Giveaway alert! Win a Kindle Fire and more!

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Five amazing authors (moi included *flicks invisible lint from shoulder*) have joined forces to offer bargain books but also awesome goodies to lucky winners. Read more to find out what’s in store for you and make sure you enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Also, Fate Captured will be FREE on Amazon for the duration of the giveaway (23-27 February) so get your copy if you haven’t had the chance to read this award-winning contemporary romance.

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Anatomy of A World of Gothic: The House in the Pines (East Texas) by Janis Susan May

 

Introduction

My participation in the A World of Gothic series was my proudest moment as an author last year. Talented, award-wining authors penning suspenseful stories with a definite Gothic vibe, each set in a different location around the world, all taking place in a remote, awe-inspiring mansion. As a number of amazing titles have been available since the series launched last April, I felt I should bring them to your attention again, from a different angle this time. So, each week, I’ll invite one of the series’ authors here, spotlight her book and focus on the heroine, the hero, and the backbone of any good Gothic story, the house/castle/mansion that tends to hold the key to solving the mysteries piling up.

This week, I’m pleased to welcome multi-published, multi-genre author, Janis Susan May, who will (figuratively speaking) break down The House in the Pines for us. The setting this time is a stormy East Texas and a mansion deep in the woods, hosting evil and deadly secrets. Chilling!

The House in the Pines

by Janis Susan May

Genres: Gothic, paranormal, romantic suspense

Publication date: August 4, 2016

Purchase links:

Amazon US – Amazon UK

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Description

Hired to write the biography of elderly tycoon Henry Wolfe, Dianne Grayson happily comes to Wolfe House, a Victorian mansion set deep in the piney woods of East Texas… a house she has always wanted to see. Henry Wolfe is just as autocratic and overbearing as she expected, but no matter how he acts she is determined to stay there until she gets the answers she wants. What she did not count on was his rugged grand-nephew and a startlingly handsome and attentive young cowboy, both of whom show great interest in her, nor how the mysteries of the past can affect and endanger the present day. Once she discovers the truth, is it too late for her to save her own life?

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Q & A with Janis Susan May

Hello, Janis, and welcome to my blog!

Hello, Maria! It’s such a pleasure to be here and get to chat with you.

You’re a prolific author, having delved into many different genres. What does writing Gothic mean to you? What are the core elements such a story should incorporate?

I think a Gothic is sort of a grown-up way of sitting around the fire telling ghost stories. Not that every Gothic has to have a ghost, of course, but it’s a way of giving ourselves a safe ‘sense of fear’ while feeding our romantic inclinations. Plus, Gothics are very empowering. They feature women, usually youngish, who persevere and triumph over seemingly (or sometimes actual, or sometimes both) supernatural opposition.

In a good Gothic there is a love interest, usually a man tortured by something in the past or some situation that makes him unable to declare his love, and a mystery, usually bound up with the man’s problem and in the house itself. There always has to be a big, mysterious old house or castle. To me it’s impossible to set a good gothic in a nice modern home in a good suburban neighborhood or a luxurious condo – but perhaps some superb writer could do it. Anyway, what I find empowering about a Gothic is that the girl doesn’t just sit around and whimper and wait to be rescued. She is the one who solves the mystery, puts the past to rest and saves the hero – sometimes literally, sometimes psychologically. Yes, there are examples of the hero saving the heroine, but even so she is the one who has solved the mystery and made the hero able to rescue her.

So – I feel the necessary ingredients of a Gothic are : a strong (mentally) woman, usually alone in the world or definitely alone in this situation, who relies on her own ability. A tortured hero who is strong and desirable, but somehow so tangled in circumstances from the past he is kept from loving or giving of himself – he does fall in deep and true love with the heroine, but tries to protect her from the problem and thus cannot let himself show love. A house/castle/whatever that is generally both old and creepy which so influences the story that it is almost a character in itself. A villain who exploits the hero’s problem for his/her own gain, be it money, power, revenge or some other kind of personal desire. A secondary cast who may or may not be on the side of right.

Core elements? A strong and plucky heroine who can rely only on herself, a strong hero is both tortured and misguided, an unfriendly and mysterious house/castle/whatever, a mystery, usually rooted in the past, and a villain who exploits it.

