I lead an ordinary life most of the time. I get up early and go to bed early. Once in a while, things get crazy, like now with the elections. I’m running for mayor against Mad Dog Wilson who’s determined to bury me. And, of course, this was the anniversary of my mother’s death. My friend, psychic Shayla Lily has tried to help me contact my mom every year but it hasn’t worked yet. There were hard feelings between us when my mother’s car went off the bridge coming home to Duck. I just want a chance to put things right between us.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I set up the mayors’ conference in my hometown of Duck, North Carolina. I wanted all the mayors from the towns in the Outer Banks to get together and talk about our common problems. It was going well too, until the storm. I helped get everyone safely into the downstairs of the Blue Whale Inn. We could hear the storm raging around us but we were blind for once – no cell phones or even police radios during the worst of it. Glass was breaking and everyone was a little scared, despite the fact that we all live here on this tiny strip of land.

We’re hardy folk who respect the tides and learn our island’s folklore when we’re small. We believe in things we can’t necessarily see. That’s why I’m more comfortable with my gift than most people would be. I am a finder of lost things. I’ve been finding missing keys, wallets and whatever you can imagine since I was a kid. My grandmother had the same gift. Other people might think it’s odd but for me, it’s just a normal part of my everyday life

After we were clear of the storm, there was no power but what was even more disturbing, I couldn’t find my friend, Mayor Sandi Foxx. I talked with her obnoxious boyfriend (yes, she’s married) but he didn’t know where she was either. Then I found her pink pump half buried by the storage shed behind the inn. Sandi had been murdered.

What a day!

I thought it couldn’t get any worse. But that was before I met my ghostly ancestor, the scourge of Duck—Rafe Masterson. I couldn’t believe I was related to that awful man. He offered to help me solve my friend’s murder if I agreed to help him prove that he was innocent of the crime he was hanged for almost 400 years ago. It was crazy, but I agreed. People here always say ghosts know things that ordinary mortals don’t.

I guess we’ll find out.

You can read more about Dae in A SPIRITED GIFT, the third book in the “Missing Pieces” mystery series. The first book in the series is A TIMELY VISION.

A Spirited Gift is Joyce and Jim Lavene’s 60th novel! The couple has been working together since 1985 when they started an office supply company in Charlotte, NC. In 1999, their first book, A Family for the Sheriff, was published by Silhouette Romance. Later that year, they published their first mystery, Last Dance, which was nominated for the Master’s Choice Award for Best First Mystery. They live in North Carolina with their family. Their dog, Rudi, and their cat, Quincy, contribute greatly to their success.

** Joyce and Jim have generously offered to give away one signed copy of A SPIRITED GIFT. To enter, you must leave a valid e-mail address in the comment box with your comment. One entry per person and this is open to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. Contest ends on December 9th at 6pm EST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be notified by e-mail and has 2 days to respond. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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