It’s that wonderful time of year again and the ‘ghostly shenanigans’ are calling my name. October is halfway over and fall is bringing a chill to the air (albeit a subtle one here in SoCal!). Ghost Adventures is back with what is turning out to be their best season yet. Pumpkin everything is hitting the stores and I can’t wait to fill my house with the delicious scents of holiday baking. Halloween is just over two weeks away and already I’m breaking out the horror movies and wonderfully wicked cocktail recipes.
In honor of this oh-so-awesomely-spooky month, I thought I’d share excerpts from my haunting paranormal romance, So Fell The Sparrow. It was just recently awarded an Honorable Mention in Paranormal Fiction in the Readers’ Favorite Awards, and is now available in Audiobook!
So grab a Halloweeny cocktail (Candy corn martini, anyone?) and enjoy a sneak peek of So Fell The Sparrow!
Mad Rock Harbor, Massachusetts
Her life was beautiful. Her death was a tragedy. For Sally Lockwood time moved slower than it had before. Clouds lingered, frozen in the sky. The indigo water of the harbor lay unnaturally calm. Dry leaves clung to the spindly branches of towering elms, the wind unwilling to shake them free. Sparrows no longer sang. Stray dogs refused to bark.
It was as if the world itself came to a standstill, though her young mind could not comprehend why.
How could she understand? Her death was too sudden.
Sally’s family home stood comfortably on its generous plot of land—its white colonial columns and blue siding set against the backdrop of a quaint and quiet Eastern Seaboard town. The house and the town was all she knew; all she had seen of the world.
In her short, five years of life she had been sheltered from many horrific things. A Civil War that pitted brother against brother. The brutal destruction of entire towns. The slaying of over half a million men in the name of equality. The assassination of a prolific president.
It was five years that would change the course of history, years she witnessed with the innocence of a child. They were the only days she harbored a beating heart.
Safe within the confines of her home, she skipped down the upstairs hallway. A carefree smile brightened her porcelain face as her blonde curls danced. The lacy white dress she wore billowed at her knees, the movement fluid and graceful. She felt lighter and less clumsy, the skinned knee and bruised elbow from a previous fall now miraculously healed. The inexperience of youth kept her from wondering how or why.
The wooden floorboards creaked beneath her bare feet, the only sound to penetrate the silence. She paused for a moment in the doorway of her parents’ bedroom. Her smile faded when she saw it was empty. No bed, no armoire, no vanity with a dressing stool where her mother sat and powdered her nose. Concern rushed into her mind briefly, then flew away like a little, lost bird.
She wandered to the stairway, her hand tracing the banister of the second floor balcony. It dropped off abruptly where the banister was broken, the wood sharp and splintered. She peered nervously over the edge and down to the first floor entryway. A sick feeling washed over her. On instinct she backed away and continued to the stairs. She wanted to find her mother and listen to her play the piano. As if she could already hear the sweet music, Sally began to hum.
She made her way down the stairs, her feet thudding on the wood with each step. Hazy sunlight poured in through the windows and filled the entryway with light. Out of habit, she twirled to the right at the bottom of the stairs and headed for the room where her parents kept the piano.
Something stopped her dead in her tracks. Her gaze locked on a dark, spreading stain. It marred the wood floor underneath the second floor balcony where the banister was broken. Coldness settled over her along with a feeling of dread and discomfort that she didn’t understand. In the blink of an eye, she saw a vision of her own body lying crumpled and lifeless over the stain. For one brief moment, she saw her death with clarity. As rapidly as it appeared, it vanished. The cold feeling escaped with it and she continued on as though nothing had happened.
The lack of furniture in the living area stopped her again, and her tiny brow creased with worry that she had been abandoned. What if her parents had left her there all alone? She heard the slamming of the front door and immediately followed the sound, calling out for her mother. Her cries fell on deaf ears, as the living rarely hear the pleas of the dead.
Shoving aside the lacy curtains of the parlor window, she watched her parents approach a horse drawn carriage. She beat her hands against the windowpane, begging them not to leave her. Not to abandon her.
As her father secured a trunk to the back of the carriage, her mother took a final, long look at the house. Her eyes fell on the window and seemed to capture one last time the image of her angelic daughter’s face.
She shook her head and climbed into the carriage, tears spilling down her cheeks. The carriage pulled away, never to return to the house that had claimed the Lockwoods’ only child.
Sally crumpled to the floor, heartbroken and spotted the leather case holding the tintype photograph her father had always carried of her. It sat forgotten on the lowest stair. He had purposely left every memory of her behind.
She pulled her knees up to her chin and began to cry. Though tears fell, they did not exist. She was nothing more than a lost specter. A lonely spirit. A ghost. Fated to drift within the shadows and lose herself in the house. The Sparrow House.
It would be hers for all eternity.
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