A few weeks till SHADOW SILENCE the second Whisper Hollow book comes out! This will be the last book I will be able to sign over at Seattle Mystery Bookshop, given the shift I’m taking to indie. Preorder from there before September 27th to ensure a copy, if you want a signed copy of one of my books.
By the time I got all my bags and the tub of my father’s things into the house, I was thoroughly chilled and hungry. As I slid out of my coat, Gabby began rubbing around my legs and sniffing my jeans.
“Yes, I’m home. What have you been doing with yourself? Have you and your brother and sister been good babies?” I turned on the flame beneath the teakettle, then popped a couple of pieces of bread into the toaster. I glanced through the refrigerator, trying to find something quick and easy to eat with my toast. Finally, I opened a can of soup, poured it into a large mug, added a little water, and put it in the microwave. By then my toast was ready, and I buttered it and set it on the table. I poured the steaming water into the teapot and added raspberry tea bags, and carried that over to the table. Finally, my soup was ready, and I settled myself in a chair to eat, and poured a cup of tea.
I thought about the Fae creature. While the meeting was fresh in my mind, I called Ivy and left a message that I needed to talk to her, Ellia, and Oriel— they would be gone all day at the Matriarchs’ tea. Then I went back to my lunch as the storm railed outside.
By the time I finished eating, I had finally warmed up enough to stop shivering. I carried my dishes to the sink, then turned back to stare at the tub of my father’s effects. I wasn’t sure what I was going to find in there, and I wasn’t even sure how I felt about opening it. So much had happened in the past couple of months to change the way I felt about him. I had gone from secretly hating him because I believed he abandoned my mother and me, to mourning the fact that he had been murdered. The shift was abrupt and difficult, leaving me with a massive dose of guilt about ever doubting him in the first place.
I approached the tub cautiously, circling the table. I knew that Ivy wouldn’t give me anything to distress me, but I still felt like I was entering alien territory. Finally, I reached out and removed the cover. As I edged my way over to peek inside, I felt someone watching me. I turned around, and there, in my kitchen, was a glowing white wolf. Bryan was also a white wolf, but he was actually alive. This was a spirit— the spirit of my father.
“Avery, I didn’t expect to see you.” In fact I had seen him once, when he led us to the remains of my mother and himself. Since then, he hadn’t been around. Or if he had, I wasn’t aware of it.
He stared at me, his glowing eyes soft and warm like caramel. I felt invisible arms wrap around me in a gentle embrace, and I wanted to lean in and rest my head on whoever’s shoulder was there. The embrace was protective and caring, and I realized that I was sensing Avery’s spirit in more ways than one.
“Avery, I wish I could’ve known you. I wish you could have survived. My mother loved you so much. I’m sorry for what Duvall did to the both of you.”