– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Rites of Spring’ blogtour, organised by Xpresso Book Tours.
About the Author :
J. V. Speyer has lived in upstate New York and rural Catalonia before settling in the greater Boston area. She has worked in archaeology, security, accountancy, finance, and non-profit management. She currently lives just south of Boston in a house old enough to remember when her town was a tavern community with a farming problem. (No, really. John Adams complained about it. A lot.)
When not writing, J. V. enjoys watching baseball and seeking out all of New England’s creepiest spots. Her Spawn has turned her into a hockey enthusiast. She can be bribed with gin, tequila, and cats.
Title: Rites of Spring (Rites #1)
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Suspense
Cameron has built a good life for himself despite his rough start. He can’t trust enough for romance, but he’s okay with that. He’s got good money coming in as a graphic designer and just inherited a duplex in Plymouth from his estranged grandfather, so he doesn’t have to worry about keeping a roof over his head. He likes his tenants, he has friends, and he’s content with that.
When two guys claiming to be paranormal investigators show up on his doorstep tell him the tenants contacted them about “phenomena” in the house, he knows they’re con men right away. For one thing, they claim he was the tenant. He sends them packing. It doesn’t matter that one of the con artists is the hottest guy Cameron has seen in years — if anything, that just makes Cameron more suspicious.
Then things go wrong in the house, things he can’t shrug off or ignore. The past Cameron has worked so hard to leave behind is coming for him, and it’s angry.
Cameron hesitated. Okay, so Reid had gotten something right. Cameron hadn’t ever believed in psychics before, but he couldn’t doubt the evidence he saw before him. Not unless he was willing to believe in a conspiracy of a whole host of people, former lovers and his closest friends, all aimed at him. No one had any real incentive to do that to him. “My grandfather,” he said. “Catherine’s father.” He took a deep breath. “We’d lost touch, over the years. I think he might have tried to raise some concerns with the state, when we were young.” His hands wanted to shake, but he refused to let them. “We didn’t see him after that. He tried to get custody of me and David after … but anyway, he wasn’t able to and we didn’t hear from him again.” He made himself shrug and looked away.
“So he left you the house?” Jason leaned forward.
“Who else was he going to leave it to? I was the last grandkid standing.” Cameron snorted. “What’s your obsession with the house? There’s nothing special about it. It’s a duplex. It’s an old duplex. It’s got some nice wide plank flooring, I think, and the windows on the second floor are pretty sweet. That’s about it.”
“I don’t know.” Reid shrugged. “I think you’re in danger, in that house. I don’t know why. I saw a lot of blood. How long has it been in your family?”
“My great-grandfather bought it when he retired and sold his fishing boat.” Cameron closed his eyes. “I think that might have been in the 1950s. It could have been earlier, I’m not positive. My grandfather inherited it from him, and then I got it from him.”
“Did anyone ever die in that house?” Jason munched on a French fry, like this was a perfectly normal conversation to be having.
“It was built in the 1850s. I’m sure plenty of people died in that house. People got sick and died like a game of Oregon Trail back then.” Cameron rolled his eyes. “It’s not haunted.”
“Even if it were, those kinds of deaths wouldn’t be enough to give me a premonition all the way down in South Carolina. They’re not connected to your family, and this is the kind of case that almost always has some kind of family connection. Do you think maybe your mother reached out to warn me, from beyond the grave?”
Cameron laughed. He laughed so hard he had to prop his elbows on the table and hold his head up with his hands. “No,” he said, when he could speak again. He knew that his companions, and most of the other people in the restaurant, were looking at him like he’d lost his mind, and right now he didn’t care. “No. Catherine wouldn’t have crossed the street to spit on me if I was on fire. Hell, she’d have poured gasoline on.” He took a deep breath. Teixeira family drama wasn’t these guys’ business. “But she certainly didn’t die in the house, and she hadn’t been back there in a good eighteen years before she died.”
Jason bit his lip. It was an adorable look on him, Cameron realized, and in that moment he kind of hated Reid for bringing up just how long it had been for him. The last person he needed to be thinking about was Jason Tighe. “What was your mo – what was Catherine in for?”
Cameron had to give Jason some credit for the switch. “Murder,” he said, turning slightly to address Jason directly. “She killed my sister, Ashley.” If he didn’t look at the remains of the burger on Jason’s plate, maybe he wouldn’t have to see Ashley’s blood spilling out onto the dirty carpet again. “But it wasn’t in that house. Until I inherited it, I hadn’t set foot in it since I was about seven.”
“Huh.” Reid lifted his eyebrows for a second and then turned back to his drink. “I’d really like to take a look at your place. Just to take a look around.”
Cameron rolled his head back and blew the air out of his lungs. “I don’t believe in ghosts. My house isn’t haunted. Nothing’s going on there that would put me in danger. I mean I’ll buy your whole psychic … thing … I guess. I don’t necessarily get it, but I don’t have to. But ghosts? Come on. Next thing you’ll want me to believe in is werewolves.”
Jason chuckled. “There’s a whole wide, wonderful world out there of which the general public is blissfully unaware. How about if we stick with the facts, and you can draw your own conclusions about what’s going on when everything shakes out?” He sipped from his beer. “Have you been having problems with the place? Issues with the wiring, maybe?”
Cameron rolled his eyes. “It’s been windy. Everyone in the neighborhood’s had a few brownouts.”
Reid bobbed his head from side to side. “How about the plumbing?”
“DPW was flushing out a water main upstream after a break. I called.” Okay, so water was usually brown after a water main break, not red, but they’d admitted to problems and that was good enough for Cameron.
Jason grinned in triumph. “So there have been problems.”
Cameron fixed him with a look. “Once. And it had a perfectly reasonable explanation.”
Reid gave him another one of those gentle smiles. “Look. You accept the idea that I’m psychic, right? So there wouldn’t be any harm in letting me look around the place just to make sure.”
“This is a bad idea.” Cameron glared at both of them. “I’ve had to call the police on both of you. One of you twice,” he added with an extra glower for Jason, who blew a kiss at him in return.
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The Magic of Wor(l)ds
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