Your main female character, Diane Grayson, visits Wolfe House, a spine-tingling mansion, to write the biography of its master. Can you give us more clues about her personality? Which are her strengths and weaknesses and what made her a good fit for your story?

Diane fits all the criteria given above. She’s plucky, strong-minded and alone in the world. She’s definitely alone and without allies at Wolfe House.

Diane is pretty much a self-made woman. She has survived the tragedy of losing both her parents in a fiery car crash; she has carved out a career as a writer, but there is no one in her family who has been in a similar business. She is empathetic, but also filled with anger for reasons that are made evident in the book. She is cunning – not in a bad way, but knowledgeable and courageous and able to think on her feet. She has withstood great grief and progressed beyond it, but it has also marked her forever. She is driven about some things. In other circumstances, I think she could be charming and amusing.

Her weakness is her arrogance – not that she parades herself as being above other people, but that she truly believes she can handle anything – and in the end she pretty much can, but not in the way she thought she could. Her strengths are courage, her strength of mind and her ability to accept change.

In this story romantic angle there are two potential love interests for Diane—Ryan, a true enigma, and Charley, the veritable cowboy charmer. What chemistry were you going for with these seemingly opposite personalities?

I don’t know that I was ‘going for’ any particular chemistry… my characters are their own individual people, and I have a hard if not impossible time changing them once they make up their mind to appear. Charley is the image of a romance novel type hero – incredibly handsome and attentive – while Ryan is less attractive and his own man, who may or may not have anyone’s best interests at heart other than his own. As always in my books, though, nothing is ever really as it seems… most of the time.

Which actors did you have in mind when writing those two characters or who would you like seeing portray your characters should the book ever became a film?

I don’t do the actor thing. I think I’m an eccentric among my writer friends because I don’t create my characters, giving them this ability and that face, etc. My characters simply walk in, state their name and get on with it. It is only with the greatest of difficulty – if at all – that I can change anything about them. For example – in my Janis Patterson mystery A KILLING AT EL KAB there is a character who comes on stage in the middle of the book; his original function was to deliver some information and then vanish from the scene… except that he wouldn’t leave! He came and went several times, and actually contributed a great deal to the resolution of the story, which is strange, since in the original concept of the story he didn’t exist at all!

I doubt very seriously if THE HOUSE IN THE PINES will ever be contracted for film, but if it does I will fight for cast approval. I may not use actors to define who my character is, but I can definitely define those who are not my characters!

Well, if Hollywood knew what they were doing, you’d get a call. The story mostly takes place in Wolfe House. Could you give us a brief description of the manor as seen in the book? 

From the book : “Surrounded by a wide green lawn fringed with encroaching trees, it [Wolfe House] was at least three stories tall and much larger than I had expected. A great apron of a porch ran around it as far as I could see. There was a round turret with a round, witch’s hat roof at one corner. Gingerbread dripped from every horizontal surface, and everything was sparkly white, as if it had just been washed. On the porch was white wicker furniture and flowers in large pots. Somehow the house should have looked more sinister, more unfriendly, not as wholesome or welcoming, but perhaps that was colored by my emotions. The place looked impossibly perfect, like something right off a travel brochure or cloying greeting card.”

The funny thing is, Wolfe House actually exists – not by that name, of course, and in a town, not out in the woods. At least I think it still exists; I haven’t seen it for years. It belonged to a remote relative of a dear friend and we spent a weekend there once when we were very young. I loved that house and wanted to live there desperately; perhaps it was the stained glass ceiling in the stairwell that caught my imagination. I recreated the house as exactly as my admittedly imperfect memory would allow for THE HOUSE IN THE PINES.

That is very interesting! Last but not least, the greater setting—the woods of East Texas. What are the Texan elements that played in the story?

