In 2014, after three books in three years, I decided I would take a little break from writing. I figured it would be a good opportunity to spend more time in the real world – but then a story idea hit me, and the idea for my new release, Haunted Souls, kept growing in my head. The initial inspiration came for a ghost tour I went on with my sister in Cape Cod’s Barnstable Village. It’s probably somewhat obvious that I am a fan of ghosts and other spooky subjects, and my sister is the same way. Every time we get together, we have scary movie marathons since no one else will watch them with us. So when she came for a visit that summer, we decided to check out a “Haunted Tour” put on by the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society. It offered a guided walk to haunted places and historical sites, and it started and ended at the Old Jail.
|The Old Jail at night|
I’d never even heard of the Old Jail, and it’s truly a historic gem. It’s the oldest wooden jail house in the entire country, actually, and is thought to have been built in 1690, on orders from the Plymouth and MA Bay Colony Courts. It was in use until the 1800s, and was moved around a bit, eventually attached to a barn. It was rediscovered in 1968, detached from the barn, and moved next to the Coast Guard museum on 6A.
The structure itself is quite small, containing three cells which held large numbers of people sometimes. According to our guide, conditions were rough and people had to take turns lying down to sleep when cells were crowded. As you can imagine, many people died, and the site is considered actively haunted.
Goody Hallett, the lover of the infamous pirate Samuel Bellamy, was imprisoned there in 1716, and is said to be one of the ghosts in residence. If you’re so inclined, you can even pay to spend the night at the Jail. On our tour, we were shown photographs with shadowy figures taken by volunteers who work in the jail house. A few of the volunteers shared their stories as well, and one claimed that a ghost had followed them home and engaged in some poltergeist-like activities. Well, that got my attention right way, and my imagination started churning. My sister had her little daughter with her, and I started to wonder what would happen if a young child with sensitive abilities took pity on a lost soul, and actually invited a ghost to come home with them. The initial idea was born.
Of course, my stories also have a romantic element, and that aspect turned out perfectly suited for Cape Cod as well, since it soon became clear to me that the male main character in my story was in the military—and Joint Base Cape Cod hosts a number of branches. I met with neighbor, who is a Colonel in the Air National Guard and was deployed for a year in Afghanistan and another year in Iraq. We discussed different occupations that would cause a person to be sent overseas often and for long periods of time, since that’s what I needed to make the story work. We came up with EOD tech, which stands for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. This is the elite bomb squad made up of members from four branches of military who pass the rigorous schooling requirements. It’s an important and dangerous job, and I would have to say that between this aspect and the historical facts, this latest book required the most research on my part.
|Two lonely souls...and one lost spirit. From the author of #1 Kindle|
Bestsellers Silver Lake and Gull Harbor.
So far, it’s getting great reviews, so I hope you’ll give this military romance and ghost mystery a try…a new steamy beach read with a chilling twist!