Haunting Echoes Of True Love (Preview)

Chapter One

February 1881

Rochester, New Hampshire

Bethany Maher was watching the oven like a cat watching a mouse it was about to pounce on. The thing about baking in this oven was that if one took an eye off it even for a moment, it would burn absolutely everything. But then, what else could one expect from the newfangled gas oven her father had just had installed? It had been two months of learning to understand the contraption, its moods, its strengths and weaknesses, and Bethany thought she finally had an understanding of it now. 

The timer on the kitchen counter seemed to watch her as she in turn watched the seconds plummeting to their deaths in the bottom bulb. Nearly. It was nearly time. 

Opening the door a crack, she peered in. The cookies were certainly there, certainly baking, but she couldn’t tell if they were just right or overdone. She eyed the timer. A few more seconds. Bethany waited. 

The last of the sand slid to join its friends in the bottom bulb. It was time. 

She picked up the oven gloves, sliding them onto her hands, and opened the door. Heat hit her in the face, making her recoil a little. With the initial blast of warm air freed, she reached in and grabbed the baking tray, lifting it out and placing it on the kitchen table. 

“Oh my, something smells delicious,” her mother said as she came into the kitchen. 

Bethany smiled at her mother. Joy Maher was in her forties; she had brown hair, blue eyes, and a friendly, warm smile. In her right hand was a walking stick. She was never without it. Not since the accident that had left her with a terrible limp.  

Reaching the table, she leaned forward and sniffed the air just above the cooling cookies. “I think you’ve got the hang of this now.” 

“Do you think so?” Bethany asked, scrutinizing the baked goods with a critical eye. 

“There is only one way to know for sure,” her mother said with a smile. “How about we have a cup of tea and try them out?” 

“Oh, yes,” Bethany said, smiling. “What a wonderful idea.” 

They put the kettle on the stove and set about getting the pot ready. Bethany loved these moments spent with her family. Her mother was a teacher at the local school and her father owned a general store. They were both busy people and although she tried to help them as much as possible, it meant that often she was at home alone. 

It had been a snow day, with the white stuff clogging the streets, so her mother had been able to stay home. And there was nothing better than spending the day baking with her. So far, Bethany had made two pies (one pecan and one apple), oat and ginger cookies, and three loaves of bread. 

Well, Bethany considered it baking with her mother, even though her mother didn’t like doing the actual baking. She was more than willing to do the tasting, however. 

The kettle whistled and Bethany poured the water into the tea pot. She then set to work lifting the cooled cookies off the baking sheet and onto a plate. They were jam cookies—each had a dollop of raspberry jam in its center. 

She and her mother were just about to sit down at the wooden kitchen table when there was a knock on the front door. Their house gave directly onto the street with a short walkway to the steps. However, it being a dreary day with thick, heavy clouds overhead and a few feet of snow beneath, Bethany thought visitors unlikely. Not that they ever had many of those at all. 

“Don’t worry, Mother, I’ll go and see who it is,” Bethany said.

Since a runaway cart had hit her mother and fractured her right leg in three places, she found it difficult to move about. The cold made her leg ache something awful. 

Bethany, however, was happy to do all the physical labor her mother found challenging. She was certain it offset at least some of the sweet things she loved to eat. So, she rushed to the front door, careful to remove her apron and check who was on the doorstep before opening it. 

Through the glass-paned window set in the door itself, she saw a man in a thick coat and hat. He carried a briefcase in his gloved right hand, and he looked frozen solid. She didn’t recognize his face and so she opened the door only a crack. 

“Hello,” she said. “Can I help you?” 

“Ah, young lady, I do hope so,” the man said. His voice was resonant and pleasant. “Is this Mr. Arthur Maher’s residence?” 

Ah, so he had to be one of her father’s business associates. Bethany smiled and nodded, opening the door wider. “Yes, it is,” she said. “He is my father. But he’s not here at present.” 

“Are you expecting him any time soon?” the man asked. 

Bethany nodded. “In about a half-hour or so.” 

