Karen’s Killer Book Bench: The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story by Karen Magill

  KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH

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The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story

Back Cover Blurb

A  man in Toronto and a woman in Vancouver, get struck by identical vehicles at  same moment in time. Each has an out of body experience and their ethereal forms  meet. When the spirits return to the bodies each takes a piece of the other with  them making the couple true soul mates. Neither is fully aware of the other yet  both sense the other. When the man is advised that the woman is in danger he  travels across the country to help her.

The Bond, A Paranormal Love Story by Karen Magill
EXCERPT

CHAPTER  ONE

Mary Briggs locked the front door to the  store Laura’s Lace and Linens and turned the sign over to read closed. Leaning  against the door for a moment she took a deep breath and surveyed the mess left  by the influx of customers. She should really tidy everything but decided to  take a break instead.

“God, what a day!” Mary Briggs sank into  a chair in the back office. She looked over at her boss, who was working on the  computer. “What are your plans tonight?”

“You’re looking at it. Then I’ll go home  and watch the late movie.” Laura Neill answered.

“Ugh! When was the last time you went  out? When was the last time you had a date?”

Laura smiled. “I honestly couldn’t tell  you. Besides when do I have the time?”

“What are you working on right  now?”

“These accounts have to be updated. All  the invoices to our customers who have credit accounts have to be done and  mailed out. There are month end checks to be written and a balance sheet and an  income statement to be done. As well, the ledgers are in a mess. We have just  been too busy lately to keep up with it all.”

“But it’s Saturday night. Why don’t you  go out and have some fun? Meet some gorgeous rich guy to take you away from  everything?”

“Nice dream but I don’t think it’s  actually going to happen. And besides, I am content with my life the way it is.  At least for now.”

“Content, what a horrible word! Laura,  you’re twenty-eight years old and all you do is work. You started this store  five years ago and it’s doing phenomenal now. Why don’t you live a little? Enjoy  the fruits of your success.”

“Hmm.” Laura answered. Mary sighed. She  and Laura had a similar conversation every weekend and every weekend Laura  stayed to work while Mary went to the local clubs.

“Well, if you change your mind, I’ll be  at that new club that just opened in Gastown. I’ll be the one dancing on the  tables.” Laura chuckled.

“Just don’t fall off and hurt yourself.  I need you to work on Tuesday.”

“Right boss. And I’ll come in a bit  early and tidy the store if you want.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll probably be  in over the next two days so I can do it.”

“Okay, if you insist. The front is  closed up and I’ll make sure the back door is locked. I’ll also drop the deposit  off in the night drop on my way by.” Laura was already immersed in the  accounting and just nodded.

But after she heard the door close and  the familiar click as it was locked, Laura’s mind started to wander. She  wondered what it would be like to go to the new clubs every weekend instead of  always being here working. Staring at the computer, Laura knew she wasn’t going  to get any more accounting done. She had lost her focus.

“I’ll clean up the front.” Laura went to  the front of the store and began arranging the clothing on the hangers. She  rearranged the small displays and replaced the items that had been sold. She  stepped back, satisfied that everything was back to normal.

Laura took out the vacuum cleaner and  quickly went over the carpet. But all the while, she couldn’t help thinking  about what Mary had said. Mary had been right – the shop she owned on Robson  Street in Vancouver was doing well and she could afford to take things a bit  easier.

“Why not?” Laura glanced at her  wristwatch. If she left now, she would have time for dinner at a nearby bistro  and then she could meet Mary at the club. Quickly she put the vacuum cleaner  away, got her coat and purse, set the alarm and left the  store.

Laura stood at the crosswalk, stamping  her feet. Should she go to the club? Maybe Mary was just trying to be nice by  inviting her, knowing Laura would refuse. What if she didn’t fit in there? Laura  looked at the outfit she was wearing. The cream silk coatdress with matching  pumps may have been good for the store but would she look out of place in a  nightclub? Her long raven hair was in a perfect chignon but was it right for an  evening out? Laura was sure she would stand out like a sore  thumb.

The light changed and, in that split  second, Laura squared her shoulders and stepped off the curb. She was going to  go to the club and have a good time. Maybe she would even meet someone. She  giggled as she thought of Mary’s comment about a gorgeous rich guy. It could  happen.

“Hey Brad! Mike went through that light  before it changed. You have to catch him or we will never be able to find the  party!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Brad muttered as he  pressed the gas pedal to the floor.

The dark Chrysler Intrepid leapt  forward, racing through the intersection and the red light.

“Oh shit!” Brad noticed the woman in the  crosswalk and slammed his foot on the brake. The screeching of the tires wasn’t  loud enough to mask the sound of the vehicle striking the body. Horrified, Brad  watched the woman flip over the car’s hood, hit the windshield then slide back  to the street and disappear from view.

Shocked, Brad and the other teenagers  sat frozen in their seats. Dimly he was aware of passing pedestrians running to  the scene. One man rushed over to Brad’s door and pulled the teenager out of the  vehicle while another man knelt beside the injured woman.

