(Seven Sisters Book 1)
(Seven Sisters Book 1)
by M. L. Bullock
Seven Sisters is the first book in M. L. Bullock's series of the same name. The author stops by today to share an excerpt. Also available: Moonlight Falls on Seven Sisters. The final book is coming very soon: Shadows Stir at Seven Sisters.
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 climbed onto the leather seat of my blue Honda, slipped the car into neutral and slid silently down the driveway. I hated saying goodbye to the comfortable garage apartment that smelled like fresh paint and new wood but an unknown adventure beckoned to me and for once, I had the courage to go. That zen-like, "I'm starting over" spell comforted me on this unusually cool morning as I slid the last box of my belongings into the backseat of the car. The rest, a collection of CDs, memorabilia from a recent trip to the Bahamas and most anything that did not fall under the jeans and t-shirt category, I left behind in a small storage space about a mile away. I paid for six months in advance but was already putting off the idea of coming back to Charleston.
I did feel a twinge of guilt as I cranked the car and put it into gear. I had not even bothered to wake the man sleeping in the chair near my bed, William. At some time during the night, he must have got up to strum on the guitar that his sleeping hand held now. Thinking of his shoulder length dark hair tempted me but only slightly - I had a hardy resolve, at least when it came to men. He was kind and good and understanding. Even his dreams were kind and good and understanding. But, it felt right that our first night together would be the last. Perversely, I liked leaving on a high note, without the nightmares and all the screaming. It felt like a personal triumph. I was being selfish but I was okay with that, at least for the moment.
"Once I make up my mind, the die is cast, as they say," I said to no one in particular.
Sourly I thought, "Well, if I am stubborn I have had to be." I already loathed myself for traveling down this predictable, mental highway but what else could I do for the next few hours but drive and think? I hadn't "went there" in a while, so perhaps a quick review would be healthy. I rolled my eyes at myself in the rear view mirror. I sounded just like my last shrink. "How can I help you if you won't share with me Carrie Jo? Why won't you let someone in?" Feeling a softness that I rarely experienced, I had pulled back the cover and let the light hit my secret for the first time in a long time.
"I'm not trying to be difficult but without a large quantity of personal discipline, I would have gone nuts - like my mother, a long time ago." Encouraged by the petite, smiling psychologist, perched in her overlarge, leather chair, I continued on, "You see, Dr. O’Neal, I have a problem - I dream about the past. I am kind of like a human DVR; my dream life is not my own, usually. It belongs to whatever movie plays the loudest in whatever bed or location I sleep in."
Dr. O’Neal looked at me blankly, unshaken by my confession.
"Okay, the young, pretty doctor has earned ten points for the poker face she's wearing," I thought wryly. Her focused attention encouraged me to ramble on.
"That's why I love my garage apartment so much. It is brand, spanking new, with no movies, no memories. I sleep and I dream my own dreams. My "problem" gets even more complicated when I sleep with someone else. I can see the dreams of the people I sleep with too."
"Luckily, there had not been too many of them," I thought to myself but I didn't feel the need to share my lack of a love life with the dainty Dr. O'Neal, new bride and smart career woman. Dr. O'Neal's fingers flew across her notebook, her manicured hands busy writing her undoubtedly smart thoughts out to form a brilliant pre-diagnosis. I turned my focus on the doctor's wedding photo perched on her mahogany desk. It didn't take a degree to see she was proud of her new groom.
I hated the silent moments of this confession, so I blathered on, in a hurry to make my point and come to the reason for my visit. That was me, "Give it to me in black or white and I'll do the same for you."
"You see, Dr. O'Neal, I have this great job offer - it's a once in a lifetime gig really, but I hate giving up my apartment. I just don't know what to expect. That's why my friend, Mia suggested I come see you, well, here I am."
To her credit, the shrink hadn't zeroed in on my "problem" but took a sidestep that I hadn't anticipated. "What about your current relationships? Didn't you say you were seeing someone?" Consulting her notebook she pointed, "Yes, he's a 'fantastic' guy. Don't you find it odd that you worried about leaving your safe apartment but not this 'fantastic' guy?"
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.