Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Books Carolyn Hart-MERRY, MERRY GHOST

MERRY, MERRY GHOST by Carolyn Hart

The late Bailey Ruth Raeburn from Adelaide, OK, has added a sparkle to my life. I enjoy lively, energetic Annie Darling in my Death on Demand series and acerbic, assertive retired reporter Henrietta O’Dwyer Collins in my Henrie O series, but now-you-see-her, now-you-don’t Bailey Ruth is an adventure in the making.. I adore writing about my impetuous, redheaded ghost.

I have always loved fun ghost tales, the Topper books and films, Blithe Spirit, the occasional romantic H’Wood flick with the winsome heroine from beyond . Writing a book with a ghost had great appeal for me. I suggested the idea to my editor and this was before the current craze for the paranormal. She encouraged me and I sat down to write a ghost story.

In most fiction, the ghost is a sidekick, an important character but not the protagonist. The ghost helps or hinders the protagonist. However, when Bailey Ruth came swinging around a cumulous cloud to greet me, she immediately became the star of the show.

I learned a great deal about Bailey Ruth - what she can and cannot do - in GHOST AT WORK, her first adventure. When invisible and not carrying a physical object, she can immediately go from one spot to another. She thinks: Main Square. She is in Main Square. However, if she carries an object - car keys, a gun, a flashlight - she can remain invisible, but she progresses on the earthly plane. When she decides to appear, she also decides how she will appear. Bailey Ruth loves high fashion and takes great pleasure in a well cut blouse and the latest style slacks. Oh, and shoes . . . those require serious consideration.

Bailey Ruth comes to earth as an emissary from the Department of Good Intentions. That’s where I first met her. She was shyly approaching the train station which serves as the department headquarters. Her hope was to be sent to earth to help someone in trouble. A brave sailor saved her from drowning when she was a little girl and she’d like to bring help in turn.

In MERRY, MERRY GHOST, Bailey Ruth receives the assignment because she loves Christmas. She enjoys carols and gifts and decorated houses and the generosity that brings smiles in the dreary depth of winter.

Her assignment in MERRY, MERRY GHOST is to protect a little boy whose unexpected arrival at his grandmother’s house shortly before Christmas reveals the earthly vanities and sins in a gathering family that threaten to being ruin and misery and death.

Christmas affords joy from the sparkle of the holiday. Shining through that glitter is the golden glow of the child in the manger who came to earth to offer redemption. MERRY, MERRY GHOST offers glitter, but I hope it also offers a glimpse of the world as we would all wish it to be.

Bailey Ruth was my guide in Merry, Merry Ghost and she led me on a merry chase. I hope readers will enjoy spending a bit of their holiday in her holiday.
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