drew and Alex, they’ve invited the closest neighbors, so nobody is home to complain.

He came around the corner of the house and stopped to take in the view. By his estimate, the party had been going for about an hour, and by now, costumed party guests had taken advantage of the open bar and the trays of appetizers being circulated by professionally attired servers.

The atmosphere was festive and pausing to listen, Ben realized the current song was Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London. He shook his head and grinned. Leave it to Alex and Drew, and his money was on Alex specifically, to create an entire Halloween playlist.

Charley would have enjoyed this. He sighed to himself. Ah, well.

Scanning the crowd, he spotted the hosts themselves holding court on the far side of the patio, all decked out as characters from Hamilton, complete with wigs and all. Deciding that he’d say hello to them later, he made his way to the bar and ordered a shot of Captain Morgan, smugly pleased to match his drink to his costume.

Drink in hand, he headed back the way he’d come, pausing to say hello to a few familiar faces before claiming a spot at the edge of the crowd.

The better to people-watch, he considered. Maybe it was just him, or maybe it was artists in general, but Ben had always been more of an introvert, preferring to observe most of the action rather than be the center of it.

Between where he stood and the guesthouse at the back of the courtyard, Ben wasn’t surprised to spot Roxane, the manager of the coffee shop beneath his apartment. Instead of her usual Bravo Java attire, she shimmered in a long purple and silver sequined gown complimented by a fluffy purple feather boa, bringing to mind Donna Summer from back in the day.

Ben knew that many of tonight’s guests were in some way affiliated with Drew’s businesses or Alex’s real estate business. With their genuine kindness and generosity, the couple made friends wherever they went. It was something Ben could attest to as he flicked a nostalgic glance toward the tiny guesthouse.

As he did, the door opened, and a woman in white emerged. Her long red curls were pulled away from her face and as she turned to close the door, he saw that her hair nearly reached her waist. His fingers instinctively flexed, itching to sketch those long curls.

When she turned to face the crowd, she paused, lightly swiping both hands down her skirt before taking a few tentative steps toward the party. Suddenly, a smile broke across her face and her pace quickened.

Holy shit, it’s Charley. How had he not recognized her immediately? He sipped his rum again, privately acknowledging that he didn’t look much like himself tonight, either.

He watched as Charley approached Roxane. The pair greeted each other with a hug and Roxane gestured toward a tall man with a large afro and dressed as if he’d stepped straight out of the 70s. Charley smiled, shaking the man’s hand and saying something in greeting.

Unable to resist any longer, Ben began to make his way toward the trio.

As Charley and the other man made small talk, Roxane glanced his way and she laughed out loud. “I figured we’d see you here! How are you, Ben?”

Mid-sentence, Charley stopped, her jaw dropping as she recognized him.

He gave her a warm smile. “Hi, Charley,” he offered softly.

Mouth agape, she merely blinked.

“Hey, Ben! Long time, no see.” Roxane’s husband reached to shake his hand.

Ben grinned. “It was probably about this time last year. How are you, Daymon?”

“Can’t complain. Or I could, I suppose, but who would listen?” Both men laughed congenially.

“Listen, I’m off the clock and at a party, so I’m going to head over to that bar and find myself an adult beverage.” Roxane grasped Daymon by the elbow. “Come on, husband, buy me a drink.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he grinned. “See you all later. Charley, it was nice to meet you.”

Ben watched them for a moment, then turned back to Charley. “Hi, Charley,” he repeated, grinning.

“Um…Hi! I just…I mean…” She leaned closer peering up at him. “That’s some kind of guy-liner you’ve got going there.”

Surprised, he frowned. “Is it too much?”

She giggled nervously. “Not if you’re going for a real pirate-of-the-Caribbean kind of vibe.”

Scanning him up and down, she giggled again. “Seriously, you look like a real pirate. It’s…”

Pursing his lips in amusement, he waited to see what she would say.

“Well, it’s creepy and sexy, all at the same time.”

Ben laughed out loud. “I’m sexy?”

“And creepy. Don’t forget creepy,” she said, fidgeting with the sash around her waist.

“Well, you look amazing. This is a great costume. I’m loving all the red curls.”

“Yeah, most of them aren’t mine, though. A team of professionals put all this together.” Blushing again, Charley looked across the yard. “I’m supposed to be Christine from Phantom of the Opera. It wasn’t my idea, but I didn’t know what to choose.”

“It was Alex, am I right?” Ben nodded knowingly.

Her mouth popped open again, her eyes wide. “How did you guess?”

Ben had to laugh. “He always knows exactly what he wants. I’m going to be in big trouble tonight. Wait till he sees me in the same costume for the second year in a row. I was a pirate of the Caribbean last year. This year, I’m from Pirates of Penzance. Ten bucks says he won’t be able to resist calling me out before the night’s over.”

Charley chuckled, too. “Do you really think so?”

He nodded confidently. “One hundred percent. Wait and see.”

Remembering the drink in his hand, he gestured toward Charley. “Hey, can we get you a drink?”

She shook her head. “Thanks, I’m good right now.”

Just then, the music changed to Thriller and a happy gasp went up from the crowd. Guests scurried to the large open area in front of the stage to form a line dance.

Ben leaned closer to Charley. “You know, this is the party I invited you to.”

“I kind of wondered when I realized you were here. It makes sense. Your ‘good friends’. A Halloween party.”

“And here you are anyway. It’s kind of an interesting turn of events, isn’t it?”

Charley nodded, looking vaguely uncomfortable. “It kind of is,” she agreed.

“So how do you know Drew and Alex?”

She glanced around. “I, uh…well–“

“Oh, yay! If it isn’t two of my most favorite people on the planet! And they’re chatting together!” In his white knee-breeches and blue revolutionary-era coat, Alex looked like he’d stepped off the Broadway stage. His brown wig was immaculate. He gave Ben an affectionate hug.

“And don’t think I didn’t notice your recycled costume,” he fussed, raising an eyebrow. “Do you know Charley?”

Ben laughed and nodded. “We’ve met. I’m pretty much a regular at Bravo Java every morning.”

“What?” Alex asked in exaggerated surprise, pressing his fingertips to his chest. “I had no idea. It must be kismet, the two of you kids meeting like that.”

Suddenly certain that meeting Charley at the coffee shop had been no accident at all, Ben suppressed a smile.

“Listen, doll,” Alex said to Ben, “I need to borrow Charley for just a sec or two, okay?”

Stepping back, Ben nodded. “Sure, no problem.” His eyes met Charley’s. “See you later?”

He was sure he saw her gulp. “Yeah, see you later.”

Frowning slightly, he watched as Alex led Charley toward the stage.

