As the weather cools and the nights grow longer, I become more and more involved in The Haunted Lingerie. Now at almost 27,000 words, it's about halfway through the story with the action really rolling. Although I missed my initial deadline of October 13th, it won't be long before the book is finished and ready for reading.
I'm giving serious consideration to publishing using CreateSpace so that I can have physical copies of the book available in addition to electronic ones. I do all my own editing, formatting, and artwork, so as far as I can tell, there won't be a significant fee for me to do so, but I don't yet know if it will be worth it or if I will still be allowed to distribute on Barnes & Noble or other retailers, so I haven't committed just yet. Still, this is a book I firmly believe in and would like to see up on my bookshelf next to my John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Jeffrey Deaver novels. I guess time will tell (and of course, I'll announce it here when it's all figured out).
Another exciting announcement is that I've secured a wonderful artist/cartographer to illustrate a map of the town of Sanctum Harbor, which will be included in the first pages of the book! I've quite enjoyed creating the town, and it will be so nice to see it come to life in more ways than one. I'll have his artwork up with his permission once it's finished.
I wanted to offer another sneak peek today because I've been really delving into the characters and would like to share them with you. Today's excerpt involves a reveal about Misty's home life, her relationship to Jack before the events of the novel, and why the effects of the lingerie hit home with her the way they do.
Technically, these are two snippets from two different parts of the book merged together, but I thought the insight into past events might be interesting to share with you today.
... Sanctum Harbor’s autumnal transformation was one of the most prominent in the state of Massachusetts. There were varying theories as to why.
Some postulated that it was because of its distance from any atmospheric congestion or industrial pollution – most of the town’s residents worked close to home, and those who commuted north to Sanctuary were few and far between, keeping the amount of carbon emissions low. Some said it had to do with the cleanliness of the water – theirs was some of the cleanest in the state, after all, and one of the few remaining places where it was perfectly safe to drink from the tap. Others attributed it to an old legend that spoke of a certain blessing placed upon the land by a coven of witches after they fled from Salem – something about merging their arcane abilities with the primal magic of the natives to ensure peace and harmony would reign for as long as the witches’ bloodlines still flowed.
But they said the same thing about Sanctuary, and bad shit happened up there all the time.
Misty didn’t care for the changing colors. She was reminded too much of her father’s last days in the hospital, staring out his window at those trees, hanging on even after her mother had sat down at his bedside and told him through a veil of tears that he could let go as soon as he was ready.
Her father had smiled. He had kissed her on the forehead. Then he had drawn her close against his frail, skeletal body and guided her gaze toward the window with his own.
I’ll go when they change, Mary, he told her, giving her body the best squeeze his atrophied arms could manage. I wanna see the colors one last time.
He hadn’t made it that long.
Few teenagers would tell you outright that they believed in magic. A handful of goth kids, maybe. A few pseudo-pagans trying to piss off their parents, sure. But hardly any would otherwise admit that they still believed in some kind of magic in the world, even though they did. Perhaps not the fairy tales they had left behind in childhood, but smaller miracles, like the spell a boy could put you under with just one flash of his lazy grin, or the way that a summer could last an eternity in the blink of an eye. Misty had been one of those kids, who saw so much of the world as charmed, who believed that evil could be overthrown by good and that a curse could be shattered by true love’s kiss.
But she stopped believing in it – any of it – when her father died while the leaves were still green.
By the time the viewing had ended, Misty had come to hate the word they used to describe her father: peaceful. No matter how many times they repeated it, cancer was all she saw. That was when Jack had shown up, pulled Misty into his truck, and took her down to the wharf to drink her first beer and scream her first dirty word into the night, where the shock of its vulgarity could be safely engulfed by the crashing of the waves and Jack’s raucous laughter as they stayed up until dawn, talking about both their dads and how shitty it was going to be to have to grow up without them.
That was the first time she had ever heard Jack’s heart beat as she had lain against him, safe in their cocoon of an old wool blanket, watching the sun peek up over the watery horizon in a sacred silence of shared grief. His pulse had thrummed slow and strong in her ear, the perfect soundtrack to the golden sunrise creeping over them, and Misty knew right then and there that nothing else would ever do.
But they had only been teenagers back then, and things had changed.
Her mother waited until she was eighteen to put herself away. “Just for a little while,” she remembered her saying in their driveway, standing in front of the white van that would take her north to the psychiatric hospital. Misty had watched her disappear into the morning fog, the image of the van melting away before her eyes.
It was the last time she had seen her mother, though not for a lack of trying. She had informed the staff to refuse all visitors. Even her own daughter. ...
I hope that you enjoyed this sneak peek into the world of Sanctum Harbor and Misty Ryder's painful past. If it has interested you in more of my work, you can find my Amazon Author Page here or click on the cover art above to access it.
Have a great weekend, and be safe until next time!