GHOSTWRITER Excerpt: A Dance With a #Ghost in a Dreamworld Ballroom

All this month, I'll be celebrating the second birthday of my novel, Ghostwriter, with excerpts and prizes.

This year is also the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. My hero, Seth, was a witness to the terrible events of that war as an ambulance driver. Sara discovers his letters home in a trunk hidden in the attic of the island house she's renting.

Along with the excerpts, I'll be sharing some photographs that inspired me as I was writing the novel.

Today's excerpt:

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Sara stood and held a hand out to Seth. “Come dance with me. The night is too short to dwell in bad memories.”

Seth took her hand and stood. “Dance? Here?”

“Just a good a place as any.” Sara put her arms around his neck and began to hum a waltz.

He closed his eyes for a moment and they were now in a ballroom. Sara’s pajamas had been changed to a white dress and Seth now wore a black tuxedo. “Will this do?”

“Perfect,” Sara declared.

A small orchestra, hidden behind a wall of potted plants, played a waltz. Judging by the women’s fashions—the loose, low-waist dresses and oriental styled feather fascinators some of them wore—they were in the early 1920s.

Sara’s school had offered dance as an alternative to gym class, and Sara had happily taken it. She didn’t expect life to offer her many chances to use what she learned, but while she was in class, being spun around the small dance floor, she could pretend she was a character in one of the novels she read, in the arms of a handsome hero.

Seth took her hand and bowed over it before he pressed a soft kiss to the back. “May I have this dance, Miss Sara?”

“I would be delighted, Mr. Fortner.”

He pulled her close and they joined the swirl of dancers, as though swept by a tide. Seth was a graceful dancer, and he made her feel as light as a feather in his arms.

She gazed up into his cobalt eyes and thought to herself this was a fantasy come true.

“Your eyes are sparkling, Miss Sara,” he murmured. “You look like an angel when you’re dressed in white.”

“Oh, Seth, I—”


I love you . . . she thought, and it startled her. It was the second time those words had come into her mind unbidden, and she had to wonder if it was true and if love was the name of the swelling feeling within her heart.

“You look troubled.” His eyes sharpened with concern.

“I’m not. I was just . . . thinking.”

“Don’t think. Just feel.” He stopped in his tracks and bent his head to kiss her as the ghostly dancers continued their circuit around the floor.

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About the book:

Newly single, unemployed, and with her savings dwindling to an all-time low, Sara thinks things are finally looking up when she lands a job ghostwriting a popular politician’s biography, and rents the affordable island home of her favorite author, Seth Fortner, who mysteriously disappeared in 1925. Strange things begin to happen as objects break, go missing, and terrifying visions appear, making Sara wonder if Seth ever left, or if she is slowly losing her mind.

She gets no answers from his family who closely guards the secret of his disappearance. Through an old trunk of letters Sara discovers in the attic of her seaside cottage, Sara unravels the mystery and becomes caught up in a tale of greed, lost love, and the horrors of WWI. Will she be the one to break the “Fortner Curse” by helping Seth conquer his demons, and heal both of their hearts in the process?

Available from:

Ghostwriter - Lissa Bryan


Abe Books



  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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