Lavender Lass Books - Thursday Newsletter 18
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.
We have all our stories at our Lavender Lass BookShop…and some are exclusive to our store. We also have many FREE ebooks today! And you can save 25% on all other ebooks if you use our coupon code when you check out.
Not very original, but easy to remember!
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!
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.
“Sergei had the hands of an artist, and he performed magic in the kitchen. I met him last year, when I took a second job cooking on Friday and Saturday nights at a high-end restaurant in Seattle.” Gabbi looked at Moira and smiled. “Before I inherited a mansion, I thought it was the only way to make enough money to open my own place.”
“I was assistant sous chef and Sergei was in charge of the kitchen. He was a great chef and he had the most wonderful accent. He was almost six feet tall with reddish-brown hair, blue eyes and a temperament you’d expect…but the passion he brought to that kitchen.”
“When I had been working there for six weeks, he came up to me one night after closing and said, ‘I want to see the ocean. Would you like to go with me?’” She stopped and smiled. “He promised me it would be a picnic I would never forget.”
“The next morning, I met him at the restaurant, and he prepared a huge basket of food. He had his own key and told me he could cook anything he wanted as long as he noted it down in the ledger. We left in his car and got to the beach at Ocean Shores around noon.”
“We walked out to the North Jetty and then along the beach, watching the waves hit the rocks. He was helping me over some rocks as the waves crashed against them and we got drenched.” Gabbi smiled for a moment, then continued. “He set the basket down, took my hand and said something in Russian, then he kissed me. We stood there, looking at each other until a wave knocked my feet right out from under me. I fell and pulled him down with me. As we hit the sand, we both laughed and then he kissed me again.”
Gabbi looked a little lost in thought, so Moira asked, “What happened after that?”
“We ended up dating for three months, before he decided to move to Colorado and take a job at a luxury ski resort. He was a wonderful kisser even if his Hollandaise sauce was a little bland.”
Emma shook her head. “Only a chef would end a romantic escapade with a food critique. Did you ever go back to the water?”
“Not that particular beach,” Gabbi replied, “but we did visit a lot of areas along Puget Sound.”
“Wow!” was all Callie had to say. “I really need to take my husband to the beach.”
Moira smiled. “It sounds like he was a little more than a romantic escapade to me.”
“The one that got away,” Emma nodded. “I know what that’s like.”
Gabbi looked at Emma and raised one eyebrow. “Okay, tell us your story and don’t leave out any details.”
Emma took a sip from her glass and smiled. “I was eighteen and it was two months after high school graduation. I had dated a few boys in school, but they were just that. Boys. Then, my girlfriend, Katie got tickets to an outdoor concert in Central Washington. We were so excited! We left home at nine in the morning, stopped and bought a ton of junk food and got to the concert at noon. Of course, the opening band didn’t start until around seven that night, but we were thrilled to be there. We walked around the campground, talking to people and enjoying the energy of the crowd. It was like nothing either of us had ever experienced.”
“We met some college girls at the campground, who were there from Ellensburg. They told us all about the concert the year before. They assured us the music was going to be incredible but insisted that the views were amazing. Katie and I decided to walk up the hill and see the Columbia River.”
“We were laughing and walking back down, when we got in line to find a good spot on the hillside to watch the concert. Three guys began shoving each other behind us and bumped into Katie. She fell against me and pushed me right into the guy in front of me. He turned around and looked at me, then smiled and asked, ‘Are you okay?’ He was absolutely gorgeous with blondish red hair, clear blue eyes, and this smile...” Emma stopped for a moment. “I just stared at him, then smiled back and told him I was fine.”
“I turned back towards Katie as security walked over to break up the fight behind us. When I looked back, my handsome stranger was already going through the security check. By the time Katie and I passed through, he was gone. I told her about him, but she laughed and said there were hundreds of guys here who were single and good looking. We’d meet plenty more while we waited for the concert. And she was right. Three guys came over to us as we sat on the hill and started talking to us. I wasn’t interested, but Katie seemed enamored with the dark-haired one from the University of Washington. He and his friends were frat boys, which I could tell the minute they started talking about themselves. Not my style, but Katie was crazy for college men.”
“I decided to go get something cold to drink, and on the way back, almost ran into someone. He turned around and it was the same guy I’d been pushed into before. He smiled and asked me if I’d like to sit with him on the hillside. Apparently, his friend had met someone, too.”
“We laughed about how crazy the atmosphere was and how we had actually come here for the music. He was a huge fan of the band and said he’d been to their concert the year before. Seems a lot of people had and that was one reason they had such an enormous crowd. As we talked, I found out my gorgeous guy’s name was Nick, and he was a junior at Gonzaga University. He loved music, thought this was the best band in the world, and had all their CD’s.”
“We didn’t talk for long, since the main band took the stage a few moments later and the crowd went wild. We got caught up in the energy of the crowd, the music, the sun going down behind the Gorge. It was a wonderful evening. When it was over, Nick walked with me back up to the parking lot and as we reached Katie’s car, he intertwined his fingers with mine. We stood there, holding hands for a moment, then he leaned down and kissed me. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. We stood and talked for another half hour under the stars and then he kissed me again. I felt this connection with him that I still can’t explain. I wrote my telephone number on the back of his hand and we made plans to meet in Seattle, but when Katie and I got home he didn’t call me. I never heard from him again.”
