I love having cover reveals, especially when I get to do one of my own. 😀 If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know I’ve been working on ECLIPSE LAKE for some time.
My romantic mystery is centered on a fifteen-year-old missing person’s case. I chose
May 1st for the reveal because it’s my mother’s birthday. Although she is no longer living, it’s my special day for remembering her. Tonight, my siblings and I will visit her grave, sing Happy Birthday to her, then get together for dinner, and toast her memory. She was a huge fan of my writing, so I thought today would be an ideal time to share ECLIPSE LAKE.
Genre: Romantic Mystery
Length: 84,000 Words
Releasing: June 2014
Cover Artist: Laura Gordon
Small towns hold the darkest secrets.
Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown, a successful businessman. Careful to have kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son, he soon discovers memories in small towns are bitter and long.
Ellie Sullivan is a nature photographer for a national magazine. Her latest assignment takes her to Onyx, a rural community tucked in northwestern Pennsylvania on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Within a matter of days, she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, long buried secrets threaten her growing attraction for Dane.
Ellie should have called it a night but the warm cloak of twilight kept her outside with Dane. High in the branches of clustering oaks, tree frogs struck up a chorus singing to one another in chattering voices. Water lapped against the shoreline, rolling over smooth pebbles and weedy clumps of grass.
“So I guess you’re a celebrity.” Dane’s lips curled in a crooked smile. He sent her a sideways glance, his blue-green eyes luminous in the darkness. “You can’t get much better than Coast to Coast when it comes to journalistic prestige. Aren’t you a little young to be…”
He was distressingly attractive, no two ways about it. Walking side by side with layers of twilight wrapped about them made her realize how potentially distracting he could be. Lethal to her stay in Onyx, if she allowed herself to become enamored. They’d had a nice dinner, but she had a job to do. That would be the end of it. She wasn’t looking for a romantic interlude no matter how magnetic she found him. So why did her heart flip-flop like a fish on dry land?
“I’m twenty-seven,” she told him. “Not that it matters, but I’ve worked hard to get where I am.”
“You look younger.”
“And you must be older than you seem. Your son has to be at least sixteen.”
“Seventeen. Jesse’s adopted. My late wife’s child from a previous relationship.”
“Oh.” She clamped her mouth shut. Discussing careers was one thing, past entanglements another. The thought of Dane as a widower made her uncomfortable. He’d told her his wife had died, but she hadn’t wrapped her head around the heart-breaking anguish of losing a spouse. “I…um…” Suddenly she couldn’t find anything to say. He’d adopted a child. Was sympathetic, generous, cordial. And good-looking. Did they really make men like him? No wonder she felt flighty, like a schoolgirl on her first date.
“Jesse was six when I adopted him,” Dane continued, unaware of her discomfort. “I’ve never thought of him in any way but as my own kid. Most of the time we get along.
Tonight—” His smile returned, thinner than before, and he shook his head. “He’s at the point where he’s constantly testing me. Almost a man. He’s angry because I haven’t told him why I’m here.”
She stopped walking and turned to face him. “Why are you?”
He picked up a flat stone. With a flick of his wrist he sent it skimming across the lake. It danced effortlessly across the surface as if he’d done the same thing a thousand times before. “You know that skeleton they found?”
“I’ve got more skeletons than a graveyard. I can’t pick up and go to another place…to the next photo shoot.” He turned to face her. “Half of my life is here and half’s on the west coast. I have to make them fit together.”
The revelation reminded her of the family she’d left behind in Idaho, reawakening a familiar tug of homesickness. How had a nice dinner morphed into such a somber discussion? In an effort to find more comfortable ground, she changed topics. “You told me you’re from San Diego. I did a photo op there four years ago. What do you do for a living?”
“I get by.” He took her hand and started walking again.
She sent a speculative glance in his direction, recognizing evasiveness when she heard it. He was wearing a Rolex, and though dressed casually, clearly had expensive taste. Yet he’d booked an ordinary cabin rather than one of the exclusive chalets higher up the mountain.
She liked the feel of his fingers around hers, warm and firm. The contact sent a pleasant tingle up her arm. What was wrong with her, getting caught up in his touch as if it were magic? As if she’d waited her whole life for that sensation. He had skeletons in his past, a brother who couldn’t stand the sight of him and a sheriff who wanted to run him out of town.
Eccentric or just plain trouble?