Texan elements. Hmmm. As a seventh-generation Texan, I’m really not aware of any particular ‘Texas elements’ – it’s all just normal for me. I deliberately chose East Texas because it is different. We have five or six distinct geographic areas in Texas, but mention Texas and most people will think of deserts filled with towering Saguaro cacti (which don’t grow anywhere in Texas), vast spaces of rock and sand, men in boots who wear hats the size of patio umbrellas (we do have plenty of those all over the state) and people loping off to work on saddle horses (which are banned under most HOA rules). East Texas is deep, dark and not always friendly pine forests, a thriving logging industry and lots of beautiful and often hidden lakes. Yes, we do have the deserts and the wide open spaces, but there are also the pine forests.

Concerning the people, I wanted to show the courage, the tenacity, the decisiveness (or as some might put it, bone-deep stubbornness) of the Texas people. We stand up for what we believe and will do what is necessary to protect what is right.

And the weather. There’s a saying – ‘if you don’t like it, wait five minutes.’ I know that’s been said about almost every state, but it was first said about Texas. I personally have seen the temperature change almost 50F in a single hour. Or go from heavy sun to frost in less than two hours. Or go from a cloudless blue sky to a raging, destructive tornado in almost a heartbeat. In one twelve month period the temperature varied over 115F where I live.

You’ve certainly crumpled my stereotypic image of Texas. Now I really want to visit! Thanks for talking about The House in the Pines, Janis. What are you up to writing-wise these days?

As I bore easily, I never have fewer than three projects going at one time. Right now I’m working on a novella called LOVE IN THE WORLD OF MAKE BELIEVE for a boxed set called LUCK OF THE DRAW – each story is about someone who wins something and how it affects their lives. Mine is about a woman who wins a role on her very favorite TV show, which stars a handsome actor on whom she has a tremendous crush.

I’m also working on a book about a romance set in the majestic and vast Palo Duro canyon of the Texas panhandle – which just happens to be one of my favorite places on earth. The lovely and talented Carolyn Brown has allowed me to play in her Kindle World of the Palo Duro, and I am so very excited to be in such august company. It’s about half finished, but I don’t know the title yet. Both of these books are done under my Janis Susan May name.

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Under my Janis Patterson name I’m doing two mysteries. A KILLING AT TARA TWO is the first book in my series about Dr. Rachel Petrie, a contract archaeologist who works all over the world on archaeological digs, where she always finds murder and mayhem. In TARA TWO she’s working in Alabama, digging up the remains of an ante-bellum plantation house. Of course, there are a couple of murders both modern and historic, so she’s kept busy.

I’m also doing the third book featuring my elderly (and how she would hate for me to call her that!) sleuth Flora Melkiot. The wealthy, proper and highly opinionated widow of a jewelry magnate, Flora sincerely believes that she can do anything she wants to – and usually does. She is often referred to as ‘the dark side of Miss Marple,’ and is more than capable of removing crime scene tape, badgering witnesses and cornering murderers. This offering is called MURDER AT FIVE TO ONE, in which Flora goes to Las Vegas about an inheritance, where not only her past comes back to affect her present but she gets mixed up in multiple murders.

Sounds like you have both your hands and your mind full!  Good luck with all your future endeavors, Janis, and thank you for the insights!

It was my pleasure, Maria.

About the Author

 

51mcfcgl3l-_ux250_Janis Susan May is a seventh-generation Texan and a third-generation wordsmith who writes mysteries as Janis Patterson, romances and other things as Janis Susan May, children’s books as Janis Susan Patterson and scholarly works as J.S.M. Patterson.

Formerly an actress and singer, a talent agent and Supervisor of Accessioning for a bio-genetic DNA testing lab, Janis has also been editor-in-chief of two multi-magazine publishing groups as well as many other things, including an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist.

Janis married for the first time when most of her contemporaries were becoming grandmothers. Her husband, also an Egyptophile, even proposed in a moonlit garden near the Pyramids of Giza. Janis and her husband live in Texas with an assortment of rescued furbabies.

Connect with the Author

My website is www.JanisSusanMayAuthor.com or www.JanisPattersonMysteries.com – both addresses lead to the same site. It’s a two sided site and rather different; go take a look.

