Jaclyn’s Ghost will be free
April 11, 2014 – April 15, 2014
Ghosts, Mystery, and Fashion. Can this diva solve her own murder, or will she be stuck in limbo forever?
After recovering from the shock of seeing her own dead body, (still dressed to kill from last night’s party) fashion model, Jaclyn Jade, discovers she’s a ghost with a choice. She can either immediately go back to Hell, do nothing and stay in limbo, or find the reason she fell short of grace and advance to Heaven.
Because she was murdered, Jaclyn hopes that finding her killer will unravel this mystery. With the help of a timid closet-psychic who can speak to the dead, and a handsome, yet arrogant, ghost of a man from the roaring 20s, her search for answers initiates a quirky journey of self-discovery. Personalities, eras, and worlds collide as this mismatched trio race against time to solve the mystery of Jaclyn’s Ghost.
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The memories of what had happened in the park faded a little more with each passing minute. Now that they sat in a normal setting—no darkness, no guns being pointed at them, and their lives no longer in danger—thinking Ben an actual vampire seemed absurd. Wade had no doubt that Ben believed it; he had the fake accent, the long dark coat, he only went places at night, and he went around biting people… Wade couldn’t believe he’d bought into what this lunatic had said. Worse, since the beginning of the crazy conversation, Wade had watched Lilly’s reactions. Obviously, she thought Ben was the best thing since King Tut.
Ben appeared larger than normal in the tiny booth. He leaned forward, his bent arms the length of the table, holding eye contact with Lilly. “I realize what this must sound like,” Ben said.
“He’s delusional,” Wade said. “He’s probably some mental patient who—” he stopped because Ben had his knife. He hadn’t seen him take it. “Hey, watch it there!” Wade instinctively put his arm in front of Lilly.
Ben paid no mind, but proceeded to open the knife and then slice his own wrist. Both Wade and Lilly gasped and sat back in the seat. Wade waited for the blood to pour out of the large open wound but none came, and it completely healed in less than five seconds.
“Whoa,” Wade said. “Let’s go… now!” He grabbed Lilly’s arm and started moving out of the booth, but she sat firm.
Ben said, “I apologize for having to use such crude measures to demonstrate my truth. It is important to me that you believe what I have said. I assure you, Lillian, you are not in any danger from me.” He closed the knife and slid it across the table to Wade.
Wade hesitated for a second but then grabbed the knife and put it in his pants pocket before Ben got any more bright ideas. “Why should we think that, you blood-sucker?”
“I am not a vampire. I do not need blood to survive.”
“So that guy in woods?” Wade asked. “Just for fun?”
“I am cursed. I do not feed on human blood. I do grow sharp teeth like a serpent, and I can deliver a deadly poison straight to the blood stream. I did not drink that man’s blood. I only poisoned it. I need nothing to exist. I am not so simple that I can stop feeding and die. If so, I would have ended this torture centuries ago. My curse is immortality, and therefore I can not die.”
“Well what about the sunlight and going everywhere at night?” Wade asked. “If you want to die so bad, how come you don’t just step out into the sun and get it over with.”
“I am extremely nocturnal. During the day, I lose all energy and then consciousness. However, I won’t burst into flames.”
“What if I chopped you up into little pieces? Would that do it?”
“Wade!” Lilly looked at him with her mouth wide open.
“I’m sorry! He’s really freaking me out! I’ll tell you what, Ben, give me your address, and I’ll write down what was on that letter and mail it to you.” Wade grabbed Lilly by the arm. “Come on, I’ve heard and seen enough for a lifetime… a normal person’s lifetime.”
Lilly pulled her arm out of Wade’s grip. “I want to know the rest,” she whispered to Wade. “If you want to go on, I’ll understand.
Wade shook his head at her casualness. Why didn’t she feel the danger, too?
“What happened next?” Lilly asked Ben. “Did you go back to Egypt?”
