Darla has two short stories currently at Amazon.com. The Haunted House of Thomas Creek was inspired by two separate houses, a thousand miles apart. One was during a trip to Long Beach, California to visit family. It’s a beautiful city and has fabulous houses…but there’s that one. Surrounded by a block wall too tall to see over, vines growing over every inch of the facade. Creepy, spooky. It had a heavy aura as you walked by, the house had suffered a tragedy in it’s past.
The second was the house on Thomas Creek Drive. Reported to be haunted. Radio personalities stayed as long as they could on All Hallows Eve twice. Spooky happenings were reported by everyone who lived nearby. Visions of a woman in white, lights moving from room to room, when the house had been abandoned for decades. Real or fictional, the tales told gave seeds of a story that Darla spun into a short, fun read.
Rumors of a ghost in the Thomas Creek mansion have circulated in the small farming community for decades and nobody has dared to prove the rumor right or wrong. Until now. Before the house is just a pile of pick-up-sticks, Leanne Robson returns to her small home town to prove that something happened in that house all those years ago.
Current owner and grandson of the original family, Byron Thomas is determined to stop Leanne from stirring up painful speculation to prove the ghost of his ancestor exists. But finding a secret room…and an even bigger secret locked in the room for decades, they get more than they bargained for when they uncover a mystery 45 years in the making.
The facts: Frederick Thomas settled in the Jordan Valley area of Oregon in 1846, not the early 1900’s . Thomasville, the Thomas family mansion and any relatives living or dead, friends and events in The Haunted House of Thomas Creek exist only in Darla’s imagination. Many thanks to the late Carol Bates and her book “Scio in the Forks of the Santiam” for the Thomas family history, most of which she didn’t use for fiction’s sake.
The second short story was the brainchild of Nancy Brophy (quite possibly with the aid of a libation or two, but the memory is quite fuzzy). Nancy gave the five of us a uniting theme, The Girl Most Likely To… Five Friends. Five Yearbook Predictions. The year they turned thirty…Which prediction came true? Which prediction was so far off? Darla’s short story is titled, The Girl Most Like to…Become the CEO. Any resemblance to farmhouse she’s remodeling, or the farm she’s spent the last thirty-plus years with her husband is purely coincidence.
As thirty approaches so does their Thirty-Years-Old-and-Made-It Reunion Party. Who will have conquered New York? Become a CEO? Be married with a bunch of kids? Which girl will have nailed the lucky Charley Vargas? Is Prince William safe? Because someone is supposed to marry a prince.
It’s the midnight hour and the scramble is on. Not one of them wants to admit her life hasn’t turned out the way she expected. Maybe reaching thirty and living up to friends’ predictions is not all it’s cracked up to be.
The Girl Most Likely To…Marry a Prince by Nancy Brophy; The Girl Most Likely To…Conquer New York City by Susan Lute; The Girl Most Like to…Become the CEO by Darla Luke; The Girl Most Likely To…Nail Charley Vargas by Linda Kaye; and The Girl Most Likely To…Be Married With A Bucket Load of Kids by Jessie Smith.