Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Return To Lerici


 This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A suspenseful, uplifting story of second chances, family bonds, and redemption.

Sisters Elinor and Saffron rarely see eye-to-eye, but they agree that an unknown half-brother appearing in their lives can only spell trouble. The Greene sisters want to support their ailing mother, Betsy, as they gather in their cottage in Lerici, Italy. But they don’t want Betsy to keep searching for Baby Boy, the only name they have on faded adoption papers.

While the Greenes debate, Baby Boy finds them. A rough childhood has led Daniel to a life as a thief. When he learns of his connection to the wealthy Greenes, he decides to scam them. He goes to Italy and using a fake identity observes them at close range. Watching these people makes him ache for what he never had—a loving family.

Betsy is touched by the young man’s story and guesses their hidden connection. Discovering his true identity, she asks the family to help him. But Daniel’s shady past is catching up and putting the Greenes at risk. Should they bring their lost lamb into the fold—and can he claim his heritage if it endangers his family?


Read an Excerpt:

Elinor picked up the letter from the stack of today’s mail on the dining table. The return address was casella postale, a postal box with a number and no name. A clumsy advertisement? The lack of information made her curious enough to open it, though she knew it was going to be junk mail.

Dear Ms. Greene,

I know you have a lost relative, a half-brother your family abandoned. If you do not wish to have this dirty secret publicly revealed, you may send five hundred sixty-two euros by return mail, and nothing will ever be published. No scandal will ever happen if you pay me right now.

Yours sincerely,
A Well Wisher

Dread prickled through her scalp and dripped to her shoulders. She hunched them to shake it off. How wrong she’d been. This was no junk mail, it was aimed at her personally. There was a return address and a demand for money. A scam—but how would anyone know about Baby Boy? That was private, that was even sealed in a closed adoption. Betsy couldn’t find him with all her amateur sleuthing around.

Another chill ripped through her. This person must have hired a detective, but if so, why ask for so little? And why assume the family considered it a dark enough secret to pay to keep it concealed? Plenty of people had unplanned pregnancies that became children given up for adoption. Back in the days when Nathan was a professor at UC Berkeley, it wasn’t enough to pay to conceal, and certainly not an odd sum like this person was demanding.

Something smelled fishy. A “well wisher”? Seriously? And the phrase “by return mail” struck her as American. Yet the return address PO box was in Rome. It seemed more likely that a blackmail attempt would come from an American who had somehow discovered the existence of Baby Boy. Could it be from someone who had adopted the child and now wanted some sort of reimbursement? But the amount was ridiculously small. Blackmailers didn’t take the risk for so little. She knew that much from her addiction to crime dramas and mysteries.

This was one lame blackmailer, or … could it be from Baby Boy himself? Had he somehow found them?

About the Author
Rachel Dacus is the author of six novels, four time travel books in the Timegathering Series and two books of women’s fiction. She has also published four poetry collections. Rachel’s work has appeared widely in print and online, in journal that include Boulevard, Gargoyle, and Prairie Schooner. Her poetry is in the anthologies Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California and Radiant DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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  1. Thanks for sharing the excerpt. Sounds like a good book.

  2. I enjoyed this excerpt, thanks for sharing about the book


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