Title: The Spirit of Grace
Author: Terry Lynn Thomas
Published: January 16th, 2016
Publisher: BlackOpal Books
Genre: Historical Gothic Mystery
Sarah Bennett doesnât remember the night her mother tumbled down the stairs at Bennett House, despite allegedly witnessing the fatal fall. There was talk of foul play, dark whispers, and sidelong glances, all aimed at Sarah, prompting her family to send her to The Laurels, an exclusive asylum in San Francisco, under a cloud of suspicion. Now, on the one-year anniversary of her motherâs murder, Sarah has been summoned home. Convinced of her innocence, she returns to Bennett House, hoping to put the broken pieces of her life back together. But when another murder occurs shortly after her arrival, Sarah once again finds herself a suspect, as she is drawn into a web of suspicion and lies.
In order to clear her name, Sarah must remember what happened the fateful night her mother died. But as she works to regain her memory, the real murderer watches, ready to kill again to protect a dark family secret.
The Spirit of Grace is similar to the Gothic style of Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney.
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Excerpt from The Spirit of Grace by Terry Lynn Thomas:
I had just put the silver away and was in the process of laying the used dish towels near the stove so they could dry overnight, when I saw Zeke in the back corridor. Something stopped me from speaking to him or asking what he was doing back here. He must have gone upstairs and come back down again on the servantâs staircase, which no one ever used except Anca and me.
I ducked behind a huge parka and watched as Zeke bent over Graceâs camera bag, unzipped it, and slipped out a black canister of film, all in one quick fluid motion. After he did that, he took another canister of film out of his pocket and slipped that into the camera bag in place of the film he had taken. He didnât see me standing in the shadows spying on him. He headed back up the stairs, his footsteps quiet as passing time.
I walked back into the foyer and up the main staircase to my own room. Once inside, I locked the door behind me. I changed out of the black dress, fumbling with one hand. The image of Zeke switching the film in Graceâs camera bag ran over and over in my head. I tried to convince myself that he hadnât been doing anything harmful. Maybe he just needed to borrow some film. But I knew what I had seen. I knew what I had heard this afternoonâZeke speaking flawless German on the telephone.
The magic I had felt earlier, the possibility of a future with him had been clouded now. Our future together wouldnât be a happy one. How could it be? I had fallen in love with a spy.
About the Author:
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Terry Lynn Thomas married the love of her life, who promised to buy her a horse if she relocated to Mississippi with him. Now that she has relocated, she has discovered that she can be happy anywhere as long as she has her man, her horse and time to write. Terry Lynn devoured novels by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Daphne Du Maurier as a child. These gothic mysteries captured her imagination, never let go, and influence her writing today. When she is not writing or riding her horse, she visits historical houses and cemeteries, hunting for story ideas.
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