Eli Sheets stared at the old rundown house in disbelief. When his Uncle Sal left him the property, he didn’t know what to expect, but peeling paint and a sagging porch wasn’t it. He wondered if it was a renovation nightmare or a new life. A new life both he, and his three-year-old daughter, Molly, desperately needed. As a single dad, Eli lived for his little girl’s happiness, but it was always at the expense of his own.
Diana Forrester didn’t see Eli Sheets coming. Her new neighbor was young, handsome, and a doting dad, but his lonely eyes reminded her of her own. No matter how much she enjoyed Eli’s company, the mirror reminded her love had tried to kill her once, and she refused to give it another chance.
Haunted by his uncle’s disappearance a decade ago, Eli wasn’t sure he could find the courage to walk through the dilapidated doors of 617 South Beltrane Avenue and uncover the secrets waiting there. It was an unexplained voice of reason late at night that convinced him he had to. Uncle Sal would enlist the help of a three-year-old clairvoyant to lead her daddy to the answers, and to show him love was worth a second chance.
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book is based on a true story from my own life. My daughter was two when she met her very own ghostie in a house in Wisconsin. While it was an adventure, I was glad when Ghostie took his leave once my son was born. It was several months later that my daughter saw a picture of her great-grandfather who she had never seen before. She pointed at the picture and said, "Ghostie! It's Ghostie!" That was when everything clicked into place. Ghostie left when his namesake was born safely.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Molly is based on my daughter, my son's name is Eli, and Ghostie Dan, well, he's based on our own Ghostie.
It was a dark and stormy night. Isn’t that how every good story begins. Not anymore? I suppose things could have changed since I last read a book, but that’s truly how the story of Eli Franklin Sheets begins. The weather was inconsequential to the events happening inside that Michigan hospital on June 17, 1985. Megan Sheets wasn’t paying attention to anything other than the cry of her newborn baby boy. The baby boy I was holding in my arms after delivering him safely into this world.
How do I know all of this, and why do you care? Please, let me explain. My name was Dr. Salvador Brennan and Eli Sheets was my only nephew. He’s also the only son of my not so dearly departed sister, and her louse of an ex-husband, who took off three months after Eli made his appearance in the world. An unmarried bachelor myself, I devoted my life to making sure Eli didn’t end up like his father — a deadbeat dad who left this world face down and frozen stiff in a farmer’s field.
It was ten years ago when they told me I had to walk away from the boy I loved like a son, and it nearly killed me. I want you to understand I didn’t have a choice in the matter. If I wanted him to be safe, I had to go. Over the years, Eli searched for me. He hired private investigators and attempted to trace my medical license, but at every turn, he wound up at a dead end. Unfortunately, for both of us, that was exactly how it had to be.
The internet at the public library, which I used under a fake name and email, was the only source of news on my boy. Nearly five years ago I found he was to be married, so I drove from Wisconsin back to Michigan, and crouched on a hillside to watch the nuptials. How he had changed in those years! It was so hard to sit there and not run to him and share in the beauty of that day, but I couldn’t. I had to sneak away while he kissed the bride.
Then, three years ago, I went to the library to check my email and there was an alert waiting for me. It seems Eli had become a father himself. His daughter, Molly Leonora Sheets, was a bouncing seven-pound beauty who had her father’s eyes. I fell in love with Molly the moment I saw her cherub face, her pink lips puckered around a pacifier. It was at her mother’s funeral that I first laid eyes on her. I was the mourner in the back row who watched as my son buried the woman he loved while holding the only thing he had left in the world.
But that was then, and this is now. Eli is about to drive up to 617 South Beltrane Avenue and start a new life. Together, Molly and I must help Eli rediscover happiness, and the joy of new love again. As they say, time heals all wounds, and I think Eli has had enough time. Convincing him of that will be difficult, but I know we’re up for the challenge.
A few months ago, I went to see them in Michigan. I was free of my earthly chains, and I was excited to talk to Eli once again. That euphoria didn’t last long when I discovered he had closed his heart off to the spirits that used to speak to him from other worlds. I tried my hardest to break through to his heart, but he had too many walls around it. Molly, on the other hand, wasn’t old enough for the ravages of time and loss to destroy her sweet little heart. She and I were instant friends, and now, we would be together again.
A new day is dawning, and today Eli’s life will change forever. He’s about to meet love again in the form of a brown-haired, doe-eyed, long-legged beauty named Diana. That is if I have anything to say about it. Let me tell you, I have a lot to say about it. I spent three years planning this, and it’s all here in this old house for Eli to discover. My final gift to him is the answers to his questions, so he knows that I loved him even when I couldn’t be with him. I loved him so much I made the most difficult sacrifice of all.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must ready my home for my son. He’ll be arriving any minute and I want to make a good impression. I so look forward to seeing Molly again. She’s ready to make a change, and she’ll be the one to tip the scales in my favor with her father.
I do believe I’ll call this …. Operation Molly.
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