Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Guest Post with Geoffrey Girard

Photo Content from Geoffrey Girard

Geoffrey Girard writes thrillers, historicals, and dark speculative fiction. His first book, Tales of the Jersey Devil, thirteen original tales based on American folklore, was published by Middle Atlantic Pressin 2005, followed by Tales of the Atlantic Pirates (2006) and Tales of the Eastern Indians (2007). Simon and Schuster published two Girard novels simultaneously in 2013: CAIN'S BLOOD, a techno thriller, and PROJECT CAIN, a companion novel for teen/YA readers which was nominated for a Bram Stoker award for "Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel."

In 2017, Carolrhoda Books published TRUTHERS, a YA novel about the 9/11 conspiracy, and Adaptive Books published MARY ROSE, a psychological thriller/ghost novel.

Girard's short fiction has appeared in several best-selling anthologies and magazines, including Writers of the Future (a 2003 winner), Prime Codex, Aoife's Kiss, The Willows, Murky Depths, Apex Horror & Science Fiction Digest, and the Stoker-nominated Dark Faith anthology. The debut collection of his short fiction, first communions, was published by Apex Books in May, 2016.

Born in Germany and shaped in New Jersey, Geoffrey currently lives in Ohio and is the English Department Chair at a famed private boys' high school. Prior to teaching, he worked as an advertising copywriter, web developer and marketing manager. He has a BA in English literature from Washington College and an MA in creative writing from Miami University, where he is now working on an MFA. He has presented and led workshops on creative writing at schools, bookstores and various writers' conventions/events.


Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Adaptive Books (April 17, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1945293500
ISBN-13: 978-1945293504

Praise for MARY ROSE

"An exceptional gothic thriller. Girard's literary roots shine through, and the dread rises with every turn of the page. Mary Rose will send a true chill down your spine. A haunting, scary, and beautifully written novel." ―J.T. Ellison, NYT bestselling author of LIE TO ME

"Girard's eerie descriptions exploit the fear of the unknown and the unnatural; and secretive characters, including the enigmatic island, hide their intentions. This is a nightmarish tale of repressed memories and misdirection." ―Publishers Weekly

"The supernatural terror in MARY ROSE is masterfully invoked via a setting that quietly feeds on the past. Yet the novel's most chilling element is its aching and desperate love story. The titular character is as multifaceted as a dark gem, and Geoffrey Girard's genius is in his ability to cause fear of, and for, Mary Rose at the same time. MARY ROSE has the effect of burrowing under your skin, lodging next to your throat - and then your heart." ―Vicki Pettersson, NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author of SWERVE and SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC series

"Mary Rose is an elegant, classic ghost story that is, at once, truly literate and truly scary. Geoffrey Girard is a storyteller at the top of his game." ―Jacquelyn Mitchard, #1 NY Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean and Two if by Sea

Hello Book Nerds! Thanks so much for taking a look at MARY ROSE. I think it’s gonna hit some “book nerd” buttons – I know it did with many of mine.

First, MARY ROSE is an adaptation of a play (also MARY ROSE) written in the 1920s by British playwright J. M. Barrie (best known for Peter Pan and/or being played by Jonny Depp). The play’s worth finding online. Some of it is over-the-top (what else would you expect from the guy who wrote Peter Pan) but it’s got some great moments/lines that make you think. And some truly creepy moments. It’s premise is that a young woman, Mary Rose, is about get married, so her parents come clean with her fiancé about something that happened to her when she was a child – something she doesn’t remember at all and they never talk about with her – but they fear/expect could return some day and so her fiancé, Simon, should know about it. She vanished, for a month off a mysterious island: and returned in the exact same spot with no memory of what happened and no apparent damage done. But as she ages, gets married, even has a child, the call of the island never goes away and eventually claims her again. Again, exactly what you’d expect from the author of Peter Pan – filled with magic, mystery, fantasy far beyond the real world, and even a ghost or two. He’s hitting a lot of the same ideas of Peter Pan, too: Not wanting to grow up, the draw of the past, the draw of having to grow up. And secrets between men and women, as portrayed in Berry’s play as father/daughter, man/wife, and then mother/son – all using Mary Rose as the character who threads these tales together.

Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense (Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo, etc.), saw Berry’s play in his twenties and for his entire career kept trying to get a movie version made. He’d have scripts written, have actresses picked out for Mary Rose, and even planned out the movie posters he’d use. But, it never came together. He later joke that the studios would let him make any movie he wanted as long it “cost less than five million and it wasn’t Mary Rose.” Hitchcock wanted to make a ghost movie. And, he wanted to explore the same ideas of “growing up” and the complicated relationship, sometimes, between men and women. The roles that we both still sometimes play, roles that sometimes cause great damage. Especially when intensified by mystery and, well, hauntings from the past. (I think his later film Marnie is basically Mary Rose in disguise.)

