Coming October 2018!
In this gripping story, a young woman’s growing paranormal abilities threaten a powerful organization that has remained secret for thousands of years.
A man with an astounding knowledge of Atlantean mythology claims there is an ancient conspiracy to control humanity. He promises to explain the woman’s nocturnal abductions and says he wants to help, but can she trust him?
As reptilian aliens connected to humanity’s distant past return to Earth, other extraterrestrials with their own agendas enter the picture. The woman and her allies struggle to protect humanity from both human and alien influences as they investigate disturbing changes in human genetics.
This adventure, a mixture of metaphysics, science, and humour, pulls the reader into a fantastic world that has such a veneer of familiarity, it may leave you looking over your shoulder. It’s a great journey for a long weekend – but you might want to keep the lights on.
Chapter 1 of Light Sleepers
Bronwyn’s heart gave a painful contraction, and her eyes flew open. Both cats, ears flat, leaped from the bed and shot downstairs, claws skidding on worn linoleum. Feeling like she’d been pulled from a bad dream into something worse, Bronwyn willed a racing heart to slow. The bedroom seemed normal. Still . . . a sense of malevolence lingered.
As a sting in her right shoulder became intense enough to attract attention, she remembered one of the cats had used it as a starting block. Spots of blood soaked into the white cotton of a new nightgown. Why couldn’t it have been an old one? She groaned. Better rinse it out before it stained, and a cup of tea would be nice. Sleep was impossible at this point anyway.
As she glanced out the window, she noticed a gibbous moon was carved into patterns by tree branches against a black sky. Her stomach knotted. If it was still dark outside, why was the room lit? She never slept with the lights on . . .
She whipped her head around — and was astounded by the sight of two young men dressed in tailored business suits. Clean shaven and tidy, they stood at the foot of the bed and watched her in silence. One was auburn-haired, stocky and trim, the other slender and pale with short coal-black hair.
Stunned disbelief turned to self-preservation. As she tried to roll off the bed, panic exploded at the realization that something held her down. She managed to shift her torso to the side to see what it was — nothing. How could that be? Fear switched to anger.
Drawing on strength acquired from years of physical activity, she summoned every bit of power she had. Muscles cramped from exertion as she forced her upper body high enough that her elbows could provide support. She pushed to a sitting position, then by rolling to the side, dragged her legs off the side of the bed. She sucked in two deep breaths, then shaking with the effort of pressing against an unbelievable weight, struggled erect to glare at the invaders who watched with mild curiosity.
Her solar plexus burned with hot rage fueled by fear as she locked her knees against the terrible pressure. Who were these two? How were they holding her? And why did they seem like scientists examining a lab rat?
When the crushing heaviness suddenly released, she staggered forward a step, and only years of martial arts practice kept her from attacking. Smith’s gravelly voice echoed in her head. Don’t attack if there’s another choice, especially if the situation isn’t clear. This one sure as hell wasn’t clear! She was about to demand an explanation when one of the men spoke.
Without taking his eyes from her, Auburn Hair said in a thoughtful tone to his partner, “We will try . . . another approach.”
Bronwyn shot upright in the darkened room. Sweat itched as it trickled along her scalp. Her breathing was laboured and muscles burned. As shaky fingers found the bedside lamp, light flooded the room. Feeling like she’d run a marathon, she rolled from the bed and shrugged into a housecoat. Stairs creaked as she stumbled to the kitchen, switching on lights and jumping at normal household sounds. She’d had the most bizarre dream! It had been so real she was afraid to go back to sleep in case it returned.
One of the cupboard doors always squeaked, but tonight, instead of the normal irritation, it offered a sense of normalcy. The lid of an antique teapot clattered onto a scarred pine countertop. Edginess turned to frustration as a stack of tea boxes tumbled to the floor. Clumsy efforts to catch them only added to the confusion.
She glanced up at the shelf and froze. Against the back wall of the cupboard was the hammer that had disappeared two weeks ago. She’d set the hammer on the floor beside her as she’d repaired the verandah railing, and seconds later it had disappeared. An exasperating search had proven fruitless.
How could so many things disappear? Nobody was that careless. Sometimes she found the items but not always. Not in her wildest dreams could she imagine storing a hammer in the tea cupboard though. If thirty hadn’t been too young for senility, she’d have been worried. She dropped the hammer with a loud clang into a steel toolbox near the back door. At least it’d come back from . . . wherever the hell these things went.
The floor was cold beneath bare feet, the daisy patterned nightgown and housecoat inadequate against the chill mountain air that drifted through a window. In the hall closet, she tugged on a string attached to an old-fashioned fixture then stretched for a multicoloured quilt on the top shelf.
