by Lori Handeland
Four centuries ago, in a small Scottish village, three baby girls escaped the wrath of a witch hunter. Today, one young woman will learn about her secret history, her heart's destiny, and the sisters she never knew she had...
With her blue-black hair and dark eyes, Raye Larsen has never fit in with the Scandinavian community of New Bergin, Wisconsin. Being adopted is part of the reason she feels like an outsider, but what really sets Raye apart is her ability to see dead people. Everywhere.
She’s learned to keep her visions to herself . . . until she stumbles onto the ghost of a murder victim who needs Raye’s help. Enter Bobby Doucet, a distractingly handsome homicide detective who has been tracking a killer all the way from New Orleans. Could this be the break in his case he’s been looking for all along?
Meanwhile, the deeper Raye gets involved with the case—and with Bobby—the closer she comes to unlocking the mystery of her own origins. What she discovers about herself could destroy everything she knows . . . and everyone she loves. Is finding the truth worth the risk?
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 2nd 2015 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN 1250020123 (ISBN13: 9781250020123)
Kindergarten teacher, Raye Larsen, finds that she has a talent for helping ghosts cross over. The kink in the whole cross over thing, is she has to find out how they died. She feels like she’s an outsider because she doesn’t fit in with the blonde hair blue eye majority of the community. Arriving just in time to save Raye from a murderer, is the Gorgeous and tormented by his own past, Bobby Doucet. He’s a New Orleans, Creoles bred, Homicide detective, who is tracking a serial killer. Can Raye and Bobby join forces? The characters are very likable, well developed and deeply complexed. Raye is Loyal, strong, outcast and smart. Bobby, is more of a rationalist, and very skeptical when it comes to Raye and her abilities. The story is very engaging with its suspenseful mystery, 1600’s historical aspects and paranormal elements. It is a story that is woven in complexity. Writing was descriptive. Using a compatible first person and third person point of views. There are some pretty gory parts. Fortunately not so bad I couldn’t get pass myself (I don’t really do gory). The romance was good and steamy. Overall I recommend this book. It was a great read and has earned 5 stars with me.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I sold my first novel in 1993. Since then I've written over 50 in multiple genres--historical, contemporary, series, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and historical fantasy.
I've been nominated five times for the RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, winning twice, for Best Paranormal and Best Long Series Contemporary.
I've written several series:The Nightcreature Novels, The Phoenix Chronicles, The Shakespeare Undead series, The Luchetti Brothers, the Rock Creek Six, and now the Sisters of the Craft as well as numerous stand alone novels, I've also written a gritty, sensual western historical romance seriies-once Upon a Time in the West- under the name Lori Austin.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? What inspired you to write your first book?
I remember panicking when I was 10 that I'd read all the books in the world and then what would I do. I figured that if I wrote them myself, I'd never be out of reading material. However, I didn't start writing my first book until I was expecting my second son. I'd joined Romance Writers of America and my local chapter sponsored a contest so I thought "why not try something?" I won the contest and I was hooked on writing romance.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I start out with a yellow legal pad and just let everything in my head flow onto the page. Next I have a conflict grid, plot grid I developed from The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. This gives me turning points and climaxes and the ending, which is all I like to know ahead of time. What the characters do on their own is always much more interesting than what I plan for them to do. They never listen anyway.In Twitter Fashion use 140 characters or less, sum your book for us.
In the Air Tonight begins the Sisters of the Craft trilogy with Raye, who's always seen ghosts and Bobby who believes in nothing of the sort.How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?
Books take me about 6 months to write these days. I did have a rough time finishing this trilogy since my mother became ill during the writing of it. As I'm an only child, this required a lot of juggling in my schedule. There were a lot of long days, tiring nights and pretty much everything but Mom and the book was put on hold.Will we be seeing a following book to this stories?
In the Air Tonight is the first book in a back to back trilogy about three witch sisters, which will be available in June, July, August 2015.
|Sisters of the Craft|
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?