The man looked behind him as though he expected to see someone coming up the path. Bethany and one of the boys from across the way had been busy with shovels earlier, clearing the way and salting the path. Good thing they had or this gentleman might not look as pristine as he did. 

“Ah,” the man said a little awkwardly. “Would you mind if I waited for him? I have come from a lawyer’s office across town. I am Mr. Langley, by the way.” 

“Oh,” Bethany said. “Yes, of course. Please come in.” 

She stood aside and let him in. As he stepped across the threshold, Bethany noticed that Mr. Langley was tall, slender, and very well-dressed. His suit was tailored and his coat, when she hung it on a peg by the door, was thick and heavy. 

“I’m Bethany,” she said, offering him her hand. “I’m Arthur’s daughter.” 

“Oh, right,” Mr. Langley said, accepting her hand.

Leading him through their cozy house, Bethany began to wonder what he had come to see her father about. A lawyer’s visit was not a common occurrence. 

“Who is it, Bethany?” her mother called from the kitchen. 

Bethany decided to wait until they were in the same room before answering. She suspected it would take a lot more explaining if she answered now. 

Her mother was seated at the kitchen table where Bethany had left her. She looked up and frowned, a smile brightening and dimming on her lips like a candle flame caught in a breeze. 

“Mother,” Bethany said, wasting no time at all, “this is Mr. Langley. He’s from a lawyer’s office.” 

“Mrs. Maher,” Mr. Langley said. 

“Please, have a seat,” Bethany’s mother offered. 

Bethany went to the cupboard and drew out another cup and saucer. 

“We were about to have tea. Would you join us?” her mother asked. 

Mr. Langley accepted and, taking the seat her father usually occupied, made himself comfortable at the table. Bethany noted that his briefcase had made the journey into the kitchen with him. He placed it on the floor beside his chair leg and smiled at the two women. 

Mr. Langley had a long face, a thin nose, and large brown eyes. It gave him a slightly drooping look, as though his face was made of wax and had slid a little downwards when heated. But his smile was pleasant, and Bethany was itching to know what he was visiting them for. 

As they poured and drank their tea, Bethany dished out her jam cookies and Mr. Langley said they were quite delicious. 

“Have you ever thought to sell these?” he inquired.

“Oh, no,” Bethany said with a quick shake of her head. “I can’t imagine people would buy them.” 

Mr. Langley looked at her as though she had just taken a butter knife and smeared her face with jam. “My dear girl,” he said in a slow and determined manner, “I beg to differ. These are every bit as wonderful as those I could have bought at the baker’s on the corner. Certainly, you must give them a run for their money. I suspect you could earn quite a lot.”

Heat rose into Bethany’s cheeks. She’d never considered such a thing. Baking and selling the pies, tarts, cookies, loaves of bread, and rolls she habitually made and gave away to friends and family had not entered her head. She’d never thought she was that good. She thought everyone was just being nice when they complimented her.

Hearing a stranger such things surprised and pleased her greatly. 

Just then, Bethany heard the familiar sound of her father opening the front door. He did so in stages, first fumbling with the key before remembering it was never locked. Then he would open the door a crack and call out. 

“Hello, family!” 

She smiled. “We’re in the kitchen!” 

“Oooh, is tea on?” he asked. 

“Yes,” Bethany replied. 

It was a time-honored conversation that had been enacted day after day for most of her life. It brought comfort and security knowing that nothing had changed, that life would continue in its usual vein. 

Bethany would be the last to admit it, but she wasn’t good with change. Change was scary and unpredictable, and she clung to the habits and routines her family had happily cultivated over the years. 

Her father, a tall, slender middle-aged man with a short beard, entered the room. A pipe hung from the corner of his mouth, but as per her mother’s insistence, it was not lit. The only room in which Arthur Maher was allowed to smoke was in his study. The pipe still managed to cling to his lips, though, no matter where he was in the house. 

On seeing the stranger at the table, Bethany’s father balked. 

“Oh my!” he exclaimed. “A visitor. How wonderful.” 

Mr. Langley rose and offered his hand. “Charles Langley,” he said. “From Woodrow, Burrows, and Pitt.” 

