(Seven Sisters Book 1)
(Seven Sisters Book 1)
by M. L. Bullock
Seven Sisters, the first book in M. L. Bullock's Seven Sisters series, is FREE for a limited time. The author stops by to share an excerpt. Also available: Moonlight Falls on Seven Sisters, and Shadows Stir at Seven Sisters, and The Stars that Fell.
Carrie Jo has a secret - she dreams about the past. The handsome and wealthy Ashland Stuart has hired her to uncover the history and the secrets of Seven Sisters, an aging antebellum mansion in sultry downtown Mobile, Alabama. A series of dreams, an untimely death and the betrayal of someone she loves lead her back in time to uncover the truth about a missing young heiress and a web of secrets.
Will Carrie Jo slip into the shadows of Seven Sisters, following in the ghostly footsteps of the lost young woman, or can she solve this tragic mystery and find her own happiness?
I took my soup to my desk, fetched myself a silver soup spoon and sat down to enjoy my lunch. Calpurnia smiled back at me from the computer screen, and I stared at her. “Where are you, Callie?” I nearly jumped out of my chair when Bienville meowed outside my door. I had not seen the big cat climb the stairs, but there he was, peeking through the screen, no doubt wanting to cool off. I laughed at the fat little thing and opened the door for him. He came in and sat beside me at the desk, lounging happily on the area rug. I rubbed his fat tummy and turned my attention to the book. I remembered my antibiotics and took them with a bottle of water. I loved the soup—once again, Ashland had come through for me. You know, I should do something nice for him. Maybe cook him something. I can’t cook, but Bette could probably teach me something—something simple—like spaghetti! Yes, that’s it! I got so excited about the idea that I almost left immediately to go see her.
I finished off my soup and cleaned up my mess. It was time to read again. I was getting closer to the truth—I just knew it! I settled down for a few hours of work. Classical music played softly in the kitchen, and I closed my eyes, enjoying the peacefulness in my apartment. I felt peace seeing my old blue car in the driveway. There was nothing like freedom—and that’s exactly what Calpurnia didn’t have. I sighed and turned to the next page.
Father’s absence brings hope and peace. He takes with him the Shadows that Steal the Joy from Seven Sisters and all those who call her home. Oh, Sweet Mary! Is it wrong to pray for my tormentor’s death? I dare not ask Father England, the priest who came to visit, although he is a kind man who was genuinely fond of my mother. Once, Father England served this family exclusively, but not so anymore. Father refused to support the work of the ministry or provide him with any recommendations into our society.
“May that priest be damned for lying to us all!” he had shouted in a rage after the death of his son. Now the small chapel, the one with the stained glass windows, stood empty and forlorn, like my Father’s broken faith.
Once my Father had cut a handsome figure in his coat and tails, but now his bitterness, his unrelenting anger with God, stole that away from him. He was gone now—and he had taken the storm with him. The slaves whispered about him, although they would not dare do so to me. I was his daughter and heir to this place. This trip, so the story went, was an effort to collect the many debts he was owed from renters and sharecroppers. Their debts to him would be paid by their blood if they did not deliver what he wanted. Before his departure, he crept up and down the halls of the house looking like a wild man, Early ever beside him. Father tore apart nearly every room looking for my Mother’s Fortune, which I pretended to know nothing about. Ignorance and ignorance alone had previously saved me from his wrath; why should now be any different?
I would take this time to find that treasure, if it was the last thing I did, but I needed a companion, someone I could trust to keep my secret and help me cover the grounds. Of course, my mind first turned to dear, sweet Muncie, my Only True Friend, but nay. I could not place him in so grave a danger. He could die for helping me! It would be the same for Hooney, and she was old and more my Mother’s slave than my Father’s property. By reading a few of my Mother’s papers, I had discovered that all the house slaves now legally belonged to me. I could do with them what I wished, once I was married. How ridiculous a law it was! A woman could own a house or a slave, but she had to have the permission of her husband to manage either of them. I prayed that one day I would be free of such selfish laws, but I didn’t know how that would come to pass.
Praise for the Book
"I love historical fictions and this book fits the bill. I am excited to read the sequel. M. L. Bullock's book has me wondering where Carrie Joe's adventure will take her. ~ Karena Broadhead
"Five Stars! Loved this book! Definite page turner! Mystery, love, scandal! Can't wait for more!" ~ Amber A. Busby
"Enjoyed this book. A fun read that will leave you wondering. Can't wait for sequel!" ~ Jacqueline McNeal
"Awesome! Creative and interesting characters with intrigue and romantic setting. First book that has held my interest in years. The depth of character development, descriptive setting and flow from past to present stories kept my attention to the end. Looking forward to the next installment." ~ Karen L
"Great read! I loved this book. I'm from Mobile and the historical points were as entertaining as the mystery. Can't wait for the next book!!" ~ Glorimae
About the Author
Author M. L. Bullock enjoys the laid-back atmosphere and the spooky vibe of the Gulf Coast, especially the region's historic districts and sites. When she isn't visiting her favorite haunts in New Orleans or Old Mobile, you can find her flipping through old photographs or newspaper clippings in search of new inspiration.