Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday's special is...Point Surrender!


Point Surrender by Ann Carter

Amy Winslow isn't looking for a mystery; she doesn't even like secrets. In fact, secrets have nearly destroyed her life. But when a terrible accident forces her to take control of her brother's mysterious California lighthouse, Amy finds herself immersed in its shocking past and uncertain future. Enchanted by the mystery, she refuses to rest until she finds out who died in the aging white beacon, and why.

Case McKenna hasn't quite reconciled his own painful history when he sails his crippled boat into Newburg Harbor, intending to stay only long enough to make repairs. His plans change when he becomes entangled with a local couple intent on restoring a long-shuttered lighthouse. Despite an overwhelming urge to flee, Case follows intrigue and passion, as he, too, finds himself drawn in by Point Surrender...

Buy from Amazon here, or visit Ann at her website or blog

Excerpt:

The view silenced them both. It was some time before either ventured to speak. Case walked the circumference of the light, looking first outside and then at the lens. "Still in place after almost ninety years. Wow." Fingers splayed, he caressed the glass enclosing the lens almost reverently.

Amy watched in fascination as Case admired the craftsmanship. "Do you know anything about these things?" she asked, her fingers still tightly wrapped around the interior handrail.

His spell momentarily broken, Case diverted his eyes to Amy's and shook his head unconvincingly. "Not really. But just look at it! You don't have to know anything about it to appreciate how fine it is. Look at all that brass! Nobody's polished her in a long, long time." These last words were tinged with unmistakable sorrow.

He was quiet for a time, contemplating the lens, before turning back to her. "So do you want to go out, or what?" he asked softly.

Suddenly weak, Amy leaned back against the handrail. "Out?" she whispered, her face now so close she could feel the warmth of his, feel the words he spoke against her forehead.

"Yeah, outside. I'll take you out on the gallery if you want."

"Oh. N–No, that's not necessary. Maybe next trip."

"C'mon. It's okay, really. The fresh air is good."

She let him. When did he take her hand? The feel of his fingers laced with hers was natural, easy, warm. Gently tugging, he slowly led her through the door. Amy's senses were heightened, at least as much by his touch as by the rush of being so high, so exposed to the world.

He was right, the cool air felt good against her cheeks. Maybe she could get used to it, this high altitude thing. Especially with Case McKenna beside her. She ventured a look down at the small, faintly green lawn that spread in patches to the edge of the cliff. And saw him again. The man in the grey shirt.

"Do you see that guy?" she asked, grasping Case's sleeve with her free hand. "Look. Over there. What's he doing?"

Case squinted, looked down. Tilting his head slightly, his parted lips told of his surprise. "That's the guy I saw from my sloop! The guy that fell. He was standing just like that, only facing the lighthouse last time."

Amy turned to look up into Case's eyes. "When was this?"

"When I came into Newburg harbor. I saw this guy fall…but…" Turning to look back toward the cliff, he paused. The man was gone.

Amy pressed her hand to her mouth. "It's the same man I saw the day you came up here to help. He…he disappeared then, too." She stared hard at Case's face, trying to read his take on their similar sightings. "I don't…I don't get it. What…Who is he?"

Case let go of her hand and slipped an arm around her shoulders. "You're looking a little pale. Let's go back downstairs."

"Yeah, okay." Amy was both disappointed and relieved when Case moved away from her and squatted to pull open the trapdoor. After taking a few steps down ahead of her, he turned and extended his hand."I guess I'm the one who needs hand-holding," she muttered, grasping his hand solidly and relishing the warmth that spread throughout her body as a result. Back in the kitchen, she dropped the key back into the drawer next to the sink.

"What do you make of that?" she asked, her heart still thumping hard in her chest.

"Weird. I thought it was just me. I'd been asleep, I guess. But this time, we both saw him. It's gotta be some guy playing a prank."

"You think?”


"Well I sure as hell don't believe in ghosts."


Answer the following question for a chance to win a free copy of Point Surrender:


Do you believe in ghosts? Why?


Come and chat to Ann and ask her about some of her own ghost stories!

32 comments:

Shona Snowden said...

Ah, love and lighthouses. Welcome Anne!

Looking forward to hearing everybody's ghost stories...

Chris Eldin said...

The Things are wild right now. I will definitely come back to give this a read!!! Love the title!!
:-)

Anne Carter said...

Good morning, y'all! Ah, and a lovely day it's going to be. As the sun's just about to peak o'er the horizon, I'd best climb the tower steps and extinguish the light, trim the wick and refill the oil in preparation for tonight.

On the way back down, I'll check the containment units to see if we caught any stray spirits during the wee hours!

Soon, I'll return with a fresh cup of hot java to settle in and talk about... ghosts!

Stayed tuned, lighthouse lovers!

Anne

Charles Gramlich said...

My belief in ghosts, or lack thereof, is completely dependent upon such environmental conditions as day vs night, being alone vs not, reading the right stuff vs a different kind of stuff, and probably hormone levels as well. In other words, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.

donnas said...

