My new release MEET ME IN MAINE(Book One of The Blue Harbor Series) brings murder, mystery, and romance to a seaside town.
Sit back, put up your feet, and let me bring mystery and romance to your lives.
Will Logan survive or become the next victim? Elizabeth and David rush to the hospital to find out.
I trailed behind David at the hospital through a maze of corridors, announcements ringing in our ears, overhead fluorescent lights bouncing off the too-white walls. He reached for my hand when my steps slowed, and I took a deep breath. “I hate hospitals.”
“No one likes hospitals, but they’re a necessity.”
I frowned at his response.
A nurse exited as we entered Logan’s room. He lay on the bed, his eyes closed, a white bandage covering the left side of his head, closest to us. His eyes opened at our footsteps, and Logan tilted his head to see us.
I ran past the empty bed to reach him. “How are you?” I extended my hand before dropping it at my side. “We should have brought flowers or a gift.”
His slow grin made my heart flutter. “I don’t need gifts, just you.”
David cleared his throat.
Logan chuckled. “I need you too.”
“What happened?” His eyes flashing, David sauntered to the opposite side of the bed.
Logan glanced at him. “All business, no ‘how do you feel’ from you?”
“You’re conscious.” David cocked an eyebrow. “So, you’re fine.”
I inched closer to the bed and touched his hand. “What happened?”
Logan looked at me, his gray eyes softening, his chiseled face gaunt. “I spotted two men lurking on the pier behind the fish restaurant, so I tracked them until they ambushed me on a side street. While I was tackling one of them, the other hit me. The next thing I remember is waking in the hospital attached to tubes.”
“Did you recognize them?” David paced at the foot of the second bed, waiting in the shadows for its next patient, its lights and machinery dark.
Logan faced him with a disdainful expression. “They wore hoodies and dark clothing.”
“That’s it?” David halted, his expression grim.
A grunt escaped Logan’s lips. “Let me see you identify someone who bashed you on the head.”
“I was just checking.” David shrugged. “We’ve been attacked before.”
Logan frowned. “Thanks for the show of sympathy.”
I squeezed his hand. “Did you hear about the woman?”
“I was there.”
“Why were you there?” David asked, his voice hardening.
“The chief heard rumors of an attack at tonight’s opening.” Logan closed his eyes. “He asked me to check the restaurant.”
“The chief expected an attack?” I let go of his hand. “Scarlett was there.”
He opened his eyes, giving me a glassy stare. “I didn’t know until I saw her and Jonathan.” Logan winced. “I was approaching Scarlett when the woman… I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry.” I grabbed his hands in both of mine. “They could have killed you. You should rest.”
David grunted and strode from the room.
“We’ll return tomorrow.” I gave Logan a wistful look before hurrying after David into the corridor.
While he marched ahead of me to the nurses’ station, his tense words drifted to me over his shoulder, “I’m going to speak to the nurses before I drive you home.”
I waited as three nurses surrounded him, eager to answer his questions. After nodding to them, David led me to an empty lounge. “Do you need to sit?”
I shook my head.
“Logan has a severe concussion… they’re taking him for an MRI.”
“Poor Logan; you could have been nicer to him.”
“He has a thick head. This isn’t his first concussion or mine.”
“Are you trying to comfort me?” I frowned. “Your technique isn’t working.”
David shoved his hands into his pockets. “I guess not.” He searched my face. “I’ll take you home… I’m sorry for the way our date ended.”
“It wasn’t your fault.”
“Blue Harbor has an awful habit of interfering in my life,” he said as we followed the twisting hallways to the exit.
At my apartment, he stood in the hallway, watching me. “I’ll wait until you lock the door behind you.”
I unlocked the door, stepped inside, and turned to him.
A hooded expression crossed his face. “I’ll call you tomorrow.” The soulful chords of Tchaikovsky’s “Pas de Deux” from The Nutcracker drifted from his jacket. He pulled the offending cell phone from his pocket, glancing at the screen. “The chief is calling. Lock the door,” he said, backing into the hallway and motioning to the lock.
Let us return to MEET ME IN MAINE for the next chapter. Will our heroines be faced with another dead body?
David parked between the police cruisers blocking the street in front of a brown, shack-looking building, flashing red lights illuminating the bystanders standing in groups on the sidewalk. We hurried beneath the hanging wood sign, Blue Sea, and into the restaurant. A whiff of fish hit me as we entered. Round tables rimmed the perimeter, where three walls of windows faced the pier and moonlit water. A circular bar with bamboo stools took center stage in the darkened room. The half-eaten dishes filling the glass tabletops and the fallen bamboo chairs hinted at the patrons’ quick retreat. Police milled around a table beneath a shattered window sprayed with blood in the right corner.
