Monday, August 29, 2011

THE GHOST SHIP, an Outer Banks romantic thriller

My beloved Hatteras Island has been cutoff from the rest of the Outer Banks because the sea breached Highway 12 when Hurricane Irene hit the cape. The same thing happened some years ago. I was reporting from the region for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the road had just been rebuilt then.

In the wake of Irene, it appears the long skinny islands will recover and rebuild as the residents have done for centuries. Seafaring people are tough as I came to witness.

I wanted to share with you the genesis of my novel THE GHOST SHIP. A couple of years ago, it wasn't a hurricane, but a severe storm that uncovered the hulk of an early 20th century coastal schooner near Cape Hatteras Light House. Honestly, it gave me the creeps. It's no wonder this part of the Atlantic Ocean is called The Graveyard of the Atlantic.

At that time, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum at Cape Hatteras was under construction. The director told me that these wrecks were often uncovered from the sands in storms, and that in time another storm would bury my ominous ship skeleton.

While going through the artifacts and photographs at the museum, I came across the The Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals. The Carroll A. Deering was a five-masted schooner. Returning from her maiden voyage to Rio and Barbados, and still in full sail, she somehow ran aground and her hull and keel buried on Diamond Shoal. This was in January, 1921. When the Coast Guard boarded her, they found no officers, crew, anchors or lifeboats. Only a six-toed cat. Six government agencies investigated the wreck, worldwide, but came to no conclusion. Was it pirates? mutiny? storms? Bermuda Triangle woo-woo?

So, my little gray cells (thank you, Hercule) conceived the idea of my own fictional solution to the mystery. I published THE GHOST SHIP at the end of June. It's not exactly a romance (which has strictures) nor a classic murder mystery. In other words, publishers loved the idea and the writing, but couldn't put it in a category. So, I had Kimberly Hitchens edit and format it for me and it's on Kindle and Nook.

I spent a lot of time on the Outer Banks reporting on the building of the museum and the controversial move of the Cape Hatteras Light House by the Park Service. I have a special affection for the mystery of the Outer Banks. It has lore galore, ghosts, legends, myths and houses made from the timbers of shipwrecks. Go into one of those, and you can sure get the spooks.

The Outer Banks survived another onslaught, as it always will. It seems the wind and sea gods also have a reverence for the The Graveyard of the Atlantic.


Review from GoodReads:"A ghost story mixed with a mystery and a love story told by an author who weaves a wonderful tale. A look into a piece of nautical history as well makes this a great read! I don't believe in ghosts but this book....has me changing my mind."


Thursday, August 25, 2011

WHEN SERPENTS DIE - Book One in the Laura Kate O'Connell Plantation Series

Laura Kate O'Connell left her life of excitement as an overseas news correspondent to return to her Georgia hometown to raise her two young cousins.

When Royce Lee, Laura Kate's attorney, supposedly commits suicide, too many pieces of evidence tell a different story. Her instincts as an investigative reporting are tingling, and she just can't leave it alone. She meets Jack Rhodes, Royce's business partner. Sparks fly, but can she really trust a man she knows nothing about? And why is it that every time something new develops in the case, he seems to be there?

Warnings to back off escalate to an attempt on her life. Now, for Laura Kate, it's more than just a mystery.

Depending on Jack might be a mistake, but if Laura Kate can get past his southern charms and the nervous way Jack makes her feel, she may get the facts, solve the case, and even save her own life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

THE GHOST SHIP, a short review: "It's characters were alive (even the ghosts) and ohhh I was so happy with the ending."

THE GHOST SHIP was the best read I have had since Karen Kingsbury! I have never read on 'kindle' before and this proves what a great read it was. To sit for almost 12 hours straight in front of my computer and read is a great testiment of Gerrie's talent. First 'time travel' novel I have read that hits on WHY the time travel happened. The characters breathed, they lived on the page. It was a satisfying ending that I didn't want to end

Reviewed by Trisha Petty, Th.D.

Trisha Petty Th.D. co-authored 13 novels with Linda Crockett, among these were Siren, To Touch a Dream and Tangerine, published by Tor Press and Harlequin Romances (Simon and Schuster).

For 35 years Trisha was also a much sought after Production Assistant, then Personal Assistant to actors, directors and producers. Working with some of Hollywood’s most creative people, Trisha contributed story boards and character development to projects such as “Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn,” “North and South,” and “Paint Your Wagon.”

Recently retiring to Tennessee, Trisha used her experience, education, and the Civil War history steeped in her newly adopted home and began writing historical novels with Christian perspective.

Trisha Petty currently lives in Columbia, Tennessee and is the founder of Cellophane Ministries, and Antebellum Productions.

Thanks, Trisha.

Best of luck with your work.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Fans of any southern-style epic will really love this story

Laura Kate O'Connell is a super-star of a clever southern bell with quick wit and a nice way with horses. Honored Daughters is truly more mystery than romance, but the romance matters and readers will really enjoy Jack Rhodes when they finally meet him. It won't be a painful wait though, as from the first moments, interest and intrigue build.

Overall, the quality of the story is excellent. Epic-like adventures - and love - befall our heroine, who seems pulled in several directions most of the time. Her personal life, her decisions and future plans are complicated; Jack Rhodes is her distant, if still true love. He seems to envision an ordinary, predictable sort of future for the two of them, a future Laura Kate isn't enthused about at all. (Although after meeting him, we do realze he's more insightful than Laura Kate gives him credit for.)

Before we even get to questions of romance; Agent Nyan Hill complicates her life, with his desperate effort to see the murder of his niece Dari solved. Nyan & Laura Kate's antagonistic relationship, and occasional sharp dialogue, really make reader's admire our heroine. She's nobody's fool, but is at heart a caring, almost driven person.

Ferris has a distinctive voice, giving Honored Daughters a continuous, rather evocative aura. She creates a time, a place, and a series of characters that seem utterly original, yet also familiar and appealing. There are some seriously suspenseful moments, as well as more tender times; and the mystery is a real mystery, both intriguing and heart-wrenching from the start.

  Although this is contemporary, there is a certain historic feel to it. The horses, the hunt club, the southern-bell comments, and Honored Daughters School itself. Although contemporary, it all has an old, old feel to it. Fans of any southern-style epic will really love this story; perfect reading by a cozy fire.