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Authors: Lindsey Stiles

Relentless: Three Novels

BOOK: Relentless: Three Novels
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The Haunted Cottage

Telephone Terror

Mrs. Honey Pickle


Lindsey Stiles



Acclaim for the novels of Lindsey Stiles:



“Lindsey Stiles is a rising star in gothic suspense. She is this generation’s Mary Higgins Clark.”

J.R. Rain
, bestselling author of
Moon Dance
Silent Echo


Daddy’s Little Devil
is creepy good fun!”

H.T. Night
, bestselling author of
Vampire Love Story
The Fourth Sunrise


Mommy’s Little Angel
with the lights on!”

Elaine Babich
, bestselling author of
You Never Called Me Princess


Whispered Lies
reminded me a lot of Sandra Brown and Lisa Jackson. A very fun...and very scary book. A star is born.”

P.J. Day
, bestselling author of
King’s Blood
The Sunset Prophecy






Mommy’s Little Angel

Daddy’s Little Devil

Whispered Lies

Mrs. Honey Pickle

The Haunted Cottage

Telephone Terror



Relentless: Three Novels

Published by Lindsey Stiles

Copyright © 2013 by Lindsey Stiles

All rights reserved.


Cover design by Lani at [email protected]


Ebook Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.





The Haunted Cottage


Telephone Terror


Mrs. Honey Pickle


Reading Sample


About the Author






A thriller by


Lindsey Stiles



The Haunted Cottage

Published by Lindsey Stiles

Copyright © 2013 by Lindsey Stiles

All rights reserved.


Ebook Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



The Haunted Cottage




Chapter One



I scowled at the newspaper as I looked through the Apartments for Rent section of the classifieds. There was not a single apartment in my price range. I threw the paper on the coffee table and took a sip from my cup of coffee. That’s when I saw an ad in the Houses for Rent section, which I hadn’t looked in, thinking it would be even more expensive:


Beautiful large cottage, 2bd 2ba

No security deposit or credit check

$500/month, includes utilities

Call Ray at 777-555-3121


In disbelief, I re-read the ad a couple more times. Could this possibly be true? A cottage this cheap and no credit check or security deposit? I called the phone number.

“Hello, may I speak with Ray?”


“My name is Jodie and I’m calling about the cottage in the paper. Is it still available?”

“Yes, it’s still available.”

I began to get excited. “What side of town is it on?”

“The southwest.”

“If the cottage is in the southwest, I don’t understand why the price is so low.”

Ray laughed on the other end. “Would you believe me if I said it was haunted?”

I began to laugh, too. I had never believed in ghosts and I thought that people who did were silly. “I don’t believe in ghosts.”

“Then you shouldn’t have a problem living there.”

“I guess not. When can I see it?”

“Right now, if you’d like.”

“Okay, I have time now.”

“Great, the address is 213 Bruce Street.”

“See ya in a few.”

I got into my Hyundai Accent and headed to the cottage.

Upon arriving at the cottage, I wasn’t too impressed. The paint was peeling off the outside, the weeds needed to be picked and the grass had definitely seen better days. Still, besides the price, there was something about the place that drew me in. A familiarity, or maybe just a sense that I felt a connection with the old place. I envisioned flowers in pots and a shabby chic look that would suit the cottage’s slight case of neglect.

A man came out from the front door, carrying a wrench. “Hello, I’m Ray.” He changed the wrench to his left hand and we shook hands.

“I’m Jodie, nice to meet you.”

“You as well.”

“Everything work in there?”

“Sure. I just put a new faucet in the kitchen.”


Ray led me into the cottage. Despite the neglected look of the exterior, the inside was very nice. It had a large entryway that led to a good-sized kitchen. The walls were freshly painted a crisp white and the old wood floor gleamed with a soft patina.

There was a big island in the middle of the kitchen that could be used as a breakfast bar. The living room was to the right. It had a few windows and a fireplace with a glass front.

He led me down the hall to the first bedroom which was wallpapered in a
Star Wars

“Hey. Neat! My son will love this,” I said.

“You have a son?”

“Yes, he’s five years old.”

“Will it just be the two of you living here?”


He opened a closet in the hallway. “Here’s your washer and dryer . Everything works and is ready to roll.”

“Oh, this is wonderful!”

He grinned. “Okay, as the ad said, there is no credit check or security deposit.”

“Is that because it’s haunted?” I asked, trying not to laugh.

“That’s what the folks that lived here before told me. Actually, three families have lived in this cottage and none of them stayed long.”

“What a shame. The cottage is so charming. It feels like…a home. And that’s what I’m looking for. So, I am not even worried about ghosts in the least.”

“My family has owned this property for forty years and I’ve never seen any ghosts.”

“I am not a believer in the paranormal, so you have nothing to worry about, sir. I am looking for a place to call home for me and my son. I expect to be here for a long time.”

“Where do you work?”

“I teach fifth grade at an elementary school close by.”

“Sounds like this is going to work out for you.”

“I think it will be great. Can I see the rest of the cottage?”

He showed me the rest of the house, and I was quite pleased with the cleanliness, the huge closets and the sunny kitchen.

