This year is also the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. My hero, Seth, was a witness to the terrible events of that war as an ambulance driver. Sara discovers his letters home in a trunk hidden in the attic of the island house she's renting.
Sara was picking up all the bits of foam and plastic wrapping when there was a knock at the door. Her brow crinkled in confusion as she went to answer it.
She pulled it open to find Seth standing there, wearing a dark suit and a bowler hat, which he removed as soon as she opened the door.
“Good afternoon, Miss Sara.” From behind his back, Seth produced a small bouquet of wildflowers.
“May I come in?”
Sara stepped back and motioned him inside.
Seth held out the flowers. “For you.”
Sara did the only sensible thing a girl can do in such a situation: she burst into tears.
Seth was horrified. “I’m sorry! Sara, please don’t cry!” He reached into his pocket to pull out his handkerchief and then realized it was no more real than he was. He went over to the kitchen instead and grabbed a paper towel.
Sara took it from him gratefully and mopped at her face.
He glanced at the flowers and apparently decided they had done the offending and dropped them out of sight on the kitchen counter. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong. It was just so sweet!” Sara sobbed.
He looked deeply relieved, but he shook his head and chuckled. “As God is my witness, I will never understand women.”
“I-it’s j-just, t-they’re so beautiful and you look so handsome in your suit.” It set her off again and Seth could only stand there, bewildered. With an effort, Sara got herself back under control and picked her flowers up off the counter. She didn’t have a vase, so she filled a glass with water and plunked them down in the center of the driftwood coffee table.
Seth had picked not only the flowers, but a few strands of seagrass as greenery. It made a very pretty bouquet.
“No one has ever given me flowers before,” she said, with a delighted smile. “Thank you.”
Seth seemed appalled. “No one has ever given you flowers? Good God, Sara, how do men of your day court a woman?”
Was that what he was doing? A delicious thrill coursed through her. “Men still give flowers, I suppose, but not to me.”
“I sincerely wish I had beaten that ex-boyfriend of yours some more.”
About the book:
Newly single, unemployed, and with her savings dwindling to an all-time low, Sara thinks things are finally looking up when she lands a job ghostwriting a popular politician’s biography, and rents the affordable island home of her favorite author, Seth Fortner, who mysteriously disappeared in 1925. Strange things begin to happen as objects break, go missing, and terrifying visions appear, making Sara wonder if Seth ever left, or if she is slowly losing her mind.
She gets no answers from his family who closely guards the secret of his disappearance. Through an old trunk of letters Sara discovers in the attic of her seaside cottage, Sara unravels the mystery and becomes caught up in a tale of greed, lost love, and the horrors of WWI. Will she be the one to break the “Fortner Curse” by helping Seth conquer his demons, and heal both of their hearts in the process?
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