Thursday, August 21, 2008

Scent of Lavender Released Today!

My newest ebook, Scent of Lavender, is available for download from Cerridwen Press. This is my second paranormal romance and I hope you’ll find it as eerie and romantic as the first. And for my fellow Texans, the story is set in our very own Hill Country area, complete with whispering oak trees and murmuring creeks, scorching afternoon sunlight and spine-chilling twilight, and a spooky old Victorian house with more than its share of secrets.

For those of you who haven’t yet tried reading a book in digital form, I hope you’ll give this one a try. Short of working in a book store or library, there’s no more convenient way to get your hands on a good book. Ebooks are always just a few clicks of your mouse away.
To tempt you, here’s a brief excerpt:

He snapped off the lights and stepped into the shadowy foyer. The silence of night seemed suddenly to intensify.

Trying to ignore his own growing awareness of the space around him, Rob crossed the foyer. The bottom half of the staircase lay in shadow, catching only a dim glow from the bare bulb at the head of the stairs. Watching that shadow, he hesitated briefly. But nothing happened. No sound intruded in the silence of the house. No numbing chill came over him.

With difficulty, he took another step toward the stairs. Thus far he’d sensed no threat from the spirit, only joy when she’d stood on the front porch and a lingering sadness upstairs the following dawn. And once he’d smelled something like burning tobacco near the stairs. But other than by her mere existence, she’d never given him any reason to be afraid.

Gripping the banister, he pulled himself up the staircase. Faded, threadbare carpet, once deep burgundy with hunter green ivy crisscrossing its width, hugged the center of the staircase and muffled his footsteps as he ascended. Then, taking his weight, the fourth tread gave slightly and popped.

Startled by the unexpected sound, Rob stopped again. He’d been up and down the stairs dozens of times in the past few days and never heard a sound out of them. Uneasiness crept over him. When he tried to take another step, he couldn’t. Dread filled him, holding him in place, weighing inside his chest like shredded iron. His chill intensified, too, fermenting from the inside out until his body was one big block of ice. Determined to break past it, he lifted one foot and dragged it up to the next step.

Another step popped about halfway up the staircase. For the next several seconds the weight of that cold and dread pressed upon him with unbearable power, almost driving him over the edge of panic.

And then suddenly, it lifted. As if a heavy woolen cloak had been whipped off his shoulders, Rob was free.

Not stopping to analyze what had happened, he charged up the stairs, around the upper rail and down the corridor toward the front bedroom doorway.

The open bedroom doorway.

Rob stumbled to a halt. He’d carried some painting supplies inside earlier in the evening. When he’d left, he’d pulled the door closed behind him. He was certain he’d heard the tumbler click into place. Now the door stood wide open.

Standing two feet outside the threshold, Rob peered reluctantly into the room. Moonlight and shadow peered back quietly, as if waiting for him to enter.

He took another step and stopped in the doorway. Nothing moved inside the dark room. No whisper drifted in the air. No unnatural chill wafted around him. That sense of dread he’d experienced on the stairs might never have existed. And yet something made him hesitate to go farther.

It was one thing to face a spirit on a seemingly empty street corner in a distant land. It was quite another to have one occupy his home, making its presence known at will.

Cautiously, he reached inside the room, gripped the doorknob and pulled the door closed. He paid attention, listening hard as the tumbler clicked solidly into place.

Releasing the doorknob, he took a single step backward, then reached forward and brushed the wood with his fingertips. The door didn’t budge.

He pressed his palm against it, harder and harder, until his full weight leaned into it. But the door didn’t give even a fraction of an inch, so solidly had it moved into position.

Lowering his arm, he tried once more to convince himself that Lily had been right, that his imagination had simply gotten the better of his common sense. Maybe that dark shape in the old photograph had been a shadow or a long-forgotten neighbor standing in the deepening dusk. Maybe he had been asleep in the hammock Saturday night. Maybe he had dreamed the woman on the porch and, later, the quiet sighs that had drifted through the house. Maybe he’d imagined all that he’d felt tonight. Maybe Aunt Anna had been temporarily crazy when she’d thought she’d seen Lillian years after her death.

Maybe heavy wooden doors could slip their latches and swing open on their own.
Stepping back from the closed door, Rob turned and walked up the hallway to his bedroom…

And decided to sleep with the lights on.

From Scent of Lavender, available now at:

Remember: you can save a tree by reading E!


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