Dreamscape by Rose Anderson
Dreamscape is much more than a ghost story. This unlikely love story spans two eras and is also a murder mystery to solve. Peppered throughout are clues that take the reader on an Easter egg hunt for the truth. I hope you enjoy the following teaser.
Unable to deny his own translucence, Dr. Jason Bowen determines his lack of physical substance could only mean one thing—he’s a ghost. Murdered more than a century before, Jason haunts his house and ponders the treachery that took his life.
When Lanie O’Keefe arrives with plans to renovate her newly purchased Victorian mansion, Jason discovers, ghost or not, he’s still very much a man. Despite its derelict condition and haunted reputation, Lanie couldn’t be happier with her new home, but then she has no idea a spirit follows her every move throughout the day and shares her captivating warmth at night. Jason soon discovers he can travel through Lanie’s dreams and finds himself reliving the days before his murder with Lanie by his side.
It took one hundred and twenty years for love to find them, but there’s that insurmountable little matter of Jason being dead.
He'd watched the pair as they walked around the grounds with pens and paper in hand presumably making notes for repairs. While assessing the pavers that lined his walkway, she looked up at his window curiously as if seeking something. Jason frowned. Did she see him standing there? How odd. He could only be seen when he wanted to. And he did not yet wish to be seen.
After the man had driven away in his automobile, the woman retrieved her bags from another smaller vehicle. He watched her coming up the walkway only to take another glance his way. She was smiling.
Below, the front door opened and closed, so he headed there, curious about the woman who at this very moment was moving into his house. He was grateful for two things, the first being he'd no longer be alone with only an occasional mouse for company. The second, this young woman bore no resemblance to his beautiful, black-hearted wife.
He thought about her from time to time, his duplicitous wife Cathy, her lover Richard Mason, and his sister Bertha, his murderers. He spent many a night listening to their congratulatory recounting of how they'd set him up, duping him into marrying a woman who from the onset had a lover in the wings. Like the Masons, Cathy too was born and raised in the south at the time of reconstruction and was reared on tales of the glory days. Their sole purpose from the onset in taking his life was so she would inherit all.
When they met she had been such a sweet and shy little beauty, the shyness he later learned to be false. When she comforted him over the untimely death of his father, he'd been surprised by how quickly he fell head over heels for her. Though she'd never voiced it while he was alive, he was well aware of her desire to live in the affluent manner in which her parents and grandparents had lived before the war took it all away. To that end, seeking to win her timid heart and encourage the comfort that would eventually lead his wife into his bed, he gave into Cathy's every whim. No more than two months had passed before he was compelled to offer her marriage. No more than four before he found himself dead with his spirit walking the halls.
He played the details of their courtship over and over in his mind, for what else did he have to occupy his thoughts? Cathy Ames had accepted his proposal eagerly, despite her less-than-enthusiastic response to his advances. These always met with a cool reserve he erroneously mistook for maidenly shyness. But Cathy didn't possess a shy bone in her body. No, far from it. He'd seen them together in bed, his wife and his murderer. Seen for himself the eager way she spread her legs, the way she clutched his body to hers and treated him to a carnal knowledge that obviously developed from years of knowing. Not only did it shock his senses to see his shy wife play whore and play it well, it sickened him. What a fool he'd been. Because of that he kept to the only room they never visited -- the cupola at the top of the house -- and decades passed there with little concern, because time ceased to have meaning for the dead. Yes, they continued on with their merry lives, raised their foul brood, and got away with murder.
But all that changed with the last of them. Margaret, the great-granddaughter of his wife, and her accomplice had never married, and like the living, aged over time. He never minded Margaret Mason. How could he when she was as lonely as he? He appeared to her from time to time when the loneliness got the best of both of them. When she grew old, and became the last of Richard Mason's miserable line, he eventually told her the truth of her great-grandparents' treachery. The night she died in her sleep she called him to her side and told him she arranged her estate to his benefit as best she could. It was the least she could do after the wrong her family had done him.
Standing invisible on the stairway, he looked over his new house guest. What a pretty creature with her tight curves, porcelain skin, and lustrous raven hair. More than one hundred years had passed since a beautiful woman walked these halls, for Richard Mason sired unfortunate-looking souls who passed on their regrettable looks to each generation, including poor Margaret. Blood will out. Evil definitely had a way of marking the man's legacy as surely as Cane himself had been marked.
Following her into the kitchen, he watched her rummage for pots. She filled them at the tap then heated the water on the stove. He leaned against the wall appraising her. In all the years of his life, and certainly all the years after, this had to be the most beautiful woman he'd laid eyes on. She wore tight clothing, far tighter than he recalled women's clothing to be when he saw them on Margaret's television device. In fact her blue trousers fit her like a glove. These declared her legs to be slender and shapely and her bottom delectably rounded. Her breasts sat high and firm, and he found himself imagining what she looked like unclothed. The thought surprised him. He certainly harbored no such notion when the Mason horde lived here.
Hmm. In this fair company, he found himself still very much a man, despite being a dead one.
What a comely thing. With her long dark lashes framing eyes the shade of blue that fell somewhere between cornflower petals and a robin's egg. Lightly arched brows, an adorable nose, and full lips a lovely shade of rose pink. When she opened a paper sack to retrieve a sandwich and apple, the sight made him hungry. No, not hungry exactly. Rather wistful. Food was such an enjoyable thing and one he sorely missed. Occasionally, in the process of eating, she licked her lips, and that simple act made his body stir. Hmm, he mused, how about that?
Dreamscape and other books by Rose Anderson can be found at Barnes&Noble, Amazon.com, and many online bookstores around the web, or directly from Rose’s publisher here: http://www.bookstrand.com/rose-anderson
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