Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Release - BELIEVING IN DREAMS - contemporary paranormal

By Chris Grover
After dreaming about a big old house made of dark pine logs and an elderly woman standing in the doorway insisting that she hurry, Nicole Hamilton goes to a remote village in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains two days before Christmas in search of her roots. Although her mom was born in the Province of Quebec, she never talked about it, so Nicole wonders if she has any other family there.

Within minutes of arriving in St-Stephan, Nicole meets Alain Martin, who owns both the house and the hotel where she’ll be staying. She also meets a tabby cat who is both psychic and a whiz at thought transference, and a woman who says she knew Nicole’s mom.

Nicole, who has always believed in dreams, soon figures they were intended to lure her to St-Stephan so she can learn about her mom’s family. But then she has another conversation with the cat and discovers the real reason for the dreams and her visit.


...“Can I help you?”

The question, posed in English in a husky, masculine voice, catches me by surprise. I turn around fast, my heart thumping so hard against my ribs, I feel like I’ve been caught doing something wrong.

The owner of the voice starts down the path toward me, then stops. “I realize the place doesn’t look like much, but it is private property.”

I hadn’t heard the arrival of the expensive-looking black car parked at the curb, and I hadn’t heard the sound of the man’s fancy Italian leather boots on the frozen ground. But there he is, standing less than six feet away, dressed in slim-fitting dark blue jeans and a sheepskin lined coat. A tall, tanned, very handsome stranger whose dark brown hair has been styled to give it an attractive windblown appearance. His eyes are so exactly the same blue as his jeans, I immediately wonder if he’s wearing colored contacts.

“I’m…I’m just looking.”

“That’s fine, but if you’re looking for someone, I should tell you the last person who lived here died about twenty years ago.” The man’s lips twist in a speculative smile as his gaze settles on the luggage I’ve left on the sidewalk. “If you’re looking for somewhere to stay the night, the hotel across the street doesn’t even have one star, never mind five, but I’m afraid it’s the only one we have. It’s old and the plumbing creaks and groans. The good news is it’s reasonably clean and warm, and the food is quite good.”

“That’s what my travel agent said when he made the reservation. About it being the only hotel in town, I mean.”

The man’s smile fades slightly. “You just passing through?”

“Something like that.” I wonder who he is, but decide not to ask. He doesn’t look dangerous—but then dangerous people rarely do. And while his face gives nothing away, there’s something about the man that makes me feel a tiny bit uncomfortable. Like I owe him an explanation for being here. Perhaps he thinks I have plans to break into the house.

Or is he one of those shadow people I’ve heard about? The kind who totally disappear and are sometimes found hiding out in remote places like this?

I notice him glance around the immediate area. “Where’s your car?”

“I don’t have one. They were fresh out of rentals in Mont Tremblant, so I came by taxi.”

“I see. In that case, what are you doing out here, poking around an old house in the freezing cold when you could be enjoying a hot drink by a log fire?”

I let out my breath in what I hope comes across as a nonchalant, woman-of-the-world type sigh, then I give him a small but friendly smile. “Nothing sinister, I assure you. I saw the house, and I was curious. I’ve never seen anything this size made entirely from logs before.”

“You must be either a writer or a journalist.”

“What gives you that idea?”

He lifts a hand and gestures toward the house. “Either someone’s told you the place is haunted and you’re here to research a book, or you’ve been sent to report on the disappearance of yet another small Laurentian village that’s already ninety-nine and three-quarters percent dead.”

“Really? I thought it was unusually quiet even for a small village.”

“It is. And unless something happens to turn things around, it will soon get a whole lot quieter.”

Rather than confirm or deny his assumptions about my occupation, I file them away for possible future use. To pose as either a writer or an investigative journalist would work perfectly should the need arise for me to explain my presence. If I said I was writing a story about a dangerous criminal hiding out in the mountains, it would probably wipe the smile right off his face, but I’m not sure I want to do that. Just in case. Better to play Avoid Awkward Questions for now.

As for the house being haunted… Fragments of The Dream scurry through my mind, and I hesitate. I’m no longer perspiring, I’m shivering, as icy fingers execute a run down my spine. “It’s not really haunted, is it?”

The man lifts his expensively clad shoulders in an expressive shrug. “Who knows? I’ve never seen anything. I don’t believe in ghosts or anything else that goes bump in the night, but I’m afraid some of the people who live here in the village do. No one’s lived here since the last owner died so probably all of them, if the truth be told.”

“Really? And who is supposed to be doing the haunting?”

“According to local legend, it’s old Mrs. Dupont’s ghost. She was the last person to live there.”

Mrs. Dupont?

By sheer force of will, I manage not to let him see my surprise at the mention of the Dupont name. I’d always thought my mom’s name was Maxine James—until the lawyer asked me for a copy of her birth certificate, and I discovered she was born Maxine Dupont in Montreal, Province of Quebec. I don’t know how Mom changed her name, bearing in mind she never married, and at the moment I don’t care. If this Mrs. Dupont is the old woman in my dream, it could mean we’re related...

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