Read CnC 4 A Harvest of Bones Online

Authors: Yasmine Galenorn

Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Mystery & Detective, #Women Sleuths, #Mystery Fiction, #Single Mothers, #Occult Fiction, #Washington (State), #Ghost Stories, #Women Mediums, #Tearooms

CnC 4 A Harvest of Bones

BOOK: CnC 4 A Harvest of Bones
7.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Table of Contents
Unearthed and Unearthly
“Come here! Look at this!” Joe’s excited cry startled us. We hurried over. The men had torn away a patch of brush, exposing the full scope of the basement.
As the light filtered down into the chamber, softly illuminating the dark corners, a chill of excitement raced up my back. Chances were, nobody had seen this basement for almost fifty years. The entire basement was covered with thick layers of mulch. We couldn’t reach the stairway due to the tendrils and vines that still blocked our path.
My heart quickened as I stared at the mammoth chamber. “Oh my God, this is huge.”
Murray stepped away from the edge. “Em, I don’t like it. Something feels wrong down there.”
As I gazed down at the charred beams, a rush of wind swept past, and once again I thought I could hear a faint moan.
“I know what you mean. I thought I heard someone cry out last night when we first found this. A woman, screaming …”
Chintz ’n China Mysteries
“The perfect book to curl up with.”

The Mystery Reader
“A truly charismatic, down-to-earth character … Don’t miss this charming first book in the series. I look forward to the next one.”—
“A very appealing series with some very scary stuff. Thank goodness there’s a charm included!”
“A refreshingly innovative paranormal mystery that will appeal to a wide range of mystery aficionados.”

Midwest Book Review
Chintz ’n China Mysteries by Yasmine Galenorn
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
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(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
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Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr. Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,
South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / December 2005
Copyright © 2005 by Yasmine Galenorn.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-00791-4
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
The name BERKLEY PRIME CRIME and the BERKLEY PRIME CRIME design are trademarks
belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Always and forever
to my beloved Samwise.
Our love abides and grows
Through both sorrow and joy.
And to all the orphaned cats and dogs,
Waiting in alleys, hiding in abandoned buildings,
Who are hoping against hope to find their “forever” home.
Thank you to the usual crew: Linda Parker, Barbara Etlin, and Alexandra Ash, my beta readers on this one; Christine Zika, my editor; Meredith Bernstein, my agent, for believing in me.
Love and thanks to our cats for bringing such joy to our lives. When two of them were lost, I thought I’d go crazy. I want to thank the wonderful regulars on the Petsforum Cats Forum for helping me keep it together through two weeks of hell I never want to go through again.
Thanks to my wonderful Warpies for all their support. To my sister, Wanda. To Margie, Vicki, Siduri, Ceu, Carl, Theresa, Tiffany, and Brad—good friends all. Daniela, for being a dear and providing the German translations for me.
My readers—old and new. Without you, we authors would be lost.
And of course, Mielikki, Tapio, Rauni, and Ukko, my spiritual guardians, gods, and guides.
If you wish to contact me, you can through my website:
I’d like to make a plea here: Spay and neuter your pets; support your local cat and dog rescue organizations. And please, if you can, offer a good home to an orphaned fur-baby. Consider opening your heart to those animals who are waiting for someone to take them home.
Lastly, remember: Sometimes when we harvest the fruits of our labors, we end up with more than we expect. Sometimes we must delve into old secrets in order to put them to rest. Sometimes love crosses all boundaries and barriers, no matter who or what tries to stop it. May you find love in your life, and may all your harvests be fruitful.
Bright blessings to all,
the Painted Panther
Yasmine Galenorn
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror’s magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed,
“I am half sick of shadows,” said
The Lady of Shalott.
The Lady of Shalott
Love is not changed by Death,
And nothing is lost
And all in the end is harvest.
From Brigit’s Journal:
The house is remarkably big, and there are so many things to remember. I hope I do well. Mr. Edward rather frightens me, though the Missus is nice enough.
I didn’t know school would be so expensive; they were very firm on that account—they don’t accept charity cases and I’ve no resources or family to whom I can turn.
My only hope is to save up enough money to try again. I’m disappointed, of course, but at least this situation is better than starving. It won’t be so bad. The time will pass quickly, and I’m used to the work—I’ve never been spoiled or without chores to do. And I’m sure that in a couple of years, I’ll be able to carry out my original plans. I just have to bide my time, mind my manners, and do what is expected of me until then. At least they let me have a cat—bless them for that. My Mab is such a darling, and she’ll be good company for me when I need to talk about my troubles. I learned long ago, best to turn to animals for that, they can’t tell yours secrets. Even a diary isn’t safe from prying eyes. But a cat will listen, and keep her silence for you.
“JEEZUZ!” AN ARGIOPE darted across my hand, off the branch I was holding. A second later, both tree limb and spider went flying. The striped orb weavers had grown fat on the last of the autumn insects; now their webs stretched in a parade through the tangle of brambles, silken strands shimmering under the feeble sunlight glinting through the buildup of clouds.
As long as they stayed where they belonged I could handle them, but we’d invaded their territory, put them on high alert, leading to more than one scare when I pulled a vine out of the way here or moved a branch there. Still, despite the thorns and arachnids and chilled sweat running down my forehead, I was having fun.
I still couldn’t believe it. To my delight, Joe had actually gone and bought the lot next door to my house. Even though it resulted in weed-whacking duty for me, I was happy. When he began making noises about making things between us permanent I’d been nervous at first, not because I didn’t love him, but because I’d been burned in the past—bad. But he was proving himself through his actions, and that was worth far more than a bunch of empty promises.
The early autumn had been mild with an Indian summer, but October came roaring in with a vengeance. A windstorm whipped through Chiqetaw, bringing with it gusts of sixty-five miles per hour, and rain had pounded down for days. All of western Washington was on flood watch—not unusual for this time of year, but still nerve-racking. Jimbo fretted because Goldbar Creek had crested a foot over height, flooding the back part of his woods where we’d found his friend Scar’s body, and Harlow fussed about having to drive the long way into town in order to avoid a washout on the shortcut she and James usually took.
About halfway through the month, though, we finally hit a clear spot and the meteorologist promised us dry weather—give or take a few showers—just in time for my birthday, which was on Halloween. Considering that he worked at KLIK-TV, I had my doubts about the accuracy of the forecast, but hey, I could dream, couldn’t I?
So when Joe suggested I take a week off to help him clear out his new property, I decided, why not? He needed the help and I needed a break. I’d just finished a grueling three-day stint at the store, catering to the Washington Tea Tasters Society during their annual conference. The event left the Chintz ’n China spotty on inventory, but with a tidy profit. So I placed enough orders for the holiday season, told Cinnamon the store was hers for the week, and promised to drop in every day or so to make sure things were running smoothly.
I stood back and took a deep breath, surveying the inroads we’d made on the mountains of blackberries. It had taken almost all day, but Joe and I’d managed to clear out the longest brambles, fighting our way through thorn and thistle. They were so thick and tall in places that we ended up pruning away at the ends until we could get close enough to clip the vines off at the ground. Then came the chore of digging them out, trying to get as many of the suckers as possible, along with the main root stem. I’d already punctured myself in a dozen places even though I was wearing heavy gardening gloves. At least I’d been smart enough to wear jeans and high-top boots, or my legs would be a bloody mess by now.
BOOK: CnC 4 A Harvest of Bones
7.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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