Monday, September 17, 2012

Mark of the Loon, by Molly Greene

Sometimes I meet people online and I just know that if we lived closer we would be besties. It's like that with Molly Greene, who is one of the nicest, most gracious writers I know in the blogger- twitter- everything verse.

Her book, Mark of the Loon, has just come out, and I'm adding it to my fall reading list. Filled with history, mystery, and friendship, I think it will go perfectly with those Honeycrisp apples I love so much. 

What happens when a workaholic serial remodeler falls in love with an old stone cottage built by an ornithologist and his eccentric Irish wife? If you’re Madison Boone, you kick your budding romance with handsome Psych Professor Coleman Welles to the curb and lose yourself in a new project.

Madison renovates distressed homes in addition to her busy real estate sales career. When she hears about a quaint house on a private tract of land overlooking Lake Sonoma, she climbs in the window for a private tour and falls in love with the place. With help from lawyer Genevieve Delacourt, Madison soon learns that a corrupt attorney is attempting to sell the estate to an anonymous client in a deceitful plan for personal gain. Good fortune enables her to purchase the Blackburne’s property, but far more than a new home and lush gardens await discovery during this renovation.

As Madison works on the remodel, she’s drawn into an old love story with dangerous consequences. She unearths buried secrets and discovers herself in the process. Good thing she has three wise, hilarious friends to advise her along the way! Mark of the Loon is the skillful combination of history, mystery, and romance in a novel that explores deep friendship, choices, and how individuals cope with loss.

And here is a special excerpt from the book:

Excerpt - Chapter 10
Genevieve Delacourt stepped off the elevator on the fifteenth floor of a downtown San Francisco high rise, dressed in a dark chocolate Lanvin suit and matching pumps. A dozen strands of delicate gold chain brushed the top button of her jacket. Her hair was pulled back in a severe bun at the nape of her neck, showcasing cherry lipstick and gold hoop earrings.
She pushed through a door into the unoccupied foyer of Velasco’s offices. Beige tones, carpet to ceiling, unadorned and totally lacking in atmosphere or style. Fitting that the man would have a boring d├ęcor. The perfect complement to his dreary personality.
A clock on the wall behind reception caught her eye. Four o’clock exactly. The plan was to catch him off guard and buy him a cocktail to calculate his frame of mind. Genny didn’t want to wait for the gatekeeper to show up and herd her in the right direction. She tapped her foot, thinking, then guessed and headed north along the interior hall.
Four doors down, Gen stopped outside a partially open door when she heard Velasco’s voice within. She forced a syrupy smile and glided through but found the outer office empty. Everyone apparently left early for the weekend. Maybe they just couldn’t get out fast enough.
The inner office door was closed, but she could hear Velasco bellowing like an uneducated rube at some poor lackey. She didn’t hear another voice. He was probably at the end of a bad phone call. She closed the door and slipped into his admin’s desk chair to wait until the conversation was over.
The loopy feminine scrawl on a calendar at her left indicated a dental appointment today at three o’clock. Beside the calendar, a photo of Velasco posing with a short woman in huge spectacles drew her attention. If she were a betting woman, she’d put fifty bucks on the table that the girl in the picture was Velasco’s secretary. Gen knew at once they were sleeping together by the rapturous look on the plump redhead’s face.
So much for sexual harassment laws.
Velasco raised his voice an octave. She heard him shout, “What the hell do you mean, goddamit, someone else bought it? No one knew. Who else could have possibly been there?” His voice grew more boisterous with every word. “I can’t believe you allowed this. Why didn’t you stop the sale, postpone it or something? What the hell did I grease your palm for anyway, dimwit, if I wasn’t paying you to do exactly what needed to be done? You told me this was in the bag.”
Gen glanced at the phone. With her eyes on the door, she slipped off the handset and punched the only line that was lit on the console. She held her breath and covered the mouthpiece as she moved the phone to her ear.
“Weren’t there?” Velasco screamed. “What do you mean you weren’t there?”
An unfamiliar voice replied, “I thought it best to distance myself from the proceedings. I scheduled a trip to the doctor this afternoon. I wanted someone else to sign the papers. I assumed you would have a representative in place to ensure everything went as planned.”
“Distance yourself? Buddy, you’re as close to this as it gets. I paid for your signature on my client’s documents, moron. You better find a way to cancel that sale and make sure the right party buys the property.”
“I can’t. I won’t. It would draw too much attention to me and the transaction. Someone might check into it and get suspicious. I won’t risk my job. Even worse, prosecution. If I’m implicated, you can be sure I’ll spill my guts about the whole thing.”
The attorney’s voice rose again. “Forget your job. You’re going to lose your fingers if you don’t pick up a pen and sign that house over to who I say. And if you don’t, your guts won’t fare too well, either. That’s a promise.”
“Too late, Velasco. It’s out of my hands. And remember, if I tell what I know, you’ll be disbarred. You just better hope the buyer cancels for some reason, or try to scare them off after the sale closes. I’ll courier your money over Monday. I’m sorry I took it in the first place. As of now, you’re on your own. I’m out of this.”
The phone slammed down.

Molly writes:

Although my day job since 1993 has been Marketing Manager for several high-profile national mortgage companies, I moonlight as a freelance writer, blogger, and author. Previous nonfiction works include the consumer booklet, For Sale By Owner, and the thoughtful self-awareness guide, Someone Worth Becoming. My fiction debut, Mark of the Loon, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I’m at work on my next novel, Rapunzel, which features attorney-turned-detective Genevieve Delacourt, who appears prominently in Loon.

You can find Molly here on her blog and on Twitter.

Mark of the Loon is available on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook.


Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

I totally know what you mean about being besties with online buddies :)

Molly Greene said...

I feel the same way, Allie! You are the best - supportive, generous and talented. Thanks so much for being such a wonderful girlfriend.

Connie J Jasperson said...

Mark of the Loon sounds awesome! Adding it to the queue in my Kindle!

Johanna Garth said...

I just love seeing Molly's smiling face. It always makes me happy and her book sounds like such a fun read!