“The lawyers?” Arthur asked, frowning as they shook hands.

He had taken his coat off and was now dressed in his house cardigan, which was old, shabby, and a horrible brown color. No matter how Bethany and her mother tried, they simply couldn’t get him to agree to a new one. 

Taking the pipe from his mouth, Arthur moved to an open chair and sat down. He smiled as Bethany, who had moved around him and fetched a cup and saucer for him, poured him a cup of tea. 

“What is all this about?” he asked as he accepted the drink from his daughter with a wink. 

“Well, I’m afraid it’s a bit of good news and some bad,” Mr. Langley said. He pulled the briefcase up onto his lap and began to rummage around in it. “I am afraid, Mr. Maher, that your uncle, Mr. Elias Maher, has passed away.” 

Bethany looked from the lawyer to her father, her mouth pulled in a tight line. Uncle Elias was one of her father’s favorite family members. He had told her many stories of visiting his uncle, who had lived in Louisiana then. 

“Oh, Arthur, I’m so sorry,” her mother said, placing a gentle hand on her father’s. 

He took her hand in his and held it, his face ashen, blinking back tears. “Uncle Elias is gone? Oh… my…” His voice trailed off. “I was going to suggest that we take a train out in the summer and visit him. He wrote me just last month about his hotel and spa he has on the Great Salt Lake. I can’t believe this. What happened?” 

Mr. Langley, his expression dour, consulted a piece of paper. “It seems he suffered from a schism of the heart,” he said, reading the paper through a pair of spindly spectacles that perched on his nose. “It was sudden and he didn’t suffer at all. At least, not according to the doctor who signed the death certificate.” 

“Well, that is a mercy,” Bethany’s mother said. 

Her father nodded and took a deep breath, clearly trying to steady his nerves. “Was there anything else?” he asked. 

“As a matter of fact, yes,” Mr. Langley said. “It’s in regard to your uncle’s will. It seems he has left all his worldly possessions to you, Mr. Maher. That includes the aforementioned hotel and spa in Utah.” 

“Good heavens!” her mother exclaimed. “Arthur?” 

Arthur looked stunned. “He did? Are you certain?” 

The lawyer looked perplexed. “Yes, I am,” he said. “It’s all here in this copy of his last will and testament, which he lodged with his bank before his death. It’s all legal and right, I can assure you. His bank manager, Mr. Ernest Salt, passed it on to our Salt Lake City colleagues, Horton, Walters, and Black. They made certain it was all in order. You are the new owner of the Majestic Hotel and Spa in Knowhere, Utah.” 

Bethany was stunned. She stared at her parents in utter disbelief. “What does this mean?” she asked. “We don’t live in Utah.” 

“Indeed, you do not,” Mr. Langley agreed. “Your uncle did request that you at least go to the hotel and see it in person. He was apparently very proud of it. After having viewed it, he stated you could sell it or keep it, whichever you preferred.” 

“How exciting,” her mother said, now smiling. “A trip to Utah might be just what we need.” 

“Mother!” Bethany exclaimed. “You have school and Father has the store. We can’t pack up and move. It’s all simply out of the question. Perhaps during summer break as Father had planned we could go, but we can’t go now.” 

“Indeed, you can’t,” Mr. Langley said. “There is a lot of bad weather between here and there. But in the spring, there is no reason for you not to. Of course, it is up to you.” He looked pointedly at Arthur. “Please sign here.” He handed Arthur a pen, ink, and the pages to sign. 

Bethany watched her father sign his name, moving as though he were a puppet. He didn’t seem to be in his body, but perhaps hovering above it, moving it through invisible strings. 

Mr. Langley left. Bethany saw him out and realized she was not happy. She didn’t want to go to Utah. She liked New Hampshire. She liked living in Rochester. She knew where everything was and who a lot of the people were. Going all the way across the country seemed excessive and foolish. Her parents wouldn’t do it. Not really. This was all just a little silliness, and it would pass. They would go and visit and come back and life would plod along as it always had. 

When she returned to the kitchen, her self-assurances were dashed like waves on the rocks. 

“…we could do it,” her mother said. 

