Surprise! I have the cover art and a sneak peek of THREAD ON ARRIVAL for you today!
Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer gets hung up on a tapestry that may lead to sunken treasure and be the motive for murder….
When Marcy’s friend Reggie, Tallulah Falls’ local librarian, asks her to teach an embroidery class as therapy for domestic abuse victims, she gladly agrees. One of the women wants to flee from her abusive husband but is afraid to leave her elderly father-in-law behind. And she thinks Marcy can help.
The elderly gentleman shows Marcy a tapestry his grandmother made, which he believes reveals the location of pirate treasure off the Oregon coast. He’ll move to a shelter, provided Marcy takes the tapestry to keep it safe. But when the police arrive to escort him out, they find the old man murdered and the house ransacked. Does someone want that treasured tapestry desperately enough to kill for it?
And now here’s the excerpt in which Marcy talks with Chester Cantor about his treasure map:
The tapestry appeared to be an ancient map of the Oregon coast. Besides Tallulah Falls, I recognized the names Lincoln City, Coos Bay, and Waldport. Near Tallulah Falls, there was the depiction of a schooner sinking into the ocean. Beneath the ship was the name, Delia. And beneath the ship’s name was an X.
“It’s gorgeous,” I said. The background was dark brown wool. Dark wools were often indicative of textiles from the Civil War era. “It must be well over a hundred years old.” As I said it I realized Mary would be disappointed I had confirmed it was an antique. Still, I couldn’t deny the truth of that.
“It sure is.” Mr. Cantor tapped the X. “And look here. It’s a treasure map.”
I was trying to humor him, but I didn’t see how he’d decided that this tapestry was a real treasure map. “It does remind you of a treasure map, doesn’t it? May I pick it up?”
I took the tapestry and held it closer to the light. There were no holes, little wear and tear on the bindings and edges, and only a couple of tiny stains. I turned the cloth over, but there was nothing on the back except the work that made the beautiful map on the front.
“You don’t believe it’s a map, do you?” Chester asked. “Let me explain. My great-grandmother was a Ramsay.”
I nodded slowly, still having no idea where he was going with his story and not sure he had a clue himself. I carefully placed the tapestry back onto the bed.
He pushed his walker out of the way and sat down beside the tapestry. “The Clatsop Indians used to tell stories about Jack and George Ramsay. Jack had fair skin, red hair, and freckles. They were the children of an English sailor and a Clatsop woman.”
“And you believe your great-grandmother was related to these people?”
“Indeed I do,” he said. “Mother said Grandmother Wells–she was born a Ramsay, married a Wells–had the prettiest head of red hair you ever did see. And I believe she made this tapestry after years of hearing her parents talk about this shipwreck off the coast of Tallulah Falls.” He studied the delicate fabric. “They lived up in Vancouver, and I believe Grandmother made this tapestry in the hope that one day she or one of her children would return to the Oregon coast and find that treasure.”
I reached over and gently placed my hand on his arm. “Mr. Cantor, don’t you think someone would have found it by now?”
“Treasures are still being discovered every day, Marcy.” He looked up at me. “Oh, I see what you’re saying. You’re thinking I’m too old to be searching the seas for treasure.”
“I’m not saying that at all. I just don’t think it’s the solution to your current problem.”
“It couldn’t hurt. Adam and Mary are always fighting about money. There’s never enough. He thinks she mismanages it, but she does the best she can.” He smiled sadly. “I am old. And I’m out of ideas. But I’ve been in touch with a treasure hunter, and he thinks there could be something of the Delia left for us to find. As late as July of 2010, gold coins and a bronze cannon from a 1715 shipwreck were found off the coast of Florida.”
“But, Mr. Cantor, you and Mary and Melanie need to get to safety now. You can still locate the treasure,” I said. “Take the tapestry with you.”
“And let someone steal it from me at that homeless shelter? Steal the tapestry and the treasure?” He shook his head in obvious alarm.
“Then give it to someone you trust to hold on to it…your attorney, maybe. Or put it in a safe deposit box.”
He sighed. “They want to leave, don’t they–Mary and Melanie, I mean?”
I nodded. “They want to do it today…and they want you to go with them, Mr. Cantor. In fact, they won’t leave without you. They’re afraid for you to stay here with your son alone.”
“I’m getting what I deserve,” he said, his rheumy eyes filling with tears. “I did Adam wrong all those years ago when I divorced his mother. Then his mother married a man who was harsh with Adam. I later tried to make it up to him, but for the longest time, Adam wouldn’t have anything to do with me. And who could blame him?” He lowered his head. “This treasure could be the answer to my prayers. It could let me get my daughter-in-law and my grandchild to a safer place, and then Adam would see what he was missing. He’d understand what he’s been doing to them. And then I could convince him to let me get him some help.”
I patted his hand. “I hope you do find that treasure, Mr. Cantor.”
“Will you help me?” he asked, raising his eyes to mine.
“If I can,” I said.
“Will you take the tapestry somewhere safe for me? If you’ll take it to the bank, or to the police station–anywhere they’ll put it under lock and key, I’ll go. Then when Mary, Melanie, and I get to a safe place, you can get it back for me. What do you say?”
How could I say no?