07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Image Inspiration for a Ghostly Christmas Story - Corrina Lawson

It was this photo that inspired Ghosts of Christmas Past. 

In June of 2013, I went to a business conference in Detroit sponsored by Ford. As part of that conference, I drove a new Ford truck out to a Habitat for Humanity project in one of the most blighted areas of Detroit. 

We passed this once-thriving and now derelict town center on the way to the Habitat project. Near this corner was an abandoned neighborhood bank, complete with a mounted clock that no longer worked. I wis I could describe how gut-wrenching it was to drive past this place, and then through the residential portions of the neighborhood. In once-typical suburban neighborhood, three of our four houses were either gutted, wrecked or had steel doors and windows to prevent the same from happening. 

Yet, that fourth house, the one still in use, was inevitably well-cared for, with new paint jobs and lovely manicured lawns. It was as if those homeowners refused to give into the chaos around them. They, perhaps foolishly, perhaps hopefully, believed in the future of that place. 

And that's what I wanted for my Christmas story. I wanted a story that showed that it was possible for love to win and for people to take care of each other, even under what might be the worst circumstances.

The tagline for Ghosts of Christmas Past is "Christmas Can Be Murder For a Relationship on the Rocks." My hero and heroine are struggling to get through their first holiday season together. Aloysius James is the hardened, cynical and yet honest detective. Al is amazed he's found love again but he's not sure he should keep it. That's because his girlfriend, Lucy aka Noir, is at the beginning of her career as an artist. From Al's perspective, Lucy is destined for great things beyond the city even residents call the Double C. (Charlton City aka Cancer City.) 

But Lucy is far more than an artist. With her power to turn invisible, she's Al's secret partner in the war against corruption and crime. Al doesn't think Lucy has to fight this war. Lucy, who knows what it's like to be without hope, doesn't understand why Al wants to push her away. 

And in the middle of it all, a murderer chooses to make a statement by placing a body in front of the "Christmas Carol" exhibit at the Charlton City art museum. 

It's a romance, so I hope I'm not spoiling anything to say that there is a happy ending, but I wanted more than a happy ending for Al and Noir. I wanted a happy ending for the amazing people of the Double C, the ones who have chosen  to stay and rebuild among the ruins. Because on Christmas, anything is possible. 

Buy links:

Note: the book is out on 11/25, but is all ready for pre-ordering everywhere. 

Author Bio:

Writer, Mom, Geek & Superhero, Corrina Lawson is the author of the superhero romance series, the Phoenix Institute, and the alternate history Seneca series, in which Romans and Vikings have settled in ancient North America. 
She is also co-founder and Content Director for GeekMom.com and a mother of four, including twins.


Diana McCollum said...

Detroit and many other cities have succumbed to ghost town status. Very sad. I feel so sad for those cities and the people who once inhabited the houses and worked in once prosperous communities. Your story sounds intriguing. Good luck with sales.

Sarah Raplee said...

What a great story for this setting! Awesome title and cover, too.

Corrina said...

Thanks, Sarah and Diane.

the fascinating thing about this photo is that Habitat for Humanity is nearby and rebuilding. I hope at some point it comes back.

Jody E. Lebel said...

That's a great cover. I can see how you were inspired to write the story. Best wishes.

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Corrina,

I spent a very long Thursday afternoon with a friend of mine. We live in different cities and meet once or twice a year at Novak's. We love this place and it is half-way between so ideal for along afternoon of catching up.
For the past several years the area where the restaurant is located has had numerous empty, boarded up businesses. Very depressing to drive into the large parking area and see fewer and fewer cars as the businesses closed their doors.
This time I was surprised to see all the storefronts open for business. I know I smiled, felt an uplifting and thought maybe things really are on the upswing.
So glad you got your inspiration from Detroit and "Ghosts of Christmas Past" will be available in two more days!

Corrina said...

Judith, that's so good to hear! I believe that Detroit can come back. When I visited the Ford Factory, one of the head engineers said they had numerous engineering jobs open and available. They can't find enough to hire.

I thought at the time that if I were an engineer and young, and had considerable student loan debt, I could do far worse than move to Detroit, rent or buy at a very reasonable price, and help also restore the city.