Hello and Welcome today I have Author B.K. Stubblefield with us. B.K. has graciously shared Chapter 1 from her book Secrets In Oak Creek!
The following except is copyright protected
“I am so sorry for your loss, Miss Carlisle.” Unaware of Emily’s anxiety, the executor of her aunt’s estate clutched her hands. Aunt Millie’s attorney, Stephen M. Whitney, was a kind older man, and his sincerity meant a lot to her right now. It didn’t dissuade her much from wanting to jump up and run straight out of the room—she needed fresh air and a moment to think about all that was happening. If he was aware of the hurricane of emotions twisting her insides, he didn’t show it. Surprised by the strength of his grip, Emily lifted her gaze to the solicitor’s faded gray eyes, set in an aged-wrinkled face.
“Thank you, Mr. Whitney.”
“I will miss your aunt terribly,” the lawyer confessed. “She was a kind woman, and for many years, she’d been a wonderful friend to this old man.” Stephen Whitney’s Adam’s apple moved up and down in what reminded her of an egret’s neck.
Mr. Whitney’s confession caught Emily off guard. Although Millie had many friends, why this surprised her, she couldn’t say. Her aunt—independent, smart, creative, kindhearted, and always busy. Books were her pride and joy, so much so, she dedicated an entire room on the second floor to them. Floor-to-ceiling shelves, a well-used oak teacher’s desk covered with notepads and scraps of paper, and a soft floral sofa turned the bedroom into her personal library. The inviting space where Millie had written a series of children’s adventure books was untouched by time. Emily’s lips curved into a small smile, remembering the occasions when Millie had invited her to read a chapter of her newest work. Seven years old, she’d felt important, curled up on the sofa and discussing the book’s characters with her aunt. It was Emily’s dream to grow up to be just like her.
“Sixty-five, and spunky as a Welsh Terrier… well, it was such a dreadful way to go.” Though the attorney had spoken just above a whisper, the crack in his voice had snapped Emily’s head out of cozy memories. He was talking about her aunt’s death.
Yes, it has been horrible, and thanks for the reminder, bringing up the grief she’d tried so hard to keep at bay. Not to mention, was there really a pleasant way to die? whispered in her mind, but Emily clamped her lips together before the words slipped from her mouth.
Aunt Millie had collapsed in her driveway. Hours later, the mail carrier, dropping off a package, found her passed out in the gravel with Bentley lying next to her, guarding her. Blocked arteries, the doctor had said, caused a massive heart attack, damaging a large portion of Millie’s heart. Emily had often wondered what would have happened if the mail lady had found her earlier, getting Millie to the hospital sooner? Thinking of her aunt lying in the drive, unable to summon help, tore at her soul, and she wasn’t about to let the attorney rip the Band-Aid from the wound.
A slight pause in conversation made Emily think he’d wanted to say more. Whitney cleared his throat, assuming an animated tone, he smiled and continued, “Millie loved those animals. I’ll tell ya, this nice lady could turn on a grape—when it came to the subject of animal abuse, one could watch her spit nails defending those critters.”
“Yes.” Emily smiled back at the spitting nail image. “Rescue dogs were important to her.”
The lawyer squeezed Emily’s hands, “A warrior in the fight for animal rights.”
Through the puddles flooding her eyes, Emily held her smile. “She was.”
Stephen Whitney tilted his head, keeping her hands in his. Emily wished he’d let her go. Suspecting, he mourned her aunt, she didn’t have the heart to break away.
“The last time she came to see me, she showed me a picture of Bentley, saying she was fostering him, but by the proud look on her face, I just knew she’d adopt him. I’m so happy he’ll be safe with you.”
The lump in Emily’s throat tightened. “Thank you for your kind words, it means the world to hear.” Her voice carried low as she gently removed her hands from his clasp. “Aunt Millie was like a second mom to me, Mr. Whitney. I assure you, Bentley will always be safe with me.”
“That’s good to know, Miss Carmichael. We’ll be in touch. In the meantime, call me if you have questions.”
Stephen Whitney, the perfect gentleman, escorted Emily to the door. On the bustling street outside the attorney’s office, she paused and took a deep breath, but the hot and sticky air did nothing to wipe the fog from her head. The sky had turned nearly black. Bolts of lightning zigzagged across bloated, ominous-looking clouds, followed by the heavy rumble of thunder.
