Release Blitz & Review: The House on Druid Lake by Isabelle Adler #LGBTQ #paranormalromance #bookreview @ninestarpress @GoIndiMarketing

Title: The House on Druid Lake

Author: Isabelle Adler

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 10/04/2021

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 69300

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, gay, PNR, Halloween, haunted house, shifters, architect, mystery/suspense, office drama, ghost, mythical creatures, werewolf

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Description

A new city, a new job, a new home—things are definitely looking up for Oliver Foster. An aspiring young architect, embarking on a successful career in Baltimore, all he wants is to put the pain of a broken heart and broken trust behind him. The last thing he needs is another ill-advised romantic entanglement. But despite his best intentions, Oliver can’t help his growing fascination with Nym Brown, the mysterious owner of Lakeside Lodge.

When Oliver rents an apartment in an old Victorian house overlooking Baltimore’s Druid Lake, he expects it to be quaint and shabbily charming. But as Halloween draws near and all things spooky come out to play, Oliver becomes convinced there is more going on at Lakeside Lodge than meets the eye, aside from the faulty plumbing. His neighbors are a whole new definition of quirky, and his enigmatic, gruff landlord is both intimidating and dangerously attractive.

Dark and sinister secrets lurk behind the house on Druid Lake’s crumbling façade. Unearthing them might yet put Oliver’s future—and his heart—on the line.

Excerpt

The House on Druid Lake
Isabelle Adler © 2021
All Rights Reserved

Lakeside Lodge looked more like Dracula’s castle than a gingerbread house.

Oliver paused on the stone steps that cut across a long grass knoll and peered up at his new place of residence. It was difficult to get a proper look at the house from the road, obscured as it was by the tall chestnut oaks and red maples that surrounded it. But from this viewpoint, just outside the wrought-iron gate, the massive gable above the front porch was clearly visible, as was the turret on the right side of the roof.

Comparing the house to a castle was perhaps an exaggeration, at least where size was concerned. But it certainly possessed an old-world fairy-tale charm and an intangible aura of mystery. It had been evident even in the few photos that accompanied the online listing which had sold Oliver on it in the first place, making him contact the real estate agent and take it sight unseen. Well, that and the exceptionally low rent combined with the nice location right on Druid Lake and next to the park, just a few minutes’ drive away from Oliver’s new job in Central Baltimore.

Also, Jake would’ve hated it, and Oliver felt a particular satisfaction about no longer having to conform to Jake’s plans and wishes.

However, now that Oliver stood in front of the house in the failing light of an early October afternoon, a heavy duffel bag slung over his shoulder, he couldn’t deny there was something disquieting, even disturbing, about the jumble of architectural elements piled in a haphazard fashion. The building was three stories high, crowned with a shingled mansard roof with prominent dormer windows which must have commanded a stunning view of the lake across the road. A wide front porch boasted square tapered columns, and a fanciful pediment in the shape of a stylized owl with outspread wings adorned the gable. It was very Victorian, with touches of Gothic Revival and American Craftsman thrown into the mix. But the style skewed heavily to whimsical as if the architect (or maybe the owner) couldn’t stop themselves from adding all their favorite design elements to the project. Like a magpie decorating its nest with every manner of shiny, without sparing a thought to the harmony of it all. The end result, though imposing, was more reminiscent of a cheesy B-movie haunted mansion than an actual apartment building, old as it might be. The wilted lawn and unkempt tree garden that stretched into the backyard didn’t help the impression, though the grounds, as befitting a mansion, were much more expansive than those of any of the neighboring properties.

By the time Oliver climbed the stairs to the porch, he’d begun to suspect the reason for the low rent. Up close, everything exhibited signs of mild, to even prominent, disrepair. The wooden handrails were chipped, with some of the spindles broken or missing, and the shallow steps creaked dangerously under Oliver’s weight, whose physique had once been described by his best friend, Pam, as “waifish.” For the first time since he’d boarded the plane to Baltimore, equipped with a healthy supply of hopeful enthusiasm and a single bag containing his most prized belongings, doubt stirred at the back of his mind.

