Tag Archive: ancestors

Hi everyone.  I just read on my FB page that today is  “SAMPLE SUNDAY”.  At least according to one of the writing groups I’m in “LitPow Writer’s Network”.  So I thought, ‘Hey it’s been a while.  Let’s give my readers another snippet from my work in progress…”  So here’s another glimpse of “THE SHIP”.  I’m almost done with the 1st draft and will be hard at work to finish it up within the next week or two.

Now this scene is one of the more quiet moments for my two lead heroines Cassandra Elliott (billionaire heiress) and her lover Julie De Luca-Cloudfoot (internet catfight star and Physical Therapist).  Yeah, I know strange combination.  But I love using atypical occupations and roles for some of my characters.  Especially if it’s something you don’t see being used over and over in other novels.  Now this scene takes place after Cassandra was attacked, supposedly by a shark, while learning to surf.   She escaped unharmed except for a strange mark on her lower leg.

At this point she’s in pretty bad shape physically, but not from the incident on the water.  Cassandra suffers from Epstein-Barr, a condition that leaves a person with severe body aches and weakness which can leave a person bed-ridden for days or weeks.  In this case, her condition has flared up as a result of the stress from her encounter.   Please enjoy…


All was quiet inside the beach house, which suited Julie just fine.  After nearly screwing things up with Cassie earlier, she was quite content to have the girl curled up against her on the sofa.  “This is really nice,” she breathed happily.

“I’m glad,” she heard the heiress reply, and then felt her breast being nuzzled affectionately.

It felt good, but there was still the matter of how bad the Cassie was feeling physically. After all, she’d been through a lot today.  “Stop it, you’re hurting remember?” she told her.

“I can lie there while you do most of the work,” Cassie replied looking up at her hopefully.

For a moment Julie had to think it over, it sounded tempting.  But then she shook her head, “If you start going ‘Ow, ow, ow…’ you ghostly guardian Brandon might show up to see what’s wrong, and then I’d die of embarrassment.”

“Why?  People watch you fucking other girls all the time in your videos,” Cassie pointed out.

“True, but they’re watching in the comfort of their own homes, not in the room with me.”

“Um… good point,” her lover sighed, looking around, “Though I don’t see him, or feel him at the moment.”

“Maybe he’s having some fun of his own with a lady ghost,” Julie laughed.

“If he is, it better be with Roxanne or he’s going to be after-life toast,” Cassie replied with a chuckle.

“Who’s Roxanne?”

“His wife, you’d like her.  She’s very pretty.  Long dark hair, big brown eyes, oval face, plus she’s got a nice chest.”

Raising an eyebrow Julie tried to sound nonchalant about her next question.  “I take it she tends to show up every once in while with him?”  Even before the reply came, she felt Cassie stiffen against her.

“Sometimes, but not as often,” the heiress nodded casually.

Julie pursed her lips, obviously there was more.  “Do any other relatives from the past appear to you besides them?” she persisted sweetly, while staring pointedly at her girlfriend.

But Cassie had been ready for this.  She was looking up at her with big soulful eyes and said in a childlike voice, “A few.”

“How many?”

“Dunno.  Lost count,” Cassie shrugged and cuddled up closer.

“How ‘bout some names?” Julie persisted.  What kind of relationship had she gotten herself into?

With obvious reluctance, Cassandra sat up and began ticking off names.  “There’s William, Brandon’s uncle.  His wife Margaret and their sons Jacob, Gerald and James…”

The name Gerald caught Julie’s attention making her interrupt, “The kid who spied on William and Jerome outside the door in the hillside?”

“The same,” Cassie nodded, “He wound up transferring his dislike for Jerome onto Brandon and for years the two of them did not get along at all.  Especially after Gerald got engaged to Rachel who had been Brandon’s girlfriend…”

“Who’s Rachael,” Julie interrupted, “I thought you said Brandon married someone named Roxanne.”

“Who happened to be Rachel’s younger sister,” Cassie explained patiently.

“What, he couldn’t have the one so he settled for the other?”

“NO!” Cassandra snapped angrily.  “Look, things got so bad between Brandon and Gerald that they wound up fighting a duel over Rachel.  Brandon got badly hurt in the fight and Roxanne spent months nursing him back to health.  Now she was already in love with Brandon and made no secret about it.  But he was afraid of taking advantage of her at the time and insisted on taking things slow.  They wound up courting for 2-3 years before getting married.”

“Oh!” Julie nodded, feeling a little ashamed and embarrassed.  She didn’t know why, but a part of her always wanted to suspect Brandon of being something different than what Cassandra thought of him.  Maybe she was jealous of him for being so close and protective of her.

