Part Three of the New Three-Part Godmothers Serial!
The best of friends, Toots, Ida, Mavis, and Sophie have been there for each other through thick and thin. Now Sophie needs the rest of the Godmothers to help her through something they’ve never faced before . . .
Each of the Godmothers—Toots, Ida, Sophie, and Mavis—brings her own unique strengths to their extraordinary friendship. In particular, Sophie’s psychic gift has helped rescue the Godmothers from a few tight spots. But her abilities can spark trouble too. And on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Sophie begins experiencing some very strange events in the house she shares with her beloved husband, Goebel.
As the Godmothers rally around Sophie, and Toots’ daughter Abby puts her investigative skills to work trying to ferret out the truth, one of their own is targeted by an unseen enemy. The only option is to confront a terrible wrong that occurred within the house decades ago. And, just maybe, each of them will get the chance to claim a sweet, surprising future chiming with wedding bells when the task is done . . .
Praise for Fern Michaels and The Godmothers Series
“Pure recession-proof fun.” —Publishers Weekly
“Michaels’ engaging version of the Golden Girls.” —Booklist
“Grab some tissues as you read the latest installment of the outstanding Godmothers series, which contains an abundance of poignancy, wit, charm and laugh-out-loud moments. Reading Michaels is always a rewarding experience.” —RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars on Classified
“The camaraderie of the four friends remains very powerful in the latest Godmothers contemporary . . . Fans will enjoy Breaking News.” —Midwest Book Reviews
“A tale of intrigue, excitement, and friendship . . . This novel will satisfy your taste for thrill while reinforcing the value of keeping good company in hard times.” —The Charleston Mercury on Late Edition
“This is a perfect book to take with you and sit and laugh at the beach. It’s just fun.” —Louisville Kentucky Courier-Journal on The Scoop
About the Author
Hometown:Summerville, South Carolina
Place of Birth:Hastings, Pennsylvania
Read an Excerpt
By FERN MICHAELS
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2017 Fern Michaels
All rights reserved.
Chester greeted Abby at the back door, sensing that she needed his assistance. He leaned against the heavy frame to keep it open when she entered with Amy on one hip and Jonathan on the other. Once inside, she stooped down, allowing the twins to wiggle out of her arms. "Thanks, Chester," she said before giving her longtime best friend a rub between the ears. "I swear you're more human than animal."
Once inside and seeing that Amy and Jonathan were occupied with a scattering of toys they'd left on the floor this morning, she found her godmother Mavis's cell phone number written on a notepad next to the phone. Quickly, she punched in the digits. Mavis picked up on the third ring.
"Yes, dear." She didn't bother with hello. Abby smiled. She knew Mavis was fascinated with the ability to see who was calling.
"Did I catch you at a bad time?" Abby asked.
"Of course not, Abby. Wade and I were getting ready to close up for the night."
Abby could only imagine what closing up for the night consisted of since Mavis and Wade operated a funeral parlor. There was no way that she was about to ask.
Peeping around the corner to make sure the twins were safely occupied, her voice grew serious. "Is there anything going on with Mom that I need to know? I stopped over earlier, just to say hi and let the twins visit, and we were no more settled in than, the next thing I know, she's practically tossing us out. She didn't bother with an explanation, either."
Abby was more than concerned. Normally, her mother would practically have to beg her to stay longer just so she could play with her grandchildren, but that hadn't been the case today.
She could hear Mavis's intake of breath across the ether. "I haven't seen your mother since we attended the séance at Sophie and Goebel's. She did have a little too much to drink that night. Wade insisted we drive her home even though she said she was fine. Of course, I knew better. I haven't spoken to her since then, so as far as I know, everything is fine. She and Phil were talking about their upcoming trip to New York for his book launch."
Mavis was so kind, but sometimes she could be a bit long-winded.
"Yes, she mentioned the trip the other day," Abby said. "Do you think Sophie or Ida might know what's going on with Mom? It's just so unlike her to act . . . well, never mind. Mom does act weird, a lot, but I've never seen her act this way around the twins."
"I'm sure everything will be just fine. I wouldn't worry too much, dear."
Abby thanked her and ended the call. She punched in Sophie's cell phone, and it went straight to voicemail. She tried her home number, and no one picked up. "Weird," she said to herself. With Ida next on her list, she punched in her number. It rang at least ten times, then Abby hung up. That left Bernice. She called her mother's house, knowing the odds of Bernice's answering the phone were in her favor.
