It’s Paranormal Week at Fierce Romance!
Since the only paranormal story I’ve written so far features a hero who is the ghost of a cursed pirate, I’ll be talking about ghost stories today. Not the scary Amityville Horror types of ghost stories. Ugh! Not even those cute stories where a match-making ghost brings a couple together. But the kind of stories when one of the main characters IS a ghost.
There aren’t a lot of stories with this premise, at least not that I've found. After all, it’s a little difficult to have a happily-ever-after ending when one of the characters is already dead! But for me that’s one of the draws for this kind of story. I mean, talk about an insurmountable conflict! Talk about star-crossed lovers! How on earth are these characters going to end up happy?? But it can be done. All the endings may not be typical romance endings, but I think you can make the story work if you try.
I loved the old movie, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, in which a young widow moves into a house haunted by the ghost of a handsome, cantankerous sea captain. I couldn’t help but use a similar premise in my Red Sage novella, Quinn’s Curse. Quinn was a selfish pirate cursed to haunt the Logan’s Point lighthouse for 300 years after he dies in a shipwreck, never to touch the sea he loves so much.
Quinn stood at the water’s edge. Three hundred years had done nothing to curb his thirst for the sea. It would be so easy to say the hell with eternity and dive into the foamy waves. The tang of the air, while it should have been a balm to his soul, was nothing but a strong temptation. A lure as strong as the sirens had been to the sailors of old. The roar of the waves as they pounded the rocks was music to his ears. The call of the gulls always a reminder that they were nearing port, coming home.
He loves to play practical jokes on the residents of the lighthouse keeper’s house until the day Miranda Kent buys it to turn it into a B&B. He knows immediately that she’s special. She’s the first person to hear him in nearly 300 years.
So how do you turn this story into a romance? How do you turn it into an erotic romance when the heroine can’t see the hero? When she doesn’t even know he’s there. Remember the movie, Ghost? Is there any scene hotter than the one at the potter’s wheel??? OMG!
So I wrote a scene where Quinn and Miranda make love – only she thinks it’s a dream. It’s one of my favorite love scenes. It can be a challenge to write a romance with a ghost character, but it can be a lot of fun too.
“‘Tis a marvelous dream,” he whispered, all the while stroking her brow, her face, her neck. “Don’t open your eyes or you’ll awaken and the dream will be over. You don’t want the dream over too soon, do you now? Don’t awaken, Miranda. Keep your eyes closed.”
She nodded and reached for him again, her pale arms outstretched. What hot-blooded pirate could resist such an earnest request?
Then there’s the happily-ever-after promise we all want in our romance. How do you make the readers despair, then rejoice? It takes some planning. You need to set the story up right to begin with. I think I worked the ending out pretty well for Quinn’s Curse, but I’m not going to spoil it here. And I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to make it happen too. Use your imagination. That's what we writers do best.
So how about it? Have you read any great ghost romances? I’d love to hear about them!
Romance with more…sizzle