Welcome to the 2017 A to Z Blog Challenge. During the month of April, Chrys N. Jay shares snippets from friend’s books, and takes a peek at love.
Today, for ‘E’, Susanne Matthews stops by to share an excerpt from her book, Echoes from the Past.
E is for Echoes of the Past
Born Mohawk, raised white, forensic pathologist, Michelle Thomas is trapped between two worlds—this one and the spirit world where the ghosts of those who’ve drowned speak to her. Haunted by crippling nightmares of her own drowning death and erotic dreams of a phantom lover, she strives to make sense of her life. When two suspicious deaths occur at the Lake of the Mountain Resort, she’s sent to investigate. She’ll face the greatest challenge of her career when her past and her present collide. One of these men is her future, but which one—the rich and powerful Mayor Ron Davies, or Tony Steele, the hydrology professor who may be responsible for his students’ deaths? Charged by the spirits of her Mohawk ancestors to atone for her previous sins by protecting Lake of the Gods, can Michelle solve the murders, save the sacred waters, and fulfill her destiny?
Tony recognized the woman in his dreams as the shawl-wrapped stranger who walked along the beach every now and then. Beautiful and exotic, something about her called to his soul. He preferred women who didn’t look like carbon copies of others, and this one intrigued him. He thought about her now.
He’d noticed her the night he’d arrived. He never slept well in a new bed. Unable to settle, he’d stepped out onto the porch and noticed someone else apparently suffering from insomnia. A woman, a blanket wrapped around herself, her hair in a long braid down her back, strolled along the edge of the sandy beach. She’d moved southeast toward the edge of the lookout. He’d stepped outside to get a better look at her, but she’d vanished.
The next night, his imagination and libido had taken over, and in his dreams, she’d entered his leafy grotto, and they’d had mind-blowing sex. The things they’d done to one another. Thank God he’d awakened before his body had finished responding to his fantasy.
He’d gotten up, frustrated as old hell, and had gone downstairs. Standing in the screened-in porch, he’d looked out at the lake. Unlike tonight, the water had resembled a mirror reflecting the stars on its surface, and he’d been suspended between the water and the sky—everything brighter, crisper, and clearer than he’d expected. Animals scurried in the brush nearby. Bats swooped overhead. An owl hooted, and he’d shivered. Didn’t some of the Native American tribes believe death followed the cries of an owl?
He’d turned to go back inside when he’d glimpsed his mystery woman coming along the beach from the marshy area to the north. He’d called out to her. She’d turned at the sound of his voice and stopped. In the moonlight, he’d seen the sparkle of silver tears on her cheeks. Naked, he’d hurried into the kitchen, grabbed his damp swimsuit off the drying rack, and rushed out, but she’d disappeared.
He blinked, and the memory passed. He’d never seen a storm as vicious as tonight’s. The rain came down in sheets. Thank God the kids had made it back safely. He turned to go inside when a flash of lightning, the first he’d noticed tonight, illuminated the beach.
What the hell?
The woman, wrapped in her blanket, walked along the beach as if all hell wasn’t breaking loose around her. He ran to the door and raced across the short expanse of grass. He stopped at the edge of the water. Where had she gone? As she’d done every time he’d tried to catch her, she’d vanished. Wet through, he hurried back inside. He saw the light go out in Jackson’s room.
Tony entered the cabin, stripped off his wet clothes, and tossed them in the kitchen sink. Naked and shivering, he climbed the stairs and went into the bathroom. He took a hot shower and then dried his shoulder-length hair. He needed to get it cut. He grabbed a clean T-shirt and a pair of boxers out of the drawer. Exhausted, he fell into bed hoping for sleep.