by Erin Quinn
DIABLO SPRINGS tells the story of Ella and Gracie Beck, two women bound by blood and curse as their parallel story lines intersect. As Gracie navigates the dangerous streets of present day Diablo Springs in hopes of saving her daughter from a curse destined to destroy her, Ella Beck arrives in the past-day boom town of Diablo Springs with a ragtag group of prostitutes and gamblers. Her life, decisions and mistakes reverberate through time and impact her great grand-daughter.
For the history buffs, Diablo Springs is loosely based on Agua Caliente, a real life ghost town which became popular around the turn of the century. Socialites flocked there for the healing waters… until in the late 1890s an enterprising engineer decided to make them bigger and better, resulting in the springs draining into underground caverns and disappearing altogether. The writer in me thought, what better place for a ghost story than a town where even the water is a ghost…. All other similarities between Diablo Springs and Agua Caliente ended there, but it was the seed I needed to sprout my story.
Keep reading for an excerpt from DIABLO SPRINGS.
Years separated him from their last kiss, but it felt like yesterday, and he wanted to press his mouth to hers like he wanted his next breath. But what scared him was the knowledge that his feelings had nothing to do with the scalloped lace he could almost see outlined beneath her cotton shirt or the history that would always bind them together. It had to do with the here and now, with feelings he barely understood himself. And the fact that she hadn’t turned away even after he’d told her the most horrifying truth she would ever hear. She didn’t look at him like he was something she’d scraped off her shoe.
Slowly, he cupped her face, the feel of her soft skin almost painful against his callused fingers. She was everything good and pure, and he was the last thing she needed in her life.
“I’m sorry,” he said against her lips.
She made a sound in her throat, protest and surrender all wrapped in one confounding moan. Her hands flattened over his chest, fingers spread, his heart captive beneath her touch. Her short upper lip fit perfectly between both of his, and her mouth clung when he took it. They’d learned to make love when neither had been old enough to appreciate the fleeting preciousness of such a thing. Now the need to have that closeness again made him deepen the kiss, part her lips, and taste the sweetness of her mouth.
Her fingers curled into the fabric of his shirt, holding tight as she returned his kiss with lips and teeth and the soft brush of her tongue. He pulled the band from her ponytail, and her hair cascaded into his hands, soft as satin, damp from the rain. She arched into him while he ran his fingers down the curve of her spine, pulling her hips against his, letting her feel how much he wanted, needed her. He wanted to lay her down on that butcher-block table and make her his once more.
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