It was Valentine’s Day, and I was stuck in between bikinis and Coors Lights stretched out on the sands of Malibu, California. There was a nip in the air, yet there were mortals in fish suits perched on top of fancy, wooden planks riding the waves. I sat there, mesmerized at their foolishness. They would come back drenched in seaweed and barnacle shells, yet the dang fools would get back on their planks and do it again.
I was thinking of how much Juicy hated the water when she was alive and, as far as I knew, still hated to be around the stuff in the afterlife. Me? I was Flipper in another life, believe me. I could do the dog paddle better than any Labrador you’ve ever seen.
But, what I couldn’t understand were mortals with wooden planks and riding the waves like they were at Disneyland or something.
Speaking of Disneyland, I had a noon appointment with one of Tour Coordinator's authors, Deborah Woehr
, in front of The Haunted Mansion. I was to interview her for her PROSPERITY: A GHOST STORY VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR
, but I had strict instructions to never reveal that I was indeed a ghost. I’m not sure what the reasoning in that one was because it’s not like I’m the scariest thing put on earth, but I had to abide by Tour Coordinator's rules.
She picked The Haunted Mansion because I figured if I did anything of the ghostly persuasion, Deborah would think it was all part of the act. So, be it, but I had a stinking suspicion I was going to have fun with this.
I figured – what the heck – I’d go over and check out this Haunted Mansion as I had heard there was some gossip about a few spirits that were hanging out there. I thought, cool, I’ll take a few Coors Lights with me and see what was up until I had to interview Deborah at noon. Who knows – I could see one of my long, lost relatives, right?
There was usual Disneyland crowd – tourists, stay-at-home moms with their kidlets, new marrieds – as I floated through the mob until I came to the front of The Haunted Mansion.
I had to laugh because if this was to scare people, they haven’t seen nothing yet. I’d seen more haunted mansions than anyone, and I thought, wouldn’t it be oh-so-cool just to have a little fun before my interview with Deborah?
In my invisible state, I could really show them what haunted was, you know?
So, I flew past through the door and looked for prey. Nothing. Not an innocent mortal kidlet in sight. And then…
I saw her through the open door. An image of beauty. Her long dark hair shone in the California sun and I knew it was love at first sight and I thought, this can’t be the young thing I was supposed to be interviewing! God love tour coordinator.
I materialized quickly and walked out the door looking quite debonair, if I say so myself. I quickly snapped off an Oriental Lily from a shrub nearby to gain some brownie points.
Handing her the lily, I introduced myself.
“Hi Deborah. I’m Henri who is supposed to interview you for your virtual book tour.”
She said, "Hi, Henri! It's nice to meet you."
I was fighting the Valentine’s Day bug – the kind of bug that finds Cupids flying around your head and shooting arrows into your heart – but I kept calm. Collected. Cool Man Luke, that was me.
“Shall we partake of a beverage? What is your choice?”
"A Pepsi would be great."
I was thinking of offering her a swig of my Coors Light to loosen her inhibitions, but sensibility took hold of me. Dammit. I headed over to the concession stand, paid for a Pepsi, and handed it to her.
She took the Pepsi from my hand as if I had just awarded her with a dozen roses. What a lady.
“I understand you are on that wretched tour coordinator's virtual book tour where she sends harmless and beautiful women like yourself out into the virtual highway to sell books. Have you ever sold books this way before?”
"Nope. This is my first time on a book tour. I'm meeting all kinds of people and visiting some great blogs that I didn't know were out there."
As she talked, her smile melted my heart.
“Deborah, before we get any further, I must tell you something, but when I tell you this, I don’t want you to be afraid, okay?”
“I’m a ghost. Are you afraid of ghosts?”
"Really? I would have never guessed because you look so normal. I've watched way too many movies. I'm more fascinated by ghosts than afraid of them. However, I must admit that I would probably gasp if I saw one of my deceased loved ones walk around the corner."
“Well, I’m not the poltergeist kind of ghost…oh no…I’m friendly…think Casper, you know?”
"I've always liked Casper."
Ah…so she was a Casper-liking kind of woman! This made Henri tingly in the ectoplasm department for sure.