The bulb flashed and went out. With an impatient “tsk”, she added it to a collection in a cardboard box then selected a new one from a dozen packages stacked on the second shelf. Two electricians had confirmed the electrical was fine. They had no idea why bulbs kept blowing.
A plaintive “meow” drifted from the living room. “Elwood? Where are you? Come here, fella!” Odd. He usually wanted attention. She closed the closet, tossed the quilt onto the couch, and went looking for him. He was squeezed into a tight space between the wall and a faded rose-patterned couch. His eyes were round and worried. He “meowed” again but refused to come out.
“What the heck are you doing?” She grabbed him around the middle and tugged. As his claws skidded along the carpet, a continual low growl emanated from deep in his chest. After gathering him into her arms, she sank onto the couch to stroke and murmur in a soothing tone. His tail whipped, and he kept surveying the room.
“Why were you hiding?” Her hand froze in mid-stroke. He had been hiding! She glanced around for the kitten she’d adopted. “Sparks? Where are you, girl?”
A faint and plaintive “meow” came from the pine china cabinet, a door of which always worked its way open. “Sparks?”
A pink nose and bejeweled eyes poked out. “Meow?” The calico kitten scanned the room before dashing from the cupboard. Casting suspicious glances over her shoulder, she leaped to the safety of the couch. As Bronwyn cuddled the little thing, the sudden screech of the kettle made them both jump. She put the cat down and shuffled to the kitchen. What was going on? Every nerve was raw — and something had spooked the cats.
An involuntary shiver swept up her back and goosebumps prickled her scalp at the memory of the two men. It didn’t make any sense unless . . . she pondered the impossible. Could they have been real?
No. It was a crazy thought. How would they have gotten in? And why? And where were they now? It must’ve been a dream.
As the enticing aroma of bergamot filled the air, she grasped the teapot in both hands to warm chilled fingers, scurried back to the couch, and burrowed beneath the quilt. Normally appreciative of solitude, Bronwyn now craved human company, but who could she call at two in the morning?
Perhaps the television would provide a distraction. The most interesting show she could find was about cooking. A thin man with a prominent Adam’s apple was grilling escargot. How did a chef stay thin? Would she ever use this recipe? Who were the men in her room? What did they want? And . . . something about them seemed familiar.
She scratched Elwood’s belly the way he liked so he’d stay — anything to keep focused on something normal. After a few minutes he shot her an impatient glare, kicked her hands away, and stalked to the end of the couch where he lay with paws tucked, tail whipping.
“Alright then, I’ll pet Sparks.”
But the calico was now in a rambunctious mood. She bit Bronwyn’s fingers and kicked at her hands with sharp back claws. After a few minor wounds, Bronwyn shooed her away, but the unsettled feeling remained. It had seemed so real . . .
Snugging the quilt around her shoulders, she padded from room to room, checking the doors and windows. Everything was locked, nothing broken. A partially-opened window was levered in that position, but the resultant opening was too small for a person to get through.
With a sigh of relief, she returned to the couch. The persistent sense that one of the men had seemed familiar refused to go away, but how could that be? And their behaviour made no sense at all. What was the point of just standing there watching her? Ridiculous! She was imagining things! Sleep paralysis? No. She’d experienced that, and it was nothing like this.
When it hit her, she felt like she’d been punched in the solar plexus. Dark Hair had been proving to Auburn Hair that Bronwyn could get up despite whatever force held her down. After watching her struggle to her feet, Auburn Hair had decided they’d try something else. And that meant at least one of them had been there before — at least once.
As she stared at the wall in an attempt to assimilate the idea, a sharp sting in her right shoulder caught her attention. She shrugged out of the housecoat to examine the sleeve of her nightgown. It was stained with blood. In the dream, Elwood had used her shoulder as a starting block when he’d charged downstairs . . .
Not a dream.
But, how? Who were they? What did they want? A wisp of memory teased the edges of her thoughts, but it kept sliding away. Dimness in her bedroom . . . a hand. Pressure on her face. It came flooding back. She’d seen Auburn Hair before!
She remembered being jerked from a deep sleep, seeing him stride along the end of the bed then to her side. He’d seemed to be in a hurry. Perhaps she’d proven intractable before. Ben, a man she’d dated for close to two years, had been asleep. Auburn Hair had clamped his hand over her mouth and pressed down hard. She couldn’t move to fight him. She remembered the feel of the webbing between thumb and first finger where it pressed against the bottom of her nose and that she’d felt strangely grateful he hadn’t smothered her. There’d have been nothing she could’ve done to stop it.
His grip was painful, and anger had begun to boil as she glared up at him — and awoke in the morning.
That hadn’t been a dream either! Why had he covered her mouth? To keep her from waking Ben? Something was very wrong . . .