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It’s 1874 in Cedar City, Utah Territory, when Penelope Cavey finds her beloved husband, Henri, dead from a gunshot wound and the mysterious phrase, “demons dance” carved into the parlor mirror. Despite her brother’s attempts to dissuade her, Penelope is determined to find Henri’s killer and sets out alone for St. Joseph, a rural town in Utah—following the only clue Henri left for her.
A lying father…
Ava Patton is haunted by dreams of another life. Her nightmares give way to reality when her caring stepmother, Nellie, confirms her rising suspicions that the man who claims to be her father is only pretending to be, and that her real parents are dead. Astounded by this revelation, Ava sets out to uncover what became of her parents and in doing so, stumbles upon a heartbreaking tragedy. She is forced to stop her quest when her brother, Lawrence, falls seriously ill.
A labyrinth of a mansion…
Lawrence finds himself trapped within the winding halls of a large house, plagued by taunting voices as he struggles to escape. Unable to distinguish reality from the imaginary, Lawrence doesn’t know who or what imprisoned him there, nor to whom the house belongs. Lawrence realizes he holds the key and must find Ava and Penelope before another person is silenced.
There was silence as they rolled along until suddenly Ava ventured to ask, “You believe me, don’t you?”
“Whatever do you mean, dear?”
“That I have these dreams—of my parents—Father’s told me that he’s my father and they’re just fantasies but I—”
Nellie stopped the carriage and turned to Ava. “You must never, ever, tell anyone I said this to you.”
Ava looked at her with surprise.
“The dreams that you have are very real. Your parents were very real, and I am so sorry for what happened. Do you remember it?”
Ava shook her head. “My parents? So you aren’t my real mother? I just dream about bad things. I see faces I recognize, but I don’t know their names. But I know they’re my parents. Father says I am making this up—”
Ava was taken aback that Nellie spoke with such surety.
“Lying? Why would he lie?”
“He thinks he’s protecting you. But I don’t want you to have to suffer because of what happened. I really do hope that that tonic will help you, dear,” Nellie said.
Ava smiled. Her liking for Nellie grew even stronger. “Thank you, Mother. May I still call you Mother?”
Nellie smiled and hugged Ava close, “Of course, my dear. It’s an honor.”
“What happened to my parents then?” Ava asked.
“They died,” Nellie replied, her voice cautious.
There was a moment’s pause before Nellie continued, “I can’t tell you exactly.”
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