Lisa Silverthorne has published eighteen novels, two short story collections, and over 100 short stories in the fantasy, science fiction, romance, and mystery genres. Her short fiction has appeared in professional publications including: DAW Books, Roc Books, Prime Books, Pulphouse Magazine, and Fiction River. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. To discover more of her stories, visit

Isabel's Tears by Lisa Silverthorne

Haunted by a crippling fear of water, Cassidy O'Connell checks into an old Washington State inn to fulfill her best friend's last wish of touching the Pacific Ocean, but she awakens the inn's magic—and a curse.

When a prominent family claims ownership of his dilapidated 1909 inn, Griff Perry struggles to keep his paternal promise to never sell it. Jaded by a lifetime of loss, he trusts no one in his search for the lost deed and anyone trespassing on his property

Sparks fly when Griff confronts Cassidy, assuming she works for his rivals. Anger turns to enchantment when he discovers that she sees the inn just as it was in 1909. Enemy becomes ally when Cassidy communicates with the ghostly innkeeper, learning the deed is tied to a curse that forever separates her from her fiancé.

To break the curse, Griff and Cassidy must unravel the mystery of Isabel's Tears without unleashing a hundred-year storm that will consume everything in its path.


Lisa Silverthorne has appeared in six volumes of Fiction River. In addition to her story in Recycled Pulp, which involved a magical deli, I asked her to include Isabel's Tears, a novel about a magical inn. But the true magic here is in Lisa's writing. – Allyson Longueira




Anna shouted for her to stop as she ran up the stairs. Cassidy thrust her key into the lock and pushed open the door. Below, she heard footsteps on the stairs. It took Anna forever to reach the room. When Anna stepped inside, a look of revulsion froze on her face.

"The walls are rotting away. Half the floor's gone!"

"No, it's not!" Cassidy ran across the room toward the window.

"Cassidy, don't!" Anna shouted and covered her eyes.

Cassidy reached out and pushed up the window. The cool breeze wafted through the room, fluttering the curtains. "See, everything's fine."

Uncovering her eyes, Anna stood frozen, a horrified look on her face as she stared at the walls and the floors. Slowly, she backed out of the room and stood in the hallway.

"Cassidy, I know you're in some kind of trouble. Please let me help you."

"But Anna, I'm not in trouble." She turned around the room, reaching out to touch everything solid in her path: the chest-of-drawers, the bed, the sofa—all of it was warm and smooth against her fingertips. "Don't you see the furniture?"

"Either this is the most powerful dragonfly medicine I've ever encountered," said Anna, her voice small and quiet, "or this is some kind of dark magic. Let's speak to my mother. She'll know what to do."

Cassidy sighed and snapped her arms against her side. "Anna—there's nothing wrong."

Anna grabbed Cassidy by the shoulders. "Don't you understand? There's no front desk! No innkeeper! This place is dilapidated—empty—but you're just not seeing it!"

Anna reached into her pocket and pulled out a quarter. She held it between her and Cassidy then let it drop. It fell to the floor and disappeared.

"How'd you do that?" Cassidy asked, her eyes wide.

Anna frowned. "Do what?"

"Make it disappear like that?"

Anna led Cassidy down the stairs. She stood on the last step and pointed at the floor. Cassidy squinted. There on the shiny wooden floor lay Anna's quarter.

Fear quivered through Cassidy's stomach.

"No, that's not possible. I—I signed the register, Anna. Come look!"

Cassidy pulled Anna toward the front desk. She opened the inn's register and located her signature, pointing to it. Anna's mouth fell open. There in century-old ink was her signature, dated June 6, 1909.