Evil Speaks Softly
They were never supposed to meet.
Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.
They were never supposed to find love.
Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old, family home until she met Gage. His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead.
They’ve broken all the rules.
Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.T
“I met this strange man at the bar last night. He told me some really weird stuff.”
I paused. When she remained silent, I continued. “He said it was related to my writing.” She watched me with the fascination of one who desperately wanted to look away but couldn’t. As if a deer blinded to the oncoming headlights, she was fixated, trapped. “He said to talk to you.”
I searched her face. I knew my Grams. When resignation settled on her features a knot clenched in my stomach from either fear, or the excitement of validating Gage didn’t fabricate the story. Perhaps he wasn’t crazy.
Grams slowly closed her eyes and opened them again. “He found you?”
She turned to stare out the frosted window where the birdfeeder sat frozen over from the recent snow. “I can’t believe he took that risk. Watchers are never to approach the Recorders. It could totally upset the balance.” She worried her lower lip between her teeth.
When she used the same terms as Gage, my anxiety elevated. I expected her to deny his claims and then we’d laugh about the incident. “Grams, please tell me. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I took a deep breath. “Some weird things happened last night. Occasionally I notice unusual things, but it’s an old house and I have an active imagination, but this time it scared me.”
I waited for an answer. If nothing else, Grams was always honest. I thought I knew everything about her. I couldn’t believe she kept something from me all these years. Something I obviously needed to know about.
“I hoped it would skip you.” She shrugged and looked almost apologetic. “They say sometimes it skips a generation.” She retrieved her hands from mine and grabbed the arms of the chair to help her stand. She stood a moment until she gained her balance and then walked to the bookshelf. As she ran her hand along the titles, she caressed each book like a lost lover.
“There was a reason I started writing romance.” She turned to me with eyes filled with unshed tears. “More reasons than I let you know before, because I couldn’t tell you.” She tried to disguise the pain flitting across her features, but not before I saw her poorly concealed agony. “Not after your mother.”
I stiffened, unsure if she mentioned Mom as another way to divert the subject. If there was one topic that shut down any conversation between us, it was my mother. We didn’t talk about her—ever.
“What about my mother?” When I saw the strain lining Grams’ face, I feared her response. Mom’s suicide was hard on both of us. Although it seemed harder on Grams, because she blamed herself, though I never knew why.
“If I tell you this.” Grams leaned toward me shaking her finger with the same force she used twenty years ago when I got in trouble in grade school for fighting with Billy Jones. Because girls weren’t supposed to fight boys and win. Grams swallowed audibly and then repeated, “If.”
She waited until I nodded.
“You have to promise me you won’t stop writing.”
“What?” I almost laughed in her face. Telling me to stop writing was the same as insisting I stop breathing. “There’s no chance of that happening.”
She grabbed my shoulders and shook me. I startled at her actions. “Promise me, Olivia. Promise.”
“I promise.” The words came out as a whisper, but it was enough.
She walked away, showing her age much more than I’d ever noticed before. She held the wall for balance until she arrived at the only window in the small room. She stared out, giving me her back.
I sank into the chair and waited, fearful any word from me would send her running like a frightened deer.
She drew her shoulders back. “What I’m about to tell you caused your mother to take her own life.”
I scowled. “Grams, you can’t keep blaming yourself for what Mom did.” I turned away, the old anger at my mother resurfacing. What mother could commit suicide when they had a ten-year-old fatherless child?