Judy Serrano graduated from Texas A&M University, Commerce with a BA in English. She is a substitute teacher at her children’s school district and teaches developmental writing at a local college. She is also a freelance writer for certain on-line periodicals and does editing for indie authors. She is the author of The Easter’s Lilly Series, The Linked Series, and The Ivy Vines, Visions Series.
Although she is originally from New York, she currently resides in Texas with her husband, four children, (all boys) and five dogs. She is also a singer/songwriter in her spare time.
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Moving to Sedona was the only way Ivy could think of to start over. She would meet her high school sweetheart and work on making things right between them. Her psychic abilities were gradually becoming a curse and she needed a new start. Little does she know that when she applies for a waitressing job at a local, upscale French bistro, she will come in contact with the dark and mysterious Eli Dubois. What she doesn’t realize is she has just walked into the middle of the Vortex Murders, which involve a great deal of paranormal activity. Elijah’s army of seers are being murdered, one by one, which seems to be magnifying Ivy’s special abilities.
Eli's best friend, Jake, arrives on the scene and reveals the secret that changes everything. With nowhere to turn, Ivy leans on the two men who offer her solace. And who is the old woman in the shroud? Is she a vision, a dream, or is she real? Only time will tell.
-- Author of The Easter's Lilly Series and Linked published by Black Rose Writing Believe.com
My heart was beating almost out of my chest as I drove to the restaurant to see Simone. I checked my rear view mirror often; just to be sure I wasn’t followed. I parked the car and ran as fast as my legs would carry me to the front door. I felt like I was burdened with cement weights around my ankles as I forced my body to keep moving forward. Trying to catch my breath was futile when Eduardo met me at the entrance. I was in no mood for his pretentious smile and flippant tone, but still he would not let me pass.
“I need to see Simone,” I told him, barely able to form the words due to the lack of air in my lungs.
“Will that be one for lunch or two?” he asked me. I almost punched him.
“Two,” I answered, regaining my composure. “Simone is off in a few minutes. She’ll have lunch with me, I’m sure.”
“Very well then,” he answered. He slowly took out two menus and sat me at a table by the window.
“Thank you,” I managed. “Please tell Simone I’m here.”
He made an unfavorable face at me and walked away. I looked out the window and began to recapture a normal breathing pattern. I noticed an old woman walking by the creek. She had her head covered by a black scarf and she was wearing what looked like a black cloak over her body. It was warm out, being early September, and that’s why her clothing caught my attention. She took off the scarf and looked at me. When our eyes touched, I could feel my blood pressure rise. My face got warm. Long grey curls cascaded down, past her shoulders and her expression got very grave. Her nose looked like a misshapen staircase and she had a mole on the left side of her face along her jaw line. She pointed her finger at me, slowly straightening it out as far as it could go and I felt a surge of fear strike through my body. I stood up quickly, pushing my chair back with the backs of my knees and felt a hand on my shoulder. I let out a shriek that was certainly noticeable and when I turned, it was Simone’s hand on my shoulder.
“Ivy, what is it?” she asked. “The last time I heard you scream like that…”
I dismissed her, mid-sentence, knowing exactly what she was going to say. Since that day. The day we don’t dare talk about or even remember if we can help it.
I turned my attention back to the creek but the old woman was gone. I could feel her.
“It’s nothing I told her. Are you done with your shift yet?”
“Yes, I’m done,” she answered. “Eduardo is making me change my clothes first. So, sit tight and I’ll be right back.”
I sat back down and looked out the window again. A breeze blew open one of the side windows, unexpectedly and I almost fell out of my chair. I could hear a faint humming. It was all too familiar. There was still no old woman, but I knew she was there. She was watching me somehow.
Simone finally came back and sat beside me. “What’s going on, Ivy? I haven’t seen you this unraveled in a very long time. It’s a little disconcerting to say the least.”
“He’s after me,” I told her. “He knows I’m here.”
“Who knows you’re here? Ivy, you’re not making any sense.”
“Lucifer,” I whispered, leaning into her so that no one else would hear me. “He thinks I know.”
“He thinks you know what?” she asked, looking at me as though I had gone mad.
“When Jesus is coming. He thinks I know.”
“Do you?” she asked. “Do you know?”
A hiss filled the air in the room as the wind picked up and gushed through the open window. I drew a breath but I dared not answer. She was listening.
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