BOB AND THE POLKA-DOT HIGHWAY
Book 3 of The Bob Books
by R. Murphy
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Poor Roz…once again stuck on the horns of a dilemma. Does she accept the great offer for a job that’s hundreds of miles from Crooked Lake? Or does she pick David, the great guy who grows grapes half a mile from her house? And either way—assuming our crabby woman-of-a-certain-age manages to make a decision—what about her ghost, Bob?
Granted, Bob and Roz have never had a … ummmm… ‘traditional’ relationship but still, martini-loving ghosts don’t toddle along every day of the week. What happens to the wit, the sparkle, the laughter?
So many questions…(sigh).
Join Roz, David—and Bob—as they spend a beautiful, but confusing, summer on Crooked Lake. And oh, by the way, watch out for drips…
My ghostly guest, Bob, swirled his drink while the late afternoon sun streamed across the kitchen, lighting the martinis on the table with an otherworldly glow.
Outside the kitchen’s picture window, Crooked Lake nestled into dusk. Even though it was only early May, a determined fly fisherman drifted in the center of the lake, casting for dusk-feeding trout. Gentle waves splashed against the rock wall I’d struggled to build only a couple of months before. Enough water had drained off after the spring floods that I once again had an actual beach and I planned to spend the summer shoveling shale to enhance and deepen it.
I glanced at Bob, my ghostly companion of many months, as he sipped his drink. I’d gotten to the point where Bob didn’t intimidate or scare me at all. In fact, if it came to being crabby, unpleasant, and maybe even a little scary, I had him beaten by a mile. (I’m not proud of this, mind you. But I do try to call a spade a spade. It’s one way to simplify what seems to have become an awfully complicated life.)
Despite the small spare tire Bob sported around his middle and hair that, in the right light, might be characterized by some as thinning, Bob prided himself on being a suave and debonair ghostly figure. He had nothing but disdain for those immature spectral bullies who throw furniture around and make their hauntee’s lives miserable. I don’t think, now that I focus on it, that I’ve ever even heard Bob raise his voice. (He would not be able to say the same about me, I’m afraid. Not that I have anger management issues. I mostly have crabby management issues.)
Lately Bob has spent his time wandering around the house in a gentle alcoholic fog, babbling about whatever topic he’s fixated on that day. Sometimes it’s the value of 5000 hedgehogs; other days, he’ll get obsessed with his bird phobia or government conspiracies to wear out shoes, or he’ll fret about wearing a white suit. I’ve become used to it. In our early days, we’d only get together at dinnertime. Now that David’s not spending any time at my house, Bob stops by much (MUCH!!!) more often.
Although the soul of ghostly gentility himself, Bob tends to hang out with what I might diplomatically call a challenging sort of crowd, the Algonquin Round Table in Manhattan. I’d visited his friends at The Algonquin hotel a couple of times and the word ‘surreal’ pops into my mind every time I try to describe the experience. Fortunately, though, his ghostly buddies hadn’t found their way from midtown Manhattan out to my isolated lake house in western New York. I planned to keep it that way.
Bob at the Lake
What would happen if Roz, a crabby woman of a certain age, moved to the wintry shores of a New York lake—and got a ghost? And not just any ghost, mind you. Bob’s a ghost from 1920’s Manhattan, full of quips and over fond of his martinis, who swans around in a silk smoking jacket and makes Roz’s life very . . . well, let’s just say ‘complicated.’
Especially after Roz meets David, the good-looking grape grower who lives up the hill. Join Roz, David—and Bob—as they navigate blizzards, cookie mazes, holiday shopping sprees, and the occasional power outage. (You know, all of those delightful challenges of a good, old-fashioned Northern winter . . .)
Bob at the Plaza
Bob, our favorite martini-loving ghost, has vanished. Now Roz faces a miserable snowbound Crooked Lake winter alone. Well, almost alone. Thank goodness for David, the practical, kind grape grower who lives up the hill.
What a winter it is! Record-breaking snows followed months later by record-setting rains. Ah, the joys of living on a lake shore when the spring floods arrive.
High water, anyone?
Undeterred by mice, sociopathic relatives, Carnegie Hall disasters, and spring floods, Roz searches for her MIA ghost. In the process she goes toe-to-toe with the hyper-verbal crowd at the Algonquin Round Table. Can Roz best smarty-pants Dorothy Parker in a game of wits? Will Harpo Marx finally speak out and help Bob return to Crooked Lake?