Facebook: Janis Susan May

Twitter: Janis Susan May

 

Anatomy of A World of Gothic: House at the Edge (Greece) by MM Jaye

Introduction

My participation in the A World of Gothic series was my proudest moment as an author last year. Talented, award-wining authors penning suspenseful stories with a definite Gothic vibe, each set in a different location around the world, all taking place in a remote, awe-inspiring mansion. As a number of amazing titles have been available since the series launched last April, I felt I should bring them to your attention again, from a different angle this time. So, each week, I’ll invite one of the series’ authors here, spotlight her book and focus on the heroine, the hero, and the backbone of any good Gothic story, the house/castle/mansion that tends to hold the key to solving the mysteries piling up.

This week, it’s my turn. I published House at the Edge last May, and although the setting is again Alonissos, my favorite Greek island, the ambiance is a complete one-eighty from my usual summery scenery. Read on for a complete breakdown of House at the Edge.

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House at the Edge

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Genres: Gothic, paranormal, mystery romance
Purchase links: Amazon US / Amazon UK / iTunes / Kobo / B&N 

Description

He wants her out of his house. The house agrees…

After losing everything—her family, her home, her sense of self—former heiress, Daphne Alesi, has no choice but to start anew. Broke, unwanted, and suffering from a rare condition that makes defining her emotions mind-numbingly difficult, the only thing she has left is a strong will to survive.

Starting over on a remote Greek island, in the dead of winter, just because it was her grandmother’s birthplace might be a foolish plan, but staying in England is not an option.

The people of Alonissos are far from welcoming, not least the brooding recluse whose home she literally invades. The infamous House at the Edge is rumored to host a ghost—the soul of the enigmatic owner’s deceased wife. But it will take more than an angry spirit to send Daphne fleeing.

Being emotionally detached has some benefits, after all.

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I’ve done a Q&A with the other authors in the series, but it would be weird to answer my own questions, so I’ll just segmentize the anatomy.

What writing a Gothic means to me.

This was a challenge. But although I live a consciously drama-free life, since it threw my way enough challenges to make me not seek out more, writing-wise I’m a thrill-seeker. When Alicia Dean called for submissions for the A World of Gothic series, I jumped in without even thinking it through. I had no clue about the story I’d write. And the mystery suspenses I’d read were books published in the mid-twentieth century, not exactly fresh stuff. All I knew was that my heroine had to be stranded in a remote place, the setting should be the exact opposite of warm and fuzzy, and the hero had to be mysterious and aloof, casting a shadow of danger. Oh, and a ghost should be lurking somewhere. Cakewalk. Not. But a delicious challenge it was.

My female lead: Daphne Alesi

I love writing complex characters, and I don’t limit this only to my male heroes. I needed a plausible reason for Daphne to go to a remote Greek island in the dead of winter and stay there despite everyone’s negativity. Also, the biggest driver for me to write romance is the healing power of love to damaged characters, and their denial both that they are damaged and that they need healing. So Daphne had to be immune to everyone’s logic. The islanders efforts to chase her off shouldn’t scare her. But that would only be true if she wouldn’t emote. As in suffering from an emotional disorder. Once I reached that conclusion, it was easy to research and decide she’d suffer from alexithymia–inability to decipher emotions and react accordingly. On the other hand, since she’d lost everything back in England and was desperate to find her roots in the island her great-grandmother gave birth to her grandmother, deciding to move to that island and then stick mulishly to her decision despite looming dangers made more sense.

My male lead: Manos Varnezis

Owner of a remote mansion? Check. Ruggedly handsome and aloof? Check. A reclusive widower with a traumatic past? Check. Okay, good stuff for the Gothic vibe this story needed, but he sounded kind of cliche. I dislike standard romantic heroes whose wealth is a static thing, and they do nothing but sulk. Manos had to do something constructive with his life. So I made him a certified speech therapist, working with kids with learning or speech difficulties online. The power of the internet gave that recluse the ability to do something useful with his life and made him a more developed character for my book.

The chemistry between the two? It was a slow build, but a fire that erupted out of nowhere (hello, ghost!) made it burn hotter than the flames. Daphne imposed herself in Manos’ residence as the cook he didn’t know he needed, and she gradually reminded him that he actually needed human interaction as well. Love bloomed, but the house wasn’t down with that. Then things turned ugly.

