Joyce Lavene writes bestselling mystery with her husband/partner Jim. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. She lives in rural North Carolina with her family, her cat, Quincy, and her rescue dog, Rudi. Visit her at www.joyceandjimlavene.com, Facebook/JoyceandJimLavene.com. Twitter: @authorjlavene, http://romanceofmystery.blogspot.com.
Here's an excerpt of A Haunting Dream:
The moonlight made a white band out of Duck Road as it moved through the center of town. I followed it, winding down the silent streets, until I reached the shore of the Atlantic. There was a hazy quality to the sea that night. The waves were so calm, it was almost like looking at the Currituck Sound on the other side of town.
I stood on the shore and stared out at the water like so many of my Banker relatives had for centuries in the past. The Atlantic was the lifeblood of Duck and the other older towns on the island. Our ancestors scratched out a living here by taking in cargo that was lost to what came to be known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
Hundreds of ships went down here. Some because of the treacherous waters, others because of the local pirates, and a few here and there due to Banker tricks that caused no small amount of disaster. People did what they had to if they wanted to survive. Those weren’t easy times. Cut off from the mainland—no bridges then—life had been difficult.
As I followed the line of the sky with my eyes, I saw what looked like an old wooden ship. It was huge and was under full sail. It looked heavy and cargo rich—a Spanish galleon, if I wasn’t mistaken.
“The Andalusia,” I barely breathed aloud.
It was a legend, a ghost ship that went down with all hands onboard and a treasure of what most people believed to be over twenty-five million dollars in today’s currency. The ship was destroyed in 1721, never to be seen again as a real vessel. But many people had seen it down through the years, sailing across the water. People in Duck took it as an ill omen.
All of my life had been spent here, but I’d never seen this before. As I watched it, thrilled and terrified at the same time, I knew it couldn’t be anything else. The ship, even though it looked heavy with cargo, wasn’t quite resting on the dark water. A light that wasn’t part of the moon glow filled it, creating an aura around it.
I’d heard people say that seeing the ghost ship had transfixed them. They’d walked for miles looking at it. I felt the same way—captivated by the sight of it. I couldn’t look away.
I started walking along the beach, trying to keep pace with the ghostly galleon. Except for that light and the glow from the moon, it was very dark along the water. I stumbled into a ditch in the sand, created by rain running off from the island. It was still very wet from the tail end of a hurricane we’d had recently. I lost my balance and sank to my knees in the soft sand.
I put my hands out to keep myself steady. I didn’t want to look away from the Andalusia, but I had no choice if I wanted to get back on my feet.
I looked down at the sand and saw a face with wide open eyes looking back at me.
The mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O’Donnell, is a woman with a gift for finding lost things. When her boyfriend Kevin’s ex-fiancée Ann arrives in Duck looking for a second chance, Dae suddenly finds herself facing certain heartache. And while her romantic life is in shambles, she’s even more concerned by the sudden change in her gift. After touching a medallion owned by a local named Chuck Sparks, Dae is shocked when her vision reveals his murder—and a cry for help. Dae doesn’t know what to make of the dead man’s plea to “Help her,” until she has another vision about a kidnapped girl—Chuck’s daughter, Betsy. With a child missing, the FBI steps in to take over the case. But Dae can’t ignore her visions of Betsy, or the fact that Kevin’s psychic ex-fiancé might be the only person who can help find her.
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