Note: The winner of this giveaway is Sandy G. Congratulations Sandy and thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.
It’s a pleasure to welcome author Victoria Laurie here today as part of her virtual blog tour for THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR, the latest installment in her popular Ghost Hunter Mystery series.
Victoria is joining us today to talk about her ‘three Rs.’ I’ll also be sharing my thoughts on this fun book. To celebrate yesterday’s release of THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR, I have a copy of the book to giveaway – thanks to Victoria and the lovely Danielle at Penguin Group.
First, here’s a brief look at THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR (Obsidian Mystery Mass Market; $7.99; 978-0-451-24060-6; January 7, 2014), the eighth book in Victoria’s popular series featuring a psychic medium.
On a well-deserved hiatus from the ghoulish grind of their TV show, Ghoul Getters, psychic medium M. J. Holliday, her boyfriend, Heath, and her best friend, Gilley, are back home in Boston. But there’s no rest for the weary ghost busters. M. J.’s ex comes to her for help—his fiancée’s brother Luke seems haunted by a sinister spirit.
The crew sets up surveillance cameras to watch for the possessive poltergeist while Luke is sleeping. But when he goes outside in the middle of the night and returns hours later covered in blood, they are all very concerned—especially when the news reports the murder of a young woman in the neighborhood.
Now M. J., Heath, and Gilley must remain self-possessed as they try to stop a wicked ghost whose behavior is anything but neighborly.
Now here’s Victoria to talk about ‘her three Rs.’
I wasn’t a great student when I was a kid. School was something I drudged my way through with half-lowered lids and plenty of heavy sighs.
As an adult, however, I’m all about my three Rs; reading, writing, and running. (Yeah, I’m still not embracing math that much….)
My profession requires that I read as much as I can, and I’m constantly amazed at the talent of creative minds out there, churning out lines that make me weep they’re so lyrically beautiful. Still, I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like to, because, if I did, I certainly wouldn’t do much writing. And, as that is how I make my living, well, the reading part sometimes has to take a back seat to the writing part.
My last R – running – is perhaps my very favorite, however, and I think that revelation would come as a surprise to most people who knew me way back when I was more focused on having a good hair day than getting in some exercise. (At the time I took up writing I was a Division I couch potato…took second only to a guy in a pizza-induced food coma. Impressive, right?)
Anyhoo, I came to running pretty late in life – I was in my mid-forties when I started walking a couple miles every day just to get some fresh air…okay and perhaps to work off a few of the pounds I’d put on since turning forty – that age when your formerly fast metabolism goes, “Hahahahaha! Goodnight, fool!” Back then, the problem with walking was that it was taking too long to walk a couple of miles and I had books to read and write, so, being the efficient beast that I am, I began picking up the pace. I started out with jogging only two miles, worked my way up to three, then five, and now I run about twenty five miles a week. It’s rare for me to go three days in a row without running, in fact, and, much to my delight and surprise, all of that mileage has actually made me a much better writer.
My very best ideas come to me on the running trail. Out there I’m free to focus for an hour or so on nothing but plots, twists, and dialogue. During my runs I’ve solved countless issues with manuscripts that would not be tamed while sitting at the computer, and I’ve enjoyed more than my fair share of Eureka! moments by simply running up and down a dirt trail.
I’ve also learned how to work through those times when I’m uncomfortable, or tired, or seriously want to quit. Running has taught me that I can endure being in pain, that I can actually get into a zone that takes my mind off the fact that I’d like nothing more than to sink to the ground and cry, “Goodbye cruel world!” and instead, keep going until I make it to the end. Every manuscript is like a long race; you gotta keep going no matter what until you cross the finish line, even though you’d like nothing more than to stop and get some lunch, (okay, a beer), at that café you just passed.
Running has actually become such an important part of my life that I decided to make one of my characters a serious runner. M. J. Holliday, the protagonist in the Ghost Hunter Mysteries, started running from more than just the ghoulies a few books ago, and I love rounding out her character with some real-world habits that I myself have adopted. M. J. can still run a faster mile than me, (and she’ll always be younger, thinner, and prettier too,) but at least the only demons I’m likely to face are the ones I think up while I’m out for a run.
In my upcoming release, The Ghoul Next Door, I make sure to give M. J. some time on the trail alone with just her thoughts, the sound of birdsong, the lap of a nearby brook…oh, and a spook or two. Hey, a girl’s gotta make a living after all.
I hope you’ll check out M. J.’s latest adventure in Spookville this week when she faces down a possessive spook who’s got the killing spirit. And if any of you out there are fellow readers, writers, and runners, see you on the trail, my friends!
Victoria, thanks so much for joining us today. This behind-the-scenes look at how M. J. adds running to her schedule is interesting. Being alone on a trail, focusing on your running can clear one’s mind and make room for inspiration.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Victoria is the New York Times bestselling author of over twenty books. With two series in full swing, Victoria divides her time between The Psychic Eye Mysteries and The Ghost Hunter Mysteries.
As a professional psychic herself, Victoria knows all too well the tricky world of the paranormal in which her protagonists psychic Abby Cooper, and spiritual medium M. J. Holliday tackle murder, mayhem, and the occasional demon with plenty of plucky humor and determination.
For more on Victoria and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook.
THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR by Victoria Laurie
M. J., her boyfriend, Heath, and her best friend, Gilley, return to Boston for a well-deserved rest from their TV show, Ghoul Getters. The rest doesn’t last long when M. J.’s ex, Steven, ask for her help. It’s seems his fiancée’s brother, Luke, is being possessed by a sinister spirit.
Reluctant at first, M. J. agrees and the group sets up surveillance equipment to observe Luke while he sleeps. He wanders out during the night, returning covered in blood. They fear he’s been attacked, but quickly learn a young woman was murdered in the neighborhood and Luke is the prime suspect.
M. J. and the crew must stop the menacing poltergeist before more lives are lost. In addition, M. J. has to deal with her feelings for Heath, as well as returning feelings for Steven.
THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR offers a vast array of intrigue for readers from cozy mystery, paranormal, romance and even a bit of humor. Author Victoria Laurie blends all the elements together for a well-balanced entertaining read that will be hard to put down.
The core cast of characters, including the protagonist, are delightful, zany and realistic. Their interaction flows smoothly and makes for interesting twists and turns. Laurie’s eye for detail and extensive research adds to the story’s depth.
While this is the eighth installment in the series, it can be read on its own. New readers won’t be left in the dark and returning fans won’t be overwhelmed by too much repeated information.
I found THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR to be a stimulating bittersweet mystery that held my attention from beginning to end with moments of hair-raising surprises along the way. This is a fun cozy murder mystery that will have you believing in the paranormal.
The Ghoul Next Door by Victoria Laurie, A Ghost Hunter Mystery #8, Obsidian, @2013, ISBN: 978-0451240606, Paperback, 352 Pages
FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
This giveaway is for one copy of THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR and the contest is open to residents of the U.S. only.
To enter, please send me an e-mail (email@example.com) with the subject line, “Win The Ghoul Next Door.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a copy of THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR is 8 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Jan. 16.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you ever had a psychic reading or wanted to?