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE by Pandora Spocks

THE GIRL IN THE GUESTHOUSE
is available at your favorite online bookseller.

books2read.com/TheGirlInTheGuesthouse


Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say that still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

October’s Featured Book in Pandora’s Passionista Paradise is spooky, steamy romantic suspense, MIDNIGHT COVE. What’s it all about? I’m glad you asked.

In the book writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new novel.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

In this scene, Bree’s beloved yellow lab, Murphy, plays matchmaker as Bree meets handsome local lawman Jake for the first time.

Bree stretched luxuriantly, her bare arm catching the warm sunlight that streamed in through the bay window across from the bed. Last night had been the best sleep she’d had in as long as she could recall. She stretched again, smiling to herself as she recalled vague snippets of a dream she’d had. She’d been on a peaceful, tropical beach. And there’d been a hot guy.

She pursed her lips, considering the blonde young man with sparkling blue eyes. Having dreams about hot guys? She needed a man in her life right now like she needed an extra hole in the head. She was still trying to recover from the one she’d just left.

Sighing deeply, she shook her head. He wasn’t real, the man from her dream. Steven. She frowned slightly. That was kind of specific, wasn’t it?

She had to smile at herself. He hadn’t been any more real than the dolphins she’d seen. Just a pleasant dream. And wouldn’t she love to have more of those?

Canine feet click-clacked across the wood floor, and a large yellow head appeared at the side of the bed.

“Good morning, Murph. Do you need to go potty?”

Soulful brown eyes pleaded with her as the dog whined softly.

Bree laughed. “Okay, buddy, let me put some clothes on.”

Warm sunlight or no, the room itself was cool in the fall morning. She quickly made the bed, then padded to the closet to grab a pair of faded jeans and a white v-neck T-shirt. When she was dressed, she slipped on her favorite pair of white low-topped Chucks and shrugged into a long pink cardigan.

“Come on, Murph, let’s take you outside. Then we’ll figure out the rest of our day.”

On her way out the bedroom door, something caught her eye. Frowning, she slowly approached the bay window that overlooked the lake, its stained-glass accents casting reds and browns across the wood floor. In the center of the brown velvet cushion sat a glossy shell about the size and shape of an egg. It was tan, with spots of light and dark brown.

Heart pounding, she reached to pick it up. The shell felt smooth and cool in her hand. Turning it over, she saw the opening, a narrow slit running the length of the shell, looking like a crooked, serrated grin.

Unconsciously, she gripped the shell lightly. Her dream last night. The stranger–Steven–had given her a shell. This shell.

What had he said? “Keep it so you can remember this beach. So you can remember me.”

Wide-eyed, she slowly turned, scanning the room. No one was there. She closed her eyes and tried to get a sense of a presence, but she felt nothing.

Murphy whined again, bringing her to the present. Distractedly, Bree slipped the shell into her pocket. “Come on, boy. Let’s go.”

Downstairs, she opened the back door. The yellow lab bounded across the wide back deck and down to the lawn that gently sloped to the lake. Lost in her thoughts, Bree followed along behind him.

Her dream had been just that, right? A dream. But could it be that the mystery man, Steven, was the presence she’d noticed in the house?

It was beyond ridiculous, really. She’d half convinced herself that she’d merely imagined the flutter in the attic window, the chair that rocked itself.

But how do you explain the shell? Riddle me that one.

She chewed her lip thoughtfully. Should she be alarmed? Steven had seemed nice enough. He’d almost seemed surprised that she’d spoken to him. If he was in the house, maybe he needed help moving on.

Sighing deeply, she kicked at a clump of colorful leaves on the ground. It was a lot to contemplate, and she had work to do. Rita Pearlman, her editor at Bonne Nuit House, expected the first draft of her new novel by the middle of November. So far, she had managed to write the first ten thousand words.

Not bad, she snorted, only about eighty thousand to go.

But writing with Greg around had been next to impossible, especially right there at the end.

She shook her head to dismiss the dark thoughts. Greg was a non-issue now. And she was on her second day of two months of peace and quiet in her cabin by the lake.

House, not cabin, she corrected herself. Still.

The sound of distant barking drew her back to the present. The yellow lab was nowhere to be seen. Rushing down the hill to the water’s edge, Bree glanced down the shoreline in both directions.

“Murphy!”

She heard barking again, clearly from her left. She took off in that direction, calling again. “Murphy! Come here!”

Trudging along the shoreline, Bree ignored the house next door and the one after that, intent on finding her dog. Mr. Meyer had said that most of the lake houses were closed until spring anyway. So when she spied a tall, dark-haired man fishing at the end of the third dock, she was surprised. Tail wagging furiously, Murphy stood beside the man looking out over the water.

“Murphy!” she called sharply as she headed down the dock.

The dog turned and whined sheepishly, clearly reluctant to leave his new friend.

The man reeled in his line and set the fishing rod down on the dock. As Bree approached, he grinned.

“I’m so sorry he’s bothering you,” Bree rushed, grabbing the dog by his blue web collar. “Let’s go. You’re in big trouble.”

The man laughed, revealing perfect white teeth. “Don’t be too hard on him, Mom. He just got excited when I reeled in a nice fat bass.” His deep blue eyes twinkled with humor.

Bree’s gaze slid from his wavy dark brown hair to his square jaw, nicely defined by dark stubble and zeroes in on his sensuous lips. His dark blue long-sleeved Henley clung to his muscular shoulders, and the sleeves were pushed up to reveal strong forearms lightly sprinkled with dark hair.

She felt herself blush. “Well, we just went out to go potty, and he got away from me. I didn’t realize anyone was around. I promise I’ll keep him on a leash from now on. I’m so sorry.”

The man took a step toward her and held out his hand. “Don’t keep him on a leash on my account. I love dogs. I’m Jake Hanson.”

“Oh, sorry. Bree Blaylock.”

He pursed his lips as though he were suppressing a grin. “Welcome to Midnight Cove, Bree Blaylock. Are you staying at the Meyer place? I heard Old Man Meyer had rented out his lake house.”

Bree nodded. “Yes, for the next couple of months, anyway. Mr. Meyer told me that most of the lake houses sit vacant until spring.”

Jake glanced around and nodded. “Most of them do.” He hooked a thumb toward the one-story brown craftsman-style bungalow up the slope from the dock. “But I live here year-round. It’s quieter than in town.”

He tilted his head slightly, his smile warm. “So, where are you visiting from?”

“Oh, we’re from Clearwater. Florida.” Bree patted Murphy to have something to do with her hands. She nodded and tugged on the dog’s collar. “Well, it’s nice meeting you.”

