She never thought going to an auction could be deadly.
Alli Harper can’t handle any more stress in her life. Just the thought of driving, dating, or changing toothpaste brands brings on a panic attack. But after reluctantly buying a box of mysterious antiques, she’s drawn into an ancient secret and is terrorized by a callous killer.
Solving murder investigations is the only thing Detective Jack Hastings has on his mind–until he meets Alli. Frustration mounts when Jack falls for Alli, but he cannot convince her to trust him.
Alli’s in a panic. Telling Jack or anyone else the Gifts hold paranormal powers will put their lives at risk. When Alli’s best friend becomes the killer’s next target, will she find the courage to confront the killer on her own or can she trust Jack with the Guardian’s secret, knowing both decisions will place everyone she loves in grave danger?
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Targeted Age Group:: 40-70
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
After visiting a museum, I wondered if special talents (painting, drawing, etc.) were inherent or given through a supernatural means. The story began to take shape when I explored the possibilities of a group of "Guardians" who gave those "Gifts" to individuals they deemed worthy.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I came up with the main characters from a feeling of who I wanted to "cast" in my novel. I ended up with six main characters and three secondary characters. I used character interview sheets to learn more about them (strengths, weaknesses, fears, secrets, quirky habits), then used Pinterest to find images of how I pictured them for reference.
Apparently, storage auctions were popular—more than I’d imagined. By the time Cheryl and I arrived at Uncle Dan’s all the good parking spots were taken. Walking the few blocks under the Magnolia trees didn’t bother me, but my chest tightened waiting alongside the crowd of people cramped in the narrow breezeway.
Cheryl must have detected fear in my eyes because she grabbed my hand. “It’s easy,” she said. “Register. Figure out how much you want to spend. Find a unit that fits your price. Then bid. It’s fun.”
I wasn’t convinced so easily. “What if I make a bad decision? What if I end up with a box of old Playboy magazines?”
“What if you end up with a box of old Playgirl magazines?” She laughed and snorted. “That wouldn’t be a waste.”
If only she knew how I felt about doing anything new. I didn’t even change toothpaste without months of reading up on the best brands. I gulped down an anxiety pill and wiped the sweat off my forehead.
“Just a few more people ahead of us,” said Cheryl. “It should go quick.” As we walked into a large lot, she pointed left, then right. “Storage units are on both sides. You’ll get an auction list and bid card when we register. Just don’t wave your card unless you want to bid.”
Reaching the table, we added our names to the list. A ruddy-faced man in an orange vest handed Cheryl bid card 72. I scrunched card 212 in my sweaty hand, along with a map and list of available units. I wanted the day to be over already.
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