Having lived in Upstate New York for the past twenty-one years, she wasn’t used to the unbearable humidity of this August heat. Like most homes in Sackets Harbor, her apartment didn’t even have a/c—not that she’d missed it. Throwing open all the windows, the lake breeze usually kept her comfortable. Since she worked from home, she’d placed her desk facing the window where she could catch a glimpse of the water. When her neck stiffened from being hunched over the computer for hours to finish a graphic design project, she’d stroll through the park and to the shoreline. After two weeks in Kentucky, the humidity of the August heat still took her breath away.
The air picked up speed, furiously pushing aside everything in its way. Emily leaned into the wind, hurrying along as the first fat drops splotched the sidewalk. She spotted a corner bistro, and without a second to spare, she ducked inside for shelter.
Muted chatter greeted her inside the rustic wood and stone foyer. Apparently, others had had the same idea. A group of about seven men and women shuffled around the hostess stand, waiting to be seated. To her left, an older couple sat on a wooden bench, holding hands, the woman smiling at something her partner said. How sweet, Emily thought, and her heart squeezed. One day, would she be that lucky?
The line moved quickly, and within minutes the hostess beamed a mile-wide smile at Emily. “Will someone be joining you?”
“Just me,” Emily answered, returning the young woman’s smile while inwardly gritting her teeth. Why do people have to point out the obvious? She was all alone now and didn’t need to be reminded of her situation.
From a wooden bucket hanging on the wall, the hostess lifted a prepared set of silverware. “Follow me, please.”
Stepping through the high arch separating the foyer from the dining area, Emily’s gaze swept over the same wood and stone interior that carried through from the foyer. The cozy charm reminded her of the Sacket’s Harbor Brewing Company back in New York. Already, the place was packed, and Emily realized she’d snagged a seat not a minute too soon. Conversations rose all around, glasses clinked, dishes clattered, and from the bar, a burst of laughter sailed through the air. As a server passed by, the rich aroma of a savory broth drifting from his tray. French onion soup, one of her favorites, but today, the steam curling from the cups didn’t spell out her name.
At a corner table next to a window, the hostess placed the menu and silverware onto the distressed tabletop while Emily pulled out a chair. “Your waitress will be right with you,” she smiled, her gleaming teeth worthy of a toothpaste commercial. Gosh, each visit to Aunt Millie’s reminded her how friendly everyone was around here. Not that New Yorkers weren’t, it was just… different—must be all that sweet tea everyone slurps by the gallon.
When the hostess left, Emily’s gaze floated to two ladies chit-chatting a couple of tables away. Mother and daughter, she guessed by their similar facial features and their age-gap. With a sideways glance, she absorbed the duo’s relaxed way of talking to each other. Were they catching up? Discussing something important? From the younger woman’s face easing into a beaming smile, Emily assumed they were just enjoying each other’s company. Regret riddled her thoughts. Why hadn’t she visited her aunt more often?
Emily just wanted to wait out the thunderstorm. She really didn’t feel like eating anything, but when the waitress stopped at the table to take her order, she found Emily undecided.
“Hon, have you had our Hot Brown before?”
“I just saw it, but no, I haven’t.” Emily’s forehead creased as she scanned the menu, wrestling with a decision.
“Sweetie, it’s our special… to die for,” the waitress said, kissing her fingertips while raising her eyes to the ceiling. “A bed of toasted bread, sliced turkey, bacon, and a heap of Mornay sauce, broiled until golden brown—how can you go wrong?”
At the enthusiastic endorsement of the dish, Emily ordered the local favorite. “And a glass of water, please.”
“Your food will be out shortly,” the waitress promised when she returned with a tall glass.
The noises within the dining room faded from Emily’s conscience as thoughts of her aunt anguished her mind—had it already been more than a week since her funeral?
Outside, the rain drummed against the window. She turned her gaze to the old-fashioned pane set deep into the thick stone wall. Fat raindrops rolled slowly over the imperfections of the antique glass—a mirror image of her sadness. The deep well of the sill flashed a memory of the reading nook under her window in Millie’s home. Nestling atop the thick cushion with a sketchbook on her knees, it had been one of her favorite spots to create colorful drawings. It’s where her career as a graphic designer started—drawing Baxter, the cat, the landscape outside the window, and fantasy images of princesses in illustrious castles.