I saw all three covers together since my publisher purposely made the covers to flow together. If you look at them one after the other you see how the sisters' hair flows into the next book. This is something that happens in the books when the sisters are together. I loved it!Do you have any strange writing habits?
I need complete silence to get into a book. I'm not sure when that started since I used to write with two little boys in the house. But in the past few years, earplugs have become my best friend.If you didn’t like writing books (Which you do), would would you see yourself doing for a living?
I went to school to be a high school English teacher so I suspect I'd be doing that.Do you have any favorite conferences you attend? What are they?
I always attend the Romance Writers of America conference and the Novelist's Inc conference.If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Invisibilitywhat secret talents do you have?
I took 8 years of guitar lessons, not sure I could still play though.Where is one place you would like to visit that you haven't been before?
ScotlandWhat is something you hope to accomplish before you die?
Be inducted into the Romance Writers Hall of FameIf you could have any accent for anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
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I reached my classroom only a minute or two after my class did. Still, David had already painted himself turquoise and Susan had picked the lock on the scissors drawer.
I was really going to have to keep my eye on Susan.
"Stafford told us to."
As Stafford was laughing his forever five-year-old butt off right behind them I believed it.
I'd hoped that working with children would lessen my exposure to ghosts, and it had, but not completely. Stafford was a case in point. The tow-headed, blue-eyed imp was as dead as the scary lady on Avenue B. He liked to whisper naughty suggestions into the ears of my students then laugh and laugh at the chaos he caused.
When I was four, I stopped talking about the people no one saw but me. However I never stopped seeing them. Most children do--right around the time they start to speak--but not all of them. Some see and hear spirits for a little while longer. These were the ones Stafford haunted.
I'd tried to discover how long the child had been walking through the walls of my school, but, predictably, no one had ever seen him but me. The previous kindergarten teacher only stared at me blankly when I asked if any of her students had spoken of an invisible friend. Which made me think Stafford was newly dead. Except there was no record of a child of that name dying in New Bergin or anywhere close enough to warrant his presence.
Regardless of how devious my queries or how long I cajoled, he never gave me any information on himself whatsoever. No matter what I said, Stafford would not cross over. He liked causing trouble too much.
Today was no different. The kids behaved as if someone had slipped them chocolate covered circus peanuts for breakfast. I felt like I was taming lions. When the last bell rang, I ushered them out, hoping for better tomorrows; then I locked my classroom door and had a conversation with Stafford.
"I'm starting to think you want to get someone killed so you won't be lonely."
Confusion flickered across his deceptively sweet face. "I'm not lonely. I have you."
"What about your mother?"
Wariness replaced the confusion. "What about her?"
"Is she still alive?"
It wasn't very nice of me to sic Stafford on his mother, but seriously, why me?
"If she is," I continued, "you could visit."
I doubted this would work--Stafford seemed attached to the school and therefore he probably couldn't leave to haunt-I mean "visit"-his mother. But I was desperate.
"If she isn't, you could still visit."
Once he was on the other side, I didn't think he could come back. At least none of the other ghosts I'd convinced to go into the light ever had.
"Stafford?" His eyes met mine. "Your mother?"
He looked away and didn't answer.
"How about your father?"
One of the florescent bulbs flickered.
"Stop that," I said.
"You stop that," he returned.
I had to bite my lip to keep myself from continuing the childish exchange. "I just want you to--"
The ghost child disappeared.
"Come back here!"
All the lights in the room went out. I didn't bother to check the fuse or the switch. Been there, done that. The only way they would go back on was if Stafford wanted them to. Which was usually after I'd called Mr. Jorgenson, head of maintenance--ie the janitor. He would arrive to investigate thirty seconds after all the lights went back on. Then he would point out that every bulb was fully functioning and shake his head at the foolish female who'd probably neglected to flip the switch in the first place. As he was unable to hear Stafford's laughter, I could hardly blame him.
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