OH! For the love of books!

Heather Graham The Krewe of Hunters books 7 and 8 EP 64

January 01, 2024 Jessica Season 3 Episode 64
Heather Graham The Krewe of Hunters books 7 and 8 EP 64
OH! For the love of books!
More Info
OH! For the love of books!
Heather Graham The Krewe of Hunters books 7 and 8 EP 64
Jan 01, 2024 Season 3 Episode 64

Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters 38 book series. Book 7 The Unspoken, Book 8 The Uninvited. 

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters 38 book series. Book 7 The Unspoken, Book 8 The Uninvited. 

Support the Show.

If you liked the show subscribe and give a review.



Opening music

"Hello book worms and welcome to OH! For the Love of Books!, This show gives you information from the books I have read or ones you suggest for me to read. I'm your host, Jessica Vickery, and thank you for joining me. 


Here are the next 2 books from The Krewe of Hunters

Book 7 The Unspoken

 The midnight hour
 Austin Miller loved his comfortable home. Built by his grandfather in 1872, after the ravages of the Great Chicago Fire of October 10, 1871, it had the grace—and even opulence—of the mid-Victorian era. The staircase was carpeted in deep crimson, a shade picked up in the period furniture. Swirling drapes in black and cream adorned the parlor, and the windows were etched glass. He had changed little since his grandfather’s day.
 It boasted a true gentleman’s den with bookshelves that lined the walls, filled with wonderful tomes, old and new. It also boasted some of his fabulous collections, the most impressive of which was his collection of Egyptian artifacts. They were legally obtained, since Austin’s grandfather had been on the dig when Tut’s tomb was discovered; he had lived much of his life prowling the sands of the Sahara in pursuit of discoveries. Canopic jars were kept in a temperature-controlled display case, along with funerary statuettes that were gilded and bejeweled. A real sarcophagus—that of a king’s illegitimate son, of little import to Egyptians at the time—stood open in a corner of the room. It had been arranged in a display case of its own, built by his grandfather in the mid-1930s. He’d exhibited his collection of mummified snakes and cats behind glass, as well. On one side of Austin’s beautiful desk was an exquisitely crafted statue of the god Horus, adorned with gold paint and fine jewels. On the other side was a carafe, where he kept his finest brandy and glasses for when the need arose.
 Yes, Austin loved his den. He held his most important meetings here, with business associates and with fellow members of the Egyptian Sand Diggers, the Society of Chicago and scholars who loved and appreciated all things Egyptian.
 He felt the need for a brandy arise at that moment. Tonight, he was happy. So happy. After more than a century of being at the bottom of Lake Michigan and her shifting sands, the Jerry McGuen might well be on her way to twenty-first-century discovery!
 He knew he should go to sleep. His doctor had warned him that he had to rest and that he had to avoid sleeping aids, that he needed to take his heart and blood pressure medications and stick to a healthful regimen. He was, after all, eighty-three years old.