“Of course Juicy doesn’t think I’m very nice ditching her the way I did, but sometimes a ghost has to do what a ghost has to do, you know? Juicy is my girlfriend – or was my girlfriend – but I just wanted some space, you know?”
“Deborah, do you have a ghost in your book and does he have a girlfriend like Juicy? I mean, is she a possessive kind of ghost?”
"I have a whole slew of them. One of them is possessive and mean. Her name is Myra, and she's very jealous of Amanda, who is now living in her lover's house."
“Mean? What do you mean mean?”
"Myra was very similar to the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction. She wanted her man, and she would do anything to get him."
Suddenly an image of Juicy crossed my mind.
“The title of your book, Prosperity: A Ghost Story
. What is Prosperity? Is that the name of your ghost?”
"Prosperity was a once-thriving town that was nearly wiped out by the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. It's now a literal ghost town."
“Ohhh…now you’re cooking. I remember Prosperity. If memory serves me right, it’s near Joplin, Montana? Were you aware that there really was a ghost town there named Prosperity when you wrote the book?”
“Nope. (grin) What's funny is that I've been researching haunted places for almost two years for the Paranormal Watch blog and never stumbled upon this place. It wasn't until I did a Google search for my book last week that I found this place. Here’s one link: http://www.normantranscript.com/localnews/local_story_295010905
“What’s a Paranormal Watch blog? Is this where you watch over ghosties?”
“Yes. I also cover UFOs, strange anomalies, time travel, and anything remotely spooky or weird. You can find it at http://www.paranormalwatch.com/
“Deborah, why did you want to write about ghosts and not some other creature of the night? Not that we’re creatures, of course; we’re just like anybody else of course except we might be able to change realms and all that, but why not vampires or werewolves? Do you hate vampires and werewolves, too?”
"I have several reasons for writing about ghosts. One is that they contradict everything I've been taught in Sunday School. Why haven't they gone to heaven or hell? What is keeping them here? It's the mystery of their lives that fascinates me. Vampires and werewolves have never done much for me, although I'm not sure why."
“Vampires and werewolves don’t do it for me either, mon petite fleur. And the answer to why they haven’t gone to heaven or hell is simply that heaven and hell is totally individual. Actually, it’s realms. What mortals perceive heaven to be is actually the top realm and hell would be the lower realm. For each of our lives, we climb either up or down…it all depends on what life lessons you learn in each realm. Does that make sense to you?”
“That makes perfect sense. One of my favorite books is Blessings in Disguise, by Barbara Rommer, where she discusses the different kinds of near death experiences from people of all walks of life. Some experienced bliss, while others experienced torment because of their misguided beliefs and/or deeds.”
“When you were writing your book, did you feel ghosts around you?”
"There were many nights when I would either see something move out of the corner of my eye or sense something behind me. Nothing was ever there, so I blamed it on 12+ hours at the computer."
“If you were sitting at your computer and I happened to pop in, would that make you nervous?”
"At first. But I consider myself an adaptable person."
“Have you ever dated a ghost before?”
"Not to my knowledge (grin)."
“If I asked you for a date for a ride through The Haunted Mansion over there, would you accept?”
"Sure. You seem friendly enough."
Henri is good!!!
“Okay, okay, I never miss an opportunity to hit upon beautiful 21st century woman from California. Not that I was hitting upon you. Was I hitting upon you? Would you like Henri to hit upon you? Haha…bad Henri. Deborah, can you tell us more what your book is about?”
"You are such a charmer, Henri! Okay, back to my book. It's about an embattled clairvoyant who must change her attitude about the afterlife before she can avenge the ghost who was lynched for a murder he didn't commit."
“How did you come up with idea for book?”
"Actually, this idea came to me from my eighth grade science teacher, who was also a writer. After we completed our class assignment, he would tell us stories about my home town. One of these stories was about two men, who kidnapped and murdered the son of a prominent businessman back in the 30s. They were caught and lynched. The way he described the story left quite an impression on me. So much so that I bought the book that chronicled the events that led up to that lynching."
“Do you plan more ghostie stories?”
