GHOSTWRITER #Giveaway! Excerpt: The Message in the Mirror

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.

Today's excerpt:

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The bathroom was already steamy when she returned. Sara stripped, hopped inside, and nearly broke her neck when she slipped. She caught herself on the shower curtain rod, and was lucky she didn’t pull the whole thing down.

Mental note: get a rubber shower mat. Her heart pounded and adrenaline made her feel a little queasy. She stayed in the shower probably longer than she should have, but it soothed her, and it even helped a little with her headache.

Sara was very careful stepping out of the tub onto the tile floor and added another mental note to get a bathmat, too. She wrapped her body and hair with a towel, humming as she did so. The sound died in her throat when she saw the mirror.

In the condensation on the mirror, someone had written her a message.


Sara couldn’t breathe. She sat down on the toilet seat. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. Is someone in the house? She looked back up and the message was still there. It was the only possible explanation. Sara looked around for a weapon. She found a bottle of shower cleaner and decided it would function as mace. She held it out, like a gun. She reached for the doorknob, her heart slamming against her ribs. She turned it, slowly and then yanked it open, jumping back with her bottle aimed at about face level.

No one was there. Sara approached the door cautiously and peeked around the edge. The hall was empty.

She scurried into her bedroom and shut the door. She backed away from it, her breath rasping hard in her throat. She looked over at the bed and a terrible dread swept over her. She’d have to get down on her hands and knees and look under it to make sure no one was hiding underneath. The thought terrified her.

Her legs shook as Sara lowered herself to the carpet. The bed had a dust ruffle all around the bottom, touching the floor. She’d have to lift it to look. She didn’t want to. She tried to talk herself into it, but she was so afraid her whole body trembled.

Sara suddenly remembered something from her childhood, a memory forgotten until now. When she was little, she had been afraid there was a monster under her bed. Her mother had been brutally unsympathetic to her fear and refused to check beneath it for Sara because it was “ridiculous.” Every time Sara had to get into the bed, she had leapt into it from a safe distance, certain if she walked up to the side, a cold, slimy and inhuman hand would grab her ankle.

That fear had returned, tenfold. She reached out, slowly, her hand shaking so hard it was difficult to get a grip on the cloth. You can do this. You have to look.

Sara flung the dust ruffle up and looked into the dark space below the bed. It was empty.

Relief made her muscles limp. She collapsed back onto the carpet and put her hands over her face.

Get up, Sara. You have to check the rest of the house. “No,” she whimpered, arguing with herself. You have to.

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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



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