I’ve had a lot of fun participating in the Egg-cerpt Exchange, in which authors have been exchanging excerpts on their blog between Feb. 13 and March 31. Today I am hosting the organizer, Tina Gayle, who shares a scene from Summer’s Growth – 1st Book in the “Family Tree” series. Tina also shared one of my excerpts from Twenty-Five Years Ago Today on her blog.
Forced by the family spirits to get a life, Mattie Winston has to train her replacement Amber Harrison to be in charge of all the workings of the Winston estate. Reluctant to make changes in her life, Mattie forms a bond with Amber, when strange accidents start happening which threaten their lives and an unknown ghost makes an appearance. After being rescued by an old flame, Quincy Miller, Mattie faces old wounds of rejection. As the general contractor for Amber’s redecoration project, Mattie is in constant contact with Quincy and realizes she still in love with her childhood sweetheart. Amber, learning her new role in the family, wants to discover the identity of the ghost who keeps appearing. After several appearances, Gwen, Amber’s distance grandmother, shifts the book into more of Amber’s struggle to find out why her grandmother disappeared two hundred years ago without a trace. In a fight to claim her position in the family, Amber searches for clues to solve the mystery.
Mattie and Amber are both challenged when the family spirits decides Amber shouldn’t be the keeper. Battling for Amber, Mattie realizes she wants a life with Quincy outside the Winston estate. Amber realized the importance of her new spiritual family, and she works to discover how Gwen died.
Can these two women achieve their goals?
Read the first chapter at
Standing by the bay window in the front room, Mattie watched the car approach. Her new recruit’s arrival had goose bumps popping out on Mattie’s skin, adding to her anxieties.
She wanted to run, but instead glanced at the kindhearted spirit of Opal, her distant grandmother. Dressed in her best early American gown, the many layers of her petticoat swished with a soft hiss when she moved.
“There’s no reason to be nervous. Once you meet Amber, you’ll see she caps the climax,” Opal voiced in a soothing tone. “Your Aunt Rachel is absolutely thrilled to have a descendant from her branch of the family as keeper.”
Looking beyond her at the rest of the room, Mattie searched for the other members of the family council. They always offered her their support when she faced a big decision. Yet, today they were conspicuously absent.
“Don’t worry. The whole family is behind you. We just thought it better if we didn’t all hover.”
Shifting from foot to foot, she wrung her hands together. A simple process of a changing of the guard for them, Amber’s arrival marked the end of the life Mattie loved.
The beautiful spirits around her didn’t understand how cruel humans could be to each other. What if she screwed up and the girl left? Or the girl hated living with a house full of spirits?
Unease pricked at Mattie’s mind. She had no experience in dealing with strangers. All her business associates understood her likes and didn’t force her to attend any social events.
A quick glance out the window, and a car rounded the fountain. She wasn’t prepared to entertain Amber. How could she be? She never invited guests to the estate.
“Now, Pumpkin, there’s no need to worry. It’s time another branch of the family realize what a pain it is to be keeper.” Opal smiled, offering her special form of reassurance. “We’re all here to help with the transition.”
The high notes of Beethoven’s Fifth sprang from the piano. Mattie jumped in surprise at the sudden noise. She whipped around to see Uncle Samuel, the artist of the family, standing next to the piano.
“The game is afoot.” He arched his eyebrows and grinned, then disappeared.
“I’d better leave.” Her aunt patted Mattie’s shoulder. “Just remember, the girl is uneasy too.”
With a deep breath, Mattie turned and gripped the cold metal knob in her hand.
Soon her home would belong to a stranger, and then what would she do?