 They were on the brink of knowledge. Nothing had hit the papers yet, but come morning, divers and documentarians would, at long last, discover the Jerry McGuen.
 And, with the ship, untold treasure.
 His cat, Bastet, a beautifully marked Egyptian Mau, also seemed restless that night. Bastet meowed and sidled along his leg.
 “Tomorrow, Bastet, tomorrow!” He had changed for bed and wore his pajamas and a smoking robe, although he’d long ago given up the cigars he’d once enjoyed so much.
 But a little brandy wasn’t a bad thing.
 He poured himself a snifter and rolled the tawny liquor against the sides of the glass, smelled it and finally sipped. He let out a soft sigh. “Tomorrow, Bastet, tomorrow,” he said again.
 But the cat leaped atop his desk with a screech that was frightening.
 “Bastet!” He frowned. He tried to stroke the cat, but Bastet vaulted from the desk and disappeared behind the standing sarcophagus. What could be bothering the creature? Mrs. Hodgkins, his housekeeper, was long gone for the day.
 The massive grandfather clock behind him began to toll the midnight hour.
 He swallowed another sip of his brandy.
 A cool breeze blew from the patio beyond the den; the curtains wafted.
 The clock chimed three times, four, five.
 And then…
 He saw it. Moving in from the patio.
 He sat completely still and blinked. He had to be seeing things. But, as if compelled by his vision, he rose, swallowing down the rest of the brandy. He wanted to scream. He couldn’t scream, but somewhere in his mind he knew that even if he could, no one would hear.
The clocked chimed six times, seven, eight.
 It was coming…coming…coming for him.
 His heart! Instinctively, he clutched his chest and felt the thundering of his heart. He groped in his pocket for his nitroglycerin pills, but just as he reached them, it reached him. The pills were knocked from his hand.
 The clock chimed nine times, ten, eleven.
 He felt as if he’d been struck by a sledgehammer. The pain was overwhelming. The thing before him was enveloped in the black of his vision.
 The clock chimed the hour of midnight.
 And he fell down dead.
 The wee hours
 Kat Sokolov slept deeply, and in that sleep, she dreamed. It was a lovely dream. She was sailing somewhere. She stood on the deck looking out at the darkness of the water and watched the stunning display in the sky overhead. The moon was full, but clouds drifted in and out, and the world seemed beautiful.
 She listened to the music from the ship’s grand salon, where someone was playing a Viennese waltz. Attracted to the sweet sound of the music, she turned. She wore a gown as elegant as those she saw around her. Silk and velvet, it swept gracefully as she moved. There was a celebration going on, and she could hear delighted laughter along with the enchanting strains from the piano. At the doors to the grand salon, she felt the breeze and pulled her fur stole more closely around her shoulders. It couldn’t be about to snow! The moon had been too bright, too visible. The breeze had seemed so gentle….
 But now it touched her like a blast of ice. When she opened the door to the salon, she felt the wind snatch it from her. It banged hard against the wall, and she was embarrassed for losing it and creating such an awful sound. But before she could apologize to anyone, the ship suddenly pitched and rolled. Glass shattered; people screamed. She thought she heard the blast of a horn, or a high, loud whistle. Then people were shouting, screaming. A voice of authority boomed out, warning people that a storm had come in, that they needed to go to their cabins immediately.
 A couple pushed past Kat as if she wasn’t even there. “It’s cursed! The ship is cursed!” the man said to the young woman at his side. “Oh, God! What they should do is cast out the cargo, clear us of the curse!”
 “You’re scaring me!” the young woman cried.
 “I’m so sorry, my darling!” the man said.
 Then the woman seemed to see her. She looked at her with wide, desperate eyes. “It’s the curse,” she said. “It’s the curse!”
 “No, no, it’s a storm, that’s all,” Kat heard herself say reassuringly. She smiled at the young woman. But then she turned. There appeared to be something out on the water. Something huge coming toward them.
 She felt another blast of cold. Wet cold. The lovely night had become treacherous. It wasn’t snow rushing at her; it was ice. They had sailed into an ice storm.
 And still, that thing was out there, mammoth, a dark shadow that couldn’t quite take shape because of the raging elements.
 The wind picked up again and seemed to strike her in the face.
 Then she awoke, frozen.
 Kat blinked. She was still in her room in the lovely California hotel where her Krewe was staying.
 She almost laughed aloud. She was cold because she’d kicked away her covers. Jumping up quickly, she hurried over to the thermostat. Somehow, sometime, either she or the maid had set the temperature down to the fifties.
 She reset the thermostat to eighty-five.
 She was much fonder of heat than cold.
 That done, she dragged the extra blanket from the closet, grabbed all her covers again and curled back into bed. She’d practically forgotten the dream, she’d been so cold.
 As she lay down, she thought it had been quite absurd. But then, of course, dreams often were.
 Next morning
 9:00 a.m.
The water of Lake Michigan was eerie, with different shades of gray shadows and darkness, as Brady Laurie plunged into the chilly depths. Only near the surface could anything that resembled natural light or warmth be found; the lake had always been a place of darkness and secrets. Motes seemed to dance before his eyes as the dive light on his head illuminated his journey, ever deeper into the water. Tiny bits of grasses, sand, orts from the meals of the lake’s denizens swirled like dust particles, shimmering as his light hit them.
It was a world of silence down here, making every little noise sharp. The sound of his breathing and the throb of his regulator, the expulsion of his air bubbles, the very pulse of his heart.
 It was a world he loved, but today he was on a mission.
 He was so anxious. He shouldn’t have been diving alone; he knew that. It was against every rule of scuba and salvage, but people often did it, anyway. In fact, he’d met enough he-man types so sure of their own prowess that they ignored the rule all the time. He didn’t usually—just today.
 He knew exactly what he was looking for, and the sonar on his boat seemed to have proven his theories and calculations right.
 At long last, he’d found the sunken ship—the Jerry McGuen.
 He believed in his heart that he’d found her, the freighter that had carried sixty men and women to their graves, doomed along with the treasures they’d brought from Egypt. The ship had sailed faultlessly all the way across the Atlantic Ocean and up the Saint Lawrence River, only to be lost on December 15, 1898, a day before the journey’s end, battered and buffeted by a sudden, fierce storm. She had disappeared so close to her destination, just east-northeast of Chicago.
 People had speculated then, as they still did, that a curse had lain upon the ship. The explorer who’d made the Egyptian discovery, Gregory Hudson, had been aboard. And, of course, there’d been a threat, etched into the stones of the tomb, warning that any man who disturbed the final resting place of Amun Mopat would soon know misery and death. Surely the passengers and crew of the Jerry McGuen had known both—almost able to see Chicago, but storm-tossed in violent, winter-frigid waters, finally succumbing to the brutality of the lake and disappearing.

