Sunday, December 8, 2013
25 Days of Christmas Reader Celebration: Day 8
Today we have a book from the very talented Bronwyn Green! Remember to leave a comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy of Bronwyn's book as well as being entered in the grand prize drawing on Christmas Day!
Immortal Curse by Bronwyn Green
Cursed by a witch, Ian O'Meara has been trapped between the world of the living and the spirit realm for the last hundred and fifty years. Annoyed by having his eternity interrupted by amateur ghost hunters, he reaches through the veil to Emma Boulton, knowing she can see and hear him even if the others can't. When he discovers she can also feel him, he decides Emma is the most exciting thing to happen to him in the last century. Suddenly, escaping his miserable curse isn't quite so appealing.
Much to her dismay, Emma has been able to see ghosts ever since she was a child. Most of the time she ignores them, but Ian makes that all but impossible. With his dark good looks and his brooding personality, he's a gothic novel hero come to life...so to speak. She knows she should help him toward the light, but the only place he seems to be interested in is her bed. Falling in love with the charming spirit is all too easy, but is a future together possible between the living and the dead?
· Emma Boulton let herself sink beneath the surface of the steaming water, hoping the heat of the bath would ease the tension from her neck and shoulders. On a good day, teaching high school level English was difficult. On a day like today, it was hell on earth.
Amber, one of her students, was back in school after having missed several days to attend her grandmother’s funeral. Unfortunately, the spirit of said grandmother decided to come to class with Amber. Once the old woman had figured out Emma could see her, she’d spent the entire day in her room, throwing markers, fiddling with the window blinds and dropping books.
Only one student had caught sight of the spirit, but she’d wisely put her head down and closed her eyes. Normally, not paying attention in class was an instant detention, but Emma wasn’t about to send her to the principal’s office. Hell, if she could have gotten away with putting her head down on the desk and ignoring it, she would have done the same thing. It wasn’t that she was afraid of ghosts, per se. But they were dead and the dead belonged on the other side—instead of staying here and throwing spit wads at the living.
Emma had stayed until even the cleaning crew had left the building and tried to convince Amber’s grandmother to move on. It had taken several long hours, but eventually the old woman crossed over.
Gripping the rim of the claw-foot tub, Emma pulled herself up to the surface and wiped the water from her eyes. She opened them, and a scream caught in her chest. A tall and decidedly transparent man leaned against her sink. Dressed as he was in a black suit, complete with a long frock coat, he looked like an antique photograph come to life. Shaggy, dark brown hair drooped across his forehead, and he pushed it aside. Deep blue eyes watched her intently.
“For fuck’s sake,” she was finally able to mutter.
“Language, Miss Boulton.”
She grabbed a towel and quickly stood to wrap it around herself. Pointing at the door, she said, “Out. Out of my bathroom. Out of my house. Out of this plane of existence, already.”
A dark eyebrow rose. “I’d love to. Really, I would.” An Irish accent colored his words, and his deep voice wrapped her in tingling warmth. “However, I’m not leaving until you convince your harridan of a sister and her equally obnoxious companion to leave.”
“Your sister.” He spoke slowly as though he thought she were an idiot. “Is in my schoolhouse. With her friend—the girl with red hair. They’re not listening.”
Realization sank like a stone in her stomach. “The abandoned schoolhouse on eighty-fourth street.”
“The same. They have an Ouija board.” Distain dripped from his voice. “A pink Ouija board.”
She was going to kill Meaghan. And her friend, Rowan. She’d told them time and time again to stay away from there, but they didn’t listen. Now, she had to deal with a pissed off ghost.
“Look, I’m sorry they disturbed you, but they really don’t mean any harm.”
“I don’t care. I want them out.”
She sighed. Meaghan wanted nothing more than to see the same spirits Emma did, but it wasn’t where her gift lay. She was a seer—not a medium. Of course, Emma heartily wished she wasn’t a medium at the moment.
Tightening the towel around herself, she walked past the apparition. Just as she was about to pass through the bathroom door, he moved in front of her, simply appearing there in that annoying way ghosts had. Her next step carried her directly through his body, but instead of the icy cold that normally accompanied spirit contact, her body flushed with heat. She whirled to look at him, her surprise mirrored perfectly on his face.
“I can feel you,” he whispered, sounding as shaken as she felt.
She forced herself to speak around the words that clogged her throat. “You need to go.”
Without another word, he disappeared from view.
Blood pounding through her veins, she quickly darted into her bedroom and shut the door. Not that a closed door would keep out the ghost if he decided to return, but she clung to the false sense of security anyway. Quickly, she tugged a pair of underwear and jeans over her damp skin and pulled on a T-shirt.
Grabbing her phone off the dresser, she punched in Meaghan’s number. Pacing the room, she waited for her sister to pick up. As she passed in front of the mirror, she noticed the damn ghost lounging on her bed, watching her intently.
“Get out of my bed.”
“I’m not in your bed, sister mine,” Meaghan answered with a smile in her voice.
Emma nearly growled in frustration. “No. You’re in a haunted schoolhouse, and the ghost who haunts it wants you out. Now.”
“The spirit who haunts the old school is here. In the house. Demanding that you leave.”
“Cool! We’ll be right home.” She moved the phone away from her mouth and called out, “C’mon, Ro, we need to get home quick. The spirit is at the house.”
Emma turned to the ghost. “They’re leaving. You can go, too.”
“No!” Meaghan screeched over the line. “Keep him there until we get back!”
“Bye, Meg.” She disconnected and set her phone on the dresser. She never should have let her sister move in when she’d graduated from college.
Emma stared at the spirit expectantly. Instead of disappearing as she’d hoped, he arranged himself more comfortably on her antique quilt. He should have looked ridiculous stretched over the pale, floral print in his austere, black clothing. Instead, he looked like a fantasy come true—a gorgeous man in her bed—waiting for her. Except that he was dead.
“They’re leaving.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “That’s your cue to follow suit.”
He watched her through hooded eyes, his gaze slowly traveling over her body, lingering at the curve of her breasts before heading to her mouth.
She shifted uncomfortably under his heated appraisal, and her nipples tightened at the glow of appreciation evident in his expression. Great. The first man to show any interest in months was incorporeal and couldn’t do a thing to ease the ache of neediness that had spread through her body.
“Seriously, it’s time for you to leave.”
“Are you sure you want that, sweet Emma?”
In the time it had taken her to blink, he’d gone from reclining on the bed to standing directly in front of her. She stumbled backward. He reached out as if he could catch her, but his hand went through her body like a heated caress. She backed away. She’d never had an experience with a ghost that hadn’t ended with a bone deep chill. This was almost like being touched by a flesh and blood man…except for the part where he passed through her body.
“You can either leave or I can force you to go.”
“And how will you do that?” he asked, his voice a rough caress curling around her body, stroking her skin.
She had to swallow several times before she could actually form words. “Spells. I have spells.”
His blue eyes hardened to shards of glass, and he stared at her. “Of course, you do. I should have known you for what you are. Foul witch.” Without another word, he was gone, leaving the house emptier than she’d ever felt it.
It's your world...unlaced...
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