Oliver tried the handle, but the front door was locked. There also wasn’t any sign of an intercom, which left either the grimy doorbell button or the heavy brass knocker. Oliver chose to knock and then listened as the sound echoed dully within until everything was still again. He’d shielded his eyes and stood on his toes, trying to peek through the stained-glass transom window when the door was suddenly yanked open, and he came face-to-face with a wall of plaid.

“What do you want?” a gruff voice boomed.

Oliver risked lifting his gaze. The voice belonged to a tall, broad-shouldered man blocking the doorway. Oliver resisted the urge to take a step back under his annoyed glare.

“Hi,” he offered. “I’m Oliver Foster. I’m here about the apartment I rented.”

That last sentence came out more as a question than a statement, his voice rising in pitch, and Oliver winced internally.

He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose while the man regarded him in sullen silence. Finally, he opened the door wider and stepped back, granting Oliver access with a wave of his hand.

A single overhead light illuminated the hallway. A threadbare patterned rug spanned the length of it, leading toward a dark mahogany staircase at the back. Tiny brass plaques, tarnished with age, marked the apartment numbers on slotted mailboxes hanging on the wall to his right. Below them stood an empty black lacquered umbrella bucket. A faint smell of dust and mildew permeated the air, and Oliver’s earlier premonition about the state of his chosen accommodations intensified.

“What an unusual place,” he ventured, still determined not to give in to negativity. “Must have a lot of history.”

The man grunted, studying him from under drawn eyebrows. His eyes, the color of light amber, glinted in the low light. Together with his pale skin, overgrown dark hair, and menacing stance, they created an unnerving effect. Oliver shifted uncomfortably under his scrutiny, wondering whether the scowl was directed at him, or if it was simply a part of the man’s natural disposition.

“Where’s your luggage?” the man asked.

Oliver blinked.

“It’s only this.” He indicated his bag. “I’m having the rest of my stuff shipped over. I gathered the apartment came fully furnished?”

“Yeah.” The man turned and walked toward the staircase, forcing Oliver to trail after him. “My name’s Brown. I’m the landlord and building super. My apartment is across the hall from yours.”

They passed what appeared to be a large sitting parlor on one side of the hallway and a closed door on the other, but Brown stopped at neither. They climbed one flight of stairs to the first-floor landing, ancient floorboards groaning with their every step. Oliver clutched the banister, but Brown seemed unconcerned about the possibility of the staircase crumbling under his powerful frame.

“Why don’t you leave the front door open?” Oliver asked. “What about mail and delivery people?”

“They know to leave stuff on the porch,” Brown said without turning. “Usually whoever comes home first brings the mail in.”

This was…a curious arrangement. Oliver wasn’t sure he liked the idea of his landlord or his neighbors sifting through his mail.

“Aren’t you afraid someone might steal your packages?” he ventured. “It’s a rather busy street.”

Brown did turn to him then, pausing for a moment on the top stair and looking down at him.

“All the more reason to keep the door locked. Besides, no one is stupid enough to steal from here,” he said and continued on, leaving Oliver gaping at the inconsistency of those two statements.

There were only two apartment doors on the landing, facing each other across a narrow stretch of hall. Another small door, perhaps a utility closet, was tucked under the stairs. Brown produced a key from the front pocket of his flannel shirt, unlocked the door marked 1B, and gestured for Oliver to follow inside.

Oliver would be lying if he said he didn’t cross the threshold with some trepidation, given the overall shabbiness, but as Brown flicked on the lights, he could see nothing out of the ordinary. If anything, the apartment was much sparser than he’d imagined. The living room, with its high windows, ornate cornices, and a fireplace tucked in a corner, opened into a small kitchen outfitted with decades-old appliances and laminate flooring. A long couch faced the windows and the wall between them, but as far as Oliver could see, there was no TV.

