The Marquesa's Necklace by P.J. MacLayne
Even with a late start, the parking spot I found near the library was one of those that let you load the meter for long-term parking, so I wouldn't need to run outside every two hours to feed it. A good way to start the day, especially if the dark clouds carried through with their threat. As I slid the laptop out of the passenger side seat, a stray sunbeam escaped the heavy cloud layer and lit up the front of the building.
I'm rather proud of our library. It's one of the Carnegie libraries, and although Oak Grove has shrunk, population-wise, the town has managed to keep the library going, and not turn it into a museum like some cities. The original building is an imposing four-story sandstone structure. The town has added on to the building, but managed to retain its character.
Even as a little girl, I felt awed by the steps leading to the main entrance. Most of my time was spent on the fourth floor, which housed the children's books. Now, I practically lived on the first and second floors, where the non-fiction books are shelved. Once in a while, a trip to the basement, where the old magazines and newspapers are kept was necessary. The space served as a bomb shelter back in the 1960's, but all that old food is gone now, and the space has been remodeled and made useful again.
I climbed the stone steps, smiling, counting them as I had habitually done all those years ago. As a teenager, the library became my second home. One, two, three … fifteen. There is now a wheelchair ramp in the back, but the steps are unchanged. It might be a good day to make a trip to the fourth floor for old times’ sake.
Excerpt from The Marquesa's Necklace
The setting for the book is one of those small towns in the Northeast that has seen better days, but is still struggling to stay alive and provide needed services to its aging population. It's made-up , of course, but having grown up in such a town, it was easy for me to create a world for Harmony and her friends to spend their time in. Even though I've moved away from the area, like so many others, I still enjoy my occasional visits back.
But even though the town may appear quiet on the surface, the people of Oak Grove have the same issues as bigger cities. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try to build yourself a bubble and ignore the rest of the world, the world comes to you. And that's what happens to Harmony.
I enjoyed writing Harmony's story, because she's fun to hang out with, and I hope you'll enjoy meeting her as well.
The Marquesa's Necklace is available at major ebook retailers and will soon be available in paperback as well.Amazon, Nook, Kobo iTunes, Mobile Devices