Today marks the release of the third book in Award Winning Author Cyndi Faria’s Whisper Cove series This is Thomas’s story, our sexy detective. Love him! Hope you will too. J
Whisper Cove Book #3
March 17th, 2015
In the haunted town of Whisper Cove, who can be trusted? Detective Thomas Jayme is a single father seeking a stable life for his little girl. Unfortunately, three things complicate his life: the spirits of dead townspeople who are out to fulfill an age-old curse, a cold case involving a woman’s death, and the appearance of a beautiful woman who might know something about both.
Chelsea Wright, a newcomer to Whisper Cove, is determined to keep to herself and spend time with her fourteen-year-old son before he leaves home for a year-long trip. But when Chelsea learns she might know the identity of the murdered woman, she strikes a deal with Thomas: she’ll take care of his daughter if he’ll help her uncover the connection between her and the cold case. As Thomas and Chelsea work to solve both his haunted past and her uncertain future, unknown evil threatens their lives. Will they solve the murder, save lives, and fulfill the promise of a smoldering love before it’s too late?
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Asjq2z
“Ready or not, here I come…”
At the sound of the girl’s voice he played hide and seek with, seven-year-old Thomas Jayme looked down the narrow stairwell that led to the first floor of the Whisper Cove mission church. He didn’t know the girl’s name, but her pink polka-dotted dress matched her cheeks and made him think of his favorite cookie…
She skipped toward the stairs. The lacy band at the bottom of her dress swished about her bony knees. “I’m getting closer…”
“Or not…” He snickered. Before his spot was discovered, he pressed his back against the wooden railing. Above him, the mission bell hung from the steeple. He prayed the big black bell wouldn’t rat out his hiding spot.
“I’m getting warmer…”
“Or colder…” He felt the chilling wind race up his back, but he didn’t shiver. He watched her blonde pigtails bounce as she jogged past. When she disappeared around the hallway corner, he unclenched his lips and his breath whooshed out. He cupped a hand over his mouth to stifle a snort and peeked over the railing.
From where he stood inside the steeple high above the roof, he watched over the entire town. In the early morning dimness, porch lights and street lights looked like stars. Dad had warned him to stay on the church’s first floor while he tended to business, but Thomas couldn’t resist smiling a deep smile that warmed his tummy. He breathed in salty air. From far below, he listened to waves beat against the rocks to the same pounding rhythm his heart made in his chest.
He jammed a hand into his cargo shorts, pulled out his police car, and ran his thumb over the little rubber tire. On top of the railing, he pushed the car forward. “Rrrrrr….Rrrrrr….Eeerrch!” He jumped the space between the slatted walls where already the tires over time had made a parallel groove in the paint. His mom and dad expected him, as the pastor’s kid, to attend Sunday sunrise service, and Wednesday outreach, and Friday youth—
Thomas froze, his breath hitching in his throat, and he spun.
The girl stood halfway up the stairs. Her face was at his foot level and her blue eyes stared upward. Then she smiled.
He could see, like him, she had a missing front tooth. He pressed his tongue into the dent and felt the little nub of his new tooth poking through.
“Told you I’d find you.” She twirled one of her pigtails around her finger.
Hiding his car behind his back, he squeezed his hand tight. No one had ever found his hiding space. One side of his mouth lifted. “You’re not supposed to be up here.”
She jutted out her chin. “Neither are you.”
Mmmm. He pinched his eyes. What if she told Dad? No way did he want to get either of them in trouble, so they’d wind up sitting in the front pew for the rest of the day. “Want to come up?”
“I’m not allowed.” With her palms flat against the wooden floor, she perched, her poked-out elbows making her arms seem like wings. She bunched her lips and stared.
He kicked at the dusty floor. “Well?”
She shook a finger and her forehead dented where she scrunched her brows. “You’re not following the rules.”
At the mother-like scolding, he bowed his head. “Shhh…” He held a finger to his lips and glanced below. Dressed in a hooded choir gown, hair the color of his sticking out from the sides, Mom was talking to the girl’s mom in a hushed voice. “In the tower, you have to be quiet.”
She climbed another step. “What do you see from up there?”
Grinning, he stood on his tiptoes and peeked over the edge. “Everything.”
She inched upward by another step, but then stopped.
