The Cavanaugh House Goodreads Giveaway

I love TheCavanaugh House so much that I want to share it with you! So, I have a
Goodreads Giveaway going on and you could be the lucky winner of a free
autographed copy of my book. Just click on the button next to this post to
enter. To further entice you, here is an excerpt:
June 1968
This might be
the biggest mistake I’ve made yet,
thought Jesse Graham.
She climbed out of her three-year-old yellow
1965 Volkswagen Beetle and waded through tall grass and weeds that scratched at
her sandal-clad feet. Looming before her, the two-story house—her house—hovered,
insinuating more height than it could actually claim. Wrapped in chipped and
peeling greenish-yellow paint, the house looked weary, and the once-red front
door had faded to a dull russet. The roof sagged, and the tiny porch appeared
to be giving up the fight to support the small roof above it. She stared at the
house, and the windows stared back, blank. Above the front door, two windows
mirrored her dismay as the wood trim above them bowed down. In her twenty-eight
years, she had never seen a sadder looking house.
“Oh my God, what have I done?” she
The house was wider than it was deep,
although an addition at the back accommodated a kitchen. Two outbuildings stood
farther back on the property, one an outhouse, the other a small carriage
“Oh, Lord, I hope there’s indoor
Plumbing! Not yet; she hadn’t contacted
the local utility companies to have water or gas and electricity turned on in
the house. She checked her watch, relieved to see that it was just 1:30 p.m.
She still had time to make it into town and take care of that.
Returning to her car, she rustled
through her purse in search of the keys her mother had given her. Her fingers
found the horseshoe-shaped key ring, smooth brass worn down by years of use
holding three keys: a standard Yale lock key, a smaller brass key and a
skeleton key. She headed for the front door and tested the first of three steps
leading up to the porch.  Feeling
confident that they would hold her, she climbed them and faced the door. Her body
tingled as if ants crawled beneath her skin; what would she find in there? This
was the first step to her new-found independence. No one was coming to her aid
if her plans failed. The house was a tumbled-down mess, but wasn’t she as well?
She had burned many bridges in Rochester, and the bridge with her mother was
smoldering. Her father had been out of the picture for years, and she was an
only child. Her dear friend Maggie was her sole support system.
Whatever existed on the other side of
the door was now a part of her existence, too. This abandoned and rejected house
was all she had. And she was all this house had. We’re in this together. Straightening her shoulders, she took a deep
breath and selected the key.  She was
surprised that the Yale key worked so easily in the old lock. Her heart pounded
as she turned the doorknob and entered the house.
It took a moment for Jesse’s eyes to
adjust to the dim interior, for the windows were thick with grime, and the
trees filtered out most of the sunlight. The centrally located door opened into
a small foyer, a room on either side. Straight ahead was a staircase, and
beside it, a hall led to the kitchen. Musty air invaded her nostrils, dust turned
everything a dull pale gray, and she felt ancient, powdery motes settle upon
her like a second skin. Lacy cobwebs stretched from the high corners to the
brass light fixtures hanging in the middle of the ceilings. She heard scurrying
at the far end of the hall and resisted the urge to run outside.
To her right was the dining room with a
door on the far wall that led back to the kitchen. Turning left, she entered
the living room, sparsely furnished with drop cloths draped over the pieces. A
chair sat perpendicular to a sofa with a round coffee table in front. A floor
lamp hung its head in the space between the sofa and chair, and nestled in a
far corner was an oak secretary with a drop-down desk. Drooping at the windows
were barkcloth drapes that once had boasted white gardenias on a rose
background, but now hung in faded tatters, eaten away by dry rot.
Jesse turned slowly, surveying the room.
“Wow,” she said. “Wow, wow, wow.”
Her thoughts traveled to Robert’s
apartment with its white leather furniture, glass and chrome accent tables, and
carpeting so thick it was like walking on moss. It was as though she was on a
“Rat Pack” set when she was there; everything was sleek and modern, tasteful
and expensive. She had lived in that world for the past two years. And like its
furnishings, that world had turned out to be less ideal than it appeared. A
world more than just miles away from this dilapidated house.
Mustering her courage, she pulled the
fabric off the sofa. She shrieked as a flurry of grey shapes scattered in all
directions—one straight toward her. She panicked as paws scurried across her sandaled
foot. Mice! Goosebumps prickled her skin and adrenalin shot though her body. Heart
pounding, she ran out the front door, off the porch and bolted to her car. Her
knees gave out and she collapsed, trembling.
“Are you okay?”
Grabbing the door handle, she pulled
herself up and looked around for the voice’s owner.
“I’m over here,” he said.
She looked toward the road and saw a
blue pickup truck at the end of the driveway. Leaning out the driver’s-side
window was a man about her age, with tousled red hair. Humor lit up his mouth
and softened his strong jawline and rugged face.
“Are you okay?” he repeated as he climbed
out of his truck and started toward her.
Jesse brushed herself off and ran her
fingers through her hair.
“Oh, yes, I’m fine,” she said.
She saw his hazel eyes twinkle with
“I can see that. In a hurry to get somewhere?
I noticed your quick exit.”
She looked at her watch and gasped.  It was after 2 p.m. If she were going to get
any utilities started, she needed to get to town.
“I need to get my utilities started.”
Oh, that sounded

She was a little off balance, and not just because of the mice encounter; this
man’s gaze was warm and unsettling. He chuckled.
“Well, I would never want to keep a
woman from that.”
“What I mean is…”
He held out his hand.
“Joe Riley.”
She shook his hand and smiled.
“Jesse Graham.”
“Nice to meet you, Jessica,” he said.
“Not Jessica, just Jesse. The nickname
for Jessica is J-E-S-S-I-E. I’m J-E-S-S-E. Pronounced the same, spelled
“Oh, like Jesse James,” he said.
“Yeah, I’ve never heard that one
before,” she tossed back.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this excerpt. Now go ahead…click on that giveaway button! Or if you can’t wait to read the rest, you can buy my book at Amazon by clicking here.

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