Feeling like maybe he’s encroaching on your territory? her chatty brain chimed in.

‘Fuck off!’ she thought, but only half-heartedly.

Meanwhile Cassandra was going on about other ghostly ancestors that had appeared to her at one time or another.  “…then there’s Brandon’s Mom, plus I’ve seen a few of their children and at least one of his great-grandchildren, Peter.  He was the last to see Brandon alive just before the big fire at the factory in 1890…”

“Wait Brandon died when he was an old man?” Julie interrupted again.  Didn’t spirits usually show up looking like they did at the time they died?  “How come he always shows up looking so young?”

Cassie shrugged, “Search me.”

“Maybe later, I’ll make it a strip search,” Julie replied absently, her mind elsewhere.  This was strange.  Hell, the whole business of ghostly ancestors hanging around was bizarre period. “Am I going to have to get used to all these people showing up on a regular basis?” she asked finally.

Much to her relief, Cassie shook her head.  “No, mostly they appear at the Old Manor House back on Long Island.  Brandon is the only one who appears elsewhere,” the heiress explained.

“Uh-huh,” Julie nodded, “and didn’t you want me to come and stay at the Old Manor for a while after we get back to the east coast?”

“Please?” Cassie begged, “I really want to show you the place.”

Something about the way she said it broke Julie’s resolve, “Sure, why not.  I can’t wait to meet the rest of the ghostly Brady Bunch.”

Cassie gave her an innocent look and said, “Hey, can I help it if when I came out of the closet some of the family skeletons followed?”

     It all started with a surfing class.  Cassandra simply wanted to give her girlfriend/lover Julie a treat while they visited Santa Cruz.  She herself has taken the class three times already and has never managed to stand up once.  Managing to sit on a board without tipping over is an accomplishment for her.

But this time the class will end differently.  She will get her first encounter with a strange nightmarish vessel straight out of history.  A thing her early seagoing ancestors had fought and believed destroyed.

And to make matters worse, THE SHIP has sensed her and the psychic powers she possesses.  THE SHIP is alive  and now wants to make her a part of it.  After all…. EVERY SHIP NEEDS A NAVIGATOR!

*This is an experimental blurb I’m considering using for the back/inside book cover for my novel THE SHIP*  I’d love some feedback on it so please leave comments below*

The novel is more than halfway done (as far as 1st drafts go) and I hope to capture the audience’s imagination and interest.

Short and sweet entry here folks.  Gotta get to class and study for a mid-term tomorrow, then another big exam for Thursday.  Didn’t want to leave you with nothing.  So here’s a small sampling from what should be my 2nd novel “The Ship”.  It involves Cassandra and Julie, two of the main women from my first novel “The Bridge”.  Cassie is still recovering from wounds suffered during the final battle of that book and has gone to Santa Cruz with her new girlfriend Julie.  This scene takes place on the sands near Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  Enjoy…

“Are you sure you’re up to this Cassie?” asked Julie.

The smaller girl nodded.

“What about your wound?  Are you sure its going to be all right with this salt water?”

Cassandra nodded, “It’s healing pretty well and with the wetsuit covering it, I’ll be all right.”

Smiling the tall muscular brunette shifted the surfboard under her arm.  “Thanks again for all this, I always wanted to try surfing.”

“Well, I hope you have better luck than I’ve had,” Cassie laughed. “I’ve never been able to stand up on the board for more than two seconds.  And this is my fourth time taking the class.”

Their instructor, a well-toned blonde in a black wetsuit blew a whistle.  “Okay gang, remember what you were told and stay close enough so you can hear my instructions.  We’re going to paddle out a ways and get used to sitting on the board.  Pay attention to how it moves in the water and how it responds to your movements.  Let’s go.”

The group of twelve slowly waded out into the water and lay down on their boards and began to paddle as instructed.

They all wore black wetsuits like their instructor.  To Cassie, they looked like a bunch of small Orcas who got bored floating under their own power.  She could hear the sea lions calling to one another around the pier just a few hundred yards away.

On the other side of it was the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk.  She must remember to go there with Julie and ride the carousel.  It was one of the oldest ones in existence that still allowed you to grab a brass ring.

A large swell interrupted her thoughts and reminded her to pay attention.  Balance had always been an issue for her.  Ballroom and Yoga were some of the few things that allowed her to compensate for this problem.  But, if she had one of her seizures and zoned, she’d be in trouble.

Luckily she had one ankle attached to the board by five feet of cord.  This was so the surfer couldn’t become separated from it by any great distance.  And of course Julie was nearby and she was a strong swimmer.  Everything should be all right.

Just then something bumped her board from underneath.

