Slightly Psychic [NOOK Book]

Overview


Lila Delaney never claimed to be entirely psychic…just slightly psychic. But any ability she might have had disappeared the minute Lila's visions led her and the police to a missing heiress…healthy, happy and tied to the bed of Lila's fiancé. Broadcast live on national television, the incident was enough to make Lila hightail it out of town.

Lila's journey brought her and her best friend Pepper to a small Virginia town. All too soon the woman who just wanted to be left alone ...

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Slightly Psychic

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Overview


Lila Delaney never claimed to be entirely psychic…just slightly psychic. But any ability she might have had disappeared the minute Lila's visions led her and the police to a missing heiress…healthy, happy and tied to the bed of Lila's fiancé. Broadcast live on national television, the incident was enough to make Lila hightail it out of town.

Lila's journey brought her and her best friend Pepper to a small Virginia town. All too soon the woman who just wanted to be left alone was indulging in mint juleps and moonlit celebrations, becoming attracted to a too-secretive man and getting involved in an unsolved murder. If only her psychic abilities would return, Lila might just figure out what she was getting into next….


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459236059
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 3/15/2012
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 288,744
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


SANDRA STEFFEN is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty-seven novels.  Honored to have won THE RITA AWARD, THE NATIONAL READERS CHOICE AWARD and The Wish Award, her most cherished regards come from readers around the world. She married her high-school sweetheart and raised four sons while simultaneously persuing her dream of publication.  She loves to laugh, read, take long walks and have long talks with friends, and write, write, write.


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Read an Excerpt


Lila Delaney waited to look the detective in the eye until after he ushered her into the small, cluttered office at police headquarters in Hartford. He watched her closely as she took her seat at the marred, Formica-topped table. A second detective adjusted the blinds before dropping to the chair opposite her. They didn't believe what she'd told them over the phone.

"You said you know where Holly Baxter is," the first one said the instant introductions were out of the way.

Lila's reply was an anxious little cough that did nothing to alleviate the nerves jumping in her stomach. She hadn't expected this to be easy. After all, she wasn't a world-renowned psychic who could foretell the future. She simply had an unexplainable intuition that came in handy when helping her friends make career choices or find a lost pet. She'd never tried to help the police find a missing person. Of course, until this week, she'd never experienced a vision of this magnitude, and she'd certainly never ignored her own voice of reason, the one telling her to run, race, bolt in the opposite direction. Instead, here she was in Connecticut preparing to tell the authorities what she knew.

They wouldn't have agreed to her request for a meeting if their meager leads hadn't fizzled. The fact was, they were desperate to find Senator Charles Baxter's twenty-two-year-old daughter, Holly, who'd been missing for four days. Foul play was suspected, and everyone feared the worst.

"On the phone you said you saw Holly in your dreams." The older of the two, Lieutenant Owens was doing the talking, Detective Malone the smirking.

Lila couldn't decide who they reminded her of. Not Batman and Robin or the Lone Ranger and Tonto. Fred and Rickie? Ralph and Ed? Her longtime fiancé Alex Richardson often complained that she watched too much late-night television. He was due back from Dallas tomorrow. Surely if he were here, he would have tried to talk her out of this.

"Ms. Delaney?"

Hearing her name startled her. Recovering, she said, "My vision was similar to a dream, except I was awake when I saw her."

Owens strummed his fingers on the tabletop. Malone leaned back in his metal chair, bored. Lila could only sigh. Trying to make a nonbeliever believe was like trying to make a color-blind man see yellow, green and blue.

Leveling both men an I'm-not-enjoying-this-anymore-than-you-are stare, she said, "Look. I'm a busy psychologist with a successful practice. I didn't have to come here, and I want your word that you won't exploit me or my efforts to help." She waited for Owens to nod before she continued. "I believe Holly Baxter is being held in an old stone inn deep in the Hartford countryside."

The detectives couldn't help leaning ahead in their chairs. "What do you mean she's being held?"

"Her hands were cuffed."

"But she's alive?"

Lila had seen Holly Baxter writhing, an expression of intense pain on her young face. Closing her eyes on a feeling of deep and imminent sadness, she said,

"I believe she is, yes."

"Where is this inn?" Malone asked, speaking for the first time.

This was the part Lila most dreaded trying to explain. "I don't know where it is, exactly."

"Oh, for crying out loud. She's wasting our time." Malone was going to be no help whatsoever. Turning to his partner, Lila said, "I'm pretty sure I'll know it when I see it."

She wasn't the only one who was surprised when he said, "Let's go."

Twenty minutes later she was sitting in the passenger seat of an unmarked police car heading out of Hartford. Other than occasional static on the police radio, not a sound came from the interior of that car. Keeping her mind clear of doubt, she concentrated on the falling leaves and the shadows cast by the evening sun. Every so often she told Detective Malone to turn right or left. She lost the trail a few times, and had to ask him to turn around. Each time they neared an old house that had been converted into a bed-and-breakfast inn, he slowed slightly, waiting for her to say something.

At one point she happened to notice him looking in his rearview mirror. A bundle of nerves, she glanced over her shoulder in time to see a Channel 4 news van round the corner behind them. He swore under his breath, but it was too late to turn back because goose bumps skittered up and down her body, and her earlier vision shot through her mind.

