|Trixie's alone. . .and vulnerable.|
It’s all Ned’s fault. He died, and he shouldn’t have. I get so mad at him sometimes for leaving me alone. Twenty-eight is too young to have the moniker ‘widow’ hung on you. I don’t even have his child to keep his memory alive.
|Does Al Capone live upstairs?|
So when I found out about the building my grandfather left me in Dreamland, I thought, What the heck? and drove back to my hometown to check it out. I never saw John Quimby Lloyd again after my mother took my older brother and me away when she divorced my father. I was only five, so my memories of Dreamland were pretty sketchy, too. But back I went, and all you-know-what broke loose.
It was nice to find two old high school classmates living there—Rudy James and Delores Jefferson James. Rudy was the class clown and everybody’s pal. Delores lived with her widowed mother and younger brother Danny who has Down syndrome. But when Rudy decided to settle down in Dreamland, he brought the whole family along.
Rudy introduced me to Mitch Langley, an attorney, who married his high school sweetheart and then lost her in a car accident. He blames himself because he was driving. Rudy also made sure I met Candace King, the town’s self-appointed historian. She was married to Mitch’s father for a while, which makes her Mitch’s ex-stepmother. It’s sort of a tangled mess. And, it turns out Guy Langley is having an affair with my mother Lucy! A mess indeed.
|Mitch isn't sure about Trixie...|
My grandfather’s lawyer tried to convince me to sell the building, take the money, and run with it. Currently, two sisters, Miss Stella and Miss Letha Drummond, lease the first floor for their dress shop. They're feisty older ladies, and it seems a shame to displace them. But the whole town is being turned upside down by some shadowy development company that’s trying to buy up the whole downtown square for unknown reasons. And, oh, yes, Guy Langley has his hand in that, too.
Miss Stella and Miss Letha are convinced the ghost of Al Capone haunts the Quimby Building because they smell cigar smoke coming from the unused upstairs. According to Candace, Al and my great-grandfather were pretty tight back in the day. There was even a gambling casino on the second floor and a place for Al to park himself overnight on the third floor.
Al’s ghost may be the figment of the Drummond sisters’ imaginations, but the threats I’m getting are real—and scary. All the police chief does, when I report them, is glare at me and tell me to get out of town. I don’t think so. I’m not going to be scared off, and the building has possibilities.
Dreamland is a nice town—or was until outside people weaseled their way in. Some people believe it’s still a good place to live: Rudy, Mitch, Candace, Mayor Ellard, Miss Hetty Green, the Drummonds—and now I’m beginning to believe it. I’ve decided to stay around and open a tea room and gift shop on the second floor, so move over, Al.
As for Guy and my mother, Chief Doug Everton, and anyone else who thinks they can push me out…think again. Not even murder is going to make me move on. At least, as long as I’m not the one who gets murdered!
FREE at Amazon August 1-2
|Book 1 of The Dreamland Series|
Visit my website for more information.