I would like to welcome author Ashley Ladd to my blog. Following today’s interview is an excerpt from her latest book, Spooky Sojourn.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a mild-mannered customer service rep by day and a masked crusading erotic romance writer by night. I tried to join the FBI, but unfortunately, I have severe hearing loss from my active duty Air Force days which disqualified me. However, the Air Force sent me through college and I went on to complete my MBA and I function with the aid of hearing aids.
I’m also a wife, mother of five, grandmother of two, and I absolutely adore cats. I love to watch movies on the big screen, take long walks, and swim. I’m a regular Trekkie and Food Network addict.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in Colerain Township. Although I still call that home, I also call South Florida, specifically Fort Lauderdale home. I’ve lived in Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) for the past 24 years.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
Yes. I’m halfway done with “Gaycation”. It’s an MMF about an erotic MM/BDSM romance writer who attends a gay convention to get ideas and she ends up with way more than she bargains for. It’s fun to write so far and I’m sure it’ll be fun to read.
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I could write full time. It’s my dream. But alas, I hold down a full time day job as a customer service representative.
I write between 2-4 hours nightly after I get home from work which is about 1,000 to 3,000 words nightly. You see, my real claim to fame is that I type about 96 wpm. I also try to write for a few hours each on Saturday and Sunday.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I make a very loose outline. I’m more of a pantser and let the story unfold as I go. I know the ending and a few high points in the middle but let the road wind around. I’d be too bored with the story if it was completely mapped out before hand.
What inspired you to write this book?
I stayed in a haunted hotel when I attended a romance writer’s convention about twelve years ago. It was a fun adventure and I promised myself I’d write a book inspired by it. Spooky Sojourn was finally born.
How did you come up with the title?
I was surfing the Internet and saw the phrase “Spooky Sojourn” and thought it fit my book.
Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
I love Harry DeVeaux. He’s so charming and sexy I wish I was theheroine so he could be my hero.
I really dislike Roxanne Cambridge, the villain.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
It would be Haley because she dresses up as Catwoman and saves her hero (repeatedly) from the bad guys. She even jumps her motorcycle over a police car. She’s awesome and has a ton of fun. Haley’s in Purrfect Justice published by Ellora’s Cave.
Or maybe Deanna. She’s chasing ghosts and going to séances. Deanna’s in Spooky Sojourn which will be published by Totally Bound in October of this year.
If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Probably Make-believe Lover. Becca and her cat Gizmo are transported into the alternate dimension of her favorite comic book world. In this world, Gizmo speaks English. In fact, he won’t shut up! He’s a riot and he tries to steal the show. She gets to fly around on dragons and she has a super hottie for a hero. Make-believe Lover is published by Ellora’s Cave.
Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
I twirled flags in high school and again in the Air Force Drum Bugle & Corps. We marched in the New Orleans Mardis Gras Parade.
Deanna reread her fantasy, barely able to believe she’d penned it, wondering if she should delete it. Did she really want to make out with Harry, a perfect stranger, on a public beach? Did she really want her words on the Internet, even in a supposedly private blog under a make-believe name?
Well, it was confidential, right? As long as she didn’t give anybody the web address or password or tell them about it, it would remain secret.
Enough fantasizing! She had to get back to work. Dragging the files out, she familiarized herself with the ghost sightings as well as Lynette’s and Grant’s history. By the time she finished, she knew how they’d died and the theories about their suicides-slash-murders. She also knew that everybody was afraid to point fingers at the now very influential and powerful Roxanne Cambridge-Anderson. Could Roxanne be behind the haunting nonsense? Did she want the hotel shut down? But that made no sense. The rumors portrayed Roxanne as a murderess. It wouldn’t be in her best interest to keep their legend alive.
Deanna’s temples began to ache the harder she thought about everything, so she decided to go to sleep. Hopefully she’d awake if any hijinks took place in the bowling alley.
About three a.m., deafening booms awoke her. Light brightened lane fourteen and all but one pin lay scattered on the wooden floor.
Groggy, Deanna tried to gather her senses. She looked around then, to her horror, she saw an iridescent figure of a man on lane fourteen picking up a glowing ball. Collecting her presence of mind, she grabbed her webcam, pointed it at the ghostly shape and turned it on. Shaking, she tried to hold her computer steady. Not believing what she was seeing, she knew there had to be a rational explanation. Perhaps some machine was projecting the image onto the lanes. Perhaps a real person stood in front of her in glowing phosphorescent powder.
Whatever or whoever it was, picked up the ball, and knocked down the spare pin. Then the ‘apparition’ bowled three strikes in a row.
Unexpectedly, he turned and glared at her, fire shooting from his eyes. Pins flew from all the lanes at her. Her heart racing, she ducked under the score table.
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!
About the Author
She’s often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance which she weaves into her stories.
You can purchase her books on Amazon.