Mysteerie Manor Ii

( 3 )


As Maryanne O'Donnell finally acquires permanent ownership of an old mansion known for its ghostly in-habitants, she ponders the recent events that have cast a dark shadow over Valencia Manor. As she turns the key in the lock for the first time, Maryanne feels certain the mansion has been cleansed of all evil. She is finally home-or so she thinks.

While she waits for her detective boyfriend, Mario Ramos, to arrive on her first night in her new house, Maryanne suddenly hears a thump ...

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Mysteerie Manor II: The House That Keeps on Giving

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As Maryanne O'Donnell finally acquires permanent ownership of an old mansion known for its ghostly in-habitants, she ponders the recent events that have cast a dark shadow over Valencia Manor. As she turns the key in the lock for the first time, Maryanne feels certain the mansion has been cleansed of all evil. She is finally home-or so she thinks.

While she waits for her detective boyfriend, Mario Ramos, to arrive on her first night in her new house, Maryanne suddenly hears a thump against the wall as a cold breeze sweeps into the room. Shaking with terror, Maryanne is unable to decipher the eerie sounds that seep from behind the walls. After the presence forcefully shoves her against a bar, it eventually exits the house, leaving Maryanne more frightened than ever. Something-or someone-is out to get her. But despite her fears, Maryanne is determined to restore the house back to its original condition, marry her boyfriend, and run a successful small business.

As chilling mystery slowly unfolds in Valencia Manor, a priest, psychic, and several detectives must all unite to fight a paranormal entity who will stop at nothing to achieve vengeance-no matter what the human toll.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462018550
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/10/2011
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Read an Excerpt


The House That Keeps on Giving

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Sharon Hays
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-1855-0

Chapter One


Maryanne O'Donnell drove toward the mountains thinking about all that had happened. 'How did I end up here? Was it predestination, written in the stars, or was it a vision that I created in my own minds eye and desired so intensely that it happened?' These and many other questions played across her mind as she drove toward one of her favorite destinations.

On a crisp Monday morning in the Colorado Rockies, the emerging fall season was beginning to paint a kaleidoscope of red, brown and golden hues. The once green canvas of countless trees that had rendered the ever shifting landscape was changing after it had spent the summer months sharing its effervescent foliage with the mountainous terrain. A flaming sun poked its head over the massive peaks, casting beams of light against the colorful landscape. The mountains were still laden with vibrant foliage and early morning seemed to portray its splendor even more than usual.

Maryanne brushed her thick, long auburn hair back from her face as she made her way toward the mountains, on a getaway where she could reflect on recent undertakings and clear her mind. It had always proved excellent therapy to help settle her anxieties and concerns. She had started her day early, in order to steal time for the relaxing get-away, while bathing in the brilliant array of splendor that emerged as she drove into its quiet seclusion. Her camera was ready to capture an odyssey that she had never before seen quite so impressive. She photographed brilliant splashes of color that emerged as the sun climbed out from behind mountain peaks, radiating its grandeur. After she had spent more than an hour basking in its radiance, thoughts of the last several months began to flash through her mind. Not so long ago, if not for one house that captivated her, things might have turned out very different.

The fateful day she walked into the Valencia Manor, her life had taken many turns. Joan Bishop, a good friend from her college days, and now a real estate broker in Boulder had given Maryanne a heads up on the property before the listing had come out, aware that she had been searching for such a property. What had started out as a property investment opportunity had become an intriguing nightmare of unexpected events and mysterious, supernatural phenomenon. Murder, strange accidents and tragedy all took their turns in the bizarre adventures at the Valencia Manor. Nonetheless, through all of the mystery and misery, it had become a reality; The Valencia Manor would be legally transferred into Maryanne's name today. Several months of legal ramifications had come into play when the owner had suddenly been killed in what had been deemed manslaughter. The details had played out in a court trial held just two months prior.

Harold J. Arnold had pleaded guilty to assaulting Mrs. Irene Dirkshire, who had inherited the Valencia Manor from her brother, John Farthington. John had become ill and passed away, leaving his sister, Irene, as the soul inheritor of the Farthington Estate, which included the Valencia Manor. Soon after Irene Dirkshire was awarded the Estate of John Farthington, she was killed. A manhunt that lasted well over two weeks for suspect Harold J. Arnold, a distant cousin of Mrs. Dirkshire, had been fruitful. He confessed that he had accidentally killed her when he went to her home to obtain a copy of the title to Valencia Manor, and the will. When he was summoned to the stand to testify, he admitted that he had called and threatened her, demanding that she turn over documents that would name him as part owner of the Farthington Estate and the Valencia Manor. After receiving the threatening phone call, Mrs. Dirkshire went to her attorney and had her will changed, knowing Harold Arnold meant business and that he was a dangerous man. When Mrs. Dirkshire listed the property for sale with Bishop Realty, Joan Bishop, Maryanne's friend and the owner of the realty firm, introduced Mrs. Dirkshire to Maryanne.

