She believes the peaceful, beautiful environment, and the connection she has always felt to its former resident will give her inspiration she needs to finish the book quickly. But her optimism is short-lived. Her things break or vanish, and terrifying visions make Sara wonder if she's truly alone on the island, or if she is slowly losing her mind.
She gets no answers from Seth's family who closely guard 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?
|Publisher:||The Writer's Coffee Shop|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)|
About the Author
Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot...though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wow. There really aren't words. I love how Lissa is able to sew together the paranormal, a love story, drama, mystery and a history lesson all into one seamless story. I found myself constantly wishing I could go to that remote island and meet Seth Fortner for myself. I knew I was going to like this book after reading the sample a few months ago and I was definitely not disappointed.
There's something about Sara Howell that makes it easy to relate to her. Perhaps that's just because I write. LOL. She's down on her luck when a new acquaintance offers her an irresistible opportunity. That stroke of providence results in her meeting an angry ghost who becomes pleasingly protective of her. There's a twist in this book that I didn't see coming (I must say that's rare). For that twist alone, I would recommend this book. Lissa blends historical detail and contemporary romance in a way that satisfies and makes the past relevant to the present. It's no secret that I'm a fan. Seth is a wonderfully complex character; a tortured soul. He's stuck on his past, unable to move forward until Sara comes along. In the course of the book, they both evolve. That was just lovely.
To be completely fair, there were parts of this book that deserved more than 3 stars, but looking at the complete book, and the few bumps on the road, 3 stars seem like a fitting rating. Ghostwriter starts out rather slow as we get to know Sara in midst of the mess that her life has become: she's unemployed, she broke up with her boyfriend, is on bad terms with her mother and struggling to ghostwrite a biography of a rather dull politician. She accepts the offer to cheaply rent a cabin on an isolated island, only to find out that it was the previous home of her favorite author who died under mysterious circumstances a century ago. Even though the pace remains slow throughout the novel, this is where things start to get more interesting. I loved the atmosphere of the island, a true heaven for a loner and writer like Sara. Sara finally comes to life and we get to see the real her, not the monotonously grey character that she was in the beginning. The introduction of Seth happens slowly, and gave me goosebumps more than once. He provided me with some of my favorite moments of this book, especially when the final third rolls around. The final part felt like reading a completely different book, and it's a great pay-off for the slow and long build-up. I was mesmerized not only with the sweet romance, but also the entire ghost background that Lissa Bryan creates. The grand finale was a whirlwind of emotions, a beautiful tale of love between soulmates, and a story that I wanted to be a part of for at least a little bit longer. It's hard to pinpoint why the beginning didn't really work for me. Maybe because Sara is not an exceptionally interesting character? The slow pacing? The not-so-memorable writing? Need for a more tight prose? Whatever it is, I am grateful for the big twist that made the story not only take a turn for the better, but also stick with me for days after I finished reading this book.
Ghostly Goodness on Every Page From the romantic and mysterious cover image, I was intrigued by this book. The inside was even better than the cover. A good story wraps us up emotionally and makes us care about the heroine. Sara Howell is a likeable, plucky heroine who is determined to succeed on her own, whether or not her super-critical, controlling mother or now ex-boyfriend approves or not. When she is down to her last funds, an advance for ghostwriting the autobiography of an ambitious politician, it makes perfect sense to snatch up the dirt-cheap offer of a beautiful house on a small island off the North Carolina coast, with stunning beach vistas, and mesmerizing sea grass waving in the breeze. Rather than lonely, it strikes Sara as the perfect writer’s retreat; no other houses, no phones or internet, but not too primitive, either, boasting electrical power and plenty of hot water. Better yet, it once belonged to Sara’s all-time favorite novelist, Seth Fortner, who died mysteriously, decades before she was born. Sara feels for the first time in her life, she’s come home. Eerie things begin to happen, and an angry, blood-stained Seth appears to Sara in her dreams, shouting at her to “Get out!” of his house. A ghost story should be satisfyingly spooky, and this one made my heart pound. At the same time, I wondered, along with Sara, if Seth was real, or conjured up by her guilty conscience (after she discovers and reads a stash of his private correspondence) and vivid imagination. Or is she losing her mind? Real or not, Sara is stuck there on the island; she can’t afford to leave and go elsewhere until she finishes the book. She can’t even afford to replace her glasses or see a doctor instead of eating pain pills by the handful for her killer headaches. Finally Sara decides that for all intents and purposes, Seth is real. Not only real, but suffering from PTSD from his experiences during World War I. They become friends, and over time, their friendship blossoms into romance. Seth even helps Sara with her book. But what future is there for a couple who can only touch in dreams? Characters and Details: Blended in gradually, no info-dump. Enough details sprinkled in to visualize each setting and character, without bogging the book down. Pacing: I found it to be a real page turner, while at the same time with the romance arc, it allowed for an unrushed build up from creepy to acceptance to love. Plot: Extremely original, with many plot twists I did not see telegraphed from a mile away, yet as each occurred, there had been enough seeds planted that they made perfect sense. As a ghost story, this sent chills down my spine. As a love story, what star-crossed couple could be more impossible to bring together for a happily ever after than a live woman and a dead man? If you like romances, ghost stories, mysteries, or simply a good story well told, read this book.