I do believe in ghosts and have had a couple of experiences. Other members of my family have had a couple as well. A couple of mine are: when I was walking out of the bathroom in the house I grew up in I could see into my room. And in front of my closet was a woman wearing a old fashioned dressing gown looking though the closet. Another was in the same house. When you would walk into the basement study you would smell pipe smoke but no one in the house smoked a pipe or anything else. And my final story will be when I was in college, I woke up one night and saw my dad and another guy standing at the end of the bed. It ended up being at the exact time my uncle died and when I saw a picture of when they were both younger thats what the 2 figures looked like.

Your book sounds wonderful, I love a good story. Cant wait to get the chance to read it.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Anne Carter said...

My dad used to say that whatever energy there is in people remains long after they are "gone" - that their energy or aura can't just disappear from existence.

Talking about pipe smoke, not long after he died, I smelled the distinct scent of Dad's after shave in my den one night. It was really strong. No reason for it to be there, we didn't have any of the stuff in our house. My sister, too, felt our father had visited her.

In POINT SURRENDER, both main characters are visited by a man they've never seen before. He appears in the distance, never making contact, but his presence is significant. This form of contact seems the most interesting to me; is he trying to convey a message? Is he a restless spirit? Is he benign, or menacing?

Jean Henry Mead said...

I don't know whether you would call them ghosts or just spirits, but I've been visited by each family member who has passed on. The strangest was when my younger brother appeared a couple of weeks after dying of cancer. I was working on my first book on an older model computer when the lights in the room started flashing on and off and I was terrified of losing the chapter I was working on. I said, "Gary, please stop flashing the lights, I know it's you." and it stopped immediately. I then felt a warm breeze across my face and he was gone before I could tell him that I loved and missed him.

Mary Cunningham said...

I believe in ghosts, but not exactly sure why. I've had a couple of weird experiences, but I think my belief is mainly because I WANT to.

Where would great ghost stories be without, well...ghosts??

I have Anne's book and am reading it. She writes wonderfully chilling tales!

Mary

http://www.cynthiasattic.blogspot.com

Jean Henry Mead said...

P.S. Please come over to Author's Exchnge to pay me a visit: http://tiny.cc/pp6JL

Jean

Dana Fredsti said...

I LOVE lighthouses...AND ghost stories!

I do believe in ghosts - in our house in Glendale, all the cupboards in the kitchen would open ON their own (we had a lot of cupboards - I'm talking at least a dozen) and be standing open when I'd get up in the middle of the night. I'd hear the front door slam when I was the only one home. And three different guests and different times complained about being 'watched' while they slept in the guest bedroom.

Dana Fredsti said...

I also believe in animal ghosts - our cat Zhadi died of throat cancer and leading up to it, she would leave little dribbles of poop in odd places (yes, there is a point to this gross part). She died in October 10 years or so ago...and that Halloween night, both my husband and I were positive she was in the bed with us. The next morning there was a little dribble of fresh kitty poop in the bedroom hallway, which had been closed off to the rest of the house to keep the other cats from waking us up. A closed door mystery or a visitation from our beloved little cat with a unique calling card? :-)

Phoenix said...

Charles was dead on with my disposition toward ghosts.

I've had encounters that could have been ghostly, or just weird atmospheric fluxes. However, two from my childhood certainly stand out. The memories are vivid and to me, at least, looking back those many years, they feel very real:

1) My family had just moved into a new house and I walked into my bedroom to start unpacking only to find two little tow-headed boys bent over an opened box doing their own unpacking.

2) Not so much ghostly as paranormal, I suppose, but I had a puzzle of Snow White with her three fairy godmothers. One morning I woke up -- I distinctly remember the sound of my mom cooking breakfast and even the smell of the bacon -- and saw a teardrop-shaped puzzle piece fluttering around my ceiling, circling the perimeter a few times. After breakfast, I put the puzzle together and that very piece was missing.

Anne, since the blurb at the beginning mentions a "couple" at the lighthouse, I'm thinking Amy shouldn't be falling for Case. Sounds like a delish love triangle and ghost story in the making!

Anne Carter said...

Dana, was that Glendale, CA or Glendale, TX?

Weird about the kitty. VERY weird!

Phoenix,

Okay, that's pretty strange, too. The puzzle piece. Funny how things like the smell of bacon permeate our memories like that!

Anne Carter said...

I also want to agree with Mary and Charles. Sometimes we tend to believe "more" than other times. Does anyone watch that "Ghost Hunters" show? Sometimes it's pretty lame. But I did like the one where they went up into the St. Augustine Lighthouse in FL.

Lighthouses have long been linked with paranormal activites. Several books have compiled many stories about ghosts inhabiting these long standing, lonely pillars. Lots of folks have died in or around them, making them perfect candidates for eerie tales.

POINT SURRENDER is no different... a man died there, and no one seems to know why, or what became of his missing wife and child...

(Cue spooky music here.)

Regan Black said...

Love St Augustine, FL for the ghost tours among many other reasons.

We used to drive around at night in my hometown in NE, visiting all the supposed haunts. We scared ourselves more than any spectre ever did. An, fun memories.

