Bridgette Marquette inherited her family plantation, including the ghosts living there. The ghosts must warn Bridgette that something dark and foreboding lurks in the shadows at the plantation before it is too late.
Before building the Marquette Plantation, Pierre and Geneviève Marquette lived in a small home with the other Acadians in Nova Scotia. They were forced from their home as was others that traveled with them. It took Pierre years to build Geneviève the perfect home when they finally made it to Louisiana. Life had been hard but they had each other and their children. Unfortunately, Geneviève only got to live in it for a short while before her unfortunate passing. Yellow fever hit the area with a vengeance taking many lives, including hers.
Ever since her passing Geneviève has wandered the plantation and watched her family grow. Genevieve is so proud of her decedents. Despite the ravages of war, storms and hard times, this plantation did maintain many of their traditions as well as their French language. She beams with pride as Bridgette strives to educate people of their unique cultural identity forged by some four centuries of turbulent history. Marquette Plantation is the image of everything graceful and lovely in the Deep South. In the serene moonlight, a low ground fog swirls as a light breeze rolls off of the bayou. Spanish moss drips from the ancient oak trees reminding her of the lace curtains she just purchased. The silver mist curls its way around the courtyard. She can hear the moans of the poor lost souls that are trapped in the mist. The moon has a ring around it promising rain soon. The misty halo creates an eerie glow across the earth, bathing the area in a pale light. Lately, she is afraid to wander the grounds. The beauty of the night seems to have been taken from her. All that seems to remain in this place she loves for so long is death and evil. If only she could see where the evil lurks, she could warn someone. But no, all she can do is sense its presence. She can hear its raspy breath and smell the fetid odor that comes from its flesh and blood. She must warn Bridgette of the evil that lurks these grounds before it is too late.
Mary Reason Theriot Louisiana-native, Mary Reason Theriot, is a multi-genre author with twenty-five published books. She has lived in various states with her husband’s United States Coast Guard career. Until being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001, she worked in the legal field. Encouraged to write by her youngest child, she calls writing “great therapy for my own personal fight against MS.”
Running “errands” for her mob-boss employer, Joey “The Knife” Manetto, often ends with Shelby in trouble, making her cautious about continuing her association with him. Instead, she focuses on a new client who hires Shelby to find her missing mother. What seems like a routine case turns into something more sinister and deadly than she ever imagined. In the meantime, Uncle Joey has summoned Shelby to his office, where she runs into her former nemesis. Shelby inadvertently hears something that makes her fear for the lives of Uncle Joey and his hit-man, Ramos. This time, Uncle Joey is not sure he wants to involve Shelby in something he knows could get her killed. Keeping Shelby’s involvement to a minimum has disastrous results, sending Shelby on a dangerous path. As her investigation unfolds, Shelby finds death at every turn, and soon realizes she is in over her head. Can she escape from danger in time? Or will she find herself deep in death?
twinge of pain burned through my arm, and I gently rubbed the spot where I’d
been shot nearly three weeks ago. Getting a shot in the arm may sound like a
simple thing for most people, but when it’s done by a bullet, it’s a whole
different story. At least it was healing nicely, and the scar wasn’t too big,
but every once in a while my arm ached like it had happened yesterday, probably
because I was overdoing it again. After a few seconds the pain subsided, and I
finished pulling on my shirt and got dressed.
was my first day back at work since the shooting, and I was ready to take on a
new project. This time the job was a client from my consulting agency, which
suited me just fine. My last job for Uncle Joey, the local mob-boss, had gotten
me both arrested for murder and shot by a bullet in the arm, so I was a little
nervous about doing anything for him again.
few months ago I had to tell Uncle Joey my secret that I could read minds so he
wouldn’t kill me. We’d worked out a compromise, and over the course of our
association, we’d even become close. Crazy as it sounded, I’d started to think
of him as my real uncle, even though he wasn’t. Since most of his errands
seemed to get me into trouble, he’d also saved my life a few times. Well, to be
honest, it was his hit-man, Ramos, doing most of the saving. But it was Uncle
Joey who’d told him to watch out for me.
sighed every time I thought of Ramos. He had a troubled past which only I knew
about, and I’d helped him come to terms with it. Besides saving my life several
times, there was also a physical attraction that I only dared admit out loud to
my best friend, Holly. Of course after seeing him, she had a crush on him too,
and since we were both happily married, I had to think it was all right. But
with all of that going on, I had to wonder about myself. I mean, Uncle Joey was
a big, bad mob-boss who had threatened to do me bodily harm, and Ramos was his
hit-man. They were the bad guys and I had a soft spot in my heart for them. Was
something wrong with me?
