The Trouble Among Ghosts – Creating a Ghostly War
My writing partner, Donna Helmedag, and I decided to use two warring ghosts, Lady Anne and Desdemona, in our contemporary paranormal romance Wanted: Ghostbusting Bride. Each diva demanded a unique story and personality, but a shared history. And our story required a conflict between the ghosts be so strong that the divas would carry their fighting down to the present. So Donna and I dove into historical research for likely examples then added creative license to create a ghostly mayhem lasting five centuries.
First we sought plausible stories that would cause a feud between two women. The tumultuous years of the War of the Roses provided us with ample the historical precedents.
The inspiration for our feuding ghosts came from the reason for Anne Neville’s imprisonment by the Duke of Clarence. Anne’s inheritance would go to her betrothed, the future Richard III, after their marriage. The Duke of Clarence saw Richard III a threat for the control of the English throne. Jealousy of wealth, standing, and influence are foundations of our ghostly war.
The prize our ghosts fought for during their lives was one callous, ambitious, unprincipled Earl of Ryne. We modeled the fictional Earl of Ryne after the real Thomas Stanley. Stanley had committed to fight on Richard III’s side at Bosworth Field, but withheld his troops during the battle until he saw the way the campaign was developing. Finally, he committed his troops to fight on the side of Henry Tudor against Richard III when the king’s horse bogged down in the mud. Stanley was married twice, and controlled his wives’ lands for his own gain.
Love wasn’t part of Stanley’s marriage plans or our Earl of Ryne’s. The treatment of our earl meted out to our ghosts in life exacerbated the hard feelings one ghost had for the descendants of earl. But the earl’s use of his two wives created a bond of victimization both ghosts shared.
The center of the ghostly controversy was the control of the earldom. Each ghost had a son by the fictional earl, and both ghosts sought for their son to inherit the earldom of Ryne. They willing fought to the death and carried their struggle on from beyond the grave in an attempt to control Ryne. Our model for such a brutal and vicious conflict came from Richard III and Henry Tudor vying for the English crown at the Battle of Bosworth Field.
English history even provided us with the example of a feisty woman determined to rule the country through her son. This woman wrested power from her husband and legitimate king, Edward II, for her son Edward III. Then she ran England as his regent for a time. If Isabella of France could rule England until her son neared manhood and took back control of the government, it wasn’t too much of a leap of creative license for our two ghosts to control the fate of Ryne down to the present.
Margaret Breashearswww.wantedghostbustingbride.com where spirited lovers meet feisty ghosts
Coming soon from Tell-Tale Publishing Group – our first romantic suspense novel with a ghostly twist, WANTED: Ghostbusting Bride.
At the age of fifteen, Lady Anne became the first duchess of Ryne when Henry VII offered her in marriage as a reward to Godfrey Markham. Godfrey was not the best of husbands. While he valued Lady Anne for her family’s land and wealth, their marriage was not happy. To make matters worse, Godfrey’s former lover returned to set her illegitimate son up as the duke of Ryne’s heir. The two women’s struggle ended in Lady Anne’s death. Since then, Lady Anne’s ghost has haunted Ryne castle.
Desdemona had a very unhappy life. At the age of fourteen, she found herself pregnant by Godfrey Markham. But he chose to marry Lady Anne for her family’s land and wealth. Desdemona was married off to an old man. On her husband’s death, she sought to have her son recognized as Godfrey’s heir. For a short time she convinced Godfrey to marry her and place her son above Lady Anne’s. However, Lady Anne’s family, hearing of the double-dealings of the duke, laid siege to the castle. Desdemona and her son were slaughtered, and Lady Anne’s second son became the next duke. Desdemona has haunted the ruined west
castle ever since. tower of Ryne
Now the two warring ghosts are driving Spencer Markham, the new earl of Ryne, to seek a ghostbusting wife. He has one week to convince Kailyn Baker to marry him, but she has a bad attitude, wants nothing to do with marriage, and refuses to believe ghosts exist. Can he convince her to join him in defeating the warring specters before the ghosts’ violence turns deadly?
Donna Helmedag lives in Fairview, Texas with her husband, Ron. After almost thirty years of teaching Algebra and Geometry she has retired to pursue her dream of writing romantic suspense novels with a paranormal twist.
Margaret Breashears lives in Allen, Texas with her husband, Eddie. Retired from teaching history, she can be found either at the stable riding her horse, Evento Rex, or at Donna’s house writing about spirited lovers and feisty ghosts.
A gripe session in the teacher’s lounge at the local community college started their writing partnership. The pair quickly found out they shared a quirky sense of humor and a gift for telling action-packed stories. They’ve been writing together ever since.
-- Lynda Again
Great article! The book sounds terrific! I'm sure our readers enjoyed it too. How about it, folks? Any comments or questions?
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