“Jake.” He grinned.

Bree felt her face heat up again. “Jake. It’s nice meeting you, Jake. I’ll see you later.”

Blue eyes sparkling, he nodded. “I expect you will. It’s a small town. And a small cove. It’s nice meeting you, Bree. See ya later, Murphy. Behave yourself and mind your mom.”

Face burning, Bree held Murphy’s collar tightly and marched him back down the dock. As they made their way back down the shoreline toward the house, she risked a look over her shoulder. Jake Hanson stood watching them, and he waved. With her free hand, Bree waved back.

“You are in so much trouble,” she hissed to the dog.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman, Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

If you love your romance with a little bit of spooky, you’ll love MIDNIGHT COVE!

Read the Prologue:

He wasn’t sure just when he’d known that he was dead. 

That realization had taken a while, although the precise concept of time was now rather nebulous in his conscious thought, more a collection of seasonal impressions than an actual awareness of the passing of days and months and years. 

But the knowledge that he had somehow slipped his mortal coil had been an adjustment, to say the least.  He had no idea how he’d arrived at this state.  He’d been going along living his life and then he simply…wasn’t

His current existence seemed to be limited to the house in which he’d grown up, although there were times when he wasn’t anywhere at all.  He wasn’t sure which situation he preferred. 

On the one hand, he’d been happy to be near his family, at least at first.  But they couldn’t see him or hear him.  Not even when he screamed in their faces. 

That was when he’d known.  He’d loved his parents and his brother dearly. Seeing them, being near them, but being unable to connect with them had been frustrating as hell.

 Always nagging him was the question of what had happened.  He’d been a healthy, strong 23-year-old man, one with no bad habits like smoking or drugs.  Okay, yeah, the occasional beer, maybe, but nothing that should have led to his death. 

It seemed odd, too.  Although he was stuck in his family home, he was almost certain he remembered living on his own in an apartment, maybe.  That part of his before was foggy to him.

At first, knowing he was dead was terrifying.  But after a while, he’d settled into a sort of non-routine.  He’d watched as his family moved on, his parents and his brother, all eventually abandoning the family home.  Maybe they were dead too, his parents anyway, but if they were, he hadn’t seen them.  Apparently, the afterlife didn’t work like that.

After his family was gone, it seemed to him that the house sat empty for a long time, and he’d enjoyed the solitude. The way he saw it, if he was going to be alone, he might as well actually be alone.

But then he’d watched as one day, a slightly stooped white-haired man had arrived.  The man had thrown the doors and windows wide open, carried out piles of useless old things, and spruced up the place, top to bottom. 

The next thing he knew, the house was overrun with strangers.  They just came tromping in with their suitcases and their inflatable rafts and their bathing suits.

Summer folk.  He’d have recognized them anywhere. 

While he and his family had been permanent lakeside residents, most of the other houses were used as summer rentals, vacation retreats for families who spent the rest of their year somewhere in busy cities like Columbia or Greenville or Charlotte.  The kind of people whose idea of a perfect vacation was a week or two spent in a cottage by the lake.

He hadn’t been happy to share his space, and he’d made his position known.  And he’d sent more than one family scrambling back to wherever they’d come from, dropping snorkels and beach towels in their hurry to leave.

Of course, there had also been the ones who’d been too absorbed with themselves to notice they were shacked up for the week with an unhappy spirit.  That was annoying.  During those times, he did his best to just stay out of the way.  Because eventually, the seasons would turn, and he’d be alone again.

Gazing out the attic window at oak leaves that were just beginning to take on a kaleidoscope of fall colors, he sighed with satisfaction.  If he couldn’t be happy about his existence, he could at least be content.  

The crunching of gravel caught his attention, and he watched a work-worn white pickup truck pull up the long drive and stop in front of the house.  An older man, the one he’d seen before, got out of the truck and stood staring down the driveway. 

A minute later, a pale-yellow Volkswagen beetle puttered up to the house, pulling alongside the pickup.  The driver’s door swung open, and a pretty redhead stepped out, pulling a dark green hooded sweatshirt more tightly around herself against the cool of the fall afternoon.

She moved her sunglasses to the top of her head and glanced up in his direction.  For a moment, he’d have sworn she saw him.  Alarmed, he stepped away from the window.

What was this?  Another renter?  It wasn’t summer.  Cautiously, he peered out the window, checking to see if the seasons had switched on him again without notice.  No, the trees were still just beginning to shift into their fall hues.

Now he heard voices downstairs.  This was an unforeseen circumstance.  What now? 

He shrugged to himself and smiled.  A woman alone?  He would have her out by nightfall.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–Happy Halloween!

“This thriller – perfect for a Halloween night – will deliver the desired chill down the spine–complete with ghosts, scary characters, dark stormy nights, and tricks and treats.”
–Amazon Review

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove, still waters harbor dark secrets.

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

If you love your romance with a little spooky, you’ll love MIDNIGHT COVE!

Read this brand-new teaser.

In the cab of Meyer’s truck, Bree pressed herself as far from him as possible, searching for an opportunity to escape.  Out of the corner of her eye, she watched him drive, his eyes straight ahead, his lips pressed together in a slight curve of a smile. 

When he slowed at a turn, she grabbed the door handle and threw her weight against the door.  It didn’t budge.

Meyer slid his eyes her way.  “You can’t get out until I let you out.  Which I’ll do when we get home, darling.  There are going to be some changes around here.”

“Why are you doing this?” Bree asked.

“Doing what?”  He sounded genuinely perplexed.

“Why did you try to kill Jake?  What do you want with me?”

He shook his head.  “First of all, if I’d wanted to kill Hanson, he’d be dead.  And tell the truth, I didn’t count on having to deal with him.  I mean, he’s on duty.  He shouldn’t have been a factor.  I just had to get you away from him.  I had to make you see.”

“Make me see what?”

“Make you see that you belong with me.  Can’t you see that?”

Bree gaped at him.  “Belong together?  Romantically?  You can’t be serious.”

He stomped the brake and Bree had to put out her hands to stop from hitting the dashboard.  His eyes flashed with anger.  “You rented my house out of season.  You offered me tea, for fuck’s sake!  You mean to tell me you weren’t sending me all kinds of signals?”

Eyes wide, Bree shook her head.  “No, I was not sending you signals.  I rented your house because I needed a place to stay.  I offered you tea because I was making some for myself, and I was raised with manners.  In no way did I ever intend to give you the idea that I was interested in anything beyond renting your house.”

Meyer shook his head, his glare replaced with an eerie calm.  “That’s the beauty of it, how we know it’s meant to be.”

He resumed driving down the road toward the lake house. 