David stepped in front of me when I gasped, blocking my view of the scene. “Stay here.”
“No buts.” He took my arm and guided me to a chair and a small table beside the front door. “Don’t move until I return.” Then he rushed to join the officers.
“I can’t believe there’s a murder during the grand opening,” a woman’s voice near me whispered.
“Yeah. And this time, it’s a woman,” a high-pitched voice replied. The police shooed them to the far left corner, where the other customers waited in a tight group, quiet and grim-faced.
I jumped to my feet, jarred by the thought: Jonathan had taken Scarlett to a new restaurant on a pier. What if the body belonged to her? I hurried across the room to where David stood beside the chief.
“Is it Scarlett?” I clutched David’s arm, getting a glimpse of a headless body draped across the table. So much blood. The woman wore a black dress. She wore a black dress, while Scarlett had twirled in a red dress for me.
“No.” David yanked me from the scene, but I’d seen enough: blood covered the window, table, and floor. He scowled at me, gripping my arm. “Why didn’t you listen to me?”
I tugged my arm from his grasp. “I was afraid it was Scarlett; she and Jonathan went to a new restaurant on a pier tonight.”
David pointed to the left. “She’s standing with Jonathan. Go join them.” He marched away as I slunk toward them.
“Elizabeth.” Scarlett wrapped her arms around me. “What are you doing here?”
“The chief interrupted our date,” I replied, nodding to Jonathan.
“Why?” Scarlett narrowed her teary eyes at me.
I sank into the chair Jonathan had brought me. “Logan was attacked.”
“Is Logan okay?” Jonathan asked.
“The chief didn’t sound concerned.”
Jonathan said, “Lively is only worried about his career.”
“What happened?” I asked. “I saw the body.”
Scarlett twisted her hands together. “We were eating at a table beside the window. The view was spectacular; there was music and plenty of tequila flowing. Then a woman’s head exploded at the next table. The woman sitting with her got covered with her friend’s blood before she screamed and fainted. Once the ambulance arrived, the paramedics revived the second woman and helped her to her feet. She didn’t appear hurt… but soaked in blood.” Scarlett grimaced as she gulped for air.
“Does this happen often?” I squinted at Jonathan in the dim light. “This is the second dead body we’ve seen in two days.”
“We’re having an outbreak of violent episodes.” He dragged shaky fingers through his shaggy blonde hair. “In March, two people turned to stone.”
“What do you mean they turned to stone?” Scarlett grabbed his arm.
Jonathan patted her hand before directing her to a chair across from mine. “Two new statues appeared on the dock, resembling a husband and wife living in Blue Harbor. The couple went missing as the statues appeared out of thin air.”
“You believe the couple turned to stone?” I asked, shaking my head at this absurd thought.
“The chief does.” He stared at the police surrounding the dead body. “He’s investigating with the help of Logan and David.”
My opinion of Lively plummeted to even lower than before. “I understand Lively having bizarre fantasies but not Logan or David.”
Jonathan looked at me. “This is a peculiar town.”
“These episodes have happened before?” I asked.
He nodded, his expression solemn.
“Have they called the FBI?” Scarlett asked, her eyes widening.
He shook his head. “Lively wants to keep it local; he doesn’t want the Feds traipsing through his crime scenes.”
“But if the chief can’t solve the crimes, he needs help.” Scarlett lowered her face. “This is ridiculous, and the whole situation borders on the ludicrous.”
Jonathan hunched on his knees in front of her, his bright blue eyes focused on Scarlett’s face. “I shouldn’t be telling you, but the town has secrets.” He shook his head, stopping himself from speaking further. “I shouldn’t be divulging them to strangers.”
Scarlett raised her face. “We aren’t strangers but will soon be owners of an inn.”
“What?” I stood, my head spinning. “When did you decide to stay?”
She turned tired eyes to me. “We can’t leave now.”
“No. You can’t leave.” Jonathan lifted her hand, bringing it to his lips. “We just met.”
“Wait a second.” I sat as the surrounding voices became muffled in my ringing ears. “The contract requires two signatures. And one is mine.”
“You don’t want to live here?” a deep voice whispered.
I turned my head to David. “My plans don’t include moving to a town of exploding heads and people turning to stone, where a psycho killer fulfills his delusions of grandeur by using Blue Harbor as his evil playpen.”
He took my hand, bringing me to my feet. “I can help make this town peaceful again.” His penetrating gaze pierced through me. “Please, let me try.”