 Yes, the ship had disappeared, never to be seen again.
 Until today. He would see her again. He, Brady Laurie, would see her again!
 Salvage crews had hunted for her soon after she’d sunk—to no avail. And through the years, time after time, historians and divers had sought her, but like many a ship lost in the murky waters of the massive lake, she was simply not to be found.

Brady had been certain all his life that she had to be there. And he’d excitedly put forth his theory to his coworkers that, following their recent wicked summer storm, there was a chance she could now be discovered. Violent storms altered a lake bed, just as they could alter the seabed in the Atlantic. He had seen what storms could do. A ship sunk in Florida had gone down on her side; one of the storms that had torn apart the Florida Straits had set her up perfectly again. He believed the same strength and force of that phenomenon was going to reveal the Jerry McGuen.

Storms moved sand and dirt. Storms had tremendous power—enough power to right a multi-ton ship. Even one lost for more than a century, a true shipwreck. His calculations had been off, but not by much. Not if what the sonar had shown him was true.

Through the dark, mystic water of the lake, he saw her.

There she was. The Jerry McGuen!

She lay at an angle, starboard hull lodged into the lake bed, as majestic and visible in the glow of his dive light as if she were at dock.

His heart beat fast, and pride surged through him.

They’d done it! They’d found her.

No—he’d found her!

His theory was sound, his calculations making adjustments for time, weather conditions, the power of the recent storm and the earth’s rotations. It couldn’t account for the various unknowns, but he’d been so close. And now, as he saw it looming before him, his time had come. While that kind of storm usually sank ships, this one had removed layers of sand and almost righted the Jerry McGuen.

Yes, there she was, her massive hull tempting and seductive…

Even righted as she was, she had suddenly seemed to loom before him. The lake bed made the water so dark at eighty feet.

Just eighty feet! She’d been there all along, so damned close to Chicago!

He didn’t feel any cold through his dive suit, but he was numb. A shiver of excitement reverberated through his limbs. All around him, the water danced in the wavy shadows of the eighty-foot depths, and he became intensely aware of the sound of his own breathing again, the pump and flow of his regulator. He wanted to shout with happiness and share his discovery with the world. Of course, he would do that soon enough, and if any of his team had followed him out today, they’d already know that he’d been right. Everyone would know that he’d been right, including every salvage diver who had ever dreamed of finding her.

He laughed inwardly, smiling around his regulator. He was pretty sure someone had been behind him. Not that everyone on Lake Michigan had to be following him, but he thought he’d seen a research vessel in the distance when he’d come down.

His coworkers might be angry that he’d jumped the gun, but Amanda had already sold the story of their search to a film producer, who was going to document and finance their historic discovery. He’d supplied money for the search based on Brady’s theory. Now they could begin to chart out and rope off the ship and show the world the remains of the Jerry McGuen. Others interested in pursuits far less esoteric than theirs would be stopped at the gate. No more worries about Landry Salvage or Simonton’s Sea Search beating them to the punch!

