That Thing You Do
Whispering Bay # 1
Whispering Bay # 1
By: Maria Geraci
Get it today on Amazon
Get it today on Amazon
Allie Grant doesn’t believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida! magazine. What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan.
When Tom catches Allie poking around his construction site, he quickly realizes his former high school flame is just as feisty as ever. And, heaven help him, her irresistible, mile-high legs still take his breath away. But Tom isn’t about to delay the building’s demolition because of a silly ghost story.
With neither of the stubborn exes backing down from their opposing positions, sparks fly. And, underneath the surface, the fire of their old attraction burns as hot as ever. When strange things start happening with increasing frequency around town, even a tough skeptic like Tom is tested. The question is, can Allie and Tom stop fighting long enough to get to the bottom of Whispering Bay’s ghost problem—and the more important matter of mending their broken hearts?
Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, was nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA ® award. She lives in north Florida with her family, which includes a very needy chihuahua, an extremely needy dachshund and a not-so-needy cat (guess which one she likes best?). You can reach at her www.mariageraci.com.
A shiver skated up her spine.
It wasn’t cold. Not really. It was October and still seasonably warm enough for the Florida panhandle, but the building was isolated from the rest of the ocean strip by at least half a mile. That on its own made it creepy enough, and then of course, there was that haunted thing.
Maybe she should channel the lion from The Wizard of Oz and begin chanting I don’t believe in ghosts…I don’t believe in ghosts…
But there was something to be said about Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore and that whole pottery wheel scene.
Hopeless Hollywood romanticism? No doubt. It was lovely to believe that even after death there was something so powerful about the feelings we had while we were alive that they pulled us back to the people and places we once loved.
But all corniness aside, she was a journalist, and at the behest of Florida! magazine’s editor, Emma Frazier, Allie had just driven nearly six hours to investigate a story on what most people (herself included) would consider the flimsiest of leads. But if Emma wanted a ghost story, then that’s what Allie would give her. Impressing Emma Frazier was the key to landing her dream job, which happened to be Goal Number Three on Allie’s four part Life Plan. So despite the NO TRESPASSING sign, she wasn’t leaving until she got her story. A padlocked door was beyond her capabilities, but no building this old could be burglar proof.
Using her flashlight to guide her, Allie made her way through a patch of weeds to study the windows on the side of the building.
Bin-go! Jalousie glass panes. Popular in Florida during the last century before central air-conditioning became standard. Those windows might provide excellent ventilation but they looked easy as all heck to break into. Not that Allie had any experience sneaking in or out of windows. Once upon a time, that had been Zeke’s forte. Before he’d cleaned up his act, of course. Nowadays, there wasn’t anyone more upstanding than her big brother.
She noticed the window in the middle was missing several of its glass panes. Had someone already broken inside? Maybe. Or more likely those panes had fallen out over time, and since the building was scheduled to come down, it wouldn’t have made sense to fix them.
Which brought Allie to her third option—it wasn’t really a B&E if she didn’t actually break anything. Yes, there was that big NO TRESPASSING sign but the window was practically open. Some people might consider that an invitation.
Ha. Her brother would call that delusional thinking. Fuzzy morality, at best. But what were her options? Despite the late hour, she was now fully awake.
She sent up a silent apology to Buela (Zeke, she would deal with later) and went into action. With the flashlight tucked beneath her arm, she knocked the flimsy metallic screen out of the way. Balancing her bottom on the open window ledge, she lowered one sneakered foot inside—when the tinny-sounding ring tone version of Adele’s Rumour Has It startled her into falling butt first onto a hard wooden floor.
Her cell phone flew out of her shorts pocket. Allie scampered on all fours to retrieve it, causing her right knee to come in contact with something sharp. Ouch! She ignored the pain and glanced at her cell phone’s caller ID telling her (warning her) that it was her roommate, Jen.
“Where are you?” Jen asked.
“Check the fridge.” Allie had purposely left Jen a note taped to the refrigerator door. It was the first place Jen always went when she got home from her evening shift at the hospital where she worked as a respiratory therapist.
After a slightly too long pause in which Allie imagined Jen not only finding the note, but last night’s leftovers as well, Jen said, “You’re in Whispering Lakes? Isn’t that where you grew up?”
“Yep, but it’s Whispering Bay.” Allie went on to explain about the email that had caused her to jump in her car and make the six hour drive to her hometown.
“So, let me get this straight,” Jen said. “Someone sent you an anonymous email telling you there’s a ghost inside the building? And you, what? Jumped in your car and drove up there? Just like that?”