I asked today’s guest Casi McLean to tell us about her inspiration for her book Beneath The Lake. I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did.
Hey Marlow. Thank you for hosting me on your blog today.
I love to talk about my new release, Beneath The Lake, and the eerie lake lore that inspired my muse. A town that time forgot––the history and creepy stories attached to a rural area that sleeps beneath Atlanta's famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier, fascinated me. Homes, churches and businesses still linger beneath the surface. The moonshiners of the 1940's added built-in suspense, not to mention the birth of NASCAR. Looper Speedway, a half-mile dirt track where bootleggers competed with their souped-up cars, bared its cement stands in a recent draught.
There's a Lady of the Lake who haunts the ghost town too––the lore is spine-chilling. Some say she lures victims to her watery grave. The truth is, swimmers get trapped among the deadfall of sheered-off trees and town remains. Even expert divers get tangled beneath the murky surface, hence the lake's unnerving label: Lanier never gives up its dead. The inspiration swirled in my mind, begging for a story to be told. What a perfect setting for my romantic time-slip suspense series.
Why time-slip? Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L'Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. And Lake Lanier, a man-made lake with mesmerizing history presented a plausible theory: what if the explosions required to excavate the lake induced a seismic shift and, given enough energy, could open a portal to a different dimension or a rip in time. I loved the possibilities.
The birth of Lacey Montgomery evolved through my young adult love for Jude Deveraux's A Knight In Shining Armor, a time-slip novel of course, and her endearing Montgomery family. I hope my writing honors her inspiration. The character Lacey's persona, inspired by my high school friend, Hilary Johnson, slipped perfectly into position. A lawyer, discouraged with defending criminals, yearned to help honest people in trouble, and some of her finer qualities naturally became part of Lacey––the dysfunctional relationships came from my own personal experiences. LOL. Once these elements entwined, Beneath The Lake blossomed with an energy and life of its own.
The sequel, Beyond The Mist, picks up where the first story ends incorporating two minor characters as the new hero and heroine. Any guesses as to who will pick up the ball? Hmmm . . . maybe a contest is in the works. Maybe your readers would like to guess who the main characters will be in Beyond The Mist?
A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta's famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery's car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy, black water, she awakens in the arms of a handsome stranger, in a place she’s never heard of––
34 years before she was born.
When the 2012 lawyer tangles with the 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes. Learning the truth about her origins does nothing to stop the passion from taking root in his heart, and leaves him torn between finding a way to help Lacey return to 2012 or convincing her stay with him.
The desperation to find her way home dissolves as Lacey falls in love with a town destined to be erased from the face of the Earth, and the man who vows to protect it. Will the couple discover the key to the mysterious portal before time rips them apart? Or will their star-crossed spirits wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake?
Time Travel, Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Lake Lanier, Georgia—June 2011
A final thud hurled him backward, flailing through brush and thickets like a rag doll. Grasping at anything to break momentum, Rob’s hand clung to a branch wedged into the face of the precipice. Spiny splinters sliced his skin. Blood oozed and trickled into his palms, and one by one, his fingers slowly slipped.
A sharp crack echoed through the silence of the ravine as the bough succumbed to his weight. He plummeted into free-fall. Clenching his eyes, he drew in a deep breath, terrified of the pain, the mauling that waited on the jagged rocks below.
When icy water broke his fall, the chill kept him from losing consciousness. He spun, straining to see, but darkness enveloped him. Soggy clothing pulled him deeper—deeper into the murky, fathomless depths. He wrestled to squirm free from the waterlogged jacket dragging him down to a watery grave, watched the coat disappear into black obscurity. Panic gripped his stomach, or was it death that snaked around his chest, squeezing, squeezing, squeezing the air, the life from his body? Lack of oxygen burned his lungs, beckoning surrender, and a shard of rage pierced his gut as reality set in. He lunged upward with one last thrust and burst from the water’s deadly grip, gasping for air. A gurgling howl spewed from the depths of his soul and echoed into silence.
Sunlight shimmered across a smooth, indigo lake, but aside from the slight ripples of his own paddling, nothing but stillness surrounded him. He floated toward the shore, sucking deep breaths into his lungs until the pummeling in his chest subsided. When he reached the water’s edge, he hoisted his body onto the soft red clay and collapsed while the sun’s warmth drained the tension from his body.
No one knew he had survived. The rules had shifted. Now he could reinvent himself, become a stealth predator. His target: Lacey Madison Montgomery.
Where to find Casi:
Facebook: Casi McLean
FB Author Page: Casi McLean-Author
Goodreads: Casi McLean
Amazon Author Page: Casi McLean