When Josh Sterling’s great-grandfather leaves him a huge old Victorian house in rural Wisconsin, Josh has only one thought in mind. Fix up the old place and sell it as quickly as possible so he can return to his real life in Michigan.
One of the requirements of his great-grandpa’s will is that he hires A.J. James and crew to do the needed repairs on the house. That’s fine with Josh until he discovers A.J. is really Annie James, a cute little coverall-wearing gal who may not look it but knows her construction business. At first, Josh is hesitant about hiring her, but since he doesn’t feel he has any choice because of his great-grandfather’s directive, he accepts her estimate. His main focus is just to get the work done as quickly as possible.
It doesn’t take long before Josh realizes there is a definite spark between him and Annie, but they both seem determined to ignore the attraction. Then strange romantic notes begin appearing in various spots in the house, and once Josh starts hearing strange noises at night, he begins to wonder if there’s more going on in the house than what he thinks.
The more Josh and Annie start digging into the house’s history, the more they are drawn into the past and to each other. What about Josh’s vow to sell the house as soon as he gets it fixed up? And what secrets is the house hiding, and will Josh and Annie be able to discover what they are? If they do, what will it mean for their growing friendship?
“Joshua’s Legacy” is a tale that enforces the belief that true love never dies.
Targeted Age Group:: Young adult to adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
It originally didn't start out as a paranormal book, but the more I got into the story, the more it evolved.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I'm not sure where the characters came from. The story all began with the house and just went from there.
I stood in the front yard of my great-grandfather’s house and stared at the structure before me. The old house was in far worse shape than I remembered. Of course, it had been more than a decade since I was last there to visit. I had been a fifteen-year-old teenager back then, not in the least bit impressed that I had to spend my entire summer with a man who was, at least as far as I was concerned, older than time.
Now the house was mine. The question was, what in the world was I going to do with it?
I was a CPA—an accountant. Not a contractor. Furthermore, I lived in a suburb just outside of Detroit, Michigan, not out here in the middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin.
This rural area I suddenly found myself located in wasn’t exactly my style. Open fields spread out on three sides of the house with a large wooded area behind. A narrow dirt road ran out front of the house, which eventually—like three miles down the road—led to a paved road that led to town.
Nope. Not my style at all.
Walking across the front yard's too-tall grass that hadn’t seen a lawnmower in who-knew-when, I stood at the base of the wide wooden steps leading up to the front porch of the house and released a sigh.
Great-grandpa, what were you thinking?
The house had been built by William Sterling, my great-great-grandfather, who was the father of Joshua Calvin Sterling—the man for whom I was named. Old Joshua had passed away a month ago at the ripe, old age of ninety-three. Evidently, I had been his favorite great-grandchild because he’d left me all his earthly possessions. Of course, the fact that I was his only great-grandchild might have had something to do with the fact that he’d left me this monstrosity.
And, there was that being named after him thing.
But looking at the faded white paint peeling off the wooden siding of the huge two-and-a-half-story Victorian Queen Anne house in front of me, I was beginning to wonder if great-grandpa hadn’t liked me as much as I’d always thought.
My grandfather, the first Joshua’s son, had passed on before Great-grandpa, as had my father, Calvin Sterling. And I was an only child. That left only two of us in the family who were still on earth; My mom, who was retired and living a life of relaxation in a mobile home park in Florida, wasn’t the least interested in owning an old house in Wisconsin.
Releasing a sigh of resignation, I trudged up the wooden steps and onto the front porch to stand in front of the huge front door. The family attorney had handed me the key earlier in the day when I had met him at his office. At that time, he had assured me the house was all mine. Like I’d won the Publishers Clearing House prize or something.
Of course, my original plan had been to leave rural America this afternoon and head home to Michigan—right after the reading of Great-grandpa’s will. Well, it didn’t look like that was happening anytime soon—at least, until I could figure out what to do with a four thousand plus square foot 1900 Victorian mansion in need of a great deal of work. Hopefully, I could get the place fixed up quickly, get her sold, and then return to my previously-scheduled life.
I had other things to do. I really didn’t have time for all this. But Great-grandpa had trusted me enough to leave it to me, so I knew I had to take care of the situation.
I put the key in the door lock, half-expecting it not to work, but the tumblers turned easily, and the lock clicked with a satisfying sound. Turning the knob, I pushed open the heavy oak door, not having any idea of what I’d find on the other side.
The first thing I noticed was the musty, stale smell of a house closed up for a long time. Great-grandpa had spent the past three years of his life in an assisted living facility in a nearby town, so the house had been empty. Oh, the furniture and my great-grandfather’s belongings were all still here, but no one had lived in it since he’d moved out.
His attorney, a weaselly-looking man, named Arthur Blake—who had told me to call him Art—had informed me the house had been checked weekly by a management company. But by the looks of the dust on the scratched hardwood floors in front of me, they hadn’t done much in the way of cleaning in a long time. Or done anything about mowing the grass.
Stepping further into the house, I allowed my eyes to scan the foyer where an open oak staircase led to the next floor. I remembered how the stairs went up to a landing before turning to go up the rest of the way. At the point where it turned was what I’d always thought was one of the house's most beautiful features—a gorgeous stained-glass window. Rectangular shaped at the bottom, intersected at the top with a circle—all encased in gorgeous oak trim. Well, when I was young, it used to be beautiful. I hated to see what type of shape it was in now.
Dropping my suitcase onto the dusty floor, I released another sigh. I was tired, and I was not in the mood to deal with the house tonight. The first thing I was going to do was make my way up that staircase to the bedroom that used to be mine when I visited and hope that the sheets on the bed were somewhat clean.
Before I did that, though, my curiosity got the better of me, and I turned and walked from the foyer into the front room of the house. Canvas dust covers were draped across all the furniture, so I couldn’t really see much. But that was okay. I felt it was a good thing that they were covered as that meant eventually, when I wanted to use this room, I’d be able to find a chair to sit in that didn’t have six inches of dust on it.
Although I was a little concerned about mice. Maybe the first thing I needed to do was buy a cat.
The good news was, someone was supposed to show up tomorrow to clean the place. Mr. Blake—Art—had already made a call to a local yokel to take care of that problem. Maybe after the place was scrubbed and clean, I wouldn’t find it all so depressing.
Walking over and standing in front of the bay window, I gazed through the dirty glass at the view I remembered so well from my younger days. This side of the house faced the west, and the rosy glow of the sun dropping to the horizon cast an other-worldly aura across the open fields. By the short brown stalks still remaining in the ground, I could tell that the land on this side of the house had once held wheat. It was too bad I hadn’t been here earlier in the summer as there wasn’t anything I enjoyed seeing more than a ripe field of wheat, ready for harvest.
The scene out the window instantly calmed my soul, and for the first time that day, I felt as if I was exactly where I was supposed to be—at least for the moment.
But for right now, I was going to carry my suitcase upstairs and see if I could find a bed. And hopefully, a bathroom with running water. I was also hoping it wouldn’t be too much to ask of the universe that a hot shower would be available.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy Joshua’s Legacy Print Edition at Amazon
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy Joshua’s Legacy On Amazon
C. M. Morgan is the pseudonym of an author popular in another genre.
His stories are paranormal romances–without all the gratuitous sex scenes found in so many others. Just good, clean enjoyable reading!