Please welcome our first Guest Author today — Gemma Juliana
When Setting Becomes A Character…
What happens when a house – or castle – becomes a character in the story you are writing?
When I wrote Christmas Spirits, a Christmas ghost story novella for my series, Sheikhs of the Golden Triangle, this is exactly what happened.
This bittersweet story deals with life, love, loss, death and rebirth against the backdrop of a younger generation enjoying their holiday at the castle.
The series takes place in The Golden Triangle, in fictitious kingdoms located there, but this holiday novella takes place in an ancient Irish castle that came into the family via marriage.
As I wrote the novella, I fell in love with Winterthorne Castle, the structure itself, its grounds and buildings, even the land. There is something very magical about this place that captured my heart as the author and I enjoyed creating a map of the estate.
What about you, as a reader or author? Have you written or read a novel where the place is at least as important as the heroine and hero?
Here’s an excerpt from Christmas Spirits…
Christmas Eve at Winterthorne Castle, Ireland
Sheikh Khazan gazed at the hypnotic orange flames in the white marble fireplace.Fire sprite sparks snapped and crackled as they fizzled into the cool pine-scented air.
Would she come to him tonight?
A vision of Anna in her festive ruby red gown danced before his tired eyes. What color would she wear this season? Emerald green had always suited her fiery golden hair and porcelain skin.
How he missed his Anna. Countless years had passed since the tragic night his beloved wife died on Christmas Eve, right here in her castle bed.
Every year since then had been an eternity, but for some reason, as time moved forward, his days were increasingly bleak and hollow. He’d been tempted on more than one occasion to throw in the towel and invite Death to take him, too.
But Death didn’t seem to want him, and so he’d rambled through the halls ever since her death, a lonely old man who’d lost the light and love of his life. His sense of purpose faded more every year.
She’d been inconsolable when she realized she must leave him and Ariel, their infant son. She’d vowed to find her way back.
“We’ll spend each Christmas together, I promise you, Khazan. You will never know a lonely Christmas,” she’d whispered.
Khazan shuddered. No matter how hard he tried to warm the over-sized rooms of the ancient Irish castle, a damp chill persisted.
No matter how close he got to the fire, it failed to warm him. The draughty air seemed intent on settling in his bones and turning his blood to ice to match his heart. Since his beloved had died, Khazan could have sworn he’d stopped living too.
Outside, the winter sky goddess made an offering to the land as she cast a white glittering blanket over the earth. Silent flakes clung to the Gothic window panes with relentless tenacity. The world beyond the granite castle walls was pristine white, a scene frozen in time.
The old grandfather clock in the hallway provided the only constant sound, its rhythmic tick-tock, and swaying pendulum entangled in an endless dance. It echoed through the rooms like a human heartbeat instead of a time mechanism.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, brave teen son and a comical dog who is really a human in disguise. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity. She writes romance, mystery and suspense with a splash of the paranormal. You’ll find alpha heroes in the Sheikhs of the Golden Triangle series and modern heroes in To Kiss A Leprechaun and Autumn Masquerade. More books coming soon.
Buy Gemma’s books on Amazon.
Connect with Gemma
3 thoughts on “Guest Author Monday”
I write about my hometown because it means that much to me even though I haven’t lived there for most of my life now. There’s something about this town where everyone knew everyone else and children played outside…
Thanks for having me as your guest today, Leanne!
Gemma, I could see your Irish Castle as a character in your story. Of course, I’ve been to Ireland and seen some castles. Smile!