Maryanne had been looking at investments and kept her eye on the Valencia Manor for several months before she moved to Boulder. Mrs. Dirkshire, an elderly woman with energy and determination had been impressed by Miss O'Donnell in the short time she had known her. Prior to Irene Dirkshire's death, she had come to love and respect Maryanne. When she received the threat from Harold Arnold, she immediately instructed her attorney to make changes in her will. Irene Dirkshire had no living relatives and had included in her will, that Maryanne should be named as the beneficiary of the property should something happen to her before it was sold. Unfortunately for Mrs. Dirkshire, that is exactly what took place and what eventually led to Maryanne's inheritance of the historical Manor. During the trial, Harold J. Arnold went into detail, describing how he had visited Mrs. Dirkshire's home one evening a few nights after calling her, demanding the documents and warning her that she had better cooperate. She was an elderly woman but he misjudged her tenacity, and was not aware that she had spoken to her attorney after he had called and threatened her. Harold admitted that he had demanded the documents relating to his past ownership in the manor, but when she refused to give them up, they struggled and he pushed her into a table, where she hit her head and subsequently died from the injuries. He assumed he would inherit the Valencia if something happened to Mrs. Dirkshire, which would have been possible had there not been enough evidence to prosecute him. The lawyers were almost certain the death was deliberate, but there was not enough evidence to make a solid case out of the charge, so they went for the aggravated assault and manslaughter theory. It carried a life sentence for him since he was already a three-time loser. At least he would be out of society for life. He had already been in jail and prison prior to the incident.

Maryanne was reluctant at first, to accept the unbelievable gift of the Valencia Manor, because she felt so bad about the death of the lovely Mrs. Dirkshire. Maryanne spent weeks trying to find other relatives who might otherwise be next in line to inherit the property, but after careful searching to no avail, and legal counsel, she felt more at ease in accepting the gracious offer.

After a long, beautiful drive through the mountains, pondering over the events that had taken place, Maryanne arrived at the County Title Office where her attorney, Thomas Deleon, was waiting on a bench by the office entry. He stood up, rearranged his jacket and straightened his tie. His six-foot frame loomed over Maryanne as they shook hands and spoke briefly about the property transfer and engaged in small talk before going inside to complete the transaction.

"Are you ready to own the Valencia Manor with all of its ghostly inhabitants?" He questioned jokingly.

"I'm ready as rain, as they say. The ghosts are harmless, and one must worry more about the living, I think," she smiled widely.

"You look radiant this morning, Maryanne. Your green eyes reflect the excitement of such a bequest."

"If I didn't know you better, I'd think you were trying to flirt with me," Maryanne chuckled. "Thank you for the compliment though, Thomas. I am relieved that this is finally going to be over today. It has been a long time coming. I never actually thought it would become a reality, and yet here we are. It's like a beautiful dream at the end of a long nightmare." She flashed on such an impossibility of any kind of relationship with Thomas. She was not the least bit interested in Tom, even though he had made a pass or two at her since they had known each other a few years back. His looks were not bad but his arrogance and attitude had always turned her off. He was an excellent attorney though, and that had always been her first consideration.

"Well, it has been a long nightmare, and you did earn it, in a manner of speaking. You were a prisoner there for over two weeks. That ought to account for something. You deserve it and then some. Just accept the Manor as a payoff for a stint in hell for two weeks and stop worrying about why and how?"

"I guess it's better me than Harold J. Arnold."

"That's true." His face turned from a smile to that of subtlety. "And that would have been a real disaster. We can only thank your lucky stars it turned out the way it did."

After a few signatures and paperwork, Maryanne strolled out of the office with a clear title to the Manor. She opened the documents, studying them once more in near disbelief. Reading them over, she finally slipped the title papers into the envelope and took in a deep breath as she sat down on the bench outside the office, relieved that this was the final step. Now she could go forward with her plans to renovate the Manor, and begin the journey of a long term commitment toward financial stability. Maryanne's thoughts reflected back to Hanna Michelle Smith, the once mistakenly accused criminal and kidnapper, who turned out to be an innocent and abused young woman that had served a relentless stint in her own hell at the Valencia Manor. The detectives and the psychologists presumed that she could have been inside the manor for several years. She was obviously inside the manor when the property was listed with Joan Bishop, Maryanne's friend and real estate broker, but for an accuracy factor, there was no evidence at this time to determine how long.

