Wednesday, June 19, 2019

#ReleaseDay - "Lacewood" by Jessica James

Sometimes love is just too powerful for one lifetime… 

MOVING TO A SMALL TOWN in Virginia is a big change for New York socialite Katie McCain. But when she stumbles across an abandoned 200-year-old mansion, she’s enthralled by the enduring beauty of the neglected estate—and captivated by the haunting portrait of a woman in mourning.

Purchasing the property on a whim, Katie attempts to fit in with the colorful characters in the town of New Hope, while trying to unravel the mystery of the “widow of Lacewood.” As she pieces together the previous owner’s heartrending story, Katie uncovers secrets the house has held for centuries, and discovers the key to coming to terms with her own sense of loss.

The past and present converge when hometown hero Will Durham returns and begins his own healing process by helping the “city girl” restore the place that holds so many memories. As the mystic web of destiny is woven, a love story that might have been lost forever is exposed, and a destiny that has been waiting in the shadows for centuries is fulfilled.

A powerful and poignant tale that vividly conveys the heartache of war, the tragedy of loss, and the fulfillment of destiny…even when souls are separated by centuries. Lacewood takes readers on a journey that connects the past with the present—and the present with eternity.

Rich in emotion and poignant in its telling, Lacewood is an unforgettable story about love and loss, roots and belonging…and spirits of the past that refuse to be quieted.

Buy Links
Release price is $3.99. Will be $8.99

Universal Link (Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc).


Walking carefully along the neglected path, Katie stepped to the side to touch the bark of one of the trees towering over the front yard. The trunk displayed a distinctive fusion of creams, grays, and browns, but the limbs above were a smooth, snowy white that stood out vividly against the blue sky.

“I’ve seen these white trees before, but I don’t know what they’re called.”

The sheriff stopped and turned. “They’re sycamores. See how the bark forms a lacy pattern at the bottom? Back in the old days they called it lacewood.” He turned and bounded up the steps while Katie ran her fingertips over the intricate design. “It’s beautiful,” she said, under her breath. “Lacewood.”

“Of course, another common name for the tree is ghostwood,” the sheriff quipped over his shoulder while he searched through the keys. “But that wouldn’t make a very good name for a house, now would it?”

Katie lifted her eyes from the multicolored bark at the bottom to the skeletal limbs overhead. Even in broad daylight the trees appeared ghostly, with budding branches reaching out like bony fingers. Yet the unusual color was so beautiful it dispelled any notions of fear.

After one last look, Katie turned to follow the sheriff, who was already opening the door. “Welcome to Lacewood,” he said, watching her reaction when she crossed the threshold. “These fourteen-foot ceilings really hit you when you first walk in, don’t they?”

Katie merely nodded as she stared at the antique chandelier overhead. Though time and dust had dimmed the sparkle, the elaborate detail suggested it was made of the finest crystal. Decorative woodwork bordered the walls and led the eye to the grand staircase off to the right. A sweeping bottom step narrowed and curved up to the second floor, as glamorous and majestic as the movie set of Gone with the Wind.

Katie moved forward, hesitant yet excited. Despite the decades of dirt and decay, she felt a welcoming presence here, a warm and friendly sensation. Sure, the house conveyed the impression it was too far gone to revive. But Katie preferred to think it was slumbering, perhaps dreaming of the day when someone would open the windows, allowing fragrant breezes to drift through the hallways and revitalizing sunlight to stream into the rooms.

Making her way over to the staircase, Katie touched the rich wood of the bannister, worn smooth by centuries of hands. Whose? And where did they go? Why did they leave?

The peace of the house and its timeless beauty unlocked something in Katie, causing a prickly sensation to race up her spine. There were stories here…long-forgotten and hidden just out of her reach. Were they to be lost forever?

Turning in a circle, Katie studied the room again. Faded wallpaper curled in strips above the dusty wainscoting, but the walls themselves appeared sturdy. Down the hall a set of double glass doors stood open in apparent welcome. On the far side of the entryway, and dominating the wall, a mammoth fireplace yawned beneath an ornately carved hearth. Katie’s attention was immediately drawn to a painting of a woman in nineteenth century dress that hung prominently over the mantel.

“Who is she?”

The sheriff turned to the dusty, sun-bleached portrait in the heavy Victorian-era frame. “One of the previous owners, they say.” He shrugged. “The family history kind of got lost with the house. Everyone around here calls her the Widow of Lacewood.”

Katie stood spellbound, riveted on the portrait, unable to speak or even move. The woman was dressed completely in black, but the magnificence of the gown gave the impression of sophistication and class. Her chin was slightly elevated as if to project strength, yet there was more than a hint of sorrow and pain in her eyes.

“She seems so sad.” Katie spoke without removing her gaze. “And so young. How could she be a widow?”

Katie’s heart suddenly struggled to beat, as if her blood had turned to molasses and couldn’t flow. The anguish in the woman’s expression held her spellbound. She could see the pain. Feel a heart ripped apart. Something was missing that could never be replaced.

Katie had felt such loss before. In a way, that’s why she was here.

“You coming?”

Katie heard the sheriff calling from the next room and turned to follow. With one quick glance back, she noticed particles of dust swirling and dancing in a shaft of light, almost like a living thing. Her breath caught as the dust seemed to materialize into the form of a woman, her eyes dull with the same agonizing despair and disbelief as the one in the portrait.

Katie jerked her head around for a closer look and blinked. The woman was gone.

Author Bio

Jessica James believes in honor, duty, and true love—and that’s what she writes about in her award-winning novels that span the ages from the Revolutionary War to modern day.

She is a three-time winner of the John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction, and has won more than a dozen other literary awards, including a Readers' Favorite International Book Award and a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America. Her novels have been used in schools and are available in hundreds of libraries including Harvard and the U.S. Naval Academy.

To combat the sedentary career of writing, Jessica works as a part-time stagehand at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg, Pa., the “grandest small town theater in the nation.”

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting me and letting me talk about Lacewood!


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