Wearing the casting director hat

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Oh, Jamie. Disclaimer: I’m not a 50 Shades fan. At all. But Jamie would make the perfect Manos. The scruff, the piercing gaze, the baritone voice. It’s all there. In spades. And Zooey Deschanel would be the ideal Daphne. Quirky yet strong and determined with a skewed self-image, thanks to her ex-model, gorgeous mom who she hasn’t taken after, Daphne finds herself with nothing but fights to earn her right to happiness. They’d make a beautiful couple. I actually had Zooey in mind when looking for stock photo models for the book cover, and I think I nailed it 🙂

 

The antagonist: the House at the Edge (from the book)

The rain was falling in sheets, forcing me to squint, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the house. The ground floor was dressed in dark natural stone, while the upper level’s façade bore the signs of neglect with streaks of brown, angry scars on a once pristine white surface. Shafts of gray granite lined the domed windows, and if the metal arched mullions weren’t a Gothic nod, the thick turrets pointing to the pewter sky made me think I had entered a portal to a different world—one miles away from a Greek island.

A dazzling white streak of lightning slashed between the beckoning lightning rods perched on the tips of the turrets, pulling me from my trance. I let the bike drop onto the brown slush and ran up the wide marble steps. Somewhat protected under the portico, I stood and stared at the dragon-shaped metal door knocker.

The thought that I was in over my head evaporated with the rumbling thunder, crashing behind me. No, there was no going back.

The greater setting: the island of Alonissos

The stereotypic image of a Greek island makes an unlikely setting for a Gothic mystery romance. But the Greek isles, removed from the throngs of tourists and frequent ship routes, can be quite inhospitable in the winter. Alonissos is no exception. It’s small with a population of just over two thousand, fighting recession like every other part of Greece. So an ignorant English-speaking girl who suddenly lands there, demanding to find employment when the island can’t feed its own would certainly not be welcome. And if she catches the attention of the island’s most eligible bachelor, hostility can turn to danger.

That’s it from me, today. Tune in next week for another awesome Q&A!

For more on the A World of Gothic series, visit our Facebook page

 

Anatomy of A World of Gothic: Haunting at Spook Light Inn (Oklahoma) by Alicia Dean

 

Introduction

My participation in the A World of Gothic series was my proudest moment as an author last year. Talented, award-wining authors penning suspenseful stories with a definite Gothic vibe, each set in a different location around the world, all taking place in a remote, awe-inspiring mansion. As a number of amazing titles have been available since the series launched last April, I felt I should bring them to your attention again, from a different angle this time. So, each week, I’ll invite one of the series’ authors here, spotlight her book and focus on the heroine, the hero, and the backbone of any good Gothic story, the house/castle/mansion that tends to hold the key to solving the mysteries piling up.

This week, I’m delighted to present Alicia Dean who not only penned a fantastic novella but also edited the series. Her book, Haunting at Spook Light Inn, is set in misty Oklahoma. Read on for an inspiring anatomy of the book by the author herself.

Haunting at Spook Light Inn

by Alicia Dean
Genres: Gothic, paranormal, romantic suspense
Publication date: April 24, 2016
Purchase links:

Amazon US – Amazon UK

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Description

A Gothic Mystery Romance…

Amidst a blizzard, paranormal debunker Camille Burditt arrives at Devil’s Promenade in Oklahoma to research a supernatural ‘spook light’ phenomenon for her latest book. There she encounters a ghostly being, which she dismisses as a figment of her imagination. But as the apparition becomes too persistent to deny, Camille realizes the woman’s ghost is quite real—and that her demise was not accidental.

Declan Rush—the inhospitable, reclusive owner of the inn where Camille is staying—is linked to the deceased woman, but he is less than forthcoming. Despite his unfriendliness, Camille is oddly drawn to him, even though she suspects his connection to the spirit might be that of killer to victim.

When another suspicious death occurs, Camille intensifies her investigation. She has precious little time to ferret out the truth. Not only is her book deadline looming—she’s desperate to discover if the man she’s falling for is a murderer.

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Q & A with Alicia Dean

Hello, Alicia, and welcome back to my blog!

Hello…I am so thrilled to be here. Thank you for featuring the series on your wonderful blog.

