Please welcome Kelly Whitley to NN. So glad you could join us Kelly!
By Kelly Whitley
Do you believe in ghosts?
I never used to…until I took a house sitting job one October. A perfectly innocuous-appearing Victorian, painted in multiple shades of purple. Inside, the exacting restoration took me back to an earlier time. An earlier century. One where women wore floor-length gowns and suitors waited in drawing rooms. No one said anything about a certain young lady and her arduous beau.
During the day, sunshine poured in the front windows, illuminating the ornate golden oak staircase in the foyer. The steps ascended in a column to the next story. A railing guarded the second floor landing where it overlooked the foyer. The grandfather clock ticked off the seconds in a friendly fashion, and chimed on the hour.
As the October dark settled, the house seemed to grow in proportion, full of mysterious creaks and shadows, and drafts that seemed to whisper along the baseboards. In the front parlor, I kindled a fire in the fireplace; the flames pushed back the cold and dark, and I settled in to read.
By ten o’clock, the fire had burned down to a few glowing embers. My book light cast a tiny pool of brightness onto the pages, like a miniature lighthouse on a night black shore. Outside, the wind picked up. The sound seemed to reach through the house and settle upstairs, a susurrus that morphed into crying.
In the foyer, voices seemed to trip down the stairs. I laid my book on the sofa and tiptoed to the archway between the parlor and the foyer. The stairs appeared to be carpeted, and a vase of flowers sat on top of the newel post. A cold chill licked over my skin. I’d seen the house in daylight—there was no carpet and no vase of flowers.
On the second floor, a faint glow assembled into a ghostly pair, a man and a woman, dressed in clothes that didn’t belong in this century. As the figures became distinct, so did the words.
“No, Chester,” the woman moaned in a weeping soprano. “I didn’t.”
“I saw you, Delia,” came the gravelly response as he grabbed her by the wrist. “I saw everything.”
“Please. He didn’t touch me,” the woman cried as she struggled to free her arm.
He yanked her forward. “He’s ruined you,” he snarled.
“You’re hurting me.”
In one move he spun her around and let go.
For a moment she hovered in space above the steps. As she plummeted, a horrific scream echoed around the foyer. She hit the floor and exploded into dust. Heart in my throat, I glanced up at the landing. Dark.
I stoked the fire and sat up until dawn. When the homeowner returned, I relayed the events of the night. After reassuring me there was no such thing as ghosts, she patted my arm and handed me a check.
I hadn’t conjured the phantasmagoric night show in a dream.
I don’t house sit anymore. Because I believe in ghosts.
Into the Red from Muse It Up Publishing
Genre: Paranormal romantic suspense
Human blood is an illicit and highly addictive drug--if you're a vampire. Known as Red, its side effects are insanity, and eventual death. A group of Red-addicted vampires known as Poisoners are killing women as part of an extortion plot involving a lost ancient vampiric tome, and they’re leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. The discovery of each new victim risks exposure of the entire vampire race to humans. Then one victim survives…
Dr. Evan Nichols, oncologist and vampire, lives a monk-like existence, by his own choice, focusing on patient care and research to benefit his vampire brethren. It’s been twenty-five years since his world turned upside down—the night he lost his fiancee and discovered his hidden vampire heritage. Now his government has ordered him to take a mate—or they’ll choose one for him. It’s a horrible prospect, and one that might push him over the edge—until Fate throws him together with a human female.
Wary of relationships, Tara West has poured her energies into work and inventing cutting edge climbing equipment. She doesn’t like the gorgeous Dr. Nichols, yet finds herself unaccountably drawn to him.
When a crazed vampire attacks and poisons Tara, Evan rescues her. With time running out, he has to create an antidote to the poison before he loses his chance at love.
In order to make the vaccine which might cure her, he has to find the bastards who poisoned her and take their venom—before they die of their addiction. If he doesn’t reach them in time, saving her will be impossible.
Thus the journey begins—into the Red!
What a great story! Your book sounds amazing as well. It was a joy to have you NN. Hope you will come back and guest post soon. Wishing you many sales.