The Carolina Emerald:
Kimberley West Gemstone Mysteries
Book 3 Excerpt
An engagement party for Kimberley West’s friends turns somber when the fiancé describes mysterious lights he’d seen at the family’s emerald mine. On the way home from the party, Kim can’t shake a feeling of foreboding.
Scott carefully navigated the car along the winding, deserted road. The car’s headlights barely pierced the dark night. Kim peered into the gloom, searching for the driveway that would lead them to the lodge.
The car rounded a sharp curve in the road.
Kim leaned forward. “Hey, isn’t that Charlie’s car?”
Up ahead, a black Ford expedition had been pulled off to the side of the road, the rear end jutting toward the road as if the owner had made a sudden stop. Its rear emergency lights blinked. The headlights from Scott’s car illuminated a figure in the passenger seat.
Scott pulled off the road and parked in front of Charlie’s car. As Kim stepped out, Rachael raced to them.
“Thank goodness you’re here!” She gripped Kim’s arm. “Charlie’s in trouble, I just know he is.”
“Where is he?”
Rachael swung her arm dramatically at the forest.
“In there somewhere. He said he saw those lights again, the ones his brothers teased him about. He ran into the woods with nothing to protect himself but a flashlight. Told me to stay here and–”
A popping sound came from deep in the forest.
“That was a gun!” Rachael charged toward the forest, screaming Charlie’s name.
“Rachael, no!” Kim yelled.
Her friend paid less attention than Rory chasing a rabbit. Despite the ridiculous high-heeled shoes, Rachael quickly disappeared into the trees.
“Get in the car, lock the doors and call 9-1-1,” Scott said before racing after Rachael.
Kim dashed to Scott’s car, grabbed the heavy flashlight from under the front seat and followed the others into the forest.