"Turn here," she said louder than before.

He swerved. Barely keeping the car out of the ditch, he made a right onto Hampton Road.

"There," she said, motioning to a narrow driveway between crumbling stone pillars. Her stomach was on fire, and she felt an eerie sense of déjà vu as they pulled through the open gate.

"That looks like Holly's car," Detective Owens said, pointing to the back corner of a blue Beamer, all that was visible behind an overgrown hedge near the back of the property.

"Room number six," Lila whispered, squeezing her eyes shut against the image playing behind them.

"Stay here," Owens ordered, getting out. But she followed anyway.

Malone radioed for backup. "And you—" Owens glared at the news team. "Stay out of the way or I'll throw you in jail for obstructing justice."

The news team gave the detectives a head start before closing in, leaves crunching with every step they took. Lila followed far more furtively.

"Police!" Malone yelled. "Open up."

A woman screamed.

Malone kicked in the door. He and Owens entered, pistols drawn. The cameraman crowded closer. Holly Baxter screamed again.

Peering around everyone else, Lila stared at the naked man in the king-size bed. "Alex?"

"Lila, what the hell?" He grabbed the sheet to cover himself. "You're supposed to be in Dallas." Her voice seemed to come from far away.

"You know him?" Lieutenant Owens asked, his gun still pointed.

Holly Baxter nodded slowly.

And Lila heard herself say, "He's my fiancé." Shuddering violently, she added, "My ex-fiancé, it would seem."

Holly blushed scarlet. Alex looked shell-shocked. Somewhere, someone chuckled.

The room spun, and Lila spun with it. A strange silence was falling all around her. She felt herself falling, too, and all the while she was aware of the cameraman capturing everything on film.

Six months later

The people gathered on the sidewalk in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Providence held morning newspapers and coffee mugs instead of microphones or cameras. They stood talking amongst themselves, two here, three there. There wasn't a member of the press among them. Lila Delaney was old news.

Two teenaged boys carried boxes containing all that remained of her life and her work here in Rhode Island. Everything fit neatly in the back of one compact U-Haul trailer.

A cheerless gray drizzle began to fall, sending the neighbors back inside their well-kept, closely spaced houses, so that only Lila and the young men wrestling her garden statues up the ramp of the rented trailer saw the taxi pull to a stop at the curb. One of the teenagers whistled under his breath as a svelte blonde dressed all in black got out. If anyone had been looking, they would have seen Lila's face brighten, too.

Penelope Bartholomew was always a sight for sore eyes.

Carrying herself with the regality inherent in the DNA of the naturally wealthy, Penelope, nicknamed Pepper years ago, stopped a few feet from Lila. "I go to Europe for eight months and all hell breaks loose for you."

Lila still cringed at the memory of her fast, humiliating and thorough downfall.

"They really sold T-shirts that said My ex-fiancé, it would seem?" Pepper asked after the two old friends had hugged.

Lila shuddered. "Coffee mugs, too." It had been the most coined phrase and biggest publicity circus since Who Shot JR? and Where's The Beef?.

"I can't believe you didn't call me."

"Would you have talked me out of it?" Lila asked.

"When have I ever been able to talk you out of anything?" Pepper's bright pink umbrella went up like a splash of color in a black-and-white photograph. Holding the umbrella over both of them, she said, "I recall talking you into a few things, though. Remember the time I persuaded you to attend that Harvard Fly Club party with me?"

Who could forget? Convinced her boyfriend was cheating on her, Pepper and Lila had gone dressed as guys. When they'd gotten caught, Pepper's parents had threatened to dissolve her trust fund over the incident. Although they would have liked to somehow blame it on Lila, they knew their daughter. Still, who could fault Mary Bartholomew for wanting her youngest to choose friends who came from old money and had grown up someplace suitable, such as the Cape or the Hamptons? Instead she'd brought home a waif from Chicago who had large hazel eyes and strange ideas about the universe.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Excellent!

    A very heart warming story, part mystery,part romance and refeshingly no sex. I highly recomend it!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Anexciting tale

    Lila Delaney tells the Hartford police Detective Malone and Owens that she knows where they can find the missing daughter of Senator Baxter. Holly is held prisoner in an old stone inn. With the TV news following them, she directs the cops to where she believes the woman is. Inside they find Holly locked to a bed by Lila¿s fiancé, make that ex fiancé, Alex Richardson the news caught the drama entirely to the psychic¿s mortification.------------------ Lila and her best friend Penelope ¿Pepper¿ Bartholomew leave New England to start over in Virginia her psychic skills seem gone forever. However, when she meets and is attracted to former baseball star Joe McCaffrey she decides to help him. If only her psychic skills came back even slightly she might locate his missing wife whom everyone assumes he killed.--------------------- Lila is a fascinating protagonist who becomes the center of T-shirts after her ignominious TV performance that gives her fifteen minutes of undesired fame. Her ¿gift¿ vanished perhaps due to a psychological reaction formation as she does not want to be considered a freak. However, attracted to ¿say it ain¿t so¿ Joe, she needs her skill to return to help him. Though the romantic relationship between the once intuitive psychic and the once baseball star never fully develops, readers will enjoy their amateur sleuth team-up.--------- Harriet Klausner

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