This looked much closer to the pictures in the posting than the dilapidated exterior, at least. And everything was clean. Worn out, certainly, but not dirty. Someone must have put in the work of scrubbing the hardwood floors and giving the walls a fresh lick of paint as the whole place smelled of pine-scented cleaner rather than mildew. Oliver lowered his duffel bag onto the floor, next to the narrow side table by the entrance, and took a cautious step inside, taking in his surroundings.

“There are some towels and bedding in the linen closet next to the bathroom,” Brown said, pausing by the breakfast counter that separated the living room from the kitchen. “If you want hot water, I suggest showering in the mornings. It can run out quickly this time of year, especially in the evenings.”

An image of Brown standing in the shower, a stream of steaming water gliding over his skin and plastering his dark hair to his forehead popped unbidden into Oliver’s mind. It was as sudden as it was surprising, considering the man’s complete lack of geniality. Oliver cleared his throat and turned to the windows to conceal his blush, shivering with the draft that made the heavy curtains flutter. He was simply tired from his flight, letting his thoughts wander in silly directions.

“Okay. Is there anything else I should know, Mr. Brown?” It didn’t help matters that he could still see the man’s faint reflection in the windowpane, set against the gathering gloom outside.

“Rent is due on the first of every month. I’ll send you the link for the pay app for this month’s fee and deposit.”

“Or I can just slide the envelope with the cash under your door.”

Brown’s reflection frowned.

“You know,” Oliver said, “because it’s all so old-fashioned around here?” He paused for effect. There was only silence. “Forget it; it was a bad joke.”

“I don’t care either way, as long as you pay on time,” Brown said gruffly. “Takes a lot to keep this place up and running.”

Oliver supposed it was true. Old buildings were notorious money pits where maintenance was concerned, and from what he’d seen so far, the “up and running” part was a bit of a stretch. What the house needed was nothing short of a complete overhaul, but he judged it better not to say so to the landlord.

“Here are your keys.” They jingled as Brown put them on the entrance side table. “One for the apartment and one for the front door. I’m right across the hall if you need anything.”

He somehow managed to make it sound like a warning rather than an invitation.

“Um, sure,” Oliver said, turning back to him. He hoped he’d composed himself enough not to betray his earlier embarrassment. “Wait. Can you recommend a place where I can order takeout? After that airplane food, I’m kinda starving.”

He’d have to do some grocery shopping tomorrow after work, but he had absolutely nothing planned for dinner tonight. As if to emphasize his words, his stomach rumbled, too loud in the quiet of the room, and he flushed again, the heat creeping up to his hairline.

Brown’s gaze traveled from Oliver’s feet to his face as if taking his measure.

“There’s a decent pizza joint nearby,” he said. “I can get you their menu flier.”

“That’d be great!” Oliver said, sounding fake cheerful to his own ears. The conversation, mundane as it was, had made him more and more flustered. Or was it the other man’s looming presence? Either way, Oliver couldn’t wait to be alone and get settled, preferably after a nice, hot meal.

Brown nodded and turned to leave without sparing another word. The door closed softly behind him, leaving Oliver alone, with only the ticking of the mantle clock to fill the silence.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Books2Read

My review – 5 stars!

The House on Druid Lake has a slow build that feels slightly like a horror romance in the beginning until making an abrupt shift into a definite paranormal romance… but that’s part of what I loved. It kept me guessing, unsure what to expect or how it would turn out in the end.

The relationship between Nym and Oliver gets off to a rocky start, has a rough middle, but thankfully ends with a happy ever after — or at least a happy for now. I would seriously love to read more about the characters in The House on Druid Lake so my fingers are crossed there will be more books set in this world.

The House on Druid Lake has a bit of mystery, romance, and friendships with a paranormal spin. Perfect reading to get you in the mood for Halloween! Ms. Adler has a true gift and I’m eager to see what she’ll write next.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

Meet the Author

A voracious reader from the age of five, Isabelle Adler has always dreamed of one day putting her own stories into writing. She loves traveling, art, and science, and finds inspiration in all of these. Her favorite genres include sci-fi, fantasy, and historical adventure. She also firmly believes in the unlimited powers of imagination and caffeine.

