Getting to Know Ishabelle Torry

Ishabelle Torry Author PicGuest blog by Ishabelle Torry, author of To Have Or To Haunt

Hiya everyone! Ishabelle Torry here, ready to reveal my secrets! Although I have a couple of author bios available to you all, I thought it would be nice and refreshing to offer up 10 facts about me you may not know. *rubs hand together* All right, let’s count them down!

  1. I hate mayonnaise. I don’t care if it’s real, or Miracle Whip. I hate it, and will absolutely starve to avoid it!
  2. I like to watch people. They often catch me staring, and sometimes even run away from my prying eyes. A few have asked if I would like their picture instead…I almost said yes, please.
  3. I’m a night owl. I prefer to be awake all night. Unfortunately, life forces me out of bed way too early most mornings.
  4. I sleep with two blankets. And I’m not talking ’bout little blankets…full sized comforters…all year round. Anything below 80 degrees, and I’m cold.
  5. I love history. The older, the better.
  6. I hate math. Math scares me, and was the deciding factor in choosing history as a major instead of science.
  7. I wrote my first story while on bed rest for pregnancy, and shared it with my AOL friends on a weekly chapter basis. They loved it. :)
  8. My greatest influence to become a writer came from Mr. Olin…my ninth grade English teacher.
  9. I went to reform school for one year, where I met Mr. Olin. I was involved in a fist fight that resulted in suspension, and a 500 word essay. It was this essay that caught all of my teachers’ attention, and despite the reason I had to write it, gained praise.
  10. And my biggest secret…People terrify me. For most of my life I’ve hidden from people. But the desire to write has forced me to creep out from under the safety of my rock, exposing myself to the world. I’ve learned to interact, and in the last year I have grown tremendously. I love it out here now! Thanks to all of you, and your support! Rock on!

So now that you know a little bit more about me, is there anything you want to share? You can find me at:

https://www.facebook.com/IshabelleTorry/info

Follow on Twitter @IshabelleTorry

Blog: http://authorishabelletorry.wordpress.com/

To Have or To Haunt 200x300Blurb:

Can Melanie’s Halloween bash survive Leah’s ghostly tricks?

Melanie Fyre is a passionate teacher determined to raise funds for the town’s school. What better way to do it than by expanding the local businesses? All she needs is land. Untouched for years thanks to a local superstition, the Crowe property is perfect. If Melanie can debunk the myth, she can get the use of those 600 beautiful acres. She just has to prove to the town that Leah’s ghost is not haunting the mansion, even on Samhain night.

Burned to death and proclaimed a witch, Leah Crowe’s soul has been cursed to an eternity of loneliness, all because she dared to love a woman. When the saucy Melanie arrives at her home to throw a costume party that mocks Leah’s very existence, the bitter ghost resolves to renew the town’s fear of her name. Will Leah’s ghost ruin all of Melanie’s plans?

Buy: To Have Or To Haunt

Excerpt:

That voice… Melanie’s head snapped left, then right. “Leah?” On either side stood groups of people, but no one she didn’t recognize immediately—even through the plethora of costumes. She turned in a circle, searching for the face the voice belonged to. “You know it’s not nice to stalk people.”

“I was thinking much the same in regards to someone inviting themselves into my home.”

Melanie jumped. It sounded as if Leah were speaking directly into her ear. “Your home? As in Leah Crowe’s home?” She laughed so hard she snorted. “So that’s what you were doing in the room upstairs…haunting me?”

Once again, Leah’s voice sounded near. “No. I had only intended to ask that you leave and take your party elsewhere. I will haunt you if you fail to comply.”

Melanie crossed her arms and chuckled. Someone was definitely pranking her.

Circled by a group of men paying homage to her costume, Ally randomly waved from across the room, raising a glass of beer. Melanie smirked. So busted! This scenario had her best friend’s name written all over it. She nodded, licking her lips. “Bring it on, ghost chick. This party needs some entertainment anyway.”

