Congratulations to “Taurus” and “Bn100”, the winners in Charlie and Charlene’s giveaway. Thank you to all who participated.
After architect Jonathan West learns his wife has been unfaithful, he goes fishing in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, trying to figure out what to do about his marriage. He’s shocked when he sees a ghost ship with a spectral woman on board. She’s staring at him, a haunting plea in her eyes.
In an old sea chest that washes ashore, he finds a journal and a miniature portrait belonging to Kate Russell, captain of the Royal Thomas, which sank in 1721. It’s the same woman Jonathan saw on the ghost ship, and her journal describes in her own words a life of piracy and sweeping romance. As past and present collide, he starts seeing her everywhere. He knows she wants something from him and believes if he can find a way to help her, her spirit will finally rest.
Lost Treasures of the Heart is a blended genre romance, combining contemporary and historical with the paranormal
A note from Charlie Most…
My great adventure began back in October, 2005, on the moonlit shores of the Outer Banks of Corolla, North Carolina. I was on the back deck of a magnificent home, staring up at God’s majesty, admiring the star-filled sky. Probably more stars than there are people on this planet, I thought. The sea was at rest on this particular evening. On these shores it’s not uncommon to experience its fury, and living on this tiny slice of sand leaves inhabitants vulnerable to the ever changing weather.
But this evening felt different.
The calm I had sensed many times; it usually appeared before an upcoming storm. Eight of my fishing comrades were also on the deck, on the opposite end, enjoying the gentle breeze and the smell of the salt air. The moon receded slightly, giving way to the passing clouds overhead. I felt an eerie presence, the presence of something nearby. I think they felt it, too.
As a body, we moved to the deck rail and leaned over it, peering deep into the mist. We all saw it.
The silhouette of a ship emerged from the darkness into the moonlight and for a few brief seconds it lay before us—a square rigged vessel with no navigational lights. The sails appeared black to us and some were tattered. As it floated away, it disappeared. It simply vanished. It was a ghost ship. I’d heard of others sighting them—old fishermen’s tales, I always thought. This was my first.
Afterward we all compared notes, my fishing buddies and I, and we agreed on what we’d seen. Except for one thing.
I was the only one who’d seen the woman.
She was standing at the helm, steering the ship, looking into my eyes as if calling me to join her on her voyage. When I realized none of my friends had seen her I let it go, but she stayed in my thoughts. I wondered if she was a soul in torment, roaming the shoreline in search of her final resting place.
The Outer Banks is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, and for good reason. Over the centuries, rough waters and strange weather patterns have let many a ship fall prey to the seas. To this day, residents and tourists still find, washed ashore, artifacts from sunken ships.
As the woman I’d seen on the ghost ship continued to haunt me, a story began to piece itself together in my mind. That’s how Lost Treasures of the Heart came to be. My hero, Jonathan, is a gifted architect in a troubled marriage who has a ghost ship sighting like mine. He gives himself over fully to the haunting, even buying a house on the Outer Banks so he can keep looking for the ghost ship. He finds, washed ashore, the sea chest of a lady pirate who lived and died in the 1700s. Inside is Kate’s journal, and from that point on, the story moves back and forth, from past to present, as Jonathan becomes more and more obsessed with Kate.
Lost Treasures of the Heart is available from Red Sky Presents as an e-book and in print. You’ll find in on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Jonathan led Dr. Nelson into the dining room where they sat on opposite sides of the table. “Okay,” he said. “What do you want to know?”
“Tell me what’s been going on with you,” suggested the doctor. “Start with this ghost you’ve been seeing.”
“Mike and Tim saw it too. The ship, anyway.”
“And did they see the woman?”
“They didn’t say.”
“I see.” The psychiatrist hesitated. “Your wife says that, out of the blue, you asked for a divorce. She said it took her by surprise.”
“Did she tell you she had an affair with my best friend?”
“The evidence would say otherwise,” Jonathan said quietly. “But that’s not why I’m leaving her.”
“May I know the reason?”
“The reason is, doctor, I’m done. I don’t want—whatever our marriage has become—I don’t want it anymore. There has to be something better, for both of us. Even if there’s not, I’m just . . . done.”
“Your wife says this all started when you bought this house.”
“Right after I saw the ghost ship.”
“Exactly what did you see?”
Jonathan told him everything. It was a relief to finally unload. “That’s why I bought this place,” he finished. “So I could see it again. See her again.”
“Want to know what I think?”
“Sure. Why not?” Anything to get it over with, Jonathan thought.
“This delusion. I don’t think it’s serious—”
“It’s not a delusion,” Jonathan broke in. “I’m not imagining it.”
“I know it seems that way,” the doctor said soothingly. “But it’s simple. You’re a middle-aged man trying to come to terms with a midlife crisis. This can actually turn out to be useful. We all go through it. Yours happens to coincide—or perhaps was triggered by—a trauma. You’ve created this fantasy of a woman on a ghost ship in an effort to replace all you feel you’re losing.”
Jonathan considered for a moment. Then he said, “Well, doctor—I’ve gotta tell you. That’s the biggest pile of steaming crap I’ve ever heard.”
Two copies free copies of Lost Treasures of the Heart, one in print and one as an ebook.
The sea has always played a dominant part in Charlie Most’s life. It seemed to be calling him, even as a child, bringing calm when he seemed intent on raising hell. As an adult, he channeled his restless energy into successfully running his construction company, Baltimore Steel Erectors. One moonlit night, while fishing in the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina, Most and his pals saw the silhouette of an ancient square-rigged vessel skirting across the horizon. They all watched as it disappeared once again into the Graveyard of the Atlantic, and the mists of eternity. That moment changed his life forever and he knew he had a story to tell. Lost Treasures of the Heart is his first novel.
Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books. Shadow Train, the final installment of her YA supernatural trilogy, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award, and The Congressman’s Wife (for Red Sky Presents) is getting rave reviews. Her new blended-genre novel, Lost Treasures of the Heart, was released in November, 2016.
Keel has also worked as editor for international magazines, including Playgirl, For the Bride and Black Elegance. She says the most fun she’s had as an editor (so far) was at Spice, a fanzine featuring rap, R&B, soul and gospel music. During her time there, she enjoyed going to parties for such notables as Puff Daddy, having lunch with Gloria Gaynor and attending a pasta dinner where Mariah Carey did the cooking.
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