Storm of Secrets: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery
by Loretta Marion
I loved watching Cassie try to figure out the messages from her deceased grandparents as much as any other element of the story . . . This was a suspenseful, well-written mystery and I hope Cassie, her family, and friends will be back for many more.
~The Book’s the Thing
With a total of two crimes and three family secrets, this book will appeal to both women’s fiction and mystery readers . . . I enjoyed it a great deal for the excellent characterizations of the main protagonists.
~Diane Reviews Books
About Storm of Secrets
Storm of Secrets: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 12, 2019)
Hardcover – 327 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07NTY8L1N
A deadly storm, a missing three-year-old child, a suspicious death, and the eerie presence of the spirits of the dead set the stage for the second mesmerizing installment of Loretta Marion’s paranormal suspense series.
A powerful storm descends upon Cape Cod’s Whale Rock at the peak of tourist season–and the weekend Cassandra Mitchell’s and Daniel Benjamin’s wedding is set to take place at The Bluffs, the magnificent Victorian mansion Cassie inherited from her family. In the wake of the storm’s destruction, three-year-old Lucas Kleister goes missing–and the body of small-time drug dealer Lee Chambers is found in a restaurant dumpster. Now, the WRPD are faced with a murder to solve, a missing child to find, and the aftermath of one of the worst storms in recent memory.
While aiding with the clean-up and helping the displaced, Cassie has been receiving cryptic messages from the spirits of her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, the original residents of The Bluffs. At first, the messages are benign, but soon, they begin to point to something more sinister. As Cassie works to decipher their meaning, the specter of a mysterious local legend surfaces. The tale of Barnacle Boy–and what happened to him during another destructive storm decades earlier–will weave through the desperate search to find Lucas and the identity of a killer.
“Modern and historic mysteries collide in Marion’s bittersweet storytelling.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] gripping sequel…Marion seamlessly weaves the multiple story threads together. Fans of tales of regional intrigue will be satisfied.” —Publishers Weekly
Thank you for visiting today!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
After growing up and attending college in the Midwest, I spent a decade in Florida before settling in New England. I was fortunate to have a diverse career that spanned several industries and offered many unexpected opportunities. I am even more fortunate to have a troupe of exceptional friends spread across the country. It was over a decade ago, through the unlikely world of Hospice, that I uncovered a hidden desire to write fiction. I find writing to be a most enchanting experience and it has enriched my life beyond what I could have imagined. My husband is retired, making our travel aspirations easier to achieve, and we now split our time between Rhode Island and Florida. We have always been devoted to our canine children, though we find ourselves for the first time without a loving pooch in our world; a void we hope to soon fill.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
- I once wrote a newspaper advice column.
- I have a degree in food science and dietetics.
- I was once a spelling bee champ and now excel at Scrabble (at the extreme frustration of my husband).
An extra – my husband’s nickname for me is Lady Laptop
What is the first book you remember reading?
Dr. Suess’s The Cat in the Hat
What are you reading now?
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
The Cloister by James Carroll (my book club’s current selection)
What books have most inspired you?
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?
I didn’t decide to be a mystery writer. Mysteries decided on me. I began this journey by writing women’s fiction, but elements of mystery would continue to find their way into all my stories. Since I’ve always been a mystery reader, perhaps it made sense that I would also enjoy writing them.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
I have a few places where I enjoy writing. At home, I split my writing time between our cozy sunroom, which my husband refers to as my theater of creativity, and a stand-up desk in a corner of my master bedroom. Both spaces offer a view out to a preserve and the bay beyond.
Some of my most fertile writing has taken place at a cottage on Cape Cod Bay. It is my favorite writing retreat and was the inspiration for creating the Haunted Bluffs Mystery Series which takes place on the Cape.
The short answer is everywhere! Everything and everyone are fair game to the writer. I keep several notebooks scattered about where I can jot down ideas that come to me as I am observing the world. I also keep a notepad on my nightstand, as often ideas come to me before drifting off to sleep, especially dialogue as I’m thinking through scenes I’m working on. Sometimes I’m even awakened with a good scheme that I don’t want to forget.
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
The promotional aspects of being a published author are the most difficult for me. I want my books – not me – to be receiving the attention. But it’s a necessity for authors to put themselves out before the public to bring that attention to their work. Another challenge would be deadlines. I’m often asked how long it takes to write a novel, and my answer is consistent: Without a deadline, six years – with a deadline, six months!
What do you think makes a good story?
Flawed but memorable characters, especially those guarding secrets, while facing the loss of something that holds great personal value to them; a precious item, a treasured person or place. Conflict of some degree must be the center of any good story. An atmospheric setting is also an essential element.
None of them. Creating and slipping into the skin of characters that are so unlike me is one of the most fun aspects of writing. And I truly enjoy spending time with my characters, even the wicked ones! It’s also an opportunity to live vicariously through situations that are very unlikely scenarios in my own life.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
Interweaving a present-day mystery with one of an historic nature is probably the most distinguishing aspect of my books. It’s a technique that I enjoy employing as I think it adds a richness to the story.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’m working on an intriguing idea for a third Haunted Bluffs Mystery. I’ve also written two new mysteries – one co-authored by my husband – both in the editing stages. I’m contemplating bringing back to life the very first manuscript I wrote. My agent and I both love the book but never found the right home for it. It needs a good polish and I’m hoping to find the time to do that between other projects.
More About Loretta Marion
A true bibliophile, Loretta Marion‘s affection for the written word began in childhood and followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she crafted award-winning marketing and advertising copy and educational brochures. She then applied her writing skills as a volunteer, establishing a Legacy Story program for hospice patients, which inspired her to create her own fictional stories. Her debut novel, The Fool’s Truth, is a twisty mystery set in Maine. Her Haunted Bluffs Mystery Series is set on Cape Cod and was introduced by Crooked Lane Books in 2018 beginning with HOUSE OF ASHES. Her newest release, STORM OF SECRETS, is the second book of the series.
When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey.
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