Ghost for Lunch

GHOST FOR LUNCH, now available from 4RV Publishing

Packaged with Ghost for Rent as a two-for-one titled GHOSTLY VISIONS

http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/penny-lockwood.php


SYNOPSIS

This middle grade, paranormal, ghost story is aimed at youth in grades four to six. It is approximately 30,365 words, 13 chapters, and 110 double spaced pages.

            Wendy Wiles, her brother Mike, and her family have lived in Warren, Oregon for almost a year.  When they moved into their new home, they found it haunted. With the help of a new friend, Jennifer, Wendy and her brother solved the mystery of the haunting in the first book of this series, Ghost for Rent.

            This story begins as Jennifer and her family move to California, leaving Wendy bereft of her best friend with only a new kitten to help remember her.  Shortly after Jennifer leaves, Wendy and Mike meet their new neighbor, a thirteen year old boy, Jon Adams.  Jon is cute, and Wendy is attracted to him, but everything is thrown into turmoil when Wendy learns Jon’s family bought a haunted restaurant in St. Helens.

            Wendy, Mike and Jon soon become good friends.  Jon’s mother is a bit odd.  She loves ghosts and wants to learn more about Wendy’s experience.  She invites Wendy to help clean the haunted restaurant, hoping that Wendy’s presence will make the ghosts more active.

            The children embark upon a quest to find out who is haunting the restaurant and how Wendy, Jon and Jon’s dad are connected to the ghosts.  The children follow clues they find in old newspapers, a note left in the restaurant’s kitchen, and a ghostly apparition that causes Wendy to have a bicycle accident.

            By the end of the story, the children solve the mystery. 


Excerpt Ghost for Lunch

 

They finally got to old town St. Helens. Wendy loved it here with the quaint shop fronts and Columbia River just past First Street. The 1906 county courthouse, located on the river, was built from stone and always intrigued her. Wendy had heard rumors the courthouse was haunted by a criminal who had been hanged there in the early 1900s. Wendy felt goose bumps pebble her arm as the car drove past the Plaza Park in front of the courthouse. So many ghosts for such a small town, she thought.

 

“Here we are,” Mr. Adams said as he pulled into a parking space in front of the restaurant building. Everyone piled out of the car, and Wendy got her first look at the Adamses’ new restaurant. The building was a large, clapboard structure on the corner of First Street and Cowlitz Street. It had a small porch and stairs on the side. Even Wendy could tell it needed a good coat of paint, and some of the stair boards should be replaced. There were a few windows on the ground level and several more on the upper floors. A couple of the upper windows had cracks.

A cold shiver crept down Wendy’s spine when she looked up. Maybe it was only a play of the sunlight, but she thought she saw someone looking down at them. “Is there anyone else in the building now?” she asked in a small voice, then swallowed the fear that threatened to overwhelm her.

 

“No. Of course not, Wendy,” said Mrs. Adams. “We will be the only ones here today. We plan to hire a cleaning crew, but we will be doing the initial work ourselves. Today, we just wanted to show you, Mike, and Jon the building. Come along now.” She lifted her long, flowered skirt and hurried up the few stairs. “Watch out for that rotted third step.”

 

Mr. Adams followed along behind. “The realtor told us this was originally called the First Street Hotel. It was built in 1910. The main portion of the hotel extended down the block, but it was torn down in 1954. What’s still here was the dining hall and kitchen on the main level and some of the guest rooms on the two upper stories.” He unlocked the front door and a puff of cold air pushed past to hit Wendy squarely on the chest. She rubbed her arms to shake off the chill.

 

The old building smelled musty, and dust stirred when they passed through the dark entryway into the main room. There were wooden tables and benches along the window side of the room, and off to the right was a separate area which looked like it might have been a bar. More tables and chairs were in an open space beyond the bar. Mr. Adams flicked on some lights, and Wendy saw swinging doors at the rear of the bar area.


“What’s back there?” she asked. She felt something brush against her leg, and she shook her foot as she looked down. Nothing was there! Goose bumps peppered her arms, and her body gave a little involuntary shake.

 

“That’s the kitchen. It’s quite interesting. A lot of the original equipment has been left behind. It’s quite an antique lover’s paradise.” Mr. Adams gently pushed Wendy in the direction of the kitchen. “I’ve heard rumors that some of the kitchen utensils will just sway and bang together by themselves. I know Mrs. Adams believes it’s a ghost, but I’m sure it’s only a draft causing the commotion.”

 

Wendy wasn’t sure it was a draft at all. When she entered, she glimpsed a wisp of white out of the corner of her eye, but when she turned to look full on, it disappeared. Wendy shivered and rubbed her arms.

 

Mr. Adams turned on the light switch. The lights flickered to life, and then died, leaving only a small illumination from the adjoining room filtering in through the door. “Hum, I wonder if the fuse blew. All the lights couldn’t go out at once.” Mr. Adams murmured to himself as he snapped on a flashlight and openedthe basement door. As he started down the stairs, an odor like rotting meat rolled out the open door.

 

Wendy gagged, backed out of the kitchen, and ran to find Mrs. Adams and the boys. She found them at the rear of the common room standing in front of a locked door. “I know one of these keys fits,” Mrs. Adams muttered as she tried one key after another. She looked up as Wendy joined the group. “There you are, dear. Where’s Mr. Adams?”

 

“He went down into the basement to check some fuses. The lights went out in the kitchen.” Wendy looked back toward the kitchen doors and shivered again.

 

“Watsa matter, Sis? Ghosties in the kitchen?” Mike jeered, poking Wendy in the shoulder.

 

“Maybe. I don’t know,” Wendy replied, too ruffled to rise to the bait of his jab.

 

“Ghosts? Really?” Mrs. Adams perked up. Her expression became curious; her eyes brightened; and her head jerked around.

 

 

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