Stained with heartache and cursed with vengeance, a stone well lies on a nineteenth-century estate, waiting for the Stockton line to wish again.
When seventeen-year-old Lila Wayde's father loses his high-paying job in Las Vegas, the family relocates to a Pennsylvania estate bequeathed by an estranged aunt. Lila begins a new life there, one not corrupted by wealth and fake friends. She soon meets Ben, the groundskeeper's gritty grandson, and experiences the kind of happiness her life's been missing. But as she settles into the ancient house, she learns information about her ancestors and the old stone well that may make her wish she'd never come.
Ben Shadows has lost enough in life. So when Stockton Estate's owner, Janine, wills the land to her great-niece Lila, Ben fears for the fate of the property. He decides to find out Lila's intentions as the new owner, but his grandfather wants him to protect her from Stockton Estate's alleged curse. As Ben helps Lila dig through the estate's history, they grow closer than he ever intended. Now, along with concerns about the property and the reality of the curse, he struggles with feelings he can't ignore.
Will the secrets of Stockton Estate bring them together or will knowing the truth rip them apart?
**Recommended mature YA for mild language and mild sexual content**
Excerpt"Oh, Genie," Pop sighed through his white mustache and let his bald head fall for a moment. He wiped a hand beneath his eyes before he moved to the desk. Upton slid paperwork in front of him to sign and handed him a stack to keep. When he returned to his chair, we both stared at each other. Pop's heavy eyes were glassed with conflict. I saw the relief hanging in them, knowing the house that had become our home would remain ours. But there was more there. His eyes dropped to the paper outlining the small portion of property now declared his. It was not all of Stockton Estate. "The curse," he said with a sigh.
Pop and Janine believed the property's stone well was responsible for her Alzheimer's. "It's cursed," he'd said years ago, shortly after I'd moved in. As a kid, it was easy enough to believe. I'd gone to the well several times with my own wishes, my own desperate cries. Wished my mother and father loved me enough to stop their addictions. Wished for Harper's life the night she overdosed. But even though I was willing to take my chances with the curse, Pop told me later that the only person the well wanted was Janine and that somehow her blood was forever linked to it. "The Stockton curse runs deep and transcends time," he'd said. The rumor was that it gave Janine the power to grant other people's wishes. In return, the curse supposedly claimed her memories. That's why Pop was worried now. Janine may be gone, but her blood was back. Family blood.
Meet the Author
J.M. Miller first discovered her love of writing in high school where she penned poetry for extra credit in English class and even braved the anxiety of an open-mic night at a local coffee shop. Life soon followed, with a couple of careers, marriage, and a baby. The urge to write again came not long after her daughter's birth, this time calling for more than a few lines in a messy composition notebook.
She is a military spouse, and a veteran herself, who finds inspiration in the people she's met and the places she's lived and traveled.
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