It’s Teaser Train Thursday, and I am pleased to welcome author Kathy Reinhart to my blog with a teaser from her novel, Lily White Lies. So, come on and hop aboard this train! Choo! Choo!
I bit down on my lip as the door handle slowly turned. The door opened and a big-bosomed woman in a simple gray dress squealed with delight. “Connor, my boy. Come here and give me a hug. Why do you wait so long between visits?”
Con wrapped his arms around the woman’s waist, giving her what she requested. Turning to me, he said, “Meg, this is Ivory…” the affection in his eyes was apparent as he continued, “She’s been like a second mother to me and the only person—other than my grandmother—who could put up with Joker for any length of time.”
Ivory let out a belly laugh. “The ornery one. Yes, well, he’s an acquired taste.” She extended her hand. “Ivory Steck, I’m the housekeeper here, and you are?”
Taking her hand, I replied, “Meg. Meg Embry.”
“Embry?” Turning her attention to Con, she asked, “Is your grandfather expecting you… better yet, is your grandfather expecting her?”
Offering a mischievous smile, Con answered, “I thought we’d surprise him.”
Ivory shook her head and motioned us in. “Oh, you will. The man’s over seventy-years-old, you may just be dishing up his last surprise.”
I found her remark disturbing and turned to Con for reassurance. He smiled and shook his head at Ivory.
“Mom used to say there wasn’t enough arsenic in the world to kill him off so I wouldn’t worry about this fazing him.”
Ivory let out another full belly laugh causing her large chest to vibrate, and then led us from the foyer, down a long hall.
The house was enormous with pressed tin ceilings that had to be at least twelve feet high, an open staircase that was a solid six feet wide and plank flooring covered with enough lacquer to reflect the light that streamed through the floor to ceiling windows. Carved in intricate detail, the woodwork was commonplace in a house built over a century ago. Antique furniture filled every corner of every room and framed artwork hung on the walls.
The hallway ended at a set of French doors, the glass panes covered by white lace curtains. Ivory stopped in front of the doors, turned toward us, and said, “Good luck,” as she knocked twice.
I heard, “What is it?” barked out from behind the door.
I send him in?”
“Grandson? It’s been so damn long since I’ve seen the boy; I almost forgot I had one. Yeah, get him on in here.”
Ivory opened the door, offering a sympathetic smile.
Con patted her arm and whispered, “Don’t worry Ivory. I’ll get her out before he hurts her.”
I felt my breath catch in my throat. What had I gotten myself in to? I looked up in time to catch Con wink at Ivory and let out the breath I’d been holding.