husband, Chris, had no qualms about severing all ties with Uncle Joey, and it
put me in a hard spot trying to please them both. But since the last job,
things had changed. After I got shot, Chris had a long talk with Uncle Joey,
and I hadn’t heard from him in three weeks. In some ways it was a relief, but
in others, I kind of missed him…and Ramos…well…mostly Ramos. Still, I wasn’t
about to call and offer my services. Not considering what had happened last
time. Nope. I wasn’t ready to get shot again. In fact, I would be pretty happy
if I never saw another gun in my life.
took a deep cleansing breath and checked the time. I had an appointment with my
client at ten this morning, and it was time to go. Her name was Tiffany and
this was her senior year of college. Since I didn’t have a real office, I’d
told her we could meet at the campus library in-between her classes, and with
her busy schedule, meeting on campus worked out great for both of us.
drove through town with my windows down and breathed in the crisp fall air. It
was the first part of October and the sky was the perfect color of blue. The
trees were just beginning to change into brilliant autumn colors, and framed
against the blue sky, the pure beauty and serenity lifted my spirits. With
everything I’d gone through lately, I knew I was lucky to be alive.
parked at the visitor parking meters near the library and headed toward the
front of the building. It had been several years since I’d been there last, and
a wave of nostalgia washed over me. I’d only been to one year of college before
I’d talked Chris into marrying me. It was love at first sight for me, but it
had taken some gentle persuading on my part to help Chris see how perfect we
were together. Right after our marriage, we’d gone off to law school in another
state. Josh had been born exactly nine months later followed bySavannahtwo years after that. There were times
when I regretted not finishing college back then, but I wouldn’t trade the life
I had now for anything.
loved my family and, as it turned out, I had a pretty good career without a
degree, and I was proud of what I’d accomplished. Of course, if I hadn’t gotten
shot in the head during a bank robbery, which left me with the ability to read
minds, it might be a different story.
was still hard for me to believe how my life had turned upside down simply
because I’d stopped at the grocery store for some carrots. Who would have
thought? Now I had my own consulting agency where I could get paid for helping
people, and most of the time, all I had to do was read their minds. Not that it
was always that easy, but after getting shot, I’d take some simple cases for a
young woman sat on a bench near the fountain where we’d planned to meet. Her
gaze caught mine and her eyes widened slightly before she recognized me. As I
approached, she smiled and gave me a quick wave. She had long blond hair and a
sweet face, but her somber eyes seemed out of place for someone her age, like
she’d gone through some hard times.
she was a college student, I was a little nervous that she couldn’t afford my
one-hundred-and-fifty-dollar-an-hour fee. But we’d talked about that before I
agreed to meet her, and she’d seemed fine with it then. She stood to greet me.
Nichols? Hi. I’m Tiffany Shaw. Thanks for meeting me.”
Tiffany, nice to meet you in person,” I answered.
know this is kind of informal, but it’s such a beautiful day. Do you mind
staying out here in the sunshine?”
think that’s a great idea.”
She resumed her seat on the bench and I sat beside her. She was thinking that
she wasn’t sure how to start. What she needed might not even be possible, but
she’d read about me in the paper and figured if anyone could help her, it was
me. She’d been saving up for years to hire a private investigator and wanted
the best. After a little digging, she’d heard rumors that I had premonitions.
It didn’t faze her in the least. In fact, after all this time, she thought it
might be the only thing that would solve the case. She just had to make sure
her dad didn’t find out, since he was the over-protective sort. He’d tell her
she was throwing away her money, and probably accuse me of taking advantage of
certainly put a lot of pressure on me, and my stomach tightened with dread that
her father would disapprove. But since she was thinking about not telling him,
maybe he’d never need to find out. Considering her age and circumstances, I had
hoped she’d hired me for something easy, like finding out if her roommate was
after her boyfriend. But no, she was thinking about her mother, and that she
was probably dead, and I knew nothing was ever as easy as I wished.
like to hire you to find my mother.” Her lips tightened and pain flashed
through her eyes. “You see…I’m getting married in a few weeks and I really want
her to be there.” She didn’t add ‘if she’s still alive’ like she was thinking.
always imagined her mother would be at her wedding, and now that it was
actually happening, she couldn’t stop wondering where her mom was and what had
happened to her. The day her mother had gone missing was the worst day of her
life, and thinking about it brought all the horror back, but she knew she would
never move on unless she had some answers.
me what happened,” I said gently.
took a deep breath. “It’s been nearly six years, and I know that’s a long time,
but just hear me out before you decide if you can take the job or not.”
