Captive Bride

Alta Hensley

Book Cover



    Core Theme













    This is a dark psychological thriller romance. It's an intense and twisted tale of a religious zealot of a father who kidnaps a man to become the future husband of his daughter. This is all done in the shadows of an old 1800s mining ghost town in the Nevada desert that is rumored to be haunted.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal


    Hallelujah Junction. A small mining ghost town in Nevada based off the real life town, Bodie

    Based on a True Story


    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Alta Hensley

    Year Published: 2021

    Starting Description

    An onsite caretaker for Hallelujah Junction kidnaps a wealthy Rolling Stone photographer from New York who is on assignment taking photos of the famed ghost town. The sheltered daughter, who has never left the safety of the old schoolhouse in the mining town, is forced to marry this captive.

    Ending Description

    This is the first of a trilogy. Book one ends with them catching Hallelujah Junction on fire in order to escape the father and notify authorities. It ends intensely with Christopher rescuing himself as well as his new bride who has never left the town before.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available




    Mature Audience Themes

    Nudity, Language/Profanity,Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Twist,Happy Ending,Other

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Ember

    Age: 24

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Complex,Insecure,Secretive,Romantic,Selfless,Obedient,Modest,Religious

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Christopher

    Age: 30

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Charming,Confident,Heroic,Heartthrob,Honorable,Unapologetic,Seductive,Romantic,Outspoken,Sexy,Masculine

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Papa Rich

    Age: 50

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Crazy,Complex,Criminal,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Religious,Villainous,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Scarecrow

    Age: 50

    Gender: Male

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Villainous,Complex,Crazy,Criminal,Religious,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Lone Wolf,Aggressive




    A photographer is captured in an abandoned town where only a man and his adopted daughter live. The photographer is forced to marry the woman, who is being captive in the town for almost her whole life. The photographer starts to grow fond of her and fight for ways to escape that place. They burn the town to get freedom.

    Overall Rating


    Point of View


    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: FAIR


    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The Book Profile accurately reflects the book.

    Draw of Story

    The setting and the eerie relationship between Richard and Ember. The story structure also has a big role in making me draw into Captive Bride.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Ember's characterization in the first half of the book. She looks much of an amalgamation of female stereotypes in the first impression, and this made it very difficult to me to like her as a character.

    Use of Special Effects


    Primary Hook of Story

    The setting in Captive Bride is as hookiest as it can be. The mysterious town, not empty only because of two very strange people. The way Ember follows everything Richards says and how much she fears him. This is quickly (and greatly) built, and quickly disrupted by Christopher's arrival. It's a very tense thriller from the beginning.

    Fanbase Potential

    I don't see this having a large fanbase because it's not this kind of story. But I can see this becoming a cult-favorite story if well adapted. It's because this is not the kind of story that can gather a lot of fans, but can attract people who love horror movies.

    Awards Potential

    Yes. But this is the kind of story that needs the right people to make this adaptation because it's not simple to translate this setting and its characters to another media.

    Envisioned Budget


    Similar Films/TV Series


    What’s New About the Story

    The relationship between the three main characters is what's original about this story. The conflict they're forced to have (two of them by Richard, and he by his own twisted mind) in this creepy ghost town is what makes this story flourish. But it can be made better by exploring Ember's internal fight and fears earlier. She looks too fragile and helpless for too much time, when is possible to reveal the survival she is much earlier.

    Lead Characters

    How they react to this almost unbelievable conflict and how they're always true to their convictions and objectives, turning this into a 200+ pages long confrontation that keeps growing and growing in tension.

    Uniqueness of Story

    No, is not, but gets close. This is a very good thriller and horror story that gets to the point in the decision of not having too many characters. It's focused and disturbing even during moments of relief. But needs some improvements in characterization for Ember, especially, and a better demonstration of Richard manipulation because, at some moments, it's difficult to accept that he has this much control over everything and that no official has bothered to look what is happening there with this much people disappearing.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation



    Because it's a good horror story that brings a new look at an old theme. With good characters that can be improved and an eerie setting that can make the audience feel scared and curious about why are these people in this situation and how they'll get out of it.


    An intense and twisted tale of a religious zealot of a father who kidnaps a man to become the future husband of his daughter. This is all done in the shadows of an old 1800s mining ghost town in the Nevada desert that is rumored to be haunted.

    What We Liked

    This story have a very unique setting that reminds me of this X-Files episode called "Home". It was one of the scariest things I've ever watched and the same feeling was surrounding me while I read this book. So think this episode, but almost 2 hours long and with much more in risk. This is the kind of sentiment I look in a horror movie and this story delivers.

