THANKFUL AUTHOR BLOG ROUNDUP
Featuring Ashley Ladd
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, cats, and playing on the computer.
She's often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.
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Welcome to the blog Ashley, can you tell me three words that describe
yourself starting with A, B, and C?
A for Adventurous
B for Blessed
C for Charitable
What are your three favorite things?
What for you is the best part of writing? What is the worst?
The best part of writing is living vicariously in the worlds I create, through my heroines. If they’re an FBI agent, so am I. If they’re getting loved up, so am I. If they’re slaying a dragon so am I.
The worst is having to come out of my shell and promote. I’m on the shy side and I don’t do well putting myself in front of crowds, even on Facebook and Twitter much less in person.
Is here a process you stick to, or do you just write as it hits you?
I’m a real pantser and write as the ideas strike me. I’ll continue to brainstorm and research for ideas as I’m writing the story.
Was there any particular inspiration for your characters or story?
About ten years ago I attended a romance writers’ convention in French Lick, Indiana at the French Lick Springs Resort which is haunted. We begged the staff until they took us on a ghost tour. Supposedly the former owner Thomas Taggart still haunts the 13th floor and still rides his horse down the corridor. We weren’t allowed onto that corridor but we got close and it was spooky. Since then I promised myself I’d write a romance about a haunted hotel. I never intended to wait so long.
How much is your character like you?
Whereas some of my characters share some of my traits, Deanna in Spooky Sojourn doesn’t really share any particular traits with me.
Music is a big influence on my writing. I have certain songs that inspire each chapter, or the whole book. What helps to inspire you?
Music also inspires me too. I listened to a lot of Harry Connick Jr., Frank Sinatra, and Bobby Darrin music while writing this book. The hotel and the hero feel like throwbacks to a more charming time when that music was in vogue.
I also read a lot of hotel message boards to inspire me and get me in the mood about hotels.
What’s the one thing you would do if you could be your character for a day?
I think it would be fun to chase ghosts. I love to do genealogy and I would love to hunt down my ancestors and let them dish to me about family events, a couple of them in particular.
What is the ultimate goal you have for your career?
To see at least one of my books on the New York Times best seller list.
To write at least 100 stories and see them all published before I die. So far, 73 are published.
Describe your perfect day?
To play on the beach with my boy friend or husband, then make out under the sun by the surf for a long, sexy afternoon.
As the holidays approach, what traditions do you have?
We decorate our house of course. My employer gives us a ham for Thanksgiving and we get together with my oldest daughter and her wife and kids and my father in law for a long, pleasant family day. We usually cook all evening before and most of the morning before the dinner. Often at least one or two friends join us. Ditto Christmas except we do a ton of shopping first then watch my grandchildren open their toys before we adults exchange our gifts.
Will there be more books in your series, or can you tell us about any previous books?
Spooky Sojourn is a standalone book, so no. My previous book was a male-male erotic contemporary romance named ‘Business or Pleasure’ which pitted a staunch animal activist/vegetarian against a real estate agent whose family owned the largest barbecue joint in town, a virtual monument to eating meat.
When not writing, what can you be found doing?
Working in customer service at my day job. Hanging out with my adult children and my friends. We go to movies and a lot. We went to Universal and Islands of Adventure this past weekend. Lately I’ve been promoting my writing a lot and reading also. I also love to play with my cats and do genealogy and scrapbooking.
Favorite item of clothing in your closet?
My black work slacks. My black Mary Jane style work shoes. My New Balance gym shoes. A black and white peasant top. A new t-shirt I bought at Universal this weekend (Soft Kitty from Big Bang Theory). A tan color leather coat. A black leather jacket. A violet shirt with winged sleeves. An olive green work shirt with a cowl neck. Several black tank tops.
If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?
Johnny Galecki from the Big Bang Theory. He makes me smile and laugh. He seems like a really cool and nice guy. Maybe he’d introduce me to the rest of the cast. I love that show. I get cranky when I don’t get to watch it for a day.
Title: Spooky Sojourn
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary Erotic male-female contemporary paranormal romance
Book Length: 50,000 words
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!
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.
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