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For my Halloween Hop Treat, I'm offering up an excerpt from my ghost story - GHOSTS DON'T LIE as well as the opportunity to win one of two ecopies of my book. For your first chance to win, visit the previous post on this blog (HERE
) to read my real-life ghost story and share your own in the comments. For the second chance to win, visit and like my Facebook author page
, and comment on the latest post there to let me know you want to win my book...
EXCERPT from GHOSTS DON'T LIE:
your husband’s been lying to you about so many things, maybe you need to start over.”
haven’t been totally honest with him either, I guess.” Jillian sighed and
leaned her head against the window again.
light turned green and he stepped on the accelerator. “Are you secretly an
adulterous drug addict, too?”
Jill said quietly. “But I am a ghost whisperer. I never told him about that
part of my life.” She turned to look at Parker. “That’s why you left me in
college, isn’t it? Because I wouldn’t tap into that part of myself for you when
you asked. I wouldn’t contact Steven.”
back stiffened at the mention of his brother. Before he could reply, Jillian
spoke again. “He came to me, you know. A few weeks after you took off for the
west coast.” She shook her head and gave a small, sad laugh. “He said you were
always a little slow, but you’d eventually come back. I’d totally forgotten
about his visit. And now here you finally are.”
he tell you what happened?” Parker’s voice sounded casual, but Jillian saw his
knuckles turning white against the steering wheel.
closed her eyes and considered his question. Instead of answering, she posed
her own. “I thought you were going to study physics and discover the secrets of
the universe. What made you switch to medicine?”
of Steven. To finish what he started, what was taken away from him. My parents
were pleased with my choice.”
are you happy?”
paused. “Every person I help, every life I save, makes me feel like I’m doing
something…right. Something to make a difference in the world.” He glanced over
at Jillian as he slowed the car at another red light. “Do you know what I
nodded. “That’s what makes you a good doctor. Steven didn’t feel that way,
though. All he felt was the pressure of being perfect.”
brother loved being a doctor. Someone denied him that future when they killed
think he enjoyed medical school. Your brother liked being a student. But that
internship at Columbia Presbyterian put the practice of medicine in a different
light for him.”
are you saying, Jill? He took his own life to avoid being a doctor? That’s
absurd.” Parker clenched his jaw and stepped hard on the accelerator when the
suicide was an accident,” Jillian whispered, gripping the armrest.
wasn’t suicide.” Parker took the corner a little too fast. “Someone else was
there and it was their fault. The police stopped looking.”
speed of the car made her uneasy, but she focused on the conversation. “You
know Steven took drugs. He used them to get through the internship, to numb his
mind to the situation. He didn’t know how to tell your parents that he wanted
to quit medicine.”
don’t believe you.”
stomach lurched as the car screeched around another corner. Jillian closed her
eyes and tried to use a soothing voice, as if it were one of her kids upset. “Parker,
you knew he was using way before the overdose. Remember when he’d come by our
apartment, wasted out of his mind?”
was drunk. ‘Work hard, play harder’ was his motto.” Parker sped through an
intersection as the stoplight changed from yellow to red, not bothering to
apply the brakes at all.
car barely missed hitting them and Jillian squealed. “Slow down! That was a red
glowered but said nothing. The only way she knew he heard was his return to a
slightly more acceptable speed. Still fast, but less reckless. A black cloud of
silence filled the car as the darkened road unfolding before the headlights.
Jillian closed her eyes once again, willing her heart rate to return to normal.
I shouldn’t have told him anything. He doesn’t want to know, kind
of like I don’t really want to know the truth about Alexandra and Kyle.
uneasy silence continued until Parker turned the car into their neighborhood.
Jillian finally spoke. “I’m sorry about Steven.”
me too.” The car careened into the Rogers’ driveway and came to a jolting stop.
stared at Parker. “What a night, huh?”
barked out a laugh, white knuckles still gripping the steering wheel. “Yeah.
What a night.” He turned his head toward Jillian, exhaling heavily. “Look, I’m
sorry about the confrontation with Alex. I shouldn’t have brought her to
Tony’s. Especially not with your friends there.”
no, it’s okay. There’ve been too many lies in my world lately. I needed a dose
of truth. In a way I’m glad Gretchen and Deb were there to hear it. It made me
listen to her instead of running away.” She reached over and awkwardly patted
his arm. “I’m glad you’re my friend, Parker. I didn’t know how much I missed
you until you came back into my reality.”
me too.” Releasing his death grip on the steering wheel, Parker touched
Jillian’s cheek. “I want you to know I’ll stick around this time. If that’s
what you want.” She could barely make out his eyes in the darkness. “Is that
what you want?”
warmth of his hand was comforting and familiar, despite their years apart. And
yet… there was no spark between them. No jolt of awareness demanding her to sit
up and take notice. As much as she liked Parker and really had missed him, she
didn’t want him as anything more than a friend. “I meant it when I said I’m
glad we’ve rekindled our friendship, Parker, but that’s all it’s going to be.
She opened the car door and gave him a last sad smile. “I’ll see you
at the hospital in the morning.”
walked slowly to her front door, braced against the chill of the evening. She
hoped her mother and father would already be asleep—she couldn’t handle any
more confrontations tonight. Not about Edith’s accident or Kyle’s sexual
proclivities or the death of Parker’s brother. There would be time enough for
all of that, after she’d had a long talk with her great aunt or her
Why hadn’t one of them told her everything before? Jillian knew
that the people in her life sometimes twisted the truth to suit their own
needs, but her grandmother would never do that.
apparently they didn’t always tell the whole truth.