Mom, Aunt Millie, and stepdad, Bill, made up her small family, but Bill insisted they were not just family, but her super fans. He’d framed one of her drawings and hung it on the hallway wall. “I’m keeping this forever because one day our princess will be a famous artist,” he’d said and winked.
“She’s getting it from her aunt,” Millie had laughed, and mom smiled, saying, “That’s my artsy, little girl.” Remembering the moment warmed her insides all over again.
When Mom had married Bill, Emily secretly wished for a baby sister or brother. If only that had happened. It would be a great comfort to share the grief of Millie’s loss with family. Instead, she was on her own. A fast-moving cancer had claimed her mom’s body three years ago, and her death had cut Bill to the quick. Once a strong-willed soldier in great physical shape, Bill numbed his pain with whiskey and beer. Emily never suspected the secret bingeing he’d kept hidden so well. Adding prescription sleeping aids to the mix surely hadn’t been intentional, but either way, the combination had been fatal. Then ten days ago, she’d buried her aunt.
“Here you go, hun. Be careful, the plate is blazing hot.”
“Oh,” Emily startled when the Southern lilt had disrupted her introspection. “Thank you. It looks delicious.” She smiled, taking a glimpse at the scalding plate. Oh gosh, the open turkey creation bubbling under a layer of cheese did look delicious. Hopefully, she would be able to eat more than a few bites.
“Enjoy, hun,” the waitress drawled and left Emily alone with her thoughts.
Waiting for her dish to cool, Emily’s lips curved into a small smile. Little had changed over the last years since the Army reassigned Bill to New York, and they’d moved to Fort Drum. The same woods and pastures still surrounded the house at the edge of Oak Creek, only now she found herself as the new owner of the ancient farmhouse. Aunt Millie had left her entire estate to Emily. What was she going to do with it? She wouldn’t sell, but she couldn’t leave it vacant either. Maybe lease it out?
Tormented with indecision, Emily took a heavy breath.
My sweet girl, Emily. The farmhouse is yours to do as you please, but I hope you decide to make Oak Creek your home. You always loved roaming through the pastures and chasing my two mutts to the pond. Remember that? You were about six or seven. With all my heart, I hope you will be happy here once again.
In her will, Millie had expressed her wish for Emily to move into the timeworn farmhouse, but she’d just moved from Syracuse to Sackets Harbor eight months ago, and making another big move seemed so daunting. Granted, the tiny village was even more rural than Oak Creek, but it was the balm healing her shredded heart. She’d always been a bit of a loner, never having many friends, and the few she’d left behind became fewer with the physical distance. In her new town, she’d met a handful of lovely people, like Danielle, the owner of the gift shop by the lake, who’d become a good friend. Though Danielle was a talker and would tell her life story in an hour, they weren’t close enough to share secrets. Content with her quiet life at the edge of the lake, she’d miss her job and being close to the water if she relocated to Oak Creek. Well, two years ago, she left the corporate nine-to-five grind, and Savvy Design, LLC was born. Every day, she thanked heaven for the freedom of working from home. Her computer would power up from anywhere.
So much to think about. Her stomach clenched, and her eyes watered as the emotions she was trying to push away resurfaced. Emily tore her gaze away from the window, unrolled her napkin, and dabbed the cloth to the dampness about to spring from her lashes. Two tables away, she caught the mother-daughter duo’s curious glances. Nope, she wouldn’t cry. Picking up her silverware, Emily carved out a small piece from the steaming dish tickling her senses. At the mouthwatering aroma of fried bacon rising from between thick slices of Texas toast, her stomach growled—an audible reminder she’d skipped breakfast this morning. Too nervous to eat before meeting the estate attorney, she’d only downed two cups of coffee.
Emily chewed slowly, savoring the mingling flavors. That’s when it really hit her—she owned Millie’s entire estate. That meant all of her assets, too. As the consequences of the realization slammed into her, she swallowed, sending food down the wrong way. Choking and sputtering, with blood rushing to her face, she jerked the napkin to her mouth.
“Hon, are you all right?” The waitress appeared from nowhere, topping off Emily’s water, looking prepared to perform the Heimlich maneuver if necessary.
