My novel, “Dreaming I Wake,” is a historical thriller blending a factual Golden-Age Hollywood murder mystery with a modern-day ghost story. The former owners of a Hollywood hills bungalow, air-ambulance pilot James McQueen and his wife Andrea, actually felt a bit relieved after selling their “haunted house in the Hollywood hills,” and the creaking footsteps audible at night and the swaying chandelier in the den had been more unnerving than outright frightening. But a few months after moving, Jim begins having recurring dreams of the 1920s-era charmer, finding himself in the grips of increasingly terrifying nightmares, unable to discern his dreams from reality. With his mental health and career in jeopardy, and facing a sixty-day FAA grounding, he explores lucid dreaming while Andrea researches the bungalow’s history, uncovering the tragic death that took place there.

Available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle e-book.

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Excerpt from Dreaming I Wake:

When he jolted awake, Jim smelled burnt gunpowder.

He sat up and looked around. Andrea was snoring lightly beside him in the early gloaming light. Percy stared at him expectantly from his spot at the foot of the bed, ears cocked, eager already for his morning walk. Jim shook off the lingering memory of that bitter chill he’d always felt when he gazed at the gently swaying chandelier in their old bungalow. Must have been dreaming of it again, he thought, fighting down the odd sense of apprehension he was feeling.

What is that smell?

He slipped quietly out of bed, careful not to wake Andrea, and padded to the bathroom, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. It’s on my hands, he realized. After relieving himself, he washed his hands, and then his face. Studied his black-Irish features in the mirror while rubbing his chin and gauging whether he could get away with not shaving. Sniffed his hands again. Now they smelled of burnt gunpowder and Ivory soap.

What the hell??

He stuck his tongue out and decided he’d better do something about the state of his mouth. Yawning, he opened the medicine cabinet and pulled out the toothbrush and paste. When he closed the cabinet door he started violently.

For the thinnest moment, there’d been something, no, someone in the mirror behind him.

~~~

Jim startled awake again, more violently this time, jerking bolt upright. He stared around wide-eyed at the Dallas condo’s bedroom for a while. Is this real? He couldn’t tell.

But his hands still smelled.