Frantically, Bree tried to think of a way to get away from him.  He’d have to let her out of the truck at the house.  If she could somehow knock him down, she could take off running along the shore of the lake.  It would eventually lead to town, but she wondered how much running she could do in the long skirt.

Her thoughts were cut short when he pulled up at the empty house next door. 

“Honey, we’re home,” he sang, laughing.  “I’ll get your door.”

Bree’s heart pounded as she watched him walk around the front of the truck to open her door.  She slid out of the truck, and as he turned to close the door, she leaned down to lower her center of gravity and launched herself at him with all her might, catching him in the chest with her shoulder.  It felt solid, like she’d hit a brick wall.

Grabbing her upper arm again, he squeezed tightly as he backhanded her across the mouth.  “Do not do that again,” he growled. 

After the shock of the blow wore off, Bree tasted the metallic tang of blood as she allowed Meyer to drag her down the slope toward the lake.  They approached the house from the back, and Bree saw that the lights she’d left on in the den were now off.

He led her up the back steps to the deck, where he opened the back door without having to unlock it.  “I was here earlier,” he grinned.

The downstairs was dimly illuminated by the fire in the fireplace and a few candles placed around the room.  The place was deadly silent.

A fresh round of panic flooded Bree.  “Where’s my dog?” she demanded.

“The mutt’s fine.  For now.  A family needs a dog.  I gave him a little sleepy medicine.”  He jerked her arm.  “But that can change.”  Closing the door behind them, he propelled her to the kitchen.  “Make me some tea.”

“What?”

“Some tea.  I want some.  It’s going to be one of the things I expect around here.”

Bree frowned.  “One of the things you expect?”

“Damn it, are you dense?  Wives do things for their husbands.  It’s how it works.”  He flapped his arm in a frustrated gesture. 

Bree gaped at him in disbelief.

“And another thing.”  He nodded toward her laptop on the desk by the window.  “That will have to go.  Won’t be any time for that.”  He shook his head piteously.  “You’re on that damn thing every time I turn around.  No, you’ll be busy taking care of me and our home.”

The more he talked, the more incredulous Bree became.  She thought of the things he’d said to Christie.  He’s replaced her with me, she realized.

Breathing deeply against the panic that threatened to rise and swallow her whole, Bree took the kettle from the stove and filled it with water, hoping to stall long enough to come up with a plan.  When she glanced back at Meyer, he’d taken a seat at the kitchen table and was watching her with an oddly pleased expression.

“See?  This is nice.  We’ll spend our evenings here drinking tea while I tell you about my day at the hardware store.”

“I thought you live over the store,” Bree commented as she set the kettle over the flame. 

“Not anymore.  That apartment isn’t fit for a family.  We’ll raise our children here.”

Bree’s mouth was in gear before she could stop herself.  “Our children?  How old are you?”

At the kitchen table, he pulled himself straighter.  “I’m sixty-three.  But I’ve kept myself fit.  I can father children.”

She shook her head incredulously.  “But I don’t love you.  A relationship, a marriage, has to be based on love.  Besides, I’m in love with someone else.”

Meyer rolled his eyes.  “Yeah, Officer Loverboy, who’s currently taking a nap on the floor of the police station.  I’ve watched you fuck him upstairs in our bed.”

Bree’s mouth fell open.  “You’ve…what?”

He gestured with his thumb.  “I’ve got cameras all over the house.  I’ve watched you.  It’s how I know that you’re meant to be mine.  And, just so you know, I forgive you.  But it stops now.”

She felt her blood run cold as she tried to absorb what he said.

“So,” he went on cheerily, “the first order of business is that you let Hanson know it’s over between the two of you.  You’ve found your soul mate.”

“No, absolutely not.”  She crossed her arms across her chest adamantly.  “I’m not going to indulge this fantasy any longer.  You and I do not belong together.  You’ve built up some crazy fantasy in your head, and it’s never going to happen.”

He launched himself from the table with surprising speed, pinning her against the kitchen cupboards and gripping her by the neck.  His face was mere inches from hers.  “Do not call me crazy,” he growled.  His breath was hot against her face.

Blindly, Bree flailed her hands behind herself, trying to find anything to use to defend herself with.  Her hand landed on a mug on the counter, and she grabbed it, swinging up her hand and clocking him in the side of the head.

Meyer let go, roaring in a mixture of pain and anger as Bree dropped to her hands and knees and crawled toward the back door.  Still on her knees, she reached up and opened the door.  Suddenly, she felt herself being jerked backward by her hair.

“We could have done this the easy way, but no,” Meyer muttered as he dragged her backward across the floor.  Holding her by the hair with one hand, he used the other to open the basement door, then he dragged her down the steps.  At the foot of the stairs, he released his grip, and Bree lay on her back, struggling to catch her breath.

“Now we have the hard way.  Get up!”

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

I love October! One reason is that my birthday comes along about the middle of the month. But I’ve always loved Halloween. Who doesn’t love something a little spooky this time of year? Like, for example, my spooky paranormal romantic suspense book, MIDNIGHT COVE.

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Here’s a brand new excerpt from MIDNIGHT COVE.

Back at her desk, Bree listened to Jake’s message and smiled.  He really was very charming.  Of course, Greg had been charming too, at first anyway.  She chewed her lower lip and frowned at the thought. 

Not everyone’s like Greg, she reminded herself.  If I view with suspicion every man that comes along, he wins.  And he doesn’t get to win

She shook her head with a snap.  “Fuck Greg,” she muttered, blocking the unknown number that had called earlier.  “I’ll block every number he tries.”

Checking her word count, she decided that she’d made enough progress on the book for one day.  And although it was about half an hour early, she decided to go ahead and make Murphy’s dinner, much to the dog’s delight.

As the yellow lab scarfed down his mixture of kibble, a healthy spoonful of canned food, and an egg, Bree thought about the chair Jake had mentioned.  Making a tour of the downstairs, she checked the coat closet and the storage area beneath the stairs but came up empty.  Another door revealed a wooden set of stairs that led down to an unfinished basement. 

Grimacing slightly, Bree pulled the string that turned on a single bare lightbulb and forced her feet down the stairs.  Basements always creeped her out, a holdover, she supposed, from visits to her grandmother’s house. 

“Don’t be ridiculous,” she chided herself softly.  “You already know there’s a ghost in this house.  And he’s nice.  So just go find the stupid chair.”

But the basement was virtually empty.  All she uncovered was a coil of spring-green rubber garden hose and a heavy wood patio set, items Mr. Meyer must have stored away until next summer.  A door off the main area seemed promising, but it was locked fast, so she made her way back upstairs.

