When her beloved great-aunt Beulah dies, Holly Hollingsworth goes to the will reading with high expectations. But while her cousin Jarred gets the house, her sister gets the jewelry and her brother gets cash, Holly finds she's been given custody of Beulah's cremains. Now she's trying to discover what she did to deserve . . . A Legacy of Ashes. (A Legacy of Ashes)
Grieving in the split-level ranch she shares with husband Bart and a six-month supply of pregancy tests (always negative), Holly could really use a dose of Great-aunt Beulah—the stories of her funny escapades, her latest colorful friends in distant places, and the bargains she always brings home that clash hilariously with Bart's idea of appropriate décor.
But Beulah is never coming back.
Actually, that's not entirely true. Beulah is back. Holly just never imagined her beloved aunt would return from Peru in a pale yellow ceramic pot that matches Holly and Bart's family room curtains perfectly.
Receiving Beulah's cremains is only the tip of the ice berg. Beulah left Holly six sealed envelopes, each full of instructions detailing the distribution of her ashes. And envelope number one clearly states that Holly be the one to follow the prescribed path, and that she do it alone. From a ballet dancing glacier guide's cabin in Alaska, to a medicine man's compound in Bali, to an ostrich farm in South Africa, Holly follows her aunt's instructions to the letter. Along the way, she discovers more sides of her aunt—and herself—than she'd dreamed possible. But Holly finds the instructions in the sixth envelope most formidable of all—to return to Bart and the split-level ranch and bury the last bits of Aunt Beulah in her own back yard.
A Legacy of Ashes is complete at 90,000 words. Two modified chapters have been published in "Amazing Words" magazine, including The Fourth Envelope, which was nominated for the Very Austere Award in Short Fiction.