The Tunnels is now available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H9CXO7C! Below you can find the blurb and prologue for your reading pleasure.
Harbor Springs, a tiny resort town in northern Michigan that serves as the summertime playground of the wealthy, famous, and sometimes infamous.
Starting a new business with her aunt, the fiercely independent Kylie Branson moves to town and unwittingly purchases for her home what had once been the summer stomping grounds of the notorious Purple Gang of Detroit. Soon she finds herself getting into predicament after predicament. Fortunately for Kylie, local fire chief Jason Lange always seems to show up at the right moment to rescue her. Unfortunately for Chief Lange, Kylie isn’t the kind of girl that believes in being rescued.
When Kylie’s puppy gets stranded in an old air shaft in the woods, Kylie soon discovers that she may have gotten more than she bargained for when she purchased her home. Could the local lore about what was once Club Manitou be true? Kylie won’t rest until she has learned the whole story.
“She’ll never give you the time of day, so you might as well stop staring at her,” the bartender advised Maitre d’ Paul Preston as he wiped down the bar on one of the busiest nights Club Manitou had seen.
Paul took a slow draw on his cigarette and smiled confidently before exhaling. He looked back across the room again at the woman sipping liquor out of a tea cup, just as they all did in case of a raid. She set the cup down and used her thumb to remove the red lipstick mark left on it, using the distraction to throw him a sideways glance.
The bartender stopped wiping and leaned his elbows on the bar across from Paul, effectively mirroring him. “Even if she wasn’t married, the likes of her would never become involved with the likes of you.”
The maître d’ exhaled and moved his gaze from the beautiful sipper to the bartender. “And what makes you say that, Scotty?”
The bartender leaned in closer and pressed a finger against the side of his nose. “Because you’re crooked, and she comes from some hoity-toity Detroit family.”
Paul smirked and looked back at the woman with wavy, short brown hair as he continued to talk. “Crooked is just a matter of perspective, Scotty.”
Scotty let out a snort. “They don’t get much more crooked than The Purple Gang.”
Still smirking with confidence, Paul made eye contact when the woman glanced at him again. He leaned in to the bartender as he put out his cigarette in an ashtray on the bar. “As I said, Scotty, it’s all a matter of perspective.”
He stepped away from the bartender, passed the large double-sided fireplace that separated the basement bar and lounge from the game room, and crossed to the wait station. Standing close to the rest room doors, he kept his head down as he pretended to check the wait station over, unnecessarily moving a creamer pot and checking the sugars.
He felt her approaching before he turned to see her hesitate purposefully before stepping into the ladies room. Glancing around to be sure everyone was otherwise occupied, he stepped in behind her and locked the door.
“We’ve got to stop meeting like – ”
Before he could finish, her arms were wrapped around him, her red lipstick leaving its mark on his mouth. His hands moved into the waves of her short, brown hair, and for a moment the realities of their lives disappeared as they stole time that didn’t belong to either one of them.
Minutes ticked by as the two began to consummate their affair when a gunshot exploded.
“What was that?” Phyllis asked, pulling back.
The gunshot was followed by a heavy rolling sound. “They’ve closed the steel door at the base of the stairs,” he informed. “It’s a raid.” He pulled away from her and started to tuck his shirt in.
“A raid?” Phyllis looked panicked. “So we’re trapped down here?”
Paul looked around with calm eyes. The plan he’d been over a hundred times with the staff would be going into effect any second now, but his mind was instead on an opportunity. His focus left the surroundings and returned to her. “This is our chance, Phyllis.”
“We can get out of here and start fresh.” Phyllis looked stunned, and he expounded. “We can get out of here, move far, far away, and start a life together.” His hands moved to her shoulders now as his spontaneous plan became clear to him. “A life where no one knows who we are or where we came from.”
“Just disappear?” She looked around the bathroom, confused.
He heard the noise of liquor bottles clinking as they were packed into crates just outside the door. “We have to go now. Are you with me?”
She searched his eyes, wondering if she could believe him. She had a comfortable life as the only daughter to the prestigious Whitley family of Detroit. Her eyes wandered as she also remembered the much-older husband she would be giving up. The husband who had indiscreet affairs. He was a husband who had been friends with her father, and she had been awarded to him like nothing more than a chip in a poker game.
Her brown eyes met his. “Yes,” she said with certainty.
Paul unlocked the door for his staff before moving in a few steps to the back wall of the rest room. Reaching behind an overlapping seam of the wallpaper, she saw him push into the wall before stepping back to effortlessly pull a cement-block door open whose hinges were hidden behind another seam of loose wallpaper. Behind the door was a room stocked to the ceiling with bottles of liquor on the front wall. Lining the back wall were floor-to-ceiling shelves of poker chips and decks of playing cards.
“We’re hiding in there?”
“No.” He put an arm protectively on her low back, guiding her into the hidden room before pulling the concrete door closed behind him.
She heard two bullets fired followed by the sound of them ricocheting off of the eight-inch-thick steel door that had been rolled across the entrance to the basement.
Moving with lightning speed, Paul removed two shelves of poker chips against the back wall and set them conveniently on the only two empty shelves. He pushed on the wall behind the remaining shelves, and Phyllis saw that it was, in fact, another door. What appeared before her was a large tunnel lined with square cobblestones around its entire circumference.
Phyllis gasped before leaning forward to peer into the tunnel. “It must be six feet high,” she mumbled more to herself than to Paul. Her eyes strained to see the exit, but she could only make out roots that snuck through the ceiling pavers and hung into the dark hole that looked like it went straight to hell. “I can’t go in there.”
Knowing the staff would be bringing the liquor on the floor in to safely stash during the raid, Paul held out his arm, urging her into the tunnel. “Do you trust me?”
She looked into his eyes again, knowing there was no going back to her old life if she followed him.
There were yells and loud thuds against the steel door now as the authorities tried to gain entrance to the basement. Screams and chaos were outside the door that secluded the two secret lovers. Paul heard his staff in the rest room now, attempting to open the concrete door he and Phyllis had just stepped through.
“Do you trust me?” he repeated.
With both fear and shock in her dark eyes, she nodded. “Yes, I trust you.”
He gestured again, and she ducked through the opening made by the two removed shelves and into the tunnel that would change her life. Paul closed the door behind them as Phyllis heard his staff step into the hidden room.
Find out what happens to Paul and Phyllis and how Kylie discovers their story! Now available at: https://www.amazon.com/Tunnels-Harbor-Secret-Book-ebook/dp/B01H9CXO7C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1466802390&sr=1-1&keywords=the+tunnels