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Spirit Lake

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : Carol A. Guy

ISBN :978-1-55487-062-2

Page :184

Word Count :46000

Publication Date :2010-07-28

Series : Spirit Lake#1

Heat Level :

Available Formats : Spirit Lake (pdf) , Spirit Lake (prc) , Spirit Lake (epub) , Spirit Lake (mobi)

Category : Romantic Suspense and Mystery , Paranormal Romance , Romance

  • Product Code: 978-1-55487-062-2

Erica Parkhurst finds ghosts, danger and murder in the quaint town of Spirit Lake when she tries to leave her past behind.

Nestled near the base of Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest is the small town of Spirit Lake. Rich in folklore, it has become a tourist attraction due to its quaint atmosphere and unique antique shops. When Erica Parkhurst flees New York City in the wake of a marital split and accidentally discovers the little hamlet she is intrigued by the ghost stories surrounding the local inn and the mist-shrouded lake nearby. Then one night she encounters a mysterious man on the dock but before she can find out his name he disappears into the fog. Did she imagine him? During a trip into town the next day she see's the man again and follows him into a dead end alley, where he vanishes once more! Hot on the trail of his soon-to-be ex wife, Grant Parkhurst shows up unexpectedly at the inn but Erica flees out the back door into the surrounding woods to avoid a confrontation. Lost and frightened, she is met by a rescuer of the canine variety who leads her to a secluded cabin where she finally meets her elusive stranger, Joe Lakota, and his trusty wolf/dog, Mingo. Soon Erica finds herself involved in a murder case when a skeleton washes up at the edge of the lake and Joe becomes the prime suspect. Can she risk falling in love with a man who may be a murderer? And what other secrets are hidden beneath the glassy surface of Spirit Lake?

Erica Parkhurst was jarred from a fitful sleep by the screeching of brakes and a jolt that pitched her forward in her seat. As a reflex, she threw one arm out, making contact with the back of the seat in front of her.

"Son of a bitch!" the bus driver yelled, laying on the horn. After a few more expletives, he again accelerated and the large vehicle lurched forward.

"Just awful. You should have seen that," the woman next to Erica said, her tone almost conspiratorial.

"See what?" Erica sat up and glanced toward the front of the bus at the driver. Even from her vantage point midway down the narrow aisle, she could see the stream of perspiration dripping down the side of the man's face. He was large, with a florid complexion and steely gray hair. His knuckles were white as he gripped the wheel in an effort to retain control of the vehicle.

"The accident. That's why we almost wrecked. I'm sure there was a fatality," the small, birdlike woman said, clacking her teeth together. She had blue-white hair and wore a well-tailored mauve suit. Her hands, small, and blue veined, fidgeted nervously in her lap.

"I must have dozed off for a moment," Erica responded vaguely. Rummaging in her purse, she took out a small mirror and appraised her appearance. Her chestnut hair was somewhat in disarray and her usually clear blue eyes looked bloodshot, probably from lack of sleep the night before.

"Actually, you've been sound asleep since we left Bloomsburg," the woman replied, making it sound like a rebuke.

For a fleeting moment, guilt surged through Erica, as though she'd been caught committing some infraction of the rules. Well, I'm obviously not up on my bus travel etiquette, she thought grumpily, jamming the mirror back into her purse. Then instead of responding to the woman's comment, she turned her head and stared out the window as the miles began to roll by again with comforting monotony.

She'd thought about flying to Chicago from New York, but had decided against it. She needed time to think, and the anonymity of bus travel suited her purpose, which was, quite simply, to run away. She needed to leave her old life behind, to lose herself for a while so that she could sort out what was left of an existence that had been shattered and now lay in shambles around her feet.

A month ago, Erica had been the wife of a successful Park Avenue plastic surgeon. She'd also had her own career as an editor for a leading consumer magazine. At thirty-four, she had just begun to have confidence in her future.

Then last Thursday, her husband of six years told her that he was moving out. The marriage was over. He wanted a divorce.

Shocked into silence, she'd just stood in their bedroom and stared at him as he began stuffing some things into an overnight bag. He would come for the rest later, he told her, in a conversational tone so devoid of emotion that it reminded her of one of those computer generated voice mail announcements.

She'd begged him to stay, to talk to her. He'd refused, saying cruelly that all the talking in the world would not change the fact he just didn't love her or want her anymore. Stung by his words, she'd watched him leave without a backward glance. It wasn't until she heard the front door slam that the tears of shame and anger began to flow.

It hadn't been a perfect marriage, she realized that. He had a busy career, and so did she, so they were sometimes like ships passing in the night. But she'd always tried to make their time together interesting. In spite of that, she'd often sensed he was restless. And if she had to be honest now, in her heart, she'd probably suspected there were other women. She'd just been too afraid of what he might say if she confronted him, so instead she remained silent. And what did your silence get you? He left you cold, walked out without a second thought.

That had been on Thursday. On Friday morning, she'd been called into her publisher's office and told that she, along with several others, were being let go. Financial reasons were cited, but in Erica's precarious emotional state, she barely heard the rest of the spiel as she grabbed her purse, stumbled from the office and left the building.

She'd gone straight to Grant's office only to discover that he'd left for the day. She'd called his cell phone, but her call was immediately transferred to voice mail. She hadn't bothered to leave a message.

When she got home, she found that he'd been there, cleared out his closet and taken all of his grooming items from the bathroom. His den was equally bereft of personal items.

Six years as Mrs. Grant Parkhurst, gone in a moment. Eight years with Consumer Wise Magazine, gone in a moment. It had almost seemed to her like someone had taken a big eraser and methodically expunged a major portion of her life.

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Tags: Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Thriller