From the Helen Kay Chapbook Award-Winning poet Cassondra Windwalker, an unsuspecting librarian falls head-over-heels for a married man, but when she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance, she discovers her new husband's past wives have all met early deaths—and some aren't ready to let go yet.
Obsession never dies.
When librarian Sigrun falls head-over-heels for the sophisticated and very married Edgar Leyward, she never expects to find herself in his bed—or his heart. Nevertheless, when his enigmatic wife Octavia dies from a sudden illness, Sigrun finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance worthy of the most lurid novels on her bookshelves.
Sigrun soon discovers Octavia wasn't Edgar's first lost love, or even his second. Three women Edgar has loved met early deaths. As she delves into her beloved's past through a trove of discovered letters, the edges of Sigrun identity begin to disappear, fading into the women of the past. Sigrun tells herself it's impossible for any dark magic to be at play—that the dead can't possibly inhabit the bodies of the living—but something shadowy stalks the halls of the Leyward house and the lines between the love of the present and the obsessions of the past become increasingly blurred—and bloody.
Mixing lyrical prose with simmering terror, Hold My Place is a modern gothic horror worthy of Shirley Jackson's nightmares and Daphne DuMaurier's dangerous lovers. "Hold My Place is a dark, sensuous tale about obliterating love, and Windwalker's superb prose fairly drips with beauty. You simply must read this haunting book." —Mercedes M. Yardley, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Little Dead Red"Sinister undertones steadily build into a genuine sense of doom...as thought-provoking as it is harrowing." —Publishers Weekly"With ethereal prose [Hold My Place]'s departure from genre tropes will make it a favorite with gothic-horror and dark-romance readers." —Booklist"A satisfying blend of romance and ghost story.... Hold My Place is anything but ordinary or predictable, despite its firm roots in the horror world." —Midwest Book Review"Brimming with muted eroticism, Hold My Place is a dark romance novel punctuated by longing, lingering spirits and love without end." —Foreword Reviews
Windwalker (Idle Hands) maintains dreamy, ominous suspense throughout this contemporary Hitchcockian horror novel, a cautionary tale of obsession and mortality. Single, 32-year-old Oregon librarian Sigrun doesn't expect to turn the head of clean-shaven, married chef Edgar Leyward. All the other women in Edgar's cooking class have their eyes on him as well, and Sigrun doubts her goth aesthetic will appeal. But as Edgar initiates a friendship, Sigrun allows herself to hope. Though Sigrun admires Edgar's wife, Octavia, when they meet, she's still eager to get closer to Edgar, and he opens up about the deaths of his first love, Devlin, and his first wife, Brigitte. When Octavia, too, dies suddenly of Covid-19, Edgar proposes to Sigrun, and though she's concerned about her predecessors' demises, she agrees. Her fixation on Edgar's past loves intensifies after she's presented with a life insurance policy and discovers letters from Devlin hinting that Devlin found a way to cheat death—a fact about which her new husband may know more than he lets on. Though there's more emotional reflection than action here, the sinister undertones steadily build into a genuine sense of doom, and Windwalker peppers timely observations on the loneliness and disruption of the pandemic throughout. It's as thought-provoking as it is harrowing.