Today’s spotlight is on Spooky Sojourn, an erotic Falling Into Love romance, by Ashley Ladd.
Title: Spooky Sojourn
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary Erotic male-female contemporary paranormal romance
Book Length: 50,000 words
Someone’s trying to kill Deanna, but is it the ghosts she doesn’t believe in, the rich socialite who might be a murderess, or someone else with a beef against The Gilroy Hotel and Resort that Deanna has just been hired to manage? The Gilroy’s owners want the ghosts, or whoever is causing the trouble at the hotel eliminated, and they are pressuring Deanna to do the job as quickly as possible. Harry DeVeaux, paranormal investigator comes highly recommended to do the job and against Deanna’s better judgment, she hires him.
Although Deanna thinks Harry’s crazy for believing in ghosts and Harry thinks Deanna has a closed mind to the possibilities of ghosts and they highly annoy each other, sparks fly. Deanna can’t help but fantasize about Harry and inspired by a romance convention visiting her hotel, writes her fantasies in a private blog that Harry finds, hacks, and reads. Ooh la la!
Drawing in a long, shuddering breath, he look heavenwards and crossed his fingers behind his back hoping she wouldn’t throw something at him, hoping she’d be okay with his admission. “I found your blog and read it.”
Paling, the blood fled from her flesh and her eyes looked like sooty coals against her face. Her gaze clashed with his and held. “How did you find it? I used a pseudonym and I put it on privacy settings.”
He screwed up his lips, and scrubbed his hand over his face, preparing to tell more painful truths. “I’m a bit of a hacker and I like to research the people I’m working with.” Not sure she’d be receptive to his theory, he left out the part that he thought the ghosts led him to her sight. He thought they were closet romantics. He wouldn’t be surprised if they’d locked them into the room now to force them into some alone time together.
When a tsunami of emotions flitted across her face he tried to read them. Fury. Embarrassment. Lust?
“You investigated me? You read my private musings?”
“You wrote about me? In some very intimate ways. At least I presume it was me since you used my name.” He fixed her with a piercing gaze. “Did you?”
A pregnant pause rent the air as she veiled her eyes from his view. Finally, she smoothed her skirt against her legs and admitted, “Yes. I have very mixed feelings about you. You make me crazy the way we argue, the way you believe in ghosts, and yet I find myself thinking about you, fantasizing about you.”
Taking heart in the last part even if he wasn’t sure he liked the first, he said with a lopsided grin, “You fantasize about me much?”
As if she suddenly got bold, she sidled up to him with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes and ran the tip of her finger down his chest. “Aren’t my blogs proof? The question is, do you fantasize about me?”
Margay Leah Justice is here to tell us “Why Wolves” and talk about the inspiration for her Falling Into Love romance, Sloane Wolf.
(Image courtesy of FotoSearch.com)
Whenever I discuss my latest book, Sloane Wolf, people often ask me, Why Wolves? And I have to say, why not? Wolves are fantastic creatures that mate for life and are truly faithful to their mates (from what I’ve read), and we humans could learn a lot from them.
As it pertains to my book, however, it was rather serendipitous that I ended up writing about wolves. I didn’t intentionally set out to do so, but a series of events conspired to make it happen. The first event came in the form of a book that was ultimately made into a movie that got me to thinking – and anybody who knows me can tell you that when I get to thinking, things begin to happen…in a writing sense that is! I can turn the smallest nugget of an idea into a story, if motivated enough to do so, and that is how this story started out, as just a nugget. So there I was, inspired by this other book/movie enough that certain scenes kept kicking up in my head (ahem, fight scene), but content just to imagine it in my head.
(Image courtesy of FotoSearch.com)
Until event number two happened. That would be a contest that an electronic publishing company was running with the theme of – you guessed it – wolves. And so I thought, why not? I had some interesting scenes kicking around in my head, the contest was for a novella length story, so I had enough to accomplish that. And with the help of event number three – discovering an article about gray wolves returning to Massachusetts after a 100-plus year absence – a true story began to formulate with legends of wolves and why they “reappeared” in the state after such a long absence. Wow, I thought, this was really going to be something, if I could get it all together in time.