“I don’t know.” I swallowed the lump growing in my throat.
“Give me a chance to make this right.” David wrapped an arm around my waist, backing me against his hard body, his warm breath tickling my ear. “I’ll keep you safe. I promise.”
I leaned against him with a sigh.
“I’m going to visit Logan at the hospital? Do you want to join me?”
I raised my face to his beseeching stare.
“We’re joining you.” Scarlett jumped to her feet.
When a police officer blocked her and Jonathan from leaving, David said to her, “You have questions to answer first,” before turning to me and extending his hand, “Join me, please.”
I took his hand and followed him past the officers surrounding the bloody scene to the police cars and camera crews flashing their lights across the night sky. When a reporter shoved a mic at my face, David pulled me against him and said, “No comment,” before leading me to his car.
I settled in my seat, my thoughts jumbled, my heart pounding. I don’t want to live in Blue Harbor, where the unusual becomes the usual. Then I glanced at David; Iwas not ready to say goodbye to him.
“Elizabeth and Scarlett are young, attractive and independent women who buy a B&B in Blue Harbor Maine with romantic ideas about the quaint town and being in business for themselves. Instead, they walk into a decades-old nest of violence and prejudice, where dead bodies pile up day after day and a curse hangs over Blue Harbor like a guillotine. An epidemic of mistrust infects the townspeople as they worry who or what the killers are and who will be the next victim of The Curse. Events stymie even the police who are ready to assess blame on the two women, without any substantive evidence. Romantic entanglements complicate every aspect of a mystery that grows deeper moment by moment. Navigating the labyrinth of characters, clues, suspicions, frights and paranormal happenings keeps you turning the pages. Leist has created a breezy cozy mystery, a clean read that is suitable for teens and adults alike. Her writing is descriptive without weighing down the plot, and she keeps up the energy and momentum throughout. A good fun read that is very well written.”
Please wash away my sorrow and pain. Let it flow down the streets with the rain, Dissolved in torrents of despair and sadness, Joining others on their way past the madness.
The ocean may take it far away, To places we cannot even say, Where no one recognizes its sting Or knows the infliction it can bring.
Let the rain grow harder with its might, Becoming hail on this fateful night. I want to be free of all traces Of unwanted feelings and faces.
My body grows cold from the rain. I stand clean and free from the pain. Shivers create a path down my spine As I wait in the dark woods of pine. I hold my head high to the wet spray. It becomes a mist of blue and gray. The faucet has beenturned off for the night, Leaving me feeling clean and all right.
MURDERS AND LOVERS
I don’t need to fight the snowdrifts.
I’ll stay inside with the misfits.
The ones who prefer books
that grab you with their hooks.
The fire is getting low
as the strong winds begin to blow.
I snuggle farther beneath the covers
as I read about murders and lovers.
A rare commodity is solitude.
It can be easily misunderstood.
To be all alone with no one else around.
You can do this in the air or on the ground.
You can sail off in the blue sea,
Or hop on a plane without me.
We can all use some time alone
Without T.V. or telephone.
Time to think about your goal.
You will come back feeling whole.
A Darkness To My Soul
The black abyss grabs hold,
Taking me to its soul.
Reflections of hell and beyond,
Pushing me deep and far.
Away from the light of day,
I have no need to pray.
Take me to the bottom,
Where no human has tread.
Away from humanity and light,
I have made my dark bed.
CLOSER TO THE BLUE
Puffy clouds appear far and few
In the aqua sky, so brand new.
I sink deeper into the white sand,
My heart beats like a marching band.
If I close my eyes tight,
will I see paradise this night?
It takes me back to the time
When everything had been fine.
Fantasy, I beseech thee.
Return me so I can roam free.
Take me back to the shore.
Where I’d been happy before.
SING ME A SONG
Sing me a song.
Write a melody
Of times gone by
And moments lost in time.
Stroke the keys.
Massage the ivories.
Raise your voice high
So I can hear your words.
Words of hope and loss.
Sing them loud and clear.
Stories of faraway places
And times that are gone.
I close my eyes.
I can hear your words.
I see your fingersas they
Glide across the keys.
The words take flight.
They reverberate through time.
They leave your lips
And land on mine.
A sweet melody
To soothe my advancing years.
A pretty song
To fill my empty heart.
Look to the glowing skies,
Magic before my eyes.
Snow flutters to the ground
Without even a sound.
Masking the dirt with white,
So pretty and so bright.
I hope it can remain this way,
A blanket for one more day.
Thank you for joining me as I shared a sample of my poetry. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed composing them.