Wednesday, 12 June 2019

New Release Spotlight & Guest Post: The House of Secrets by Terry Lynn Thomas

The House of Secrets

Sarah Bennett has two secrets: she sees ghosts, and she is in love with a spy.

When Sarah takes a job with occult expert Dr Matthew Geisler, he promises to help her understand the sorrowful spirit that seems to have attached itself to her.
As Sarah struggles to cope with the ghostly presence, she runs into Zeke, the man who left her six months earlier and is recovering from injuries suffered in an alleged accident. But Zeke has secrets of his own, and when an attempt is made on Geisler’s life, Sarah finds herself caught in a struggle between the living and the dead.
Unsure who she can trust, Sarah must solve the mystery of the soul determined to haunt her, and save Dr Geisler and herself from an unknown threat.
This book was previously published as WEEPING IN THE WINGS

Amazon US      Amazon UK 
The House of Secrets is 99p throughout June as part of the June Kindle Monthly deal. The Spirit of Grace, book 1 in the series is also .99 throughout June.

I wrote the Sarah Bennett Series with the intention of paying homage to great Gothic writers of the mid-twentieth century, such as Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Dorothy Eden. Those books always resonated with me and I found myself reaching for them over and over. (I have a collection of well-worn paperbacks that I treasure.)
These stories are often set in remote houses, far enough away from town/and the flow of society, so the protagonist either has to work things out on her own, or wait for her hero to come and save her.
The Sarah Bennett series takes place in the San Francisco in the 1940s. I’ve always had a passion for World War 2. My father fought in the Pacific Theatre in the Navy and I grew up with stories of his time in the war. The Second World War turned into a time of amazing economic growth in the United States, especially so in California. 1.6 million (Yep, that number is correct!) troops and workers alike flocked to the California coastline to take advantage of the job boom resulting from the war. This influx of people resulted in an extreme shortage of housing (and pretty much everything else) and many of the troops were forced to bed down in the lobbies of the great hotels in San Francisco before they shipped out to the Pacific from the various naval and air-force bases in the area. The headlines in the San Francisco newspapers during this time warned of a severe lack of food, the desperate need for ships and guns, and the continual battle between labour unions and the owners of the factories that were basically working around the clock to churn out the goods needed for the wartime effort.
Despite all the shortages, it’s hard to miss the underlying hum of excitement as set out in the newspapers and magazines of the era. Dance bands played at all the great ballrooms (Bimbos, The Jack Tar, The Starlight Room, etc.), KYA radio hosted a victory show at noon every day, with the idea of encouraging people to buy war bonds, which took place in Union Square. It seemed that the war had united the people of all walks of life – especially in California – in an effort for victory against the axis powers.
I thought this time of focus and industry would be a perfect backdrop for Sarah Bennett, a medium, who has been seeing ghosts since childhood. Sarah is the type of character who would fit perfectly in a Victorian novel, when people were interested in spiritualism and the occult, and stories of ghosts abound. Setting her in this time of industry makes her even more out of place and augments the difficulties she has with her psychic abilities.
The House of Secrets takes place immediately after Sarah Bennett’s father, Jack Bennett, a best-selling author, is tried for the murder of Sarah’s mother. The trial was a tabloid sensation, and Sarah found herself reviled as the star witness against San Francisco’s favourite author. This scenario is made even worse because Sarah was an outlier before the trial. At the beginning of this book, she is very much alone. After Jack is acquitted, Sarah is without money or a place to live. With a bit of luck, she is offered a job amanuensis to a renowned psychiatrist, Dr Matthew Geisler, who also is interested in the occult. He knows of Sarah’s paranormal abilities and is – seemingly – interested in helping her learn to live with her unusual abilities.
Sarah moves into The Geisler Institute, the psychiatric hospital housed in a mansion in Pacific Heights and quickly realises there is a ghost in residence. Sarah’s ability to see spirits has caused her so much grief, she is desperate to learn how to live with her psychic abilities. She turns to Dr Geisler for help, only to discover not only that Dr Geisler has secrets of his own, and that he needs Sarah just as much as Sarah needs him.
I hope your readers enjoy the book! 

Terry Lynn Thomas grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches and Gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back.
Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which feature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. The Drowned Woman is a recipient of the IndieBRAG Medallion. She also writes the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, set in Britain during World War II. The first book in this series, The Silent Woman, came out in April 2018 and has since become a USA TODAY bestseller. When she’s not writing, you can find Terry Lynn riding her horse, walking in the woods with her dogs, or visiting old cemeteries in search of story ideas.