Today Holly Danvers, author of Murder at the Lakeside Library is visiting Ascroft, eh? to share an excerpt from her novel.
Welcome, Holly. I’ll turn the floor over to you –
I wanted to share with you an excerpt from this new series. I think if it hooks you on the first page, you’ll want to keep reading. So here are the first few paragraphs of Murder at the Lakeside Library:
The road ahead spanned like an endless ribbon leading to nowhere. Despite the bone-chilling blast from the air conditioner, Rain Wilmot’s hands, clammy with perspiration, slid down the steering wheel. She glanced in the rearview mirror to reassess the backseat of her Ford Explorer, stuffed to the brim with all her worldly possessions. At thirty-two years old, her belongings didn’t amount to much. It was as if the ten years of full-time work trapped inside a cubical amounted to absolutely nothing.
It doesn’t matter. Things don’t matter, Rain reminded herself.
The high-rise condo in Milwaukee that she’d shared with her late husband Max was now an additional scar on her wounded heart. The rolling wheels of the tires propelled her forward as if she didn’t have a choice. She didn’t really. The finality of death certainly thrust decisions on a person. She hadn’t expected the condo to sell so quickly, but a high-powered insurance broker insisted he couldn’t pass up the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Milwaukee River. She wondered if the new owner would change the pale paint colors in the half-painted nursery.
The warning from her previous boss, Philip, sounded in her head like an alarm bell. “You really ought to wait, Rain. Don’t you think you’re making a hasty decision? Experts say you should wait at least a year before making any life-altering changes.”
Easy for him to say.
Just pulling into the parking lot at Harley Davidson sent her reeling. She didn’t need daily reminders at her place of employment of what she’d lost due to twisted chrome and steel.
Rain rolled down the window, needing real air in her lungs, and quickly realized she’d made a terrible error as the humidity filled the car. The smell of musty bonfire embers blew in from a nearby campground. That was a sign that she was getting close. She was almost back to her family’s summer cabin—a cabin that stood on one hundred and fifty feet of prime frontage on one of the purest lakes in the Midwest—Pine Lake. She’d spent every childhood summer swimming and boating on this lake. But she’d neglected to visit for many years now, for any number of paltry excuses. The general busyness of life, work, and love had all gotten in the way. Besides, Max had never liked coming up north. He was more of an ‘ocean person’ he’d said on more than one occasion. Well, that certainly wasn’t an issue now.
The faded blue sign on the side of the road caught Rain’s eye and caused her to loosen her grip on the steering wheel. The familiar gold letters that read: Welcome to Lofty Pines sent a fresh surge of comfort through her. Only a mile left to go before Rain would round the corner onto Birch Lane and exhale a sigh of relief. She removed her sunglasses and tossed them onto the passenger seat as the dense pines canopied the winding road, shading her view.
Rain’s shoulders relaxed and her breath slowed when she spotted the familiar hand-hewn logs with thick white chinking that had stood the test of time. She often thought the rear side of the original cabin resembled a tree house perched high above the lake. The logs had been cut from the very forest that had once covered the clearing. After removing the bark from the towering white pines, her great-grandfather Lorenzo had leveled the timber with his own hands using an ancient tool from the stone age called an adze. The minor imperfections in the logs were now a glaringly beautiful reminder of his legacy to the house. Of course, upgrades and additions had come with future generations, and now Rain wondered if her great-grandfather would be proud of how much that had changed over the years. The first sight of the family cabin caused her lips to curl into a genuine smile for the first time in a long, long while. She’d made it.
Thank you for sharing that excerpt with us, Holly, and good luck with Murder at the Lakeside Library, the first book in the Lakeside Library mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Holly Danvers: Holly grew up devouring every mystery novel on the shelf of her local library. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and 3 chickens, where she’s already plotting her next novel.