Thursday, April 15, 2021

So What's One More Ghost? by Debby Grahl

An ancestor’s tale of betrayal, murder, and a stolen fortune in silver leads Elise Baxter to Max Holt’s Victorian inn. She is reluctantly, though irresistibly, attracted to Max. 

Leery of loving again, Max lets passion overrule caution, tumbling them into an erotic encounter. 

Guided by ghosts and opposed by an evil presence, the couple searches for the treasure. But there are others who will stop at nothing to unlock the mystery of the Silver Crescent.


                       The backstory features a group of miners in Leadville, Colorado.

    For my first blog with Paranormal Romantics, I’d like to tell you about my first published book, The Silver Crescent. I love old haunted houses, and I enjoy using ghosts and witches in my stories. So what better than a pair of Victorian ghosts in need of help? My setting was my home state of Michigan in the beautiful Irish Hills. This is an area of small towns, late nineteenth-century homes, and wonderful ghost stories.

    With eager anticipation, I sent the MS of The Silver Crescent off to a small publisher who responded with the comment, “You have a good story if you could write it.” Ouch! I worked on her suggestions and sent it back. This time she thought it was great, except she wanted me to make the ghosts mean. 

    For me, as a writer, I can’t change characters' personalities at will. They are who they are. I told her this, but she insisted I have a mean ghost. So I had to create an entire new ghost character. This can be challenging because you can’t just plop an additional character in anywhere. They must blend in with the story. By the time I was done, I’d added fifteen-thousand words. The editor was right; the mean ghost definitely added to the story. 

    This small press has closed, and I have regained my rights to the book. Like other writers, rereading our first work can make us cringe as all the no-no's in writing jump out at us. I’m going to revamp the story, and hopefully my editor with Wild Rose Press will love it, and it will be reborn.


Cedar Bend, Michigan 1900

 The bullet slammed into Cyrus Mosby’s chest. The pain was quick and sharp. A dream-like sensation came over him as his body crumpled to the floor. His eyes fell upon his wife’s portrait. With his last breath, he whispered, “Virginia.”

“Cyrus, my love, I’m here.”

Cyrus opened his eyes. Confused, he stared at his beautiful wife, kneeling next to him, silver tears streaming down her translucent face. “Virginia?”

“Yes, love, it’s me.”

Cyrus took her outstretched hand and slowly sat up. Weightless, he floated upward until once again he stood. “Virginia, I don’t understand. What’s happened? How can you be here?”

Virginia brushed away her tears. “I couldn’t leave you. I’ve been waiting for you to join me, but I never expected it to happen like this. Cyrus, I’m so sorry. I had no idea of the evil that lurked within him.”

Still bewildered, Cyrus glanced around his library: tall bookcases holding leather- bound books neatly arranged, the large mahogany desk where moments before he’d been sitting, an Oriental rug now stained with the blood of three men. His own lifeless body lay at his feet. And here was Virginia, dead these past five years, standing in front of him. Tentatively he reached out his hand and touched her face. His fingers brushed across air that felt cool and thick. “I've truly joined you in death? Or am I dreaming?”


Nancy Gideon said...

OOOOOOH! This home girl can't wait to read a Michigan-set book and it's been a while since I've enjoyed a ghost story. Welcome aboard, Debby. You've found a good home here at PRN!!

D. V. STONE said...

Congratulation on your book! I love a ghost story. 👻

Marilyn Barr said...

I love haunted houses too. The Silver Crescent sounds fantastic!


I love touring old houses, and wondering if they're haunted is a favorite pastime. Great blog post!

Diane Burton said...

Welcome to Paranormal Romantics and congrats on your 1st post. Thanks for sharing your 1st book. Like Nancy, I have to read something set in my backyard.

Nightingale said...

That first rejection reminds me of one of my early ones, but you were brave enough to continue. I'm sure your new editor will love The Silver Crescent. It sounds perfectly ghostly, one of my reading favs. Great first post, Debbie. Welcome to the blog!

Barbara Bettis said...

Oh my goodness.Enjoyed the post and the look at this book--which I hope to read soon :) Good luck!

Mary Morgan said...

Welcome, Debby! Oh, I love a good ghost story! This one sounds intriguing. All the best!

Debby Grahl said...

Thanks to all for your warm welcome!

Jessica E. Subject said...

It's always nice when you can include something you love in the stories you write! Welcome to Paranormal Romantics, and all the best with this story!

Maureen said...

I love a good ghost story- even if it's a mean ghost, lol!

Tena Stetler said...

Ohhh... I love a good ghost story! This one sounds right up my alley. The excerpt is intriguing. Good luck!