Fiction: Suspense, Mystery
At just over 67,700 words Windward Secrets is a fast paced mystery laced with humor, suspense, and a touch of the paranormal that will make the reader gasp at times, and soften their hearts at other times.
When Claire McPherson booked Windward Cottage, for the annual reunion with three college friends, her biggest concern was whether they would like the weatherbeaten, old Victorian on Cape Cod. Claire, Diane, Jill, and Caroline are in for more than a little Right and R. Windward Cottage has its own special powers of seduction. After 35 years of friendship they thought they knew everything about each other, but the old house draws confessions out of each and leads them unwillingly into a 50yearold mystery.
What was planned to be a vacation filled with fun, food, and reminiscing turns into one that will change their lives forever. Who or what is trying to frighten them? Only one woman’s stubborn determination keeps them at Windward Cottage when common sense tells them to leave. Fear, danger, and unexplained events connect the four women to each other and to Windward Cottage. Three of the women find their futures, and one finds her past.
Readers will recognize someone they know in every character as Windward Secrets heightens their awareness of the heinous crime of human trafficking.
REVIEW ***** (5* rating)
What a fantastic story! Readers of paranormal, crime, chicklit/woman’s fiction and drama will be gripped by K.A. Davis‘s Windward Secrets. What begins as a fun vacation for four old friends turns into an eerie and disturbing ordeal that will have you rooting for these heroines to get to the bottom of exactly what is happening in and around the Victorian cottage.
Each of the friends have a well thought out character. Although they have their own flaws and dilemmas at home, they are able to use their vacation time to have fun, relax, open up about their lives and reminisce on how they used to be. Due to their different personalities and circumstances there is at least one character we can all relate to; from Claire a complete family mum, with husband and kids, but wanting a career of her own, to Caroline who is going through a nasty divorce; while Jill has been single for many years and now ready to dive into some romance, and widow Diane who realises that love has been closer than she realised. Yes, there is also a sprinkle of romance in Windward Secrets too.
But, the initial profound power of the story comes from the mystery and paranormal essence. An early example of this is when the girls know that Diane is running late and so they head for the beach whilst waiting. Whilst there they look back towards the house and see a woman on the roof and believe it is Diane who has managed to arrive earlier than once thought. On investigation they soon realise that nobody is there and Diane’s car hasn’t even been parked! Is it just the shadows playing tricks on them? Or was there a woman on the roof?
With other strange goings on in the house, such as a fire being lit, items appearing and footprints on the porch there is certainly enough atmosphere to keep you on the edge of your seat. You won’t want to read this alone! The reader and the women of the story have many questions they want answered.
“Had someone really came into the house? Was one of them playing a trick on the others? Were they safe?”
One of my favourite spooky scenes in the story is when Claire drifts off to sleep after going to bed to read a book.
“She felt cold, it was dark and raining. There was a little girl with curly, blonde hair standing at the foot of her bed reaching toward her. Claire felt the sweat of fear soaking the mattress. She shook her head and tried to wipe the rain off her face but it kept getting wet. The little girl looked directly at her and whispered, “Help me.””
After piecing some of the strange happenings together, along with exploring the fourth bedroom that has been locked and out of use, the friends soon come to realise that something much more sinister has taken place, and that one of them is loosely connected to a crime that had taken place many years ago. Without realising just how deep this will go they decide to pursue it. Only, who can they trust?
With a very friendly neighbour who takes quite a shine to Jill, local police who do not seem interested to help, and a nearby plumber who keeps driving past their place, knowing exactly where to go when previously asked to sort a problem in the bathroom, and possibly stealing Diane’s underwear, they are at a loss. They can only really trust each other.
The lengths that these women go to reveal the truth is courageous. Not only do they carry out as much research and exploration as possible, but throughout the story they have fun moments, stick together and keep each other strong.
If you love an adventure that is packed with fearful moments, fun moments and some emotional and sober scenes then you will enjoy Windward Secrets immensely. This is not a story to be missed!
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
Middle-grade historical fiction/adventure
My name is Kathleen Andrews Davis and I live in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania with my husband and a horde of deer who insist on annihilating any attempts at gardening. We are emptynesters with two grown daughters and two beautiful grandchildren.
During my long and varied working life I did business writing including everything from press releases to policy and procedure manuals. I served as managing editor of an inhouse newspaper where I enjoyed every aspect of production including writing, photography, and even dummy layout. From there, I moved into marketing pieces and business plans.
My favorite venture, however, was fourteen years in the Bed & Breakfast industry. This was my passion. When we left our lovely old Victorian it left a hole in my heart and I found myself with an indistinguishable yearning to be more and do more. The little wheels in my head started turning and it dawned on me, if I liked commercial writing, why won’t I like creative writing?
Becoming a grandmother was the fuel that fed the fire, and I decided to leave my grandchildren a legacy of words that would outlast any other inheritance I could give.
My first two books in the Emerson’s Attic series, for middle-grade readers, were so much fun that I decided to give an adult novel a try. I love stories about smart, mature women and the characters of Windward Secrets introduced themselves to me when I least expected it. And so, I have found my new adventure and hope to learn and grow as an author.
The knitting needles have slowed, the flower beds (or what’s left of them) have weeds, my fishing rod leans lonely in a corner of the garage, and I can’t get enough of my grandchildren.
HOSTED BY WORDS TURN ME ON