Hey, readers. I love having guests on my blog, and there’s no better way to kick off September than with a visit from my friend and fellow author, Staci Troilo. She and I go back a few years, and it’s largely because of Staci that I’m writing fiction today.
It’s always exciting when she releases a new book, and this time is really special because she has collaborated with another friend and author, Mae Clair. Doesn’t get much better than that.
I’m honored to host the first stop of their promo tour. Please welcome Staci to tell you all about The Haunting of Chatham Hollow.
Ciao, amici! Joan, thanks for hosting me today. I’m so happy to be here and so excited to tell you and your readers about The Haunting of Chatham Hollow, a dual-timeline novel I co-wrote with talented author, Story Empire colleague, and long-time friend Mae Clair. This was the first either of us attempted a collaboration, and I have to say, it went beautifully. So well, in fact, I think both of us would be up for a second project sometime in the future.
But now isn’t the time to look forward. It’s time to look into the past. More specifically, 1793 and 1888, the historical periods in the novel. And to the present, where the rest of the mystery unfolds. This story encompasses ghosts, curses, missing treasure, arson, and murder, with a cast of characters whose descendants cross paths continuously throughout the ages. Our short tour will introduce you to a few of the major players via a discussion between one of them and a medium.
Today’s post takes place in the present. The psychic is Julia Hale, a resident of Chatham Hollow and a descendant of famous spiritualist Victor Rowe. The character she’ll be speaking with is her grandson, local reporter Aiden Hale.
Without further ado…
Julia: Thanks for joining me today, Aiden.
Aiden: You didn’t really give me much of a choice, Gran.
Julia: Watch your tone, young man.
Aiden: (frowning and mumbling) Sorry.
Julia: So, you’ll be writing multiple articles about the Founder’s Day Festival this year.
Aiden: You know I will.
Julia: And you’ll be part of the séance reenactment.
Aiden: You know that, too.
Julia: (staring pointedly at him) I know many things. For example, I know you’re going to regret talking to me that way.
Aiden: (nostrils flaring) Yes, ma’am. Won’t happen again.
Julia: I also know you don’t want the Spirit Search crew filming here. Now, why is that?
Aiden: Anything fueling the flames of that ridiculous curse is a bad idea. Best case scenario, we’re overrun with ghost hunters all year long. Worst case? We’re overrun with ghost hunters all year long.
Julia: Increased tourism is good for our economy.
Aiden: But not our way of life.
Julia: Are you sure that’s all that’s troubling you?
Aiden: I’m sure.
Julia: There’s not even a small part of you worried about awakening Ward Chatham and bringing his wrath onto the town?
Aiden: Of course not. Because ghosts don’t exist, and even if they did, no one living could talk to them.
Julia: So, you sit here in my kitchen, denying my powers? Denying yours?
Aiden: (rolling his eyes) Not this again.
Julia: Yes, this again.
Aiden: Well, look at the time. I’m on deadline and need to get my draft uploaded before Greer fires me.
Julia: She’d never do that. You’re the best reporter she has.
Aiden: (standing) Gotta run, Gran.
Julia: We weren’t done discussing this.
Aiden: (plants a kiss on her cheek) I was. Later!
Julia: (shaking her head as he runs out the door) This isn’t over!
One founding father.
One deathbed curse.
A town haunted for generations.
Ward Chatham, founder of Chatham Hollow, is infamous for two things—hidden treasure and a curse upon anyone bold enough to seek it. Since his passing in 1793, no one has discovered his riches, though his legend has only grown stronger.
In 1888, charlatan Benedict Fletcher holds a séance to determine the location of Chatham’s fortune. It’s all a hoax so he can search for the gold, but he doesn’t count on two things—Victor Rowe, a true spiritualist who sees through his ruse, and Chatham’s ghost wreaking havoc on the town.
More than a century later, the citizens of the Hollow gather for the annual Founder’s Day celebration. A paranormal research team intends to film a special at Chatham Manor, where the original séance will be reenacted. Reporter and skeptic Aiden Hale resents being assigned the story, but even he can’t deny the sudden outbreak of strange happenings. When he sets out to discover who or what is threatening the Hollow—supernatural or not— his investigation uncovers decades-old conflicts, bitter rivalries, and ruthless murders.
This time, solving the mystery isn’t about meeting his deadline. It’s about not ending up dead.
Thanks again, Joan, for hosting me today. I hope this little exchange gives you and your followers a bit more insight into the Hale family. A paranormal cable show—Spirit Search—is coming to the Hollow to search for ghosts, and Aiden tries his best to avoid them. He denies his gift (if such a thing exists) while Julia happily embraces her powers. I hope you’ll all consider reading the story to find out which of them is right. The answer to that mystery, and many more, can be found in The Haunting of Chatham Hollow. Mae and I truly appreciate your support. Grazie!
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Staci, it’s been a pleasure to host you today. I wish you and Mae much success. Readers, be sure to pick up your copy of this one. You won’t be disappointed!