Tail wagging, Murphy met her as she returned to the kitchen.  She ruffled his ears affectionately.  “What do you think, buddy?  Should we check upstairs?”

Claws clicking on the hardwood floor, the dog followed her to the second floor.  Bypassing her own room, she wandered into the bedroom across the hall.  It was set up with a pair of twin beds, perfect, she supposed, for the families who came to stay in the summer. 

Curious, she crossed to the window that overlooked the front lawn.  By leaning close to the glass, she could just see the back of her yellow bug parked in the carport at the south end of the house.

When she turned back, she caught a flash of movement out of the corner of her eye.  As usual, her heart skipped a beat.  She looked to Murphy, who sat looking in the same direction as the movement she’d seen, his expression curious.  Shaking her head, she exhaled shakily and walked to the heavy wooden closet door.  As she swung it open, she was not surprised to find the closet completely empty.  Not a lawn chair in sight.

But it had made sense to check, she supposed.  Maybe tomorrow, she’d make a trip into town.  Undoubtedly, she would be able to find a camp chair at Meyer’s Hardware.  She’d also noticed a tiny bookstore she’d like to check out just down the street from the market. 

Feeling pleased with the prospect of finding a new book to read, she started to close the door when something caught her eye.  Squinting slightly, she stepped into the empty closet and peered at the wall on her left.  Positioned low, about the height of a child’s reach, something was scratched into the wall.  Reaching above her head, she pulled the string that turned on the closet light.

Six letters were crudely scratched into the plaster.  S-T-E-V-E-N, all caps.  Gingerly, Bree brushed her fingertips over the name, feeling the grooves and raised plaster. 

“This was your room,” she murmured. 

Feeling suddenly like she was intruding, she stepped back and closed the closet door.  She glanced around, trying to imagine the room as it might have been when a young boy lived there and wrote his name on the wall of his closet. 

The sheer white curtain shrouding the closed window ruffled slightly.  This time, Bree wasn’t startled. 

“You know you’re welcome here,” she said softly.  “You’re right.  This is your house.  I’m just a guest.  I hope you won’t mind that Murphy and I are here.  We’ll absolutely respect your space.  You matter, Steven.  We’ll try to help you figure things out.”

**

Standing in the bedroom he’d grown up in, Steven felt a lump in his throat as he watched Bree and her dog head back into the hallway.  She’d acknowledged that he existed.  For so long, he’d had a nagging sense in the back of his mind that maybe he wasn’t real at all, maybe he was merely a character in someone else’s dream. 

Meeting Bree in her dreams was one thing–by the light of day, she might convince herself that he was simply a figment of her imagination.  But she knew he was there, and accepted him without question. 

She had no way of knowing what that meant to him.  She’d said she wanted to help him. 

He shook his head sadly.  That would be great, only he didn’t even know what kind of help he needed. 

Glancing around, he had a thought.  It would be nice not to be stuck here in this house.  If there’s a world beyond this one, maybe it’s time to find it.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

Writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

If you love your romance with a little bit of spooky, MIDNIGHT COVE is for you!

Read a little teaser.

A flash of lightning lit up the downstairs of the lake house like an overexposed photograph. The crack of thunder was instantaneous, and Bree ducked her head reflexively. Murphy, never a fan of a thunderstorm, cowered beside her on the sofa.

The power had blinked off nearly half an hour earlier, and now the den was lit only by the fire in the fireplace along with a few scattered candles Bree had brought down from upstairs. She’d had a productive day of writing, and now she was content to watch the storm and read her Kindle for as long as the battery held out.

She patted the dog affectionately. “You’re fine, don’t be such a baby,” she murmured. “It’s nice and cozy in here, and I’m sure they’ll get the power back soon.”

The tiny digital clock in the corner of her tablet read 10:04, and Bree wondered if the power might be off until morning. Certainly, no one would be climbing up any power poles until the storm was over.

Briefly, she considered heading upstairs to bed, but her phone rang before she could definitively decide.

“Hi,” she smiled.

“Hi yourself,” Jake said. “How are you holding up in this crazy storm?”

She glanced at Murphy and shook her head. “Oh, we’re fine. Some of us are better than others.”

“Murphy’s not digging the thunder?”

“You guessed it. I, however, am enjoying the light show over the lake. I wish the power were on, though. It feels very 19th century. I’m so spoiled,” she laughed.

There was a slight pause. “We don’t have any reports of power outages. How long has it been out?”

Bree raised her eyebrows. “Maybe half an hour?”

“Can you see if mine’s out, too? I left my dock light on.”

“Okay, hang on.” Bree slipped off the sofa and padded to the back door. Through heavy rain, she could just make out a dot of light several houses down. “Yeah, I think I can see your light. The rain is so heavy, it’s hard to tell.”

Lightning flashed again, for a microsecond illuminating a dark figure standing directly in front of Bree, mere inches away on the other side of the glass. She shrieked, scrambling backward so fast, she tripped on the rug and ended up on her behind. Her phone landed beside her.

“Bree! What’s wrong?” Jake’s tone was urgent.

She snatched up the phone. “Holy shit! I thought I saw someone on the deck.” Bree’s heart pounded.

“Is someone out there?”

She shook her head. “No, that’s crazy, nobody would be out there.” Another bolt of lightning briefly lit up the darkness, and she saw it again. Someone in a dark hood was peering in at her from the deck. She gasped and crab-crawled backward to the end of the sofa, hiding herself from view. Murphy leaped off the sofa and charged the back door, barking for all he was worth.

“Bree? Bree!”

“He’s…he’s there! Somebody’s out there! I thought maybe it was just my own reflection, but he’s out there!” Bree felt hysteria rising.

“Bree, where are you right now?”

“I’m hiding behind the sofa,” she whispered.

“Is there someplace you can go, a closet or something close by?”

With Murphy still barking, she looked wildly around the room. From her vantage point behind the sofa, she could see the hallway that led to the foyer. She knew there was a closet about halfway down.

“Yes, yes,” she hissed. “The coat closet.”

“Stay low and get there. I’m on my way. Don’t come out of the closet. I’ll call you once I know it’s safe, okay?”

Phone pressed to her ear, Bree nodded.

“Bree, did you hear me? Hide in the closet and don’t come out for anything.”

Her teeth chattered, and she nodded again. “In the closet. You’ll call me.”

“I will. Everything’s going to be alright. I’ll be there as soon as I can get there.”

*******

Jake doubted he’d ever made the trek from town as quickly as he did that night. Dan Roebuck, also on duty that rainy night, followed Jake in his own patrol car. Blue lights flashing as the storm’s fury began to subside, Jake skidded to a stop in the gravel driveway and jumped out into the steady rain that still fell.

