In this opening book of the Soul Searchers Series, a con-artist who's been hired to locate a buried treasure finds more than she bargains for.
Rio Laraquette thought the legend was nothing more than an enchanted tale about star-crossed lovers who left behind a fortune. That is, until she figures out that she--in a past life--was the culprit who stole a shipment of gold and silver and buried it somewhere in the hills of northern Nevada.
While searching for the treasure, Rio's heart begins to ache for a man who's been dead more than one hundred years. They say time heals all wounds, but what if it doesn't...?
** Book One in the Soul Searchers Series is a novella of approximately 45,000 words. This title is also available in the convenient Broken Wings/Vegas, Baby 2-Pack. Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Searchers-Omnibus-Broken-Wings-ebook/dp/B004NIFUPK
US Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00439GLEI
UK Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00439GLEI **CURRENTLY FREE IN UK**
UK Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00439GLEI **CURRENTLY FREE IN UK**
"Magical, whimsical, enchanting...a must, Must, MUST read!" --The Crazy Bookworm
"In a twist of fate and a love for the ages, Sandra Edwards has built a romance that warms the heart." --A "Top Pick" from The Romance Reviews
"I loved Broken Wings and if you like intrigue, twisted plots, a love story, and an elaborate con worthy of The Sting all rolled into one well written and developed book, you'll love this one, too." -- Manic Readers
Sandra is an award-winning author with eclectic tastes. She writes in a variety of genres such as paranormal (mostly time travel and reincarnation), contemporary, and suspense. Her books often push the envelope and step outside the boundaries of conventional romance. She lives in the U.S. (west coast) with her husband, two kids, four dogs and one very temperamental feline.
Rio marveled at how the town of Virginia City was still preserved in all its glory. Had it not been for the power lines and vehicles lining the streets, she might have thought she’d stepped back in time.
There was something eerie about the place. If she really thought about it, this was the same sidewalk people had rambled along more than a hundred years ago. Tourists could still enter the same shops, saloons and hotels the miners, shopkeepers, and less than desirable folks frequented back in the day.
She could easily see the most levelheaded people swearing they’d felt a cool, brisk nudge bump up against them as they ambled along the town’s vintage wooden sidewalks, even though was no one there.
That gave her the willies.
Billy parked the car in front of an old saloon that’d been converted into a gift shop. They exited the car and strode up to the wooden sidewalk, merging into the flow of tourists milling along the city’s storefronts. They’d all come to visit the nation’s largest historical landmark.
Passing by the Delta Saloon, Rio felt a chill shiver through her. She tried to shake it off and something inside her unraveled. Her shoulders shook.
“The Suicide Table reaching out here and grabbing hold of you?” He teased her with an elbow nudge to the side.
Rio stopped. “What?”
He gestured toward the saloon in a grand way. “The fabled Suicide Table.”
“You’re joking.” She rolled her eyes over him. “Right?”
He pointed a single finger upward, and a sly smile curled on his lips as his eyes shifted upward. Rio’s gaze followed his to the sign hanging above their heads advertising the now-famous Suicide Table.
Billy told her all about how the historical object, back in its day, was nothing more than a faro table. Over the years, many versions of the misfortunes the card table bestowed upon gamblers had grown into full-fledged legends.
“You want to go see it?” Billy asked with an eager grin.
“It’s just a stupid old table…” Rio was starting to feel a little freaked out, but couldn’t understand why. She needed to remain indifferent. And she would, even if she had to put on a front. “What’s so great about that?”
She took a couple of steps away from him and he followed her. “You know…” He taunted her with a nudge. “They say that anybody who’s ever owned that table has taken their own life after losing their entire fortunes.” He enjoyed stretching the truth. In all actuality, it was only three of the previous owners that had met an untimely demise at their own hands.
“Well,” she said, her voice oozing skepticism, “the current owner seems to be fairing okay.”
They made their way along the wooden sidewalk; Billy couldn’t resist the temptation to tease her a little more. “You know…there’s ghosts all over the place up here.”
“Nuh-uh.” Her disbelief seemed to freeze her features into a scowl.
“Sure there is.” He pointed to the Silver Queen, a hotel and saloon, just ahead of them. “Take this place up here, for instance.” He nodded. “There was this girl, and she was pregnant and unmarried.” They stopped in front of the saloon while he weaved his tale. “When she realized her lover was not going to make an honest woman of her...” Billy fell silent while his eyes drifted up to the second floor. “She killed herself in one of those rooms up there.”
Rio gasped. “That’s a terrible story.” She didn’t know why, but she was bothered by the thought of some poor girl being abandoned by a shady lover. She scrutinized Billy for a moment and then decided, “You made that up.” She spun on one heel and continued on.
“It’s true.” He followed after her with mischievous laughter echoing from his throat.
They happened upon one of those photo shops that take the old photographs. A twinge of familiarity brushed past Rio. “Hey…” She grabbed his arm. “Let’s go get our picture taken.” The desire had come from out of nowhere, but she dragged him inside with an eager enthusiasm that she couldn’t explain.
In no time, Rio had dressed up like a saloon girl in the old west. The costume was sexy. She looked good in it and she knew it. Parading through each room, she wandered around until she found the saloon backdrop.
She hopped up on the bar and struck a pose. Billy sauntered through the doorway and strode across the studio, wearing a cowboy hat and holding a bottle of Jack. He leaned against the banister and nuzzled up next to her, resting his free hand on his holstered gun.
She gazed at the camera, without much thought of anything roaming around in her mind, and when the flash went off the light blinded her for an instant.
When her eyes refocused, she was standing in front of the Delta Saloon with two other women. They were all dressed funny, in old-timey gowns. Rio felt like she was wearing about a hundred yards of material, and she had on a corset. She could tell because she could hardly breathe. She and the other women, whom she thought looked a little like her, were about to have their picture taken.
The camera’s flash sent her reeling back to the present and back inside the photo studio. Rio looked around, awe-struck by what she thought she’d seen and experienced. She wasn’t sure what had happened, but that didn’t hinder her nerves from making an appearance. They twisted and knotted in her gut. “What the hell was that?”
“You okay?” Billy skimmed his fingers over her shoulder. “What’s wrong? You look like you saw a ghost.”
Slowly, she let her gaze travel over to look at him. She wanted to tell him what happened, but she was too spooked.
“What happened?” Billy’s anxiety chased the curiosity out of his tone.
“It’s weird,” she said in a shaky voice. “I was with two girls and we were getting our picture taken. But we were outside…in front of the place where that deathtrap table is.” At that point, she realized she’d been posing for the same picture that Turner had given her of the Fuller sisters. “I was with Maggie’s sisters.”