For the answers to these and many other spirited questions, read BOB AT THE PLAZA!
Roz Murphy is the pseudonym of a long-time Finger Lakes resident who lives with ghosts and doesn’t want to confirm in her neighbors’ minds how nutty she really is. (They already have their suspicions.) After decades of writing in Manhattan and throughout the country, Roz settled on the shores of New York’s Keuka Lake, some of the most beautiful country ever created. She’s an ardent fan of the Finger Lakes wine industry, especially the local dry Rieslings.
Set against the exciting backdrop in the chase for the Triple Crown and filled with mystical surprises. Season is not a witch, but she can make a horse run and Ty’s heart race.
Season Moriarty is part fey and part druid. She can see the future and alter it. She welds control over the natural elements of earth, wind, fire, and water as well as manipulating life and death. She is an accomplished racehorse trainer, able to get any horse to run like the wind. Now Season has landed the dream job that will test all of her skills and abilities.
Ty Masters runs his horse racing business with an iron fist. No one dares to question him. He hires Season based on her reputation. Then they meet. Immediately, she questions him, challenges him, infuriates him, intrigues him, captivates him, and even intimidates him. Then she spellbinds him. But can she make a Triple Crown winner out of his willful colt?
Mysterious threats to Ty’s racehorses bring him and Season together in a race against the clock. As the stakes for the Triple Crown rise, and the mystery of who wants to destroy Ty deepens, so does the undeniable interest and fiery sparks between them.
The house was empty, a few lamps lit along the hallways. Ty dropped his coat in the foyer, ignoring the hook on the wall, wordlessly heading for the kitchen, his back straight and tension radiating from him like steam from a radiator.
Season quietly pulled out two coffee mugs and reheated leftover coffee. Pouring it, she tried to think how best to explain. Clearly, he was still thinking the worse and after what he had just witnessed, she couldn’t blame him. Would he even go so far as to fire her for what he witnessed? She kind of doubted it. But if he did not particularly trust her before, this wasn’t going to help. Okay, here goes nothing.
Setting the mugs on the table, she sat down opposite him, hair behind her, arms folded in front of her. Ty cradled the warm mug in his palms, steam rising from the top, the fragrant scent filling the air between them. He eyed her warily. Waiting. She searched for the best answer.
“Are you a witch?” he finally asked, breaking the ice.
“No, again.” she said. “I’m more of a druid.”
He blinked. “A who?”
“Druid. An ancient Celtic religion. I’m kind of like a fae or faerie.”
He shook his head. “What?”
She sighed. She really was terrible at these explanations. Another good reason not to tell anyone about her skills. “Okay, I inherited it from my folks, who inherited it from their folks and so on down their respective lines. Mom was a seer, she could see into the future, she’d have images or visions. Like a fae. And Dad communicated with animals and other things. It was almost magical how he could know what they were thinking or feeling. It sure helped his and Granddaddy’s successes as trainers. They were druids in that they could give life. Just like you saw now.” She gave him with a shrug. “So I inherited the Sight from my mom and the Gift from my Dad. Lucky me,” she finished with a lop-sided smile.
He never moved or blinked. He just stared at her, hands curled around the mug, not drinking, as if it offered some protection between him and her. “So you aren’t a witch?” he finally asked.
Shaking her head, she stilled a laugh at the comparison. It was so typical she supposed. “No. Witches are more into black arts and stuff, learning their craft from anywhere. Faes and druids inherit it from their family, learning how to hone it from their parents. Plus I can’t use my Gifts for personal gain. Only for good services.” She gave him another tentative smile. “Otherwise, if I were a witch, I would have turned you into a toad last night.”
That made him blink. “Pardon me?”
“When you broke into the bathroom and tried that little stunt of yours, I really wanted to turn you into a toad. But I decided not to. A witch probably would have anyway.”
He shook his head, baffled. “Guess I’m glad for that,” he said slowly. “Why didn’t you … er … do that?”
She shrugged, amused at his faltering question. “Misuse of the Gift. Unpardonable sin.” She grinned.
“Why? Would thunderbolts from heaven strike you dead if you had?”
“No.” She laughed outright at his suggestion. “No, it’s just I learned it’s not acceptable to do that kind of stuff. No real harm would come to me, but I know it’s not right.”
