A HOUSE OF HER OWN
EXCERPT: Claire is showing Jack, her business partner, the house she bought at auction - practically on a whim. The house needs work, but it was an incredible bargain.
Driving over Claire told Jack about the auctions, and he continued looking for reasons to worry.
"Why no appraisal?" he said. "And no mortgage?"
"The previous owner paid cash."
"Why didn't anyone else bid?"
"Have you been listening to a word I've said? I saw one competitive auction, and it lasted only two rounds. Some properties, nobody bids." She pulled into the driveway. "Here we are." Strictly speaking, they should have parked at the curb, but the house was barely visible behind an overgrown hedge, and no one lived here. No one would care.
She stared at the house, trying to see it through Jack's eyes. Two-stories with a first floor gallery and side gables, the original structure was probably about twenty-five hundred square feet. It would have been built in the mid-nineteenth century, barely antebellum. A second-story bump out drooped precariously from the right side. Behind it, a big magnolia needed pruning. Weeds growing in the gutters and missing roof shingles promised water damage. Peeling paint confirmed it and gave the façade a forlorn appearance, but beneath the mess, this house was intrinsically nice, well proportioned and well sited on the lot.
"So." she said, "what do you think?"
He didn't respond.
"The siding looks solid," she said. "Given the age of the house, I bet it's cypress. We'll have to replace most of the trim, but enough of the original is there to serve as a template. This used to be a good-looking house. The neighborhood's okay and getting better. Jack, talk to me."
"I should have known when you said Chestnut Street."
"The house is haunted. That's why no one else wanted it."
"Haunted?" Surprise made Claire laugh. "Don't be silly. You don't believe in ghosts do you?"
"I do, and so does the rest of New Orleans. We'll never sell this place. We couldn't give it away."
That house in that neighborhood for that price? Claire Marshall thought she’d hit the jackpot. Her company would restore the old house to its previous glory and sell it at a huge profit. She hadn’t counted on the runaway girl hiding in the upstairs bedroom, the brutal gang chasing her, or the angry ghost who may or may not be keeping the gang at bay. Old houses have stories, and this house has an ugly one.
Claire’s business partner wants to write off the investment and walk away, her workers don’t want to go inside, but Claire doesn’t believe in ghosts or in giving up without a fight. And she could use a distraction. Her personal life is in turmoil.
If something seems to good to be true...
Finalist, 2017 Best Mystery
- Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition
...the pace is steady and with emotion rolling off the page left and right mystery fans will want to read this one! Nominated for 2016 RONE Award
- InDtale Magazine Review
The pacing was incredibly well done … I’d heartily recommend A House of Her Own to anyone who is also a fan of paranormal mysteries.
- Long and Short Reviews
I’m happy to give A House of Her Own a rating of 4 out of 4 stars, and would gladly recommend it to other readers who enjoy suspense, thrillers, and ghost stories.
- Online Book Club official review
...a solid mystery with clear and concise writing, well-developed characters, and a twisted plot... A House of Her Own is a satisfying conclusion to Claire’s story.
- Star @ The Bibliophillic Book Blog