“I’m fine, thank you.” Quickly recovering from the embarrassing fit, Emily took a few shallow sips, hoping that the rest of the patrons weren’t staring. When she caught the mother and daughter eyeing her with concern, she touched a hand to her chest and sent a warm smile, letting them know she was all right now.
At the attorney’s office, the disclosure of Millie’s will had left her stunned. Her spinning mind somehow refused to grasp the implications of her aunt’s testament. Millie’s farmhouse, a vast amount of cash, stocks—all together worth nearly two million bucks—would soon be transferred into Emily’s name. Because of her aunt’s will, at age twenty-eight, Emily would become a financially independent woman.
Her thoughts muddled. Millie had been a frugal woman, cutting coupons to save a quarter. Her home was comfortable in a 70s sitcom décor. It badly needed upgrading, but Aunt Millie hadn’t seen the urgency to do so.
Convinced her aunt spent all her savings on travels, church tithes, and animal rescue donations, Emily had never nudged her to freshen up the interior or hinted at the outdated kitchen appliances. It was obvious Millie had saved it all for her to do with as she pleased after she was gone. The idea brought tears to Emily’s eyes once again.
Dear God, this was too overwhelming. She didn’t want to think about any of it—the money, the home, Oak Creek, her apartment, and her car in Upstate New York. She’d deal with it later, after the hurricane inside her head stopped, and the fog had lifted from her mind.
Deciding to concentrate on her meal, Emily picked up the knife and fork she’d dropped onto her plate and cut another piece of toast, but childhood memories of living in the rambling old house chased her mind like tumbleweeds chased by the wind.
“Can I get you anything else, hon?” The waitress stopped by the table as Emily finished her food.
“Oh, gosh no, I’m stuffed.” She flattened a palm to her belly, surprised at having finished the whole thing. “Thank you. It looks like the rain has let up, so I’ll take the check when it’s ready… I had better get going.”
“Busy day? Are you passing through or new to town?” The waitress, who Emily now noted her pin and her name, Trudy, was reaching around in her large apron pocket, presumably for her bill.
Not wanting to get into any large conversations, Emily kept her answer noncommittal, “Visiting for now. Thank you,” she said as she set a ten-dollar tip on the table. “This is for you.”
“Why, thank you, sweetie,” Trudy said, “I hope you have a lovely day.” As she cleared away the last of the dishes, Emily reapplied her lip gloss and readied herself to step outside.
She wanted to take her time to decide about her future. A lot has transpired, and she needed to think about what she wanted in life. While she’d waited out the storm, a plan had begun brewing, making her insides flutter with excitement. She pushed to her feet, grabbed her purse sitting on the next chair, and collecting the check from the table, headed toward the long wooden bar where an old-fashioned cash register rested.
Emily settled her bill and stepped out onto the sidewalk. It still drizzled, but the thunderstorm had rinsed the air. Her lungs expanded with a refreshingly deep breath, and just that fast, she’d reached a decision. Childhood memories had opened her heart to moving back to Kentucky and into the home that held some of her happiest moments.
Tilting her head, she faced the sunless sky. “Thank you, Aunt Millie. I’ll take great care of your home. Bentley and I will miss you so much!” As the light rain gently kissed her face, Emily smiled.
Ryan Collins was heading back from New York after a long photoshoot for one of his clients. Commuting from Louisville had its pros and cons, but he just couldn’t justify the move to New York full time. Ryan loved the outdoors, and although the city had its parks, nothing comforted him like the rolling green hills of Kentucky.
“Thank you,” Ryan said as he grasped the drink from the attendant’s hands. The aircraft had hit some turbulence, and it surprised him they were still serving the cabin. Just as he set his drink down, the plane lurched without warning, spilling Coke from the disposable cup onto the plastic tray in front of him. The steward had already pushed his cart ahead to the next row of passengers and didn’t notice, so Ryan tried to mop up the mess with the couple of little napkins he’d given him. The guy in the seat next to him had gone to the rear of the plane—to the bathroom, Ryan presumed—was back now, grabbing the headrest to steady himself before he sat.
Ryan hated flying, and today he felt extra twitchy. Because of storms, the airline had delayed the flight’s departure twice, making him as anxious as a Chihuahua meeting a roomful of tall strangers.
“Looks like this is going to be a rough ride,” Ryan commented to no one in particular.
