Monday, March 12, 2012
WELCOME BACK.... Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy returned to the Sports Romance Blog to discuss her latest book, In Love's Own Time.
Do you believe in ghosts? Lillian Dorsey doesn’t, at least not until she arrives at the Edwardian home she just inherited from her unknown grandfather. She never believed her mother’s tales of a ghost who haunted the place and her plan is to clean out the three story mansion, then sell it. But the house captivates her with its’ old-fashioned charm and soon she ponders making it her home, moving to the small time from the Kansas City area. Lillian comes across an intruder in her home, a dapper and handsome man dressed in old-fashioned garb as he plays the piano with skill. She orders him out but he insists he’s the original owner who died there in 1905. Her disbelief soon turns to an unlikely friendship – and more.
Relationships can be, well, complicated at the best of times but when your significant other is a ghost, complicated soars to new levels. It’s a little hard to seek a shot at that happily-ever-after thing when your man lacks a corporal body and vanishes when his energy levels drop. Sleeping in the room where he died over a hundred years ago has to be a real downer too.
But for a stubborn woman like Lillian, following your heart might not be impossible after all. Once she comes to terms with the reality Howard is both dead and a ghost, she decides to figure out how they could get around the facts.
When a moment of play acting, a pretend tea party as if Howard were alive and the calendar reads 1904 inspires Lillian to go purchase a vintage outfit to wear, she didn’t have any clue their little fantasy would turn real. But when the couple realizes they’ve somehow made it to 1904, they touch for the first time. Just when Lillian thinks they’ve accomplished the impossible, however, she finds herself back in the present.
She’s hard to stop, however. The one thing she learned is it can happen so she studies time travel and together they make a plan.
Here’s the blurb and an excerpt plus links:
There may be no place like home and nothing like love…..when history teacher Lillian Dorsey inherits a three story Edwardian brick mansion from the grandfather who banished her pregnant mother decades before, it’s a no brainer. She’ll visit the place, see it and sell it. Instead Lillian’s captivated by the beautiful home and intrigued by the ghost of the original owner, Howard Speakman. Soon she’s flirting with the charming, witty gentleman who’s been dead for more than a century and before long, they admit it’s a mutual attraction. Still, when she’s alive and he’s dead, any shot at being together seems impossible.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way….one afternoon while pretending to visit the past the impossible becomes a brief reality. If they visited 1904 before, Lillian knows they can do it again and if so, she can prevent Howard’s untimely death. With a combination of love, powerful hope, and stubborn will, Lillian bends time to her will and returns to the summer of 1904. But Howard’s death looms ahead and if she’s to find a happy ending, she must save him from his original death.
“Damn!” The aggravation would kill her if the suspense didn’t. Love relationships were hard enough with a flesh and blood partner but Howard’s disappearing act was beyond difficult. There must be some way, she thought, to cross the boundaries of time so she and Howard could be together and Lillian resolved to figure out how.
Although she would rather bawl with frustration, she took action. The local library was the only place which might have the materials she sought so she Googled Einstein’s theories on one of the public computers. What she read led to her read about Goedal, the other Princeton scientist she mentioned to Howard and to others, everyone from Stephen Hawking to Igor D. Novikov. A search of simply “time travel” linked to Washington Irving’s legend of Rip Van Winkle, King Arthur’s daughter Gwenth, to Carroll’s Alice, and even to Sleeping Beauty. The mish-mash of information was confusing but as she sorted through it, reading and considering it all, a sense of excitement crept over her. Repeatedly from very diverse sources, she read time travel might be possible, not from crackpots or harebrained pseudo scientists but from people at the top of their field.
No one explained how it worked but most acknowledged the possibility. As she surfed the World Wide Web, she jotted down books to read and movies to watch. Dean Koontz wrote a novel about time travel called Lightning and a woman named Diana Gabaldon penned an entire series of novels based on time travel. Movies like Kate and Leopold and Somewhere in Time, the last based on a novel by Richard Matheson, intrigued her.
Lost in research, Lillian didn’t realize how long she’d been there until the librarian tapped her shoulder.
“I’m sorry but we close in fifteen minutes.”
Head aching with fatigue, mind whirling with information, she gathered up her copious notes and walked out to the parking lot. Her car was alone beneath the vapor lights and although she was weary, Lillian was too restless to go home. Instead, she drove across town and up the business highway to where Howard’s farm once existed.
The neat orchards she hoped to find were gone and instead a housing subdivision sprawled over the fertile ground, the foundation of Howard’s fortune. Most of the ranch style homes dated to the late 1950’s or early 1960’s but on the far edges, newer homes ringed the original neighborhood. The railroad track she recalled from her dream and the hills with a few gnarled old apple and peach trees were all remaining of the former fruit farm. The idea brought sadness and Lillian knew Howard’d feel the same. As her headlights swept through the subdivision, she searched for any other signs of Speakman’s Farm but found none so she retreated to Seven Oaks.
In the humid summer night, her fatigue felt like a heavy blanket and Lillian was almost too tired to drag herself up the stairs. As she wandered through the dark downstairs rooms, she called his name but Howard didn’t answer. Missing him was an ache and so weary, emotions drained, she lay down across the bed, too tired to even undress and fell asleep.
Shadows of the tree branches made lacy silhouettes across the ceiling of the bedroom when she woke, moving shadows dancing with the wind. Although she’d no clue what time of day it might be, Lillian felt too somnolent to rise so she lay, tangled in the bedspread and tried to sort her myriad emotions. Joy at Howard’s declaration of love dimmed when she considered the difficulties of their unique relationship and a strange prickling delight came as she remembered visiting 1904. As the wind rushed through the trees like whispers, she struggled to make sense of time travel, to figure out a way to make it possible on a permanent basis.
Details, theories, and thoughts warred until she sat up, limbs protesting the motion after too many hours of deep sleep, with a revelation. They didn’t need the books, she wouldn’t have to know the properties of relativity after all, and there was no set format certain to succeed. It didn’t matter because she’d done it. If they managed once to travel to the past without trying, they could and would by design.
“Elementary, my dear Watson,” Lillian murmured, stretching as she swung her legs to the floor. “It’s simple, really.”
With one ear cocked for any sound to indicate Howard’s return, Lillian bathed and dressed, brushing her teeth to rid her mouth of an unpleasant film coating both teeth and gums. She picked up her watch from the dresser and nodded. It was just now noon; she’d not slept away as much of the day as she’d guessed, a good thing since she needed to handle many details. Singing, she floated with elation downstairs to make coffee and a list. Time travel was possible and she’d do it or die. Either way, she’d end up Howard.
By the time, he appeared, dapper in a blue and white checked Madras shirt worn over dark brown trousers held up with suspenders striped the same colors as the shirt, she’d scribbled half a notebook full of things to do or buy or look up. Intent on the next item, she didn’t realize he was with her until she felt his spirit caress, light as a breath, across the back of her neck.
“What are you plotting, my dear heart?” He asked, sitting down across the kitchen table.
“We can do it, Howard.” She put down her pen to reach out for his hand and then remembered she couldn’t hold it. “Time travel, I mean. All we have to do is believe it and live it. If we could do it when we were just pretending, we can do it. Everything has to be just right and I’ve so many things to get and things to do but we can. Isn’t it wonderful?”
Find me at
Facebook: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
A Page In The Life: leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.com
Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
I also have a book trailer here: