This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, wherein participants blog throughout the month according to the letters of the alphabet. For more on the challenge, click here.
Note: If anyone wondered, I tagged the blog as having adult content due to a few factors: one, strong language; two, the possibility that excerpts I post may have graphic descriptions of sex or violence and therefore unappealing to some readers. Never fear, though, I’ll be sure to warn y’all if a post of that nature comes up! In the meantime, feel free to read on!
Cheers and happy ABC’ing,
Writers are always told that beginnings should hook readers immediately. If they don’t like the beginning, what’s to convince them to read the rest of the book? The main character of H(A)UNTED, Darcy, takes this approach both to the books she writes about real life hauntings, and to her decision to uproot herself and move to a new town. The town she arrives in at the start of the novel seems on the surface to be your average, friendly small town. With a population of five thousand, it reminds her of her hometown (while leaving some space between herself and her well-meaning but occasionally overbearing family, dead relatives and all), and is an opportunity to start over somewhere peaceful after living in a city and ending a long-term relationship. When she visits the apartment that’s been remodeled on the top floor of a long-defunct church, she takes it on the spot and doesn’t look back, not even when things get weird.
Of course, if this were a normal town, Darcy, the readers, and myself as the writer would all be awfully bored. I suppose it’s a good thing that it’s not a normal town. Darcy chases ghost stories, and this one intrigues her. In 1914, an ageing footbridge bridging the gap between two sides of town was commissioned to be rebuilt. The work started in early spring and accelerated when the Great War broke out that summer. Against all odds, the new concrete structure was completed by the end of October. The head engineer, Charles Lawson, held a celebration within his home the night before it was formally opened, and by morning his pretty young wife had disappeared. Almost nothing was recovered.
Time has turned the story into an urban legend, nothing more, but the fact remains that no body was ever found, and one of the men who worked on the bridge left town within a day of Eliza Lawson’s disappearance. Darcy believes there’s something to the story, and she’s going to figure it out… especially after a chance encounter on that same footbridge proves she’s right.
She has until the end of October to solve a hundred-year-old mystery and put more than one ghost to rest, and opposition in the form of an insane ghost on the footbridge and a malevolent one in her apartment.
On the bright side, she’s got a dead World War One soldier teaching her a Quebecois folk song about wine.
Le bon vin m’endort et l’amour m’réveille encore, le bon vin m’endort, l’amour me réveille encore…