Now, my turn with Mary Rose. Last year, a movie studio (and its publishing arm) Adaptive Studios asked me to take a look at the original play and imagine what kind of thriller/ghost story Hitchcock might have actually done and wondered if there was something I could do with it. They’d read and liked my CAIN’S BLOOD thriller and thought I could have some fun with the premise of the island (a character in itself), the mysterious disappearance, and the relationship between fiancé Simon and Mary Rose. I had a blast! Love these two characters. (The book’s told in alternating chapters between the two.)

I’m currently teaching an elective in Horror & Gothic fiction, so I jumped at the chance to write something in that same tradition. The old creepy houses and dark corners, the family secrets, and barren Scottish seasides. And, of course, all the things that go bump in the night. It was exciting at first to try and solve something Hitchcock couldn’t – reimagining/reworking this fantastical 1920 play for a modern audience. About three weeks in, it hit me: How in God’s name was I gonna figure out something Hitchcock couldn’t??! Locked me up for almost a month until I put on my English Lit major hat and got to work. I boiled down the characters to what both Berry and Hitchcock were after – what they, and the island, and the parents, and the mystery, represent on a thematic/allegory level. (English major stuff.) From there, I rediscovered several great characters and a very secretive, and sometimes horrifying, story. I hope Berry, and Hitchcock, would approve of the choices I made. And I hope readers of the new novel will enjoy the story of the girl who vanished on a mysterious island and the couple who now must face that island, and girl, again.

Thanks again, Book Nerds, for giving MARY ROSE a look. If you’re looking for a great blend of literary history, a classic gothic ghost story, and a modern thriller that’s getting starred-reviews and thumbs up from authors like JT Ellison, Vicki Pettersson, and Jacquelyn Mitchard – it’s now available exclusively at B&N (stores or online) and might prove a perfect Halloween read. Hope you like!

  • Ghosts were here. 
  • She might be right here beside him in the dark and he wouldn’t even know it. Faceup in the unseen stream. Swollen and blue from the cold. Or worse, alive and sitting in the dark on one of the adjacent rocks. Knees up to her chin. Just sitting there in the dark and waiting for someone else to come along. Would she grab him or, much worse, gently take his hand? 
  • “It’s never locked,” Francine looked past him at the closed door. “It’s held.” 
  • Mary Rose had vanished. 
  • “Because I love you.” 
  • One particular detail more horrifying than all the rest combined. In almost every picture, the two hideous figures were holding hands.
  • “Don’t be afraid,” she said. “I know where we are now.” 
  • In the welcoming blackness, a surging wind rattled both front windowpanes. Or was that the sound of tiny fingers slapping at the glass, its patter dancing along her skin like a frigid memory.
  • The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out… 
  • Inspecting the painting more closely, he noticed she’d done something interesting—intentional, he assumed—with her shoulders and hair, the way they . . . the way, if you got right up on it and really looked, it was impossible to tell where the island ended and the girl began.

Mary Rose Moreland and Simon Blake are the perfect couple: successful young professionals in Philadelphia, attractive, madly in love, and ready to start a life together. When they travel to England for Simon to ask her parents’ permission to marry Mary Rose, he learns an unsettling secret: Mary Rose disappeared when she was a little girl while the family was vacationing on a remote Scottish island. She reappeared mysteriously thirty-three days later in the exact same spot without a scratch on her and no memory of what had happened.

After Simon hears about this disturbing episode in Mary Rose’s childhood, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened. He proceeds to launch his own investigation and arranges during their honeymoon for them to visit the island where she disappeared. But as Mary Rose’s behavior gets stranger after their engagement, the need for Simon to unlock the truth about her past grows even more urgent. What he uncovers is beyond his most terrifying fears.

Mary Rose is author Geoffrey Girard’s chilling and modern take on a classic ghost story originally written by J. M. Barrie. And for years, master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock attempted to adapt Mary Rose into a film but was never successful. With this novel, Girard taps into the nightmarish fears that inspired both Barrie and Hitchcock, while also bringing the story to the present day with his own unique voice.

You can purchase Mary Rose at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you GEOFFREY GIRARD for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of MARY ROSE by Geoffrey Girard.
OCTOBER 23rd MONDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
OCTOBER 26th THURSDAY Sweet Southern Home REVIEW
OCTOBER 27th FRIDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW

OCTOBER 30th MONDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 31st TUESDAY A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW


  1. The concept sounds very intriguing. Lived the excerpt!

  2. When my son was 3 years old and got out of the house 45 minutes to find him.

  3. The most frightening moment of my life was when my daughter had to be rushed to the ER for an allergic reaction when she was a baby.

  4. When my mom almost died of a stroke.

  5. "What was the most frightening moment of your life?" It's totally blocked--it must have been so scary and terrifying!