And, sure enough, Bernice answered on the first ring. "Thank goodness you called," Bernice said.
Abby's heart raced. "What in the world is going on?"
"I've been sworn to silence, but your mother told me if you called to tell you she was just fine, and not to worry."
"Oh, great. That's just great. Seriously, Bernice, is there something going on with her that I should know? She tossed me and the kids out so fast, I was too shocked to question her. Now I know something is wrong because she would insist on speaking to me if there wasn't." At least that's what Abby thought. She and her mother didn't keep secrets. At least none that she knew of. Of course, there was the matter of theInformer, but Abby hadn't cared that her mother had purchased the struggling tabloid behind her back. She thought it truly proved what lengths a mother would go to for her child. Had the situation been reversed, she was sure she would have done the exact same thing for her kids. Like mother, like daughter.
"Abby, your mother is fine. Physically, at least. Now, as far as her mental state goes, I've questioned it for the past thirty- plus years."
Abby grinned. Leave it to Bernice. "Yeah, I understand where you're coming from. But still, this isn't like her at all, and I need to know what's going on so I can help fix whatever it is."
She heard Bernice's sigh. "Do you think the twins are old enough to be in the wedding? I was thinking ring bearer and flower girl."
Abby pulled the phone away from her ear and looked at it. Maybe Bernice was the one she needed to be concerned about. "I'm not falling into your trap, Bernie," Abby said, knowing she hated being referred to as "Bernie."
"Look, I understand where you're coming from, but I really don't know what's going on with your mother. Ida's upstairs in your mother's room, Sophie and Goebel went home. Well, I think that's where they're at. She left in a rush, and he wasn't far behind her. I'm as much in the dark as you, and you know your mother. When she wants us to know something, she will tell us. If it were life threatening, she would have told us. I wouldn't worry if I were you," Bernice said. "I was serious when I asked you about the twins being in the wedding. Since they're practically walking, I thought it might be fun to see them in action."
The visual of Amy and Jonathan walking down any aisle without her trailing behind made her laugh out loud. "We'll see, Bernice. I'm not sure if they're steady on their feet enough yet, but they change daily, so I will give it some thought."
"Good. I'll tell your mother to call you as soon as she's able," Bernice said. "She's going to do my wedding. What do you think of that?"
"God knows she's had enough experience, so it should be perfect. She loves doing that stuff, so I can't wait. I'm happy for you, really. You've been alone all your life," Abby said, then felt a bit sad.
"No I haven't, kid. I've had you, your mom, and my son Daniel. You're my family, and that will never change, you got that?"
Abby's eyes filled with tears. "I feel the same way, and I know that Mom does, too. Now"-she knuckled her eyes- "before I start blubbering, let's stop this lovey-dovey stuff. Just know you're loved, and make sure to tell Mom to call me as soon as she thinks it's appropriate to let me in on what's happening over there."
"Will do," Bernice promised, then hung up.
"Sure you will," Abby said.
Her reporter instincts had been dormant too long, she thought as she observed the twins still playing on the floor. It was high time she did a bit of investigating of her own.CHAPTER 2
"Who's there?" Toots asked.
"The police," Bernice answered sarcastically. "Who were you expecting?"
Toots peeked out of the small crack between her bedroom door and the doorframe. "What do you want?" she asked none too nicely. "I've got a ... situation in here." She wasn't about to tell Bernice the full version of what Sophie suspected, at least not until she was 100 percent sure. In the meantime, her job was to keep Ida occupied, and that was almost impossible. She'd given her a double dose of an antihistamine to knock her out. The last thing she wanted was the entire gang asking questions.
"Abby is worried about you," Bernice told her. "She thinks you're mentally deranged. She's considering having you committed."
Toots yanked the door open and stepped out into the hallway. "Shhh, I don't want to wake Ida." She inched her bedroom door almost shut, leaving just enough of an opening to see Ida lying on her bed. "Repeat what you just said."
"Abby's worried about you," Bernice repeated. "And frankly, I'm beginning to worry myself. What in the hell are you and Sophie up to now? Don't tell me nothing, because I don't believe it for one little second. You're hiding something from me, and I want to know what it is. And I want to know right now, this very second."
Toots considered telling her the truth, but sure as shit Bernice would mention it to Robert. It would scare the poor old guy half out of his mind, and who knew what could happen then. The old guy could have a heart attack or something. She trusted Bernice to the ends of the earth; she'd been like a sister to her for almost all of her adult life. But right now just wasn't the time to tell the whole truth and nothing but. Time for a little bit of embellishment. "Ida's having some of her old issues resurface and doesn't want anyone to know." There, that should cover them, at least until Sophie came up with a plan.
