This June and July I have invited authors to share ghost stories on my blog. The stories could be excerpts from their novels, stories of ghosts they've encountered in real life, ghost legends from the region where they live, or whatever other paranormal activity they'd like to share. My hope is that you'll read their books while you wait and get pumped up for the release of my newest novel Lost on the Water, A Ghost Story.
First up on the Write and Rewrite guest list is author Laura Wolfe. Laura has an amazing two-book YA mystery series about a teen girl and champion horse rider who has an ability to see ghosts. I absolutely loved book one, Trail of Secrets, and I have book two, Barn Shadows waiting in line on my Kindle. I can't wait to read it.
The ghost story Laura Wolfe is sharing today is from Barn Shadows. Here's a blurb about the novel.
A year after her tumultuous exit from the prestigious Foxwoode Riding Academy, seventeen year-old Brynlei returns determined to confront her demons and win Foxwoode's elite Top Rider Award. When she stumbles over an antique doll at the construction site of a new barn, a series of inexplicable occurrences force her to question whether her condition as a "highly-sensitive person" is to blame or if something more sinister is at play.
As Brynlei becomes consumed with discovering the history of the unearthed doll, the bizarre happenings escalate to dangerous levels. She soon realizes that someone close to her is lying. But who? Could a decades-old tragedy and the threatening events at Foxwoode be more closely entwined than she ever imagined?
Brynlei lay awake in her bunk, once again staring at the wooden slats above her. Anna slept, her steady breathing interrupted only by an occasional chirp or hoot from animals outside. The fan rattled in the window, but its shallow hum didn’t block out the myriad nighttime noises that could infiltrate a cabin in the woods of northern Michigan.
The other girls seemed to be asleep, too, except for Grace who tossed and turned on the other side of the room. Brynlei closed her eyes and envisioned the doll in her suitcase. She pictured the black-and-white image hanging in the dining hall. The photo from 1965 had yellowed at the corners, its subjects stiff and discolored. The girl pictured with the doll would be somewhere around sixty years old today, if she was even alive. How had she been at Foxwoode the other night? It didn’t make logical sense, yet Brynlei was certain it was the same girl. Her dress, her hair, and her stature were all identical. Plus, when Brynlei had told Caroline about someone separating from the group during the scavenger hunt, Caroline had insisted that they’d all been together.
The faint glimpse of understanding Brynlei had been trying to ignore now gleamed before her, refusing to dim. No one else had seen the girl because she was a ghost. The flashlight’s drained battery, her bathroom items repeatedly being knocked off the shelf, the mysterious fleeting figure in her mirror, the clocks blinking 4:29, and the brushes positioned in a semicircle all percolated in Brynlei’s mind. Each incident taken alone had seemed odd but meaningless. She had explained away each peculiar occurrence, not wanting to become embroiled in another ghost hunt. Taken together, however, the evidence of paranormal activity seemed overwhelming.
Maybe the girl needed to tell her something. Perhaps the girl’s life had met with an abrupt ending. She could be stuck in the physical world because she was clinging to unfinished business. Brynlei had researched the subject of paranormal occurrences at length after she’d seen her dead grandma sitting in the living room armchair.
Her sightings hadn’t occurred frequently, but they did happen. Even before her diagnosis as an HSP, Brynlei had known that ghosts were real. She’d seen them. There was her grandma, of course, but there’d been others, too. Like Mr. Brentwood, the man her parents called her imaginary friend. She’d played with him for hours in the backyard when she’d lived in the house on Hill Street. Even though he always wore a charcoal suit and a burgundy tie, he didn’t mind digging in the sandbox or rolling on the grass with her. He pushed her on the tire swing and ate picnics with her under the oak tree. He preferred tea with his cake and always thanked her for the extra effort. Mr. Brentwood’s eyes crinkled in the corners and glistened whenever he told Brynlei how she reminded him of his daughter. Brynlei had been young then—only three or four. She’d concluded that her parents couldn’t see Mr. Brentwood because he played hide-and-seek whenever they came around. She’d cried when they’d moved from Hill Street to their current house. Mr. Brentwood had explained that he couldn’t travel with her. The day they moved was the last time she ever saw him.
Back then, she didn’t understand why Mr. Brentwood stayed in the house on Hill Street, but she had since learned that spirits who remained in the physical world were usually trapped there because of unfinished business, tethered to the place where they’d died. Their spirits lingered in the spot where their lives had ended and, sometimes, tried to send a message—or a warning—to others.
This series is perfect for readers 13 and older, especially if you LOVE horses. But add in mystery, a ghost, and a spooky doll? Sign. Me. Up.
You can get these books at Amazon or wherever books are sold online. They are published with Fire and Ice YA Books.
Laura Wolfe is a lover of animals and nature. When she is not writing, she can be found playing games with her highly-energetic kids, riding horses, growing vegetables in her garden, or spoiling her rescue dog. Laura's YA mystery, Trail of Secrets (Dark Horse, Book One), was named as a Finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards—First Novel category. Barn Shadows (Dark Horse, Book Two) was shortlisted in the 2018 Chanticleer Paranormal Book Awards. Laura holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan and is an active member of multiple writing groups, including Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the SCBWI. For more information on her upcoming books, please visit: www.AuthorLauraWolfe.com
So, go download Laura's wonderful books and enjoy them over the next month or so until Lost on the Water comes out. Please leave a comment for Laura or myself. We'd love to here from you. Share this blog post if you enjoyed it. And you can always sign up for my mailing list here.
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D. G. Driver
Award-winning author of books for teen and tween readers. Learn more about her and her writing at www.dgdriver.com
Author D. G. Driver's
Write and Rewrite Blog
“There are no bad stories, just ones that haven’t found their right words yet.”
A blog mostly about the process of revision with occasional guest posts, book reviews, and posts related to my books.