“Someone call 911, fast. She’s still  alive.” It was 8:03 Pacific Standard Time.

 

Julian Rule took another glass of  champagne and gulped it.

“Take it easy on that stuff; you have a  long night ahead of you.” Niles Gordan, his, agent and friend, commented. “We  don’t want our premier artist falling down drunk.”

“Niles, I am so nervous. What if no one  likes my stuff? What if no one wants to buy anything and I am the laughing stock  of the art world? We can’t go through with this. Take all the paintings down and  let’s get out of here.” Niles laughed.

“Just jitters Julian. You have worked  long and hard and you are extremely talented. The work here will set the world  on fire, at least the guests tonight. Don’t worry about it.”

Julian fiddled with his collar.“Do I  look okay?”

Niles stood back to scrutinize the  artist. Julian was dressed simply in an emerald green shirt and black pants. His  shoulder length blond hair shone with health, he was freshly shaven and his  green eyes were clear. Perfect. Now would you quit worrying?”

“Did we remember to send an invitation  to my parents and my brother? I would really like them to be here especially if  it’s a success. If it isn’t then they can laugh at me and tell me they told me  so.”

“They already responded to say they were  coming and no one will be laughing at you. Now go see that lady you brought with  you tonight and enjoy yourself.”

Julian smiled weakly and went to stand  with the statuesque blond who was his escort this evening.

The well-dressed people began to filter  in and Julian tried to look unaffected. He was so nervous he felt his hands  shaking.

Then the first visitor approached the  gallery owner and said he would like to buy a painting. Julian couldn’t contain  the grin that spread across his face. He ventured out into the people,  introducing himself and basking in the praise that was being heaped on him. This  was exhilarating.

“Well, younger brother, the art  collectors of Toronto seem to like your work. It’s selling like hot cakes.”

Giddy from champagne and the thrill of  success, Julian grinned at Tom. “Not bad for a no talent hack,  eh?”

“I never called you a no talent hack,  Julian. I just said that maybe you would be better off with a career with more  future. I still think that.”

“Tom, not even you can bring me down  tonight.”

“Hey Julian, this is great!” Christopher  Lee, another artist, clapped a hand on his shoulder.

“Thanks Christopher. I can’t believe it  myself.”

“Isn’t that your parents over there?”

Julian squinted in the direction that  Christopher was indicating. “Yeah, why?”

“They seem quite impressed. I thought  you said they didn’t support you.”

“They don’t.” Julian swayed against  Honey. “I had better get out of here. I think I’ve had too much to drink.” Julian, with the support of Honey, went to find Niles.

“Hey Niles, I am going to leave now  okay?”

Niles looked at the bloodshot, blurred  eyes of his client and smiled. “Sure, go ahead. Everyone here has had the chance  to meet the great Julian Rule and you look like you need to sober  up.”

“Yeah. Well thanks a lot Niles. Thanks  for believing in me and thanks for all the help.”

“Sure thing, you just go home and be  careful.”

 

Julian stumbled out of the art gallery,  his arm draped around Honey.

“Wasn’t that great, Honey? They loved my  work.”

“Yes, they did Julian.” Honey fought to  keep her balance in four-inch spike heels.

“Did you hear the people talking? I have  been discovered, I am the new rage of Toronto.”

“I heard. Julian, are you sure you don’t  want to catch a cab? You did have a lot of champagne tonight.”

“I’m fine. I want to walk. Do you  remember how John Travolta’s character strutted at the end of ‘Stayin’ Alive’? That’s what I want to do. I am going to be the toast of the art world. I’ll talk  to you later.” Julian gave the woman a kiss and waved goodbye as she climbed  into a cab.

Julian felt like he was going to burst.  After years of hard work and having to go without so he could buy the necessary  materials for his art, he had finally been recognized. Every time he had seen a  small sold sign on one of his paintings, an adrenaline rush had surged through  him. This was it; this was what he had worked for all his  life.

His family had ridiculed him for years,  saying that he was lazy and chasing a dream that would never come true. They  didn’t understand how much work it took to paint; how much of him went into each  piece. But they had seen his success tonight. Even Tom seemed to be impressed by  the opening. Julian could just see Tom’s lawyer mind adding up the amounts as  each new painting was sold. Julian had just made more money in one evening than  Tom had made over the past year. But more than that, Julian’s art had finally  been accepted and recognized.

Even Julian’s parents couldn’t turn  their noses up at the people in attendance at the opening. Celebrities,  politicians and well-known business people had all come to sip champagne, nibble  on appetizers and gush over his work. This was the night he had been waiting for  since the first day he had picked up a brush and looked at a blank canvas.  Nothing could stop him now.