“No kidding,” the man said, dropping into the aisle seat next to him, buckling up while Ryan checked his camera case stowed under the seat in front of him.
Another flight attendant collected empty bags and refreshment containers, advising passengers to put up their trays and straighten their chairs. She handed Ryan a stack of napkins, and he cleaned his tray before flipping it up.
BUMP. Damn! The drop he felt in his stomach took his breath away. He swallowed hard while somewhere ahead, a baby screamed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We have some poor weather ahead, so please remain in your seat with your seatbelt fastened, but don’t worry. We’ll fly at an alternate altitude to minimize the turbulence. We should be out of this in about five to ten minutes. Thank you.” Despite the small aircraft’s rattle and shake, the captain’s voice remained calm.
Ryan glanced outside the small oval window to his left and wished he hadn’t. With every beat, his heart knocked hard against his ribs. Dread slickened his palms as a bolt of electricity sliced through the sky, outlining a bank of black clouds rushing by, an arm’s reach away.
“Jesus, if this bird goes down, seatbelts won’t matter,” he muttered, scrubbing his hands over his face. He pulled down the window shade against the swirling mass of black sky, swallowing the smallish plane.
The guy beside him stared intently at his phone, seemingly unaffected, while the aircraft rocked and rolled as if gliding over a bed of boulders. For a second, he flicked his eyes up to Ryan.
“Take it easy, man. The back rows bite. It feels worse there than up front.”
“Tell me about it,” Ryan said when the air swooshed from his lungs. It’s where he’d be if not for a last-minute travel change.
“Is the Ville your final stop?” The guy asked, using the nickname the locals called their city.
“Well, I guess another twenty minutes or so, and we’ll both be home,” he said when Ryan confirmed Louisville was indeed his final destination.
“Right.” The guy’s unshaken confidence didn’t convince Ryan, especially since the plane lost altitude at that precise moment. Ryan swore they’d just dropped what felt like another 500 feet. The knot in his stomach tightened, and sweat drenched his armpits at the momentary sensation of being in free-fall.
“Flight attendants, please be seated,” the captain’s tinny voice announced in a clipped tone. Hmmm, maybe he wasn’t so calm after all.
A low groan rumbled from Ryan’s throat. As the plane dipped and bounced from side to side, the bitter taste of dread squeezed his throat. He eyed the motion sickness bag inside the net in front of him and swallowed hard. Hell, if he’d toss up his coke, that would be about as mortifying as stripping naked at the Fourth of July church barbeque. Just get a handle on the shakes and sweat it out, man. Leaning his head against the backrest, Ryan closed his eyes and curled his fingers around the armrest in a tight grip.
As much as he traveled, his stomach still heaved with each takeoff and landing, which no amount of Dramamine or a patch could resolve. Today’s bumper-ride added to what had been going through his mind all week. Was it time for a career change? Let’s be real. If he died today, who’d give a flip if he’d been a hotshot photographer, booked for months by popular fashion magazines? Who cared that his work took him around the world, shooting in exotic places? Or that he’d climbed the pinnacle of his career by working his butt off?
The airplane shuddered, and something clunked. Jesus, what was that? He raked a hand through near black waves, just barely touching his shoulders. Chill man, he told himself as he dried sweaty palms on his thighs.
The first photography lesson in his senior year of high school plunked into his head. Sixteen years ago, he’d been such a geek, hiding his insecurities under a curtain of hair and his skinny body inside oversized clothes. Back then, girls weren’t on his radar, except for one—Miranda, the beautiful high school senior who had initiated eye contact and flirted so openly with him. His self-esteem shot sky-high. He couldn’t believe the popular cheerleader wanted to be his prom date, and Ryan felt like the luckiest dude in Oak Creek High. His high spirits crashed to earth when he found himself to be the butt of a cruel joke by the cool kids. He’d been totally humiliated, and it had hurt like hell.
His mother—emotionally unavailable and with a glacier for a heart—had always called him a dud. Girls only loved real men, the ones with status or money, and he’d grow up to be just like his dad—a failure. But his mom’s meanness only worked in his favor—the school of hard knocks turned this geek into a man. Barrel rolling in a nearby bourbon distillery built muscles and broadened his back. The ladies noticed. When the obsession with his camera made him a star amongst photographers, he only spent nights alone if he wanted to. Casual relationships suited his lifestyle just fine—no-ties, no drama—and he had no desire for change.