He pushed his hand into his pocket, but didn’t release the police car with the flip-top hood and trunk and doors that swung wide and snapped closed. He cocked a brow. “Come on, look for yourself. It’s no big deal.”
“I can’t.” She glanced behind her. “It’s dusty. Momma said not to get dirty.” Going backward, she began retreating until she tapped the lower step with her white shoes.
At the foot of the stairwell, a couple dressed in choir gowns strolled past—Mr. and Mrs. Perdy held hands.
From the hallway with the big windows, the sunlight made the buckle on the little girl’s shoe sparkle. Even her huge eyes that matched the color of his police car’s hood lit up. Warmth spread throughout his chest, the feeling similar to when he’d seen his puppy, Rex, for the first time.
“I gotta go…” She dropped to the floor.
“Not yet.” He leapt forward. With a light touch, he traced a thumb on the hood where the number four had rubbed clean down to the metal. “Our game’s not over,” he said. “It’s your turn to hide. This time, I’ll find you.”
She shrugged. “Ok. But count to twenty, not fifty. I don’t want to be late for service.”
“Service repeats three times on Easter Sunday.”
Shrugging, she flashed a smile that dented her cheeks. Then she skipped off, humming.
The cheerful tune made him sigh. Soon all he heard were seagulls, the surf, and the fog horn that flashed its red beacon near the jetty.
Thomas ached, his chest squeezing in the same way it had when he’d lost Rex for an entire day. He rubbed a hand over his heart. Was she new to town or visiting for Easter? After today, would he see her again? Maybe in Mrs. Zywiec’s third-grade class on Monday. He’d only just met her, but, like his feelings for Rex, he felt something for that silly girl. His mother always said, “People of Whisper Cove are like a puzzle. Everyone’s connected.”
He imagined one piece could break away, maybe even get lost, but that didn’t change its shape or the big picture. Once found, the missing piece would snap right back into place where it belonged. Counting, he flipped the car hood over and over again. “Twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen…”
Through the opening of the steeple, the morning sea breeze pushed the salted fog inland. Sharp voices snapped his attention to Mom with the lady.
They stood outside the building near the backdoor under the archway. He pressed his face against the slats. Curious eyes and ears strained to make out what the women were arguing about.
“No. Let’s talk this through.” The light bulb over the door shined down.
Mom made choppy movements with her hands, like when she scolded him about coming inside with sandy feet. The other woman wore a skirt and matching sweater and held something wrapped in a blue-and-green-striped blanket that whimpered like Rex.
“I have to hide them,” the lady with the baby said. “Please. You have to help me.”
“This is dangerous. Have you contacted the law?”
“I can’t. You know why.”
“What about Carlyle?”
The woman’s angry voice made him flinch, but instead of backing away, he pressed his eye between the slats, so his eyelashes touched the surface. Carlyle was Dad’s name. Everyone went to Dad with their problems…
“There’s nothing I can do,” the stranger said. “Nowhere I can hide to keep both children safe. I don’t have much time. Weeks. Maybe less.”
The choir dress fluttered. “There has to be another way.”
Rocking the baby, the girl’s mom looked down. With a free hand, she rubbed the baby’s head. “He’s innocent, only days old.” The baby whined, and the lady shifted the blanket tighter around his body.
Mom laid a hand on her chest. “You could take the children directly to CPS. Why come to me?”
The lady stared at Mom. “He’ll find them if I go the suspected route. You’re my only hope to keep them hidden. He’s heard the rumors about Whisper Cove. Of spirits.”
Spirits? Thomas pulled back and wrinkled his nose. His mom and dad had warned him one day he’d see people in a different way. Not that he knew what those words meant. There were babies and old people. Still people but not the same as him.
A thick band of fog rolled onto the bluff. The sea surged, the crashing waves banged like choir drums…
Again, he pressed his face against the slats.
“What are you doing?” Mom lunged forward and the ladies struggled.
Chest pumping, he grabbed the rail, his nostrils flaring. White puffs from his breath rushed out. He tried to make out what they were fighting over when Mom jumped backward.
“Give him to me.” Mom held her hands out and curled her fingers.
Click, click, click echoed from the toy in his hand. Mom’s voice had never sounded as deep and threatening.
“Stay back!” Something flashed near the baby’s head.
The stranger stood hunched, shoulders rounded and shaking, and then she stepped under the archway. The shadows on her clothing made her look small. “The baby is living proof—”
More muttered words too soft to hear.
