A Month of Ghostly Loved Ones: The Ghost & Mrs. Muir

Ah, October. The month of changing trees, nippy breezes, and hauntings. Last week I told you about the most recent Hamlet production that I saw and loved, starring the lovely David Tennant. This week, I’m pulling out a classic movie, The Ghost and Mrs Muir.

This was one of the first classic movies to really creep me out, make me laugh, and be supremely romantic. The plot is fairly simple.

It’s 1900, and “strong-willed widow” Lucy Muir goes to live in a seaside cottage in Britain, even though it seems to be haunted. She finds out quickly that it is entirely true! Lucy meets the ghost of the cottage’s former owner, Captain Gregg, and decides he will not scare her off. They become friends, and Lucy gets used to a man haunting her bedroom. Lo and behold, a man who happens to be alive comes a-courting, suddenly throwing the feelings between Captain Gregg and Lucy out in the open.

Why you need to watch this movie

If you’ve never watched a movie with Rex Harrison (are you NUTS? Go watch My Fair Lady NOW), you need to see this movie because Harrison is amazing. Handsome, stubborn, charming, crusty sea captain at his finest, he finds a match in pretty, stubborn, witty, funny young widow played by Gene Tierney. ALSO! You get to see itty-bitty Natalie Wood playing Tierney’s daughter, whose character as an adult narrates the story.

The banter in this movie is fantastic. Think Lizzie and Mr. Darcy. Here’s an example:

Captain Gregg: And the way he was smirking at you, like a cat in the fishmonger’s! You should have slapped his face!
Lucy Muir: Why? I found him… rather charming!
Captain Gregg: “Rather charming!” Now you’re starting to talk like him!
Lucy Muir: How in blazes do you want me to talk?
Captain Gregg: That’s better!

Seriously, if you’re looking for a fun haunting movie with some romance and great banter, check out The Ghost and Mrs Muir. Apparently it’s based on a book of the same name by Josephine Leslie. Haven’t read it yet, but I’m adding it to my Halloween reads.

Promotions

By the way, the newly released behind-the-scenes chapter called The Seance from Haunting Miss Trentwood is free on Kindle Oct 29 – 31. It’s a pretty funny chapter that lets us see a bit of the time between when Mary sees her father crawl from his grave and when Hartwell arrives at her front door looking for a blackmailer. She hires someone to perform a seance and send her father back to heaven, and the results are… well, you have to read it.

And! The love-story-not-love-story Mad Maxine is also free on Kindle Oct 29 – 31! A story about a woman who never thought she would fall in love, and when she does, what happens when illness mars the relationship. Same dates. Enjoy!

Please leave reviews, it would be so appreciated.

Requesting Beta Readers for The Rebel’s Touch

Dear Reader,

Goodness gracious I’ve been busy, but not on The Rebel’s Touch.

Requesting Beta Readers for The Rebel’s Touch

I don’t know why, I’m just so horribly stuck with that book. I’ve put it aside, so very frustrated and wondering what to do with it. Perhaps send it to a beta reader or two? If you’re interested, let me know! I’d love your thoughts and, most importantly, questions, so I know what to answer as the book goes forward. Leave a comment or contact me via Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, or the contact form on my website to let me know if you’d like a sneak peek to the first couple chapters to provide feedback.

What’s up with Mad Maxine?

In the meantime, I keep tweaking my short story, Mad Maxine. I’ve never liked the cover for it and finally, on Monday night while sipping a nice red blend with How I Met Your Mother in the background, I redesigned the cover and uploaded it to my distributors. See below for all the different covers and the final (fingers crossed) selection.

First cover Second attempt Third attempt

Whatever happened to Loving, Longing, Leaving?

Remember that anthology I was going to pull together last year? Well, I’ve rejuvenated the project. I even created a cover for it, to provide some sort of accountability on my part. I’m compiling my old poetry and short stories and will be sending it to my editor for her input fairly soon. It’s called Atlanta & the Lion, and Other Tales.

The collection is quirky, kind of weird, and everything is set in some undetermined time and place including characters concerned with a man on an epic journey to reclaim his lost mustache, a woman whose boyfriend is a lion, and a grieving woman who thinks if she hugs enough people, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles might become a better place, and more. Sounds fun, right?

