With: Terry Odell
Congratulations to "Priscilla B.", the winner in Terry's giveaway. Please contact JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to claim your prize!
Revisiting old friends is always a treat, but there can be problems. When I decided to write another book in my Pine Hills Police series after a multi-year hiatus, I had to refresh my memory about the town, the businesses, and the characters. Thank goodness for digital files and the “Find” function!
Remaking Morgan, Book 6 in the series introduces two characters, Morgan Tate and Cole Patton. And there’s a dog!
Here’s some more about the book:
There’s no escaping your past, no matter how deep you try to bury it.
Morgan Tate has spent over a decade trying to bury her past, hiding behind self-imposed barriers. When she inherits a house in Pine Hills, Oregon, she decides it’s the perfect time to pack up and start a new life. She arrives to discover her new home is a dilapidated structure, filled with mysteries and secrets, and she’s not sure she’ll be able to live in it as required by the terms of the trust. A threat painted on one of the bedroom walls sends her to the police, where she enlists the help of Officer Cole Patton. Can she reveal who she really is and let Cole into her life? But only as a friend. The last thing she’s looking for is romance.
Cole Patton changed his life’s direction to become a cop after losing his childhood sweetheart to violence, but he’s afraid he made the wrong decision. He fears that someday he’ll have to put his life on the line. If that happens, will he find the courage to step forward? When Morgan Tate shows up asking someone to explain a threatening message in her new home, Cole is eager to help her discover the truth. The task seems simple and safe, and it doesn’t hurt that Morgan is an attractive woman. He’s not looking for a relationship but Morgan intrigues him. When she’s put in danger, can Cole be the cop he set out to be?
And an excerpt:
Morgan Tate’s heart sank as she pulled into the driveway of the ramshackle Victorian home she’d inherited. The misty drizzle didn’t do anything to enhance the house’s appearance. Leave it to Uncle Bob to saddle her with a money pit.
After four long days on the road, worrying about Austin and what she’d find in Pine Hills had her stomach churning like a washing machine on spin cycle. Seeing the house had her dreams for Austin slipping down the drain.
Austin’s talents needed nurturing, and arranging a way for him to leave Dublin, Ohio, to escape with her had been a dream. His mother had promised to get Austin to his music lessons while Morgan was away—if she wasn’t too boozed up to handle it. Inheriting this house had seemed like a dream come true. Show his mother Austin was better off with her for now, in a new town in a nice neighborhood.
She stared at the dilapidated structure, wondering how she could put her plan to work.
You’ll figure it out.
Morgan had never met her uncle. Their relationship had been birthday and Christmas cards, which had stopped when she was ten. Tempted to drive away, Morgan turned off her car before she chickened out and hightailed it back to Dublin, where Austin needed her.
You’re in Pine Hills, Oregon, because Austin needs you.
She should call Edmund Hathaway, the lawyer who’d handled Uncle Bob’s estate. With a deep breath, Morgan brought up the lawyer’s contact information in her phone and made the call. As expected, she got his receptionist, the stodgy Mrs. Braithwhite.
“Mr. Hathaway is at lunch, Miss Tate,” the woman said.
“Please tell him I’m at the house. I haven’t been inside, but it’s not looking good. Nothing like the picture on the web. Will the terms of the trust still stand if the house is uninhabitable?”
“I’ll check and have him call you,” Mrs. Braithwhite said.
Morgan thanked her and ended the call.
According to Mr. Hathaway, the place had been vacant for the last five years. If the place was uninhabitable, what did that mean for her plan to start a new life in Pine Hills? A way to get Austin into a healthier environment, a place where his talents could grow.
One step at a time.
Cursing her hands, painful after so much time holding a steering wheel, Morgan fished the keys to the house from her purse, zipped her windbreaker up to her chin, and pulled the hood over her head. Wouldn’t matter. At the slightest bit of humidity, her hair frizzed into a million wild corkscrews.
Her heart pounding in anticipation, she slung her purse over her shoulder and strode for the porch steps. She halted at the bottom to assess their condition before barreling up. The second step was half gone, its wooden plank split in two, dangling into the space beneath. Clutching the rail, Morgan tested each step before trusting it to hold her weight.
The key slid easily into the lock. Morgan gave it a twist and pushed the door open. Although it was early afternoon, the cloudy skies shrouded the interior in dull gray. She reached for the light switch. Nothing.
She frowned. Mr. Hathaway told her he’d have the utilities turned on for her arrival.
Morgan had never visited, and had no idea what condition the place had been in while Uncle Bob lived here. She’d been shocked to learn Uncle Bob had left everything to her. Apparently, she was his only living relative.
She stood in the entryway, assessing what was supposed to be her home for the next year. No broken windows, a plus. Hardwood floors, another plus. They’d need work, but a couple of area rugs would suffice for a while. The turret living room with its three lofty windows held a lone, sorry-looking green couch. Not another stick of furniture in the room. Definite minus.
An old card table comprised the entire dining room furniture.
In the eat-in kitchen, the door of the avocado-green fridge stood open, revealing a whole lot of empty. The gas stove was of the same vintage.
She braved a peek into the oven. Yuck. Whoever’d used it last hadn’t cleaned it in months—or ever. One of the burner covers was missing. Several cabinet doors hung from their hinges. A quick survey revealed a lone, dusty can of pork and beans, way, way past its expiration date.
Was there furniture in the bedrooms? Would the bathrooms function once the water was turned on? If she had to stay here for a year, did today count as day one? Could she rent another place until she had bare-bones furnishings and functioning utilities?
Why didn’t you think of this before you committed to this arrangement?
Onward. The upstairs awaited. More creaky stairs, but at least these were all intact. She ran her fingertips along the dust-covered wood rail of the staircase, with its turned balusters. Definitely a plus-column feature.
She opened the door to the first bedroom. Room might be a more appropriate description since there was no bed. This room, also part of the turret, lay above the living room and overlooked the street. Morgan stepped inside, turned.
Her heart leaped to her throat. Blood pounded in her ears. She’d have sunk to the bed if there’d been one to sit on.
The words I WARNED YOU! NOW YOU’RE DEAD! written in red-brown paint—at least she hoped it was paint—stood out in stark contrast against the dingy gray wall.
You can buy Remaking Morgan in digital, print, and audio. Please note that I’ll be sharing royalties of all sales of Remaking Morgan through October 25th with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in honor of my daughter. Help find a cure!
And for one commenter, I have a collector’s item copy of Nowhere to Hide in its second iteration. First published by Cerridwen Press as Starting Over in digital format only, then, a revised edition as a stand alone by The Wild Rose Press renamed Nowhere to Hide in digital and print. When rights reverted to me, I kept the title, and updated the book as part of the Pine Hills Police series once again.
Terry Odell began writing by mistake, when her son mentioned a television show and she thought she’d be a good mom and watch it so they’d have common ground for discussions.
Little did she know she would enter the world of writing, first via fan fiction, then through Internet groups, and finally in groups with real, live partners. Her first publications were short stories, but she found more freedom in longer works and began what she thought was a mystery. Her daughters told her it was a romance so she began learning more about the genre and craft.
Now a multi-published, award winning author, Terry resides with her husband and rescue dog in the mountains of Colorado. You can learn more about her books find her online at:
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