“I’ll take it,” I said firmly.

“Okay, when can you pay the first month’s rent? Because someone else called and wanted to see it, too.”

“I’ll pay the rent right now.” I pulled out my checkbook and wrote a check for $500.

“Thank you. You can start moving in right away.” He handed me the keys.

“Sounds like a good plan.”

“I’m glad, Jodie. If you need help moving anything in, just ask. I am right across the road.”

“I’m afraid we don’t have much to move in. I haven’t got anything heavy. I just went through a divorce and he got everything. It was either that or pay storage fees because we have been staying with a friend. So, I sort of left everything behind.”


“Well, my son has his twin bed, and we have a small flat-screen TV. I just don’t have a bed or a couch, or even a kitchen table.”

“Well, you’re in luck. The people that lived here last left everything behind because they actually left the state. I’ve been storing it in my garage. I called them and asked when they were going to send someone for it. I heard back that they just wanted me to donate their things. They didn’t want to come back to the so-called haunted cottage.”

“Wow, looks like I am not the only one to start over.”

“We live in a transient society, which is kind of sad. I’ve loved living in this neighborhood. I hope you will, too.”

“It’s a fresh start for Trenton and me.”

“At least once in your life, everyone needs one of those,” he said cryptically.


“Jodie, you’re more than welcome to have what you want of the previous tenants’ household goods. Just come over when you get your own stuff settled in and you can pick up kitchen things and a dinette set with chairs. And there’s a full-size bed with a dresser. Even towels and sheets and pillows. They are all clean; they just need a tumble dry to freshen them.”

“Thank you, that’s very nice of you.”

We said goodbye and I left to pick up my son, Trenton, from kindergarten.

Sitting in the school parking lot, I tried to look as sick as I could. I actually taught fifth grade at Trenton’s school, but I’d had to call in sick this morning, so I could find us a place to live. Because the school had to pay a substitute teacher, it made me feel bad to call in sick when I wasn’t but that cheap cottage would have gotten snapped up long before the weekend. More than that, we had been staying with my friend, Tori, for the past couple of months and the situation had become intolerable.

Tori had a son, Matt, who was three years older than Trenton. The boy was always picking on him and had even started hitting him. I told Tori about his bullying, but she just shrugged her shoulders and had said, “Boys will be boys.”

That wasn’t good enough for me, so I’d decided we needed to leave. I didn’t have much money left. I had used all my savings for an expensive divorce lawyer. My ex-husband was determined to have full custody of my son and he was a jerk about it, which cost us even more than I expected. Thanks to my lawyer exposing my ex’s drinking problem and his related behavior, I had full custody of Trenton—my ex saw him two days a week, as long as he could stay sober.

So far, he had managed to not drink, but I wasn’t holding my breath for perfect behavior. Even though it had taken almost all my savings, it was worth every penny to have my baby with me and have legal custody of him.

As I sat waiting for my son, I saw a couple of girls in my class walk by. “Hi, Ms. Hoffmann.” That’s what they called me now, instead of Mrs. Hoffmann. The kids took it in stride when I briefly explained the change to them. Fifth graders understood what divorce was and the kids were so sweet. For about a week after I told them I would now be Ms. Hoffmann, they had brought me flowers they picked and gave me cupcakes with smiley faces on them and cards saying what a “cool teacher” I was. If only my adult friends were as sympathetic to my situation.

I waved through the window, giving my students my sickest face and pretending to cough. They gave me worried looks and I immediately felt bad. I hated lying to them, but now we had secured our new place and Trenton wouldn’t have to worry about Matt bullying him.

When the bell rang, I watched the kindergarten double doors open as Trenton’s teacher lined up the children outside. Trenton was the first one to come out. I noticed his navy blue Scooby Doo shirt. I honked my horn and waved at his teacher, giving her the okay that she could let him walk to my car. She nodded and pointed to the car. Trenton waved goodbye to his friends and headed to the car. He got in the back seat, closed the door, put his backpack on the seat and buckled up.

“Mommy, Mommy we had a visitor today.”

“Really, who was it?”

“The firemen came in and they brought a big spotted dog. Well it wasn’t a real dog. I think a person was wearing a costume. But don’t worry, I didn’t spoil it for the other kids.”

I searched my mind and then remembered that today was the day that the firefighters came to teach the children about fire safety. “That’s awesome, sweetie. Did you learn anything?”

“Yes, if I ever catch on fire, I’m supposed to stop, drop and roll. We practiced and we all got stickers when we did it right. I got dirty from the floor but I brushed it off.”

“That’s excellent, Trent. I have some good news, too. Mommy found us a new place to live.”

“Really? With a different friend?”

“No, all by ourselves. Just you and me.”

“Wow. An apartment or a trailer?”

“No, it’s a little house. A cottage.”

“Like in a storybook?”

“Yeah, it looks like that. We have a yard with grass and flowers and there is a picnic table in back. We’re going to move in this weekend.”

Trenton clapped his hands. “Yay! No more Matt?”

BOOK: Relentless: Three Novels
5.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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