“But we don’t know anything about running a hotel and spa,” her father countered. “Perhaps it would be better to sell it. But I do want to go and see it.” 

“Of course,” her mother said. “And you don’t have to decide now.” 

Her father nodded. 

And that was where Bethany had hoped things would stay. Safely in the undecided box. But they didn’t. 

*

As the weather warmed, her father became restless. He and her mother would stay up talking late at night and she was never privy to the conversations, which irked her. She was an adult, after all. Being sent to bed so the grown-ups could talk was humiliating. 

And then one night in April, her parents sat her down at the kitchen table in order to have a frank chat. 

“We’ve been discussing it,” her father said, “and we think that moving to Utah would be a good thing to do.” 

Bethany stared at them in disbelief. “What do you mean?” she asked. “You can’t be serious.” 

“We are,” her mother said. “These cold New Hampshire winters are the absolute death of me. Utah is warmer. My leg may give me less trouble.” 

“But we have a life here,” Bethany argued. 

“No, honey,” her mother said. “Your father and I built a life here, but you’re just treading water. You won’t go out with any of the young people your age and we haven’t had a young man come courting in over two years.” 

“I don’t want any to,” Bethany said. “I can’t leave you and Father.” 

Her father looked somber as he said, “Yes, darling. But one day, when God wills it, we will be leaving you. So, after much discussion, your mother and I have decided: We are moving to Utah and you’re coming with us.” 

Bethany’s heart thumped into her shoes. This was the worst news ever. 

Chapter 2

April 1881

The Great Salt Lake, Utah

The town of Knowhere owed its odd name to the odd sense of humor of its founder, Mr. Johannes Brennen. He was notorious for making terrible jokes, and when he decided to build his house on the land near the Great Salt Lake, he’d lovingly called it Knowhere for the simple reason that he knew where he was. In the middle of nowhere.

Paul Knowles thought it was a dumb name, but he’d grown up in the town and other than the ridiculous name, it wasn’t a bad place to live. 

Situated near the northeastern region of the lake, the town was lucky. A few creeks fed it fresh, clean water, and there was enough rain during the year to grow crops. It was also a common rest stop for travelers on various trails, the Oregon trail among them, and the town, although not rich, held its own. It wasn’t as popular as Salt Lake City, which was directly on all the trails, but it did have a certain charm—and, being far smaller than its rival, had a more personable feel to it. In Knowhere, strangers were treated as friends, at least for as long as they had money to spend in the hotel, at the market, or with one of the other small enterprises that called the place home. 

Paul and his father were thankful for this, as they were one of the small enterprises. They ran a handyman service doing everything from digging new outhouses and wells to fixing roofs, painting walls, and a hundred other little tasks that folks often had no time for but needed done. 

For the last five years, it had just been Paul and his father still living in the town. His mother and two sisters had packed up their belongings and moved east to live with his mother’s sister in Maine. The fight that had ensued as they left had Paul thinking that he would likely never see his mother again. And it seemed he had been right, because in five years, he’d written her over forty letters, and she’d not replied once.  

He wondered how she was doing for the millionth time and wondered why she and his father had had such a falling out that the only remedy was moving across the country. They must have fought about something really serious. His father, Martin, never spoke about it. 

And so, having run out of nostalgic fuel, Paul returned to the present. After all, there was no point in chewing on the past, it lacked flavor. Especially when there was so much present to get through. He was, at that time, sitting on the roof of the town hall, such as it was, and hammering shingles in place. His father was on a ladder not far from him, dreamily painting the wall white. 

Spring had that effect on Knowhere. Once the snow melted and people emerged from their winter hibernation, they always looked around the town and decided it needed sprucing up. Soon, the visitors from other states would arrive, and they couldn’t have the place looking shabby and weather-beaten now, could they? No siree, Bob! They could not. 

This was good news for the Knowles men. This was their busiest time of the year. Although everyone wanted their houses painted and their roofs fixed or their floors sanded, they didn’t have the time to do it themselves. Luckily for them, Knowles Handymen was always on hand to help. 