I encouraged her with a smile. “Go on.”
I said…it will be six years on the twenty-eighth of October since she went
missing. That night, she drove to the office where she worked to drop something
off and never came back. They found her car parked in the parking structure
with the keys in the ignition. Her purse was on the passenger seat. Nothing was
taken, and there was no sign of a struggle. It was like she just disappeared
off the face of the earth.”
did the police tell you?”
dusted for prints, checked her office, put out a missing person’s report,
questioned her colleagues at work, and brought my father in for questioning.”
She hated that they had suspected him. He was innocent. He had nothing to do
with it. He loved her mom. It still made her angry. It was part of what had
made the day so bad. She not only lost her mother, but her father was never the
same after that.
happened to your father? Did they charge him with anything?”
shook her head. “No. They had no evidence that he was involved, but the police
always suspect the husband first. So it was bad enough that my mom disappeared,
but the fact that they thought my dad had something to do with it made it ten
sighed, wondering for the thousandth time what kind of person she would be
right now if she still had her mom. She’d probably be a lot happier, that was
for sure. “My dad’s doing better now. He even got married a couple of months
good,” I said.
She was glad he had finally moved on, and wished it was something she could do.
But the ache just wouldn’t go away, especially with her upcoming wedding. This
was the most important day of her life, and her mother should be there. So
where was she? What had happened? Who had taken her? Why hadn’t she come home?
her heart, she knew her mother never would have left unless she was forced into
it. Speculation from the police and others of affairs, with her mom running off
with another man, only deepened the wound, and she wouldn’t believe any of it.
That’s why a small part of her had to believe her mom was dead, but what if she
wasn’t? What if someone was holding her captive? It could happen, and she just
couldn’t give up until she knew for sure.
did the police decide about the case?” I asked.
she’s missing and presumed dead. At least that’s what they declared so my dad
could re-marry. I don’t know what happened to the case files. But I’m hoping
you can dig them up and maybe find something that got passed over. I know it’s
a long shot, but I’ve never had the resources to hire a private investigator
until now. Do you think you could look into it for me?”
bit my bottom lip. The chances of finding out what happened at this point were
pretty slim. My mind-reading ability wouldn’t be of much use, although I could
still question her dad. Even though she didn’t think it was him, I’d learned
that some people were really good at keeping secrets, and I wasn’t about to
rule him out. I could probably get my hands on the police file and talk to the
detectives who handled the case, but beyond that, I didn’t have much hope.
About the Author
As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble…I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.
“Characters you care about in a fast-paced story . . . one
heck of a sexy read!”—New York Times bestselling author
Shades of Greyare sure to
loveDesired,Stacey Kennedy’s latest seductive,
electrifying novel of Club Sin, where fantasy becomes reality. Kyler Morgan, Master at the legendary Club Sin
in Las Vegas, knows how to give women what they want—too well. He hasn’t had a
real challenge in a long time. Then Ella Snow enters his life. Beautiful,
inhibited, and innocent in the ways of submission and domination, Ella is the
new blood he’s been lusting after. Soon, the thrill of training her to embrace
his world brings forth desires Kyler cannot control. After ending an abusive relationship, Ella makes
a promise to herself to start living life to the fullest. It’s one of the
reasons she seeks out Club Sin. Here, Kyler’s every touch is a lesson in
liberation, stirring passions that have no bounds. But as she falls under
Kyler’s command, Ella discovers that some secrets are so dark they must come to
light. Submission alone may not be enough to save her, leaving her Master with
only one question:How can he
help Ella heal while unlocking the deep pleasures she craves?
Desiredis an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.
STACEY KENNEDY is the USA Today bestselling author
of the CLUB SIN series. Growing up, Stacey’s mind wandered the path less
traveled and that path most often led to love. She has always broken rules and
she continues to feed off emotion – staying true to her heart. Those
traits are now the bones of her stories. She lives in southwestern Ontario with
her husband, who puts any of the heroes in her books to shame, and their two
young children. If she’s not on mom duty or plugging away at a new story,
you’ll find Stacey camping in the summer, hibernating in the winter and
obsessing over Penny Dreadful, Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy.
Ella’s shoulders slumped and she sighed
at her phone. Laughter and joy surrounded her, music and happiness, but her
stomach plummeted as she read her husband, Rory Snow’s text. When would he give
up? Didn’t a domestic violence protection order say
relationship is over?
As the band played a slow song, she ran
her fingers over the scar by her right eye. The mark was a constant reminder of
Rory. Every day she looked in the mirror she saw it and thought of him.
