Genre: Paranormal Romance
Number of pages: 304 pages
Word Count: 91,303
Are you ever really alone?
Zoe Grayson needs a change. So, she moves to another state, purchases an old, dilapidated 1920s Victorian Mansion, and sets out to restore it to its former glory. As she begins the restoration, she finds herself falling in love with the old house . . . not to mention its illustrious builder, Mr. Lancaster. Zoe becomes obsessed with the house as she discovers its secrets; hidden rooms, secret passageways . . . and a mysterious man who seems to think the house is his. Who is he? More importantly, how does he live in her home unseen and unheard? The unexpected answers leave her reeling—and questioning everything she’s ever known. To her dismay, Zoe’s actions land her in the local psychiatric hospital, scheming for ways to return to Lancaster House . . . and the love of her life.
Note: While Lancaster House tells the story of a heartfelt romance, the scenes that propel the story forward are the scenes between Zoe and her psychiatrist, Doctor Channing.
The next day, Wade read over Doctor Abernathy’s notes one more time. The girl he described was nothing like the one he’d met with yesterday.
He was making progress. She was wary of him, naturally. She was obviously biding her time, waiting for her chance to prove herself ‘normal.’ She was far more intelligent than they had originally given her credit for. Her sudden cooperation made him uneasy, even though it was exactly what he’d wanted to achieve.
Zoe walked in then, her head held high. Her blond hair was neatly combed today, her bangs framing her heart shaped face. A hint of crimson stained her cheeks, evidence she was coming back to life before his eyes. Her suicide attempt had left her hospitalized for over two weeks, hanging between life and death. Her recovery was considered a miracle. She wore a fresh pair of pajamas. The standard uniform was a white t-shirt and white pajama pants and she looked clean and fresh in them. The small logo that represented their facility—a crescent moon combined with a cloud—sat on the upper right hand side of her shirt along with the name, Serenity Hills.
“Hello, Doctor Channing,” she said politely.
“Hello, Zoe. How are you today?”
“I’m perfectly fine with not a care in the world,” she answered sardonically.
Wade smiled at her in spite of himself. Maybe it was a stupid question. Perhaps he’d dispense with the ‘how are you’ from now on. Her eyes wandered around his office as if taking it all in for the first time. Her next words were said with a frown on her face. “This office is awful.”
“Your office . . . it’s downright sterile in here, cold even. You need to hire an interior designer, warm the place up a bit. You’ll have better results with your patients.”
“Is that a fact?” Wade smiled at her insight, even while admitting to himself she was right. The room had white tile floors, white walls, fluorescent lighting, white plastic blinds on the windows and no pictures on the walls other than his medical certificates. His desk was metal and the drawers creaked. It was a cold office. Zoe sat stiff-backed in a hard plastic chair. “Are you always this blunt?”
Zoe blushed. “Sorry. It’s an obsession. I mentally decorate every room I’m in, to the point of distraction.”
“Perhaps you can give me some pointers.”
“I’d start with painting the walls, a deep, rich color. Then I’d add some throw rugs, and then curtains that add color, but let the sun in. You need a couch, something classy, but comfortable, with lots of pillows. Replace that hideous desk with something mahogany. Then maybe some lamps for softer lighting . . .” Zoe trailed off. “You weren’t serious, were you?”
“Not really, but now that you mention it, it sounds good.”
Wade got down to business. “Where do you want to start?” he asked, wondering if she’d assume he was asking her about decorating projects.
“I don’t know.”
She knew exactly what he was talking about and it had nothing to do with design. “What would you say if I told you there is no such thing as ghosts?” He wanted to get a rise out of her again today. Her answer would be telling. Had she seen the error of her ways all on her own? Had she realized the extent of her delusions?
“You don’t beat around the bush, do you?” Her hands gripped the arms of the chair until her knuckles turned white.
“What would you say if I told you they do exist?”
His hopes for an astounding recovery plummeted. “I would have to disagree.”
“Then we have nothing more to talk about, do we?”
“Sorry, you’re not off the hook, Zoe.”
Zoe’s demeanor changed and her eyes stared into the distance, as if she was lost in thought. “It’s real—it’s all real,” she whispered, her eyes haunted.
“Tell me, Zoe. Start with the purchase of Lancaster House.” Several minutes ticked by and he began to think she wouldn’t answer, but then, in a timid voice, her story began to spill forth.
“It’s a stunning house, everything I’d ever dreamed of owning . . .”
About the Author:
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding that she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of romance in her line-up.