Regan
http://www.regansrealm.blogspot.com

Chester Campbell said...

I have several friends who have told me of weird goings-on like this, but I guess I'm too literal minded. I'll believe in ghosts when I see one, and so far none has come visiting. Interesting story, though, Anne.

laughingwolf said...

welcome anne... neat tale

dunno if they're 'ghosts', per se, but i sense my deceased parents and siblings 'looking' thru my eyes, from time to time, to 'see' what i'm doing at any particular time... i acknowledge their presence, and they depart after a while

Anne Carter said...

Laughingwolf: that has to be a strange feeling, but likely not an uncomfortable one? Can't say I've ever experienced anything like that.

I once stayed in a B&B in the great Northwest, in a room that had been identified as haunted by the PTB. I tried not to think about it. I went to sleep normally, but awoke sometime in the wee hours. Well, I wasn't wholly awake; it was a sort of twilight. I felt that I wasn't alone, I was afraid to open my eyes, but when I did, I saw that my arm was extended toward the ceiling. Just there. Not waving around, not touching anything. At first, I couldn't seem to remember how to make it come back down to the bed.

I ultimately turned on my side and pulled the covers over my head.

Morgan Mandel said...

Those lighthouses seem really spooky. Great places for mysteries.

Morgan Mandel
http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

Shona Snowden said...

This is so fascinating, reading through everybody's stories.

I do believe in ghosts, although I try not to, because I just terrify myself. I see a lot of things in shadows that shouldn't be there, but I don't think I've had such a clear cut experience that some of you have had. Perhaps the ghosts are considerate enough to avoid me, because they know I would be too scared!

However, I am writing a ghost story at the moment and another one is bubbling in me, so the ghosts are coming out, one way or the other!

Anne, I'm reading a lighthouse book at the moment - sorry, not yours! It's a period one called 'Light' by Margaret Elphinstone. It's not a ghost story, but there's heaps of fascinating detail on tending an old lighthouse.

Mary Cunningham said...

Great ghost stories!! Esp. yours laughing wolf. I'm not sure how I'd handle that.

The story about your arm is wild too, Anne!

The most frequent encounters I have are "pennies from heaven." Whenever I'm feeling stressed or particularly anxious about a family member, I always find a shiny penny, heads up. They're always in the most unlikely places.

I consider it a sign that everything's okay. I'll usually find out later that day or the next that the problem has been resolved.

http://www.cynthiasattic.blogspot.com

Anne Carter said...

So Mary, I have to beg the obvious question - what happens if the penny is face down? Or do you never find them tails up?

Here's an interesting anecdote. The lighthouse on the cover of POINT SURRENDER is actually Heceta Head in Florence, Oregon. This LH is also supposedly haunted by a woman, possibly mourning the loss of the unidentified child whose grave was found nearby the building.

Heceta was in the news yesterday, as it was closed due to the appearance of a deceased whale washed up on the adjoining beach. Some may recall a previous occurence, in the 1970's, wherein the whale was blown up as a means of disposing of the carcass. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned and parts of the whale were unevenly distributed everywhere.

Shona Snowden said...

Hey, I've been to Heceta Head! And to Florence. I love it there; it's so beautiful. I didn't know the story of the lighthouse, though, we just took a look from a distance and wandered off again.

I've seen films of the Exploding Whale incident. Unbelievable.

Anne Carter said...

Although the story doesn't take place there (Point Surrender is a fictional lighthouse on near San Francisco) it fit the description perfectly, so my publisher obtained the rights to the photo for my cover.

Residents of Florence are very interested in knowing how they will dispose of this new, poor, dead whale.

laughingwolf said...

it was really weird the first time it happened, anne... thought i'd gone insane

since then, have gotten used to it cuz it's usually mom, but i sense the others just behind her

now i feel comforted by the visits

laughingwolf said...

oops, posted too soon

meant to add i've never experienced what you have... that'd likely freak me more

Shona Snowden said...

And we are...closing. Thank you for your wonderful ghost stories. Interesting how many people have had otherworldly experiences!

Anne, thank you for your time and input today. Would you like to choose a worthy winner?

Anne Carter said...

Names in a hat... stirring... a breeze blows through and one name flies up and around in a whirlwind... it lands at my feet... I pick it up, and it says.... DonnaS!

Congrats, Donna!

Anne Carter said...

And thank you, Shona, for hosting me today! I've had a lovely time! Great experience, and I'll be sharing it with others... including my ghosts...

Anne

Visit my blog at
http://beacon-street.blogspot.com

laughingwolf said...

grats donna... and thx anne :)

Shona Snowden said...

Congratulations, Donna!

If it's OK Anne, please keep your ghosts to yourself!

donnas said...

Thanks!!

I cant wait to read it.

I do watch Ghost Hunters when I can catch it and I loved that episode at the St Augustine Lighthouse. Although episode of theirs I really like and foudn spooky was an early one at I believe Eastern State Penitentiary. There are clips on their website and it was just downright freaky.

bacchus76 at myself dot com