“Again, glad to know that. I think,” he said, uncurling his hands from the mug and pushing it away. “So I thank you that I’m not a toad now. Could you warn me if you ever decided to do that? Turn me into something?” He grimaced at the request.
“Sure, what do you prefer? A toad or maybe a mammal?” she asked lightly.
“I prefer to be a man.” He jabbed a finger to his chest. “This man. Me.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll keep that in mind.”
He stared at her, questions burning in his eyes. “So what else can you do?
Other than turn men into toads and bring dead foals to life?” He paused, inhaling a sharp breath. “You made that foal come out, didn’t you?” He paled at her silent nod, swallowing hard. “What else can you do?”
“Oh, lots of stuff.” Thinking, she pushed her mug away and started listing items on her fingers. “I am attuned to nature so I’m one with the animals. How do you really think I won the mastiffs over so easily? And Sky Hunter? With the Sight of the fae, I can sometimes get visions of things about to happen or images of things that are happening now. Even from a distance. It’s kind of cool, actually.
“And with the Gift of the druids, I can cure, heal, and weld powers over the elements and nature. I can make the sun shine for a little while or maybe work up a small thunderstorm. Light a campfire with two snaps of the fingers,” she added, winking, snapping two fingers. A flame sparked to life from her fingertips.
Ty blinked, astonished. “So you can see Sky Hunter winning the Triple Crown? Is that how you are so sure he can? Or will you just snap your fingers and make him win? Or burst into flames?”
“No, I can’t just make him win. I can only train him to run and win like any other trainer and horse. But I sense he has the potential to go that far. The day he jumped the fence he told me he was ready for an all-out run. I sensed there was no danger and saw no danger ahead so I let him go.”
“Uh huh.” He frowned at her words. Casting his eyes around the room he searched for answers, as if they were written on the walls. Finding none, he returned his gaze to Season. “So now what?”
“What do you mean?” she asked, finally taking a sip of the tepid coffee, then pushing it away with a grimace.
“Where do we go from here?”
“Where do you want to go?”
Ryan Jo Summers is a North Carolina writer who pens romances with a twist. They may contain any number of elements: Christian, humor, mystery, paranormal, sweet, shape-shifting, or time travel. Her dad is a songwriter and his aunt wrote poetry so writing must be in the family genes.
She makes her home in a century-old mountain cottage, with a menagerie of adopted pets. In her spare time, she likes to gather with family and friends, paint ceramics or canvas, potter in the yard, bird-watching, or read, play chess, Mahjongg or work word-find puzzles. She might take her dog and head deep into the forests and rivers near her home to plot the next big scene or story. Like her dad’s aunt, she writes poetry as a means to cope with life’s pains.
She collects lighthouses, shells, driftwood, and anything to remind her of the shore.
Series: To Love and Serve, Book OneAvailable Now & on Kindle Unlimited
Alison has been writing for over a year now. Her debut book Finding Love (October 2015) was published by Siren Publishing. Her following books Needing Your Love (November 2015), Found My Love (December 2015), and Fighting for Love (January 2016) were also published with Siren to finish the Learning to Love Series.
Her desire to see her books on shelves led to her next work Chasing Dreams (April 2015) she submitted it for publication with Limitless Publishing and was thrilled that it was quickly accepted. Excited to reach that goal, she moved on to the next series she had in mind and wrote Saved By a Soldier (June 2016), My Broken Soldier (July 2016), Forever My Soldier (August 2016), and A Soldier for Bella (September 2016).
Alison enjoyed reading as a child and found her passion for it again in 2011 when E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey was released. Her love of reading was re-ignited and she continued reading other books in the same genre. In the summer of 2015, she decided to give writing a try and two weeks later Finding Love was born. As soon as she finished the first book, she began writing the second book in the series. Her third book was finished by the time Finding Love had been accepted for publication. Alison discovered she has a passion for writing and has spent the last year meeting new readers and sharing the love she has for writing.
Married to her own real life hero, Alison lives with her amazing family in Massachusetts where she was born and raised. She loves having her own personal inspiration right at home and when she’s not writing she enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and football with her son.
Tall and brawny, Cort McGraw happened to be one of the most handsome men she’d ever seen. From his silvery-gray eyes rimmed with black eyelashes to the dimple in his all-too-attractive chin, she wished Kenzie had given her some warning. If she’d known what he looked like, that he was so young, rugged, and hunky, she would have told Tate not to bother sending Cort to her place.