Please help me welcome back Jan Scarbrough with another Gothic Mystery Romance. She’s also sharing a little abou ther research for TIMELESS. Welcome, Jan…
Being a history major as well as an ex-English teacher came in handy when writing Timeless, a Gothic suspense.
I pulled out a couple of books from my research library: Haunts of Old Louisville by David Domine, and The Great Louisville Tornado of 1890 by Keven McQueen. I wanted to use information from both books as inspiration and background for my story.
It’s strange what a novelist needs when writing, and the Internet is a handy place to find that information. Some of the things I researched were Baxter Square Park—Louisville’s first park—a party game called Flip Cup, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the events of September 11, 2001. I also researched a hill in Louisville’s Cherokee Park where people sled in the winter and is still called “dog hill.” I investigated carriages from the 1890’s and period clothing.
I combined all my research into a first person account of the heroine and her journey from the past into her future.
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Blurb for Timeless
When Beth Abbott receives a surprise inheritance from her birth mother, she travels to the family’s nineteenth century mansion in Old Louisville, now a bed and breakfast. There the new mistress of Chadwick House meets the resident ghost, a little girl whose crying not only scares, but also intrigues guests. As she sets out to discover the identity of the ghost and why the child ghost appears happy to Beth, not sad, Beth is confronted by evil from the past.
Jeff Halstead, a man with many secrets, runs the bed and breakfast. But he’s more than that to Beth, and she feels their connection immediately. A psychic medium who doubts his skills, Jeff slowly uncovers the truth of their past lives. Will he be in time to reveal the identity of Beth’s enemy? Will the love they shared in the past follow them into the future?
Excerpt – Timeless
I tried to go to sleep. My new life would be better in daylight. I could at least get a better look at my surroundings. Falling asleep would make the day come sooner.
But it didn’t work. Even though my eyes were shut tight, I couldn’t relax. Time went by. I don’t know how much time. And then I heard a faint noise.
It was the giggling of a child.
Could it be television from someone’s room?
But it didn’t sound like television. It sounded real, as if a child was playing in the hall maybe. It was a high-pitched laugh, like a little girl’s. My skin prickled, and my stomach tightened. Another chilly sensation swept over me. I was being watched. But there was no one in my room with me.
Tossing back the covers, I jumped out of bed and ran to the nearby window. Could the sound be coming from outside? A streetlamp pooled light on the sidewalk. Gray fog swirled in the air making the deserted street below seem spooky as if from a B-rated horror movie. I shivered at the thought and turned to hop back into bed.
At that moment, a flash of white raced past me, and I caught it out of the corner of my eye. I heard the giggling again, louder now. Looking back at my bed, I spotted a little girl standing on the other side of it. She was dressed in white and her slender hand reached toward my doll as if she wanted to touch it and play with it.
She looked up, startled, and smiled at me as if she knew me. And then she ran from the bed toward the door to the parlor that was shut. My heart raced. I followed her, flinging open the door to stare out into the empty parlor with the gray streetlights creating a defused, half-light glow in the room.
How had the little girl gone through the door? It had been shut! How could she have disappeared so quickly? Was I dreaming? Hallucinating? I pinched myself to see if I was awake.
I was. The floor was cold even through my socks. I crossed the parlor and unlocked and opened the outer door to the hall. All was quiet except for the deep tick-tock of a grandfather clock at one end. I bit my lower lip and retreated to the parlor, making sure the door to the hall was locked.
Standing silently for a moment, listening for laughter, I let my heart settle into a normal rhythm. What was the matter with me?
Thinking back at the vision of the little girl, I realized something was wrong about it. The child’s clothes were more fitting for the nineteenth century, not the twenty-first. In fact, her clothes reminded me of the lacy frills of my doll. And the girl’s hair was long, curled in dark blond ringlets down her back, and she wore a white ribbon in her hair. Her body didn’t seem solid. It was transparent, almost ghost-like.
I charged back into the bedroom and leaped into the bed, pulling the covers over my head. As if hiding under covers could save me. I was behaving like a child myself, but I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know a phone number to call unless I punched 911. Then what would I say to the firemen or police? I saw a ghost standing by my bed. Right. That made as much sense as me inheriting a million dollars from a woman I’d never known or seen.
But I had inherited a million dollars . . . two million to be exact.
That realization didn’t thrill me. So I tried to think of another explanation, something besides the paranormal.
Try as I might, I couldn’t make sense of my experience. My mind whirled and twirled but I couldn’t come up with a clear explanation. Later I heard the grandfather clock bong once in the distance, ghost-like itself. This place was too darn spooky for me, I remember thinking. Soon after that I must have relaxed enough to fall asleep.
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Bio for Jan Scarbrough
A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan Scarbrough has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She writes paranormal Gothic romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with a touch of spice. Her favorite topics are families and second chances and if the plot allows, she adds another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show.
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