by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of A Ghostly Light. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Melanie “Mel” Turner, the owner of San Francisco’s Turner Construction, has several gifts. First, she can look at the most ramshackle of buildings and envision its potential beauty, as well as the possibilities to provide comfort and happiness. Her other talent is truly magical, as Mel has recently begun seeing and communicating with the ghosts. Her last experience at helping a spirit cross over still has Mel recovering from her own brush with death, suffering with a case of PTSD-induced vertigo. Being unable to cope with heights will be a bit of a problem on her newest site, as Mel has been hired by Alicia Withers to renovate Lighthouse Island’s historic lighthouse and keeper’s home into a functional Lighthouse Inn. Considering its long history and the precarious state of ocean travel, Mel wasn’t surprised to discover spirits haunting the island. What does shock her is the sight of a woman’s ghost throwing herself off of the lighthouse, not to mention the discovery of a far more recent corpse!
Mel herself had a confrontation with the late Thorn Walker, Alicia’s abusive ex-husband who had tracked her down even though she had assumed a new identity. The afterlife hasn’t made Thorn any less of a jerk, but circumstances have Alicia the most obvious suspect and the one Mel needs to help. Perhaps even more upsetting than this being the fifth body Mel has had the misfortune to discover are the memories of a home she’s certain she’s never been in. Mel’s new mathematician boyfriend Landon may use physics to explain parallel dimensions and ghostly presences, but she would prefer that Thorn simply disappear, discover whether the treasure maps being left around the island are real, and learn who and why the ghostly woman is haunting the lighthouse.
What continues to be remarkably entertaining about this Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series are the fascinating details and demands of historical renovations. Here lighthouses are particularly compelling, as few could tolerate the isolation or rigorous demands, making it one of the few professions therefore open to women. Mel continues to be the star attraction though, as she is a woman working in a male-dominated profession and living in a similarly masculine household. A stepson, father, family friend, Mel’s out-of-work friend Stephen, and even Doug the dog inhabit the Turner Construction home and office, which explains why Mel values her female friendships so highly. It is her best friend Luz who encourages Mel to seek an acupuncturist for help with her acrophobia, although in truth it may be feelings for Landon that are causing her fear.
Mel’s good humor and wit make her an engaging and likable heroine—she is delighted to find how much she enjoys having minions to run errands—while her empathy and compassion compel her to assist both the living and dead. Mel herself would appreciate the crafting and construction of this novel, which skillfully balances humor with debates over justice, forgiveness, and whether anyone can be redeemed.
To enter to win a copy of A Ghostly Light, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “light,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 22, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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