Meet Joanne Keltner, author of Obsession

ISBN: 978-1-61937-502-4
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Published: January 2013

Available from Amazon , Barnes and Noble , and Musa Publishing

All of my story ideas germinate from dreams, typically reoccurring dreams. The story idea for Obsession was born from my own experience of living in an unfinished house in the Wisconsin woods—plywood floors, unpainted walls, wallboard dust everywhere—and a reoccurring dream in which I was obsessed with finishing the house—installing glass tiles on the floor, painting murals on the walls. The unfinished house became the setting for the novel, and obsession became its heart. A mother obsessed with turning the unfinished Wisconsin home into a “fairytale come true.” Thirteen-year-old Abby obsessed with convincing her parents to move back to their Illinois home. And Debbie, a ghost, obsessed with finding her family.

In the novel, Abby is torn from her suburban lifestyle and moved to the Wisconsin backwoods into this unfinished home. The house holds some mystery because the previous family who lived there just disappeared. Abby wants her parents to come to their senses before their home in Illinois sells, so she looks for ways to get into trouble to prove this is no place to raise a thirteen-year-old girl. But trouble already awaits Abby and her family as the carpenter and his son they hire are up to more than finishing the house and the previous owners who disappeared may still be there—at least Abby suspects their daughter is there because she can see her ghost. Through a diary she finds in the outbuilding, Abby slowly unravels the mystery of what happened to the previous owners and puts herself and her family in danger.

Told through Abby's point of view as well as through Debbie's diary entries, Obsession has been described on Long and Short Reviews as a "stepping stone for middle school students who love the paranormal or horror genres and are ready to transition to slightly more mature stories."

Book Description:

Abby had the perfect suburban life: shopping sprees at the mall, a pool in her backyard, a dream bedroom, a best friend… That is, until her family moved to the backwoods of Wisconsin.

Abby plans to prove this backwoods dump is no place for a thirteen-year-old. So when her parents hire a carpenter and his son, Greg, she hangs out with the older boy to make her parents worry. But Greg turns out to be a total creep, and although Abby tells him she doesn’t like him, he continues to make her life miserable, watching her, trying to get close to her, threatening her.

What’s creepier is the mysterious brown-haired girl that keeps appearing and disappearing without saying a word. When Abby finds the girl's old diary in the outbuilding, she learns that they share a common enemy, Greg.

Will they share the same fate too?

About the Author

JoAnne Keltner was born on the South Side of Chicago. As an only child and avid daydreamer, she spent hours alone in her narrow backyard, which she imagined to be everything from an alien planet to the Antarctic. Today, she is a novelist and technical editor. She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. Obsession is her first published novel.

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Apryl Baker


  1. I love ghost stories, and being set in the woods makes it extra intriguing. I am going to add this to my wish list.