TITLE: The Specter of Avery Hill
GENRE: YA paranormal romance
Even now, as they drove up Avery House's driveway, Ella was afraid to look at her dad. Afraid that if she even blinked or took a breath, he'd change his mind about letting her work there for the summer--that he'd force her to return home.
Dreams were like that. You'd work toward them, sneak up on them, reach out and they'd vanish. Like memories of a voice or of a smell, or a touch. Like a garden fading into weeds. Like ghosts.
Better not to breathe.
The driveway swung around an outcrop of moss-coated boulders and the inn appeared, a blur of gables and towers rising from a pool of cedar hedges, gardens and stone ruins.
Ella pushed up the sleeve of her sweater and touched her arm, letting her fingers trace where invisible hands had left bruises on her skin. She shivered as goosebumps prickled beneath her touch--and her grand`mere's words drifted back to her, a watercolor voice, a whisper she had to focus on to remember: "Each sighting, each touch, it is an invitation, a life from the past begging for you to uncover its story, to bring its petite histoire to light."
Dad pumped the brakes as the SUV thumped off the dirt driveway and up onto cobblestones which circled under the inn's portico. He squeezed the SUV past a van decorated with colorful bicycles, and parked behind a Land Rover.
"Ready, kiddo?" he asked.
Taking a deep breath, Ella rubbed the goosebumps from her arm. "Ready."