How thin is the veil between life and the hereafter?
With her husband safely home from a dangerous mission to save his sister, Grace believes her constant fears and encounters with uneasy spirits will stop and life will settle into a normal pace.
A fun day with family, the only item on her agenda, Grace, Harry and her step son, Will plan a day at a Civil War encampment. The summer day darkens when Grace becomes a witness to a murder and a century old mystery.
Civil War reenactors strive to stage an encampment true to the times. But the 10th Regiment goes too far when the spirit of a Union Lieutenant confuses them for his long dead comrades?
She realizes what the Lieutenant wants from her—to right an injustice that haunts him through eternity. Before she can act on behalf of the dead man’s quest she becomes a target for a murderer who can’t chance Grace’s identification.
Harry’s earlier success in rescuing his sister turns to horror when the family learns the South American drug lord he tricked has issued a death contract, ultima venganza, on Harry and his family.
Grace’s normal life spins out of control and leaves her praying when morning comes her family will be alive.
When the bullet thudded into the tree behind me I was as surprised as the shooter. I touched my face where the sudden air current had skimmed my jaw. A second after full realization reached my brain my knees went wobbly.
The Confederate soldier scrambled over the hummock he’d crouched behind and ran toward me. It was a foot race between Johnny Reb, two Union privates and one angry Englishman.
Harry reached me first pulling me into his arms and away from my near fatal location. His forehead twisted in deep furrows above blue eyes that filled with relief. He tucked my head against his chest. I felt his heart hammering against his ribcage.
His voice carried over my head. “Who in the blazes is in charge?”
Half the field was in my line of vision. The errant shooter stood head down, panting from his dash to the tree line, his weapon held loosely at his side. He lifted his chin. “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.” He looked at each of the other reenactors, back at me, his gaze swung at the tree and back to his buddies. “I didn’t expect anyone to be here, I mean a civilian.”
A tall man dressed in a Confederate uniform rushed into the circle turning immediately to the shooter. “Pete, what happened? Why were you firing into the trees, the target was the haystack.
“The haystack!” Harry’s body shook with anger. “The bloody haystack? It’s ten yards in that direction.” Harry flung out his arm indicating the area opposite my previous perch.
Pete’s commanding officer met Harry’s outburst with a calm voice. “I’m sorry.” He looked at me. “I’m happy you’re okay. This side of the field was never in our plan.” He faced Harry. “Please accept my apology, I’ll find out what happened.” He put out his hand. “John Carver.”
Harry reluctantly grasped the outstretched hand. “Harry Marsden. My wife, Grace.”
Our circle grew as news of the accident spread throughout the encampment. I knew which sets of feet would be rushing at me in varying degrees of ability and agility.
“Harry, they said a woman was shot.”
My brother Marty reached us first. My dad clocked in three steps behind him. Not bad for a baby boomer with a pasta paunch.
Harry pivoted toward them bringing me round to their view. “I’ve got her, Mike. She’s fine.” Harry looked past Marty and spoke directly to my dad. “No one is shot; bad report.” He loosened his hold on me in a seamless transfer to my dad’s bear hug and stepped closer to the tree.
“Honey, we heard that a woman in a dark green jacket had been shot. We couldn’t fine you.” He hugged me harder.
“I’m okay, Dad. I’m okay.”
He slowly released me.
My brother tapped me on my head. “Way to go, Sis. You got the whole camp streaming this way.” My younger brother’s pronouncement wasn’t far off the mark. Of the over one hundred participants at this re-enactment more than half were either milling around and craning their necks for a better view or making their way across the field.
A man with bars on his blue uniform pushed through the outer edge of people. He came directly to me. “I’m Jack Shewman, the organizer for this encampment.” He nodded briefly at John Carver. “I was in the other field setting up for this afternoon’s battle. I came as soon as I heard.” He removed the wide brimmed hat and blotted the sweat on his forehead with his forearm. “Thank God you weren’t hurt.”
“She could have been killed. What’s the matter with you people? Don’t you teach these bozos how to shoot before you give them a loaded weapon? My father’s voice rang with anger.
The captain stood his ground fingering the brim of his hat while he waited for my dad to stop. When he heard the pause he spoke. “Mister?” he waited.
“Morelli, I’m her dad.”
Jack Shewman nodded once. “Mr. Morelli, this is unfortunate. A scare like that is nerve-wracking but your daughter was never in mortal danger. We use blanks, special wadding and not lead balls.”
Apparently, he thought that settled it. Apparently it didn’t.
“Wadding you say, Mister Shewman?” I heard the lowered pitch in Harry’s voice. “Then I would suggest, Mister Shewman, that you don’t know your arse from a wad to wipe it with.”
Everyone turned to stare at my husband who stood at the front of the tree I’d stood before earlier. He tipped his open palm forward to reveal a piece of metal the size of kid’s gumball.