Heavy black Maglight in one hand and service revolver in the other, he nodded to Dan. They split up, cautiously searching around opposite ends of the house and meeting at the back deck.

Jake glanced down the lake toward his house and saw the light illuminating the end of his dock, just like Bree had said.

“Hanson.”

He turned to Dan, who aimed his flashlight on the wooden steps leading up to the deck. “Muddy footprints. Somebody was out here.”

Stepping carefully to avoid ruining the tracks, the men followed the trail up the steps and all the way to the back door, where they ended. Inside the house, Murphy continued to bark.

“It’s okay, Murphy, good boy,” Jake called to him.

As soon as the dog heard Jake’s voice, the barking was replaced by tail-wagging.

The two men crouched to examine the muddy prints. Jake’s lips pressed into a grim line. “The guy stood here for a while.”

He looked up, past the yellow lab who was now whining at him, into the den where the fire still burned in the fireplace. A half-glass of wine sat on the end table beside the place Bree would have been sitting on the sofa.

Jake felt a ripple of rage. Someone had stood out here watching Bree. He shook his head abruptly. “Hey, Roebuck, want to keep looking around? I need to let her know we’re here.”

Dan nodded and moved further down the deck, shining his light as he did. Jake took out his phone and carefully headed back down the stairs.

She picked up on the first ring. “Where are you?” she whispered.

“I’m here,” he answered as he rounded the end of the house. “I’m heading to your front door now. Come let me in.”

At the front door, he tapped lightly, exhaling deliberately as he tried to tamp down his anger. That someone had been prowling around the house, had been peering in at Bree, was more than he could stand. As she tentatively opened the door, he pasted on what he hoped was a reassuring smile. When she saw him, she threw herself into his arms.

“Hey, it’s okay, everything’s okay.” She shook uncontrollably as he held her. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “Come on, let’s go inside. I’m getting you all wet.”

“I-I don’t c-care,” she told him. “I was so scared.”

“I know, babe, but you’re safe. I promise you’re safe now.” He walked her to the sofa where she sat. He took a seat on the coffee table across from her. “Now, tell me what you saw.”

Her eyes were wide, and she still shook. He took her icy hands between his own. “Bree, describe what you saw.”

“A-a man was just standing there. It was so dark. I only saw him for a second, when the lightning flashed. At first, I thought I had scared myself, that it was just my own reflection. Or maybe–“

She looked up at him like she was surprised to see him, and she shook her head again. “But when the lightning flashed again, he was still there. I was so scared,” she squeaked as tears began to fall.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is available
at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–Happy Halloween!

…the living are always more dangerous than the dead…

Happy Halloween!
If you’re in the mood for a ‘dark and stormy night in a haunted house‘ kind of romance novel, MIDNIGHT COVE is the book for you.

Writer Bree Blaylock leaves Florida and an abusive fiance for a quiet cabin on the lake in a small South Carolina town. The fact that the cabin is haunted doesn’t bother her in the least. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

When she meets her handsome new neighbor, local lawman Jake Hanson, she wonders if it might be time to take another chance on love.

But can Jake keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Here’s a brand-new teaser from MIDNIGHT COVE.

With Main Street blocked off, Rusty parked the truck in a designated area, and the pair set off on foot, joining dozens of other costumed townspeople as they made their way toward the center of the action. 

Midnight Cove had been transformed into a black and orange fairyland that would have made Tim Burton proud.  Orange lights were strung back and forth in zig-zag patterns across Main Street, and carved jack o’ lanterns of varying temperaments grinned in front of every business. 

The nostalgic aroma of fried dough and onions and fresh popcorn filled the air as Bree spied a row of food kiosks down the center of the street.  An area at one end of the street featured Halloween-themed carnival games for children, and residents had begun to arrange their chairs along the sidewalks, huge containers of candy at the ready for the trick-or-treating to begin.

At the opposite end of Main Street from the games, several stands offered adult beverages, and that’s where Rusty led Bree.  “I told her to meet us at the Dew Drop Inn tent,” he explained.  It’s right in front of the bookstore.

Just as they arrived at the orange and black canopy, the door of the Plucky Peacock opened, and a familiar figure emerged.  She locked the door and walked toward them.

“Hey, y’all!  Ooh, Bree, you look fantastic!  I love your makeup.”  She rose on her tiptoes and gave Rusty a kiss.

Bree shrugged lightly.  “It’s not too much, is it?”

“Girl, it’s Halloween.  Let it all hang out, that’s what I say.  Speaking of which,” she lowered her voice, “great cleavage!  Jake’s gonna love it.”

Beneath the heavy makeup, Bree blushed profusely.  “So, what’s this all about?”  She waved toward April, hoping to change the subject.

April held her hands out to her side and slowly rotated in a circle.  “Get it?” she grinned happily.

Bree scanned her friend up and down.  April was covered from her shoulders to her knees in a shaggy brown faux fur tube.  Her arms and legs stuck out from holes in the sides, and the whole thing narrowed to an elongated point that dragged on the ground several feet behind her.  A round fur hat completed the ensemble.

“What are you supposed to be?” Bree wondered.

April rolled her eyes good-naturedly.  “I’m a tail.”  She tucked her arm through Rusty’s.  “He’s a fairy.  Together, we’re a fairy tale.”  She gestured between herself and Rusty.

“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” Bree laughed lightly.  “Listen, have you seen Jake?”

“I don’t know.  He was down here earlier, but they may have sent him to the kids’ area.  We’ll find him later.  Let’s go get us some Witches Brew.”

Bree glanced around, but Jake was nowhere to be seen.  Reluctantly, she joined April and Rusty in line.  Ten minutes later, they each held a black plastic bucket containing a fruity alcohol concoction.

“Thirty-two ounces of different kinds of rum with a tiny splash of juice.” April giggled. “Any other day, it’s called a voodoo bucket, but on Halloween, they call it Witches Brew.”

Bree sipped hers, deciding the combination of different rums and juice was an enjoyable mixture. 

“Okay, what now?” Rusty asked.

“I really need to find Jake,” Bree responded.

“I thought we could work our way over to the nachos.”  April sounded a bit disappointed.

“You guys go ahead,” Bree told her.  “I’ll catch up with you in a little while.”

April looked to Rusty and rolled her eyes comically.  “The girl has the serious hots for your best friend,” she told him.

Bree laughed with more patience than she felt.  “Really, I’ll find you again.  And thanks for the drink.  Next round is on me.”

“Now, you’re talking.  Okay, go find Jakey-boy,” Rusty teased.  “We’ll see you in a while.” 