Buy: To Have Or To Haunt

Why Listening is Important

TouchOfAGhost_200x300Guest post by L.M. Brown, author of Touch of a Ghost

First of all, thank you for having me here today.  I’m L.M. Brown, a writer of MM and MMM romance novels, often with a paranormal twist. I believe that there is nothing hotter and sweeter than two men in love with each other… unless it is three!

For my writing tip of the day I am going to share with you the reason why I learned the hard way that reading out loud is sometimes a necessity when it comes to writing.

Now, I am the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of audio books.  I have listened to many in the past, particularly abridged versions of the classics, but these days I prefer the written word.  I find when I am listening to audio books I am far too easily distracted by what  is happening around me and I have to keep going back to play things again because I completely missed what was being said.  I suspect this comes from the habit I have of tuning out noise to read, write, or even just concentrate at a very noisy day job – I am tuning out the audio books instead!  Unfortunately, it means that I find it very difficult to listen to them at all.

You are probably wondering what this has to do with my new release.

Well, for those who have followed my writing since the very start, you will recognise that Touch of a Ghost is a re-release of my very first published story.  The eagle-eyed amongst you will also note that there is a slight name change of one of the main characters.  Andy, which although never actually specified in the original story is short for Andrew, has now become Drew, also short for the same name.

The reason why is the audio book which, although no longer available, came out the year following the initial ebook release.

At the time Touch of a Ghost was initially written, edited and polished, I wasn’t reading the stories out loud.  This is largely because of certain young ears that shouldn’t be listening to such stories hanging around me at the time. Then the audio book was sent to me for proofing.

Yikes!

Andy and Benji, whilst both being names I like, just didn’t sound right together.  For some reason, when I look at the names in a lot of my stories, there are many which end in the “ee” sound.  Jamie, Cody, Cory, the list just goes on and on.  Thankfully I don’t think any of the others have been put together as a couple, but after hearing how Andy and Benji sounded when spoken together it started to irritate me.

So, when the rights to this story were returned to myself and I began to look for a new home for the story, the first thing I did was alter Andy’s name to Drew.

I hope this doesn’t cause too much confusion for readers.  Chances are most people won’t notice, or will realise that the story is the same purely from the blurb, but I guess there might be a few who are unsure.  I note it clearly on my website/blog that the story is a re-release and have a note to say why the name has changed, so hopefully no one is caught out.

But, this experience did teach me an important lesson.  Even if you don’t think it is necessary, sometimes things can be picked up when you hear your story read out.

So, there you have it, my tip for all writers is to take the time to read aloud your manuscript before you send it anywhere.  It may also help to highlight errors like where a character might have accidentally had a sex change (*cough* Driving-Me-Crazy *cough*).

Yes, I have had two audio books out in the past and while there wasn’t any error, as such, in Touch of a Ghost in the other one there was an instance where “he” became “she” and it was way too late to change it.

I hope my tip is a useful lesson for those of you who don’t read out loud.

Oh and feel free to share any of your own written/audio experiences – especially the goofs. I would love to know it isn’t just me doing daft stuff like this!

Blurb

Drew Jessop wants a life without ghosts. He doesn’t want to see, hear, or talk to them. Ignoring them should be relatively simple.

But Drew soon finds that Benji Richards, an eternally gorgeous ghost from the fifties, is not so easy to ignore.

Halloween night is approaching and both Drew and Benji know what it could mean for them. From sunset to sunrise, it is the one night of the year when a mortal can feel the touch of a ghost.

Buy: Touch of a Ghost

Excerpt

Drew leaned forward and put his empty bottle on the table. The match had finished and the commentators were recapping the highlights, so Drew reached for the remote control.

“Well, thank you for having us.” Flora stood up and stretched, as though her joints were still giving her grief as they had apparently done in life.

