Sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne are back together again to eagerly dig into their dead mother’s fortune.
Only their mother has other plans for their contentious reunion.
Unknown to the trio, Mom decided her fortune wouldn’t be divided until one very critical thing happened. The sisters have to reunite in their childhood home for one year in Puffin Bay, Maine.
And they have to get along.
But long-buried resentments, old rivalries, and would-be boyfriends are about to provoke their biggest feud yet, threatening the sisters’ financial claims and the lineage of a family that hasn’t known peace in decades.
Will a year be enough for three brash sisters to figure it all out?
Targeted Age Group:: 18-75
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Growing up with three sisters gave me all the fodder I needed to create a story about siblings harboring misunderstandings for years. Their mother found a perfect way for them to confront their pasts and create a future together.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I used my own sisters as the basis for these three characters–a creative hippie-type, one who was comfortable on water, and a vivacious younger sister who always felt left out of things.
Charlotte raised her binoculars, searching the ocean for the only boat on the water that mattered to her. Nothing yet, but soon, The Brontë and Gray would be on their way home, to her. She really didn’t need visual proof that he was coming into shore. She could feel it in her gut. Goosebumps, which had nothing to do with the breeze wafting in from the water, dotted her skin.
Charlotte’s heart constricted with a twinge of loneliness. Her mother was gone forever. The keen sense of loss was something Gray would certainly understand. For the first time in her life, her mother would not inhabit the house with her, tidying the comfortable rooms, taking care of everyone and making them feel at home. She needed Gray to help take away the feeling she was all alone. She needed Gray, plain and simple.
For the next several days she would fulfill the role of hostess to her two sisters, who were returning home for the somber event of laying their mother to rest. As the eldest, Charlotte accepted the mantle that fell on her shoulders, although she was not happy about it. Their mother had been the one to keep the lines of communication open between the three of them, and Charlotte now wondered what would happen. Certainly, she had no plans to talk to her sisters, beyond what was necessary this week.
She climbed over the wet, sun-bleached granite boulders ringing the shoreline.
“Hi there, Char.”
She gazed into the faded blue eyes of Puffin Bay’s oldest resident, Autry Jones. He sat in his usual summertime spot, on the slatted wooden bench in front of the post office. His white beard rested on his chest, and his captain’s hat shielded his eyes from the harsh glare of the sun.
Charlotte smiled at the old codger. “Hey, Autry.”
She had a lot to do before Gray’s boat arrived at the dock, but she always had time to talk to Autry.
“The sea cough up anything for you today?”
“No, nothing. But I wasn’t really searching for sea glass. I’m not going to have time to make any jewelry this week, what with everyone coming in for the funeral.”
Charlotte lowered herself onto the bench beside him. Autry bumped his arm up against hers and tore his gaze away from the ocean. “One thing you don’t need to worry about is groceries this week. Mrs. Spradling headed to your house a bit earlier to drop off a mountain of food, as she does every time someone in this town passes. Sorry about your mom. Such a good woman.”
“Thank you. She was kind-hearted, even though she stuffed our childish heads with romantic nonsense. Hell, instead of hearing Dr. Seuss books when we were kids, we got yet another chapter of her favorite romance novel. And, every night after supper, Mom took us to the widow’s walk to see if Daddy’s boat was in port.”
“She did her best to raise you girls while your daddy was earning a living from the sea.”
“I know, and I miss her terribly already. Are you going to be at the memorial service? Emily and Anne will be coming home for the funeral. The two of them should be pulling into town later today.”
“Ay-yup. I’ll be there. It’ll be nice to see you girls together again. Should be good weather for a funeral. I hear Grayson turned his boat toward the shore, too.” Autry’s pale eyes twinkled.
“I figured he’d come in from the sea, but Mom’s viewing isn’t until tomorrow, so I don’t expect to see him until then.” She shifted on the seat under Autry’s keen gaze.
“You can’t think of any reason he might want to come in early? Charlotte Bronson, you and Gray may think you’ve been fooling the town for eighteen years, pretending the two of you don’t care for each other, but you can’t hoodwink an old coot. I was young once, too, and I know what love is.”
“But we haven’t been in love for years. We try to avoid each other.”
Autry continued to stare at her without saying a word.
She shook off the rush of schoolgirl giddiness that came with the idea Gray was turning toward port early in order to see her. She ran a hand down her braid of dark hair, now liberally laced with silver. Maybe she could do something about the streaks before he arrived. If only I could erase the past as easily as I can get rid of the outward signs of aging. Then maybe Gray and I could fall in love again. Remembering she had a million things to do, she leaned over and kissed the old man on the cheek before jumping up.
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