In the crisp April morning air, with the smell of blossoms tickling his nose, Paul looked out over the town, wondering how many jobs would come their way this year. To his left lay the church with its steeple trying to skewer the bright blue sky. It would likely need a paint job. To his right were the trader, bank, bathhouse, and other mercantile enterprises. They would need work, even if it was only a new sign out front. And beyond them lay the Great Salt Lake. 

He spent little time staring at it as it would yield no work at all. However, a little to the south he could see the only building in Knowhere that touched the lake. Built right on the beach, it was the only place that braved the marshes and disturbed the water birds that flocked aplenty to the wet ground. It was the Majestic Hotel and Spa. 

Built around the time his mother left, possibly a tad before, the Majestic was a huge structure, propped up on many stilts. He and his father had done some of the finishing touches to it, but there was still an air of mystery around the place. 

The owner and builder, a man named Elias Maher, had been careful to cultivate this atmosphere of the unknown. As an avid believer in the hereafter and the spirit world, he’d said he wanted his guests to have more than a spa experience. He wanted them to have an existential experience. When asked what that meant, he had laughed and said it depended on the person.

Neither Paul nor Martin had ever asked such a question again. They had done the painting, hung the curtains, attached the light fittings—all gas lamps shipped out at great expense—and left. 

Paul had spoken to the several building crews on the site when he was working there, and it seemed that each was building bits and pieces and none were seeing the plans for the whole thing. Old Elias had certainly been one cunning man. Some said he’d built it this strangely especially so that Madam Neverwinter, a medium of some renown, would make it her home. 

Paul didn’t believe gossip. He suspected Mr. Maher had simply not wanted another developer to copy his design. He could understand that, since it was the old man’s labor of love. He had poured his fortune into the place, and, with its turrets and domes, it was a lovely building to look at. It was reminiscent of a castle but with significant changes. For one thing, the windows were decidedly larger, and the rooms were well-appointed and comfortable. He had even insisted on there being indoor plumbing, something that was highly controversial in this small town where the outhouse was still king. 

Maher had been a genius with pipes. He had water boilers up on the roof that could supply hot water to any faucet in the place. There were also flushing toilets that disposed of the waste through a maze of pipes to a French drain no one but a select few knew the location of. It was an engineering marvel, and to think the old man had only gotten to enjoy it for a few short years. It hardly seemed fair. The death of Elias Maher had been a shock for the whole town. Despite his strange views, he’d been well-liked. Paul sighed.

“Hey!” his father called. “They don’t pay us to daydream!” 

Paul jerked out of his reverie and resumed hammering the shingles back in place. The nails he was using were long and it took a few good blows to knock them in place. For a while, he worked without stop. But then his musings took him again and he found his eye drawn once to the imposing sight of the hotel. 

“What’s going to happen to it?” he asked his father, jerking his head in the hotel’s direction. 

Martin Knowles shrugged. “I don’t know. Word around town has it that his nephew is coming out to run it.” 

“You don’t say?” Paul asked, looking surprised. “I didn’t know Old Man Maher had family. From the way he behaved, I would have thought they were all gone.” 

“Well, that’s what people are saying,” his father said. 

Paul considered this. “You know,” he said thoughtfully, “it’s going to need some work. This last winter wasn’t kind. All those snowstorms couldn’t have been good for the place. Maybe we should offer our services.” 

“Not a bad idea,” his father said, rubbing his blond beard. “We can do that when the new owners arrive.” 

Paul nodded. “Any idea when that will be?” 

His father shrugged. “The rumor mill doesn’t know. I asked. It seems they had a hold-up where they live. Something about having to sell a store or something. The lawyers in Salt Lake City haven’t contacted Clyde to get to the station to pick them up. So, once he knows, the whole of Knowhere will know.” 

That was true. Clyde Cummings couldn’t keep his mouth shut for love nor money. He was the beating heart of the rumor mill. 

Paul considered this. He spent a few more minutes working on the roof, replacing shingles that had seen better days. Then he tucked his tools into his tool belt and used his ladder to climb down to the ground. 

The mayor’s assistant, Mr. Wallace Chaney, was waiting for him. 