Trouble was, once I started writing, I just kept on writing and I over-shot the word count. One thing I forgot when I set out to enter this contest: I have never been able to write short. I keep trying, but I usually have so much to say, it doesn’t conform well to short stories or novellas. Not wanting to cut anything to fit the guidelines, I simply finished the book for me. And by the time I was finished with it, I knew that I had to try to get it published anyway, I felt that strong about it. And after several fits and starts, I finally found the right publisher for it in Muse it Up Publishing.
So there you have it. The serendipitous events that led to the birth of Sloane Wolf.
For more than a hundred and fifty years, the gray wolf has failed to roam the hills of Massachusetts, leading to the belief that they are extinct. But with a spattering of sightings across the Berkshires, the legend of the gray wolf comes to fruition. The product of that legend, Micah Sloane will go to great lengths to protect his kind from the threat of outsiders, who seek to exploit the legend for their own interests. One thing he didn’t count on, however, was finding his soul mate in the company of such men.
From the first time she predicted a stranger’s imminent death when she was little more than a child, Shiloh Beck knew she was different. Wishing to cultivate her gift, her parents made the fateful decision to enroll her in a private school for paranormally gifted children. Unbeknownst to them, the school was just a front for a research facility simply called the Institute, whose secret board members weaned gifted children from their families to exploit their gifts. Shiloh has spent the better part of her life trying to escape the Institute and reunite with the family she was told had abandoned her.
From their first meeting, Micah and Shiloh share a connection that goes beyond the normal to bond them in a way that love alone cannot. But before they can build a life together, they must deal with the fall-out when the legend of the wolves collides with the men behind the Institute.
She must be hallucinating. That’s what this whole thing was; just one big whopper of a hallucination. What kind of reality allowed for the fact that a human girl could drop from a tree and when she arose, she was a wolf?
No, her mind corrected, not probable. And yet it was. She knew what she saw. So the image had been a little fuzzy – kind of like now – but she knew it was true. The legend that Jon had alluded to. True. The wolves were back in Massachusetts after more than a century-long absence. And Ava Sloane was one of them.
So who were the other three?
The thought had scarce formed in her mind when her attention was drawn to them like metal to magnet. They stood in a semi-circle at her feet. Watching her. Their eyes curious, but impassive. Unease skidded down her spine. Here they were – in a cave? – out in the middle of nowhere, the nearest human several miles away. They could do anything to her here and no one would be the wiser. Poor inexperienced hiker, victim of a vicious animal attack.
Her unease multiplied by a thousand and for the first time since this far-fetched sequence of events unfolded, she allowed herself to give in to the fear lurking in the back of her mind. Not that she had any choice in the matter, given the vulnerability of her present state; lying injured on the floor of a dark cave as four sets of glowing eyes watched her. Panting out a panicky breath, she tried to scurry backward, to put as much distance as she could between them and herself – which was nearly impossible given the confines of the cave. A wrenching pain in her shoulder put a quick end to her flight, as did the back wall of the cave. A starburst of light erupted behind her eyes as her head bumped against the stone, exacerbating the pain she’d already suffered from her fall from the tree.
Her eyes never leaving the wolves, watching as they approached her, she frantically patted the cool, packed earth about her, searching for a weapon. A stick, a stone – anything she could use to defend herself against them. Her gaze wavered as the darkness pressed in on her again. She fought it, fought off her brain’s impulse to put itself in safety mode. A losing battle. Hard as she tried to remain conscious, her brain’s sense of self-preservation kicked in and it began to shut down, robbing her of consciousness.
But before the darkness completely overtook her, she could have sworn she saw the creatures slowly morph from magnificent silver beasts into the even more magnificent human forms of Micah, Cam, Grayson – and yes, Ava – then back again before they even reached her feet.
A versatile author who likes to write in multiple genres, Margay Leah Justice is the published author of three books: Nora’s Soul, Sloane Wolf and The Scent of Humanity. In her free time, she can be found penning her new story, reading (of course!) or knitting up something warm and toasty for her family.