“I did. By that time, the Hikau Khausut had invaded and war spread from Memphis to the sea. For years, I did my best to search for Mesentia’s tomb. However, in my younger years, I proved careless and rumors had begun to spread about me. I refused to be chained again. Reluctantly, I had to leave without finding her, but vowed I would return.”
Wade said, “All right, fine. Tell me what all this grandeur has to do with us? Why should we give a shit if you get this thing back or not? Lilly’s parents already found that queen you had an affair with.”
“The fate of the world depends on it.”
“The fate of the world…” Wade mocked. “Really? Are you serious? I’m willing to bet that this thing is worth a pretty penny and you conned her parents into believing this ridiculous story.”
“You’re right,” Lilly said. “My parents did believe him. I want to know why. Wade, can we please let him finish?”
Wade said, “For the record, this is against my better judgment. All right, Mr. Sneaky Snake, what happened next? You and Cleopatra get it on, too?” Wade caught anger in Ben’s eyes as he slowly turned from Lilly and glanced his way. He also could have sworn he glimpsed the corner of one of his canines. Right… harmless.
“I lived in West Germany in the 1950’s,” Ben said, his expression mellowing as he talked only to Lilly. “I met a man named Roland Schelsteder. We worked together for many years, and over the hours we began to talk. I trusted him and thought of him as my friend. I would go to his house for dinners with his family; he had two sons.
“One day I shared my story with him. He sympathized with me and kept my secret. So I thought. He was killed some months later. His wife blamed me and called me a monster.”
“At least she got it right,” Wade said.
“I had to flee,” Ben said. “She had threatened to turn me in as a spy. I left Germany and came here to the States. All remained quiet until years later; one of Roland’s sons arrived at my doorstep. Roland had told his wife about me, and then she had told their sons. He wanted answers. I felt a little hesitant, but for his father’s memory, I told him completely about myself and about what happened to his father. He believed me. ”
“We kept in touch; I knew he had made his fortune there in New York with some good investments, until one day—nothing. Years later, he came to call again. He told me he had a proposition and thought perhaps we could retrieve the statuette. I immediately noticed something different. Something in his eyes had changed. When you’ve existed as long as I have, you learn to read people. I knew what he wanted, he wanted to become an immortal like me. When I called him on it, acting interested, I learned his intentions were worse than I had thought. Not only did he want to become like me, he wanted to make others. He wanted to produce an army of immortals.”
“That Pyramidion Statuette can do that?” Lilly asked.
“It is the source of my immortality,” Ben said.
Wade hated that he began to consider all of what Ben had said as possible. He found himself wondering if he actually held the information in his head that could ultimately save the world from doom. He smacked his lips and exhaled before saying, “So… So how did the Stewards end up with it and not Schelsteder?”
Both Lilly and Ben snapped their attention toward Wade. He didn’t want to acknowledge the satisfaction in Ben’s eyes nor the gleam on Lilly’s face, so he looked out into the dining room, like he hadn’t asked.
“I told Schelsteder I wanted no part in his plans. My curse is personal, not a weapon. In the year 2000 I read of Schelsteder’s investments in Egypt. I knew then he searched for Mesentia. I followed him there and learned he had found someone to dig for him in Saqqara, your parents’ university. I met with your parents and told them my story, as I have told you. They assured me that they would return the statuette to me.
“I was so pleased when they found Mesentia, nevertheless, apprehensive at the same time. When your parents found the Pyramidion Statuette in the canopic jar, exactly like I had told them it would be, it erased any doubt they may have had about me.”
Lilly said, “So they didn’t put the statuette with the rest of the find. They put it back for you?” Her eyes grew with excitement. “Schelsteder knew it was supposed to be there, so when it wasn’t…”
“He will stop at nothing to build this army of invincible men. Time is of the utmost importance. I must find it, before he does.”
Lilly turned to Wade. “Will you tell us now? Will you tell us what was in that letter? Did it say where it was?”