Website | Twitter

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Book Tour: Mu – The Grimm Cases Collection (Part One) by Lyla Owens #youngadult #paranormal @pumpupyourbook

Title: MU: THE GRIMM CASES COLLECTION (PART ONE)
Author: Lyla Oweds
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 667
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

The things I see aren’t for the faint of heart.

And I am no longer willing to ignore them. Not even when my family, and my best friend, tell me to keep quiet about what’s happening. They say people will think I’m crazy.

Maybe I am.

But the spirit haunting my professor’s house is definitely trying to tell me something, and I’m the only one who can see it.

The one person who can help me is my best friend’s brother. But I don’t know if I can trust him or his friends. Or if I can step outside the protective bubble I’ve built around myself.

At this point it’s a toss up: the ghosts will kill me or my panic attacks will.

Either way, I figure I’m going to die.

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3r4qCRt  

Book Excerpt:

“The place I’m house sitting is haunted.”

My statement was brave—considering—and I hoped I’d spoken loud enough to be heard by the intended recipient. I didn’t want to repeat myself. It had taken a lot of courage—or foolhardiness—to say it the first time.

The paranormal was one of those difficult-to-approach topics, especially with my best friend. History had proven our differences of opinion. Despite being inseparable for over ten years, I knew this was a topic where we were unlikely to reach a consensus.

But at this point, I was desperate. I might be going crazy, and only Finn could help me.

Yet, there was no response. No reaction.

Across the small cafe table, Finn furiously typed on his laptop—undisturbed by my nervous confession. He’d made no outward acknowledgment of my words, and it made me wonder if he’d even heard me.

The coffee shop was rather loud, after all.

“Finn.” I pressed my foot against his shin, trying to get his attention. “Finn, did you hear what I just told you?”

With perfect lips turned downward, he glanced up, meeting my gaze. His gray eyes were normally playful and light, but at the moment were sharp—disapproving. At once, I was thankful his black-rimmed glasses offered a filter for his judgment.

“I heard you.” His distinctive baritone dipped an octave lower than normal, signaling his annoyance. “Considering the absurdity of what you said, I chose to ignore it.”

Then without further ado, he refocused his attention on his laptop.

I gasped. How could he be so callous and uncaring?

Even if he didn’t believe me, he could at least hear me out. He was my best friend and the only person in the world I cared about besides my parents. But he could be such a jerk!

I was being haunted. I could die.

MY REVIEW – 3.5 stars

Mu: The Grimm Cases Collection got off to a bit of a rocky start for me. The first few chapters made me feel completely lost. Once I settled into the story a bit more, I found the characters enjoyable. If you like quirky heroines, you’ll love Bianca.

The writing was good. Aside from feeling a bit like I’d been dropped into the middle of something during those first few chapters, I enjoyed the collection. The writing flowed well, and the rest was easy to follow.

There’s more going on with Bianca than the supernatural, but I hate spoilers, so that’s all I’ll say on the matter. The story is rather complex, and full of enough twists and turns that at times I found myself re-reading a passage just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

Overall, it was good but it just didn’t wow me.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

About the Author

Lyla Oweds is an Amazon bestselling paranormal romance and urban fantasy author who resides in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. She grew up near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and has a deep appreciation for the paranormal, hauntings, and Edgar Allan Poe. As such, she loves all things fantasy, mystery, crime, and horror.

When not reading, writing, or working as a web programmer, Lyla can be found doing adult-y things such as being a mom to small children, cleaning, and gardening. She also frequently enjoys makeup videos, massages, wine, and coffee.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: http://lylaoweds.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lylaoweds

BOOK REVIEW: The Devil’s Tree by Susan McCauley #horror #ghosts @SusanBMcCauley

Kaitlyn didn’t believe in ghosts—not until one killed her boyfriend and her best friend. Now she must stop the spirit haunting the Devil’s Tree, or she could be next.

Seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn wants to escape her drunk mama and her trailer park home life to enjoy a Saturday night off work. Instead, her boyfriend, Hunter, convinces her to go with him and their best friends, Dylan and Keisha, to photograph a desolate tree with an evil past. A terrifying presence chases them from the tree, killing Hunter and Keisha. Left alive with Dylan, Kaitlyn must struggle with her unexpected romantic feelings for him, come to terms with her loss, and face being trapped in a dead-end town. Kaitlyn is desperate to put the past to rest, but when their friends’ spirits begin haunting them, she and Dylan have no choice but to seek help from a Catholic priest and attempt to set the trapped spirits free. 

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MY REVIEW

5 stars!

Beautifully written!

Ghost stories have always fascinated me. The light romance threaded into this one made it even more perfect. With a theme of much needed tolerance for those who are different, violent spirits and demons, and young love, The Devil’s Tree was a book I couldn’t put down,

A curse, a town with deep secrets, and a courageous girl… The Devil’s Tree will leave your heart racing, make you cry, and give you hope. An outstanding book!

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: The Redwood Asylum by L.A. Detwiler #paranormal #horror @ladetwiler1

From the USA Today Bestseller L.A. Detwiler comes a new eerie horror filled with secrets, ghosts, and murder.

The dead do talk … if you’re brave enough to hear their sinister secrets.

In a thick forest sits a forgotten stone building, The Redwood Asylum. Once inside, the criminally insane, the darkly disturbed, and the eternally confused residents learn one thing very quickly: they are at the mercy of ruthless evil in many forms.

At twenty-six, Jessica Rosen starts a new job at Redwood in the hopes of forgetting an insidious past. She quickly realizes, however, that Redwood harbors malevolent secrets and beings in every chilly corner. On her second day adjusting to her job, the unstable man in 5B quickly latches onto Jessica in an unsettling way. When his rantings and warnings start to make sense, though, Jessica will be taken on a ride of secrets, murder, and dangerous beings. As she begins to uncover the horrifying truths behind the man’s past , the terrors of Redwood Asylum will follow her home and make her question her own sanity.

Can Jessica solve the secrets of the man in 5B in time to save herself, or will the terrors trap her in Redwood’s evil clutches forever?

A spine-tingling page-turner by USA Today Bestseller L.A. Detwiler perfect for paranormal horror fans.

ADD TO GOODREADS

Release Date: March 12, 2021

Preorder at Amazon

MY REVIEW:

5 stars!

Who doesn’t love a good horror story involving ghosts?

The way the story is narrated reminds me of Stephen King’s Rose Red, which happens to be a favorite of mine. Yes, there have been countless books about haunted asylums, and there will certainly be more. The ramblings of a mad man, locked away at Redwood, make nurse Jessica sympathetic. She wants to help him find peace, not realizing she’s placing herself in danger.

Jessica’s role in the story wasn’t just that of a nurse who wanted to help others. She had a dark secret in her past, one that would play a prominent role in her future. She also seemed to fancy herself a detective, and with determination, dug into the patient’s past trying to find the truth. Sadly, some things are better left buried.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I’d definitely be interested in more stories featuring Redwood, and I want to know more about the other staff.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

Spotlight: Finding Chaos by Kate Allenton #Ghosts #RomanticSuspense @kateallenton

Finding Chaos cover

 

A paranormal journalist exposing the truth. A man with secrets best left hidden. A heat that threatens to burn them both.

Destiny Blake
Everyone has secrets, including me.
When my friend goes missing while researching a story about me, I have to stop him before it’s too late.
Only problem is the mountainous terrain is as much a mystery to me as the man who’s leading the search. Trusting each other isn’t going to be easy, especially when the ranger responsible for my safety harbors secrets of his own.

