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Enjoy an Excerpt
Walking carefully along the overgrown path, Katie stepped to the side to touch the bark of one of the colossal trees towering over the front yard. “I’ve seen these trees before, but I don’t know what they are.” She threw her head back to see how the snowy white arms stretched toward the blue sky, catching and reflecting the amber rays.
The sheriff stopped and followed her gaze. . “They’re sycamores. See how the bark forms a lacy pattern at the bottom? Back in the old days they called it lacewood.”
He turned and bounded up the steps while Katie ran her fingertips over the intricate design. “It’s beautiful,” she said, under her breath. “Lacewood.”
“Of course, another name for the tree is ghostwood,” the sheriff quipped over his shoulder. “But that wouldn’t make a very good name for a house, now would it?”
Katie lifted her eyes from the multi-colored bark at the bottom to the white limbs overhead. Even in broad daylight the trees appeared ghostly, with skeletal-like branches reaching out like bony fingers.
Turning back to the house, Katie focused on the long-forgotten grandeur of the bygone days it represented. The outward signs might have worn off with age, but the dignity of the place remained intact as far as she was concerned.
Despite the decades of dirt and decay, she felt a welcoming presence here, a warm and friendly vibe. The peace of the house and its timeless beauty unlocked something in Katie, causing a prickly sensation to race up her spine. There were stories here. Long-forgotten and hidden just out of her reach. Were they to be lost forever?
About the Author:
She is a two-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards, including a Readers' Favorite International Book Award and a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.
James is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.
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