Kelly ran a marathon… and wound up running a house. With a ghost in it.
Kelly Mellios is a stunning, athletic woman, who has learned–the hard way–to value herself. Having just finished her first marathon in the alluring Greek town of Nafplio, she bumps into Alex, a gorgeous widower with three underage children, who is desperately looking for a housekeeper.
The timing seems perfect, seeing that Kelly aches to start a new life, and Nafplio seems like the ideal place to settle down. She accepts the position on the spot, but little does she know that Alex’s house has an extra inhabitant that not even the family knows about…
The house is haunted by Alex’s late wife, who has unfinished business to tend to. By using the family pet, a quirky pug named Charlie, the ghost is able to communicate with Kelly and asks her for help. She claims she wants to ensure her loved ones are happy before she departs, but offers very little information about her plans.
Kelly freaks out at first, but gradually finds herself itching to help. It is evident there’s room for improvement in this family… Plus, her growing attraction towards Alex is overpowering…
Will Kelly do the ghost’s bidding? How will it affect her? And just how strange is this pug?
To celebrate the release of her new book, Effrosyni has shared the first chapter of Running Haunted. Enjoy!
***** beginning of extract******
Kelly gave a luxurious sigh as she took a seat at a seafront café with her best friend, Efi. The girls had a view to the fort of Bourtzi, the magnificent landmark of the historical town of Nafplio. Under the strong sunshine, it looked as if it floated gently in the serene sea like a resting, off-white bird.
Leaning back in her comfortable chair, Kelly felt the pained muscles all over her body sing with relief. Thinking back to her amazing feat, she couldn’t help but give a cheer. ‘I’ve just finished my first marathon! I can’t believe it!’
Efi, who sat beside her, beamed at Kelly for a few moments, then said, ‘You’d better believe it, girl! I’m so proud of you! You’ve come so far to get this medal, and I don’t just mean the forty-two kilometres you just ran.’ She winked and hooked her mouth to the side.
Kelly gave a huge sigh, a shadow crossing her face. Instinctively, to hide it from her friend, she looked the other way and said with regret, ‘I know. Please don’t remind me…’
‘Hey, what’s this? It’s been over a year, Kelly… Let it go. Besides, you just proved you’re not the same girl any more. You’ve left all that misery behind you for good.’
‘You’re so right, Efi. And, from now on, I just want to look ahead, you know?’
Efi smiled, but before she could say anything, a young waiter arrived to greet them with a bright smile.
‘Kalimera! What will you have?’ he asked, and the girls ordered coffees and toasted sandwiches.
As soon as he walked away, Efi leaned towards Kelly and said, ‘Back to our conversation… Of course, you should only look ahead from now on. So, what’s the next challenge? And I don’t mean the next marathon run… Why don’t you move out of your late grandmother’s apartment? You should start a new life somewhere else… Somewhere where no memories of “Mucky-Makis” can soil it.’
Kelly scrunched up her face at the sound of the name of her ex-boyfriend, Makis. She could tell another lecture was coming.
Before she could open her mouth to protest, Efi added, ‘Kelly, you know I’d miss you terribly if you moved far away from me, but I really think you should go back to England. Life in Greece clearly hasn’t worked out for you.’
Kelly tossed a strand of her long brown hair behind her shoulder and twisted her lips. ‘Nuh… I’ve told you before, Efi. I don’t see it that way. I’ve made a wrong choice of career, I know—’
‘And boyfriend…’ Efi cut her off.
‘Yes. Wrong choices on both counts,’ said Kelly, putting up a finger. ‘But that’s got nothing to do with living in Greece or England. There’s plenty more fish in the sea, when it comes to careers and boyfriends. Now that I’ve finally found strength in myself, I know I’ll do better next time. I’m not leaving Greece. I love it too much. It makes me feel alive. You know that, Efi.’
Efi leaned over and patted Kelly’s hand. ‘Girlfriend, I’m with you all the way, whatever you decide.’
Kelly, once again caressing with her eyes the fortified island of Bourtzi in the distance, let out a soft sigh. ‘To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t mind leaving Athens behind.’
‘To go where?’
‘Well, somewhere smaller than the capital, where there’s more green, beautiful scenery, a seafront… a quiet, more laid-back way of life.’ She looked around her with a huge smile and added, ‘A place like Nafplio. Just look at it! It’s amazing. I never imagined it’d be so beautiful. I know we only arrived yesterday morning, but I think I’ve fallen in love with it already.’
‘Yes, it’s easy to fall in love with… And, really, you haven’t even seen the view from the two fortresses up there yet…’ Efi turned around in her seat and pointed vaguely high up in the distance. ‘Only if you see Nafplio from a height will you know just how magical it is.’
‘Really?’ said Kelly, following Efi’s gaze, but the strong sun made it hard to see clearly. Through the glare, she could barely make out the two hills that stood, side-by-side, over the town. The fortress of Palamidi seemed like a bejewelled crown of stone on top of the higher peak.
‘Don’t get your hopes up, though,’ warned Efi when Kelly turned to face her again. ‘I doubt it’ll be easy to get a job here. Unless you visit again and again and ask in every hotel or shop maybe, going from door to door.’
‘Well, I can surely try online first, see if I can find any job adverts, and take it from there,’ said Kelly, setting her jaw.
Efi leaned forward in her seat. ‘So you’re serious? You want to move here?’
‘Yes… This place has an amazing energy. It’s calling to me, Efi. I feel it deep inside my bones.’
‘Okay, but where would you live? ‘I hate to break it to you, but I doubt you could afford a place on your own here. It’s a touristy place. The rent must be sky-high even for tiny apartments.’
Kelly raised a single shoulder. ‘You forget I have sound experience in hotel administration? If I land a job in one of the many hotels here, I could get room and board for free.’
‘That could work…’ said Efi, her voice trailing off when a male voice boomed at the next table, causing both girls to turn and look, startled.
‘You don’t understand, Dimos! My housekeeper is leaving today! TODAY! What am I going to do? How am I going to find another woman to run the house at such short notice?’
***** end of extract******
Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes books for the romantic at heart. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy. Her mind forever drifts to her beloved island of Corfu.
Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, has won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers’ Favorite. The Ebb, her romance set in Corfu that’s inspired from her summers there in the 1980s, is an ABNA Q-Finalist.
Click to visit Effrosyni’s website where she has delicious Greek recipes, her travel guide to south Corfu and more! You can also say hi on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. There’s also her author page on Amazon.
Go here to grab FREE books – http://effrosyniwrites.com/free-stuff/
Running Haunted was released on 5th May 2020. If you enjoyed this extract and want to read on, the eBook is currently 99 pence on Amazon UK (until 15th June 2020.)