Bree watched the pair make their way to one of the food tents.  Then she turned and headed back toward the other end of the street.  Her sense of unease growing, her gaze flitted around as she scanned the crowd searching for Jake. 

She finally spotted him just as he was leaving the children’s game area.  Before she could reach him, he was stopped by Darlene Bright, who was sporting a very short plaid skirt and a white blouse tied around her bare midriff.  Her long blond hair hung in pigtails, and she wore white knee socks and black stilettos. 

Nodding at something Darlene said, Jake looked up and saw Bree coming toward them.  Grinning broadly, he excused himself and met Bree in three long strides.

“Hello, beautiful!  You make just about the sexiest witch I ever saw.”  He leaned down to kiss her lightly.  “And I see you found the official Halloween libation.  Where are Rusty and April?”

Bree hooked a thumb over her shoulder.  “They went to get something to eat.  I wanted to find you, though.”

“The festival’s going really well,” he commented, looking out over the crowd.  “The weather is perfect, and everyone’s having a great time.  Are you hungry?  The onion rings are to die for.  My treat?”

Shaking her head, she put her free hand on his arm.  “I need to talk to you.”

At her urgent tone, he frowned.  “Is everything okay?”

She sighed deeply.  “It’s just…”  She looked around.  “Can we talk someplace quiet?”  She dropped her drink into a nearby trash can.

He nodded.  “Sure.  Come with me.”

Taking her hand, he led her through the crowd to the police station.  The front doors were unlocked, and he led her through a swinging wooden gate into the inner office.  Brow furrowed, he turned to face her, leaning a hip on one of the desks.  “What’s the matter, Bree?  You’re worrying me.”

She exhaled sharply and paced a few steps away.  “This is going to sound nuts.  But I need you to believe me.”

Jake crossed his arms and nodded.  “Just tell me what’s going on.”

“Mr. Meyer killed that girl all those years ago.  Christie.  And he killed his brother, Steven, too.”  She wrung her hands together, desperate for Jake to believe her.

His frown deepened, and he swiped his hand across his chin.  “What makes you think so?”

Bree chewed her lip, hesitating.  “I saw him do it.”

She watched his eyes widen.

“You saw him.”  He shook his head.  “Bree, that murder happened forty years ago.  How could you have seen it?”

“I know how this sounds, Jake.  But I saw him.  Out on the island.  I don’t think he set out to do it, but he strangled Christie, then he hit Steven in the head with a rock.  He buried Steven in the basement of the lake house.”

Pushing away from the desk, he approached her, taking her hands in his.  “Bree, I just don’t understand.  What do you mean, you saw him do these things?”

“It was a dream.”  Her voice was nearly a whisper.

Relief flooded Jake’s face.  “A dream.  Bree, you just dreamed you saw Meyer do those things.”

Frustrated tears threatened to spill down her cheeks, and she swallowed hard.  “Jake, I need you to believe me.  It’s true.  The murderer has been here the whole time.  People should know the truth.  Steven and Christie deserve justice.”

He watched her for a moment, then pulled her to himself, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.  “It’s not that I don’t believe you, babe.  But let’s say I do believe you.  I can’t act on something you saw in a dream.  I need concrete evidence, something irrefutable.  I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to–“

With a grunt, Jake went limp and slid to the floor.  Where he’d been, Eric Meyer stood glaring at her, a heavy glass paperweight in his hand.

“See what you made me do?” he said to Bree.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

Find MIDNIGHT COVE at your favorite online bookseller.
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

Doesn’t September put you in the mood to read something suspenseful and romantic? You know, a steamy ghost story with a happily-ever-after ending?

Take a creepy lakeside town, add an eclectic cast of characters with secrets and a haunted house, and you have MIDNIGHT COVE, my spooky, sexy Halloween romance novel.

In MIDNIGHT COVE, writer Bree Blaylock just wants a chance to catch her breath.  Having finally escaped an abusive relationship, she’s relieved to have found a quiet place to finish writing her new book.  

From the moment she arrives, she realizes that she’s not alone in her rented cottage on the lake.  But she’s okay with that. In her experience, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

Meeting handsome local lawman Jake Hanson wasn’t even remotely on her radar.  Now that she has, maybe it’s time to take another chance on love.  

But can he keep her safe when the past comes calling?

Here’s a teaser from MIDNIGHT COVE.

Sand feels cool beneath her bare feet, and a light breeze ruffles her long red hair. Turquoise water sparkles in the sunlight as foam-edged waves rush up the sandy slope. Normally, the beach would make her nervous, but this isn’t her beach. It’s just a dream.

Bree relaxes in the knowledge that she’s tucked safely in bed. She’ll just enjoy the serenity of the imaginary shoreline. Smiling to herself, she looks down past her flowing white dress to the footprints she’s leaving in the soft wet sand. She wonders if this is Fiji. She’s always wanted to go there.

Further down the beach, she sees a figure and she stiffens, hoping this isn’t turning into one of those dreams. Maybe she should wake up now. She squints, raising a hand to shade her eyes.

The figure is closer now. It’s a man with light hair. Bree relaxes again. She doesn’t know who the stranger is. She simply knows who he is not.

Bree drags her toes through the shallow tide, playfully kicking up water in front of her as she approaches the stranger. To her left, a trio of dolphins leap joyously. Nevermind that the water is too shallow. That’s how it is in dreams.

She raises her hand in a wave. “Hello!”

The stranger stops a short distance away, a bemused expression on his face. He’s nice-looking, she notices. His blonde hair is a little shaggy, but his light blue eyes sparkle with intelligence. He’s dressed a bit oddly in her estimation. He’s wearing faded blue jeans that flair toward the bottom and his blue Superman T-shirt looks vintage. A strand of puka shells encircles his neck. Like Bree, his feet are bare and he’s wading along the edge of the water.

“Hello,” he returns.

“Hi.’

He grins broadly. “You said that already.”

Bree shrugs lightly and twirls in a circle, swinging her skirt around. “I know. Did you see the dolphins?”

He nods and looks toward the water. “I did. They’re cool.”

“This is a cool dream,” Bree agrees.

He smiles again. “What’s your name?”

“Bree. Bree Blaylock. What’s yours?”

“I’m Steven.”

She holds out her hand. “Nice to meet you, Steven.”

He stares at her outstretched hand and hesitates before reaching to take it. Static electricity pops slightly as their skin touches.

“It’s nice to meet you, Bree.”

“Do you think this is Fiji?” Bree asks.

Steven glances around and shrugs. “I’m not sure. Do you think it is?”

“Maybe. It’s not Clearwater, that’s for sure.” Bree wraps her arms across herself and shudders.

