Day two of my interview for The House of Balestrom with Fran Lewis. Please check it out and leave questions or comments. Click on the link above to read the interview and leave comments and questions...Thank you.
Here is a synopsis of my book...
A tragic death. Two sisters...one who marries for love...the other
marries into THE HOUSE OF BALESTROM. When Susan's husband, Victor
Balestrom, dies in a mysterious and tragic accident, Susan is
suspected of murdering him. With the Balestrom family, manipulated by
Camille Balestrom, pointing fingers. Susan calls on her sister, Sara
and her husband David to come to the private island owned by the
Balestrom family to be by her side during this tragic moment in her
life. But Sara and David's visit become twisted and manipulated by
someone in the family, who not only want Susan to pay for her crimes,
but want revenge as well. Will Sara discover who is behind everything
before it is too late? Who is the mysterious man roaming the island
grounds--the man who terrorizes Sara at every turn? Secrets are abound
and will be revealed all the way to its tragic end.
CHAPTER ONEThe House of Balestrom stood intimidating above the tree lines. Its
beautiful red roof and Victorian arches reached up to the sky like
hands. The day was clear and bright as the lake that separated land
and island quietly moved around the ferry that crossed it. Sara
leaned on the banister as she watched the island get slowly closer.
She sighed because the ride was almost over and she wanted to continue
to take in the sight of the house. David nudged her with his shoulder
and pointed in the direction of the island as more of the house came
into view. Both of them were excited to be there, though the
circumstance of their journey to the House of Balestrom was a sad one.
When Susan called Sara telling her of the news that her husband had
died and that she wanted Sara and David to come over to be with her
during her time of grief, Sara agreed to it fast.
Sara was not sure where they were going so both of them looked up
Balestrom House on the internet, discovering many strange things about
the house and the Balestrom family. They never thought that one
family was documented so well—especially a family neither of them had
ever heard of before now. They read up on the family and realized
that they were out of place. Sara and David were not bankers or
businessmen like the Balestroms. They were merely like every other
American—an average person with a day job.
David was a teacher like Sara. They both met at a teacher’s
conference in North Carolina. Both of them began to talk the first
day at the conference and fell in love. When the conference ended,
Sara did not want to leave David’s side. He felt the same way and so
they both decided to give it a shot. They rented a place in North
Carolina, while finding new jobs there or other places until they
decided where they would fit in. They settled on Minnesota.
Minnesota became their place, where they could recreate themselves and
be together. David proposed to Sara when they bought their first
house together. He held a small dinner with friends they had met from
the school system they worked for. David had got on one knee during
the toast and proposed. Sara cried and screamed with happiness. She
could not stop saying yes to him, as they hugged and kissed. Their
friends were excited for them as well. Sara immediately called Susan
up to tell her the great news about her engagement.
“Oh, Susan, the ring is so beautiful,” Sara exclaimed over the phone
to her sister. She kept staring at it while she told Susan about what
David did and how he proposed and how she could not stop saying yes.
She laughed thinking about it over and over again. “We are going to
have a spring wedding and I want you to be here,” she said into the
“I will try darling, but I can’t make any promises,” Susan said. “You
know I am not even in the states right now,” she added.
“You’re not in the states,” she said sounding shocked. “Where are you?”
“Dear I’m in Turkey,” she said. “I met this nice man from London,
when I was visiting Belize. He is an amazing man and he told me about
some property he owned in Turkey and that I should come and see it, so
here I am darling.”
Susan was always meeting interesting men who did things for her.
They would take her off to places and spend a great deal of money on
her. She was lucky in that way. She travelled more than Sara ever
had the chance to do. Sara had only been to London once and that was
when she took an internship over there for college. But she was so
happy to know that Susan was not wasting her life away with just
anyone. Susan’s life was so unpredictable and carefree. Sara wished
she could live like that, but she was too afraid of the world. She
needed structure and something physical. She could not live out of
Hotel rooms and yachts with people she had never met. It seemed to
Sara that Susan did not even have a place of her own. She could
remember a few years ago, Susan mentioning that she needed to go by
her apartment and pick up something for her trip to L.A., but that was
the only time.
Sara could imagine Susan’s house being beautifully decorated and
untouched. Susan would laugh at her house, because it was so lived
“You have to be here,” Sara exclaimed. “I need my sister by my side.
Besides Mom and Dad haven’t seen you in a long time and they keep
asking about you.”
“I swear they act like I don’t call them,” Susan said.
“They act that way with me too,” Sara added with a smile.
“I will be there then,” she said. “You’re my sister and you need me.
But with one condition.”
“What’s the condition?”
“Well two conditions. One, I am not a bridesmaid and two, you don’t
throw me the bouquet,” she said, laughing.
“Done,” Sara laughed. “I won’t make you a Bridesmaid. But you can be
my Best Maid,” she said.
“A Best Maid,” she said. “It’s like a Best Man, but you’re the female
version.” Sara laughed.
“Wow, Sara, that doesn’t sound traditional at all,” Susan said
“Well maybe you’re being a bad influence on me,” she said. They both
laughed at each other over the phone.