Julian glanced at the crosswalk light  and started to cross the street. Inebriated and on an emotional high, he wasn’t  paying attention. He didn’t hear or see the car until it was too late. He felt  the impact then a sensation of flying through the air before the concrete rushed  up to meet him. It was 11:03 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Laura knew she was being placed on a  stretcher; she could see it. But it was as if it was happening to someone else.  She felt as if she was floating high above the street and the activities below.  She was just a spectator.

She could see the police officers  talking with a teenage boy. The poor young man looked so frightened as he  watched the paramedics work on her. A young girl sat on the curb weeping. Laura  longed to comfort her. Surely the situation wasn’t that serious.

It was strange. Laura could see  everything and she knew that the injuries she had sustained were maybe serious  but she couldn’t feel any pain. She felt incredibly free and  weightless.

Detached, she watched the stretcher with  her body being loaded into the ambulance and the lights go on. As the vehicle  started to move then picked up speed, Laura felt a sharp tug and she followed  the ambulance.

In the emergency room, the scene was  organized chaos. Laura winced at the sight of her inert body. There was so much  blood; her favorite cream dress was ruined. There was no way she going to be  able to get all the blood out of the silk.

Laura watched the hospital staff work on  her body. She was intrigued by the procedure yet felt strangely detached from  everything. That was her lying on the gurney and she may be dying; yet it didn’t  seem to matter.

She felt herself drifting away, floating  out and above the hospital. Laura looked down on the city, growing smaller. The  ocean retreated as she felt herself being pulled east.

Soon the lower mainland was out of sight  and Laura was looking down at the majestic Rocky Mountains. Even soaring above  them, the Rockies were awe-inspiring.

Whatever force was pulling her increased  in intensity as she sped over the prairies, always heading  east.

Laura felt a jolt course through her and  she looked up. Another hazy being was floating towards her. As it got closer,  Laura could see it was the figure of a man.

Her progress slowed the closer they came  together. For a moment they looked at each other curiously. Then he stretched  out a hand and Laura responded in kind.

When the two ghostly hands touched, they  melded to become one. Each of the celestial humans felt a shock that threw them  back a few feet before coming back together. Their bodies became one  incandescent being glimmering with iridescent hues of every color in the  spectrum.

If someone on the ground had happened to  look up, they would have seen a display more impressive than the famous Northern  Lights. The form in the sky, which could vaguely be made out as human, glowed  with vibrating colors. The hues of the colors fluctuated in intensity yet were  always magnificent. It would have left a person feeling awe-struck as they  unwittingly watched two beings joined as one.

Laura was filled with joy, hope and  wonder. She felt as if she was touching heaven. No words were spoken between the  two beings but Laura could sense that the man felt the same way. She knew his  name was Julian and, like her, didn’t understand what was happening. She thought  her name and felt his acknowledgment. Together they floated across the  sky.

Julian grasped her hand again, marveling  at the completeness he felt when they became one. Nothing, not even the success  he had found earlier this evening, could match the joy he felt at this moment.  He stared at the ethereal being beside him and was overwhelmed by a desire to  kiss her. He lowered his head and, when their ghostly lips met, a burst of  brightly hued sparks cascaded from their united mouths.

Regretfully, he pulled back. The  certainty that, should they stay like this much longer his physical being would  cease to exist, filled his mind. He knew he had to return to his body, as did  Laura.

Laura felt an uncertainty flowing to her  from Julian then a desperate desire to return to his body. She resisted the  urge, unsure if she wanted to return to her life. This was an experience she  wanted to go on forever. But Julian was insistent.

Reluctantly, Laura acknowledged she had  to return. Slowly she pulled her hand away, feeling a sense of loneliness as she  watched Julian begin to drift away. She wanted to call him back, to continue to  share the feelings he had brought her. Yet, she felt something pulling her back,  back to her body.

In the distance, Laura heard someone  say.

“It isn’t hopeless, we haven’t lost  her.”

Laura began to return to her body, a  glimmer still emanating from her, and she heard Julian  promise.

“Someday, I’ll find  you.”

  Meet Karen Magill, Author….

Karen  Magill was born to write. Her grandmother, Katherine Magill, was a published  author and often supplemented the family income with articles she wrote and  sold.

Forced to  leave the workforce in 2000 by the onslaught of MS, Karen saw this as an  opportunity to explore her lifelong desire to write. Initially she explored  other areas of writing before deciding that her future lay with creating  novels.

Karen  lives in an eclectic area of Vancouver Canada and draws inspiration from the  history and stories around her.

FMI about Karen Magill & her books:
Blog: http://karen-magill.blogspot.com the  Vancouver Vagabond
Now Available! THE BOND, A PARANORMAL LOVE STORY by Karen Magill
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ANNOUNCING!

Karen’s ebook MYSTIQUE RISING – formerly Let Us Play, A Rock ‘n Roll Love Story – will be FREE on  Kindle June 9 and 10!!

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**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  Karen will give away a PDF copy  of THE BOND, A PARANORMAL LOVE STORY to one lucky reader who comments!  Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday!  Thanks, Karen, for sharing your story with us!
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