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MAUREEN A. MILLER
USA TODAY Bestselling Author
WIDOW'S TALE

 

Serena Murphy was losing her mind. 

Every night Serena stood on the deck of O'Flanagans Tavern, searching Maine's rugged coast for a sign of her husband's body. Though he was pronounced lost at sea, Alan Murphy still haunted her as only his malevolent spirit could. In the loft above her tavern, Serena hears footsteps pace across her living room floor, yet when she turns, no one is there. 

Alan would not let a little thing like death stop him from tormenting her. If she could just find his body, surely this torture would stop. 

It had been ten years since Brett Murphy saw his sister in-law, although the separation was by design, to avoid temptation. Now Brett was in Victory Cove, not to declare his feelings for Serena, but to discover the truth about his brother's death. In doing so, he must battle Serena's ghosts, both real and contrived.

 Visit Victory Cove, Maine in ENDLESS NIGHT.




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Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Serena Murphy squinted into the wind, searching cliffs lashed by angry surf. Maine’s autumn freeze wrapped her in its clutch and whipped her hair over her face.

Serena was looking for a body.

The maelstrom assaulting the deck of O’Flanagans Tavern did not deter her. She leaned forward and gripped the rail.

A month had passed already, and each day before the dinnertime rush, Serena came out to search the cliffs for any trace of her husband, Alan, who’d been pronounced lost at sea.

Alan was dead. She was sure of that. Even the sea spoke to her, weaving a tale of his demise in the fishing boat she had urged him to repair. She was certain he was dead because he haunted her. Not as a physical ghost, but there were signs—small, intimate signals that could only be executed by Alan’s malevolent spirit.

"Serena! Get in here before you catch your death of cold!"

Tempted to ignore the intrusion, Serena caught a glimpse of her part-time waitress, Rebecca, with her head stuck out the back door.

What an image she must portray to the young woman. Every night Serena stood out here, perched atop these cliffs, searching for a body. Searching for ghosts.

But that’s not what her waitress saw. She saw a distraught widow anguished over the loss of her husband. She did not see her. She did not see the woman who feared Alan even after death.

It took effort, but Serena called across the wind, "I’ll be right there."

Alone with the waves that crashed against the rocks below, Serena waited for pain to envelop her. She waited for heart-wrenching sobs or any raw emotion that might signal despair over the loss of her husband.

Only the bleak whistle of the wind and the somber ring of a buoy answered.


CHAPTER I


O’Flanagans was as much a tradition in the small Maine coastal village of Victory Cove as were the lobster boats and sailors that kept the establishment thriving over fifty years, and through three generations. This colonial institution was the home of Serena’s childhood. It was also her legacy now that her parents had retired and moved to Florida.

Serena talked the O’Flanagans out of flying north after Alan’s disappearance. Instead, she was grateful to have the pub to keep her busy. Its patrons were family in their own right, protective and loyal to the last O’Flanagan.

The heavy oak door drew shut behind Serena, locking out the bad weather with a finality that almost made her feel safe. She leaned back against it and eyed the overhead wooden beams—timber rafters permeated with the aroma of beer and lobster bisque. The scent stabilized Serena. She drew in another deep breath and held it until the trembling in her limbs subsided.

"Yo, Rena, are you going to keep a thirsty man waiting, just hanging around here like a long-haired dog on a hot summer day?"

In this place, there was no time for emotion. Alan was dead. He would not hurt her anymore.

 

But finding his body would have made it seem real.

 

 

WIDOW'S TALE
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