The Secret of Burrows Bay

This is the second book in a serialized story about family and friendships…that also includes a little magic. If you haven’t read the first book, you will find it FREE here.

Maggie McCrae knew her granddaughters were not ready for the legacy she must leave them. The house, the grounds and everything that went with it would now be theirs. She vowed she would do all she could to protect them and hopefully, give them the time they needed to fulfill their destiny. Gabriella and Moira must learn to trust themselves and each other as they discover the true magic of Burrows Bay.

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Read the beginning of The Secret of Burrows Bay right now!

MacInnes Mansion, October 1900

From the outside, the house seemed almost finished.  The front porch and balconies still needed a coat of white paint, but the brick work was done.  The cedar fish-scale siding on the third floor would soon weather to a lovely shade of gray and all the stained-glass transoms were installed above the windows and French doors.  Inside, the walls on the first and second floors were almost ready for plaster.  All that remained unfinished was the third floor and deciding how best to use the space.

“Rory, I told you,” Agnes MacInnes said to her husband, “we do not need any servants living in the house.”  She smiled up at him, her green eyes sparkling.

“Not even T’Eqwem?’ Rory asked, taking her hand.  He loved the way her auburn hair caught the late afternoon light from the window.

“That’s not fair,” Agnes replied, trying not to laugh.  “You know I don’t think of her as a servant.  She’s more like a member of our family.”  T’Eqwem was the young Native woman, who helped her with the children.  She was also her best friend.

“Well, she still needs a place to live…and that means you owe me a dance.”  Rory smiled as he took her hand and they waltzed slowly around the unfinished third floor.  He was a big, strong man and a surprisingly good dancer.

“All right, you win,” Agnes said, looking up at him, “but I do not think we need anyone else living up here.”

Rory spun her around once more, then gave her a quick kiss.  “I believe we may need a few more people to help out with a house this large.  It makes sense to use the space as the servants’ quarters.”

Agnes looked around.  This was their seventh disagreement about the house this week and their fifth waltz.   “We could make this an area for the servants,” she agreed, “but then, where will the boys play if it rains?  In the library?”

Rory realized she had him there.  “All right, we’ll frame in a few rooms and leave one area open for the playroom.”  He shook his head.  “Do I really have to do the polka?”

“You know I’m always happy to trade my dance for more garden space,” Agnes replied with a smile.

“Aye, you and your gardens.”  Rory leaned down to give her another quick kiss, but this one ended up being much longer than he’d planned.  “I could take the rest of the afternoon off,” he murmured, thinking how lovely she looked with her hair down.

“We’ve got the architect arriving in half an hour,” Agnes reminded him.  As she looked into those dark blue eyes, she added, “Afterwards, I’m sure T’Eqwem would be happy to watch the children for an hour…or maybe two.”

Rory smiled.  “Let’s go down and see if John has any questions for the architect.  I think he has the carriage house foundation almost finished.”

“We could put the servants’ quarters above the carriage house,” Agnes suggested.

“We could…but where would we store all those garden supplies?” Rory asked.

“There aren’t that many,” Agnes replied, “but we do need a place to relax and enjoy a view of the garden.  Maybe we should add a gazebo.”  She ran her hand up his arm.  “They’re very romantic.”

“A gazebo,” Rory repeated.  “Hmm…I think that would be a fine idea.”  He took her hand and kissed it.  “Maybe one large enough for a waltz?”

Agnes smiled.  “I don’t see why not.”  They were still holding hands as they went downstairs and out the front door.

Chapter 1

MacInnes Mansion, Present day

Gabbi McCrae opened the door as George Bronson walked up the front steps.  He was tall, Native American and very handsome.  He was also the contractor, who had agreed to help Gabbi with her kitchen remodel.  Being a chef, she had definite ideas about what she wanted in the space.

“Did you bring the cabinet?” Gabbi asked.

“Of course,” George replied, noticing her blue eyes turned almost lavender as she smiled.  “It’s in the back of my truck.  I just need some help unloading it.”

“I’ll go with you,” said one of the volunteers, who was helping to get the house ready for the Halloween party in two weeks.  Gabbi and her cousin Moira Dunbar had agreed to host the party at the mansion for the local animal shelter after their original location was flooded.

“Thank you,” Gabbi replied, following the two men out to the truck.  “This is perfect,” she added a few minutes later, rubbing her hand along the top of the cabinet as they set it down in the kitchen.

“I thought you might want pull-out shelves,” George said, “so I added two in the main cabinet, but there’s room for one more.”

“No, this is fine for my larger mixing bowls,” Gabbi replied.  Taking a step towards him, she smiled.  “Thank you, George.”

“My pleasure,” he said, smiling back.  Gabbi was tall, only a few inches shorter than he was, with long dark hair that fell in waves down her back.  Realizing he was staring, George quickly looked at his watch.  “I have a few hours before my next meeting.  Do you want to go look at appliances?”

“That would be great,” Gabbi replied.  “I really need to find a range, then we can put in this cabinet.”  She grabbed her jacket off a hook on the way out. “Let me tell Moira I’m leaving.”

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