Susan did come to Sara’s wedding. She came in enough time to add her
opinion to the construction of the wedding, despite how David’s
parents objected. The wedding was successful and Susan gave Sara
several wedding gifts. One gift was a check for fifty-thousand
dollars and the other was two plane tickets to Paris, which included a
package deal for newlyweds. When Sara and David saw the check, they
both were amazed. Sara had no idea that Susan had such money.
Several guests and family members asked Susan what she did for a
living, but she would casually avoid the question by changing the
subject or she would just laugh and say, “who needs to work”.
The man Susan brought with her to the wedding was what their mother
would call a “catch”. He was six-five with dark brown hair. He wore
a beautiful suit that was blue. He wore it like a model. He even had
the face of a model. He walked up to Sara and David kissing her hand
and shaking David’s. He wished them both a bright and happy future as
he smiled at them with pearl white teeth. He was so clean and
chiseled. The next day Sara finally got to see—in her opinion—why
Susan brought Mr. Chiseled—Mr. Chiseled being what everyone was
calling him. Some would have thought that Susan was with him because
of his beautiful features and strong body, which he proudly showed off
when everyone went to the beach to lay out and swim. Both men and
women looked at him in amazement and even—lust, which made Sara giggle
like a little school girl.
“Can you believe what we are seeing,” David said, looking Mr. Chiseled
up and down. “There isn’t any fat on that man’s body. It’s all lean
muscle,” he said, gawking.
“Stop staring,” Sara laughed, swatting at David.
“I can’t help it.”
“If you don’t stop he will think that you like him,” she teased.
David laughed and looked away bashfully. Every now and then Sara
would catch David looking at his own body. He would flex an arm here
or there to see where his muscles were. Sara would laugh and then
touch David’s leg. “All your muscles are right here,” she said,
taking her finger and poking David in the head.
“Great,” he said. Now he was determined to start working out. Sara
knew why Susan brought Mr. Chiseled and it was not for attention—well
attention for her, but more of a distraction from her. She wanted to
avoid people’s stares and questions. Mr. Chiseled was with Susan for
fun. It was the kind of fun that you could only have from someone
that was not your husband, but more of a lover. Why Susan wanted to
avoid people was a mystery to Sara, but it was how Susan had always
A few more years had gone by and Susan called Sara to tell her that
she had married. It came as a shock because Susan had never talked
about a man being in her life. At first, Sara thought it was Mr.
Chiseled whom Susan had married, but it turned out to be a Mr. Victor
Balestrom. Sara had never heard of him and yet never met him. She
was a little upset that she was not invited to the wedding—and yet no
one was invited to the wedding.
“I’m so sorry dear, it was one of those things that just happened,” she said.
“I understand, it’s your life, but oh, Susan, I just wanted to be
there for you like you were for me on my wedding day.”
“I’m sorry, darling,” she said. “I can’t help it. I just had to
snatch this one up before he got away. He is not like my other two
husbands. He is so much better than them.”
“What,” Sara said. “You were married twice before?”
“Yes, I thought I told you,” Susan said, surprised.
“No,” Sara said. “When did this happen and where are they now?”
“Sara, dear, everything is good,” Susan said. “I was married twice
before, but they both passed away a few years after we married. How
do you think I had all that money?”
“I don’t know, Susan, but now I’m worried about you.”
“Oh, my dear Sara, please don’t worry about me. Be happy for me,” she
said. “He’s a keeper and I will make everything up to you.”
“You promise,” Sara asked.
“Yes, dear I promise.”
Susan kept her promise. Every year when a holiday would come up, she
started sending Sara and David cards. The cards had photos of Susan
and Victor on them and inside the cards would be a brief note and a
check. The check would vary each year. It was never below a thousand
dollars though. This made Sara and David feel bad because they could
not give back to Susan and Victor. They almost wanted to send the
money back at times, but then something would happen to where they
would need the money. It helped when they got it, but not without
feeling guilty when they cashed it. So they both decided to start
saving the money when they got it, so they could meet up with Susan
and Victor one day. But that day changed for all of them, when Sara
received a phone call from Susan late one night.
“Hello,” Sara said into the phone half-asleep.
“What,” Sara asked into the phone. She could not recognize Susan’s
voice at first.
“He’s dead, Sara,” Susan cried into the phone. “My Victor is dead.”
“Susan, what happened?”
“I don’t know… he just died.” Susan cried and Sara could barely
understand her. “I need you,” she said. “I need you to be here with
me, Sara, please come and be at my side. I can’t bury him without you
“Of course, I will be there. Both David and I will be there for you.
We will leave immediately,” Sara said. They said they loved each
other and Sara hung up the phone.
“Susan’s husband has died and she wants us to go to her and be with
her,” she said.
He reached out to Sara and touched her shoulder. He hugged her.
“Yes, we should do that. I will clear my schedule and call the school
and let them know that we have to leave,” David said, kissing Sara on
the cheek and then crawled out of the bed so he could start making the
arrangements. They booked a flight to Maine, then taking a cab to the
ferry where they stood now.