Title: Heart and Soul
Author: Karen Michelle Nutt
80s rock star, Haley Rose and her boyfriend went missing without a trace on October 31, 1988 and were eventually presumed dead. Three decades later, thirty-year-old, Rowan Beckett, recalls things only Haley Rose would know, and she can belt out songs in the same unique fashion. However, Rowan couldn't be the missing rock star since Haley would now be in her fifties. Could Haley Rose have come back reincarnated as Rowan Beckett? Or is Rowan as delusional as her family suspects?
"We could leave?" he offered and jabbed a thumb behind him. "I can find my way back to the road. We don't have to stay for the tour."
"No, I'm good," she hurried to say. "I'm just taking it all in. Maybe we should grab some equipment." She nodded toward the items Jared had left in a box. Katie and Spike were already heading out to explore.
"I'll get it," he told her.
Once he reached the box, Maverick knelt down to see what was left, but before he could fish an item out, one of the lights Jared had set up flickered, and he looked up, and for a moment he thought he saw someone standing near the trees in the distance where the lights didn't quite reach to illuminate clearly. He squinted, trying to make out who it was and why she seemed out of place.
The woman stared in his direction, or at least it seemed like she did before she disappeared. He blinked and tried to rationalize what he witnessed. Maybe there was a path or something. Surely, the woman had not vanished. "Did you see?" He let the words trail off when he realized he was standing by himself, and the others in the group had ventured away to investigate other areas of the park.
He shook his head and chuckled. He most likely spotted someone from the tour going off on their own. However, it made him pause. He didn't think anyone would just wander off by themselves, but this woman had either vanished, or she deliberately headed into the foliage where there were no lights placed, and he didn't remember her holding a flashlight. Yet she kind of glowed. That was it. That was why she seemed out of place. She shimmered.
"Ghost," he murmured and startled himself for even voicing it. He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, he caught sight of Rowan hurrying toward the area he'd thought curious. Had she seen the woman, too? Before he could call out for her to wait for him, the trees seemed to engulf her into its fold. He jogged after her.
Nature tried to take over the path once carved out for patrons to use to reach their destination. Wherever that may be. He was about to find out. The only illumination came from his flashlight, and he hoped he wouldn't trip on a tree root and go sprawling face-first to the ground. Occasionally, he saw a flash a light ahead of him and presumed Rowan led the way, and he hurried forward to catch up.
Finally, the brush thinned and opened to reveal a chain-length fence a few feet ahead. Rowan stood transfixed, but all he could see was endless darkness. "Rowan?" he called to her softly, hoping not to frighten her, but she jumped at the sound of his voice and whirled around.
"It's me, Maverick," he told her and kept the flashlight turned toward the ground so as not to blind her.
When she realized who he was, her shoulders relaxed. He strode over to stand next to her, peeking through the fence to glimpse of what had her spellbound. It took a moment for him to comprehend the wide, open space had once been a pool with slides on different corners, ranging from huge curvy monstrosities to small kiddy slides. No water remained now except for a few patches left by the last rainfall, and if the heat continued, those would be gone soon.
He lifted his flashlight to check out the surrounding area. If the woman, he spotted earlier, had really come down this way, she would have ended up here unless she veered into the bushes, which didn't make a whole lot of sense for her to be scrambling around in the dark. He glanced at Rowan. "Did you see a woman when you arrived?" he whispered and didn't know why he thought he needed to lower his voice.
Her brows furrowed. "No," she stated carefully with just a slight hitch in her voice.
He studied her with a frown, trying to decipher her expression. He stepped closer, and the whiff of her perfume tickled his senses with something sweet and intoxicating, making him wonder for the umpteenth time why this woman intrigued him in such a profound way. He had wanted to kiss her the first time he laid eyes on her, believing he knew her from his past and perhaps had hooked up a time or two. He wanted to kiss her again when he heard her sing the other night as if the sound of her voice and melody meant something to him. And now? Hell, now he wanted to kiss her because she smelled divine. Who cared about ghosts when something supernatural was already building between himself and Rowan, or perhaps that was wishful thinking on his part? He gave her a sidelong glance, hoping to see a similar reaction on her part.
"Maverick?" she murmured his name, and her eyes fluttered closed. Names were powerful and hearing his on her lips, a bit breathy and whiskey-worn, put him at her mercy. His aunt had used the whiskey-worn phrase in one of her romance novels, and not until this moment had he realized what she meant.
He had it bad for this woman and didn't care. He leaned toward her, giving her a chance to object, but she didn't move, and she didn't stop him as he brushed his lips against hers in a tender caress. He slid his hand down her back to pull her closer, but Rowan grabbed his arm and turned away.
"What is that?" she hissed, then pointed.
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Audible Oct. 2020 https://www.audible.com/author/Karen-Michelle-Nutt/B002BLLBPE
If you could dress up as anything or anyone this Halloween, what or who would it be and why?
I’m going to dress up as a witch. I love the different costumes from scary to whimsical. From Shakespeare’s witches in Macbeth to the Sanderson Sisters to Samantha in Bewitched–my affinity of all things magical, impossible, and unexplained are pretty evident in my books. Witches have the pizazz that keeps me spellbound.
Explain why your featured book is a treat to read:
Plagued by dreams Rowan believes is from a former life she led as Haley Rose, she searches for answers at the Heart and Soul. Only she may find that the truth will shatter her heart. Paranormal fans will delight in this story of reincarnation, ghosts, and second chances.
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Runs October 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on November 1.
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband. Though her three children are grown and starting their adventures, she still has a houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she’s not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates book covers at Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”.
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, time travel or contemporary romances, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.
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Visit the author at her website: http://www.kmnbooks.com
Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”
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