Welcome to Havenport, RI a fictional town not far from Newport where you’ll find romance, suspense, time travel and secrets shared by five authors in genres you love. Today they are releasing five new standalone books, come check them out and stay for a spell…
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Brianna Baxter thinks she has the world figured out. She lives a life of privilege and does whatever she wants. After living in New York City, London, New Jersey, and Florida she settles down in Havenport, Rhode Island. As the Christmas holiday approaches, a secret is revealed and she is challenged with the most important decision of her life.
Workaholic Simon May gets an unexpected vacation over the holidays and visits family in London. At his childhood home, he finds an envelope that holds the answer to his future. Or does it? He throws caution to the wind and jumps on the next available flight across the pond in search of what he lost. He takes the biggest risk of his life, unsure of what he will encounter once the plane touches down.
Will the uncertainty of Brianna’s future steer her in the right direction? Will Simon receive the answer he seeks?
An hour later and still no word from Olivia. Marcie picked up the store phone. “No dial-tone. It’s barely snowing. How can they have communication problems already?”
Brianna rolled her eyes and cradled the mug with both hands. “Because this town is on the edge of the world and there’s not too many of us out here in the middle of winter. My guess is somebody hit a pole and took out the power. I’ve never lived in a place without power more than with it.”
She watched Marcie put down the phone and dig through her purse. She bet Marcie left her cellphone at home on the kitchen counter, which was her usual m.o.
“Never mind, I’ll call.” She punched her sister’s phone number into the keypad. She never bothered to put numbers in the contact list, doing so kept her brain stimulated and capable of remembering information.
Ring, ring, ring.
“No answer?” Marcie sipped hot chocolate.
“Nope. I’ll try Max.”
She leaned back in the overstuffed chair at the base of the staircase to the upstairs apartment. Olivia had been kind enough to let Brianna live there while her own apartment was being renovated.
She had gotten away with staying at Mom’s house whenever she was in town, but Dad convinced her it was time to settle down. He would help get her business up and running and she wanted a place of her own.
She never thought how cold and isolated it would be living near the water in the dead of a New England winter. She could stay at Olivia and Max’s house, which always seemed to be under construction, but she didn’t want to be in the way.
Fortunately, Cooper Smith helped Max as much as possible, but with both of their businesses expanding, they didn’t have much free time. So, the spare bedrooms in the Porter house remained unfinished.
“Bri, what’s up?” Max’s sigh of exasperation came through the phone.
“You tell me. Marcie and I are sitting at your wife’s store putting up the last of the decorations. We’re not even sure where Olivia wants them, so we’re just guessing. I’m sure she’s going to change it when she gets back here. But what’s going on? Is she having a baby or what’s the deal?”
“Sorry about not getting back to you. Turns out it’s a false alarm. Braxton Hicks contractions. The baby will not be arriving tonight. But since it started snowing, well, you know your sister. She needs to grab some last-minute groceries just in case we end up with a nor’easter and she can’t get out for a few days.”
“Are you serious? It’s not like we live in a town with zero access.” She rubbed her temples. She needed time to herself. To work on her own building and focus. “Okay, I’m closing the store. I mean it’s six o’clock. I doubt there’ll be much business tonight. I have some things to take care of for myself. If you need me, catch me on my cell. Okay?”
Her brother-in-law’s silence informed he was clearing the plan with Olivia before committing to an answer. “Livy said that’s fine. Please make sure the fire is out and the register is counted and the cash locked away in the safe. Thanks. See you tomorrow at dinner.”
She hung up the call and unplugged the coffee pot. I’m not cleaning any of this tonight. Merry Christmas to me.
“Marcie, pack up and go home. Merry Christmas. I hope Santa Claus visits you tomorrow tonight. Have a wonderful evening. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow at my sister’s house.” She walked over to the register to take care of the last-minute closing procedures. “Marcie, would you please flip the door sign to closed? We don’t need any last-minute shoppers stopping in.”
Marcie pulled on her coat. “Have a nice evening and remember if you want to talk, I’m a phone call away.”
“Sure.” Brianna kept her head down, counting money, and waved goodbye.
“I’m serious. I bet you didn’t know I graduated with a Master’s degree in psychology. So, I’m not your typical small-town busybody. Plus, my natural, intuitive skill provides insight the textbooks overlook.”
She looked up. “Why are you working here as a book clerk?”
“I’m not a book clerk. I help when things are slow at Serendipity, but I enjoy what I do. I know you think this metaphysical stuff is voodoo but it really does help some people and it is an extension of my training.”
“What training is that?”
“Reiki Master. I’ve studied for twenty years.”
She chuckled. Not a day passed she didn’t learn something new about Marcie. “Have a nice evening. I’ll think about consulting you. See you tomorrow at my sister’s house.”
A wave of calm filled the store once Marcie left the building. Brianna liked her but hated being interrogated when they worked together. She knew Marcie meant well but it had always been difficult to open up to strangers. She barely informed her family of what went on in her life. And once Simon had walked out, she couldn’t trust anybody.
A tear slid down alongside her nose. Her shoulders heaved and shivered. Being alone was the only time she allowed herself to unpack her emotionally stuffed vault. She might not have been a psychologist but a healthy cry cleared out the cobwebs of hardened emotions. It’s better to crash and rebuild yourself instead of wallowing in self-pity, at least that’s what worked for her.
The scent of freshly burned seasoned wood filled the room. The warm, dry air from the fireplace comforted. The soothing heat wrapped around her body quicker than a worn, welcome, blanket.
She swiped away a tear and held her head high. Every muscle engaged to fend off the emotional tsunami heading her way.
Lita Harris spends her time between New Jersey and the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania. She even lived in Alaska for a short time just for fun. Her two rescue dogs are always close by and travel everywhere with her. An avid crafter, unused supplies clutter her basement and attempts at making pottery, jewelry, and stained glass are scattered throughout her house. She also makes candles and homemade soap. With enough books to stock a small library she may need to construct a building to store her literary obsession. She writes multiple genres, women’s fiction, contemporary romance, paranormal, and cozy mysteries.