“Done with the roof?” he asked. 

Wallace was a little older than Paul and was short and podgy. He had a habitually red face, freckled skin, and dark red hair. It was a testimony to his organizational skills that he had secured his position as the mayor’s most trusted assistant. Mayor Emile Braun liked things to be done speedily, with great attention to detail and zero mistakes. Wallace was mostly able to ensure that by checking on the workers as much as he could. 

 “Yup,” Paul said with a smile. “The roof is as good as new. Next rainstorm, you’ll be dry as a bone.” 

“Good,” Wallace said. His voice was slightly higher than one would expect from looking at him. “And the paint job? Is your father on schedule?” 

Paul looked around and shrugged. “I assume so.” 

“Assuming doesn’t work for me,” Wallace said. “Find out, please. We need the town hall looking good for when people start arriving.” 

Paul listened to Wallace’s we-have-to-do-our-best speech, taking almost none of it in. He’d heard it a thousand times before and he really wasn’t in the mood. Running a hand through his blond hair, he smiled at Wallace and walked around the side of the building. 

His father was just finishing up the first coat. He could tell, as he was on the ground just meeting a line of dry smooth paint. The building looked good. 

“Oh,” Wallace said when he saw it. “Well, that’s good.” 

“Glad you think so,” Martin said with a smile, turning from his work. “It will need a second coat, though. We’ll come do it tomorrow.” 

Wallace made a note in his notebook and nodded. “Wonderful. The old place certainly is looking better. I’ll make sure that Todd in accounting has your money ready for you tomorrow, then.” 

They nodded. That was fine. Wallace took his leave, and the Knowles men were left to clean up. They packed everything away in the maintenance shed that stood at the back of the town hall, out of sight and out of the way. 

Home was a cabin a little way out of town on a slight rise in the ground. It offered a wonderful view of the mountains in the area and the Great Salt Lake. Martin was an avid birdwatcher and loved being able to name them as they stalked the shallow areas of the lake where little shrimps lived. The water was too salty to allow anything else to survive; it was a miracle the shrimp didn’t die. 

It was exactly this high salt content that made the lake a prime destination for those seeking some sort of healing. At least, that was what some folks said. Paul couldn’t see how swimming in the lake would be beneficial, but then he knew nothing about medicine. 

“So, what do you think the new owners will do with the hotel?” he asked his father as they walked along the dusty path home. 

His father shrugged. “Whatever they want to. We won’t know until they come.” He eyed Paul. “Why are you so interested?” 

It was Paul’s turn to shrug. “I don’t know. I guess I’m just intrigued. It brought a lot of people to town, so I’m just wondering if they will keep it running.” 

Martin nodded. “And you’re hoping for work from it. Understandable. We certainly need it.” 

The log cabin they called home came into view and Paul was glad. He was quite tired from the long day. Their dinners were never exciting, being the basic fare that men with no skill could make. They ate together in relative silence. Working together and living together meant there was little to say since they both already knew what had happened during the day. Paul did the washing up and then went to bed. He wondered about the new owners of the hotel for a while as he drifted off. He hoped they would be nice. 

 A day later, the rumor mill began to buzz. The owners had been traveling for the last few weeks and were due to arrive that Friday at the Halfway Station just out of town. It was exciting news. Clyde Cummings said he would need help and Paul was happy to volunteer. 

And so, Paul found himself sitting on the driver’s seat beside Clyde heading out to the station. 

The Halfway Station wasn’t much of a station at all. The track continued on to Salt Lake City, but since folks who wanted to visit Knowhere didn’t want to travel past it only to turn around and go back, the railroad company had agreed to a stop. The station was a platform with a small ticket office at the side of the track and nothing more. And the ticket office was only manned when someone told Leo Cummings, Clyde’s brother, that they wanted to go somewhere. 

Leo and Clyde spent most of their time tending their vegetable garden and were easy enough to find on the average day. 

Clyde was heavyset with rough hands and wrinkles from squinting in the bright sunlight. He talked a lot as they rode out to the station. 