Drew turned off the television and picked up the crisp packet together with the nearly empty bowl. He tossed the last few crisps into his mouth as he stood up and walked into the kitchen. He left the beer bottles on the table as he contemplated whether to have another. Remembering he had an early start in the morning, he decided against drinking too much. He had a feeling Flora might have an opinion on alcohol intake too. However, when he turned back toward the living area, Flora had vanished.

Benji, on the other hand, still lingered. He remained on the sofa, his arm stretched along the back and his chin resting on it as he stared at Drew directly.

“You’re very rude, you know?” Benji commented idly. “Not saying a single word to us all evening like that. You could at least have said hello.”

Drew ignored him as he turned off the lights.

“I know you can see us. Your eyes give you away.”

Drew suspected Benji might be guessing, but if he said a single word in response that guess would be confirmed. He had to keep quiet. That way he could still maintain a normal life.

“Not going to admit it, huh?” Benji said. “Well, I’ll stop by again tomorrow. Maybe you’ll be more talkative then. If you are, I might just tell you how I know you’re gay, if you ask nicely.” With that comment, Benji flashed Drew one final killer smile and vanished from the room.

Drew reacted to Benji the same way he would any other handsome man. His mind may tell him Benji was off limits, but his body thought otherwise. Drew wondered whether he could keep up the pretense of not seeing and hearing the ghosts who were as real to him as the rest of the human race. If this evening was anything to go by, it might not be as easy as he thought.

Buy: Touch of a Ghost

Where to find L.M. Brown

Website & Blog – http://lmbrownauthor.wordpress.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/L.M.Brown.author

Twitter – @LMBrownAuthor

Excerpt: Haunted by the Past by Pelaam

HauntedbythePast_200x300Blurb: Jared didn’t believe in ghosts or love, until he moved into his new house and found both.

Finding a house that suits him, Jared makes the move to reclaim his independence. However, he doesn’t expect to find himself both attracted to and concerned for the almost-reclusive gardener, Evander.

Jared believes Evander is hiding an eating disorder. But the appearance of old photographs and love letters in the house cause him to wonder about the stoic man. As their friendship becomes more, he wants to help and uncover the secrets he knows Evander is hiding. Each of them are haunted by something, and it’s not the house.

When a ghost from Jared’s past appears, they must fight for their own happiness, even if it means exposing themselves and the truth.

Buy: Haunted by the Past

Excerpt:

A couple of hours later, Jared returned. Hands on his hips, he glared at the thick, muddy mess on his boots. No matter, the hose is right there. I’ll switch on the tap, rinse the worst of the mess off, and carry them into the house to clean properly. Blindly, Jared reached around the corner with one hand as he crouched down to snag a hold of the hose with the other.

With a surprised grunt, he fell back onto his butt. His hand hadn’t come into contact with cold metal but cool flesh. He stared up at the man who stepped into view. His dark hair was pulled back into a pony tail, and from this angle the man looked like he towered over six feet.

For someone who worked outdoors, his skin was remarkably fair, and the expanse of pale, smooth skin temporarily robbed Jared of his wits. His eyes seemed determined to focus on either caramel colored nipples or the ‘v’ lines disappearing into well-worn denim. The man stared down at him, and Jared wondered what kind of impression he was making sitting open-mouthed in a mud puddle.

“I…you startled me.” Great opening line. Real smooth, Jared.

“I was about to clean the equipment. You were out.”

The stranger’s voice was soft, his expression morose, and he tilted his head as if Jared’s appearance was a shock to him too. His eyes were a shade of gray Jared had never seen before, and they reflected concern and intelligence.

“Ah, yes, I did go out, but I wandered off the track, got stuck in mud, and since my boots were covered in the stuff, I decided to come back. When I saw the hose, I thought I’d rinse them off before going back into the house.”

“Oh. Well. I can wait if you want.”

Jared blinked. That’s it? He isn’t even going to help me?  “Um, could you help me up?” Considering he’d spent the best part of the last six months not wanting anyone to look twice at him, he couldn’t understand why it was suddenly so important that this man did.

“I guess so.” The man held out his hand and pulled Jared upright with an ease his slender frame belied.

Now standing up, the difference in their height diminished rapidly. In fact, they stood almost shoulder to shoulder, the stranger was maybe an inch or so taller than Jared’s modest five foot ten inches. “I’m Jared, the new tenant here. Obviously, you’re the gardener, but I wasn’t told your name.”

“Evander. My name’s Evander.”

Neither man released the hand of the other. Jared wasn’t sure he wanted to be the first to let go, but Evander seemed to realize he still held Jared’s hand and released him. He took a couple of steps back.

“I have other things to do. You can use the hose.”

Buy: Haunted by the Past

Pelaam lives in clean, green New Zealand. She is a multi-published author of gay male romance and erotica across time and space. When not writing, she indulges in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation. She can be found on Facebook, and a full list of her published works are on Lazy Beagle Entertainment.

Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

better homes and hauntingsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Nina Linden is in one of the areas of the country that I love to visit – this would be a great book to take with you when you go to visit. She’s trying to come back after having someone try to discredit her. She’s just one of those characters that you want to root for and that all will be right in the world for her.

Deacon Whitney is a law unto himself and has brought some people, Nina included, to help him restore his ancestral home. The attraction between them is muted compared to the ghostly mystery that is afoot. I found that I was more interested in what is going on with the house then any type of romance.

This author introduces you to a character named Dotty. She’s a relative of Deacon’s and she appears to be the comic relief in this story. There’s one scene in this book that just solidified my awe in Dotty. You will understand when you read the scene where she talks about how she reads a book – that used to be me before I broke that bad habit.

This is one of those books that I would read more than once. The author does a great job in building the momentum that carries the reader from beginning to end and leaves you wanting more. I can picture having this around come Halloween. What a perfect time to set the mood, add the perfect music, the perfect drink and sit back and relax. And speaking of setting the mood, I had to laugh to myself when some music is referenced in the book–I just happened to be listening to that music as I was reading.

Now I’m anxious to see what Molly has in store for her readers now that this book has come out.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Better Homes and Hauntings

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Get into Bed with Molly Harper (Author Interview)

Molly WhiteLynn Reynolds: Was it hard to make the switch from werewolf to haunted house in Better Homes and Hauntings?

Molly Harper: Not really.  I have always been fascinated by hauntings.  I was that weird little kid who checked out the non-fiction paranormal books out of the elementary school library so many times that my mom got a concerned note from the librarian. And I watched an inordinate amount of Scooby-Doo as a child. I remember being disappointed that the Velma couldn’t just once say, “Jenkies, Fred, I’m pretty sure this creepy abandoned candy fact really is haunted by a gumdrop ghost.”  But, then again, I was often disappointed by the “true” ghost stories I read or watched, because the ghost’s backstory wasn’t scary enough for me. I’d been tinkering with the idea of “the biggest and best” haunted house story I could tell for a while now.  I hope that the readers enjoy it.

Lynn: Which do you like writing better the paranormal or the contemporary?

Molly: I have a bit more fun with the paranormal, because giving these big bad supernatural creatures very human foibles is hilarious. But every once in a while, I really like working with characters who can go out during the day and eat normally. (With all due respect to my werewolf characters.)

Lynn: Has your husband ever played a part in more than one of your books?

Molly: My husband, David, is a six-foot-four, manly-man police captain and he takes a lot of teasing over what his wife does for a living. He hears, “Oooh, does your wife base all of her heroes on you? Hahaha!”  And he will be the first one to tell you, “Yep, it’s all right here.”

And to be honest, yeah, it is. We’ve been together since my freshman year of high school, so naturally, he has a lot of influence of how I think about men and how they should interact with women. His ability to tease me back into a good mood and his tendency to be a wee bit overprotective is in Gabriel Nightengale.  His occasional wildly inappropriate humor is in Dick Cheney. His gruff, morning person persona is the basis for Cooper Graham’s surliness.  And his weird on-the-job stories made their way into And One Last Thing …… for Monroe, who is a retired police officer. (David usually asks me to tell people that unlike Monroe, he has never been shot in the butt.)

