Cooper Shaw lives his life under a pen name and enjoys the anonymity it provides during his journeys across the globe as a seasoned writer for a travel magazine. When his job lands him in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts to cover the famous Festival of the Dead, he soon realizes that he can’t stay invisible forever as he faces ghosts from a past he’s been trying to forget ever since he left.
The city holds nothing but bad memories for Coop until he meets a quirky young woman with an old soul and curious insights by the name of Finnley Pierce. While she acts as his tour guide through a town he thought he knew, Finn helps him unearth the truth of his childhood and might even begin to open up his heart.
By unraveling the mystery of his father’s murder, Coop may finally accept who he is, where he came from, and perhaps even realize what he wants for his future.
“I came by Geneva’s to see you this morning,” I tell her. She slides her hands inside my jacket, around my waist. She holds us together tighter.
“You did?” There’s a smile in her voice. I grin but she can’t see it.
“I’ve gotten used to starting my days out with you in them.”
“You have?” She leans back to look at me. She’s stunned although I have no idea why. I’ve been so transparent even a bat could see through me the past few days.
“Yeah,” I tell her, “I have.” I brush the hair out of her face. Even through the rainfall I can see the blush in her cheeks. This is the most vulnerable I’ve seen Finn since Geneva’s, when she thanked me for handling Dan.
“Most people don’t like the way I’m so pushy sometimes,” she says. “They find it offensive. Some might even say I’ve got a smart mouth. Too smart for my own good, blah blah blah.”
She trails off at the end there and I laugh at the way she thinks I’m buying that none of it bothers her.
“Come to think of it, you did say something I found offensive yesterday,” I tell her half serious. She looks hurt but I can’t stop the smirk from spreading across my face as I back her up against the nearest tree.
She’s caught off guard by the move, I can hear it in the way her breath hitches. “What was that?”
She tries to recover but she fails.
“I believe the term you used was friends,” I tell her, narrowing my eyes. Her lips part, just barely. She swallows something down then clears her throat.
“Isn’t that what we are?”
I move my head from side to side. “I don’t think so, Finn.”
J.R. Richardson does an amazing job of slowly unraveling this mystery, not giving too much away at the wrong time. I have to say, I am one of those people who usually figures out how a book is going to end about halfway through, but not this one. J.R. managed to add some wonderful twists and turns in there that kept me guessing until the end. – 5 star review from Amy Vastine, author of The Weather Girl
Cursed be the Wicked has it all- mystery, intrigue, romance, humor and a touch of paranormal. Salem is a great back drop for this story. It makes the paranormal seem possible. The book is well written and great read. I could not put it down and I actually have read it for a second time already! I recommend this book very highly. – 5 star review from Goodreads member, BG
I would recommend this story to anyone who loves a good mystery with paranormal being involved but not in the forefront. The romance builds through-out the story and makes it feel real. – 4 star review from Goodreads member, Priscilla Kraut
J.R. gets the job done here. I couldn’t put the book down. It was fast paced, real to life, and an overall fabulous read. I love her descriptions and the way you are transported to Salem. I highly recommend it. – 5 star review from Susan Wisnewski, author of Secrets in San Remo
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A writer of stories and lover of life.
Jo grew up in Maryland with four siblings, three parents and an endless number of cousins within the vicinity. Today she lives in Florida with her two girls and a husband that shares her same sense of humor and basic take on life as we know it.
Life is too short to put dreams on the back burner.
She’s always loved writing, and always enjoys a good mystery, so in 2012, Jo wrote a novel that was picked up by the good people at Soul Mate Publishing.
Where you can find Jo: