October GHOSTWRITER Giveaway! Third Excerpt

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.

In today's excerpt Sara sees the house on the island for the first time.

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"So? What do you think?” Ginny asked.

“I love it!” Sara couldn’t believe her good fortune. She decided she’d have to take pictures to send to her mother. They would keep her smirk at bay for a few months.

Ginny tried to keep Sara distracted with chatter on the trip back, to keep her mind off her stomach. It worked until Ginny said to Becca, “Sara’s a writer just like Uncle Seth was.”

Sara nearly fell off her seat, and suddenly Ginny’s last name gained special significance. “Uncle Seth? Do you mean Seth Fortner? Seth Fortner was your uncle?”

“Well, not really our uncle,” Ginny explained. “Great-great uncle, or something like that. But everybody in the family just calls him Uncle Seth.”

“Seth Fortner, the author of The Precipice?” Sara asked.

“Yeah, and some other stuff,” Ginny said. “I can’t remember which one he won the award for . . .”

The Dawn King,” Sara said through numb lips. “The Pulitzer.”

Ginny gave her one of those odd looks. “Are you all right, Sara?”

“Yeah, I’m just . . . I’m just stunned. Seth Fortner is my favorite author. I’ve read everything he ever wrote, including the articles he wrote when he worked as a reporter.”

“Just like you.” Ginny beamed. “Maybe you’ll write your own novel while you’re living there and become a famous author, too.”

“Yeah, maybe.” Sara gave her a noncommittal smile. “Hey, can I ask you a question? What happened to him? How did he die?”

“It’s a difficult subject for my family and we don’t wish to discuss it.” Ginny’s reply had the air of a line memorized long ago and used many times.

“Sorry,” Sara said, though she really wasn’t. She wanted so badly to know. What had happened to Seth Fortner was one of those literary mysteries, like the disappearance of Ambrose Bierce, or what killed Edgar Allen Poe. It had been the subject of a few books of its own, alleging everything from murder and wide-spread conspiracy, to his family locking Seth away in an insane asylum. She’d even read one book in which the author alleged Seth had faked his death and retired to South America.

His family had always remained tight-lipped about it. No one was even certain when he had died. The records had disappeared from the police files and he was buried under a simple stone in the family plot that read SETH. The best his biographers could do was say he probably died sometime in 1925.

“But it was his house?” Sara asked.

“Well, most of it, anyway. It’s been remodeled multiple times over the years, and it’s bigger than it was back then. From the pictures I’ve seen, it looks a lot different than it did back in Uncle Seth’s day.”

“It’s beautiful.” Sara sighed. “I can’t believe no one in your family wants to live there.”

“Our cousin Jerry used to stay there during the summers before he got cancer. But the rest of us, we’ve got jobs and school. It’s just too remote for people who have—” Ginny broke off the end of her sentence.

Sara thought with amusement Ginny was probably going to say, “ . . . who have lives.” She wasn’t insulted. She was a realist.

Maybe once she got this book finished, she would go back out into the world, try dating again, make friends, and go clubbing—all the things people assured her were essential for a woman her age. But that would be later. Right now, she would take the whisper of the wind through the seagrass and the rumble of the waves over a date at a noisy club.

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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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