He could imagine the treasures in the hold. Priceless Egyptian artifacts, the still-sealed coffin of the high priest known as the Sorcerer of Giza, the sarcophagi, the army of golden figures, the canopic jars, the ancient stones…

Underwater for more than a century, he reminded himself.

But even the Egyptologists of the nineteenth century had known about preservation. Sure, they hadn’t reckoned on toxins and gases, but they knew all about waterproofing—gunpowder and the pursuit of war had certainly furthered man’s knowledge of that!

Of course, the hold might have been compromised, a zillion things might have happened and still…what they might find!

He—they—didn’t seek treasure or the fortune it could bring. The treasures they discovered always went to museums, and he felt a thrill rush through him as he imagined the headlines when they returned the jeweled sarcophagus of Amun Mopat to the Egyptian people. Amun Mopat would be back where he rightfully belonged, and the name Brady Laurie would be revered in Cairo’s museum. Yes, yes, yes!

The Jerry McGuen.

She lay there—exposed! He was so elated his heart seemed to stop.

He checked his air gauge. He had at least another ten minutes to take a quick look at his momentous discovery, another ten minutes to explore, and then time to decompress at thirty-three feet and safely reach his research vessel on the surface.

The Jerry McGuen appeared huge, her forward section still pitched slightly into the lake bed, as if she’d taken a dive while sinking. Parts of the hull were broken, exposing staterooms and a passenger lobby, and what had been the purser’s office. Brady knew the ship; he had studied her plans time and time again. She was a steel-hulled ship, built by the American Stuart Company of Chicago and launched on October 2, 1888. One hundred and eighty-six feet long, thirty-two feet wide, and twelve feet in depth. Her gross tonnage was four hundred and eighty-six, and when she sailed the seas, she’d been powered by a triple-expansion steam engine and two Scotch boilers. There had been fifty-two cabins for guests, captain’s quarters, first mate’s quarters, four cabins for officers and a bunk room, down in the hold, for crew. The ship, chartered by the very rich Gregory Hudson, had been a state-of-the-art beauty.

Her ballast for the trip had been stones—great stones taken from the tomb of Amun Mopat. Before Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut’s tomb, the discovery of Amun Mopat’s tomb right in the Valley of the Kings had been one of the most important events in the annals of Egyptology. But the treasures had come aboard the Jerry McGuen, and just a few months after that, those treasures and their history had been lost to the ages. They were soon forgotten by the world at large as new findings occurred and the age of Egyptology moved on.

But now…

He eased himself slowly along the hull, fumbling at his dive belt for his underwater camera. As he began to snap photos, the sound of the shutter whirred softly in the water. The flash illuminated bits and pieces of the ship. There it was—the grand salon, exposed by a gaping hole in the port side, encrusted in weeds and grasses, occupied by fish, large and small. The treasures would be down below.


The hull was ripped open belowdecks, as well. He didn’t have much time. Just minutes left now, but he could slip through the great tear in the port side, move along the length of the ship….

It was dark within. Eerie. Time had stolen any vestiges of life that might have remained; the cold and the elements would have eaten away at organic fabric—and human bodies.

He found the hold and moved past giant crates, some protected by tarps that had withstood the years. Before him was a door, which swung open when he pushed it. The door hadn’t been sealed, which might have aided in the flooding that had brought about the ship’s demise, he thought, distracted. He didn’t care at that moment how the ship had sunk. He’d nearly reached the treasure….

As he kicked his flippers and swam through, the dive light strapped to his head suddenly went out.

He muttered to himself, tapping the light. It came back on.

He saw the boxes—huge crates, really, wrapped and sealed in waterproof tarps!—and in the midst of them, he could see the giant box with the label peeling and nearly gone, and yet…he could still read the name on it.

Amun Mopat.

There it was! The box containing the sarcophagus holding the inner sarcophagus and then the mummy. It had survived; the men who’d discovered the treasure had stolen it away carefully sealed….

