Author: HR Mason
Title: Nothing Hidden Ever Stays
Genre: Gothic Suspense/Supernatural
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Cover Designer: BookSmith Design
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A two-hundred-year-old curse. A tangled thread of mental illness. A growing list of Ross family women dying young. The house where it all began, Desolate Ridge, holds all the secrets. 

Abandoned at a hospital when she was only three years old, Aubrey Ross grew up as a ward of the state, passed from one foster family to the next. Having endured years of abuse and neglect, she’s become hardened to the world around her. 

She’s flirted with depression and anxiety, and she’s haunted by premonitions. When a strange man approaches Aubrey with information about her past, she knows her life is about to change. Inside the envelope is the deed to a house in Ohio—her ancestral home. 

When Aubrey arrives in Rossdale, the town named after her family, she immediately experiences situations she cannot explain. She hears voices, sees apparitions, and has vivid visions of tragedies she can scarcely comprehend. Aubrey comes to realize she is reliving events which have happened to those who came before her. 

Then she meets Hank Metzger, the town’s sheriff, whose family has an eerie connection to her own. As the secrets of Desolate Ridge are unearthed, Aubrey begins to understand her destiny is tied to Hank’s in a way she cannot escape.

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Mr. Wayfair reached into his pocket and presented Aubrey with the largest sapphire ring she’d ever seen. It was clearly an antique, and the blue stone was the exact color of her eyes. Her hand trembled as she opened her palm and Mr. Wayfair plunked the piece of jewelry into it. Mesmerized, she slid the ring onto her finger. It fit perfectly, almost as if it were custom-made for her.

It stopped raining, so Aubrey removed her hood and shook out her hair. She nibbled nervously on the skin around her fingernails, which was a nasty habit she’d developed as a young girl and had never outgrown. She shivered as she felt the brush of a fingertip on her cheek and the sound of a woman crying.

Aubrey whipped her head around, certain someone was standing behind her. When she turned, she saw no one but Mr. Wayfair, who appeared unruffled by the sound. He clearly hadn’t heard the woman crying, or felt the brush of someone’s fingertip.

Goose bumps erupted on her arms, and the hairs on the back of her neck prickled. Her eye twitched, and she shivered. It wasn’t particularly cold outside, but Aubrey was chilled to the bone.

Experiencing a physical reaction due to an unexplained feeling or occurrence was a phenomenon she’d lived with her entire life. Aubrey couldn’t explain it, but she had felt something. Oblivious, Mr. Wayfair reached into the inside pocket of his trench coat and pulled out another envelope, this one much thicker than the one he’d given her the previous night. When he placed it into her hands, it was heavy.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“I told you I’ve done my homework. I knew you wouldn’t have the means to travel, Ms. Ross, so I came prepared.”

“Prepared? What do you mean?”

“I withdrew a small amount of cash from your family’s account before I left Ohio. It should be more than enough to cover your travel expenses,” he clarified.

Aubrey slowly opened the envelope and looked inside. There were several stacks of cash, bundled into little piles. She flipped through them, noticing each stack was made up of hundred-dollar bills. She gasped and searched Mr. Wayfair’s face for an explanation. She’d never seen that much money in her life.

“How much is in there?”

“I only brought ten thousand with me. I figured that would be enough to cover whatever you might need until you arrive in Ohio.” He answered nonchalantly, as if he’d handed her a twenty-dollar bill.

“You’re telling me there’s ten thousand dollars in this envelope?” Aubrey knew her eyes were probably the size of dinner plates, but she couldn’t help it.

“Ms. Ross, I don’t think you fully understand what I’m trying to explain. You are the sole owner of Desolate Ridge and the beneficiary of the entire Ross family fortune. The money you’re holding right now is a mere drop in the bucket. You are a very, very rich woman.” He smiled.

Aubrey felt faint. Surely there must have been some mistake. She had lived her entire life below the poverty line, and this strange-looking man was telling her she was rich? Something didn’t add up. There had to be a catch, some sort of caveat Mr. Wayfair wasn’t disclosing. 

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Heidi Renee Mason is an Ohio girl transplanted into the Pacific Northwest. She is a homeschooling mom of three daughters, wife of one mailman, and a people-watching introvert who can be found hiding in the nearest corner.

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