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Paige Norman believes in a tangible, explainable world. When her ghost-hunting niece comes for a visit, she tries not to scoff. But someone, or something, is stirring up trouble at the Deerbourne Inn and her niece, Jillian, is at the center of the mystery.
Paige is certain the handsome Aussie photographer is behind the unexplained disturbances, and she warns her niece to stay clear. Meanwhile, Jillian gets to know the otherworldly Lady of the Deerbourne, who foretells an encounter with "two men." Then the pranks turn dangerous. Has her niece attracted a stalker or has she conjured an evil presence? Can the culprit be the man who has captured her heart?
Page Count: 124
Word Count: 29630
From Spirited Quest:
The winds swirled and sang above my roof last night, echoing my thoughts. Light raps at the kitchen window woke me before dawn, but as I’ve told you all before, these recent disturbances were nothing but the sound of restless souls moving to the next world. They draw to me, as spirits always are; this is both my gift and responsibility.
The knocks come more often now. Two days ago, my mail ended up in my neighbor’s box. Three stones appeared on my doorstep this morning. I take all this as a sign there is a job for me to do. Get moving, the veiled world says, and so I submit.
My fair readers, I’m off to Vermont for the charming—and charmed—Deerbourne Inn, where a gentle soul steals along the passageways. Guests hear the soft laughter of this merry lady of bygone days. I hope to speak with her and tell you her story. She will whisper her secrets in my ear, and I will tell you all she says.
Wish me luck. I’m off on another Spirited Quest.
Paige Norman gave a soft chuckle, amazed at what people believed in this day and age. Her niece, Jillian Winchester, wrote a popular and lucrative blog about ghosts. Hundreds of thousands of readers hung on her every word. Fans sent in tokens of appreciation. Sponsors lined up to pay for her travels to far-off locations where ghosts were rumored to lurk.
It didn’t hurt that the girl possessed spell-binding good looks. The long blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, and ethereal quality made a person wonder if Jillian wasn't from the spirit world herself. Not a girl any longer, Paige reminded herself. The girl was now a woman in her mid-twenties and making an enviable living doing what she loved.
Regardless of the reason for the visit to Willow Springs, she couldn’t wait to see her niece again. The last time she had a good long visit with her brother’s child was fourteen years ago. Boys, boredom and no boobs were the primary topics then. Clearly, with so many years in the interim, they had lots to catch up on.
Life, work and distance separated them during the intervening years. Vacation time, when it came, was fleeting. From time to time, Paige would take a peek at the Spirited Quest blog just to check in and travel vicariously. The ghosts Jillian spoke to just happened to be in some of the most exquisite locations in the world—Florence, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Istanbul, Turkey. All this for a girl who lived in an ocean-side cottage in Mendocino, California.
Some people had all the luck.
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