Over there, boxes of jackals and sphinxes and funerary artifacts, bows, quivers—

His light went out again. Cursing silently, he tapped it. As he did, he heard a curious sound. A noise so deep in the water was different from what it would be on the surface, and yet…

It sounded like the hold door was closing on him!

The light came back on.

He stared in horror.

He opened his mouth to scream. Losing his regulator, he sucked in air, and his scream was silent.

He was stunned, terrified….

The curse! The curse, silent, unspoken in these depths…

It was real!

Yes, he had found the Jerry McGuen.

But he would not live to tell the tale.

Book 8 The Uninvited

 It was a beautiful time of day, close to dusk, at a beautiful time of year, early fall. Philadelphia’s Tarleton-Dandridge House sat back from the street, majestic and stately, in the light that had just begun to fade, as fine and poignant as an old building could be, a proud remnant of an era long gone, yet ever remembered.
 Julian Mitchell almost felt guilty. Almost. He couldn’t quite manage guilt; he was too ecstatic over his day, still pumped with enthusiasm and the beat of the music he’d been playing. He enjoyed being a guide at the Tarleton-Dandridge, but today he’d had to ditch it. The audition had been important and, much as he loved his job, he loved the idea of working full-time as a guitarist more. Sure, it was great dressing up and playing with the band in Old Town, but he had dreams of being a real rock star. Now, however, he had to slip back into the house—and suck up to Allison. She was their unofficial leader, head of the guides or docents at the Tarleton-Dandridge, and if she forgave him, the others would, too.
 He saw that one group of guests had already entered the house with their guide and that another, the last group of the day, was assembling just outside the main door. He could see Allison Leigh to the side of the house near the gate, welcoming those who were gathering for the final tour. Allison was dressed in the typical fashion of the Revolutionary era—the typical high fashion of the Revolutionary era, since female guides wore clothing along the lines of that which would’ve been worn by Lucy Tarleton, the martyred heroine of the house. The male guides dressed as Lord Brian Bradley, the British general known as “Beast” Bradley, who had occupied the house.
 They all looked pretty cool in their clothing, he thought. But especially Allison. She was beautiful to begin with, even if she was kind of a nerd. A real academic. But she did bear a resemblance to the heroine she played, Lucy Tarleton. They’d all remarked on her resemblance to the painting in the house and those in various museums, but there was no evidence that she was a descendent of the woman. And if anyone would know, Allison would, since she was a historian. Maybe it was the clothing that gave her the look.
 Allison wasn’t even glancing his way, so he quickly jumped the old brick wall that surrounded the house.
 He was still in his period clothing from the morning shift; he hadn’t sneaked out until after lunch. Luckily, his band’s audition had been to open for the new “it” group—rockers who liked to dress up like Patrick Henry and friends—which meant he hadn’t had to worry about auditioning in his work outfit.
 Of course, he hadn’t asked for the time off. He’d decided that in life it was generally better to do and ask forgiveness later than it was to beg for permission and get a big fat no! What guilt he did feel was because one of his colleagues had to take the tour group he should have led.
 Still, he had a plan. He’d wait until the last group had gone through, and Jason and Allison had finished for the day. He winced; he realized Annette wasn’t at work. She’d made an appointment for a root canal. But he knew his fellow docents as well as they knew him. Jason would leave before Ally. Julian just had to wait until Jason had left and Allison was alone, checking as she always did that the doors were locked and the alarm system was on. She would come down to Angus’s study—ye olde study, where that poor bastard Angus Tarleton had died, supposedly of a broken heart—to make sure no kids were hiding under the desk to spend the night in the “haunted” house. He’d wait for her there. When Ally showed up, he would beg and plead and he could honestly tell her they’d probably get the gig, and he’d do anything to compensate for the time he’d missed. And he’d promise her backstage passes to the first concert.
 He tiptoed to the front door and listened. Once Jason’s tour had moved into the social rooms to the left, he hurried up the stairs. But when he reached the second-floor landing, he heard conversation and footsteps coming down from the attic. He dodged into Lucy Tarleton’s room. He’d forgotten the board was meeting at the house that day. He’d have to wait until they were gone.