"Yes, I do. Thank you for asking. I'm almost finished with the first chapter of the rough draft. There's no title yet, but I have the setting."
“Well, interview over, my beautiful 21st century American woman friend. If I wanted to buy your book, where should Henri do that?”
"Right now, it's available on Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/content/1662022
). It should be available on Amazon by the beginning of March."
“I shall check this out and I hope my beautiful 21st century fans will do the same. Now, would you like to ride Haunted Mansion ride with Henri?”
"Thank you, Henri. I am honored. And, yes, I would love to ride the Haunted Mansion with you."
And there we were – just the two of us - one ghost, one ghostie writer - riding into the sunset through the Haunted Mansion. Thank you, tour coordinator, wherever you are.
Incidentally, Deborah is on a virtual book tour this month. Leave a comment in Henri’s comment box and you could win a copy of Deborah’s book!
See you on the other side!Technorati Tags:
Deborah Woehr, Henri the Ghostest with the Mostest, Henri Montmorency, virtual book tour, virtual blog tour, virtual author tour, Prosperity A Ghost Story, Disneyland, The Haunted Mansion, paranormal author, ghost book, Prosperity
Ohhhh…la….la….I get to interview an EROTIC ROMANCE AUTHOR. Can we say this is up Henri’s alley?
I’m over here at Camp SoYouWannaSeeAGhost. I arrived on Monday and checked in. I had to materialize so that the camp directors would realize the baggage I was carrying didn’t have a life of its own…haha. But they know Henri is a ghost, how do 21st century mortals say everything’s okay? Ahhh…it’s all good.
I arrived on Saturday and I’ll have to go into the details when I’m not in so much hurry, but the gang loves me. No one knows I’m a ghost yet and I’m having fun playing Casper with them. More details later.
In a few minutes, a big author is coming to the camp to be interviewed by moi as she’s on a virtual book tour and couldn’t wait until I returned home.
I made sure the kids were on a field trip so that I could have her complete attention.
It was time to meet erotic romance writer, so I grabbed my picnic basket and headed out back. It was beautiful. I even had a babbling brook nearby for a nice atmospheric touch.
I spread the blanket out and sat down, trying to remember what important things to ask her…like…was she single? Very important question to single Henri.
And there she was. She was beautiful.
I jumped up and shook her hand.
“Nice to have you visit our little camp,” I told her. “And your name is PG Forte, is that correct?”
I didn’t want to put the moves on her too fast; I knew how to work it.
"Yes, that's right," she says. "It's a pleasure to meet you Henri."
"Likewise! And can you tell us what PG stands for?"
"Sure. But, I have to warn you, it's not nearly as intriguing as you might think. My original first and last names are very long and I'm somewhat lazy so I shortened them all the way down to their initials and added my husband's last name, Forte."
"I love it! Shall we begin by asking you what your latest book is about?"
"Okay. Waiting for the Big One is about what happens when one woman's quest for true love and ultimate pleasure is complicated by two gorgeous men.
"The woman, Gabby, is an aspiring actress and a dog walker. Up until now she's refused to even consider her best friend--a very sexy, Scorpio Yoga instructor by the name of Derek--for the role of soul mate because she's afraid sex will ruin their friendship. Both she and Derek are playing a waiting game and getting pretty darn sick of it.
"When Gabby meets Zach, the super-hot, rock guitarist who's just moved into her building, she's convinced her wait is finally over. It's up to Derek to convince her that he--not Zach--is destined to be the big love of her life."
"And why did you decide to write erotic romance? I know the subject comes up frequently, does it not?"
"Yes, it does! LOL! My wonderful critique partners pushed me into it. They dared me to write an erotic short story with an Astrology theme for a contest. They knew I can never resist a challenge."
"I understand you are on your last week of your virtual book tour. What have you thought about it so far? I know tour coordinator can be a slave driver. Do you think she’s a slave driver, too?"
"Oh, not at all! But, then again, I've been called the Queen of Angst and Torment due to my treatment of some of my characters (mostly my heroes, I must admit) so perhaps she and I are extending each other some professional courtesy? We slave drivers have to stick together you know. LOL!