Haunting at Spook Light Inn is a great suspense read with a definite Gothic vibe. What does writing a Gothic story mean to you? What are the core elements such a story should incorporate?

Writing a Gothic story, to me, is almost like paying homage to the great classics from decades ago, stories by Victoria Holt, Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis A. Whitney, and other authors whose stories I devoured as a young girl. The elements needed in a gothic are; a young girl away from home and family, maybe who doesn’t even have a home or family, a brooding hero, a remote, spooky, potentially haunted dwelling, a mystery that intrigues and endangers the young heroine, gloomy, rainy or snow weather, and lastly, it’s always nice to toss a ghost into the mix.

Your main female character, Camille, is a paranormal debunker—a skeptic. Can you give us more clues about her personality? Which are her strengths and weaknesses and what made her a good fit for your story?

Camille is intelligent and caring, but she’s a little damaged. Not only is she a skeptic about the supernatural, she’s a skeptic about love, and she doesn’t trust easily. Her strengths are that she’s tenacious and unafraid. Those might also be her weaknesses. She often gets involved in situations she should leave alone, and she takes risks she shouldn’t take. She is a good fit for the story because she is cut off from her only family, a sister who stole her fiancé, and she needed to get away from her home environment. And the ghost in the story needed someone who would take up her cause, and once Cami believed, her tenacity enabled her to do just that.

Declan Rush is a brooding recluse—a character often found in Gothic stories. What chemistry were you going for between the two main characters?

Their chemistry came out of not only a physical attraction, but their identifying one another as wounded souls. Camille saw how fiercely loyal Declan was to his deceased sister, and that he was an honorable man, unlike her former fiancé. Declan saw that Camille was caring and strong, and he was drawn to her in spite of his reluctance to become involved.

Which actors did you have in mind when writing those two characters or who would you like seeing portray your characters should the book ever became a film?

I love this question, because I always choose ‘models’ for my characters and usually, they are celebrities, although a few times, I have simply come across a photo of a ‘regular’ person who was right for my characters. In this case, Stephen Amell was my inspiration for Declan and Allison Williams, for Camille. Aren’t they lovely? 🙂

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(Both images are licensed for re-use)

They’re lovely and quite fitting! The story is set in Spook Light B&B. Could you give us a brief description of the house as seen in the book?

I also love this question, because, in a gothic, the house itself is a character, and the description is important. Later, I describe the interior, but this is my character’s first glimpse:

I peered through the snow-dusted windshield at the large house looming in the evening dusk, and an unwarranted shiver of foreboding washed over my flesh.

From behind the wheel, my driver, Rita, made a sound that was somewhere between a squeak of trepidation and a sigh of admiration. “It’s huge. And gorgeous, but kind of creepy, don’t you think?” Her eyes were big and round behind the lenses of her black cat-eye frames.

“It is indeed.” The sprawling structure was a combination of Southern plantation and Greek revival architecture; painted white and trimmed in a darker colored molding—perhaps forest green. The exact color was difficult to make out in the descending dusk. Narrow, darkened floor-to-ceiling windows peeked from between a portico of six Doric columns. Hanging by chains above the porch, a wooden board flapped in the icy wind. Spook Light Bed and Breakfast. The sign should have been welcoming, yet apprehension clawed at my heart.

Ooh, I felt it all over again. Last but not least, the greater setting—Oklahoma. What are the area’s elements that played into the story?

Well, the most critical element was the Spook Light itself, which is an actual supernatural phenomenon in that area of Oklahoma. There is an actual ‘Spook Light Road’ although the B&B in my story is fictional. Other elements are that the area is pretty remote, with dirt roads and lots of trees and a deep darkness. (My sister lives in the area, and my friends and I took a trip there as I was beginning to write the story, so we could see the area first hand) Also, while Oklahoma doesn’t get a ton of bad weather, a few times a year, we usually experience a pretty hefty blizzard, especially in that part of the state, and the weather played a big part in my story.

Thanks for talking about Haunting at Spook Light Inn, Alicia. What are you up to writing-wise these days?

