Annabelle Lawson hops a train to Reno to escape a marriage to an older man. Alone and nearly destitute, she spots an advertisement that might change her life. If she can use the dreams that haunt her to land a job with the mysterious Treymane PSI Agency, she might be able to buy a ticket home to Kentucky.
Agent Cole Swansby is an up and coming detective for Tremayne PSI. There’s only thing that can sink his career: if the boss discovers he’s a skeptic. He’s under tremendous pressure to solve a case before the president of Midas Mining comes to town.
Cole can’t solve this case without otherworldly help and Annabelle is just the woman for the job. As they’re drawn deeper into the mystery of the woman in green, they may not be able to banish the ghost without losing their hearts. To each other.
Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome Blaire Edens and Annabelle Lawson from A Ghostly Wager, part of The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly anthology. First up is Annabelle.
Where are you from? Kentucky and I’m trying desperately to get back there.
Tell us a bit about A Ghostly Wager. It’s the story of how I used the one skill I had to land a job and fall in love.
What did you think the first time you saw Cole Swanson? Good heavens. I’m in trouble.
Hmm. There's clearly a story in that response. What was your second thought? He MUST hire me.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? I don’t know about love but Cole cut a fine figure.
Hmm. Besides that he fills out a pair of jeans well, what what do you like most about him? Not only is he smart, he’s the kindest man I’ve ever known.
Aww. How would you describe this smart, kind man? Delicious.
Now we're talkin', sister. How would Cole describe you? Sassy. A tornado in a yellow dress.
Excellent. What made you choose working in a special investigations office for a career? Desperation. With my Papa constantly in the drink and determined to marry me off to a man twice my age, I had to work with what I had. That happened to be the ability to talk to ghosts.
What is your biggest fear? Not getting back to Kentucky in time to see Granny one last time.
Yeah, those Grannies sure have a way about them. How do you relax, Annabelle? With a cup of tea.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Dorothea Brooke in Middlemarch. I’ve read that book at least a dozen times in the last ten years. I can really identify with her because her life unfolds in such an unexpected way, just as mine had.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? “Screw your courage to the sticking place and we’ll not fail.” My late mother loved that line from Shakespeare’s MacBeth and whenever I’m afraid, I repeat it to myself for courage.
A young woman who talks to ghosts and quotes Shakespeare. Outstanding. Thanks for spending time with us, Annabelle. It's Blaire's turn now.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? I love old movies. My favorites tend to be ones with very strong writing. I love Gaslight, with Isabella Rosselini and Charles Boyer. It also features a young Angela Lansbury, who is my favorite actress. As far as story structure goes, it’s impossible to beat Casablanca because it has everything: love, conflict, dark moments. It’s perfect and timeless and if I’m struggling to figure out story structure for a specific project, all I have to do is re watch the movie and I can get back to work.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I’m from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Because of my husband’s job, I haven’t been able to live there all the time and when I’m in some far-flung location, I miss the mountains and home so much. For I can certainly empathize with Annabelle when it comes to desperate homesickness. If you’d like to see LOTS of photos of my hometown and the mountains that surround it, come see me on Facebook at:
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? I work with several publishers and each one is different. As far as advice for new authors, I’d say find publishers that BELIEVE IN and LOVE your work. That’s a must. If you’re an aspiring author and want more details, feel free to email me at Blaire AT BlaireEdens DOT com.
What project[s] are you working on now? What project am I NOT working on? Ha. I have several releases coming up in the next few months so I’m working on polishing and editing those and I’m in the early stages of writing three new novels for 2017. I’m very good at overextending myself.
The project I’m most excited about is the release of the first book in my Carolina Crypto series. It’s contemporary paranormal that pits two investigators again the Lizard Man, a reptile/mammal hybrid that haunts a South Carolina swamp. It’s steamy (literally and figuratively), sassy and *hopefully* full of adrenaline.
You can find out about all my projects, past, present and future here:
If you like ARCs, (and really, WHO doesn’t like free books?) you can go here and submit an application to receive my latest books for FREE in exchange for honest reviews. (Not every applicant gets every book but STILL. FREE BOOKS are very possible.), go to: https://goo.gl/IwvFHb
What's up next for you? My next release will be Carolina Crypto: The Lizard Man Affair on September 19. It will be followed by the Frenzied: A Great White Story. It’s a *very spicy* shifter with a hot lifeguard, a schoolteacher and some unscrupulous scientists.
Blaire brought an excerpt from A Ghostly Wager:
Anna took a deep breath and looked out the small window that faced Sierra Street. She chewed on her bottom lip. “I dream things.”
“We all dream things.”
“These dreams are different. People who have passed visit me in my dreams. Every night.”
“Who are they?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know them.”
“Do they scare you?”
“They did at first but now, after four years of facing them every night, I’ve gotten used to them.”
“They talk to you?”
“They want me to take messages to their loved ones.”
“Do you oblige them?”
“I don’t know how I would ever find the people they’re looking for but they keep coming back anyway.”
“You’re sure they aren’t ordinary nightmares?” She wouldn’t be the first woman who’d been driven insane by the life she was forced to live here in the West.
She shook her head vigorously. “They’re not the same. Not at all. The people that visit me in my dreams are real.”
Cole reminded himself that he didn’t believe in ghosts. If ghosts didn’t exist, the living couldn’t communicate with them. Simple logic. But this woman seemed honest, earnest and for a sliver of a moment, he believed her, or at least believed she believed the dead talked to her. “Are you a widow?”
“He died in the Fire of 1875.” Her voice quavered a bit and she wouldn’t meet his eyes. The woman in front of him was lying.
“You came from Virginia City?”
“Got here last night.”
Something about her story didn’t make sense. Maybe she just looked young, but he couldn’t imagine that she was married six years ago. Even in this godforsaken corner of America, girls didn’t marry at eleven or twelve.
“How old are you?”
Anna flinched and her eyes went wide. “Twenty-three. I look young for my age. People tell me that all the time,” she said with a nervous giggle.
There was more to this story. While Cole might not strictly believe in the mission of the Agency, he was a damn good detective and he smelled a rat. She was running from something. He’d bet his paycheck on it.
“What’s your real story?”
“What on earth do you mean?”
He leaned back in his chair and looked directly at her. “Level with me and I’ll consider hiring you.”
By the way she exhaled and dropped her shoulders, he knew he’d hit the nail on the head.
About our guest:
Blaire Edens lives in the mountains of North Carolina. She grew up on a farm that’s been in her family since 1790. Of Scottish descent, her most famous ancestor, John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Guardian of Scotland, was murdered by Robert the Bruce on the altar of the Greyfriars Church at Dumfries.
She has a degree in Horticulture from Clemson University. She’s held a myriad of jobs including television reporter, GPS map creator, and personal assistant to a fellow who was rich enough to pay someone to pick up the dry cleaning. When she’s not plotting, she’s busy knitting, running, or listening to the Blues.
Blaire loves iced tea with mint, hand-stitched quilts, and yarn stores. She refuses to eat anything that mixes chocolate and peanut butter or apple and cinnamon. She’s generally nice to her mother, tries to remember not to smack her bubble gum, and only speeds when no one’s looking. She’s the award-winning author of Wild About Rachel, The Witch of Roan Mountain, and The Fairy Bargain.
Stalk Blaire on the Net at:
To purchase A Ghostly Wager and other stories from The Good, The Bad and The Ghostly, go to: www.mybook.to/GoodBadGhostly