I am so pleased to be hosting a fellow Story Empire author today. Staci is here to talk about the book she and Mae Clair have collaborated on that I’m sure you will enjoy. I’m certain of this because Staci and Mae are two of the most talented writers around. So Staci welcome to Fiction Favorites.
Ciao, amici! John, thanks for hosting me today. I’m so happy to be here and so excited to tell you and your readers about The Haunting of Chatham Hollow, a dual-timeline novel I co-wrote with talented author, Story Empire colleague, and long-time friend Mae Clair. This was the first either of us attempted a collaboration, and I have to say, it went beautifully. So well, in fact, I think both of us would be up for a second project sometime in the future.
But now isn’t the time to look forward. It’s time to look into the past. More specifically, 1793 and 1888, the historical periods in the novel. And to the present, where the rest of the mystery unfolds. This story encompasses ghosts, curses, missing treasure, arson, and murder, with a cast of characters whose descendants cross paths continuously throughout the ages. Our short tour will introduce you to a few of the major players via a discussion between one of them and a medium.
Today’s post takes place in the present. The psychic is Julia Hale, a resident of Chatham Hollow and a descendant of famous spiritualist Victor Rowe. The character she’ll be speaking with is Rebekah Fetzinger, founder of the RebelZ fashion label, owner of The Chic Boutique, and head of Chatham Hollow’s Chamber of Commerce.
Without further ado…
Julia: (knocking on office door) Hello? Ms. Fetzinger? Your assistant said you were expecting me.
Rebekah: Ten minutes ago. Come in. Close the door behind you.
Julia: (approaching the desk) I was surprised you wanted to meet. And a little put out that you couldn’t come to my house.
Rebekah: I’m a busy woman, Julia.
Julia: As am I.
Rebekah: (scowling) Maybe this was a bad idea.
Julia: (dropping into a chair across from Rebekah) I’m here now. What can I do for you?
Rebekah: What can you tell me about the upcoming séance reenactment?
Julia: Nothing more than I’ve already told the town council. You were there.
Rebekah: (drumming her nails on her desk) Yes, I know I was there, and I know what you said. What I want to know is what you didn’t say.
Julia: Is there something specific you’re fishing for? I believe my comments to the council were thorough.
Rebekah: Are you really able to make contact with Ward Chatham?
Julia: (pauses, considers, sighs) There will be a lot of power in the circle that night. I believe we have a better than average chance of breaching the Veil.
Rebekah: You choose your words carefully. Why?
Julia: You ask a lot of questions. Why?
Rebekah: (sighs) And now you’re being evasive. Very well. I can respect both tactics. Tell me, will we learn where the treasure is?
Julia: I couldn’t begin to guess. I can’t even guarantee we’ll reach Ward Chatham. Or any other spirit.
Rebekah: So, we might connect with someone else?
Julia: It’s possible.
Rebekah: Would… thinking about someone bring them forth?
Julia: Spirit circles aren’t to be trifled with, Ms. Fetzinger. I must ask you to follow my instructions to the letter at the séance. If there’s someone else you’d like to reach, I’ll conduct a private sitting with you.
Rebekah: (stops drumming her nails; leans across desk) So, Aiden has been digging into my past. What has he told you?
Julia: About what?
Rebekah: Why are you being so difficult, Julia?
Rebekah: (points at the door while looking at her desk) I have work to do. Just go.
Julia: Do you want me to ask Aiden about—
Rebekah: No! Get out!
Julia: (rises; walks toward door) With pleasure.
One founding father.
One deathbed curse.
A town haunted for generations.
Ward Chatham, founder of Chatham Hollow, is infamous for two things—hidden treasure and a curse upon anyone bold enough to seek it. Since his passing in 1793, no one has discovered his riches, though his legend has only grown stronger.
In 1888, charlatan Benedict Fletcher holds a séance to determine the location of Chatham’s fortune. It’s all a hoax so he can search for the gold, but he doesn’t count on two things—Victor Rowe, a true spiritualist who sees through his ruse, and Chatham’s ghost wreaking havoc on the town.
More than a century later, the citizens of the Hollow gather for the annual Founder’s Day celebration. A paranormal research team intends to film a special at Chatham Manor, where the original séance will be reenacted. Reporter and skeptic Aiden Hale resents being assigned the story, but even he can’t deny the sudden outbreak of strange happenings. When he sets out to discover who or what is threatening the Hollow—supernatural or not— his investigation uncovers decades-old conflicts, bitter rivalries, and ruthless murders.
This time, solving the mystery isn’t about meeting his deadline. It’s about not ending up dead.
Thanks again, John, for hosting me today. I hope this little exchange gives you and your followers a bit more insight into Rebekah Fetzinger, successful business owner with a… let’s call it a colorful reputation. I hope you’ll all consider reading the story to uncover her secrets. The answer to her mystery, and many more, can be found in The Haunting of Chatham Hollow. Mae and I truly appreciate your support. Grazie!
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