Monday, March 2, 2015

Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show by Steve Bryant

Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost ShowRelease Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: eBook
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember. 

But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know. 

Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters? 
If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.

When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show's enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family? 

Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.

Thanks for joining me on my stop on the tour. I hope you have enjoyed the tour so far! Today, I thought I would share one of my favorite scenes from the book. Enjoy!!

The cast is socializing at Forest Lawn, in Glendale. Oliver and Yorick have persuaded Lucas to take Columbine some flowers:

Tall pine trees circumscribed the Heron Fountain and Duck Pond. There was a white statue of a nude girl reclining on a rock in the water. The fountain and pond lay still at this late hour, except for phantom swans that drifted in romantic pairs across the black surface of the water.
From the top of a hill overlooking this idyllic scene, Lucas spied Columbine near the water’s edge. As Yorick had specified, she was sitting on a small blanket spread on the grass, absorbed in a book. She wore green plaid Bermuda shorts, and her long thin legs were crossed.
The girl’s beauty was only slightly more intimidating to Lucas than her history. When Columbine had first lived as a girl of fifteen, she never lost at “Who’s got the pebble?” The game came easy to a girl who could read minds or see the future, and she took delight in casting bones and “telling the fortunes” of her peers. While this would have constituted wholesome pajama party entertainment in 1959, Columbine had first lived in 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts. A girl jealous of Columbine’s beauty and popularity had reported her “powers” to the local authorities, which led to a mean-spirited trial and to a watery resolution. Just before the dunking that might have exonerated her of witchcraft, she pointed a slender finger at her accusers and predicted, with unerring accuracy, their own horrible demises.
Lucas clutched his marigolds and wondered how best to approach her. He couldn’t just walk straight down to her, offer her flowers, and explain that he was doing so on a dare from Oliver and Yorick. How did these things work?
A snapped twig behind him startled him from his thoughts. Lucas turned to face the last person he hoped to see at this time and place—Eddie, the Lighting Guy. Eddie had a big stupid grin on his face.
Hey, Squirt, what’s shakin’?”
Uh, nothing, Eddie. Where have you been?”
Oh, I just stopped by the Mausoleum for a little tete-a-tete with Jean Harlow. She gets peeved with me if I don’t pay her a visit whenever we’re in the park.”
As Lucas knew from previous visits, Miss Harlow had starred in six films with Clark Gable before an early death at twenty-six. “Oh, was she in this year?” he said.
Nah. She was at some private shindig Humphrey Bogart is throwing. Tourists aren’t allowed. I’m sure she would have wangled me an invite if she knew we were in town. We’re like that.” Eddie locked his little fingers.
Sure, Eddie.”
Hey, Squirt, what’s that you’re hiding behind your back? Flowers? What would you be doing with flowers?”
Eddie scanned the horizon and quickly homed in on the object of Lucas’s intentions.
You wouldn’t be bringing flowers to my sweetie, would you, Squirt? She might get the impression you were getting all mushy. Here, let me do that for you.”
With a swift grab, Eddie snagged the flowers out of Lucas’s grasp.
Hey! Give those back!”
Cool down, Squirt. Don’t worry about it. I’ll deliver them personally. I’ll be sure to tell her you helped pick them out.”
Being older and rather brawny, Eddie was much bigger than Lucas. Eddie was a former Louisiana garage mechanic who liked fast cars. He had been only nineteen the year he tried to see how fast he could drive across the country in a 1934 Ford roadster he had repaired. His driving wasn’t particularly faulty, but he should have paid more attention to that brake job before crossing the San Bernardino Mountains. As Lucas had heard it, Eddie’s scream had echoed across three valleys.
Lucas was no match for Eddie in a tussle. Still, they were his flowers, not Eddie’s. “Give them back,” he demanded. “Now!
Oh, sure, Squirt. Or else what? You’ll go find your buddies and try to take them from me?
Lucas had had enough. He flew at Eddie like a football linebacker tackling a star runner. His head hit Eddie squarely in the solar plexus.
Knocked backward, Eddie closed his arms about Lucas for balance.
Tumbling forward, Lucas, in turn, locked his arms around Eddie. Eddie held tight to the flowers as over they went. They became an interlocking jumble of arms and legs and marigolds, rolling like an angry beach ball toward the pond and picking up speed. Incredibly, the last thing that Lucas heard before the splash was a loud whinny.
Seconds later the two unwitting bathers—their eyes rising barely above the ripples—looked on in wonder as the girl at water’s edge turned to a large beautiful horse with a cowboy astride it. The cowboy doffed his ten-gallon hat to her.
Golly!” Columbine said. “Tom Mix!”
Why, yes, ma’am. I’m flattered that a young lady like you would recognize me,” the movie-star cowboy said.
Oh, I’d recognize you anywhere. I loved you in Destry Rides Again.”
Why, thank you. I hope you also took a hankerin’ to Outlaws of Red River and Hidden Gold. I did 336 films in all, and never a one with camera tricks or fake scenes.”
Don’t I know it!”
Might I ask what you were reading there?”
It’s one of the Oz books,” Columbine said. “The second one, The Marvelous Land of Oz. Mr. Baum autographed it for me this evening, near his headstone in G section. He was very nice.”
Why, Frank is one of my best pals,” Tom Mix said. “He showed me the ropes when I arrived. He was one of the park’s first guests, shortly after it opened back in 1917. Three hundred sixty acres of the finest grazing land this side of the Pecos. I expect plenty of other famous folks will settle in here eventually.”
If you only knew,” said Columbine.
Say, I bunk in a section called Whispering Pines. Care to see my spread?”
Who wouldn’t?” said the leggy seer. And with a hand from Tom Mix she swung up behind him astride Tony, the Wonder Horse.
It was this sight, as Lucas and Eddie rose from the pond like twin Creatures from the Black Lagoon, that finalized the evening for Columbine’s two would-be suitors. With spirits as damp as their underwear, Lucas and Eddie watched Columbine bouncing off through the trees and into the thin sliver of light that signaled California sunrise, her arms wrapped round another man.

No comments:

Post a Comment