Mirror of Shadows
T. Lynne Tolles
T. Lynne Tolles
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Troll Publishing
Number of pages: 200
Word Count: 51,376
Ella McKaye returns home for her grandmother's funeral to find she's inherited a ton of money and a run down mansion she never knew existed, called Grey Manor. Her greedy mother is appalled when the will stipulates specifically that Ella can't give her any of the inheritance. She quickly throws Ella out of her home forcing her to take up immediate residence in the spooky old mansion.
Within minutes of entering her new home she has a strange interaction with a creepy old mirror in the main hallway and the ghostly inhabitants of the past get more and more agitated the longer Ella's there. Nearly fatal back to back accidents make Ella start to wonder if she's angered some ghost or if there is something more sinister at work.
Will Ella unravel the deadly mystery before she becomes a ghost herself? Or will fate take another one of the Grey ancestors to the grave.
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Warm sunny days met with chilly evening, and gusts of wind that release the once clinging leaves into a lilt and tumble dance to the ground tells us we have entered into the season of fall. Depending on where you live the changes in foliage can be a grand display of vivid yellows, oranges and reds that would make an artist cry with delight, or a less impressive brown with with some yellows and reds. Either way, its a beautiful time of year.
Those of us who are not sun goddesses, but more a touch of vampire, relish this season and raise a toast in good riddance to the hot temps of summer. If you hadn't guessed, I am one of those people. I can get sunburned, fully clothed, under an umbrella, and slathered in 70SPF, looking much like a boiled lobster. Along with the entrance of fall, comes my favorite holiday of the year - Halloween. For a person who is more a big kid than an adult, Halloween allows me to be myself for one day, without the "don't make eye contact" look I usually get when I wear my favorite Scooby-doo t-shirt as my cell phone rings the theme from Dudley Do-Right when my husband calls.
Yes Halloween is something I look forward to every year. Much to my husband's dismay, I start hunting for my next amazing addition to my ever growing collection of decorations before summer even begins (the cool things always sell out quickly). Now I'm not talking cheesy stuff, but items that other Halloween enthusiasts say, "Ooooh! I want one of those." Like one year I spent two months putting together a leather hand bound Book of Shadows with sections like "Spells and Charms", "Creatures of Light", "Potions and tinctures" etc. Last year's handy work were hand made black candles I made from PVC, black glue (glue gun glue) and battery operated tea lights that insert up top. I had black glue everywhere, but they came out amazing and they got lots of "oohs and awes".
I suppose I owe a debt of gratitude to the holiday, as it brings out my creativity in many different ways, and gears me up for the holidays and another possible book. Now you may not enjoy Halloween or fall as much as I do, but I hope that this blog post at least has you thinking about all the possibilities fall has to offer you. It's the beginning of the holiday season in my house and that means family, food and good times. So I say to you, embrace this season and enjoy the smells of apple cider on a cold day, the crunch, crunch, crunch of crumbling leaves under your footfall, the feel of a kitten soft scarf on your neck and chin, while you wrap your arms around your family and friends in big warm bear hug.
It was a perfect day for a funeral, if there is such a thing—gloomy, gray, and cold. With steady tears of rain, the heavens seemed to be mourning along with the funeral guests. Though Ella stood strong as the pastor droned on, she would never be consolable for the loss of her beloved grandmother, Rose Grey McKaye. Ella had known for a while this day was coming as her grandmother combatted bouts of cancer, a stroke, and dementia, but all of that was not enough to prepare her for the overwhelming loss she now felt.
Ella heard no voices of condolences from those who one by one took her hand in sympathy. She only heard the rain tapping on the shiny mahogany casket covered in a blanket of chrysanthemums and peonies in front of her. Occasionally she would nod her head to the speaking sympathizer but she never took her eyes off of the coffin. Instead, she watched as a drop of water hung to the tip of a fern frond, gathering more volume until it could no longer hold on and dropped down the curved lid of the casket, and then meandered down the side stopping only for a moment by one of the carrying handles. It continued down to mingle with other drops at the base of the aluminum stand. It lingered and swelled until it could no longer resist the relentless tug of gravity and it fell to the fake green grass carpet laid out to disguise the recently excavated mound of dirt from the grave into which her grandmother would soon be lowered.
The long line of umbrella-toting guests passed before her then scattered among the graveyard to their warm, dry cars to go on with their lives. How odd, Ella thought, that time doesn’t stop for a moment to acknowledge the passing of one so loved. She felt sure that she hadn’t taken a breath since she had received the call two days before, notifying her that her grandmother had died. How would she ever survive life without her grandmother?
Ella’s childhood had been hard and she’d grown up fast and insecure in herself. The only happy memories she’d had as a child were in those blessed, short-lived visits to Grandma Rose’s house where Ella knew without a doubt she was welcome, safe, and loved.
Ella’s mother had not been a bad person, but Ella had learned at an early age that she was an anchor to her mother’s freedom. Patricia had been widowed when Ella was a toddler. She had no family of her own to speak of, and found herself a single mother with no job and no real skills. First the parade of men came, none of which ever seemed to measure up to her late husband, and then came the drugs which made the unhappy, lonely woman lost and unstable. Needless to say, this brought about a rather turbulent life for Ella’s early years.
A warm hand touched Ella from behind, guiding her away from the men now lowering the casket into its new home. They cleared away the fake grass carpet, revealing the reality and finality of what was happening. Goodbye Grandma Rose, Ella said without speaking. I love you so...and the car door shut on Ella’s words and pulled away from the curb as its wipers slapped the sides of the windshield with a squeaky but constant beat.
About the Author:
T. Lynne Tolles is a lifelong avid reader of all things paranormal and now is a writer of young adult paranormal romances for readers 15 to 115. She grew up in the sunny California San Francisco bay area. She's the mother of two, wife to one and pet mom to three cats and Newfie dog.
Blood of a Werewolf is the first of five books in a series called, the Blood Series. Other titles include Somber Island and Mirror of Shadows - both unrelated to the series.