Walker Bennett
Doing my job and keeping my family’s secrets most days is easy, and as a forest ranger, isolated on the outskirts of town, tracking down poachers is my idea of a good day.
Until I met my Destiny.
I’ve been ordered to help a sexy, smart paranormal reporter search for her missing friend.
She’s inquisitive, in search of a good story, and it will take every bit of my concentration to keep my secrets off her radar.
Finding her friend isn’t my problem. The more time I spend with her, the more I hope her friend stays lost.
Exploring a relationship with the woman who sets my blood on fire will have to wait. With danger lurking around every tree and an inexperienced hiker in my care, I have to locate her friend and get them both off the mountain—story-less and alive.

 

Get it Today

 

Finding Chaos Live

 

bOOKS 1-3 GRAPHIC- with Coming Soon

 

 

Moonlight Haunting (Ashton Grove Werewolves)

3dMoonlightHauntingCover

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One hot werewolf. One determined ghost. And a woman with a choice…

Cole is secretly a werewolf… will Cassie be able to handle the truth? Or will the fact that he turns furry turn her off…

More importantly, will Cole be able to handle Cassie’s psychic abilities? With ghosts popping up here and there, will they have a shot at a real romance?

Cassie has a choice to make. Will she choose the hottest werewolf of all, or the ghost of her dreams?

EXCERPT

Prologue

Cassie woke up in a cold sweat, heart pounding and gasping for breath.  The sheets were tangled around her legs and twisted in her sweat slicked palms. She’d been gifted with the sight—able to see ghosts, and occasionally she would get premonitions through her dreams.  This one had scared her more than most. She blinked the moisture out of her eyes as her vision adjusted to the darkness of the room around her.

“Shhh, it’s okay.  You just had a bad dream,” a deep masculine voice soothed, strong arms wrapping around her body.

Cassie looked up into Matt’s ruggedly handsome face.  How many nights had he helped her through horrifying dreams?  How many times had he been there for her when no one else was? Matt had been her rock ever since they met, and his presence always soothed her. He was her best friend and she wasn’t sure what she would have done without him.

“It seemed so real,” she whispered, resting her head on his shoulder, enjoying the comfort his strength lent her. It wasn’t often he held her like this, but when it happened she melted into his embrace.

“I’m sure it did, but you’re safe and sound in your bed at home.  Nothing is going to harm you,” he assured her, stroking her hair softly.

Cassie nodded her head, but wasn’t quite ready to go back to sleep, worried the dream would return.  Flickers of the gruesome scenes tormented her. A crime not yet committed, and one she wouldn’t be able to stop, just like all the others. Why was she plagued with the horrific visions if she couldn’t help? The people involved were often faceless entities. Sometimes she felt the helplessness of the victims and other times the surge of anger or lust from the perpetrator.

“Thank you for being here,” she murmured.

Matt chuckled softly in her ear. “Where else would I go?  I can think of no one else I’d rather haunt.”

Closing her eyes, Cassie laid back down with a slight smile on her face.  She was never quite sure if Matt preferred to haunt her over anyone else because she could see him, or if he truly enjoyed her company. Opening her eyes, she realized Matt had disappeared.  Sighing, she rolled to her side and tried to go back to sleep, ignoring the ache she felt inside whenever he was near.

Being in love with a ghost sucked.

Chapter One

Cassie woke the next morning to sunlight streaming through the window, the warm rays caressing her face.  It looked like it was going to be a beautiful autumn day, the orange and red leaves outside rustling in the breeze.  She stretched and glanced at the clock, a gasp escaping her lips as she noticed the time.  She’d overslept and was going to be late.  Jumping out of the bed, she ran into the bathroom, flicking the light on as she shut the door.

Cassie turned on the shower, letting the water warm while she brushed her teeth and untangled her hair. When she stepped into the watery paradise, she shut the shower curtain and just stood under the stream for a few minutes, letting the heat soak into her. She picked up her strawberry shampoo, squeezing a generous amount into her palm before working it through her long locks. As the suds washed down the drain, she thought about the day ahead.

