Love Those Ghosts!

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


Nicole North said...

Wonderful post, Natasha! I love ghosts and ghost stories. I'm hooked on shows like Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures. I even wrote a story one time which starts out with the hero as a ghost. :)

Carly Carson said...

I don't see many ghost stories. Karen Robards had one I enjoyed. I think it was called Walking after Midnight, but it was a while back. Actually, I'd like to see more ghost stories.


Natasha said...

Nicole, I love those show too. And you wouldn't believe all the books there are about haunted lighthouses.

Carly, I'd love to see more ghost stories too. And Walking after Midnight is a great title. I'm going to have to look that one up.

Kristin said...

Nice post! And, yeah, you call me a sucker for the sweet stuff (sometimes, wink-wink, nudge-nudge), but I really liked Danielle Steel's book The Ghost. Boy, that came out years ago, but I still remember it.

Natasha said...

Kristin, I've never heard of that Danielle Steele book. Another one to check out. Thanks!

Carol Ericson said...

Always loved the cover for Quinn's Curse - doesn't look much like Casper!

Julie Robinson said...

How did I miss the beginning of Paranormal week????
And especially with ghost stories. I love The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, as well as Ghost with P. Swazy and D. Moore.

Natasha, Quinn's Curse sounds like a realllly great read! Great premise and excerpt you gave us. I've thoroughly enjoyed Nothing to Fear in the Taboo Treats anthology, so I know it's got to be good!

The only ghostly romance that comes to mind right off hand is The Ghost by Danielle Steele, which I still have on my shelves.

Natasha said...

Julie! So glad you enjoyed Nothing to Fear. That was another story that was sooo fun to write. And here's another vote for The Ghost by Danielle Steele. I'm defintely going to have to look for that one!