Kings Mill, Maryland’s 200 year old, Old Town Tavern and Inn is in danger of being destroyed to make room for urban renewal. Residential tavern ghost, Millie Taylor is not about to take the news lying down. If anyone destroys her only home and sense of security, it will be over her dead body!
Tavern owner, Dave Rogers hires former vice cop Sean Lightfoot’s construction company to renovate his family tavern in hopes of keeping it from destruction. When Sean digs up the tavern springhouse, he resurrects the ghost of Millie Taylor. Now he has his business to run, a tavern to renovate and a sassy, brash tavern wench who is eager to be an independent modern Millie.
Mystery, suspense and romance abound as Millie and Sean fight an attraction crossing the span of time. But is Millie really alive and what’s hiding in the springhouse that haunts her?
Excerpt #3—Distilled Spirits
Oh dear! She’d killed him. He slumped like a rag doll, all boneless.
Millie hadn’t meant to hurt him. He’d been looking for her. She’d heard him call out her name and wanted to let him know she was there. But when he’d turned and walked straight into her, leaving behind his mortal warmth and energy, her soul readily sucked it in, draining him in return.
Kneeling beside his body, propped up against one of the trunks, she touched his face, knowing she wouldn’t actually be able to feel it. She wanted to infuse the energy she’d stolen from him back where it belonged. But like earlier, her hand came up to… resistance. She was touching solid flesh. She removed her hand and touched him again, over and over. How could this be?
The rasp of a light growth of whiskers led her to trailing her finger over his jaw-line. Shocked at the simplicity of her actual finger on solid flesh she didn’t notice the wide eyes staring at her until warm breath cascaded against her exposed collarbone.
He was alive.
Their eyes met. Millie couldn’t look away. Even in the darkened attic she could make out every detail about them—it was as if his eyes were the light for her to move into.
“What the hell—?”
Sean jerked away from her touch and the spell broke. She moved back to give him room and some time to adjust, for both of them.
She wasn’t sure if she could talk so she nodded her head. A wayward curl spilled from her pile of hair to dangle in front of her left eye. Before she could move the bothersome curl away, Sean reached forward, his hand trembling, and brushed it to the side, touching her face in the process.
She shook her head. “I…am…not sure.”
Her voice sounded thready and small but it was her voice.
His hands traveled up her bare arms, sending shivers of pleasure and awareness of being alive again. But still, she wasn’t sure she was alive.
“This is remarkable. Oh, my God.”
She tried to pull away, uncertain about what just happened to her or about this man’s touch. His hands captured hers and he held her there at arm’s length.
“I said I wouldn’t hurt you and I meant it, Millie.”
His rough fingers rubbed along her calloused knuckles. Years of scrubbing and working had left her hands dry and hardened. Their condition hadn’t changed in death.
She pulled her hands away. He was a bold one.
A proper woman didn’t let a man touch her bare limbs so inappropriately. They hadn’t even been properly introduced. She’d been the brunt of many jokes and talk about the town for being so straightforward and brusque with the local gentry. She had learned to be, though. A girl in her position had to be when working with the men she did in her day.
His eyes rounded. “Wait. Don’t go…I want to talk with you,” he blurted out.
Go? She wasn’t going anywhere. She was right here in front of him. Yet she could feel the definite loss of warmth. Frantically she fought to stay in the moment, but nothing kept her from slipping backwards. Energy bled from her soul as quickly as she’d absorbed it from him. Bringing a hand up to her face she could see through herself, watching as Sean stared at her, shaking his head with disbelief. Within moments she was gone, back into a void of darkness… like always.
Loni Lynne believes fate determines our lives and we are just along for the ride. Holding on tight, she’s managed an eclectic life of moving all over the country in her youth, seeing sights and places her dreams still take her to every now and again. Writing stories since she was thirteen and dreaming of actually writing a book since that time, fate took over, giving her a chance to find material and experiences to write about.
Upon graduating high school, she served her country in the United States Navy where she met her United States Army hero/husband in his hometown of Annapolis, Maryland. After being stationed in Hawaii for their first four years together, they returned to settle in Maryland where they still live, Happily Ever After with their two princesses, who prefer to play with dragons instead of running from them.
Four years ago, as a birthday gift, her husband gave her a portable hard drive, a membership to Romance Writers of America, and the challenge to have a completed manuscript by her next birthday. She did it and then some. Now, she can’t stop writing.
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