The Story Behind "Spirit in the Rock"
by Terry Ambrose
What about real ghosts, though? Are you a believer? I know several people who are. Hawai‘i happens to be a place where many people are believers. The islands have had myths and legends about supernatural activity for centuries. Some of the first date back to the time of the volcano goddess, Pele. There are also many current-day paranormal rumors and legends.
In Honolulu, O‘ahu Ghost Tours conducts ghost tours. Their offerings run the gamut from easy walks to more moderate activity. When I learned Halloween was one of our available themes in "Happy Homicides 4: Fall into Crime," I was excited. I was eager to write my first-ever ghost story and contacted the friendly people at O‘ahu Ghost Tours.
Most ghost stories try to scare the pants off you. Right? The problem is, I don't write really scary stuff. I'm more of a cozy kind of guy. When I contacted Robert at O‘ahu Ghost Tours, I was concerned. How would someone who made his living in Hawai‘i telling stories about ghosts feel about my type of ghost story?
So what is "my type" of ghost story? Consider it something like a pina colada, but instead of rum, lime, coconut, and pineapple juice, it's a blend of mystery, humor, setting, and quirky characters. Whip all the ingredients together and we end up with a Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mystery.
Don't worry, our "Happy Homicides" mysteries won't send you under the blankets in fear. On the contrary, if I've done my job well, you'll get a good laugh from mine. It's not every day an amateur sleuth and a PI-wannabe take on a couple of Hawaiian spirits as well as a killer.
The title of my story for "Happy Homicides 4" is "Spirit in the Rock." I'll let you in on a little secret. The concept came from my contact at O‘ahu Ghost Tours. The real story goes something like this. A man was walking along the beach one day when he spotted a beautiful rock. He picked up the rock and the spirit inside spoke to him. The voice was that of a young woman. She promised the man she would bestow great fortune on his family if he cared for her.
The man became enamored of the spirit in the rock over time and paid it great attention. Eventually, his wife became jealous and threw the rock into the ocean. Of course, bad things happened to the family afterward. The story did leave me with a question. What if there had been a witness who saw the wife throw away the rock?
With that premise, I was able to bring the story forward to current day. This time, the spirit in the rock is unhappy because someone stole the rock from the museum after her benefactor donated it. The spirit is wreaking havoc on the grand opening of the museum. It's up to McKenna to find the thief, pacify the spirit, and solve the murder of a security guard at the museum. The big problem is, he has to do it all before the clock strikes midnight and Halloween ends. I hope you enjoy "Spirit in the Rock" as well as all the other stories in "Happy Homicides 4."
My latest Trouble in Paradise novella was just released "North Shore Nanny" on August 30. This time, McKenna's client is Kai Palakiko. She’s ten, precocious, and determined to prove her nanny isn’t a killer. She may be McKenna’s toughest client yet. Stop by my website at terryambrose.com if you'd like to learn more about "North Shore Nanny."
Have you had any experience with ghosts? Do you know anyone who has? If you haven't, do you think you'd enjoy a ghost tour? Leave a comment below to enter to win an e-book copy of any of my Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries.
Terry Ambrose writes the Trouble in Paradise (McKenna Mystery) series, and the License to Lie thriller series. Terry has been nominated for multiple awards and won the 2014 San Diego Book Awards for Best Action/Thriller.
Terry’s novels receive consistent praise from readers for their complex characters and plots. Kirkus Reviews said Terry’s writing has “. . . the kind of snark that will remind readers of Elmore Leonard.”
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