I've been loving the tour. It's so much fun to visit all these sites and chat with such interesting characters, such as you, Henri. ;)"
"Oh, you make me blush! How important do you think it is to promote your book? I always thought the publisher would do that for me. What are your thoughts on that?"
"Oh, yes. In a perfect world authors would be free to devote themselves solely to writing. In this reality, however, we have to wear several hats. And while publisher promotion is invaluable for a book's success no one is going to push your book harder (and perhaps better) than you.
Besides, I think I'd miss interacting with my readers if I left everything up to my publisher or someone else."
"Okay, I have a question about promoting. I write paranormal because if you didn’t know it, I’m a ghost. Boo! No, really I am. Don’t be frightened; think Casper, the friendly ghost. Anyway, I write paranormal and I was wondering what you would suggest to me to get more sales?"
"Oh, I'm not frightened. I have several ghost characters myself. I'll have to introduce you.
As for sales...ooh, that's the big question, isn't it? The things that have worked the best for me, in the past, have been online events (such as this book tour) ads and reviews."
"Now, that title, WAITING FOR THE BIG ONE. What exactly are you waiting for?"
"Well, it's Gabby who's waiting, but why don't I let her tell you about that in her own words?"
So, there I was, stuck at yet another red light, when it hit me. It wasn’t just me who was waiting and it wasn’t just now. All of Los Angeles was in the same boat, all of us, all the time, waiting for the big one.
For most of us, that means our big break, our shot at seeing our name in a star on the Walk of Fame. It’s the role that’ll lift us out of obscurity. It’s the hit that’ll soar to the top of the charts. We’re all hopeful romantics--like Kathleen Turner, in Romancing the Stone. We’re always certain it’ll happen with the next deal we make, the next audition we go out on, the next person we meet.
Take me, for instance. Any day now, with just a little bit of luck, I could go from being plain old Gabby Browne, aspiring actress and dog walker, to Academy Award Winner, Gabriella Giacomo.
And if fame doesn’t get us, no doubt the earthquake will. That’s the other thing everybody’s waiting for, the big eight point, nine point, ten point shaker that scientists say is bound to occur. The one that’ll rock this town to its knees. Even hopeful romantics have to admit it seems inevitable. How could any place with this much surface glamour not be doomed?
But this morning, I was waiting for something a little more personal. I was waiting for The Big O: the elusive, G-spot, ultra orgasm, the kind I’d heard about, read about, yearned for, but had not yet experienced.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I’d never had an orgasm or anything. But, to date, they’d all been the standard issue, plain vanilla kind. Nice, but nothing I couldn’t give myself any day of the week if I wanted. What I was hoping for was something more life-altering, soul-searing, rock-my-world passion. I knew it was out there, waiting for me. All I needed was the right guy to help me find it.
I knew he was out there, too. He was my Twin Flame, my Split Apart, my Tantric Soul mate; the man who would love me madly, passionately, loudly. All night long. They say good things come to those who wait, and I was certainly counting on that being true, but he was taking a long time to get here, and I was growing impatient."
"Ooooh, la, la! Okay, now that we’ve talked about your book and promoting that book and the big one, let’s talk about PG Forte, the woman. Are you single?"
"No, I've been very happily married for quite some time to my own very sexy Scorpio--who didn't mind at all that Gabby and I poked fun at his Astrological sign. ;) "
"Do you play around with ghosts?"
"I guess that would depend on how you define 'play'."
"Would you like a date sometime?"
"Henri, if I'm ever single again, you'll be the first one I call."
"Okay, okay, I’ve interrogated you enough, mon ami. Can you tell everyone where they can pick up a copy of your latest book, WAITING FOR THE BIG ONE?"
"I'd be happy to. You can purchase it (along with the second book in the series, Love From A to Z) direct from my publisher, Liquid Silver Books (http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/).
Here's the direct link to my titles:
"Thank you for coming to my little abode in the woods, PG, and hope to see you around reeeeal soon!"
"Thank you, Henri. I hope to see you again soon too."
Tags: The Search for the Million $$$ Ghost, ghosts, Henri, the Ghostest with the Mostest, book promotion, book blog, blogging authors, ghost hunt, virtual book tour, erotic romance, PG Forte