All she wanted was to forget. Heck,
she’d been doing exactly that. Rory was the jackass who couldn’t let it go.
Ella knew she should probably call the Savannah police department to inform
them that Rory was contacting her, but she was so damn tired of it all. She had
moved on and put Rory into her past of big mistakes.
She’d hoped Rory would do the same.
That didn’t look like it was going to
happen anytime soon.
With a grumble, she slipped her phone
into her dress pocket and zipped it closed. She scanned through the crowd on
the dance floor and her gaze landed on the bride. Aidan’s new wife was
beautiful. Thin and elegant, Cora belonged on a magazine cover.
Ella’s heart twisted in the midst of
memories of her wedding. Her day hadn’t been so lavish. Rory hadn’t rented out
an entire resort at Lake Las Vegas for the event, ensuring their guests had a
place to stay. Her wedding had cost all of two thousand dollars, but it had
been enough for her.
She’d loved the high school sweetheart
she’d met when she was fifteen and married five years later. Had loved
him. Right up until Rory started drinking and drowning himself in booze.
Sober Rory was a good man.
Drunk Rory had a violent side.
That violence had shoved Ella face-first
into a table. The night she’d got the stitches was the night she’d walked away
from him. Six months later, she had left her life in Savannah. She moved to
Vegas for the excitement, landing herself an amazing job at Knight Law Firm,
working as the assistant for a highly respected defense attorney.
Ella enjoyed working for Aidan, and
actually liked him as a person, too. He paid her almost triple what she had
made in Savannah. Her professional life couldn’t get any better. It was the
personal side of things that remained murky.
As she watched Aidan twirl his new wife
around, dancing proudly for all to see, Ella tried to find her smile, but it
remained hidden behind pain. Even if ten months had gone by since the night of
the abuse, she couldn’t ignore the dark thoughts and her failed marriage.
It took six months to find the courage to
file divorce papers, and another four months since leaving Savannah to pull
herself together again, but she was over Rory in every sense of the word. She
refused to let him ruin this special occasion. Grabbing her wineglass, she
downed the remaining contents.
Tonight she hoped for a little liquid
When she lowered her glass to the table,
a tingling sensation spread across her skin. Lifting her head, she gazed across
the patio, and sitting at one of the patio sets was one of Aidan’s groomsmen.
She’d never seen him before today, but that wasn’t a huge surprise, since she
didn’t know most of the people at the wedding.
Except for a bunch of lawyers from the
firm and Aidan’s parents, everyone else was a stranger. Aidan never mixed pleasure
with business, and in the four months she had worked for him, she’d never met a
single friend of his.Heck, she hadn’t known Aidan was
dating. One day she’d thought he was single; the next he told her he was
Oddly enough, she was drawn to Aidan’s
groomsman. Staring into his warm blue eyes, pins and needles and other
sensitive feelings traveled up her body, settling between her thighs. She
squirmed against her seat, avoiding the heat, and the side of his mouth curved.
Her heart tripped and she glanced to her high-heeled shoe dangling off her toe.
if he didn’t stop looking at her with those piercing eyes, she would combust.
All night he’d been sneaking glances at her. They weren’t simple interested
looks, either; they were outright assaults on her hormones. But a man’s
attention was the last thing she was looking for.
No, thank you.
When she still sensed his gaze, she
peeked to discover she wasn’t wrong. His intense stare was right on her. The
power of it sucked the air from her lungs. Though she’d never believed in lust
at first sight, perhaps it was because she had never experienced it.
Whoever he was, he was hot!
“More wine, miss?”
Ella gasped, looking up to the waitress
standing next to her holding a bottle of white wine. She gave a shaky laugh.
“To the top, please.”
The waitress smiled, filling the glass to
the rim. “Why aren’t you dancing?”
“I look like a dying fish when I dance,”
Ella said with a laugh. “I have two left feet.”
“We’ll need to work on that, won’t we?”
The waitress was looking over Ella’s
shoulder with wide eyes. And something in that masculine voice made Ella
stiffen in her seat. The tone was low and seductive, but mischievous all the
The groomsman who’d been staring at her
from across the patio now stood in front of her. Ella’s mind went blank. He
smelled of sandalwood, and the rich scent puckered her nipples. From afar she
thought he had blue eyes, but up close she realized they were a blue-green
In fact, the whole package was beautiful, especially covered in the tux.
He leaned down toward her and offered his
hand. His messily styled light brown hair dangled over his forehead. He was
tall, much taller than she, and he filled out his tux nicely.
