My name is Kevin Brickman and I’m the owner of the Blue Whale Inn. I worked with the FBI for many years before retiring here to Duck, North Carolina. I saw and heard terrible things during that time. Some of them still wake me up in a cold sweat at night.

The last few years of my career, I worked with a gifted psychic, Ann Porter, who specialized in finding missing children. I respected her, and her abilities. In time that respect turned to love. We were engaged during the last case we worked together, ten years ago. We found a missing child too late. Ann came unglued.

I never thought I’d see her again after she was admitted to the psychiatric hospital. I moved on with my life, even though it was painful. I left the FBI, started fresh. I never wanted to see a look of horror on anyone’s face like that again, never wanted to have to tell another mother that her child wasn’t coming home.

The Town of Duck has been my salvation. It’s full of pirate lore that people recite as though it happened yesterday. There are still myths and ghosts here where Sir Walter Raleigh first landed in the 1500s. Hurricanes come through and tear things apart. It doesn’t matter. These people are tough. They get up and rebuild. I admire them.

The Mayor of Duck is Dae O’Donnell. She also runs the local thrift store, Missing Pieces. She is the town’s finder of lost things.

I think I was lost when I met her. She has brought life and sunshine into my dark life. I wonder at times if I’ve been drawn to her because of her psychic gift. It’s not as strong as Ann’s, but Dae hasn’t had Ann’s training.

Dae uses her instinct. She sees with her heart when she’s looking for watches, handbags and other items that people ask her to find. She loves her town and the people in it. She genuinely wants to make her world a better place. How cool is that?

Sometimes, like now, with a young girl missing in Duck, her father murdered, I worry that Dae will suffer the same fate as Ann. I help and advise her as best I can, but I can only protect her so much from everything that I know is out there. She wants to see the best in people, but I know there is a cold ugliness that can creep up on you. I don’t want that to happen to Dae.

Ann found me here. She’s come back into my life. She told me that our love was the only thing that saved her. I can see the pain in Dae’s eyes when I tell her I owe it to Ann to try and make it work with her again. I can’t hold Dae and tell her how much I miss her. What happened to Ann wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t her fault. I have to do what’s right, even if it might not be what I want.

I don’t know what will happen in the future between me, Ann, and Dae. I only know that it will take the three of us to find Betsy Sparks, our little kidnapped girl. My biggest part in this is keeping Dae and Ann working, without Ann ripping Dae to pieces. I am caught between my old life, and the new one I’ve created here in Duck.

I wish there were better answers, but I have no time to look for them now. Right now, we have to find Betsy Sparks and the man who killed her father. The clock is ticking.


You can read more about Kevin in A Haunting Dream, the fourth book in the “Missing Pieces” mystery series. The first book in the series is A Timely Vision.

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of A HAUNTING DREAM to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends December 12. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the authors
Joyce and Jim Lavene write bestselling mystery together. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family, including their cat, Quincy, and their rescue dog, Rudi. Visit them at their website, on Facebook, on Twitter or on their blog.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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