For this week's Sneak Peek Sunday, I'm sharing a sample of my new release, Shadows of Serenity. In this scene, Joyce, the owner, of the new yoga studio is conducting her first meeting with the new teacher training students. It's a tense moment as she hopes for enough students to sign up so she can pay the bills, but her meeting ends with even bigger concerns.
“I’m Ricca.” She curled her legs to one side and sprawled onto an elbow.
“Make yourselves comfortable,” Joyce replied, pleased to see the latecomer so at ease. Most beginning teaching students sat rigid and stiff to display their best postures. “It’s been a hard day for many of us. Let’s take a deep breath to center and relax before we begin our talk.”
As Joyce exhaled, she exchanged smiles with Eric who stood in the back of the room.
He grinned ear to ear. He’d been right, just like when she advised her beginning teachers who laid out empty mats that were filled with exactly that number of students. Thirteen students, eleven women and two men, in her first yoga teacher training class in the new studio of her dreams, lucky thirteen.
A single gull cried at the window, and Joyce whipped around. Its beak hung open, gaping in her face. Past the wiggling pink tongue, a message emerged from the dark depth of its gullet: Thirteen steps to a gallows. As quickly as it came, the bird flew away.
Joyce sucked in a sharp breath. She turned toward the egrets, but they had gone. Without looking at the class, she stepped to the stereo, taking an awkwardly long time to select a new song. She inhaled slowly, filling her lungs completely, then released with an extended exhale. The soothing music helped prana flow into her. But as she scanned the room, her hands still trembled. No one’s face showed any sign of surprise. Instead, they waited patiently for her to continue. With a shaky smile, she got everyone on their feet and led a quick asana routine to throw off any lingering negative energy.
Shadows of Serenity
Genre: women's fiction paranormal fantasy/magical realism
Joyce Runsey spends her life savings to open a yoga studio in an historic Victorian St Augustine house, only to discover the property is haunted. A female ghost’s abusive and very much alive husband still tortures her by using dark witchcraft. The disruptive energy thwarts Joyce’s ambition to create a special environment to train students to become yoga teachers.
Joyce engages in a deadly battle with not only the tormented spirit, but also the dangerous husband. To protect her students from harm, she must overcome mounting obstacles. An unknown swami pays an unexpected visit to give advice on how to free the anguished ghost. Can Joyce comprehend and follow the wise man’s guidance in time to save everyone who depends on her?
Read a longer excerpt on my website.
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