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First Page: Trace of the Past – Paranormal with romantic elements

First Page: Trace of the Past – Paranormal with romantic elements

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


The aura surrounding the woman wavered between black and blacker. Not a good sign.
Naturally, I wouldn’t tell her that. At Shed Some Light, the premier metaphysical bookstore in Revere, Massachusetts, we prided ourselves on giving our clients hope and good news. Telling Mrs. Friedenhopfer she might be dead within a month probably wouldn’t fit that mission statement.
However, the future is easily changed. Mrs. Friedenhopfer probably didn’t know she had a—I squinted through the black to take a good look at her entire energy field—tumor on her left ovary. Not surprising she wouldn’t have suspected it. She was well past the age of ovulation, and probably figured any pain she had in her side came from just plain old age.
To protect the reputation of Shed Some Light, I couldn’t tell her about her impending demise. I could, however, do something to try to prevent her from dying.
“The pain you’re in requires a doctor’s attention,” I said.
Her eyes widened. “You know I’m in pain? You do have skills, Chandra. I haven’t even told my children.” She put both hands on her left side, just above her hip. “Right here, sometimes it hurts so bad I can’t even stand up. Can’t even breathe.” Her voice dropped to just above a whisper. “I thought it was, you know, movement problems.”
I managed not to chuckle at the woman’s inability to discuss her bathroom habits without being embarrassed. She came from a different time, one where real ladies didn’t talk about bodily functions. Which might put a crimp in a doctor’s attempt to find out what was wrong with her.
“It isn’t,” I said, keeping my tone low and soothing, the way I always spoke to my clients when I did readings or healings. Mrs. Friedenhopfer had asked for a reading. The hands-on aspect of the energy healing form I practiced turned off a lot of the elderly people who came to the shop. Some of the younger ones, too. Not that a healing session involved any weird touching, just my hands resting on the body on or as close as comfortable to each of the seven major energy centers in turn.
Some people just hated to be touched. At all. Ever.
So I was doing a reading for Mrs. Friedenhopfer. Probably a good thing, since even my skills as an energy healer weren’t up to dealing with cancer.
“Then what’s wrong with me?” she asked.
Now I put on my act. “What I see is somewhat clouded.” Not exactly a lie, since the black aura obscured anything else in her energy field. “However, it appears that it may be a serious medical problem. Mrs. Friedenhopfer, it’s imperative that you see your doctor as soon as possible and allow him or her to do a complete examination. Even the parts of your body that you aren’t comfortable letting a doctor see.”
“I haven’t had a… you know, one of those exams in years,” she said, horrified. “Not since shortly after my last child was born. I’m eighty years old, dear.”
“I know.” I did. I’d seen her driver’s license when she wrote out the check for her session. We required payment in advance, since a few too many people had tried to stiff practitioners.
Her face reddened. “We don’t… I don’t think I need that kind of exam. I know they say women’s health is important at all ages, but honestly, at seventy I should have my hoo-hah looked at?”

First Page: Paranormal Humorous Romance:  Surviving America’s Sweetheart

First Page: Paranormal Humorous Romance: Surviving America’s Sweetheart

Welcome to First Page Saturday. Individual authors anonymously send a first page read and critiqued by the Dear Author community of authors, readers and industry others. Anyone is welcome to comment. You may comment anonymously. You can submit your own First Page using this form.


Meet America’s Sweetheart

I’d been dreaming of this moment for ages. While other girls planned their wedding to boy band singers or movie stars, I rehearsed my rose ceremony with my stuffed animals.

“Will you, Mr. Binky Boo, accept this rose?”

My teddy never answered but I could see the relief in his eyes and excitement in his plush paws as I dropped the satin flower in his lap. Of course, he wanted the rose. They always wanted the rose.

Nobody ever said no to America’s Sweetheart. It was a dream that could happen for one special woman, the chance of a lifetime to be wooed by twenty five handsome men and at the end, be engaged to one’s true love.

It was perfection.

As all things that seemed perfect, someone had to come along and screw it up but I wasn’t going to think about that. I was standing on the steps of a beautiful house in paradise (that being Hawaii and not actual Heaven), my bachelors were due to arrive any minute and Tino Thomas was next to me getting his make-up touched up.

“Don’t forget,” Tino was instructing the crew, “my left side is my best side so keep the lights dimmer when I turn right. And Riley, honey, smile. Nobody wants a sweetheart looking serious.”

“Got it.” I smiled widely to show I did indeed, have it. The swipe of Vaseline the make-up lady had put on my teeth for shine and slide was moderately disgusting. But it made my smile better and this Sweetheart was going to be the best they ever had.

My attire was couture. I felt like a princess wearing it. A gorgeous gown, shoes I would have killed for (and they gave them to me!), actual diamonds winking around my throat and wrist (borrowed but still amazing) and I knew I looked like a million bucks. My stiletto was strapped to the back of my thigh and the slit in the dress allowed easy access. They didn’t allow guns until the actual one-on-one dates but knives were encouraged for the group portions.

“Okay,” Tino said as people scattered, “the first car is coming. Keep the smile going. Don’t kill anyone on the steps despite their appearance. You survive this and you might really find true love.”

And if not, you’ll have a wonderful televised burial.

“Are you ready, Riley?”

I smiled. “I’m ready.”

“Let’s make some television history.”