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My face reddened as I thought of the quarter-sawn oak buffet in the dining room. It had leaded glass doors, etched in an argyle pattern. I couldn’t get inside the house, but I’d seen it through the grimy windows. The wood was probably donated by one of the trees in the front yard and the leaded glass looked like it needed some repairs, but I could tell that it was able to be restored. I smiled as I thought of polishing it with lemon oil and running my fingertips over the worn, grooved wood. “Over my dead body will you rip this house down and put up some vacation property, old man,” I said. He opened his mouth to retort, but the auctioneer thankfully silenced him. “Bidding on the house at Maple Street, REO, will begin at $53,000,” the auctioneer said. Jack raised his paddle first, but a flurry of other paddles also were raised in the air. It started to rain harder, but no one moved. “Do I have $175,000?” the auctioneer said, his lips moving quicker than the rest of his body. I raised my paddle, and resisted the urge to look in my purse. My self-imposed limit for the house was $209,000. With the needed repairs, I couldn’t afford to pay more. “180,000? Do I have $180,000?” the auctioneer said. Jack raised his bid again and turned to me. “Sorry, Alex. This one isn’t in the cards for you.” My insides burned and I quickly raised my paddle again, bidding $200,000, even as the rational part of my brain begged me to stop, to give this one up. I had dreamed of restoring an old house near the lake for years, but all I had worked on were condos and easy, midcentury ranch houses that were on the outskirts of town in the squarely residential areas. But this was the one. The one that I had been waiting for. It was the kind of house I had always imagined bringing back to life. It was the kind of house I had admired when I was

Profile for Kensington Publishing

CICADA SUMMER by Maureen Leurck  

In this moving, witty novel, author Maureen Leurck explores the intricacies and joys of renovation and rediscovery—as one woman’s improvemen...

CICADA SUMMER by Maureen Leurck  

In this moving, witty novel, author Maureen Leurck explores the intricacies and joys of renovation and rediscovery—as one woman’s improvemen...

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