Halloween is quickly approaching! In celebration of my favorite season, I’d like to share a passage from my paranormal romance novel, The Wall People. It’s the perfect spooky tale for autumn!
The Wall People
“The wind was fierce. Silence hovered over the town. Small black birds moved through the darkening sky. Heavy humidity suggested a storm. She quickly headed over to her car. The old truck was still blocking her way as she squeezed inside the jeep and started the engine. Rain began to spatter her windshield in a hollow, rhythmic beat. The weather report had not mentioned a storm. It caught her off guard. There were few things she loved more than the changing of the seasons. But, this was not the right time. She could see the boxes and furniture being drenched. It was time to move. If all went well, she could be home within the hour.
Katie headed for the nearest freeway entrance. She drove north heading towards the Napa Valley mountain pass. A few more miles of windy roads would bring her to where she was going. She eagerly started her descent. Her jeep hugged the road with ease. The street began to narrow after about a mile. Cars passed in a blurred, distorted rhythm, and her windshield wipers set pace with the increasing volume of rain. The approaching headlights seemed out of focus in the dim haze. This would not be a passing drizzle. The wind seemed determined. She could feel her jeep struggling against the force of the gusts.
Taking a tight curve, Katie’s eyes were drawn to a white, wooden crucifix propped up on the side of the mountain. A bouquet of pink roses had been carefully placed at its base. They were fresh, possibly hours old. The raindrops glistened on the colorful petals like precious diamonds. Next to the roses was a large, cinnamon colored teddy bear. The stuffed animal had fallen on its side and was flecked with mud. Its face appeared to be gazing up to the sky. One eye was missing. The image chilled her to the core. Focus on your driving. Think about it later. The inside of the jeep was growing colder as she made her way up the hill. She reached down and turned on the heater.
Warm air filled the interior. The windows began to fog up and the cars driving by became even more distorted. The darkness was disconcerting and out of place for this time of day. It became more difficult to focus. The windshield reflected the distorted lights from the passing vehicles impeding the visibility. She felt disoriented and conceptually disjointed. The first stages of panic descended like soft butterfly wings upon her chest. It was becoming difficult to breathe.
Don’t lose it now! It’s just a storm! The voice inside her head was frantic. Focus on your new life. Focus on your new house. Don’t think about the jeep losing control and careening off the side of the mountain. You’ve come so far. Cool it! She took a deep breath and tried to regain her composure. It took effort not to give into the panic, which was painful and primitive and somehow provocative. She hated to lose control. Breathe. All right that’s better, she thought. The storm continued. She searched for the final turnoff that would bring her to the last stretch of her journey. Only a few miles of windy roads remained. The redwoods were thick along the edges of the road. After several minutes, she discovered the turnoff and made her way down a narrow dirt road. She followed it as it curved through a dense forest. The jeep’s tires struggled against the thick mud.
As the vehicle made its way down the path, the light became increasingly dense and filtered. The trees created a protected canopy. After driving several hundred yards, a clearing emerged. Her little cabin was nestled comfortably among the seemingly endless woods. She guided her jeep toward the front driveway. Her heart raced. This was it. She wanted to make the moment last. Carefully letting herself out the jeep, Katie shut her door, and the sound echoed through the woods. Her white Keds slipped down into the thick mud. She could feel the cold, wet soil filling the spaces in her shoes. The rain continued pouring down. It felt sensual. She breathed in the fresh pine. The fragrance was inviting. The sharp cry of a Stellar Jay rang out from the top of an old oak. “Yes, little one. I hear you,” she whispered. An orchestra of sound was emanating throughout the forest. Birds and insects were setting pace. Oh God, this was all so familiar. The simplicity was delightful. The one-bedroom cabin nestled within the heart of the woods.
She walked toward the modest building. Rain rolled down her face like sparkling tears. The dark, wooden logs appeared black from the steady downpour. The cabin was approached with reverence. She climbed up the old, wooden steps. A collection of moss and mushrooms had made their home on the planks of the front porch. Her fingertips moved gently over the wooden beams. She brought her face against the front wall and breathed in the sharp, earthy scent. A slow, deliberate movement caught her attention. A dark purple salamander made its way along the wooden landing. Tiny, golden spots dotted its back and sides. Beads of precipitation covered its moist, delicate body. Katie squatted down on her haunches to get a better view. The little creature’s head cocked slightly as its shiny, black eye gazed up at her. After a moment’s pause, the tiny amphibian continued its shuffle along the cabin wall. The discovery filled her heart with joy. How many more treasures awaited?”
The Wall People, AnneMarie Dapp
Would you like to find out what’s waiting for Katie behind the cabin door? Here’s a link to my novel, The Wall People!
Katie O’Brien is starting over in Napa Valley, California. In the wake of an abusive marriage, she’s decided to begin her life anew by fulfilling a childhood dream of moving to a remote log cabin in the woods.
As she heals, Katie rediscovers herself, forming new bonds and navigating a new life of mystery, adventure, forgotten love, and whimsical quests back through time to 19th Century Ireland. But everything comes with a price. Some doors should never be opened. The forces of good and evil clash as a timeless romance hangs in the balance.
I hope you enjoyed today’s sample of my paranormal novel, The Wall People. Happy reading!