“I expect they’ll have a lot of luggage,” he said conversationally. “That’s why I wanted a strapping young lad like you to come and help. Lifting heavy trunks into the cart is murder on my back.” 

Paul thought it might be murder on his too, but he said nothing. Clyde paid well for assistance. 

They reached the platform before the train. That wasn’t a surprise. Delays were common in this part of the world. 

There was nothing to do but wait. The train would come and the passengers would get out with their luggage and things would progress from there. They did this all through summer and sometimes into late fall, too. However, this stream of visitors dried up during the winter months. No one wanted to travel through the snow and bad weather; only those with pressing business would venture forth bravely. Paul couldn’t think of a reason for anyone to venture to Knowhere except for the lake’s healing properties. And if a person was desperate enough to think they would work, then they wouldn’t be traveling in the cold. Or so he suspected. 

Clyde chatted on and on and on. The man had an endless supply of trivia to draw on which impressed Paul. He ran out of things to say quickly and so found Clyde’s running commentary refreshing. 

Through his companion’s voice, Paul heard another sound. It was unmistakable: the chugga-chugga of a train approaching. 

“Clyde!” he cried out. “The train is coming.” 

Looking to the north they saw the telltale puffs of smoke hanging in the clear blue sky before the wind took them and spread them out. It was coming around the line of hills and heading right for them. Soon, it would slow down and come to a halt to disgorge its passengers. 

“Right,” Clyde said. “Now, let me do the welcoming, Paul. Okay? Only I know how to talk to these folks. They’re city types and don’t take to country folks like us too easily. We don’t want to scare them off.” 

“Like rabbits,” Paul said, thinking of how skittish the average hare was. 

Clyde nodded. “Yes, just like rabbits. We want to lure them in with the carrot.” 

“I understand,” Paul said, nodding. “I’ll get the luggage.” 

Clyde smiled. “Good boy. Knew I could count on you.” 

They slid down from the driver’s seat and stood beside the cart. Paul kept a hand on the horse’s bridle just to keep him in place. The train still seemed to be coming at a quick pace. Was the driver hoping he could stop in that short distance to the platform? He couldn’t be that bad at driving the train, could he? 

“It’s not slowing, is it?” Paul asked, frowning. 

“I don’t know,” Clyde said, squinting into the glare of the sun. “It should be.” 

“Yeah, but it’s not, is it?” Paul asked. He didn’t think it was slowing. Did they have the wrong day? Had Clyde gotten the wrong information from the lawyers? Or was this driver just new and he didn’t know where the platform was? 

All these possibilities shot through Paul’s mind as he watched the train race toward them, showing no sign of stopping. It rattled up to them, then carried on at the same speed. 

Paul looked at Clyde. “What happened?” 

Clyde shrugged and swore obscenely.


“Haunting Echoes Of True Love” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!

When her father inherits a hotel in Utah, Bethany Maher’s life changes forever. Although she has grown up in her family home in Rochester, the unforeseen events bring her face to face with new adventures she could never imagine. A new town and most importantly, an unexpected new acquaintance change the scenery fundamentally. Will this new person prove to be a pleasant distraction from the new challenges the hotel throws at her?

She needs to be there for the struggling business but will she be properly prepared before events catch up with her?

Being one of the workmen who built the Majestic Hotel, Paul Knowles has always felt a strange connection with it. When it comes under new management, rumors of hauntings start circulating, and questions arise. Paul finds himself drawn not only to the mysteries surrounding the hotel, but mostly to the eagerness of the family’s daughter to solve them.

Will she prove to be a partner in crime or justice?

As danger looms and the strange things get out of control, Paul and Bethany run together in a mad race to discover the truth. Determined to save their newfound love and the hotel, they eagerly follow the clues but will this be enough? Will their ever-growing emotions survive as they strive to solve the building’s riddle?

“Haunting Echoes Of True Love” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.

Get your copy from Amazon!

11 thoughts on “Haunting Echoes Of True Love (Preview)”

  1. Hello my dears, I hope you enjoyed the preview and that you are as excited as I am for this upcoming release! Make sure to leave your comments here. I’m so looking forward to reading them 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *