I’m on a really tight deadline right now. By which I mean I’m only two scenes away from finishing the second of three books that I need to be putting to bed before the end of the year. On this day before Thanksgiving, that’s what I’m most thankful for.
Being on a deadline means I get to tune out the family drama that’s been erupting off and on for most of the year, the political drama—basically everything. When the going gets tough, the tough...get writing.
Being on deadline means I get to delegate without guilt. To give up control, to stop worrying. So I have twelve people coming to my house and my dining room table comfortably seats six. What’s the worst that can happen? Either I end up with a memorable (for all the wrong reasons) holiday, or I end up with a new book. Maybe both? Either way, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Deadlines aren’t anything I ever thought I’d be thankful for, but oddly enough, I am. Here’s an excerpt from the first book in this new series about three cousins who are running a haunted hotel.
On her way back to her room, Gwyn castigated herself for being such an idiot. She should never have spent the night. She should have set her alarm for some ungodly hour and left while they were sleeping, while all her illusions were still intact. Now, she had to navigate her way from one end of the hotel to the other. It was lucky for her she knew all the hidden passageways. The Wild Geese Inn was not her walk of shame.
At least the ghosts seemed to find her predicament entertaining. A murmur of voices flowed around her, coming and going, echoing with amusement. Boards creaked beneath her feet. Lights buzzed noisily above her head. Nails poked out of the wainscoting to catch at her clothes. Time and again, she brushed at cobwebs, only to have them dissipate into nothingness at her touch. But at least she didn’t encounter any stuck doors on her way. And when she arrived at her room, she found the clothes she’d been planning on wearing laid out and ready.
“Thanks, Haunt,” she muttered in grudging appreciation. She was sure Brenda would have questioned whether Gwyn had suspected that she’d be out all night, that she'd hoped for it, wanted it—and had set the clothes out herself last night and then forgotten. Gwyn refused to think about that.
The hotel ghosts had been her companions since she was a child. They’d been her friends and playmates when the others went home, and she was here by herself. She wasn’t about to start denying their existence now.
She grabbed her things, and ran back down a half flight to the landing, to her private bath, built into what had once been a closet under the stairs. She shed her clothes, turned on the shower, and waited until she was standing under the spray, until the hot water was beating down upon her, before she let her tears fall.