“Yeah,” Wade growled. He knew Lilly wouldn’t say goodbye to Ben and let him be on his way to find the little pyramid statue all by his lonesome. She would go off alone with this freak with no one to protect her. “Yeah, it said.” He sighed. “Looks like we’re all going to Egypt.”
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I would like to invite you to download Passage to Queen Mesentia. It will be FREE today through January 27, 2014. Passage to Queen Mesentia has romance, mystery, comedy, and adventure. The story starts out in Texas where a cowboy, a princess, and an immortal travel to Egypt for a old-fashioned treasure hunt. It is also a five-thousand-year-old love story: forbidden, cursed, forever, lost, reawakened.
Here are some links- followed by the blurb and the first chapter. Have a great week!
Love and Laughter,
The assassination of her archeologist parents thrusts Lillian Steward from her comfortable life into a dangerous quest for an ancient Egyptian artifact. The mystery guides her from Texas to Egypt as she follows the clues left by her parents. Accompanied by a mysterious stranger with a romantically tragic past and her protective ex-boyfriend, who is still in love with her, Lilly walks a tightrope of forbidden attraction and blind determination. Will they finally be able to bury the past, or will a history of love, hate, and blood repeat itself?
Thursday April 14, 2005
“That was so freaking boring,” Wade Roberts said as he lowered the passenger side window. “Please, don’t ever make me sit through one of those again.” He fought with his tie until he won and then threw it in the backseat.
“Really?” Lilly said. “I found it fascinating. Would you mind? With the window… we still have dinner.”
Wade pressed the button, and the window made its way back up. “That’s because they’re your parents: the greatest archaeology team in the whole universe.” Even though he knew Lilly would freeze in her little sundress, he turned on the air conditioner. She had been the one who had insisted he wear the hot, miserable suit in the first place. He knew the reason he’d been the only one Sunday-schooled up at the lecture was because she wanted to impress her parents. That’s what had annoyed him the most about the entire evening.
“That’s not it,” she said. “I mean, I am proud of them. My goodness, they discovered the tomb of an Egyptian queen who no one even knew existed.”
“It doesn’t even make sense. This cat Unas…”
“The last pharaoh of the fifth dynasty.”
“Yeah, yeah. Why wouldn’t he want anyone to know he had this third wife? It’s not like they had to worry about bigamy. Everyone already knew he had two wives. What’s one more?”
“Oh, so you were paying attention.”
He exhaled, causing his lips to putter, and shrugged his shoulders.
Lilly tucked her long, dark hair behind her ear and her face lit up as she said, “But that’s what makes it so incredible. Don’t you think it’s weird how they found Queen Mesentia’s mummy buried off on its own and not with the other wives? No pyramid or any other indication that there was a tomb, just an underground tunnel.”
“Uh huh. Hey Baby, stop over there at that fillin’ station so I can grab me a pack of cigs.”
“Wade, we’ll be late.”
“Well, call and tell them we’ll be a little late. Unless you want me to pace and be nervous all night.”
She huffed but pulled off the highway and then into a Texaco station.
Wade got out of the car and took his time walking inside. No way was he going to hurry. He could see Lilly through the window with the phone up to her ear. Probably saying, “Mommy, I’m so sorry Wade’s such an ass.” Actually, he mused, she would never use the word ass, it would be more like, “He’s such a meanie-wienie,” or some other silly word she had picked up from her 3rd graders.
Wade climbed back into the car a couple of minutes later, hitting his cigarettes upside down on the palm of his hand, packing the tobacco.
“I tried them three times,” Lilly said as she drove onto the access road. “I don’t understand why no one answered. Even if they’re upstairs, Constance should answer in the kitchen. “
When Wade noticed she had turned the air off, he started rolling the window back down.
“You’re not going to smoke that now are you?”
“Uh… yes,” he said with the unlit cigarette already in his lips and his thumb on the lighter.
“Come on… I don’t want to stink.”