I like this cover because it’s starting to show how my non-Victorian or historical pieces will all have a particular visual theme. The kind of mid-century “I’m typing on a keyboard but I’m influenced by the past” sort of feel. Me likey lots.

Buy Haunting Miss Trentwood direct!

I finally set it up so you can purchase Haunting Miss Trentwood directly from me. I have a Kindle and ePub version available, as well as the first ten chapters of the audiobook available as a teaser. The full audiobook will be direct for purchase in the coming months.

But you keep disappearing!

I know, I know. I pop into the blog to say, “Hi! I’m still alive! I promise I’m still working on things!” And then you don’t hear from me for too long. I post things at Tumblr more frequently, images and quotes and the like, and I’m working on a way to automatically import those posts into this blog because I think it would be nice to spice things up a bit. So look for that. You’ll know if it works because I’ll be posting more often.

So yes. That is the skinny on Belinda’s writing world right now. I have a dance lesson tonight, a dance tomorrow and Saturday night, and Father’s day on Sunday. Busy busy busy!

Promising to keep working,

Belinda

Goodies Galore

Dear Reader,

Man, that illness took me out last week! I’m still sleeping an inordinate amount of time, so I’m keeping this blog post short.

I had a guest post at Indie Horror last week where I talked about how Mr. Trentwood, my ghostly father in Haunting Miss Trentwood surprised me time and again… even though I created him! Check it out, it was fun talking about how my character got away from me in the best way possible.

Happy eBook week! Starting March 6, get a 50% discount for Catching the Rose and Haunting Miss Trentwood with coupon code RAE50; and 100% off Mad Maxine with coupon code RE100 at Smashwords!

Also, Stacey Wallace Benefiel is discounting her books, so you should scoop those up as well. She’s tons of fun to read, and I know, because I read her Day of Sacrifice short and really enjoyed it.

That’s really all the writing I had energy for… my apologies. Enjoy your discounted books!

Best,

Belinda

Touring the Historical Fiction World

Dear Reader,

I hope your holiday season is going well! Those of you who entered the giveaway from last week, you should have received an email with the discount codes. Have you had a chance to listen to my half hour interview on Page Readers? It was a blast, and I’m so glad Nanci had me on the show.

This week, I want to talk about Charlie Courtland’s great idea to take a tour of the subgenres that are popping into historical fiction. The goal of the “tour” is to read six subgenres of historical fiction. Charlie has suggested…

  • Historical Mystery
  • Historical Horror
  • Historical Romance
  • Historical Young Adult
  • Historical Plantation
  • Historical Thriller
  • Historical GLBT
  • Historical Fantasy
  • Historical Western
  • Historical Paranormal
  • Historical True Crime

Given that I am part of the group of authors who are playing with the historical fiction norms, I love this idea. I’ve written in the historical romance and historical gothic-thriller genres. I have no idea what my next genre is going to be, except that it will be historical. This will be a lot of fun!

So with the above genres in mind, what books do you think I should read? I think I’m going to start with Maids of Misfortune. I want to read books by authors I’ve never read before and in genres I’m not familiar with, which means I can’t read Lauren Willig (romance), Philippa Gregory (romance), Amanda Quick (paranormal), Deanna Raybourn (mystery/plantation), Mary Jo Putney (fantasy).

What’s Next?

I’m not happy with the sales for Catching the Rose, so I’m having an editor look at it to see where I can improve the story. I wrote it over seven years ago, meaning I don’t know what to do with it without outside help. I’m looking forward to the results from the editor, especially because the editor, Wulfshado, needs help with finances. This is a good way for both of us to get what we need.

I’m hoping to get the new content out for Catching the Rose in the next couple of months. I’m also working on the short story anthology Love or Lack Thereof; my awesome editor Cindy Sherwood has agreed to help me with that so I can get it out in time for Valentine’s Day.

I’m looking forward to hearing reviews from the giveaway. They are two very different writing styles, but I hope people enjoy them.

Best,

Belinda