Today was the beginning of an adventure.  She was going out of town with two of her best friends.  Whispering Lake, North Carolina seemed like the perfect get away vacation.  A girls’ only trip that Cassie hoped would include a hot guy or two. Preferably of the living variety. She might love Matt, but there could never be anything between them, nothing more than friendship.

Snatching her loofah off the hook on the wall, she poured her favorite body wash on it and began scrubbing herself from head to toe. When she was finished, she took a moment to shave before shutting off the water and getting out. The air was cool and goose bumps erupted across her skin as she wrapped her towel around her body. She grabbed another towel out from under the sink and wrapped it around her hair, squeezing the moisture from the tresses.

The mirror had fogged over and she swiped her hand across the surface, clearing a swatch of glass so that she could see herself. She smoothed moisturizer on her face, then picked up her body lotion and slathered the cream on her arms and legs. When she opened the bathroom door, a puff of steam billowed out into her bedroom. She dried off in a hurry and pulled on her favorite blue sweater and most comfortable pair of low-rise jeans. Slipping on a pair of low-heeled boots, she pulled her suitcase out from under the bed, tossing clothes in as she pulled them out of drawers and off of hangers.

Grabbing a small bag out of her closet, she gathered her bathroom essentials, cramming them in the case.  With her hands on her hips, she surveyed the room. Had she forgotten anything? Toothbrush? Check. Socks and undies? Check. Cassie nibbled her lower lip as she looked around, feeling as if something was missing, yet not able to find anything amiss.

Cassie caught her reflection in the mirror across the room and walked over to it.  Her hair was still soaked and she groaned as she realized she was going to be even later. Hurrying into the bathroom, she clicked on the hairdryer and began drying the long, chestnut tresses that hung nearly to her waist. With her green gaze fastened on her reflection, she made quick work of taming her wild hair. She turned off the hairdryer and ran a brush through the length, untangling the mass. When she was finished, she tossed her hairbrush into the small case on the bed and zipped it up.

Picking up both cases, she turned around and headed toward the bedroom door, pausing when she felt a chill in the air. She turned and smiled when she saw Matt sitting on the edge of her bed, gorgeous as always. Frozen forever at the age of twenty-seven, he would always look youthful and far too sexy for his own good. Or hers. It had been fifty years since he’d been murdered, but his arms still bulged with muscles, his waist was just as tapered as it had been the day he’d breathed his last. His sandy hair fell over his forehead, his blue eyes looked troubled.

“Leaving without saying goodbye?”

Cassie smiled. “It’s easier to say goodbye when you’re here.  I thought you had forgotten that I was leaving today.”

She put her bags down and walked over to Matt.  Sitting on his lap, she threw her arms around him in a big bear hug.  This was one of the times Cassie didn’t mind her gift so much.  While she had trouble speaking with most living guys, she was able to be herself with Matt and could talk to him about anything.  They had been best friends since the day they met six years before.

“I didn’t forget, but I had hoped you would change your mind.  I don’t like the idea of you being gone for a week,” Matt told her with a worried expression. “Anything could happen to you and I wouldn’t be able to stop it.”

“You’re just afraid that you’ll miss me and be lonely.” Cassie looked at him and grinned.

“I already know that I’ll miss you, but that isn’t why I wish you would stay here.  I just have a bad feeling about this trip of yours.” Matt sighed and buried his face in her neck.  “I wish that I could go with you, watch over you. Something feels off, like something bad is coming.”

Cassie sighed and snuggled closer to him. She would love nothing more than to have Matt with her over the next week, but they had both researched the matter extensively and hadn’t found a way for him to leave Ashton Grove.  Well, that wasn’t entirely true.  Cassie knew that she could bind Matt to her with magick, but she didn’t want to take away his free will.  What Cassie couldn’t figure out was what kept Matt in Ashton Grove.  He had told her on more than one occasion that he wasn’t from Ashton Grove and he hadn’t died in her small hometown.  If he had been able to leave the place of his death, why was he stuck in Ashton Grove now?  It didn’t make any sense.

