October is GHOSTWRITER #Giveaway Month! Dreams of a Ghost 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.

Today's excerpt:

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Sara found herself on the beach, and the sand was littered with shells. Not seashells, but mortar shells—the empty brass cases scattered in the sand. She bent down and picked one up to examine it. It was huge, large enough for her to stuff her fist inside, and it was longer than her forearm.

“Those are 75-mm mortar shells,” Seth said, appearing on her left, wearing his helmet and dirty uniform.

Sara looked up at him questioningly.

He kicked at them and sent them clattering across the sand. “Around the base of the guns, you would see drifts of these things. They tried to collect them to reuse them, but . . .” He shrugged.

“Is this real?” she asked.

Seth just looked at her.

“These dreams I have of you feel different than any dreams I’ve ever had. And I’ve never had recurring dreams like this.”

Seth sat down on one of the dunes and removed his helmet. He looked out over the waves with a brooding expression. “It’s the easiest way to speak to you.”

“Can . . .” Sara paused and started over again. “Did I see you in the attic?”


“You scared me.”

“I know. That was my intent. I wanted you to leave.”

“Past tense?”

“I’m not sure. Why did you read my letters?”

“Because . . . because I wanted to know you. I wanted to know what had happened to you.”

“Why?” Seth turned to Sara, his eyes confused and full of disbelief.

“All my life, you’ve fascinated me,” she confessed. “Other girls my age were reading romance novels, or the latest teenage series, but I was reading your books. I don’t remember how I got started on them. I think it may have been a book report, or something along those lines. I’m not sure. But the moment I started reading, I was drawn into the world you created. I felt like I knew the people you wrote about. I’d never read anything so powerful. I read everything you ever published, even the articles you wrote as a reporter.”

He looked torn, as though he wanted to believe her, but was unsure.

“None of your biographers know much about you, you know.” Sara picked up a handful of sand and let it drift back down. “You’re a mystery. I’ve read four of them—biographies I mean—and they have only the absolute bare facts of your life, nothing more. Everything else is speculation. No one even knows how you . . . uh . . . you know, how you . . . passed away.”

“No, I imagine they wouldn’t want people to know.” Seth wouldn’t look at her. He kept his eyes firmly fixed on the horizon.

“ ‘They’?”

“My family.” Seth said the last word like it was a curse. “My father was very influential. He would have been able to have all my records destroyed to keep it quiet.”

“What happened to you?”

Seth stood. “I’m leaving.”

“Wait!” Sara stood, too. She put a hand on his arm. He looked down at it and she hastily removed it. “I’m sorry. I just—please, don’t go yet. I won’t ask any more questions about . . . that.”

“You’re about to wake up, anyway. Time moves differently here.”

“I’m sorry if I made you angry because I read your letters. I just wanted to know more about you.”

“No one goes into the attic. I don’t think anyone has been up there in decades.”

That made sense. Becca wouldn’t enter the house and Sara couldn’t see Ginny going up there to dig through dusty boxes. “I’m sorry I broke Marcella’s trunk.”

He shrugged. “I don’t care about the trunk.”

“Do you . . . do you still love her?”

“Wake up.”


“Wake up.”

“Wake up!”

Sara’s eyes flew open with a gasp. A face was over hers.

She blinked. “Derrick?”

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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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