Sunday, June 2, 2013

Another Excerpt from Wanted: One Ghost

My second excerpt from my debut novel, Wanted: One Ghost which is out on Amazon (Kindle version) and will be officially release in paperback and eBook format tomorrow, June 3.  Enjoy!

Excerpt from Wanted: One Ghost

April peered up the small hill to see the stark white obelisk standing very pronounced against the black, moonless sky. At the moment, it seemed to be the focal point in the cemetery. Even from here she could see the intricate designs etched into the old marble. She would love to get a rubbing of it perhaps before they left. Besides, Henry Samuel’s grave was the closest thing to her research she had to go on right now. His reference to a connection with James Addison was all she had—that and she was staying in his historical home.

“Tony,” she spoke up, making her voice sound weak and stuffy. “I think I’m going to head out. My allergies are really kicking my butt, and I’m all congested.”

“Are you sure? We’re just about done, only a few more graves to see.”

“Yes, I’m sure. Thanks for the tour and Happy Halloween everyone.” She began to walk backwards away from the group as they waved good-bye.

She stayed in the shadows and watched the rest of the group move on, until they rounded the bend of the path. Once she was out of their sight, she reached into her large bag, retrieved her small sketchbook, pencil, and mini flashlight. Double checking to make sure the coast was clear, she made her way up the small dirt path to Henry Samuels’s monument.

The roots of the firs were tangled and exposed in areas, moss and lichen grew around the bottom of the obelisk grave marker, a layer of dead branches and fan-like fir needles surrounded the base. She could read the month and year of his death but the date was a bit obscure.

She buried her nose into a fresh tissue as she held back a sneeze so she didn’t alert the rest of the group of her whereabouts.

Wiping her nose she knelt in front of the tombstone and placed the end of the flashlight between her teeth to give her direct light on what she was doing. The soggy ground soaked into the knees of her jeans. She could hear the faint voices of the group from just over the rise, yet she felt a prickling of unease. Glancing around, she didn’t see anything.

She wiped moisture from the front of the headstone with her scarf, revealing the blackened embossing on the aged marble. Angling the paper over part of the intricate design, she fumbled with the pencil in her gloved hand. The cumbersome gloves had to go. Removing the offending obstacles and tossing them to the side, April rubbed her pencil over the markings, steadying herself against the marble with her other hand.

A jolt of heat coursed from her palm to her shoulder and she jerked back. Falling onto her bottom, she dropped the pencil and paper. Nearly choking on the flashlight, she threw the light to the side and fought to catch her breath. Still tingling from the shock, she shook her arm to relieve the pain.

She picked up the flashlight again and slowly approached the gravestone. Her heart thudded in her ears. Reaching out for the paper and pencil she had dropped, she kept her eye on the stone as if waiting for it to move. Cautiously, she leaned forward and touched it. The marble was as cold and even-surfaced as an old tombstone in late October should be.

Confused, she inched away on her knees, backing away from the headstone, a frightening wariness settling over her as she slowly stood up and continued moving cautiously away from the monument.

“Henry Samuel is not worthy of your fascination, Dr. Branford.”

April gasped and whirled, shining the flashlight into the night. There, mere inches in front of her, stood her mysterious tour guide. A moment of relief caused her to catch her breath before the toe of her boot caught on a loose tree root, sending her falling through a chilly mist of air. She landed on her hands and knees.

Quickly, she turned over and stared up at her re-enactor, who stood between her and Henry Samuel’s grave. So close she should have fallen into him. And then the truth of the situation hit her. She crab crawled away from him and the tombstone, her eyes wide with horror.

She couldn’t think. “Oh my God! Oh my God!” Her voice shook with the only words she could say.

He smiled down at her, tilting his tricorne back on his head, revealing those damn hypnotic eyes.

 “I haven’t heard a lady say that to me for some time. Nice to know I haven’t lost my touch,” he preened.

“You’re…not…real,” April gasped, holding her chest as she tried desperately to find her footing. “You’re…a…ghost. You really are a ghost!”

 He shrugged. “I suppose so. No one has told me any differently. But then no one has been able to talk to me in two hundred and thirty-eight years. You’re the first.” With an elegant flourish, he bowed to her.

“Oh my God!” She was shaking so badly she couldn’t move. Her muscles had frozen. The seat of her jeans was wet but she wasn’t sure if she had peed herself or the damp ground had soaked into them.

He extended his hand in a gentlemanly fashion to help her up, but she only stared at the proffered limb. He sighed.

“Of course. It would do me no good to try and help you up since I’m…”

“…not real. You’re not real. This isn’t happening to me.” April closed her eyes and tried to repeat the mantra over and over again, hoping her mental state would finally sort out the situation and thrust her back into reality. She opened her eyes. He was still there, his infuriatingly charming smile, just short of a laugh, etched into one devilishly handsome face.
Scrambling for purchase she grabbed her articles, keeping a close eye on her specter and quickly walked backwards down the knoll until she was on the cobblestone path. She had to get out of here. Where was the damn exit!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I get to dress up and have fun--even as an adult. Our neighbors do a huge display with fog machine and spooky tombstones in their yard. We sit on our steps and hand out candy together and drink warm cider. Do you have a favorite costume or tradition you follow?


Magda Alexander said...

Awesome excerpt, Loni. I love this story so much.

Debby said...

What a great excerpt. I really want to read more.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Loni Lynne said...

Magda! Thank you so much for stopping by! Glad you enjoy it!


Loni Lynne said...

I'm so tickled you enjoyed the excerpt. It's out on (Kindle) right now but hope to have it available in paperback tomorrow, too. :)

Jennifer Wilck said...

Great excerpt!

Loni Lynne said...

Thank you, Jennifer! :)

Teresa Hearl said...

Had to get it right away!

Teresa Hearl said...

Had to get it right away!

Teresa Hearl said...

Had to get it right away!

Loni Lynne said...

Hi Teresa!

Thank you so much!