Though he doesn’t even believe in spirits, it takes only one haunting for Levi Muir to become entranced with the beautiful ghostess.
A young veteran recovering from a wrecked relationship, Muir moves to Magnolia for his first year teaching high school English and resides in the renovated old hotel, which everyone knows is haunted.
Despite his skepticism, Muir senses a presence, then smells a unique perfume. Later, he locates an old portrait of beautiful Danielle Gregg, who lived in that suite a century ago, but experienced a tragic death.
His lovely new colleague, Lucy (science teacher and dedicated Spirit-Chaser), tries to convince Muir that the supernatural is real… and not to be taken lightly. Though Muir has been attracted to Lucy since the first day he spotted her, something begins to jam his thoughts whenever she enters his mind.
Intrigued by the beauty and sensuality of the mysterious woman in the portrait, Muir tries to learn more about the ghostess and her untimely demise. Though still skeptical of ghosts and hauntings, Muir can’t shake the feeling there could be more to Danielle’s mysterious 1914 death than the locals believe.
The more Muir encounters the lovely ghostess, the stronger his desire for even more contact! But Lucy’s willing to fight for Levi’s heart, because no self-respecting Southern girl takes second place to a spook.
My newest novel is “Hid Wounded Reb,” released by Astraea Press in August 2014. My other published novels (with Astraea) are: “Called to Arms Again” (May 2013), “Rescued By That New Guy in Town” (Oct. 2012), and “The Overnighter’s Secrets” (May 2012). Also released through AP are the short novellas, “Echo Taps” (June, 2013) and “Don’t Bet On It” (April, 2014). Also, “Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold,” a screwball comedy released by Dingbat Publishing in December 2013… and its prequel, “Scratching the Seven-Month Itch,” which is due for release by September 2014.
Romantic comedy and romantic suspense are among nine completed novel manuscripts.
I’m co-author of two non-fiction monographs (about librarianship) with a royalty publisher, plus a signed chapter in another book and a signed article in a specialty encyclopedia. I’ve also published articles, book reviews, and over 120 poems; my writing has won nearly 40 awards, including several in national contests. As a newspaper photo-journalist, I published about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos.
I worked nearly 30 years in the field of librarianship. I’m a decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote tour of duty in the Arctic, at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland).
I’m the married parent of two and grandparent of six.
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Friday, August 15
“Aren’t you the new teacher who lives in the spooky old downtown hotel?” asked the female voice behind Levi Muir. Lurching into the flimsy cart against the faculty lounge wall almost caused him to spill his freshly poured coffee.
Turning, Muir realized the speaker was his attractive young colleague with lovely tanned legs. “I’ll be at the Whitecliff Apartments. Don’t know anything about a hotel.”
She moved closer and extended her sun-bronzed hand. “I’m Lucy Tierney, science department. Starting my sixth year.”
Nice to know there were some five year survivors at Magnolia High. “Levi Muir, English department. Rookie.”
“I know, Levi. We can all spot a newbie, but you look older than most.” Intently peering into his eyes, she smiled faintly. “Were you held back in college?”
Muir shrugged but didn’t explain.
“Have you been assigned a mentor yet?”
“Uh, don’t think so. Don’t recall it coming up.” His eyebrows lifted. “Are you…?”
“Oh, heavens no. Not me. I won’t serve as a mentor until my seventh year, at the earliest.” Then she lowered her voice. “The School Board even requires our principal to mentor someone each term and I’m betting she’ll take you on herself.” Lucy winked. “Mrs. Gull isn’t very inspiring and doesn’t make the time for effective mentoring, but she likes bossing the young single guys.” She pointed to his left hand.
Is she fishing for my status? Muir couldn’t arrive at an appropriate reply.
“So what do you think of your apartment in the legendary old Majestic Hotel?”
He winced with his bum ankle as he stepped to one side to let others access the dinged thirty-cup percolator. It was the final day of orientation and professional development training; Monday would be D-Day… when the students began classes. “Haven’t really stayed there yet, Miss Tierney. Tonight’s my first night.”
“Lucy. You’ve been here every day this whole week. Where have you been staying?” She pointed vaguely south, toward town.
“An aunt lives in Magnolia. My apartment wasn’t ready yet. Didn’t realize school started so early here. In fact, all I got was a nickel tour from a shrimpy manager who kept looking over his shoulder.”
Lucy nodded like she knew the man. “Where’s all your stuff?” She looked behind him as though it would be near. “Piled in the driveway at your aunt’s?”
Muir shook his head. “Left some things at my aunt’s, but I don’t really have too much besides what’s in my pickup. That’s why I was so intent on finding a furnished apartment.”
Her nicely-toned arm tensed as she reached for an empty cup, but she frowned and put it back down. “The coffee’s awful here.”
“Have you seen those old hotel furnishings?”
“Didn’t really notice, except to be sure I had a bed and a chair.”
“What about table and stove for cooking your meals? Plus couch and extra chair… for all your visitors?” Her warm smile suggested she’d be willing to be among them.
And attractive company she’d be. But Muir wasn’t ready to engage any new females right away… not after that awful split with Eva. “Don’t really cook, at least not worth mentioning. And not expecting many visitors, since I really don’t know anybody here except Aunt Martha.”