Title Ghost Point, murder and thwarted love – the Potomac Oyster Wars
Author Diane Scott Lewis
Genre Historical Fiction
Publisher: BWL Publishing, Inc.
Luke, an oysterman, is tangled up in the fight over the Potomac River rights in 1956 Virginia. He loves his wife, but they clash over his illegal dredging of oyster beds. His life is under threat from Maryland’s notorious Oyster Police.
Yelena, the once pretty, popular girl, struggles to rise above her dull existence as Luke’s wife. She defies her husband and takes a job in a used bookstore. A mysterious older man is interested in her, or is he simply after her husband for his unlawful activities as he inspects the murders out on the river? She's tempted to plunge into intrigue and perhaps more. Can Luke and Yelena rekindle their love or drown in the hurricane of their actions? Will the crew-killers be found before Luke becomes their next victim?
“Tell me what’s wrong, Luke.” Yelena said it tenderly, moving up close to him. These actions had always worked before. “I know something is bothering you. You shouldn’t hide things from me.”
His eyes searched hers, his sigh deep. “They fired on us. Ern caught it this time. Damn!” He hugged her against him, his shirt dampening her breasts.
“What? Are you serious?” Her stomach clenched. Her worst fears. “I can’t believe—”
“Shhh, don’t scare the boy. Let’s not talk about this now.” Luke tried to kiss her, but she pulled back.
“Maamaa!” Seger’s voice echoed from the bathroom. “Come see!”
“In a minute,” she called, then back to her husband, “Was Ernie hurt badly?”
“Mostly a flesh wound. We ran him over to Doc Baker’s.”
“I want you to stop this. Please.” She clung to his shoulders, almost pinching them. “I’d like to work, to help out. I’ll ask Pam’s husband about jobs on the navy base. You go back to tonging. You did it before this mess with Maryland started again. Why did you decide to take up this illegal business?”
“Enough, Lena. You got our boy to care for. You don’t need a job.” His order was a low grumble and he moved away from her. “I want more for us, that’s my job. The truck needs fixin’. And I ain’t no coward from the fish police.”
“No one said you were.” Her voice quivered with frustration. She’d seek employment and not tell him until she had it. “Isn’t Maryland just trying to keep the natural resources that protects the beds? You once believed in that.” She swallowed past the lump in her throat. “But to shoot people—that’s going too far. My cousin Nancy’s husband said they were fired on.”
“Jerry? He talks too much. Go see to our boy.” He walked away, his shoulders bunched, chin down like a bull, and she knew his hackles were up.
She nearly choked on her accusation that his father had something to do with Luke’s jump into dredging. An ornery man who should be ignored. Luke was becoming a little like him. Her skin prickled.
Once Seger was in bed, she joined Luke on the sofa where he drank a second beer. She sipped a cola, slowly; the sweet beverage fizzed in her stomach. The silence spread out, pushing at the wooden walls, though The Lone Ranger blared with cowboys and Indians on the television in front of them.
She fidgeted on the worn cushion, her questions bubbling up. “Luke, if we could—”
“Give me some peace, Lena.” He said it gently, his voice tired. “It will all work out.”
She forced a smile. “I hope so.” She trailed her fingers along his arm, wanting him to listen. “I knew you were a good man when I first met you. I believe all this bothers you, too.” Her anger at his evasion circled around her fears that he could be injured. “It’s the hard times that make people dishonest. And now shooting?”
“If I was so danged good, I’d quit now, tonight. But I can’t, not yet. You and Seger should have nicer stuff. We need things. No more arguing, okay?” He faced her and kissed the protest from her lips. He tasted of grease and beer. Easing back, Luke studied her. “Ain’t ashamed to say I won the prize in you, Lena. The prettiest girl I ever saw, still are. And probably too smart for me.”
“Don’t ever think that.” She touched his mouth, remembering the attraction that had lured her in high school. Her mother warned her she was marrying beneath her, but she’d ignored her. “I want you safe. Have you ever thought of changing your—?”
“Let’s put these problems to bed...before I have to go out again.” He rose and pulled her into his arms.
She pressed her cheek against his shirt, but wondered if it was her anxiety for him—or her determination to find ways to rescue her family—that made her feel so dissatisfied.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)
Amazon, Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Point-Murder-Thwarted-Potomac/dp/0228618797
Diane Parkinson (Diane Scott Lewis) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, joined the Navy at nineteen, married in Greece and raised two sons all over the world, including Puerto Rico and Guam. A member of the Historical Novel Society, she wrote book reviews for the Historical Novels Review. Diane worked from 2007 to 2010 as an online historical editor. Writing since the age of five, she had her debut novel published in 2010, a story that takes place during the French Revolution. She’s had several historical and historical-romance novels published between 2010 and 2019. A fan of graphic arts, she’s designed brochures and book covers. She also enjoys traveling and camping.
Diane lives with her husband and dachshund in western Pennsylvania.
For more on her books visit her website: www.dianescottlewis.org
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