I’m so honored and excited to be appearing on the Nights of Passion Blog! Thanks for having me.
I just got back from Cape Cod, where I began this summer’s Novel Fun on the Summer Sun tour with fellow CTRWA member Deborah Ann Davis. I’m celebrating the Unfinished Business Series of paranormal romances. Both Breakwater Beach and The Widow’s Walk are set in the historic sea captain’s town of Brewster, Massachusetts. The rich seafaring history and timeless, ethereal beauty of this enclave and its beaches is the perfect setting for a romance. Ghost stories abound. The peace and quiet create an optimal environment for me to write, but I experienced something very special this year.
I’m currently at work on the third book in the series, Storm Watch. Well past the midpoint, I’ve been finding it hard to keep up momentum. But even though I’ve been living with the characters for over ten years. I’ve been living with myself a lot longer. I’ve vacationed on the Cape all my life, and there are so many memories and so many ghosts lurking in the sunbeams, hiding behind rocks, and lingering in the shadows at sunset.
In addition to being a fantasy and paranormal writer, or maybe because of that, I’m also a memoirist accustomed to switching to fiction when the story needs embellishment, a more interesting plot, or a more dramatic presentation. I grew up on the waterfront, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, and motor boating. The taste of salt on my lips and its tingle in my nostrils when I dive underwater brings back powerful memories of my childhood, particularly my father, grandfather, and uncles who often took me along on their adventures. The male characters in the Unfinished Business Series are composites of these devoted family men who now only live on in my memories. Add in my mother, grandmothers and aunts, and there are enough loving, sometimes eccentric, and always boisterous moments to recall. Even the neighbors were full of local color: one raising ducks, lambs and chickens, and a retired iceman who still had his horse.
As I took my solitary, early morning walks on the Brewster Flats, the magnificent vistas breathed life back into the characters, who once again insisted on telling their stories their way. I dictated several key scenes, including their spirited, vivid dialogue, as I waded through tide pools to the horizon more than a mile offshore at low tide. An equally amazing moment was when, seated on Breakwater Beach, the boats left high and dry on the sand tricked me into thinking I was 10 years old again and that my father was the one scraping barnacles off the bottom to help it go faster when pulling me on a wakeboard (which was called something different way back then).
It inspired the opening of Storm Watch:
Either it was age or too much on his mind, but forgetting your morning routine was like getting lost in your own back yard. Mike was in the parking lot before he realized he’d forgotten to stop for tea. There was some water and soda aboard the Whaler-warm of course-some stale snacks too. The sun peeked through a bank of puffy white clouds, giving the hint of a beautiful day to come. But to the west, a dark expanse rolled over itself like a giant octopus, its tentacles undulating, slapping the shit out of the cottony sky. “Damn ghosts.”
Early morning beachcombers, at least a mile off shore, skim boarded, fished, and tended oyster farms. The golden glow of early morning glinted off water so blue it blended into the sky, with just a touch of whipped cream clouds to provide some perspective. Mike walked around the boat, trying to ignore the ominous counterbalance in the west as a nor’easter gathered strength over the open ocean. He pulled some seaweed off the bottom of the boat, lovingly replacing it in a tide pool. He not so lovingly scraped off the barnacles with the putty knife he kept in his pocket for such occasions, and they retaliated by ripping a gash across his knuckles.
I’ve been preparing to write this series all my life, and it will be difficult to say goodbye to Mike and Liz, Sandra, Mae and Kevin. But writing their stories has helped me remember my own, and to enrich the prose with ethnographic as well as historical research.
The Unfinished Business Series
Webpage with excerpts and background: http://bit.ly/1Pr1y1x
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E-book now available, print coming Fall 2016
Liz Levine is convinced her recently deceased husband is engineering the sequence of events that propels her into a new life. But it’s sea captain Edward Barrett, the husband that died over a century ago, who has returned to complete their unfinished business. Edward’s lingering presence complicates all her plans and jeopardizes a new relationship that reawakens her passion for life and love. What are Captain Barrett’s plans for his wife, and for the man who is the new object of her affections?
Mike tipped his hand in salute and went out to his truck. “Morning,” he said to Mae who was getting out of her van.
“Good morning’ to ya, too,” she replied, looking at him askance. “Come along, lassies, still plenty to do.”
Mae looked at Liz standing in the doorway wearing Mike’s sweatshirt. Her eyes traveled from Liz’s hair, still damp and caked with mud and sand, all the way down to her bare feet.
“Ehh . . . a change in plans, girls. We’ll start downstairs today. First, polish the woodwork and then clean all the fixtures. Then upstairs, after the missus has time to get dressed.”
Mae herded them out of the foyer then followed Liz upstairs, smiling like she was about to solve the crime of the century. “From the looks of ya, that was one wild night on the beach. Now ya best be hoppin’ into the tub after passin’ me the nightie. I’ll soak it and get that mud out before it’s ruined. I’ll freshen the big guy’s sweatshirt, too.”
“It was nothing like that, Mae.” Liz couldn’t bear the thought of having to explain this to another person she knew from another life.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not passin’ any judgment. To be honest, I’m relieved. Ya took my advice. There’s nothin’ wrong with livin’, Liz.”
Available in e-book and print
Mike and Liz Keeny are newlyweds, new parents, and the proprietors of the Barrett Inn, an 1875 Victorian on Cape Cod, which just happens to be haunted. By their own ghosts. The Inn had become an annex of Purgatory, putting Mike, Liz, and their infant son in danger. Selling the historic seaside bed and breakfast was the only answer, one that Liz and her own tortured specter refused to consider. Were they doomed to follow the same path that led to disaster in their previous lives? Was getting out, getting away, enough?
Silk rustled as she ran her hands over the dress. The lavender scent deepened as Elisabeth swirled around inside, Her mind went numb as the ghost took control. Liz slipped out of her clothes and stood naked in front of the mirror. She put up her hair, preening for her husband, before she stepped into the middle of the deep green skirts and pulled them up over her waist, slipped her arms into the sleeves, and twisted them behind her back to fasten the buttons. She used the buttonhook to do up the shoes, then peered out into the hallway.
Liz and hurried to the attic door. It wasn’t until she placed her hand on the banister and started up the steep staircase to the roof that Elisabeth’s needling eased. Like an addict in the throes of withdrawal, just the promise of being up there, her spirit communing with the long lost sea captain, offered relief.
Storm Watch: Book Three
Mike and Liz thought they’d gotten control of the specters haunting the Barrett Inn. But things get very complicated when they’re the ghosts from your past life. The Category Five Hurricane bearing down on Cape Cod appears to be headed directly for them–or has it been spawned from inside them?
Visit Carole at:
Carole Ann Moleti lives and works as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her nonfiction focuses on health care, politics, and women’s issues. But her first love is writing science fiction and fantasy because walking through walls is less painful than running into them.
Books One and Two in the Unfinished Business series, Carole’s Cape Cod paranormal romance novels, Breakwater Beach and The Widow’s Walk, were published by Soul Mate Publishing. Book Three, Storm Watch, is expected in 2017. Urban fantasies set in the world of Carole’s novels have been featured in Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, and Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires.
Excerpts of her memoirs, ranging from sweet and sentimental to edgy and irreverent, have been published in a variety of literary venues. Carole was awarded the Oasis Journal award for best nonfiction in 2009. She has a mommy memoir piece in the acclaimed Shifts Anthology.
Thank you so much, Carole, for visiting Nights of Passion.
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