Hanna Michelle, the obvious victim of a vicious man's madness, was discovered in an unexpected show of events, when Maryanne had first been associated with the Valencia Manor many months ago. Sheriff Olson and Maryanne were still trying to find out who had kept Hanna hostage there, and why. Subsequently, Maryanne O'Donnel had been held captive in the Manor for more than two weeks, by Hanna Michelle, who at that time was a victim herself. She had become confused and misguided from her tragic captivity. However, Maryanne had formed a bond with Hanna during her confinement. She was determined to help Hanna regain self-reliance and confidence now that she was free from the grip of the horrible Manor. The Boulder Police Department had still not come up with any evidence as to why Hanna Michelle was still living inside the mansion when it was presumed to be vacated after the owner, John Farthington, had passed away. Maryanne had done her share of research; trying to find out the identity of this unknown woman. The actual name, Hanna Michelle Smith had been given to her by the Centennial Peaks Psychiatric Hospital in Louisville, Colorado, because there were literally no documents or knowledge of how she ended up in the Valencia and her true identity. For the time being her name would remain Hanna Michelle Smith.

As Maryanne leaned back against the bench remembering the long journey from the first time she saw the Valencia Manor, until this day, she took the cell phone from her purse and called Mario, the Detective who worked on the case and eventually Maryanne's love interest. His answering machine responded, so she left him a short message informing him of the final outcome. Now it was time to return to her office and finish a project that she had been working on for several weeks.

After the Valencia Manor had been cleansed of the evil that dominated it, and no other spirits seemed to be haunting its dark, empty chambers, Maryanne began to delve into serious work at her business of acquiring and selling artifacts and antiquities. She was financially tapped, and needed to sustain herself once again, since the trust she had inherited from her parents had diminished to a few thousand dollars. It was time to get down to business and create new cash flow. After acquiring a perfect location for her new store on Broadway, in the Pearl Street Mall area, she formed an LLC, and named the business Valencia Antiquities. She had been doing quite well after spending several thousand dollars in marketing and advertising. It had paid off with four new clients who were interested in several high-priced artifacts. Various other clients included daily patrons who wandered in window-shopping, or random impulse buyers picking up items here and there. The location was perfect. A new client had stopped in inquiring about artifacts connected with the famous mining town of Cripple Creek, a historical mining town that had been developed into a modern tourist gambling location. A small town that was full of stories connected with hauntings and paranormal activity. She was looking forward to visiting the location, especially now that she had experienced a little taste of the paranormal. Her new found interests had led her on new expeditions in areas where legends of ghost haunting seemed to be a familiar occurrence. She would be investigating other well-known places in the mountains where the gold mining days of Colorado had been so prevalent. Another very interesting location she had not yet visited was the famous Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King had been inspired to create his great mystery, "The Shining." She was considering asking her new friend, Vivian Gilbreth, the psychic, to join her in those ventures. 'What psychic wouldn't want to visit historical locations of that caliber?'

After Maryanne had labored with love at her store on Broadway, it was time to close. She set the alarm, and locked the doors, returning to her charming bungalow on Mapleton Avenue. Her small house was set back, slightly secluded on the quiet street surrounded by its protective, maturing oaks. She had been working on updating the house since she moved in and it would soon be ready for sale. A bit more renovating and the house would be ready for the market.

A trip to Dublin, Ireland had been in the works with Mario Ramos, her love interest for more than a year. He had sprung the news on her last week that they would be departing in three weeks. Since the news had finally sunk in, Maryanne had been floating on a virtual cloud, keeping reality at close range. Maryanne had first met Mario when her friend Joan had been attacked by an intruder in her office, many months ago. He was one of the detectives who answered the call. She was immediately drawn to his dark, mysterious charm, with eyes that melted her every move. Their affair was still in full bloom and looked like it was going to be a permanent pleasure. She was very content in the love department. Little did she know it wasn't just a vacation, but Mario had purchased an expensive diamond ring, and had a plan to purpose while they were visiting the enchanting city of Dublin. They had talked about marriage for months now and she would soon experience the fruits of her and Mario's plans. Mario had already secured reservations at an upscale hotel; the Shelbourne Dublin Renaissance. It was built in eighteen-twenty-four and had been meticulously restored to retain its historical charm. Though Dublin had been one of her business destinations and her family's heritage, she had never been to that particular area, or the hotel, which had a very captivating history. Its reputation for being a most exquisite place for romance and weddings preceded it. Mario knew just how to please Maryanne. She was looking forward to the trip and quietly hoped he would propose while they were there. Though marriage had been discussed many times, they had never really followed up with the idea, but both knew they would eventually take that final vow. Mario had planned an elaborate vacation, and indeed, she would be in awe when the event took place. He had been very careful not to let her in on certain details of his plans when they visited the enchanting city of Dublin.