Immediately Cassie flattened herself and gripped the edges of the board with a vengeance.  Maybe this wasn’t one of her better ideas after all.

“Miss Elliott?  Is everything all right?” called the instructor some distance away.

Cassandra realized she had been lagging behind.  The rest of the group was well ahead of her, including Julie.  Something was wrong.  She started to feel uneasy and cold inside the well-insulated suit.

Once more she felt her board being bumped by something below.

She felt her panic begin to rise.

“Stay where you are I’m coming,” shouted their teacher who began paddling towards her.  Julie was following close behind.

Cassie tried to remain perfectly still, when suddenly she felt the back end of her board sink slightly.  A moment later there was a splash and a barking sound.

Twisting to look over her shoulder she saw a baby sea lion near her feet.  It had mounted her board and was sitting quite contentedly enjoying the movement of the waves.

“Showoff,” she muttered, and tried to sit up and straddle the board as she had been taught.

As soon as she started to put her legs in the water, the little mammal began to bark insistently at her.

Again the cold feeling of something not being right swept over her.

“You’re afraid of something in the water, aren’t you?” she said to her passenger.

The little creature gave a nervous look around and barked at her with mounting urgency.

Cassie got the message.  There was something in the water and they needed to get out of there.  The water was becoming rougher as if a passing boat had sent a swell their way.  But there was no vessel in sight.

Carefully she paddled the board to face the shore.  She’d try to catch the next swell and ride it while lying flat.

At that moment a voice came over the water, “Hurry child!” it said.

            She froze.  She’d heard that voice before.  Only once, but it was unmistakable.  It had belonged to the man who had blocked their retreat that night on the bridge.  Looking up she saw a figure wrapped in a black cloak on the top of the nearby cliff.  He was looking down at her.

A wet nose nudged her foot, breaking the moment.  The little sea lion loudly continued his warning.

Looking around she saw a good size wave was coming and she readied herself for it.

“Stay flat and just ride it in,” called the instructor from nearby.  “Just do as I do, I’ll be right next to you.”

Cassie nodded.

The swell came. She felt the board lift up and pressed down and forward to ride it in.  Suddenly, the board was hit from behind.  She heard the panicked cry of the sea lion and then a splash.

A moment later she found herself dumped into the surf.  She scrambled to find her board, knowing it would be nearby thanks to the tether.   With a lunge she pushed upwards and her head broke the surface of the water.

Gasping, she searched for her board only to find it drifting farther and farther away.  Reaching under the water she found her cord had somehow broken, leaving her adrift with another wave approaching.

“Swim to me!” shouted her instructor from nearby.  She had gotten off the last wave and was paddling towards her.

Cassandra did as she was told and within moments was safely on the woman’s board.  Together they rode the coming wave to shore.

They had barely climbed out of the surf, when Julie rushed over to them.  “Are you okay Baby?” she cried, grabbing the heiress into her arms.  “What happened out there?”

“I’m not sure,” Cassie replied.  “Did anyone see what happened to the sea lion pup?”

Her two rescuers shook their heads and stared back at the empty water.

I managed to get through my mid-term for Women Studies this week.  It wasn’t easy.  2 parter, first was multiple choice, then an 80 minute handwritten essay.  I’ve still got writer’s cramp from that part.  Plus I had 2 other exams this week and survived them.  This should all sound good right?  Wrong.  I’ve got another mid-term in 2 weeks I have to start studying for (whimper).
Needless to say, but I will anyway, the writing has been slowed down considerably.  But, this down time gave me the opportunity to go over what I’ve done with the 3rd novel “The Door”.  I got to see what was working and what wasn’t.  Had a lot of new characters and concepts introduced, too much really.  Plus I still had to fully settle on a main plot for book #2 and give it a title.  So I’m lifting certain ideas and scenes from “The Door” and placing them in book #2 which is tentatively titled “The Ship”.

Book #2 will take place in a one month span between the ending of “The Bridge” and “The Door”.  It will also focus on two of the female leads who played a crucial and supporting role in “The Bridge”.  The action will be taking place on the opposite coast in Santa Cruz California (my current home… hey they say write what you know about) and will explore Cassandra long and dark family history.  Her ghostly ancestors who watch over her are being stirred up by events taking place near her new beach house along the water.  A terrifying ghost ship of family legend will arise and cross her path leading to death and revelations about the infamous Elliott history.  This will also lay the ground work for the focus of book #3 “The Door” where the darkest secret of Cassandra’s family will be brought to light with terrifying consequences.


I hope to post more here soon.  Possibly I’ll do one or two more sections of “The Bridge” to arouse people’s interest and keep you all amused.  Until then, have a safe and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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