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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Charlesgate by Dina Keratsis (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Title: Charlesgate
Author: Dina Keratsis
Release Date: June 23, 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: Ghosts, Romance, Paranormal
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon
Ever since Zylla Berry first saw the dilapidated mansion in Boston’s Back Bay, she’d become enchanted. When she walks by one day to find that someone is renovating the old beauty, she walks through its open door and meets Jabe Thayer.

Determined to restore The Charlesgate to its former splendor, Jabe is thrilled to meet Zylla, who shares his passion for the building and knows its history. As they get to know each other, they find that their love for The Charlesgate is not a coincidence and as supernatural forces intensify, they begin to uncover a sinister secret that will threaten their future.

From the piratical seas of the seventeenth century, to Boston’s Gilded Age to the present, The Charlesgate is a haunting novel of ancestry, fate, and the unfailing power of love.

About the author:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Dina Keratsis is an award-winning author of romance fiction in which all roads lead to illumination and magic is found in the mundane. A New England girl, she has a penchant for punk rock, Scottish tea rooms and a mad crush on Sirius Black. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children.

Guest Post:

Twenty years ago, there were lots of novels about gorgeous pirates, limbs intact and teeth white, who enjoyed bathing and ravishing well-bred lasses.

I devoured these novels by Nana’s pool during summer vacation between jobs. At first, it was easy to identify with the maiden pursued by the growling, passionate pirate who always looked like Eddie Vedder no matter how blond the author insisted his hair really was. Eventually, though, I wanted to be the pirate, not the maiden.

Since I’m prone to seasickness, writing a female pirate seemed the next best plan.

A trip to the library revealed Grace O’Malley, Ann Bonny and a handful of historical female pirates, including a snippet about Charlotte de Berry. Since Nana’s maiden name is Berry, I knew I’d found the heroine for my first book.

If research is correct, Charlotte lived in the seventeenth-century and dressed as a man to follow her husband into the English Navy. Her adventures led to her capture by the crew of a ship bound for Africa upon which she joined a mutiny, murdered the captain, and became a pirate.

Charlotte’s novel was born. Half way through, said novel was tossed in the garbage. I started again. A quarter through, I hit delete and tucked my notes away. Charlotte paced back and forth in my brain and occasionally pounded my temple, trapped. She wanted out but I knew I was not the right vessel to tell her tale.

Then one autumn day I walked a new to work and stumbled upon an abandoned, decaying building with its name engraved in stone over the main entrance.

Windows held no panes, weeds crept along its foundation, and a dangling and rusted lantern graced its alcove. An aura of menace and neglect surrounded her.

I fell in love.

If you Google “Charlesgate” now, you’ll find lots of info about the building, some true, some not. You’ll also find lots of ghost stories, including this nifty little video with Gina Gershon:

Back in 1994, however, although the Internet was a mighty portal into other worlds, it shed no light on a dying Boston building named Charlesgate.

Desperate for a glance from this glorious building, I went to the library, where one finds all things lost, but she did not exist in those musty aisles. So returning to my favorite spot across the street, I paced the sidewalk, gazing at her, and tried to gather the nerve to climb through a gaping window.

“You know that’s an old Emerson dorm, D,” says my co-worker one day after I gushed about my new love. “I lived there for a year. Creepy place.”

That day after work, I rushed to Emerson’s library where an archivist led me to a room and placed into my hands a treasure box. There wasn’t much: floor plans, a Boston Phoenix newspaper article, an architectural thesis, and diary entries and original photographs that once belonged to the architect’s sister. But it was enough.

And not long after, as if opening the box released a curse, the building woke.

Chain-link fenced the block, no-trespassing yellow banners barred entries, and open windows boarded. Construction workers with their yellow hats and Boston accents darted in and out carrying tools and supplies. The Charlesgate, I thought, was finally speaking to me.

Mad lust overcame my shyness and I marched right up to a barrier and asked to see the crew manager. His name was Alex, and he led me on a three-hour tour of my beloved building. We found hidden rooms, crumbling wallpaper, Gina Gershon’s “hidden” ballroom, and a glorious view of Boston from the roof. Dusk fell. I did not want to leave, mindful that I would never be able to afford one of the condos Alex was building.

So I started restoring the old hotel in my own way, using a beat-up old laptop and my treasure box from Emerson’s archives. Charlotte, by the way, was not too pleased about this, and wrestled herself into Charlesgate, black hair flowing, mouth snarling.

The Charlesgate thrives now, another apartment building in Back Bay, and even if she does not quite fit my expectations, I’m still in love with her and sneak inside whenever I get the chance.

I don’t think she knows I exist.


Cheaters never prosper
Open Internationally // Ends October 21, 2014
*Entries tweeting from contest-only accounts will be disqualified*

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