No matter how challenging the case, psychologist Katherine Fleming never shirks from helping a patient confront a painful issue. With keen powers of observation and a compassionate nature, she applies talent and training to help any troubled soul, but accepting a new patient who happens to be dead adds an unexpected wrinkle.
The first time Detective Jake Sumner of the Sandy Shoals PD spied the old house he sensed the good bones. Little did he know the purchase of the property included an unusual tenant far from resting in peace. Can the new psychologist in town help him treat a ghostly trauma case and stop a murderer from claiming the next victim?
With the aid of a mysterious white cat and a mystic mirror, Katherine and Jake join forces to hunt a killer. Because if the living won’t seek justice for the dead, who will?
Targeted Age Group:: YA to adult
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 1 – G Rated Clean Read
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I started toying with the idea of ghosts. Unresolved trauma, left untreated, can cause severe psychological upheaval in people. If a ghost’s earthbound status is the result of unresolved issues, then perhaps he or she is better served by someone with psychological training, but if a counselor agrees to help, what next? This isn’t exactly covered in the course syllabus of a Master’s program. Taking this track allowed me to inject humor along with the suspense and creepiness inherent in a ghost story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I like putting normal people in abnormal situations and seeing how they react. What happens when two logical people who don't believe in ghosts are suddenly thrust into a supernatural adventure? How do they face the unknown and how will this effect the relationship between them?
Jake flicked on the light. Other than faded floral wallpaper, the single decoration on the walls was a large antique gilded mirror. The glass was old, dotted with hazy black splotches where the reflective silver coating had worn away. Katherine’s image was blurred and barely recognizable. She ran a finger over the window sill, and it came away covered in dust. “Your tenant is a lousy housekeeper. This room doesn’t seem as if anyone has been in here in years.”
“Yeah,” Jake murmured. “It’s not her thing.”
“I don’t understand,” said Katherine. “Where is she?” Without warning, the temperature plummeted. Katherine shivered, hugging her arms to her chest. “Why is it so cold?”
Jake’s lips pressed together in a thin, tight line. His gaze fixed on the mirror.
The lamp flicked on and off. Katherine’s pulse soared. “Detective?”
Jake glowered at the lamp, his face red with anger. He grabbed Katherine’s arm. “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have brought you here—”
The French doors slammed shut. From outside came a muted thud as the front door closed as well. Katherine shrugged off Jake’s grip. “W-what are you doing? This isn’t funny.”
“It’s not me.” He peered at the mirror. “I’m sorry, Dr. Fleming. This is a bad idea. We should go now.”
Don’t leave me.
“W-who said that?” Katherine turned around to face the mirror. Her eyes widened in horror as the black splotches slid toward the center of the glass. “Trick.” Katherine clutched at her shirt. “It must be a trick.”
The blotches whirled together. A misty shape formed. Arms…legs…now torso…now head…an image of a person appeared from inside the gilded frame. Facial features blurred beyond recognition, but the body was definitely female. Katherine’s legs refused to move, a scream died on her lips. Shaking, she raised a trembling arm. Instead of mimicking her movement, the reflection remained rooted in place. “T-that’s not me.”
A plaintive whisper filled the air. Help.
A blast of frigid wind whipped the curtains and knocked Katherine into Jake. With the sound of breaking glass, a vaporous arm separated from the mirror and reached toward her.
“Out now!” Jake dragged Katherine across the room. He yanked open the parlor doors and shoved her into the foyer.
The unearthly plea followed Katherine out of the house.
Jake slammed the front door shut behind them. The muted cry faded away.
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