“I wish you could come with me too, but we haven’t been able to find anything on the subject of ghosts traveling from one place to another.  I know there has to be a way, but we’re out of time.  My friends are leaving in less than two hours.”  Cassie kissed Matt on the cheek and stood up.  “I have to go.  I’ll miss you!”

“I’ll miss you, too.  If I find a way out of Ashton Grove, I’ll come and find you.”

 

 

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ebook from my backlist (excludes boxed sets).

(gifted through Amazon)

SPOTLIGHT: Timeless Desire

Out Now – Timeless Desire by Lucy Felthouse @cw1985 #erotica #romance #paranormal #ghost

timelessdesire

Blurb:

Emily arrives at Westbury Hall with a job to do. She’s to clean and conserve all of the books in their impressive library, preserving them for future generations. Not long into her stay at the house, she bumps into the night guard, George. She’d expected an old, balding guy with a comb over, so the hunky chap she actually meets is a very pleasant surprise. The introductions complete, George leaves Emily in peace to get on with her job. But when a falling photograph sets off a chain reaction of ghostly events, Emily and George are thrown together in order to find out who—or what—is causing them. Their investigation uncovers a tragic past, a lost love, and a stunning secret.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a revised and extended of a previously published title, Love Through Time.

Available from: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/timeless-desire/

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22911436-timeless-desire

*****

Excerpt:

Emily received some strange looks and frowns from the people she passed as she walked across the graveled drive towards the front entrance of Westbury Hall. She could appreciate their confusion. It was closing time for the stately home and the last of the visitors were being politely ushered out of the building, yet she was heading inside. What’s more, she’d been invited. She had a job to do.

An elderly lady stood in the porch smiling and nodding as she held the door open for those departing the property. Most of them seemed in no hurry to leave, stopping to make comments to the woman, thanking her for a lovely visit and so on. Emily waited patiently, allowing the patrons to leave before attempting to get in. When the staff member—most likely a volunteer, Emily thought—caught sight of her, she gave her a polite nod of acknowledgment.

Finally, the last of Westbury Hall’s visitors moved out, leaving Emily free to enter. Climbing the single stone step to the threshold of the front porch, she took the hand that had already been offered to her.

Shaking Emily’s hand with a surprising firmness, the woman said, “You must be Miss Stone.” Her smart appearance and the intelligence in her eyes indicated that despite her advancing age, she was far from past it, “I’m Mrs. Thompson, house supervisor.”

“I am,” replied Emily, dropping her hand back to her side, “but please, call me Emily. It’s lovely to meet you. So, house supervisor? Do you live on site?” Not a volunteer, then, but a paid member of staff.

Indicating Emily should step inside the entrance hall, Mrs. Thompson proceeded to close and lock the porch and front doors of the house, securing them in.

“I do,” the older woman said, turning back to face Emily, “I have rooms in a separate building just off the back of this one. So you needn’t worry about me disturbing you.”

“Oh no,” said Emily, worried she’d inadvertently rubbed Mrs.  Thompson up the wrong way, “I didn’t mean that. I was just curious, that’s all. You’re more than welcome to see me at work, Mrs. Thompson, although I’m afraid you won’t see anything terribly exciting.”

Mrs. Thompson smiled now, the warmth reaching her eyes. Emily almost sagged with relief. She’d yet to see the extent of the work she had to do, but she’d been told it was no easy task, so she could be here for some time. The last thing she needed was to upset any of the staff.

“Oh, you’d be surprised, my dear. This is a fascinating old place. Of course, all these old houses have history, but Westbury Hall’s is particularly rich.”

Emily smiled. The woman’s enthusiasm was infectious. “Well then,” she replied, “I can’t wait to learn more about it. I hope you’ll feed me some historical tidbits throughout the time I’m here?”

Mrs. Thompson gave an enigmatic smile. Then, startling Emily somewhat, she turned smartly on her heel and walked deeper into the house. “Come, my dear, I won’t hold you up any longer. I’ll show you to the library, where you’ll soon start uncovering Westbury’s illustrious history for yourself.”

*****

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Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9