Lynn: Is there an author that you love to follow?  What draws your attention to a book?

Molly: I fangirl all over people at conferences.  It’s embarrassing, but I’m a reader, just like everybody else. I met Teresa Medeiros at SOKY Book Fest a few years ago and I thought I was going to faint, because her books were the first romances I was “allowed” to read.  (I’d been sneaking paperbacks out of my mom’s romance hoard for a while.) But I also love Nora Roberts, Alice Clayton, Nicole Peeler, Christina Lauren, Rachel Caine, and a bunch of others.

Lynn: Why did you choose the New England coast for your latest book?

Molly: I usually stick with a Southern setting for my books, but I started reading about Newport and the Gilded Era mansions – the Vanderbilts, the Astors, etc. And I knew it was a perfect setting for a ghost story.  Everything was so beautiful and glamorous but with an ugly underbelly. People had secrets upon secrets, and unresolved business leads to ghosts aplenty.

Lynn: Have you ever stayed in a haunted house?

Molly: Not on purpose!  But while I was attending Western Kentucky University, I did live in a dorm that was supposed to be haunted by the spirit of the woman it was named for – Mattie McLean. The rumor was that she was very protective of “her girls.” If we were being mistreated by a man, Ms. McLean was supposed to find a way to make the man leave, by making him ill or just too uncomfortable to stay. She also supposedly wandered the halls at night, locking our bedroom doors if we forgot to do it before going to bed. I never saw anything, beyond the typical creeped out feelings in the basement laundry room, but it was a basement laundry room, so that was pretty natural.  And one morning, I woke up to find the blankets I KNEW I’d kicked off during the night tucked around and under my body, but I still think my roommate did it… even though she was similarly tucked in and under her blankets and would have had a really hard time doing that by herself…. Nevermind.

Lynn: Have you ever listened to one of your own audible books?

Molly: I always listen to the audio books!  Amanda Ronconi does such an amazing job.  Her voice makes the story new for me all over again.

Lynn: Can you give the readers a hint as to what you have in store for them next?

Molly: If you enjoy audiobooks, Better Homes and Hauntings will be released by Audible on the same day that it is released in print and ebook.

Also, my Half-Moon Hollow Christmas short story, I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas, will be available in ebook on November 3, 2014.

And third book in the Bluegrass contemporary series, Snow Falling on Bluegrass, will be released on September 22.

I will be writing several new Half-Moon Hollow spin-offs and hope to have some other announcements soon!

better homes and hauntingsBook Blurb:

When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”

But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.

But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance

Buy: Better Homes and Hauntings

Review: The Sherbrooke Bride (Bride Series, Book 1) by Catherine Coulter

sherbrooke brideHero: Douglas Sherbrooke, Earl of Northcliffe, needs an heir and a bride. He secures the beautiful Melissande’s hand in marriage. Before they can wed he’s called away to attend delicate matters and sends his cousin to marry for him by proxy. Bad idea! When he returns he finds his cousin stole his bride and married him to the wrong sister.

Heroine: Alexandra Chambers, youngest daughter of the Duke of Beresford, is not beautiful like her sister Melissande. But she has loved Douglas since she was fifteen. When Douglas’s cousin proposes the scheme she is eager to do it. because she knows she will make Douglas a better wife than her high-strung sister. Now she must convince him of it too.

Review: Douglas is furious at the turn of events and takes it out on Alexandra and his cousin Tony. He’s one of those brawny alpha males who does many a pigheaded thing until he gives in and confesses his heart. You either love him or loathe him. Tony was a great side character who for some unknown reason liked an empty-headed vain woman with mush for brains. Melli was very annoying. What’s weird and disturbing is that Tony is training her like a dog to be a better person. Ick. I like Alex as a heroine and the writing was engrossing despite the story’s flaws. On a personal note, the Virgin Bride ghost was an unnecessary supernatural element that detracted more than aided the writing.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: The Sherbrooke Bride (Bride Series)

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Review: Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, Book 5) by Elizabeth Hoyt

lord of darknessHero: Godric St. John lost his wife to a terrible illness. In order to regain control on his life he heads out into the slums of London as the masked Ghost of St. Giles evading the police while stopping crime. Wrongly accused of the murder for a gent, Godric hasn’t let it bother him, until one night he comes face to face with his new wife and her pistol.

