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Maple Lane returns to the retirement home where she grew up, after ten years away, and must face the music. How can she rebuild the dilapidated building, repay a massive mortgage, and restore her residents’ faith in her with her arch-nemesis – Stacy Three Names – breathing down her neck, hungry for an artifact said to grant immortality? As Stacy sabotages Maple’s efforts, the gorgeous new handyman Derek complicates matters with his demon blood and hot attraction.How can Maple and her residents fight Stacy, find the artifact, and save their home with the rich and powerful of the town arrayed against them?…And can she trust a demon to help her?
I looked up at Derek still perched on the ladder in the fading twilight. “Come in for supper!” I called out to him.
He looked down at me over his shoulder, clinging to the ladder for all he was worth. “This is really high,” he called down. He’d had to finish scraping the upper floors’ walls by hand because the hose to the pressure washer didn’t reach far enough.
I shrugged. “Well you can come down now.”
He laughed sarcastically. “No, Maple, I don’t think I can.”
“What do you mean?”
“My feet have fallen asleep from standing on your satanic ladder.”
I snorted out a laugh but didn’t cover it in time.
He glared over his shoulder briefly then turned to face the house again.
“It’s okay. I have an idea.” I ran into the house and up both flights of stairs. Derek was lucky the one thing Maple Lane Manor wasn’t short on was windows. From my bedroom I tapped on the glass of the window he was closest to. I opened it and stuck my head out. “You can come in this way.”
He looked at the window and gave me a dubious look. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah. I’ll help you.” I nodded encouragingly, but I wondered if I was about to lose a handyman to the effects of gravity; it was a pretty long way down. I poked my head out the window and looked down from the dizzying height.
“You’ll drop me,” he said, looking down.
“I can call the fire department to come out if you’d like.”
He glared at me in response. “I’m not a cat in a tree. Plus I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.”
I braced myself and reached towards him. He leaned towards me and grabbed both my arms. He was still standing on the ladder, but I was already having a hard time holding his solid weight. Without much preempt he hopped to the window ledge. He’d only managed to get a third of his body through, and while one of his hands had a strangling hold on the waist of my jeans the other was reaching for my dresser, desperation flashing across his face. I dove forward, kneeing him in the head but managing to grab him by his belt, hauling him the rest of the way through. I stumbled back under his weight and somehow ended up on my back with him on top of me. I could think of worse ways to end my day but when the top drawer of my dresser fell loose, I became acutely aware that I was probably cursed.
A rainbow of colorful thongs, boy shorts and matching bras tumbled down on us, and the only thing I could do was close my eyes and pretend that it wasn’t happening.
He pushed himself off me and looked around for the first time since falling through the window. “Nice.” He scooped up a flimsy pair of lacy underwear and dangled them from the end of his finger.
I shoved him back and scrambled to my feet, snatching up as many pairs of underwear and bras as possible. I was stuffing them back into the fallen drawer when I had to grab another pair away from him. “Some women collect shoes or purses.” I said by way of explanation.
Cree Walker lives in northern Maine with her very supportive debate partner and their furry love child, Titan. When she isn’t busy at her computer, Cree can either be found hanging with friends and family or finding inspiration, hiking the wild untouched forests surrounding her home. Cree’s current published works include fantasy, werewolf series, Whisper on a Scream and its sequel, urban fantasy nominated book of 2012, Willing Sacrifice. This year she’s also released the first book to her Reaper series, paranormal romantic comedy, A Winter’s Grave. Also on her list of publications is the increasingly popular, short erotic comedy, Taming the Cougar. The latest edition to her growing list of publications is paranormal romantic comedy, Maple Lane Manor, Home for retired Supernaturals. To contact Cree or just see what’s she’s up to, check her out on facebook or her website, http://www.creewalker.wordpress.com or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.