Mother had taught him that.
These last few years have weighed on him as if his life needed something more. Was he just looking for an excuse for a change of location, or maybe a new job? Now, at age thirty-four, Ryan was at the top of his game, but that didn’t seem to satisfy him like it used to.
The aircraft’s public announcement system crackled, and Ryan’s eyes flew open. His seatmate cut a quick smile, saying something like the worst being over. Had the storm passed? Ryan’s insides didn’t feel as squishy as before. Thank God, they’d made it through the haunting mass of charcoal clouds unscathed. Although the light passenger jet still stuttered, the violent punching and clobbering had stopped.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re approaching Louisville Airport. We’ve been placed on a holding pattern for about five minutes. Just as soon as a runway is available, we’ll prepare for landing.”
“Almost home.” His travel buddy eyeballed Ryan with an ear-to-ear smile, ‘Didn’t I tell ya’ dancing in his eyes.
“Alright, we made it.” Ryan’s chest expanded with a sharp inhale of canned air, and his anxiety settled into relief. Finally, he could relax. Just a few more minutes before his high-tops hit solid ground. Leaning forward in his seat, he checked again on the camera gear—all good. Satisfied it had hardly moved, he adjusted his six-foot-two frame, feeling stuffed tighter than a Thanksgiving turkey in the tiny space the airline called legroom.
Despite the bumpy ride and the inconvenience of the most uncomfortable seat in the universe of air carriers, Ryan appreciated having snagged an earlier flight home. When the shoot wrapped up sooner than expected, he’d been ready to return to Oak Creek. It had been a tough, long week, and he was feeling it.
No one’s damn fault, but his own.
Even though Ryan was only thirty-four, he felt as exhausted as a runner in an ultra-marathon. Frequent travels, grueling days shooting, and too many nights overdoing the bourbon a bit were finally catching up with him. Although hooking up with friends tonight in his hometown sounded like an excellent distraction from the high-strung world of fashion. For the next month, he’d leave the fantasy life that often celebrated nothing more than the beauty brought out by his talent, and that was fine with him—that world was pretty unstable and plastic. He was happy to return to his normal, enjoy the outdoors with his friends.
Photography coursed through his blood, so he may at some point contemplate switching subjects—maybe shoot scenery for National Geographic. One thing’s for certain, he’d never change his profession—the hometown boy hadn’t changed.
The fears and tensions hanging thick in the air just a few minutes ago had disappeared under the spirit of reaching their destination. He picked up snippets of conversation from the row behind him and smiled, knowing he hadn’t been the only anxious passenger on this plane.
“Flight attendants, please prepare for landing.” Those words and the rumble of the gear releasing from the belly of the aircraft never sounded more welcoming. Wheels touched down, travelers pulled out phones, zipped duffels, and prepared to rocket from their seats just as soon as the seat belt sign went off.
An hour max and he’d be home. He turned off the cell’s airplane mode and scanned his calls and notifications. A message from his friend, Mark Summers, caught his attention.
Sorry, bud, won’t make it to the airport. Bank’s scheduled a last-minute closing. JD will pick u up. Ck ur email. Got a hot new listing. C u at Pat’s later?
Would the man ever quit trying to sell him a new home? Ryan grinned and closed the screen. Mark was his best friend, and as one of the area’s top real estate agents, he continually sent him the hottest piece of real estate to look at. Even though it wouldn’t break the bank to buy a fancy home, Ryan still lived in the gray-painted brick ranch with the white shutters he’d bought with his first stable income—an average home on a double lot in an average neighborhood. Six years ago, he’d turned the walk-out basement into a man cave and added a spacious sunroom. The ceiling-to-floor enclosure gave him a year-round view of the park-like backyard, with its hodgepodge of mature trees and a huge three-tier water fountain. It was his favorite place in the house to recharge and relax, and since he spent more time away from home than living in it, Ryan didn’t see the point in buying something new.
Besides, the house sat three blocks from downtown, which made it the perfect location. If he ever settled down long enough to stay in Kentucky for more than a few weeks at a time, he might build up the two-bedroom cabin on Nolin Lake he’d inherited from his dad. A luxurious log home with a splendid lake view was more his thing, anyway.
Join us tomorrow to meet the Author!