“It should be me. If anyone, I should be the one to do what must be done. That’s the answer. It is me. It’s been me all along, but I couldn’t see I hold the answers. I’m the one who is to set us free.”
Again, something caught the sliver of sunrise that broke through the thickening fog. Raised to the woman’s throat.
A collar? A metal collar? Rex wore a collar, studded with silver…
“Give me the baby.” Mom slid her foot forward. When she leaned inward, her sandy-blonde hair rolled off of her shoulders. “Now, give me the knife.”
“Knife,” he whispered. Why did the lady hold a knife at her throat?
“He’ll find him.” The lady shook her head. “When he does, he’ll kill the baby.”
Faster than the distant horn raced his breath, keeping time with his pulse. Killing was against the rules… He lifted the car to his lips and nibbled on the tire. Do something. Save the baby. Save the little girl. Save the woman. Thomas glanced to the staircase then pinned his gaze below. Words formed on his lips. No! Stop! The same feeling that lived in nightmares made his tummy squeezed with fear. Now, he wished he’d listened to the earlier warning…
“Never.” Mom waved her hands. “I’ll hide you, your baby and daughter—”
“No. I’m dead. There’s no more time. There’s only sacrifice. This ends now.” In a steady swoop, the woman jerked up her arm. A flash of silver shimmered.
Red splattered against Mom’s gown, the tan pants, and the green and blue blanket. Sprayed across the back door of the mission church.
The baby wailed.
A scream matched his thoughts. He fell away and prayed his eyes would shut, the chill that made his skin prickle would vanish, that he’d forget, but mostly, he prayed his ears couldn’t hear the pitiful crying.
The car slipped from his fingers. It must have made a sound. His mouth opened. Followed by a silent scream. Above, the mission bell pounded. Its vibrations banged against skin that was as numb as his deaf ears.
Fingers on his shoulder spun him around where he saw only darkness.
Then his hearing and sight, as if they’d both been a rubber band that stretched tight, suddenly snapped back.
Sobbing, the girl stood before him, tears like rain falling from her eyes. Her trembling hand slipped into his hand. Between their clasp, he felt his toy car press into his hand.
“My mom left me…”—lip quivering, she spoke in a shaky voice—“I-I think Mom’s dead….”
Squeezing the girl’s hand, he felt heat burn inside him. He should have stopped the woman. He should have done something. Kept the girl from seeing her mom take her life.
A shape grew out of the fog.
Goosebumps skittered over his skin, and he stepped backward. The girl’s mom stood beside her. The spirit’s lips moved, but he did not hear.
Yet, somehow he understood. Protect this girl. Keep her safe.
“Your mom’s not dead. Only different now.”
“She’s lying dead on the ground.” She pointed and her body shook. “Look at her. What will happen to me? To my brother?”
Dad knew all the answers. Dad would make sure the girl was taken care of. “You can still be a happy family. I promise.”
People of Whisper Cove are like puzzle pieces.
Even in his young mind, he knew this girl would carry a piece of him.
Don’t miss your chance to get SPIRIT AWAKENED FREE! For one more day the first book in the Whisper Cove series, SPIRIT AWAKENED is FREE!
Whisper Cove, Book #1
FREE until 3/18/15
Jake Mitchell is a neurologist who doesn't trust what can't be explained. That is, until he moves to the rumor-haunted town of Whisper Cove and meets a beautiful nurse named Faith Cabrillo. When Faith awakens Jake's sixth sense that defies science, he's thrown into a world of passion, spirits, and a centuries-old lovers’ curse that can never be broken...
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1qtHPg2
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1DBb10s
Sweet, Sexy Always Satisfying
If you love a tale with courageous heroes and heroines, where their unconditional love for each other gives them strength to defeat their inner demons, Cyndi Faria invites you to enter the pages of her romances and find happily ever after.
An engineer turned romance writer whose craving for structure is satisfied by plotting heartwarming contemporary and compelling paranormal romance stories with a dash of mystery and a touch of American folklore, “Cyndi Faria writes with passion and her stories touch the heart” –New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Virna DePaul.
Digital copy of SPIRIT EMBRACED
$10 Amazon Gift Card
The series continues on October 27th, 2015 with SPIRIT RETURNED!
Mason & Katrina’s story