Monday, September 3, 2018

Alyssa Richards Presents The Haunting of Alcott Manor - Became Personal Favorite for 2018!

She could imagine how the manor had once been, remembering what her father had shared with her during the times they had talked about his desire for her to help him with a restoration project... which she had, definitely, no wishes to take on--especially if it was true there were ghosts in the manor... living there from the 1800s when a murder had taken place. Still, it was a beautiful home at one time and she could understand why her father wanted to finish the job. But he had said he needed her special skills in order to do it...

Finally, her father had admitted that, if she didn't help, he was going to lose the business since he needed the final money for the remainder of the project to just break even. She knew now she didn't have a choice; she agreed to clear the exterior land around the manor. She knew there had once been roses which were loved by the lady of the manor. She could start searching for problems there... "Clearing" meant that, with special words and chants, Gemma was able to eliminate any evil activities from land that had been corrupted. She would start with where Anna had been killed... And at the same time, she was already deciding to cover that now-dead spot with new, fresh roses, using both new and old ones, just in different places. She wanted to have as much of the exterior improvements done as well.

But on the way, they had all been looking toward the manor and didn't see the vehicle moving fast toward them. It hit and her father had to be rushed to the hospital... Gemma had no choice now; she would have to take her father's place and finish the project, both inside and outside... Was this what the warning had been about?

It was the wind that stopped her. Not the force of it, but the message it carried on its course. Cold air tumbled over warm currents, whipping around her legs and across her chest. It swirled about her body like a lover who simultaneously promised what was next and took control to make it come about.

Seventies rock blasted in her ears and she slowed her run. Her feet stopped their rhythmic pounding on the packed sand of Stinson Beach. Her beach. She tried to catch her breath and searched the deep lapis waves that rode toward her. It was cold air that blew over the warm, a pattern her mother said meant that upheaval rode on the appearance of calm. 
“No,” Gemma said between gasps for air. Her voice was low. Determined. Firm. “Not again.” 
She pulled the earbuds from her ears, stared at the waves that rolled over the depths of the ocean, and the wind settled as though backing down from her challenge. It switched to a sun-warmed draft that caressed her face and neck. Something tingled inside of her from it, like the effects of a possessive kiss. An awakening, a calling. The result of an event already put into motion. She tried to cast aside her mother’s Native American wisdom, especially because it had proven itself right more often than she liked. “Stay away.” 
Her voice held no mercy and no patience. She fit the earbuds into her ears again and cranked up the volume. The gray shingles and glass of her house were in her sight now. She ran toward it with all the speed she had left, along with the sinking feeling that this wind pattern was signaling yet something else she couldn’t outrun.

The Haunting of Alcott Manor

By Alyssa Richards

Gemma had always been afraid of ghosts, which was both ironic and understandable. Her mother was a ghost whisperer, and had worked with many of those who had not yet crossed over at their death. Her special gift added to the cleansing of the land and buildings they renovated. Gemma had met up with one of those, very close and personal, and had no desire to see any more. The thing was she couldn't see them, but knowing and hearing what was happening was enough. Now she was going to have to fill in for her mother as well, now wondering if her mother's death on this job had been natural as they had been told.

Now, in order to save her father's company, she would have to deal with whatever came... and it would be a lot! Because of a local event, she realized that she would have to stay at the manor and was headed in that direction. A man in the manor had seen the crash so knew what had happened. He greeted Gemma at the door. Almost immediately, the man, who Gemma assumed was the owner, tried to prevent her from staying, noting that once again the renovation project would fail... There were two parts of the descendants in town and one part wanted the home place restored, while others wanted to tear it down and sell it for new construction. 

Readers will wonder along the way if some of what was happening was actually done by the family members who wanted it destroyed... But the author has written this novel so tightly that few if any hints are able to be picked up...unless maybe you're psychic...  So I was personally disgusted that I hadn't picked up on those few clues when I learned everything at the ending...LOL Seriously, I actually loved the story and have added it as a personal favorite for 2018! This contemporary but gothic story is just the type of book I read in my early life... You know, the dark mysterious man with whom the woman who comes in to work falls in love...

And that's exactly what happened... For Gemma, even while fighting to stay and work with the owner, Mr. Alcott, she was also admiring the handsome young man standing before her.  The owner? He had already started to have thoughts as he'd watched her at the scene of the accident, immediately realizing he was attracted to her flaming red hair...and more...

When their arguing continued, the owner finally gave in, with a provision. She was to hunt for and find the lost suicide note from Anna, who had died many years ago. Gemma knew it was an impossible thing, but agreed so that she could work on the restoration... 

But that first night, when she entered the room she had been assigned, she screamed, seeing the bloody dead body of Anna, surely, lying on the bed she was to use, with her daughter crying for her mama in the background...Gemma turned and ran out of the house, not willing to return...

The owner led her to an outside connected but separate room and there she spent the night. That night was the first she would have the owner watching over her to protect her...

Readers delve into the restoration as Gemma begins implementing the plans that had already been made,

but still took time whenever possible to search the upstairs rooms, which had been finished, for the hidden note, making a rather startling discovery that the master bedroom was, well, done in red and wondered what her new boss thought about that! She did not, and would not go back into Anna's previous bedroom, even though the body and sounds were clearly ghosts, and they mostly came out at night...

Of course, the love affair began quickly and steadily grew, while around the two lovers ghosts, secret rooms and other damage was being done, sometimes as soon as the restoration work had been completed. They had a deadline, the two opposing families had gone to court and they were required by the judge to show a substantial improvement on the manor by a certain date. 

The twists and turns of what goes on in a haunted house began to come more often, as the days moved toward the day on which Anna had died was to arrive. Visions of past lives frequented the house and Gemma was startled to see that the two employees who had earlier died on the job...were now part of the household staff...

The owner was right, she needed to be careful that she was not seduced by the house itself there...

Nothing too scary except when Gemma met the previous owner of the house, close up...and the hidden places were fun while Gemma would figure out what might have happened, based upon what she was learning from Mr. Alcott. This is such an amazing, unique story and the ending was, spectacularly surprising! How cool! If you enjoy paranormal mixed with romantic suspense, you've got to check this one out! It's a personal favorite for me so I consider it a must-read if this sounds like your type of story!


**Start reading Alyssa's best selling Fine Art of Deception Series with book 1: The Fine Art of Deception for FREE on Amazon! Read all of Alyssa's books for FREE with KINDLE UNLIMITED**

ALYSSA RICHARDS is the Amazon best selling author of The Fine Art of Deception series and The Haunting of Alcott Manor series - a contemporary gothic trilogy.

She loves living in the South with her husband and two children. She also loves good espresso, her rescue dogs, magnolias and gardenias, and, of course, reading a great book. She grew up running barefoot in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where her favorite weekly adventure was a trip to the library with her mom.

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