Emma paused and looked at her friends, then smiled, sadly. “At first, I was pretty upset. Then, I decided it was just one magical evening, and I was lucky to have had it. What I didn’t realize until later was that nothing else ever compared with it. We didn’t see each other again; we didn’t discover each other’s flaws or weaknesses. We never became normal and ordinary. We’ll always be that perfect moment under the stars.”
Gabbi shook her head. “I can’t believe he didn’t call you.”
“I don’t think that qualifies as a romantic escapade either,” observed Moira. “I wish you’d gotten to see each other again.”
“So, do I,” Emma said, wistfully. Then, she cleared her throat. “But in the real world, people aren’t perfect and magical nights end when the sun comes up. She looked around and smiled at Callie, who was sleeping in the chair. “I think we need to put Callie to bed. She’s not used to staying up this late.”
Gabbi laughed. “Maybe, we should’ve only given her one daiquiri.”
Moira nodded. “I told her…they sneak up on you.”
The next morning, they woke up on the floor of the conservatory wrapped up in a collection of blankets and pillows. Some from the sofa, some from the linen closet upstairs, and a few from their bedrooms. Moira rubbed her face and got up.
Gabbi groaned from under a pillow, while Callie popped up with “Mommy will be right there,” then sank back down again.
Emma opened one eye, then pulled the blanket over her head.
“Come on, time to get up,” Moira said as she ran a hand through her hair and walked over to the kitchen to start coffee.
“Ten more minutes,” Emma begged, “and if you bring me coffee, I will be eternally grateful.”
Moira laughed. She made coffee and started some toast. Ten minutes later, she took steaming mugs of coffee to three bleary-eyed women. “We stayed up too late last night, but you told me to wake you up at nine this morning. Callie, do you still want to leave by ten?”
“Oh, just shoot me now,” was all Callie said.
Emma got up and started walking around the kitchen, munching on a piece of toast she picked up from the table. “You know, Gabbi, if you pulled yourself out from under those blankets, I could go over some ideas about this kitchen.” She winked at Moira.
Moira smiled. “That would be wonderful. Don’t you think so, cuz?” She enjoyed using the term on Gabbi for a change.
Gabbi looked over her blanket. “I know what you two are trying to do.” She staggered up from the blankets, carefully holding her coffee mug in front of her. “And it’s working.”
Emma laughed. “All right, let’s talk about cabinets. Do you want to use these or start with new ones?”
“Can we afford new?” asked Gabbi, hopefully.
“If you go with less expensive appliances and keep the flooring you already have,” Emma replied. “Looking at them, I think these cabinets are in pretty good shape though.”
“What about the butler’s pantry?” Moira asked. “I’m not much of a cook, but I love those glass upper cabinets.
Emma looked at Gabbi. “You’ve been holding out on me. Why didn’t you mention the butler’s pantry last night?”
“I was cooking!” Gabbi took another big sip of coffee. “Come on, I’ll give you the grand tour. Didn’t you see all this before?”
“Not the formal areas. At least, not for a long time. Maggie stayed in the back and library when she was home.” Emma followed Gabbi into the butler’s pantry.
“Callie, do you want anything? You can take a shower upstairs if you like.” Moira walked over to the pile of blankets. “You have about forty-five minutes before you need to leave.”
“Actually, that would be wonderful. A hot shower without little boys coming in to help me.” She giggled. “Can we have these parties once a week?”
Moira smiled. “I think we’ll start with once a month, like Emma suggested last night. It will be a fun way to meet new people and get the house opened up more often. We don’t use half of it.”
Callie looked around. “I still haven’t seen the sunroom or really looked at the formal rooms.”
“Grab a shower and then come back down. I’ll give you the grand tour before you leave,” Moira promised, pouring more coffee into Callie’s mug.
“All right, I’m up.” Callie said, carefully walked over the pile of blankets.
“Upstairs, take a left, then the bathroom is on your right.” Moira took the coffee pot into the dining room and refilled mugs for Emma and Gabbi.
“These cabinets are beautiful,” Emma was saying. “We could cut out the wood and add glass to the upper cabinets by the sink and maybe on each side of the range if you like this look.”
“That would be wonderful.” Gabbi smiled. “I like a kitchen where you can see all the dishes and food you use every day.”
Half an hour later, Moira was giving Callie a quick tour of the other rooms. As they finished, they walked over to the entry. Emma picked up her jacket, and was starting down the hall, when Moira opened the front door and gasped.
“Oh, no! Gabbi, come here!” Moira yelled for her cousin, while pushing Callie behind her and slamming the door. She locked it and turned back towards them.
“What is it?” demanded Emma.
“What’s wrong?” Gabbi came running in from the kitchen.
“Look out the sidelight.” Moira was shaking a little. She crossed her arms in front of her and said, “Gabbi, get a phone. I need to call Jack.”
Emma looked out the window with Callie behind her. Gabbi brought Moira the phone, then looked out the sidelight herself. “What kind of idiot sprays red paint on a slate gray porch floor?” she demanded.
Moira dialed Jack’s cell number. “Voicemail,” she said to the room in general. She dialed again. “I need to speak to Detective Jack Stewart immediately. Well, find him. This is Moira Dunbar. I have his sister with me, and we have been threatened at my home.” She paced back and forth as she waited. “Jack, this is Moira. Callie and Emma are here with us.” She paused. “Yes, they stayed over last night. Someone has painted a message on our front porch in red paint. It says, SELL OR DIE.”
Join us next week for the another chapter of The Magic of Burrows Bay!