Heroine: Lady Margaret Reading wants a baby, so she’s decided to seduce her older husband, a man she hasn’t seen since her wedding day, into giving her one. The plan is a solid one that will also give her the chance to search for and kill her lover’s murderer, the Ghost of St. Giles.

What happened: Godric married a pregnant Margaret two years prior to the start of the novel when her brother cornered him with the knowledge that Godric was the Ghost. Godric didn’t mind so much installing a bastard babe in his nest because he knew he would never love again after the death of his first wife, but Margaret later miscarried. During the course of their marriage, Godric kept every missive Margaret wrote. She was life itself and Godric was drawn to her… but surely her idea of a babe while frankly stimulating, was an affront to his late wife’s memories? And then Margaret finds out Godric is the Ghost!

Review: This is a romance that brings together two people who have already loved and lost and never thought to love again. Godric is a hero with a lot of depth and I found it amusing that he was horrified at the prospect of bedding his wife…at first anyway, and then he grew to like the idea. 😉 A fast-paced, perky, pull-no-punches romp that is highly engaging! Lord of Darkness is a keeper!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Lord of Darkness

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Review: City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

city of dark magicReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Sarah Weston is a music grad student who has been offered the job of a lifetime. Nicolas Pertusato is the man that is taking her to her dream job. He’s also something of a tour guide. There are several other characters that lead us on a tour through Prague and Lobkowicz Palace.

While at the Palace, Sarah meets Prince Max. He is a man of mystery even though he is her boss. We have a story here that has suspense, mystery, and the paranormal. Then I’m sorry to say that this book just drew me in and I couldn’t stop reading it. Everywhere I went, this book came with me. I just could not put it down.

I work at an Academic library and could relate to the fact that Sarah’s love is music. I work with a woman who is our liaison with the music department. One thing I missed was having music to listen to while reading this. Had I had some, it was have enhanced my reading enjoyment even more.

So, for you, I could do no less than go to the librarian and ask her what music you should be listening to as you read this book. Below is a list of her suggestions:

  • Haydn, Symphony no. 104
  • Haydn, Cello Concerto no. 1 in C Major
  • Mozart, Symphony no. 40 in g minor
  • Mozart, Requiem
  • Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata
  • Beethoven, Fur Elise
  • Carl Maria von Weber, Der Freischutz, the Huntsmen’s Chorus
  • Paganini, Violin Concerto no. 1

If you are not into classical music, she also suggests that you might like to listen to some Czech or Slovak folk songs. I was very disappointed that I wasn’t listening to any of these suggestions as I was reading this book but I’m hoping that you will try some of her suggestions.

If you love to travel and you ever plan on going to Prague, I’m hoping you will take this book with you. I thought it would make a pretty good travel guide as you enjoy your vacation. I’m sure that it wasn’t Magnus’ original intention but it has me wanting to take the time and go explore Prague with my book with me when I go.

Personally, I feel that this is a book that would be best in paper form instead of e-book. I just loved turning the pages and seeing what Sarah, and all the other characters, had in store for me. I’m hoping you will feel the same way. I just loved Magnus’ words drawing me in and enjoying the feel of the paper as I turned the page. I went to M. Flyte’s web site but could not find that there are any other books in the works but I’m hoping to see more adventures with Prince Max and Sarah.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: City of Dark Magic

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GIVEAWAY: Lynn is giving away her print copy of this book! Enter by leaving a comment. Open to US readers. Last day to enter: May 19, 2013.