In hindsight, this might have been a better title for the book - although it does have Harry Potter vibes, so perhaps not.
Anyhoo, here's part of the opening scene for The Ghost Who Wasn't Dead. No spoilers, but I'm sure some of you will already know who this "ghost" is...
The man sat on the doorstep of a house he once called home, thankful the first rolls of thunder drowned the crying within.
It was not the welcome he’d expected.
Rain pattered around the garden, a usually comforting sound dismal and depressing in a place he no longer belonged. He’d never really belong there again, of course. He was needed elsewhere these days, but –
But that wasn’t the point. When you spent almost a decade in a place, coming back should feel good.
As the approaching storm grew louder, the man gave a short, sarcastic laugh and shook his head.
At least one thing never changed, even if it was just the English weather.
But, he’d been so busy with his own life, he’d all but forgotten things would have changed whilst he was… away. Not the locks, apparently, which had given him false hope, but — well, everything else, he supposed.
Because fourteen years was a long time, even though it was barely enough to rebuild his fractured life and shattered sanity. It was certainly too long to be separated from those he loved, but that was unavoidable when coming back would’ve done more harm than good.
He’d done what needed to be done, however much he didn’t want to, and he comforted himself that other lives were better because of his sacrifice.
Every day, at least in the early years, a piece of him died each time the sun rose without bringing with it the hope of being reunited with his family.
He mourned the life left behind, with his beautiful wife and loving son in a village that had welcomed the city boy as one of their own — but the War had changed things for everyone. It wouldn’t have been fair if he’d escaped that upheaval, and at least he’d lived to tell the tale. Too many others hadn’t, and unlike them, he had the chance to make things right again.
He shivered, thunder crashing right overhead. Yes, it could have been much worse.
It nearly had been.
But the events that broke him were long past. The wounds, deep and debilitating as they had been, were now merely scars. They still hurt, just as other fellows suffered with shrapnel injuries or a bullet wound that made their knee ache right before the rain came, but he could live with it now, which hadn’t always been the case.
Life could have been very different, both better and worse, but he liked to think he’d made the best of the circumstances he’d found himself thrust into.
He can think what he likes, whoever this mysterious man is. The fact he's sitting on the doorstep of a house he once lived in rather suggests he's made a few mistakes, wouldn't you say...?
And you really don't have long to wait to find out what's going on! The book is out on Friday, and I'm getting all the files uploaded today, which is very exciting :)
That's the last of the sneak peeks I have planned, because a) I can't find any other long sections without spoilers in, and b) I'm itching to share some comments from my beta readers with you :)
Catch you soon!