Feet of snow. And a tiny excerpt from Spirited

safe_image8N2LBAPHYes, you’ve read way too much whining about snow. I assure you, I am tired of it too. Found this on-line. Apparently Boston–I live north of Boston, so generally more snow–is now measuring our total inches/feet of snow by our athletes. Now 68 inches in 30 days.

I looked at the weather today and read we’ve got 3-5 inches Thursday night. Anything 4 inches or more, and I’m going to have to cut back snow banks again to make room for it. Then some person on facebook posted something about possibly a foot of snow and blizzard conditions. I just can’t believe that is possible. . .

So, because I have to believe there will be a time when writing is possible–that anything other than cleaning up after a storm and preparing for another–is possible, here’s a little excerpt from Spirited, which I wrote last week. I hope to get the book out this summer. Assuming there is a summer. It looks doubtful right now. At any rate, this is pretty much unedited and will probably have changes in the final version. I like it all the same.

Spirited, by the way, has a 19th century spiritualist heroine, Vivian Taft, who actually does see ghosts. She’s generally not too happy about it, but it brings in good money, which she needs if she’s ever going to create a good life and happy home for her son, Jeremy. Heath Clifford is the hero (more on that another time). This is the first of a series that I’ll call The Philadelphians. Not all of them will have paranormal elements.

In this scene, she is in the woods on a winter day in Pennsylvania (along the Delaware, about 15 miles north of Philly).  You can imagine I didn’t have to stretch very hard for that!  The bad guy has dropped a large branch on her, pinning her to the ground. Viv is hurt and her friend Cathy (who has her own book) has gone for help:


And then Viv was alone. Pinned under a branch almost the size of a tree, with sleet pinging off her coat and bouncing off the ground in front of her, with only a group of spirits to defend her from a murderer.

And a gun.

Through narrowed eyes she gazed at the spirits: Bryce, Gran, Pa. Avery had gone with Cathy. Presumably to protect Cathy, although how he could do that was beyond Viv’s knowledge. Possibly beyond Avery’s as well.

“Pa,” Viv said. “Where have you been? Why are you here? Why are you hear now?” she asked, although she saw no light, no door, and was drained but not near feeling like she supposed death would feel. The shivering, though, had turned her stomach queasy and her heart was racing. If the gun didn’t work. . .

“I’m here for you,” he said. His voice was warm, with the deep edge of humor that she loved so much. Where had she heard that recently?

Heath. . .

A creaking in the woods. . .the rattling of ice-covered bushes and trees? But no, the wind wasn’t blowing.

Oh God, he was coming for her.

Her finger tightened on the trigger. Gran turned and Pa’s face tightened. “Careful, pumpkin. Shooting brings consequences.”

She bat back tears, as an image of Jeremy fluttered in her mind. The pounding in her head grew. “I can’t leave him, Pa.”

“He’s a fine lad.”

A sudden hard wind rattled the trees, and ice fell down on her, striking her temple. She winced as pain jammed through her. For several minutes she fought the darkness that threatened to envelop her. . .Pa spoke to her in soft, soothing words, but through the pounding she could scarcely hear him. She tried, she truly tried, but she was losing the battle. He was wrong—she was going out. And if she passed into the darkness, he would come out of hiding for sure. He and his club.

“There’s no reason to harm you, pumpkin.”

But did he need a reason?

The spirits swam in front of her eyes. Only two now, Gran and Pa. Where had Bryce gone?

“You’ll be all right, sugar.”

But all right could be dead. She knew dead, knew it well. She saw it all the time. She didn’t fear death, but leaving Jeremy without a mother—that terrified her.

Followed by the overwhelming sadness of leaving Heath. Death meant no more kisses. Or hugs. Or deep, satisfying pleasure. . .

Another sound. A footstep?

She pulled the trigger and lost the fight with consciousness.


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