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The Fortune Teller's Secret

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A dead man on a Ferris wheel and a cold-case murder take Cavendish Brown into a world of carnival freaks, ghosts, and killers.

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    The annual carnival comes to Maiden Falls, a small town in the West Virginia Mountains, but everything is not merry.

    The ghost of a woman appears to Cavendish Brown, a carnival worker lies dead aboard a car on the Ferris wheel, and a bullied teenager plots to kill people at the carnival with a homemade bomb.

    Then things get complicated.

    Cavendish again butts heads with the local sheriff, Clinton Pike. Marbella Wellingway, owner of the newspaper where Cavendish works, receives a visit from the Angel of Death. And a fortune teller at the carnival knows something that could forever change Cavendish’s life.

    With the aid of Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a Goth witch, he must find the killer, help the mystery woman, and risk his life to prevent more deaths.

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    The Fortune Teller's Secret

    The Fortune Teller's Secret

    A dead man on a Ferris wheel and a cold-case murder take Cavendish Brown into a world of carnival freaks, ghosts, and killers.

    EXCERPT

    From the darkness came a whisper.

    “Help me.”

    I heard the woman’s voice clearly. Yet everywhere was black. A void. Impenetrable and empty.

    “Help me, please.”

    Sounds beyond the woman’s plea filled the vacuum. Somewhere a happy tune played on a pipe organ, the music dancing in the wind, a prelude to a circus parade with clowns and acrobats and a dancing bear. Children and adults laughed and cheered. Wonderful scents lingered in the air. Sweet cotton candy and popcorn elicited memories of happy times

    Something else filled the atmosphere. The smells of dampness and dirt mingled, forcing back the joy. Decaying leaves and rot stung my nose. I retched at the stench of death.

    Disjointed images, fuzzy around the edges, traveled toward me then fell away into nothingness. A farm tractor. A wood rail fence. And a sign, blurred except for the words “GATE MUST BE KEPT CLOSED.”

    With the snap, the darkness returned.

    In the black, a speck of light grew into an image, taking form and shape. A woman stood in front of me, dressed gaily in a short ruffled pink skirt below a yellow long-sleeve shirt with triangles of black print. Leg warmers like a dancer might wear were bunched around her ankles. A blue ribbon tied in a bow kept back wild, unruly hair.

    Her wide blue eyes stared at me, unblinking. Her lips, painted bright red, pursed.

    “Help me.”

    A dark wet spot appeared in her brown hair on the left side of her head, growing like a stain. Blood trickled from the edge of her ear and to her throat. Her head twisted, and a deep gash formed on its side.

    She stretched out her arms as if crucified and fell backward in slow motion, tumbling away, then crashing with a deep thud. Her head struck the earth and the blue ribbon came loose. She twisted at an impossible angle, arms and legs bent like a broken doll.

    A man in a denim jacket hovered above her, clutching a rock. He stared at the blood covering his hand. A shiver passed through him. He released the rock, letting it vanish into the shadows that surrounded everything.

    Another man with his back toward me sauntered up to the woman and stopped at her feet. He wore a white T-shirt with a cigarette pack rolled into the sleeve. He scratched the back of his head, mussing his hair. “What did you do, Johnny boy?”

    “I killed her!” The man in denim fell to his knees.

    The one in the T-shirt took a drag on a cigarette and tossed it aside. “I’ll take care of things.”

    Shadows swelled around them and eclipsed everything except the woman’s face. Her eyes opened. Her lips parted. The whisper came once more. “Please, help me.”

    “No, no.” I wanted to run and flee this place of death, to be away from these evil men. “No.”

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