You’re welcome.  I loved being here! Ha, that’s a loaded question…I’m actually involved in and behind on several projects. I’m finishing up a paranormal/romantic suspense set in Africa for an anthology, I’m writing a Martini Club 4 story for a series with three of my writing friends, and next, I’ll be working on a straight suspense that was requested by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer line…if they haven’t given up on me by now. Thanks again for having me!

About the Author

Alicia Dean Tin Man BW

I write in a variety of genres, among them, paranormal and romantic suspense. I live in Edmond, Oklahoma and am the mother of three grown children. I love creating spine-chilling stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats. I am a huge Elvis Presley fan, and I love MLB and the NFL. If you look closely, you’ll see a reference to one or all three in pretty much everything I write.

If I could, I would divide all my time between writing, watching (or rewatching) my favorite television shows—such as Dexter, Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, Justified, and True Blood, along with a lot of the older classics; I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, both Bob Newhart shows, etc.—and reading my favorite authors…Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Lisa Gardner to name a few.

Connect with the Author

Site: http://aliciadean.com

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

For more on the A World of Gothic series, visit our Facebook page

 

 

Anatomy of A World of Gothic: Ghost in the Rain (Scotland) by Marie Treanor

anatomy-of-a-world-of-gothic

Introduction

My participation in the A World of Gothic series was my proudest moment as an author last year. Talented, award-wining authors penning suspenseful stories with a definite Gothic vibe, each set in a different location around the world, all taking place in a remote, awe-inspiring mansion. As a number of amazing titles have been available since the series launched last April, I felt I should bring them to your attention again, from a different angle this time. So, each week, I’ll invite one of the series’ authors here, spotlight her book and focus on the heroine, the hero, and the backbone of any good Gothic story, the house/castle/mansion that tends to hold the key to solving the mysteries piling up.

This week, I’m pleased to present Marie Treanor and the first book in the series, which takes us right to the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Read on for an inspiring anatomy of the Ghost in the Rain by the author herself.

Ghost in the Rain

by Marie Treanor
Genres: Gothic, paranormal, romantic suspense
Publication date: April 24, 2016
Purchase links:

Amazon US – Amazon UK – B&N – Kobo – iBooks

GhostInRain_CVR_SML

Description

A haunted Highland house, battered by storms and murder…

Notorious rocker Dan Stewart isn’t anything like Dr. Kate Yorke imagined. Arriving at his remote home in the Scottish Highlands to research some valuable letters – only to discover he’s forgotten their appointment – Kate soaks up the Gothic atmosphere of Invershiel House. But it’s the owner who truly fascinates her.

Reclusive and abrupt, Dan is haunted by the deaths of his fellow band members, especially his one time lover Islay Lamont, whose shade seems to flit around the grounds in the rain. But the ghost is not the only mystery Kate encounters. Light bulbs disappear around her – and only Dan knows she’s scared of the dark. Then she trips over a dead body which inexplicably vanishes.

It becomes a race against time to find the identity of the body and the killer. And to discover if she and Danny have any kind of future together. Or even at all…

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Q & A with Marie Treanor

Hello, Marie, and welcome back to my blog!

Thanks, Maria! Lovely to be back.

What does writing a Gothic story mean to you? What are the core elements such a story should incorporate?

I’ve always loved Gothic tales, from atmospheric romances to downright scary stories, so I suppose it was inevitable I would come to write them! For me, they are a combination of spooky, threatening setting, and a dark, dangerous hero, preferably with a tragic and/or wicked past. There has to be a genuine danger to the heroine, and a paranormal element always helps with atmosphere.

Your main female character, Kate, is a Cambridge researcher—a scholar down to business. Can you give us more clues about her personality? Which are her strengths and weaknesses and what made her a good fit for your story?

Kate is obviously very bright and determined. Though far from the sweet, passive heroine of old who screamed a lot and waited to be rescued, she has her own kind of unworldly innocence, isolated as she is in her academic bubble, surrounded by the past, which is, of course, what takes her to Invershiel. Relationship-wise, she’s vulnerable, having been hurt and let down before – and someone like hard-living rocker Dan is way out of her comfort zone. She’s also basically kind and extremely curious by nature, and not afraid to pursue that curiosity.  And she wants to do the right thing.

