Lavender Lass Books - Thursday Newsletter 19
Welcome to Lavender Lass Books - Thursday Newsletter! Abigail and I have decided to publish The Magic of Burrows Bay one chapter at a time. As always, you can find out more information on these and all our other books at the Lavender Lass Books website.
A bit of exciting news! One of our Lavender Lass Books has been included in the 500 Ebooks under $5 Sale at Barnes & Noble through Sunday. You can find Moonlight, Roses & Murder under the Mystery section, on sale for $3.99.
And we’ve created a group on Facebook just for our Thursday newsletter! It’s a fun place to talk about all things Burrows Bay related…and as we progress through the story, you’ll find out why we post all those 1920s-inspired dresses. Hope you’ll join us!
We also have all our stories at our Lavender Lass BookShop! You can save 25% on all our ebooks if you use our coupon code when you check out.
Not very original, but easy to remember!
Finally, here is the next chapter of The Magic of Burrows Bay! We’ll have a new chapter every Thursday, so we hope you enjoy the story!
Maggie McCrae knew her granddaughters were not ready for the legacy she must leave them. The house, the grounds and everything that went with it would now be theirs. She vowed she would do all she could to protect them and hopefully, give them the time they needed to fulfill their destiny. Gabriella and Moira must learn to trust themselves and each other as they discover the true magic of Burrows Bay.
And remember, you can always catch up on all earlier chapters here.
Jack hung up the phone and hurried towards the parking lot. Seeing two patrolmen, he said, “Curtis, you and Armstrong follow me out to the MacInnes House.”
Moira hung up the phone. “Jack wants us to stay inside until he gets here.” She looked at Callie. “Why don’t you go ahead and call Shawn?”
Callie shook her head. “Let’s wait until Jack gets here. We’re not sure if there’s other evidence out there and we don’t want to disturb any clues.”
“We can go up to the library and wait,” suggested Gabbi. “We’ll see anyone coming up the drive but feel a little more protected away from these main floor windows.”
Emma nodded. “Sounds like a good idea.”
As they entered the library, Callie walked over to the French doors. “When we get the all clear, I would love to go out on this balcony. What a view!”
Moira was pacing back and forth, looking out the window that faced the front drive. Gabbi walked up and laid a hand on her shoulder. “It’s going to be okay, cuz. Just sit down and relax.”
“I didn’t even consider the danger before inviting them,” Moira said quietly to Gabbi. “What was I thinking after Jack told us to be careful?”
Callie came over and looked at Moira closely. “Whatever it is just tell us.”
“Moira and I were looking for evidence of trespassers in the woods a few days ago,” Gabbi explained. “We ended up at an abandoned farm, and we reported it as a possible meth lab.”
Callie’s eyes grew large. “How could you tell? Did you see them making it?”
“No, the odor,” Gabbi replied. “I’d noticed it once before in Seattle…right before a place got raided.”
“That was after you ran into us?” Emma asked. She turned to Callie. “I had the kids out for a tour on Saturday.”
Moira continued to pace. “And with all this going on, it didn’t even occur to me that you two might be in danger. Jack said they had arrested two of the men, but the third hadn’t been found.”
She turned and looked out the window, finally seeing Jack’s black sedan drive up. A patrol car was following him and pulled off by the carriage house. “I’m going to go down and let them in,” she said, walking out of the library.
“Does she always do that?” asked Emma.
Gabbi looked confused. “Do what?”
“Take on all the responsibility for a situation.” Emma smiled. “She reminds me of Maggie.”
Callie walked out after Moira. “Well, this isn’t her fault. It was my idea to have the party.”
Jack got out of the car and told the patrolmen to fan out and look for any other indications that someone had been there or possibly tried to break in. He took a few pictures of the porch with his phone and a close up of the message. Then, he walked around searching for any other evidence. Satisfied that there was nothing else to find, he knocked on the door.
As Moira opened it, he could see she was upset. Then, Callie walked up right behind her. He made a mental note to get the patrolmen to dust for prints on the doorknob, though he doubted they’d find anything helpful.
“Do you have any idea who might have done this?” Jack asked Moira.
“I thought maybe it had something to do with the meth lab…” Moira began.
Jack shook his head. “We arrested Amos Parker yesterday afternoon. He couldn’t be the one responsible for this and the other two men are still in jail.”
Moira let out a sigh of relief. “I was so concerned I had put Callie and Emma in danger. I didn’t even think about the possibility that someone might come to the house and do something like this.”
“It was my idea to have the party.” Callie gave her brother a look. “Moira was just nice enough to go along with it.”
Jack could tell his sister liked Moira. She could get very protective while defending a friend. “Callie, I need to speak to Miss Dunbar alone.”
We’re back to Miss Dunbar, Moira thought to herself. Oh well, I can’t really blame him.
Callie turned back towards the stairs. “I’m going up to tell Emma we can leave.”
As soon as she was up the stairs, Jack took Moira’s arm and escorted her into the kitchen. “Jack, I’m sorry…” Moira began.
Jack shook his head and wrapped his arms around her. “You scared me. Don’t do that again.”
“I won’t,” Moira replied as he released her. “I’m very sorry Callie was here.”
Jack looked into those dark green eyes. “That’s not the only reason I was worried. Moira, you make me…” He stopped for a moment and they just looked at one another. When they heard the others walking down the stairs, Jack said, “It’s two days until Friday. Do you have any plans for tonight?”
“No.” She smiled. “What did you have in mind?”
Jack glanced towards the stairs. “I’ll pick you up at six?”
Moira nodded and took a step back as the others walked into the kitchen.
Gabbi announced, “My father is flying up tonight and staying with us for the next few days. He’s insisting we need security lights and cameras installed around the estate.”