When Maryanne approached her house, headlights reflected against the recently upgraded brick exterior. Her thoughts drifted back to when she had first moved in. The house had been significantly updated from its neglected condition when she saw it for the very first time. She pondered over plans to renovate the Valencia Manor and eventually sell her house and move into the grand estate. It would be a huge undertaking, and she didn't want both projects taking place at the same time, so she continued to complete as much as possible on her house before she began the Valencia renovation project. Next week, the new roof would be installed and the interior paint would be completed. The entire project would be nearly finished before leaving on her trip to Ireland.


Excerpted from MYSTEERIE MANOR II by SHARON HAYS Copyright © 2011 by Sharon Hays. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    Maryanne O'Donnell was looking for the perfect house that she could invest in. She found one with all the top qualities to meet her standards, with her love for antiques, and history. She becomes fascinated with an old, Italian beauty, excited to move in with the love of her life. However, what she didn't realize was the fact that she got much more than what she bargained for. Maryanne knew about the creepy reputation and the spirits at the Valencia, preparing to rid of the spirits, prior to moving in. Did Vivian's physic powers cleanse the Manor permanently? How many tragic deaths were reported from the time of construction to its last owner? Did screams bounce off the walls, and what unexpected chilling events took place, behind closed doors? Is the Valencia Manor in Colorado an eerie mansion, with its own personality? Who felt a cold breeze from behind the walls, and is pushed forcefully from a terrifying presence? Will evil continue within the world of spirits? I highly recommend this gripping horror mystery to all thriller lovers, who enjoy explosive drama, and intense suspense. Sharon Hays created a haunting, intriguing, and captivating story of the supernatural, made for the movie screen. A Masterpiece of paranormal suspense, thrilling twists-and-turns, along with horrifying events leave you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Strange accidents, bizarre adventures, and mysterious deaths require extra help from many detectives. But will the priest and psychic also be needed to fight a paranormal entity in this spell-binding thriller? What did it take to convince Mario to believe in spirits? What happened to Maryanne, and did Joan believe that Maryanne was not dead? "MYSTEERIE MANOR II" is as terrifying as THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, as chilling as THE EXORCIST, and as scary as THE HAUNTING.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Another soul shaker

    Mysteerie Manor II - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

    'The fateful day she walked into the Valencia Manor, her life had taken many turns. What had started out as a property investment opportunity had become an intriguing nightmare of unexpected events and mysterious, supernatural phenomenon. Murder, strange accidents and tragedy all took their turns in the bizarre adventures at the Valencia Manor. But through all of the mystery and misery, it had become a reality. The Valencia Manor would be legally transferred into Maryanne's name today. Maryanne was reluctant at first, to accept the unbelievable gift of the Valencia Manor, because she felt so bad about the death of the lovely Mrs. Dirkshire. Maryanne spent weeks trying to find other relatives who might otherwise be next in line to inherit the property, but after careful searching, to no avail and legal counsel, she felt more at ease in accepting the gracious offer.'

    The Valencia Manor was built in the 1800s. After several mysterious deaths it was put on the market and bought by John Farthington. The deaths continued with his child and wife both dying while living at the Manor. After succumbing to illness himself, Farthington moved in with his sister Irene Dirkshire. He later died leaving the Manor to her. She, in turn, decided to sell and contacted Joan Bishop to be her agent. Joan and Maryanne O'Donnell were close friends and when Irene saw how much Maryanne loved the old Manor she wrote a new will stating that if anything should mysteriously happen to her it was to go to Maryanne. Upon her death a few weeks later, Maryanne inherited the Valencia Manor.
    The Manor wasn't the only thing that Maryanne inherited. She acquired all of the ghosts, both good and bad, that called the Manor their home. So she decided to sell her home and move into the Manor, but before doing this she first had to have the place completely renovated. After finding the perfect contractor, her plans progressed with a good offer being placed on her home and Maryanne and her new husband Mario made plans to move into what was to be their new home at the Valencia. Maryanne had already had the Manor swept of its spirits by her physic friend Vivian but when the contractor took out a wall and found an unexpected guest, Maryanne had to call on her friend again. Vivian found more than expected when she returned to the Manor and with Mario informing her of the mysterious deaths that had been occurring around the area she had no choice but to give them her idea that they may be dealing with the "undead."

    Reading Mysteerie Manor and Mysteerie Manor II made me remember reading my very first "horror" book. It was called Salem's Lot. I read it at night, which was a mistake, and had trouble sleeping afterwards. I couldn't even leave a curtain open for fear that an unsuspecting predator would be looking in. That was years ago, but these two books bring some of those feelings back. Author Sharon Hays has succeeded in giving me the creeps, even while reading during the day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

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