Incredulously, Bernice asked, "You mean that germ stuff?"
Toots nodded. She hated lying to Bernice, but right now it was for the best. She didn't want to frighten her or Robert, or anyone else for that matter. And she would do whatever it took to keep Abby, and her beautiful grandchildren, safe.
"Please don't tell me I have to Clorox this place down now? I can't stand the smell, plus I'm too old to get down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor."
"No, no, don't even go there. I wouldn't expect you to clean like that anyway. I'd send her to a nuthouse first." Toots smiled. "If Abby calls again, explain this to her, but make sure she keeps it quiet for now."
"No, I am going to do no such thing. When Abby calls again, and you and I both know she will, I'm going to insist she talk to you. And you can tell her whatever lie you want."
Bernice had a way of cutting right through the flesh and hitting the bone. Toots had taught her well. She grinned. "Bernice, I'm doing this for her own protection, and the twins', too. You are going to have to trust me on this one," she added.
"I suppose I can. What about the wedding? Are you going to be able to fit this in between all of your mysterious callings? I would hate to have to hire one of those overpriced wedding planners."
"Damn, Bernice, you're acting like a virgin bride! Of course I can fit this in. As you can't seem to stop reminding me, I am quite experienced. Once the date is set, I'll take it from there." Toots had connections all over Charleston. For that matter, she had connections all over the country. She could whip up a wedding in a matter of hours if she had to, but she wasn't about to tell that to Bernice.
"Two weeks? Robert and I discussed it, and at first we thought we wanted to get hitched next week. But then we changed our minds and decided on two weeks. Is that enough time for you, Miss Planner of Weddings?" Bernice asked.
"I'll arrange for you and Robert to get your marriage license tomorrow. Once that's finished, why don't you set the date then? Just in case there's an issue, you know, red tape and all," Toots added.
"All right, I guess I can live with that. But I am not fielding any more telephone calls for you." Bernice shook her head and headed downstairs.
Toots took her cell phone from her pocket. She'd missed several calls from Abby. Before she had time to rethink her decision, she dialed Abby's cell.
"Mom," Abby said. "What is going on now? You scared the daylights out of me. Why the need to toss us out?" Abby did not sound like a happy camper.
"Dear, I didn't mean to scare you or the twins. There is a ... situation that requires my and Sophie's undivided attention. It's one of those psychic things, just a little closer to home." This explanation didn't make one bit of sense to her, and she knew damn well that Abby wouldn't fall for it, either, especially given the cockamamie story about carbon monoxide at Sophie and Goebel's house that Abby had been told.
"As long as you and Sophie aren't being hurt in any way, I'll accept your explanation. For now. I just wish you would trust me enough to confide in me."
"Oh, Abby, I trust you more than anyone in the world. You need to trust me when I say this isn't something you need to involve yourself in. The outcome could be very ... let's just say you're better off not knowing right now. When and if the time is right, and you need to know, or there is no reason for you not to know, you have my word I'll fill you in on everything. Can you live with that for now?"
Toots took a peep at Ida. She's sleeping like the dead, Toots thought. Uh-oh, bad choice of words.
"I suppose I don't have much of a choice," Abby relented. "Just be careful, okay? I know you and Sophie."
"What do you mean by that?" Toots asked, wanting to keep the conversation going just to hear her daughter's voice. She'd felt incredibly guilty for tossing her and the twins out earlier.
"I know how the two of you are when you're concocting one of your schemes."
Toots heard a rustling noise coming from her room. She sneaked a look inside. Ida was thrashing about. Sophie had told her to watch for signs of odd movements. "I need to go, Abby. I'll call you later. I promise there isn't anything for you to concern yourself with. Kiss the babies for me." Toots ended the call before Abby had a chance to respond. She hated doing this to her daughter but made a mental promise to make it up to her.
Inside her room, she dialed Sophie's cell phone. "Ida is moving around like she's trying to fly."
"Shit," Sophie said. "Is she talking weird, saying anything out of the ordinary?"
"No. I can't believe she's even capable of moving after I gave her all those antihistamines."
"How many did you give her?" Sophie asked.
"Two, just like you said. Phil might stop by later if he gets back from New York. I'll have him check her over."