 At last, they were. He heard the foursome going down the main stairway. As usual, they were bickering among themselves.
 “Cherry, you may be a descendent of the family, but this place is owned by Old Philly History now. We’re only the board.” She started to speak, but Ethan Oxford interrupted her. “Yes, it’s privately owned and operated, but there’s a charter. The house was donated for the preservation of history.”
 Old Ethan Oxford was the senior member of the board. Cherry’s mother had been the last of the Dandridge family. Cherry would probably have eschewed her own father’s name to take on Dandridge, Julian was certain, except that her husband, George Addison, was becoming a very well-known artist, and she liked the prestige that came with being Mrs. Addison.
 “No one knows this house like I do,” Cherry insisted.
 “Really? You never lived in it. It was handed over to Old Philly History long before you were born.”
 Julian smiled. That voice belonged to Nathan Pierson, who loved to listen sweetly to Cherry and then zing her.
 “Hush!” Sarah Vining said. “There are tour groups in here!”
 A moment later, even their voices faded away as they left the house.
 Julian started toward the attic but paused. For some reason, he had the odd sensation of being held in the room and he turned around, curious. He saw nothing there. Nothing except the painting of Beast Bradley. The nice painting of Bradley. “They say you were a brutal bastard. Glad someone saw the good in you!” Julian said. Giving himself a mental shake, he dashed up to the attic to hide. He sat at the desk there, glancing at the piles of paper around the computer and the countless file folders. Some of the information here was pure business—schedules, events planned at the estate, programs planned, money collected. But most of the piles belonged to Ally. Professor Allison Leigh. “You would have to be a brainiac!” he said aloud. He was a year or two younger than Ally, but he’d had a crush on her since he’d taken his position here. And she wasn’t all work and no play. He knew because she’d dated another musician for a while, an acquaintance of his.
 “You may have brains, Ally, but your taste in men isn’t so great.” It was one thing to have a casual friendship with a drug addict; it was another to date one. Ally’s romance had ended when she realized she couldn’t compete with his cocaine habit.
 Ah, well, history seemed to be her true love. He picked up the nearest folder and began to read. “Huh!” he murmured. Apparently, she’d found a new lead on an old subject.
 To his own surprise, he became interested in her notes. Ally definitely seemed to be on to something. He set down the folder and listened carefully. It was safe to go down to the second floor, he decided, since Jason’s tour group had departed.
 Julian hurried back to Lucy’s bedroom. There was a beautiful rendering of a young Lucy on one wall. She was dressed in white and had a look of open excitement in her eyes, as if she loved life, and the whole world. It had been an eighteenth-birthday gift to Lucy from Levy Perry, an artist killed at Brandywine. Naturally, it was painted before either of them had learned about the horrors of war.
 He turned from the image of Lucy and stared at the painting of Beast Bradley again.
 “Charmer, were you?” He laughed softly. “Well, that’s not what history says.”
 As soon as he could, he’d go down to Angus’s study and wait for Ally. If she gave him any grief, he could tell her he’d read her notes about Bradley and Lucy, and they were brilliant, just brilliant.
 Interesting that the painting of Beast Bradley in the study was nothing like this one.
 He smiled. He’d have the chance to stare at that one for a while. Because he wanted to be in Angus’s chair when Ally found him. He was dressed as Beast Bradley—why not play the part completely as he begged her to forgive him? It was the perfect way to convince her that he was serious about his job here. At least until his music career was well and truly launched…
 Leaving Lucy’s bedroom, he reached the door and thought he heard a noise behind him. But that was impossible.
 Unless it was good old Beast Bradley himself, roused from the dead to rummage through the research papers?
 Tiptoeing down the stairs he laughed. He opened the hall closet on the first floor to pick up the reproduction muzzle-loading musket and bayonet that went with his uniform.
 He heard a noise again and frowned. It couldn’t be coming from the attic. No, he told himself, the rustling was probably outside.
 “‘I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!’” he muttered.
 And yet, it was with great unease that he waited.
 He felt he was being watched.
 And followed.


Stayed tuned for the next 2 books for The Krewe of Hunters Series

Outro Music

I want to thank you for spending time with me today. I hope you have enjoyed this episode. Feel free to leave a review and Subscribe to my show. Thank you again, and remember, dream big and keep reading!