Dan Stewart, on the other hand, is a brooding recluse—a character often found in Gothic stories—but this one is a rocker with a wild past. What chemistry were you going for between the two main characters?

The chemistry of opposites! Kate is wary of him for so many reasons, and yet she’s very aware of his physical attractions. He also surprises her constantly. She’s drawn to the hint of wickedness about him, and yet is unexpectedly comfortable in his company. They’re very different people with very different pasts, thrown together by chance.

Which actors did you have in mind when writing those two characters or who would you like seeing portray your characters should the book ever became a film?

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(Image by Wikimedia Commons)

I had a definite picture in my head of how Dan would look, but I never had an actor in mind. I’ve just been looking through LOADS of pictures of Scottish actors (I do feel he should be a Scottish actor!) and I can’t find one who really fits. Dan is one of those big, loose-limbed men, not really good-looking but definitely sexy. Actors like David Tenant, Gerard Butler, James MacAvoy, and Ian Henry Cusick are really too handsome, though I suppose they could be roughed up a little in make-up J.

ETA: Marie and I agreed that Luke Evans would make a great Dan (his Welshness, aside).

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Kate would be easier – maybe Emma Watson or Jessica Brown Findlay, or someone else both beautiful and strong in appearance.

ETA: I chose Jessica Brown Findlay (Images are labelled for reuse)

The story mostly takes place in Invershiel House. Could you give us a brief description of the story’s setting as seen in the book?

It’s an old, stone house, medieval in origin and added to throughout the ages. Obviously, it’s full of ghosts, real and metaphorical! Here’s Kate’s first glimpse of it:

“I could barely see the house for the horizontal rain blasting across my windscreen. What I could make out was dark and bleak and about as welcoming as a leaky roof, but since I was already late for my initial appointment—thanks to appalling single-track roads and foul driving conditions—I took the next turning and bumped my poor old car up the muddy track towards Invershiel House.

“I thought this might once have been a gracious driveway, for in front of the big, turreted house itself, it widened into a large, tarmac area with two four by fours parked near the imposing front door. I parked my poor little car next to the others, grabbed my bag, and made a dash for the entrance. I bolted up the steps to the wide porch, which was flanked by two stone columns, and rang the bell.

“While I waited, I turned and gazed through the rain at the lowering Highland hills, their summits lost in mist and cloud. Even in this foul weather, the scene held a strange, grand beauty that caught at my breath with sheer awe. I felt very small and insignificant.”

Last but not least, the greater setting—Scotland. What are the Scottish elements that played in the story? Give us some examples of the book’s Scottishness.

Well, there’s the rain :). We get a lot of that, especially in the west. And the Highland scenery is spectacular. Then there’s our history, which is long and often bloody! Kate is there for particular historical documents, but the whole house is steeped in a much broader past.  Related to that, we have many ghost sightings, especially in old houses and castles (though obviously this is played up for tourist purposes!)

But of course, Scotland is much more than pretty scenery and Highland lairds! Dan himself is a Lowlander (as, indeed, are the vast majority of Scots!), the product of a rough Glasgow housing scheme where money is short and unemployment high. Like most countries, Scotland is a place of contrasts, not least the down-to-earth versus the esoteric, aggression versus kindness, and it was great fun to play with that in GHOST IN THE RAIN.

Thanks for talking about Ghost in the Rain, Marie. What are you up to writing-wise these days?

My pleasure, Maria! Thanks so much for inviting me. And by the way, I love your HOUSE AT THE EDGE.

Writing-wise, I’ve been a bit quiet over the last few months, having to concentrate on other things – but I have plans to write more in my historical Gothic series, Darke of Night, and my paranormal suspense series, The Gifted. Looking forward to that!

About the Author

about-marieMarie Treanor lives in Scotland, in a chaotic house by the sea, together with her eccentric husband, three much atoo smart children and a small dog who rules them all. Most days, she avoids both housekeeping and evil day jobs by writing stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie is the award-winning author of over forty sexy paranormal romances – Indie, New York and E-published.

You can find out more about Marie and her books on her website: www.MarieTreanor.com.

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