Romance, ghosts, hidden treasure ... Debby Grahl entices readers with her new book, THE SILVER CRESCENT! Today she's sharing an excerpt with us as well as a giveaway.
Publication date: January 30, 2014
Betrayal, murder and a stolen fortune bring Elise Baxter to Cedar Bend, Michigan, on a quest to solve a family mystery—and recover the missing treasure.
Max Holt impulsively buys a crumbling Victorian mansion and fulfills his dream of restoring it as a restaurant and inn. Aware of its reputation for being haunted, he adds to the mystique by building a garden path of old tombstones, one of which belongs to the original owner of the house, Cyrus Mosby—the man whose legacy Elise has traced, and who allegedly stole her ancestral share of a Colorado silver mine over a century ago.
Following clues gleaned from old diaries and a visit from the spirit of her great-great-grandmother, Elise seeks out Max and his inn. Not knowing if she can trust Max with her family secret, Elise pretends her interest is in researching Cyrus, whose own violent death remains a mystery.
An intense attraction between Max and Elise leads him to believe she may be the girl of his dreams. But when he discovers her true interest in him and his inn, memories of a past betrayal threaten to end their passionate relationship. Elise, finding herself falling in love with Max, fears her deception may cost her more than she is willing to lose.
Once persuaded the stolen silver is hidden somewhere in the inn, and captivated by the idea of a treasure hunt, Max and Elise begin the search together, aided by the resident ghosts, Cyrus and Virginia.
The treasure hunt seems like a harmless adventure until someone tries to steal the diaries. Unknown to Max and Elise, there are others—including an evil presence—who are driven by greed and will stop at nothing to unlock the mystery of the Silver Crescent.
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From the Prologue
Cedar Bend, Michigan, Circa 1900
At fifty-two, his once thick, dark hair was thinning and now completely gray. Lines of age and sorrow creased his weathered face. His well-tailored, pinstriped suit fitted his slim frame to perfection. It’s been a long, hard road to get where I am today. And it all may have been for nothing. Resigned to meet his fate head-on, he opened the front door.
Cyrus narrowed his eyes as he took in his fastidiously attired brother-in-law Garrison and the unkempt older man at
Garrison smiled. “Good evening, Cyrus. How are you this fine night?”
It took everything Cyrus had not to slam the door in his face, but without a word, he stepped back and directed the two men into his library. Concealing his unease, he took what he hoped was an intimidating stance behind his desk.
“All right, Garrison, I’m here. Now would you be so kind as to explain what this is all about?”
The smug smile Garrison gave Cyrus didn’t extend to his cold, green eyes. “Are you not at least going to give us the courtesy of inviting us to sit? Also, the offer of a glass of your excellent single malt would, I’m sure, be appreciated.”
Cyrus wanted nothing more than to throw the young reprobate out on his ear, but in deference to the older man’s frailty, he waved them into the two leather chairs facing his desk. He took his own seat, and with no attempt to disguise his disdain, addressed Garrison.
“I’m a very busy man. I don’t appreciate getting mysterious notes demanding my presence, so I suggest you tell me what this is all about. Then kindly take your friend and leave.”
Before Garrison could respond, a raspy voice said, “You don’t know who I am, do ya’, you son of a bitch?”
To Cyrus’s disbelief, the old man lurched from his seat. Reaching across the desk, he grabbed Cyrus’s coat by the lapels, bringing their faces inches apart, and said, through gritted teeth, “I’ve waited twenty years for this moment and here you sit in your fancy house, with your fancy new name, behind your fancy desk, wearin’ your fancy clothes, and you ain’t got a clue who I am, you lyin’, cheatin’, murderin’, thievin’ bastard.”
Icy fingers of fear began to run up and down Cyrus’s spine; his gut clenched with every word the old man spoke. He fought to maintain a haughty expression as he stared into those hate-filled eyes.
“Release me, sir, and control yourself,” he said before Garrison spoke.
“Yes, my good man, this kind of behavior will gain you nothing. We’re all civilized men here. I’m sure, after hearing what you have to say, our good friend Cyrus will be more than happy to atone for his past sins and give you your due.”
“He damn well better.” The old man sneered as he retook his seat.
In a gruff voice, throat gone dry, Cyrus demanded, “For the last time, what is this about?”
Garrison paused to light his thin cigar. “Well, Cyrus, it’s about a Colorado silver mine and murder.”
Debby Grahl lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David, and their cat, Tigger. When she’s not writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach, and having a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are the Cotswolds of England, Captiva Island in Florida, New Orleans, New York City, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and of course, romance. Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books. Debby belongs to RWA, Florida Romance Writers, Hearts Across History, and Lowcountry Romance Writers.
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