“Is Clearwater bad?” he asks.

“This is a happy dream. Let’s not talk about Clearwater.”

Steven shrugs. “Fine by me. We can just enjoy the beach.”

Bree nods happily and slips her arm through his. Together, they wander along the shoreline, stopping occasionally to examine a shell or two. Steven stoops, picks up something, and hands it to her. “Here, this is for you.”

It’s a tiger cowry. She knows this because as a child, she had a book of shells and she’s seen the picture.

“It’s beautiful. Thank you.”

He nods, looking pleased. “Keep it so you can remember this beach. So you can remember me.”

Bree turns to him frowning. “Will I see you again?”

Steven shrugs. “I don’t know.”

“I hope so,” she says fervently. “This is the nicest dream I’ve had in a long time.”

“I’ve liked it, too.” There’s a hint of sadness in his eyes.

***

Sniffing loudly, Bree rolled onto her right side and curled around her extra pillow. Her eyes fluttered briefly before she was fast asleep once again.

From the corner of the bedroom, Steven watched her in wonder. He had no idea how he’d ended up in this woman’s dream. But for the first time in a very long time, he hadn’t been alone.

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is now available in wide release
at your favorite online bookseller!
books2read.com/MidnightCove

Weekend Excerpt–MIDNIGHT COVE

They say still waters run deep.
In the tiny lakeside town of Midnight Cove,
still waters harbor dark secrets.

Writer Bree Blaylock has left behind an abusive relationship for a fresh start in the small town of Midnight Cove. All she wants is a quiet place to finish writing her next novel. She didn’t count on living in a haunted house. But as she’s learned, the living are always more dangerous than the dead.

She also didn’t count on falling for her sexy new neighbor, local lawman Jake Hansen. But it seems that fate had other plans.

Can Jake keep her safe from the dangerous old secrets that threaten to destroy her?

Here’s a steamy little snippet from MIDNIGHT COVE.

Once the front door was locked behind them, they were magnetically drawn back together, lips locked as they shrugged out of their jackets.  Breathless, Bree stepped back and looked up at Jake.  He watched her curiously as if to see what she had in mind. 

Unwilling to leave room for any ambiguity, she began unbuttoning his shirt, pressing a kiss to his chest with each button. 

“Holy shit, Bree,” he groaned.

Emboldened by his response, with his shirt all the way undone, she lightly licked her way up from his navel to his breastbone.

He lifted her chin and kissed her passionately, grabbing the hem of her sweater and lifting it off over her head. 

Thank God I wore my best bra, she thought.

Stepping back, he gazed down at her and shook his head.  “Holy shit, Bree,” he repeated.  He reached up to lightly finger the black lace of her bra before he gently squeezed her breasts and kissed her again. 

As she welcomed his lips, she felt his hands slide around her sides and up her back where he made short work of the clasp.  She shrugged slightly, and the straps slid down her arms. 

Jake broke the kiss, glancing down at her bare breasts.  He slid his hands up her taut belly to cup them, to heft their weight.  Then he brushed his thumbs across her tight pink points, and Bree gasped as goosebumps danced over her body.

Jake’s voice was husky.  “Where’s the bed?”

Smiling, Bree took his hand and tugged him up the stairs.  Tail wagging, Murphy padded along behind them.  At the bedroom door, Bree stopped.  “Nope, buddy, this is as far as you go,” she said to the dog. 

Jake chuckled softly.  “Sorry, Murph.  Adults only.”  He closed the door, leaving the dog in the hallway.

When she reached behind her waist to unfasten her skirt, he stopped her with a gentle hand on her arm.  “Let me.”  His tone was soft, reverent even, as desire flickered in his eyes. 

Pressing another kiss to her lips, he slid his hands around to the zipper on the back of her skirt, slowly lowering it and allowing the garment to slide to the floor. 

Breaking the kiss, he held her hand to steady her as she stepped out of the skirt.  Again, Bree was grateful that her black lace thong matched the bra she’d chosen for the evening.

“Lie back on the bed,” he urged her softly.

Heart ticking in anticipation, Bree did as he asked, stretching out across the bed with her legs still hanging over the edge.  She watched as he shucked his jeans and moved toward her in gun-metal grey boxer briefs, nudging her legs apart with his knee.  Her eyes were drawn to the enormous bulge currently shrouded in grey fabric.

“I want to see,” she whispered. 

His crooked smirk was beyond hot.  He hooked his thumbs in the elastic waistband and slid the skivvies down his thighs, releasing his monster erection.

“Oh, my,” Bree breathed.

With a sexy arch of his eyebrow, he lowered himself over her body, trailing light kisses from the top of her thong up her belly to between her breasts.  There, he paused, moving to lavish attention to each pert nipple. Ripples of pleasure made Bree gasp. 

Jake’s lips continued their journey to the hollow of her throat, then up the side of her neck.  Bree’s skin was awash in goosebumps. 

“Now, I want to see,” he murmured into her ear.

He moved to her lips, bestowing a decadent kiss.  When he moved further, she opened her eyes and watched breathlessly as he made his way back down her body and used his teeth to gently tug down the black lace thong.  With a wry grin, he tossed the panties over his shoulder. 

“What do you know?” he chuckled.  “Red down here, too.”

He tilted his head, his expression suddenly serious.  “Is this okay?” he asked.

“Oh, God, yes!” Bree nodded quickly.

The seductive smirk returned, and he lowered himself between her knees.  Unable to see him, Bree gazed up at the ceiling and smiled happily as she felt him use his thumbs to part her outer lips.

“So beautiful,” he murmured.  “I need a taste.”

Bree’s eyes slammed shut, and her head tilted back as he began to worship her sex with his tongue, caressing her with long sensuous strokes.

“Holy…” Bree breathed through clenched teeth as she felt her climax building.  She slammed her hands on the bed beside her, clutching handfuls of the duvet for dear life.

“Oh, shit, I’m about to come,” she hissed.

She felt the vibration of his chuckle against her sweet spot.  “Come on, baby, it’s all you right now.”

Panting furiously, Bree gave herself over to wave after wave of pleasure, finally crying out in ecstasy as her orgasm tumbled over her.  When she thought she couldn’t take any more, she lowered her hand to his head, tangling her fingers in his hair.

“Stop,” she gasped, “oh, please stop!”

Again, he chuckled.  “Too much so soon?  We’re just getting started.”

MIDNIGHT COVE by Pandora Spocks

MIDNIGHT COVE is currently available exclusively in the romantic suspense anthology,
DARK SECRETS.

But it’s coming soon on its own to KINDLE UNLIMITED!
Stay tuned…