    Film: The bond developed between Christopher and Ember can be the focal point of a thriller where Richard is depicted as an almost supernatural being. While Christopher tries to find a way to escape, we see Ember fighting to stop the killings. The tension keeps escalating when Christopher and Richard fight for the control over the situation.

    TV: The ghost town of Hallelujah Junction is known by this rumor about the ghost of a young woman who haunts its buildings and scares the tourists. We start to discover the town's mysteries when this Rolling Stone magazine's photographer goes there and is captured by the town keeper. The series can develop from there with the town revealing itself almost as a character while the photographer is maintained captive in there to marry the keeper's daughter and the tourists keep coming and never going back home. Until someone tries to investigate.

    Key points:
    1. The setting.
    2. The captive leads get free.
    3. The villain.
    4. The tension.
    5. The fight of good against evil.


    EMBER is living in a ghost town as a captive. She is seeing a man photographing her and fearing for his safety. She hopes he becomes the first one who scapes. But at the same time, she is cheering for PAPA RICH (RICHARD) when he finds the photographers and goes to “enforce the rules” as she says by attacking the man.

    Ember thinks the photographer is dead when PAPA RICH asks for her help to move him, but at the moment he changes his mind on eliminating the body in an acid pit and asks for her help to drag the photographer to their house, she finds he is only unconscious. This is scary for her because it never happened before and she doesn’t know what it means. Which is PAPA RICH’s plan.

    CHRISTOPHER, the photographer, does not know what is happening yet. For some reason, PAPA RICH says he is chosen to marry Ember, but he is not suitable because the Lord doesn’t think so. Neither CHRISTOPHER nor EMBER want this to happen, but they are not in a position to make choices. Richard leaves him alone with EMBER, so CHRISTOPHER tries to reason with her, but without much success, she is totally absorbed by RICHARD manipulation, actually thinking he is really her father.

    CHRISTOPHER doesn’t know how to make EMBER turn to his side. He also starts to accept the situation more than he thinks it’s safe by sleeping in the sheets EMBER gives to him and eating the food she makes. So, CHRISTOPHER plans to manipulate EMBER to escape. He does not feel well about this, but can’t see other alternatives.

    Five days later CHRISTOPHER feels more and more the need to escape. He lures EMBER into seeing him naked, and by accident makes RICHARD see the two together while CHRISTOPHER is shirtless. This makes PAPA RICH lock EMBER inside the room as well.

    A couple of days later, RICHARD suddenly wakes CHRISTOPHER and EMBER announcing that their wedding will happen in a few hours. SCARECROW is their minister and everything is arranged, he is a pastor. CHRISTOPHER follows the lead, he doesn’t know what to do without getting EMBER hurt as he is growing fond of her. So he marries her and kisses her, and makes everything to not turn this crazy marriage into something traumatic to this poor, broken, woman. But after the wedding, when CHRISTOPHER and EMBER are left alone to consummate the marriage, he refuses.

    Days after the marriage, Hallelujah Junction is covered by snow. RICHARD goes away to do groceries. CHRISTOPHER sees this as an opportunity, but he does not know how to exploit it. Is when he sees a couple inside the abandoned town. He makes EMBER, to whom he is chained, run as fast as they can to the couple. They do, and they explain everything. The couple tries to help them to escape, but their car can’t turn on and their phones are dead. So CHRISTOPHER asks the couple to run and find help before RICHARD comes back.

    When RICHARD comes back, CHRISTOPHER and EMBER find out he knows everything. He captured the couple who helped them and will punish everyone for this. They’re in the acid pit, and RICHARD is furious with CHRISTOPHER and EMBER's disobedience. He then throws the helping couple into the pit and does the same with EMBER’s cat in front of her. This makes her filled with pain and sorrow.

    RICHARD leaves the town again. EMBER says he always does this and goes to SCARECROW’s place to pray when he feels he’s gone too far. CHRISTOPHER sees in this an opportunity to escape and convinces EMBER that burning the city is the best way to get the world’s attention before RICHARD catches them trying to flee again.

    They start to burn the city but see RICHARD coming back. They then start to run as fast as they can counting with his truck also being on fire and how far ahead they are. This is when they notice RICHARD running back to his house, and CHRISTOPHER understands why is he going to fight the fire and maybe die in the process: he doesn’t see the couple, he thinks EMBER is inside the burning house and is risking his life to save her. They run and don’t look back anymore. They are free.

    About The Author

    Alta Hensley is a USA TODAY bestselling author of hot, dark and dirty romance. She is also an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author. Being a multi-published author in the romance genre.