“What the hell did you think I was going to do with the things? Eat ‘em?”
The tires squealed as she turned into the next driveway and made an abrupt stop.
“Get out,” she said.
“What?” His mouth dropped open, and the cigarette fell to the floorboard.
“I’ll wait while you take a couple of puffs. All right? And please, take off your jacket.”
Wade gladly rid himself of the jacket. With the door ajar, he lit the cigarette, inhaling a long satisfying drag.
“Why aren’t they answering the phone?” Lilly asked, holding the phone up to her ear.
“We saw them like five seconds ago,” he said, wishing he had a cold beer to go with the nicotine.
“You know how they hate it when I’m late, and we’re already thirty minutes behind.”
“Will you stop? It won’t hurt them to wait a couple of minutes.” He squished the fire of the cigarette out with his fingers and put it back inside the pack. He sighed as he sat back down in the passenger seat, hoping she would catch his annoyance so he wouldn’t have to tell her what he really thought of the situation. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Perfection. He didn’t understand why Lilly wasted so much energy on people who would rather be half way across the world digging up bones than near their only daughter. He did hate that they were home, but it would be hard on Lilly to see them go back to Cairo in a month to count, or catalog, or whatever people did with mummies, when she hadn’t seen them in over a year.
As Lilly sat there, all tight mouthed and mad at him, he remembered what he used to call her when they’d first met: Princess Lilly. How someone as classy as Lillian Steward had fallen for a blue-collar cowboy like him, he would never know. Her parents still didn’t approve of him and probably hoped Lilly would grow out of her rebellious behavior and get back together with Mr. Sophisticated. They especially didn’t like them living together without a piece of paper but didn’t want them to get married either. He couldn’t wait for their reactions when she finally did say yes. He had proposed to Lilly twice, and even though she had shot him down both times, he knew one day she would be his wife.
As Lilly turned the wheel and pulled into the circular drive that led up to the four-columned two-story, she said, “Answer my father when he talks to you, don’t be bored, and please don’t fall asleep after we eat.”
“Yes, Miss Steward. I will raise my hand if I have to go to the bathroom.”
“I wonder why the lights are out.” She turned the ignition off letting the night sounds in.
“Maybe they got tired of waiting and went on to bed.”
“They wouldn’t do that,” Lilly said as she stepped out of the car.
“Sure they wouldn’t,” he responded, right after she had shut the door.
Wade gathered all the mental strength he could find to face Lilly’s parents before forcing himself out of the car.
Lilly stood on the front porch and slowly turned towards Wade as he walked up stairs. “Something’s… off,” she said.
Wade absorbed the same weird vibe. Other than the streetlights filtering in through the huge oak trees, darkness surrounded the house. After a moment of neither one of them moving, he said, “Maybe we were supposed to meet them at a restaurant.”
“No, Mom said here.” She put her hand on the door knob. The door hadn’t been shut all the way; it silently glided open. After a pause, she looked at Wade with an expression of worry hardening her delicate face.
“Stay here,” he said.
Lilly shook her head. “No,” she whispered.
He tried giving her a firm looking at, but still she shook her head.
“Fine,” he said through his teeth. He walked through the dark entrance with Lilly right behind him, holding onto his shirt. He waited a second for his eyes to focus, and then jumped when the light overhead snapped on. He turned to Lilly, and she shrugged her shoulders, her hand on the switch.
When Wade got a whiff of dinner, the silence and the darkness of the house didn’t add up. And then Lilly glanced past him. Her brown eyes narrowed but then quickly widened. Wade followed her stare to the destroyed living room area.
“Mom… Dad?” Lilly ran past him, stopping for a second to examine the living room.
“Wait! Lilly, don’t!” Wade yelled.
But Lilly didn’t stop. She ran up the stairs calling her parents’ names, each time her voice a little more panicked. Wade chased after her, but as soon as he reached the top of the stairs, he heard Lilly scream.