“A good idea,” agreed Jack. “I’m going to check on the progress outside.” He glanced back at Moira, then walked out onto the terrace.
“Well?” Gabbi asked. “What happened?”
“What do you mean?” Moira asked innocently.
“Oh, he’s not mad at her,” Gabbi said, looking at Emma and Callie. “I told you they’d work it out.”
“I’ve got to go.” Callie checked her watch. “I called Shawn and told him I’d be late. Better to tell him the rest in person.” As she started out the back door, she smiled and added, “I still think we should do this again next month!”
Emma laughed and looked at Gabbi. “Are you sure, you don’t want me to stay?”
Gabbi shook her head. “Like I said, my dad will be here later today. Thanks for volunteering though, so we wouldn’t have to be alone in the house tonight.”
“Hey, the Three have to stick together,” Emma replied, turning to the door. “I’ll talk to you later. I have a meeting this afternoon for a new project,” she looked over her shoulder, “but I’ll still have time to give you a bid on the kitchen.” With a quick wave, she left.
Moira let a long breath out. “It’s been quite a morning.”
Gabbi nodded, then looked at Moira. “Is everything really okay between you and Jack?”
“He asked me out to dinner tonight,” Moira replied.
“That’s more like it!” Gabbi smiled. “What did he say about the meth dealers?” She walked over and poured another cup of coffee since she couldn’t remember where she’d left her last one.
“He said they arrested their third suspect yesterday afternoon. So, it couldn’t have been them.” Moira looked around the room. “Why would anyone else want us to sell the house?”
“Well, there’s one obvious person we haven’t discussed.” Gabbi set her coffee down on the counter. “What about Marissa? Who else has asked us if we want to sell our house?”
“Oh, I don’t think this is Marissa’s style.” Moira walked over to the turret windows. “We do have a lovely view, but she deals with expensive properties all the time. It’s just another commission to her.”
“Maybe, maybe not. We don’t know what her grandmother has told her about the house.” Gabbi spread out her arms. “Maybe something valuable is hidden here, and they want to buy the house before we find it.”
Moira hadn’t considered that, but she still wasn’t ready to believe the worst about Marissa. “If that’s true, why didn’t they break in and steal it while Gran was out of the country?” She shook her head. “We need Marissa’s help to open the book. And after what we heard last night about her work with the animal shelter, I just don’t see it being her.”
“You hope it’s not her,” Gabbi said, “but I know what you mean.” She looked around. “Did Jack say if anything else had been damaged? We really should take a look around outside.”
They walked out the glass door and across the terrace, then around the side of the house by the gazebo and back to the main drive. The two patrolmen were still making notes but Jack’s sedan was no longer in the drive. “Did you find anything we need to be aware of?” Gabbi asked the nearest patrolman.
“No, Ma’am,” he replied. “Detective Stewart asks that you avoid the front porch until we finish our investigation. We should be done here in a few more minutes.”
Gabbi nodded and looked over at Moira. “About my dad calling this morning…he wanted to verify a link I gave him for hotel rooms in Anacortes. When he heard my voice, he said he could tell something was wrong. I told him the police were here and why. Next thing I know, he’s insisting that he wants to fly in tonight, stay here with us, and install security cameras everywhere!”
Gabbi pretended to be annoyed, but Moira could tell she was glad her dad was coming to stay with them. Moira was relieved, too. It was a long way from the house to the road, and they were isolated so far from town.
“You know what we need?” Moira looked at Gabbi and smiled. “A dog.”
An hour later, Gabbi and Moira agreed there wasn’t much more they could do outside, but they were too wound up to read in the library. Instead, they decided to explore the third floor.
“My dad used to joke about coming up here to play loud music when he was a teenager,” Gabbi said, imagining her dad at sixteen. “He’d talk about sitting up here for hours, looking at the water, and playing his guitar. He never mentioned the balcony or the amazing view.”
Moira shook her head. “My mom rarely talks about her childhood. I used to ask her about it until I realized it made her sad. So, I quit asking. My dad has some good stories about his misspent youth as he likes to call it.”
Gabbi laughed. “I like that term. Misspent youth…I think I’m well on my way to a misspent adulthood.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that,” replied Moira as they walked from the back bedroom to the one in front. “You own part of a lovely home, you can cook beyond belief and in your spare time, you help transform shy ducklings into passable swans.” She smiled. “Look what you’ve done for me. Seems only fair we find a man for you, too.” Moira pointed out the window. “And here come two of them right now.”
“Where?” Gabbi asked, peering around Moira. “Oh, that’s just the cranky vet, who also happens to be our neighbor. He does have someone with him. Let’s go check it out!”
“The vet is our neighbor?” Moira raised her eyebrows. “Why didn’t you mention that before?”
“I guess I was more interested in what happened with you and Jack that night.” Gabbi smiled.
“Let’s get back to the vet, who is also our neighbor,” Moira replied. “I haven’t even met him yet.”
“Well, you’re about to meet him along with his friend,” Gabbi replied. “They were heading for the front door. Let’s see if he’s had any problems with spray-painting house hunters since he also has a great view of the water.”
Moira laughed, realizing they were trying to make light of something that still worried them both. “Might as well. We can always go back up and finish cleaning later.”
“That’s for sure,” Gabbi replied. “So, when we get our money…is that housekeeper going to be on our list?”
“I’m starting to think we do need one.” Moira looked around as they started downstairs. “At least, someone who can come in a couple of times a week to help with the heavy cleaning. Otherwise, we’ll never get to the renovations.”
They opened the front door as Matthew and his friend reached the front steps. “Stop right there,” Gabbi said. “You don’t want to contaminate our crime scene.”
Join us next week for the another chapter of The Magic of Burrows Bay!