"Don't do that, Toots. She's okay. Remember, I was a nurse. It's not going to cause her any trouble. She might have a bit of a dry mouth when she wakes up, but that's about it. I don't want Phil to ask questions. We don't need anyone asking questions."
Toots should have been offended, but she wasn't. Phil didn't need to know about this, and besides, he had enough on his plate preparing for his book-launch party. "I won't breathe a word."
"I'll keep my cell phone on all night. I'm not sure if I'm going with Goebel to meet with that Dabney great-great-nephew, but if I do, I'll let you know. Any more changes with Ida, let me know."
"So you just want me to sit in my bedroom and watch her sleep? What should I tell Phil if he asks why?"
"You'll think of something, Tootsie, you always do. I'm in the attic right now, I have to go."
Okay, Toots thought. She didn't want to know why Sophie was in the attic, though she assumed that it probably had something to do with Ida's dilemma.
Resigning herself to spending the evening watching Ida, Toots pulled a chair up next to the bed. Something told her it was going to be a very long night.CHAPTER 3
"Hey," Goebel called out from the entrance to the attic. "You want me to get a flashlight?"
"No," Sophie said. "I already have one. Don't come in here, stay back. The smell is sickening. It could be a dead rat. Just stay put." Sophie spied the old trunks she wanted to look through, still stacked in the corner where she had last seen them. She instantly changed her mind. "You better come inside. I might need some help with these trunks."
Goebel stooped as he made his way across the attic. "It smells awful in here. If I didn't know better, I'd swear there was a dead body in here. It certainly smells like rotting flesh."
Sophie turned around so fast she had to grab one of the low-hanging beams to steady herself. She'd also thought the odor was the smell of death, but hadn't wanted to put words to her thoughts. She remembered working in the hospital morgue all those years ago, when she'd been in nursing school. Once you smelled a decomposing body, the odor stayed with you forever.
Excerpted from Getaway by FERN MICHAELS. Copyright © 2017 Fern Michaels. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoy these books, I'd love to be a member of this group and tag along with them. I can't wait for their next adventure
The spirits in Sophie’s house are still restless, but now with her friends on alert and on hand to help, the resident spirits may just be given their walking papers. The ladies join for a séance to ferret out the last of the items needed, but must head out to find some answers to dispel a ghost that is pestering Ida. They return from their venture to Charlotte poised to rid the spirits, allow Sophie her anniversary celebration and the wedding of Bernice and Robert that Toots is planning. While the clues and solutions aren’t particularly novel, the story takes the path of the others to detail the journey the women made: both in solving this new mystery and the path that was taken to form this tightly knit and supportive group. Moments range from laugh-out-loud outrageous and funny to poignant remembrances of times past, coming together and their growing friendships. Perfectly fitting for a summer read, the three installments should be read in order to get the best experience, as well as a wonderful refresher for fans of the Godmothers stories, with information and background that may refresh your connection to the ladies and their journeys. Classic Fern Michaels, the story reads quickly, is engaging and intriguing and the perfect getaway from the daily life stresses. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility Overall Review for Serial (3 Parts) as one contiguous story – 4 Stars
Of the 3 short stories that follow book #6, this is the best one. Wraps up the story nicely but very predictable. The main issue I have with this segment is that Sophie continues to try and handle the evil spirits all on her own. This woman has a newly discovered psychic ability and acts as if she's the most capable person in the world to handle any and all spirits (good or evil) as well as Ida's possession by one of the evil spirits. Simply a ridiculous concept. This series is not one that I will ever re-read.
Title: Getaway- The Godmothers Book 9 Author: Fern Michaels Publisher: Kensington Books Published: 5-23-2017 Pages: 138 Genre: Women's Fiction Sub-Genre: Sagas; Short Reads; Contemporary Fiction; Paranormal ISBN: 9781496712080 ASIN: B01L5KH7PY Reviewed For NetGalley and Kensington Books Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.5 Stars I was lucky enough to read all three books at one sitting. "Getaway" is the third part of the three parts of the whole book. The cost accumulation equals one full book in the Godmother Series. Part 1 is "Hideaway" and the second part is "Spirited Away". The final installment brings the story to its spectacular conclusion. Sophie and the women set about to repair the wrongs done at her home to bring peace. Abby continues her investigation and the danger comes closer. Fern Michaels has brought us a story that gives us shivers, laughter and joy. Her talent continues to keep her readers wanting more. I hope to read more of her work soon. My rating of "Getaway" is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
This is very good only short story I will be reading the next one now