Home > The Way the Story Goes (Magnolia Sound #7)

The Way the Story Goes (Magnolia Sound #7)
Author: Samantha Chase





“It had to be you, Brett. Do you think I’m an idiot?! All this time you’ve made me sit and watch your sick and twisted charade! Well, no more! I’m onto you,” Sasha hissed. “You’re done. No one else is going to die at your hands.”

“You’re wrong, Sasha,” he said, his lip curled with disgust. “Don’t push me on this because you won’t like the outcome.”

“Oh, really? You can’t kill me,” she spat defiantly. “I’ve already alerted the police. They know I’m confronting you. There’s nothing you can do to me anymore.”

Mia Kingsley read over her words a dozen times and as much as she could vaguely see the scene in her head, she couldn’t seem to get her fingers to cooperate and get the words down on the page.


Those three paragraphs were written two months ago and she hadn’t been able to write anything since.

Writer’s block sucked.

Tossing her glasses onto the keyboard, she pinched the bridge of her nose and groaned. Why wouldn’t the words come? Pushing away from the desk, she stood with a snort of disgust and walked across the room to the kitchen. She’d done everything to try to find her muse and nothing was working. Her normal regimen didn’t help and it was the first time in years that she’d had to take drastic action to finish a book.

Grabbing a bottle of water from the massive top-of-the-line refrigerator, she slammed the door shut. At first, she blamed her lack of words on the fact that her house was under renovation. The noise and the mess were expected, but it bothered her way more than she thought it would. A change of scenery seemed like the perfect solution. When her best friend and virtual assistant Sydney had suggested renting a house in Magnolia Sound, it just made sense. Not only would she have the support of a friend close by, but the beach had always been her happy place and she hadn’t visited one in far too long.

Because it was early spring, finding a rental house on the beach was easy. And the house she found was bigger than what she needed, but it was magnificent. Her career was thriving; she was making more money than she ever dreamed of and, while normally she was very conservative with her finances, this was one time she ignored her parents' disapproval and told herself it was okay to splurge.

Five bedrooms, four bathrooms, oceanfront with panoramic views, newly renovated, and lots and lots of top-of-the-line appliances, furnishings, and bling…yeah, writing here wouldn’t be a hardship. She’d felt at peace the moment she stepped through the doorway and when she walked straight through the main floor and out to the deck, she felt like she had definitely made the right decision and her happy place wasn’t going to let her down.

But…it did.

Big time.

Now, after almost a week here, she was seriously considering throwing in the towel.

Doing her best to push those negative thoughts aside, she stepped out onto the massive back deck that overlooked the ocean. As expected, it immediately calmed her and she took a moment to enjoy the sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean. The morning air was crisp—bordering on arctic—but she was dressed in a heavy cable-knit sweater, leggings, and thick, slouchy socks. She lived in Boston, for crying out loud. Cold weather was the norm for a large portion of the year. Certainly, she could deal with the cold water coming off the ocean. At most it was fifty degrees. Back home, that would be almost balmy. By lunchtime, it would be in the high sixties, but there was something about being outside in the morning that she loved.

She breathed deeply—in and out, in and out—and just when some of the tension started to leave her body, the sound of power tools broke the peace.


Seriously, this guy was going to be the death of her.

The first day, she was able to brush it off.

The second day, it was mildly annoying.

By the third day, she called the rental agent and pretty much lost her mind on her.

The agent offered to move her to another home, but none of them had the prime location or the amenities this one did. Mia had asked if someone could please go over and talk to the owner and ask if maybe he could limit the hours he was using the power tools or maybe get a completion date.

So far, no luck on any response.

Mia was tempted to storm over and talk to the guy herself, but…she wasn’t confrontational. In her mind she was, but the reality? Not so much.

Now it was her fifth day here, she hadn’t written anything like she needed to, and her publisher and editor were breathing down her neck because the book was already a month overdue. It was the final book in her series and it didn’t matter how much she knew where the story needed to go, Mia just couldn’t make the words flow.

Tilting her head back, she closed her eyes and tried to relax—tried to get back in her heroine’s head. Sasha Blaire had been unravelling family secrets for four books. She’d seen the death of both her parents under suspicious circumstances, followed by a murder and suicide in the secret family her father had. She’d been kidnapped, tortured, and finally figured out who the real killer was. If she could just…

A string of curses ripped through the air. They were colorful and vulgar and…growly.

Wait…is that even a word?

Of course it is. I’m a writer.

Straightening, Mia glanced over at the neighboring house. She had yet to see this elusive disturber of her peace, but she’d certainly heard him. If he were a character in her story, she would have let someone kill him by now.

Or at the very least put him out of commission for a good long while.

More cursing flowed through the open sliding glass doors and then the sound of something crashing.

With a gasp, Mia was now seriously tempted to go over and make sure he was all right, but then the heavy metal music started up and she figured he was just fine.

Inconsiderate, but fine.

With a growl of her own, she stomped back into the house and slammed the door.

There had to be something she could do. There was no way she could spend three months here making herself crazy. The plan had been to finish the book in a month and then spend the next two plotting her new series, doing edits, and just relaxing, but at this rate, she’d be insane by the end of the first month!

Pacing around the luxurious living room, Mia did her best to calm down. With the windows closed, the noise was almost bearable—and if she put in her earbuds and some music, she wouldn’t hear it at all.

But she hated the earbuds almost as much as the guy who was probably going to force her to use them.

And on top of it, it wasn’t part of her normal writing routine and that, more than anything, was killing her.

Soft music, comfy clothes, and a room full of her favorite things always helped her get the words on the page. There was the pre-writing cup of coffee followed by a mid-morning iced coffee. Lunch consisted of her favorite salad—spinach and grilled chicken—along with a tall glass of water with lemon. After lunch she’d go for a walk around her neighborhood and by the time she was back home and sitting at her desk, she’d write until dinnertime. It was a safe—and boring—routine, but it got her through multiple books.

Until now.

“This is ridiculous,” she muttered. “This is a big house and there has to be a room where I don’t hear his stupid noise.” Walking over to the desk, she snatched up her laptop and stomped up the stairs to the bedroom in the furthest corner of the house. There wasn’t a desk but that wasn’t an issue; writing while sitting on the bed was something she’d done plenty of times, and who knows, maybe this little change of scenery and routine would help her get her mind back on Twisted Deception.

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