The Romance Reviews

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thunderstorms, Victorian houses, and ghosts

What a night! We hit 65 warm, wonderful degrees today—which in March or April would be just fantastic, but in February in central Indiana, it’s never a good thing. We had a line of strong storms come barreling through here right about nightfall. There were tornado warned storms all around us. Yes, tornadoes in February, in Indiana. Like I said, not a good thing. And, by morning, we’ll be at 30 degrees…much more like February weather.

We survived. The only damage that we seemed to have sustained was a few downed tree limbs. The power flickered for a moment but we never lost it. All the critters were battened down for the storm. The collies were all in the basement in their crates…all the wet, muddy, happy collies. We’ve had above normal temps for the past couple of days, and all that snow we’ve gotten in the last couple of weeks melted. Melted into big puddles…and most of the collies loved it. I have one who makes her own mud puddles in the summer by splashing the water from her bucket onto the ground, so she was in heaven with all the puddles in her kennel. (Dang, Dixie…do you have any idea how hard it is to maintain your coat if you’re constantly applying a layer of mud to it?)

On the other hand, I have a few collies that will go twenty feet out of their way to avoid even getting their sparkly white paws damp. Snape and Vander are the first two who come to mind. Snape is a gentleman and would NEVER splash in puddles. I’m still trying to figure out how it is that his grand-daughter Dixie is such a mud puppy. And Vander get his feet wet? Dear Dog, he might melt…There is a reason that Vander’s nickname is “Lavender Larry Princess Paws.”

Anyway, I was sitting in my office in the basement (in the dungeon, as my grand-daughter says) when the power flickered. I’ve been tinkering with an idea for a new line that The Wild Rose Press is shortly going to announce (and I’m not telling anything, so I’m not spoiling anything) when a scene to that idea I’ve been tinkering with flashed in my head.

Imagine a huge old Queen Anne style Victorian home, perched on a rugged cliff on the sea coast of Maine. She presents a very austere face to the world, built of local limestone and a dark slate roof. Her widow’s walk is on the third floor. She’s been turned into an upscale bed and breakfast, and on the first floor is one of the best mom and pop places for seafood for one hundred miles. The woman who has considered this grand old Victorian home all of her life is facing losing this place. And, the person who saves The Widow’s Walk (the name given to the B & B) is the one person that Victoria would rather never see again—the one who got away.

Originally, this was just going to be a straight up contemporary. Well, my Muse has other ideas—including a ghost or two. It was the storm outside that triggered this scene—with a ghost throwing things at the hero, including a few carving knives from the kitchen.

I’ve put myself on a deadline for this WIP. I’ve given myself until April 21st to finish the first, rough draft. We’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, I need to figure out what the ghosts want…because one of them isn’t very happy.

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