“Dance with me,” he said.
Ella quivered under his clever smile, and
a slow heat slid through her. He happened to be one of the hottest guys she’d
ever seen. Well, in person and not on some magazine she figured was
Photoshopped. Though, hot or not, there was still a problem. “I’m sorry, but I
“Everyone can dance.” His potent stare
held hers and his hand never lowered. “It’s all about who is leading.”
Persistent sexy man.
Under his intense scrutiny her insides
went mushy. The power this man exuded burned through her, reminding her she
hadn’t felt this way in a long time. The attraction was intoxicating, and
something needy inside her unfurled, yearning to explore it.
At her pause, one sleek brow arched. “If
you wait any longer to take my hand, you might give me a complex.”
The waitress hadn’t moved, watching the
exchange. Even if Ella hated dancing and wasn’t looking for a relationship, she
couldn’t refuse the urge to be squished up against him. Besides, what was a
dance? This hunk was the perfect way to get her mind off Rory and onto
something a lot better.
As she rose and slid her fingers into his
warm grip, his gaze remained on hers. Heat stormed into her, spiraling low in
her body with a wicked thud. She didn’t doubt that smile got him into many
It had power and charm.
He tightened his fingers around hers, and
something passed in the air between them, so hot and so damn unforgettable, her
body all but liquefied. He tugged her closer and she felt something odd inside
awaken, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.
Something she wanted to lose herself in.
A sensation that made her mind shut off.
He led her into the middle of the crowd
on the dance floor, pulling her tight against him as if she belonged right
there in his arms. He had no hesitation about placing his hand low on her back,
quite close to her bottom, and sandwiching their bodies together.
Ella swallowed and avoided his gaze,
staring at the band as they played a classic song. She wasn’t blind to the
glaringly obvious fact that the groomsman had an erection. She thought she
should be offended or something, but found herself fighting
against the desire to rub against him.
She cleared her throat, angling her head.
His face was chiseled and smooth, but his eyes were what made this man sexy.
They held mischief with a sense of confidence. “Yes, and you would be?”
Of course, the sexy man came with a sexy
name. She swayed her hips, trying to follow his movements, only feeling more
uncomfortable. Not a second later, she stepped on his foot. “Oh, shit!”
He chuckled. “It’s a foot. I’ve got two,
so it’s okay.” He pressed his hand tighter against her back, erasing the
distance. Then he shook their clasped hands. “Stop fighting me. Relax.”
Ella sighed.I suck at this!
He leaned down, placing his mouth near
her ear, and whispered, “So you work for Aidan, yes?”
His voice raised goose bumps across her
flesh, and she shivered. “Yes.” She glanced to the others on the dance floor.
It pleased her that no one was watching her horrible dancing skills. Then she
stared up into Kyler’s handsome face, since he didn’t allow her any room to do
otherwise. “Since you’re Aidan’s groomsman, you must be a good friend.”
A low noise hummed in his throat, and the
sound spoke to her on a level she couldn’t have anticipated. It warmed her from
head to toe, and her muscles went lax. His fingers slid across her lower back,
squeezing her against him, and the heat of his touch burned to her core. “Been
good friends for a long time now.”
Good grief, the man seemed not to care they were strangers. He touched
her as if they were well acquainted. In the midst of that confidence, Ella
forgot the world around her. Her mind focused on him and the way he moved her
across the dance floor.
He continued to guide her movements and
never once took his eyes off her. “I didn’t see a date with you tonight. Are
Her insides somersaulted with his
question, as he appeared interested in finding out if anyone stood in his way.
She pondered whether to spill out the details that she was in the process of
getting divorced and not looking for another relationship. Well, she would be
if Rory’s lawyer stopped dragging his feet. But why tell that depressing shit
to a smoking-hot man sandwiching her against the hard planes of his body?
“Nope, not attached.”
His chin dipped, bringing his mouth
within centimeters of hers. “A good thing for me, Ella, since I’m enjoying
this.” The music soared through the air, and as her hips swayed with his, his erection
pressed against her stomach.
Trapped in his intense gaze, her body
flushed as desire simmered. Holy Jesus, she hadn’t felt this
aroused in the presence of a man. No one had ever made her burn with a dance, a
look, or the sound of his voice.
Kyler’s mouth twitched as he ran his
thumb over the top of her hand. “See, sweetheart, you can dance.”
She blinked, realizing she had completely
relaxed in his hold, and he was moving her around the dance floor,
effortlessly. She leaned in to him, consumed by the strength of his hold.
“Apparently, you’re a good teacher.”