Good morning and welcome to my blog and Mid Week tease.On my blog this week, I’ve been featuring authors with ‘Something Slightly Different’ to offer, and this morning is no exception. For this week’s Mid Week Tease, I’d like you to be the first to officially meet my newest characters, by providing you with the first few pages of my latest novel, Echoes of the Past, which will be released by Secret Carvings Publishing on July 14, 2014. This is my first novel blending paranormal elements into romantic suspense. The Lake of the Mountain and the Lake of the Mountain Resort both exist as described and are in Prince Edward County, Ontario. My husband and I stopped at the inn for lunch last fall and the idea for the story came to me. I got permission to use the location from a member of the family who owns the place. By the way, I absolutely adore my cover!
About Echoes of the Past:Born Mohawk, raised white, forensic pathologist, Michelle Thomas is trapped between two worlds—this one and the spirit world where the ghosts of those who’ve drowned speak to her. Haunted by crippling nightmares of her own drowning death and erotic dreams of a phantom lover, she strives to make sense of her life. When two suspicious deaths occur at the Lake of the Mountain Resort, she’s sent to investigate. She’ll face the greatest challenge of her career when her past and her present collide. One of these men is her future, but which one—the rich and powerful Mayor Ron Davies, or Tony Steele, the hydrology professor who may be responsible for his students’ deaths? Charged by the spirits of her Mohawk ancestors to atone for her previous sins by protecting Lake of the Gods, can Michelle solve the murders, save the sacred waters, and fulfil her destiny?
This week’s tease:
He lays on his side on the animal hide, his head propped up on his elbow, watching her sleep. How long does she think her excuse of gathering roots and snaring rabbits will last, especially when she has so little to show for the time she’s been away?
The naked woman beside him stretches in her sleep. Her copper skin glows even in the dimmest light. Her ebony hair spreads fan-like around her head. Her features are fine, her lips lush, begging to be kissed. When open, her almond-shaped brown eyes, flecked with gold, add to her exotic beauty. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever known, and he’s known many despite his mixed blood. It’s craziness to stay here like this, but he can’t leave without her. The odds of getting caught increase with every visit she pays to his secret grotto, but he loves her more than he’d ever thought possible.
He reaches for her, runs his calloused hand down the side of her warm, silky torso. Her nipples pucker at his touch. Her eyes open, and she smiles. She raises her arms and pulls him down on top of her. His lips meet hers with an insatiable hunger. His tongue delves into her warm, willing mouth, feasting on her sweetness, and he hardens painfully.
Without warning, the dreamscape shifts, and he runs through the brush, fleeing for his life. Twigs and branches tear at his buckskin garments. A thorn bush rakes his face. If he’s caught, it’ll mean torture and death, but he isn’t worried about himself. He worries about her. Has she gotten back safely? He slows his pace. Through the trees, he looks over at the far side of the lake and sees her tall, lithe figure standing on the beach. Her beauty, grace, and majesty set her apart from the other squaws. Those harridans point and scream, but she stands still, wrapped in the woven, quilted blanket she showed him not two hours ago. He doesn’t dare stop for a better look. His heart thunders in his ears, his side aches, but he increases his speed, pushing his painful muscles beyond their limit. The enemy approaches, but she’s safe, and that’s all that matters. He doesn’t see the log across the path. He stumbles and falls.…
Tony Steele awoke with a start. His heart pounded, and sweat covered his body. His ragged breathing dragged air into his oxygen deprived lungs. His muscles screamed and cramped the way they did after a particularly grueling cross-country race. Not again. For weeks now, these strange dreams had haunted him. Dreams? Hell. These memories lingered as if it he’d actually done these things.
He shuddered despite the heat emanating from his body. He rose, went to the window, and opened it slightly. He breathed deeply, hoping to calm himself, knowing it wouldn’t happen any time soon. He glanced into the parking lot. Through the curtain of rain, he noticed Aaron’s car parked once more in the lot, but not in its regular spot.
Somewhat cooler, he shut the window. He raised his hand to his stinging cheek, surprised to feel wetness there. He padded into the bathroom, turned on the light, and stared into the mirror. Blood seeped from the ugly red scratch on his face.
Damn! That’s a hell of a scratch. I need to cut my nails.
Using a tissue, he sopped up the blood and touched a septic pencil to his cheek to stop the bleeding. He cursed at its sting, tossed the tissue in the garbage can, and left the bathroom. The stairs creaked under his heavy footsteps. He entered the kitchen, opened the fridge, and took out a bottle of water. Half of it disappeared in one gulp, and he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. These dreams disoriented him and had taken on a life of their own. Like a voyeur peeking through a window, he watched the carnal scene unfold night after night. He recognized himself as the man in the dreams despite the longer hair and the scars and tattoos marring his body.
He wandered out onto the screened-in porch and looked out at the lake. The strong night winds whipped it into a frenzy as if the water boiled with anger. He checked his watch. Two in the morning again. He needed to break this habit. These unusually vivid dreams had started the first night he’d arrived at the resort. Most of them, exquisite, erotic fantasies, left him dissatisfied, but tonight’s dream had transitioned into a flight for his life. From personal research, he knew a dream’s meaning rarely had anything to do with its contents. This research project into the source of the water in the lake meant everything to him personally and professionally. He was afraid something would happen to ruin it. That explained being chased, but it didn’t explain the sexual fantasies. Those he understood easily enough.
He recognized the woman in his dreams as the shawl-wrapped stranger who walked along the beach every now and then. Beautiful and exotic, something about her called to his soul. He preferred women who didn’t look like carbon copies of others, and this one intrigued him. He thought about her now.
He’d noticed her the night he’d arrived. He never slept well in a new bed. Unable to settle, he’d stepped out onto the porch and noticed someone else apparently suffering from insomnia. A woman, a blanket wrapped around herself, her hair in a long braid down her back, strolled along the edge of the sandy beach. She’d moved southeast toward the edge of the lookout. He’d stepped outside to get a better look at her, but she’d vanished.
The next night, his imagination and libido had taken over, and in his dreams, she’d entered his leafy grotto, and they’d had mind-blowing sex. The things they’d done to one another. Thank God he’d awakened before his body had finished responding to his fantasy.
Hope you enjoyed your sneak peek at Echoes of the Past.
Check out the other Mid week Teasers. There’s something for everyone. Link List: Enjoy!