Okay, I thought this was a really cool pirate's ship on a pumpkin!
Ghostly Liaisons was set in Florida where I lived as a kid and teen, the jungle-like swamps perfect for exploring and discovering rattlesnakes and water moccasins and alligators and huge spiders and even huger mosquitoes.
I loved ghost stories, and I loved pirate stories and when we used to explore--seemed perfect for living in Florida, I thought about finding pirate's treasure in the swamp. But if the pirate's treasure was there, wouldn't the ghosts of pirates be there also? Protecting their booty?
Emily Rundle’s curious nature causes her big problems when she moves with her family to Florida. First of all, she’s different. Really different. Then the nightmares begin. The kind she can’t escape. Somehow she has to unravel the mystery of the ghosts who plague her before it’s too late.
Michael Shipley just moved to town, too, and realizes at once Emily is trouble with a big T. If he becomes involved with her, his life will change forever. Premonitions he has that Emily’s life will be in danger forces him to make a stand to protect the girl who’s gifted with extraordinary abilities like him. They instantly bond as the two weirdest kids in school.
Both Michael and Emily have past histories, painful memories they’d rather forget. Faced with dangerous new challenges, they must overcome their past, threats at school, bullies in the flesh, and ghostly apparitions bent on a deadly game of revenge. What was once a simple matter, discover the secrets of the ghosts and appease them, becomes a race against time as Emily and Michael fight the evil that threatens to conquer them.
Excerpt from Ghostly Liaisons:
Sitting next to him, she poked a finger at the screen. “Look for pirates.”
“I thought we wanted to find out about the girl first.”
“Pirates.” She glanced at him. “I think the pirate’s treasure is the key.”
“Yeah, the wooden chest filled with gold coins and bullion bars…buried somewhere in the swamp.”
“You saw this?”
“Yep. The ghost girl draws me there. I’m sure it’s important.”
He typed in pirates, Florida. A list appeared. “Hmm, there are a couple of books here on the subject.”
Emily hopped up from the chair to retrieve them from the shelves. She pulled one out and read through the first couple of pages. Michael typed in ghost stories, Florida, and Emily returned to the chair beside him.
Reading out loud, she said, “As late as 1823, the U.S. government commissioned Commodore David Porter to stop the pirates: Black Caesar, Blackbeard, also known as Edward Teach, and Jean Lafitte. Earlier, pirates like Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake also raided the state. In fact, twenty famous pirates plagued the coast of Florida.”
“Okay, what about this? ‘September 10, 1622, a Spanish convoy of twenty-eight ships left Havana headed for home, loaded to the gunwales with treasure from South and Central America. Eight of the ships sank during a hurricane.’” She snapped the book closed. “What if pirates brought some of the treasure up here? The books say pirates lived all along the coast. In fact, they were some of Florida’s first beachcombers.”
“Yeah. There wasn’t any treasure on the land, just from the Spanish galleons laden with it because they sailed up the Gulf Stream through the straits that parallel Florida’s Keys. That’s too far south of us, but maybe they hauled their booty up here to hide it.”
“Could be.” Michael wrote down a list of books on ghostly sightings, then walked over to the rows of shelves.
Emily followed him. “Lots of books?”
“Three, but the main library will have more. These include ghosts sighted in Florida, but I’ll have to skim through them to see if any appeared in our area. Otherwise, we’ll have to check deaths in the newspapers and other ghost books from the main library.”
“Okay. I’ll check the Internet in the meantime.”
Emily logged onto the Internet on one of the computers. She typed in ghosts, Florida and came up with a long list of ghostly sightings.
One that instantly grabbed her interest was a haunted warehouse in Miami that housed Florida souvenirs. For two months, investigators, including police officers, an insurance investigator, a parapsychologist, a reporter, the owner, and a number of employees, observed objects moving or crashing to the floor, boxes sliding on shelves, or flying from one shelf to another in nearly two-hundred and fifty well-documented cases. But what caught Emily’s eye was one of the young male employees was thought to have been moving the objects, unbeknownst to him, through psychic-kinetic abilities.
“Hey, look at this, Michael.”
Michael joined her and scanned the article. He shook his head. “Ghosts, Emily. We’re searching for ghosts.”
“Shoot, Michael. Didn’t we just read about psychologists trying to determine a scientific basis for our abilities? I mean, look at this. They tested the man over and over and it showed he moved the objects. Then he finally refused to be tested anymore.” She looked up. “Why should he be treated like a guinea pig? He did it, and they have to keep making him do it over and over again to prove that he could.”
“Ghosts, Emily. We’re trying to find out who the ghosts are.”
Maybe she could become an activist for people with special abilities, or a parapsychologist, although she might be somewhat biased. She read through three more articles while Michael sat beside her and skimmed through books on ghosts.
“Oh...oh...oh, Michael. Look. Asheley’s Restaurant in Rockledge. That’s not very far from us. Some say a woman must have died during the Roaring Twenties and frequents the restaurant and the area outside of it, but they don’t know anything about her; where she was from, how she died, why she’s ‘stuck’ there. Others mention a young man died on the railroad tracks behind the restaurant or Highway US 1 out front. They’ve found cold spots in various places. Customers and employees have seen apparitions, or objects moving by unseen forces. Many have heard strange sounds. Several of the incidents occurred in the restrooms or the kitchen, though there have been sightings all over the restaurant. One guy picked up the woman in the parking lot wearing the twenties-style dress. When he drove down River Road in Cocoa, she disappeared.”
Emily looked up at Michael. “What do you think, Michael? Maybe Granny, you, and I could check out the place?”
Michael ran his hand over her back. “You sure are cute, you know? Okay, it probably won’t have anything to do with the business we’re checking into, but I’m certain Granny will be game. Though I hoped my first dinner date with you could have been a little less crowded...ghosts, grannies...”
Emily’s whole outlook perked up. He wanted to take her out on a date...a real date. Fall dance, here they come.
She turned back to the computer monitor. “Well, I don’t see anything else here. You want to go to the main library now?”
“Sure, let me put these books back. There’s nothing in here to help us. Most of the sightings are in old St. Augustine.” He walked back to the bookshelves and disappeared.
“That won’t do.” Emily shut down the computer, stood, and turned. She took a deep breath. “Michael,” she whispered, her skin crawling with goose bumps.
“Yeah?” he called from between two rows of books.
“We’ve got company.”
So that's enough of pirates and ghosts for now, and I'm off to work on the newsletter. :) I believe it's the end of the Halloween story. I have a couple of others, but not sure if I have them any longer! Problem with computer crashes!
And I'm at Seeing Night Reviews today: Have Amulet, Will Travel, so if you have a chance, come by and say hi!! I'll be at Fang-tastic Books on Sunday. :)
Have a delightful Friday!
"Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."