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Friday, June 24, 2016

Devil's Promenade: A World of Gothic: The US


Welcome to my blog. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing award winning author Alicia Dean. Alicia, thanks so much for talking to me and the readers.

Thanks, Elaine. It's nice to be here.

1.Tell us a little bit about yourself. Be sure to include your links so we can find you on the web.

I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I have a full-time job as legal assistant in a divorce law firm. I am an editor for The Wild Rose Press and much busier than I should be, but I love what I do, all of it, so I don’t see any plans to slow down in the near future. I’m divorced with three grown children, although one temporarily resides with me.

You can find me here:

·      Website: https://aliciadean.com/
·      Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Alicia-Dean-559598754221926/?fref=ts (I play fun games on Facebook and give away a $25 gift card each month, and a random $10 gift card just for commenting)
·      Sign up for the Novel Notes Authors newsletter by me and four of my author friends. Great articles, book deals, and we give away an Amazon gift card each month: https://www.facebook.com/NovelNotesAuthors/?fref=ts
·      Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

2.I didn't know that you were an editor for The Wild Rose Press. I have a book with them myself. How did your writing career begin?

I’ve wanted to write since I was a child. I set it aside when I married and was raising my children. In 2001, I took a class with author Mel Odom that renewed my desire to publish. In 2007, Wild Rose Press published my first novel, Nothing to Fear.

3.I think it's wonderful that your dream came true. Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write?

Ha, well, I write in many genres, but my favorite genre is suspense, so I would say Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane are my favorites in that genre.

4.What's the best part of being an author?

The joy of creating worlds, characters, and stories that didn’t exist until you made them exist.

5.LOL. That's exactly the way I feel about it. Would you share an excerpt from one of your books with us? 

Here is the blurb and opening for my upcoming gothic mystery romance, Devil’s Promenade ~ A World of Gothic: United States. It’s part of a series I’m doing with other authors, and each novella is only 99 cents. Mine releases June 30, but is available for pre-order here: https://amzn.com/B01GNGTU96

Blurb:

Amidst a blizzard, paranormal debunker Camille Burditt arrives at Devil’s Promenade in Oklahoma to research a supernatural 'spook light' phenomenon for her latest book. There she encounters a ghostly being, which she dismisses as a figment of her imagination. But as the apparition becomes too persistent to deny, Camille realizes the woman’s ghost is quite real—and that her demise was not accidental. 

Declan Rush—the inhospitable, reclusive owner of the inn where Camille is staying—is linked to the deceased woman, but he is less than forthcoming. Despite his unfriendliness, Camille is oddly drawn to him, even though she suspects his connection to the spirit might be that of killer to victim. 

When another suspicious death occurs, Camille intensifies her investigation. She has precious little time to ferret out the truth. Not only is her book deadline looming—she's desperate to discover if the man she’s falling for is a murderer. 


Excerpt:

Chapter One
I peered through the snow-dusted windshield at the large house looming in the evening dusk. From behind the wheel, my driver, Rita, made a sound that was somewhere between a squeak of trepidation and a sigh of admiration.
“It’s huge. And gorgeous, but kind of creepy, don’t you think?” Her eyes were big and round behind the lenses of her black cat-eye frames.
“It is indeed.” The sprawling house was a combination of southern plantation and Greek revival architecture; painted white and trimmed in a darker colored molding—perhaps forest green. The exact color was difficult to make out in the descending dusk. Narrow, darkened floor-to-ceiling windows peeked from between a portico of six Doric columns. Hanging by chains above the porch, a wooden board flapped in the icy wind. Spook light Bed and Breakfast. The sign should have been welcoming, yet a shiver of foreboding clawed across my skin.
Might as well get over that silliness. This would be my home for the next two weeks, or however long I needed to research the Tri-State Spook light—a phenomenon supposedly seen at the border of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas—for my book, Otherworldly Occurrences. I grunted a laugh. The only thing otherworldly about this place was its location thousands of miles from my warm, sunny home in Florida.
I glanced at Rita. Frizzy hair surrounded an oval face that seemed to have paled further since we arrived at the mansion.  “Thank you for the ride. It was nice getting to know you.” My publisher had sent Rita to pick me up at the airport in Joplin and drive me to my destination in Quapaw, Oklahoma. She was friendly and chatty, and the forty-five minute trip had flown by quickly. I looked back out the window at the imposing structure. Maybe a little too quickly.
I reached for the door handle, but I hesitated, filled by an odd reluctance. I wanted to stay within the warm confines of the SUV, say to heck with the book, return the advance I’d received, and forget I’d ever been to the area known as Devil’s Promenade.
But, despite my lack of enthusiasm and disbelief in the supernatural—the book should probably be sold as fiction, rather than non-fiction—writing paid the bills. I needed to suck it up and get on with it. Besides, the last place I wanted to be right now was home, at least until Valentine’s Day—and the wedding—were over.
Rita gently squeezed my arm through my thick coat, bringing my attention back to her. “I enjoyed getting to know you too, Cami.” She popped the back lift gate with the inside lever, letting in a blast of icy air. “I’ll help with your luggage.”
“No, I’ve got it. No sense in both of us freezing to death.” I handed her a tip, slipped on my gloves, and then, bracing myself, opened the door. Cold wind buffeted me. I had to struggle to climb out of the car. Boots crunching over the snow, I hurried to the back and grabbed my rolling suitcase and overnight bag. I’d packed light. The website said laundry facilities were available, so I saw no point in lugging an entire two-week’s wardrobe.
Head down, I tromped through the snow, shivering even in my warm coat as I tugged my case along the path. Other than the dim light glowing from the porch and the half-moon hovering in the black sky, the evening throbbed with a blackness deeper than any I’d ever experienced. Murky silence pressed around me. I’d never heard such an absence of sound, never seen—no, felt such darkness.
I was a few feet from the steps when the sound of a throaty bark, followed by a high-pitched keening broke the stillness. Before the noise abated, another identical howl rose.
My footsteps halted, my knees weakening. What was that? Dogs? Coyotes? A shudder raced over my spine. At home in Miami, I didn’t encounter wild animals, other than the occasional feral cat. The thought of being in close proximity with dangerous wildlife was completely unexpected—and alarming. I glanced around at the nearby woods.
How close were the creatures? Close enough to lunge, knock me to the ground, sink their sharp teeth into my throat, gouge my flesh until blood spurted in a red torrent, draining my life as I screamed in agonized terror…?
I vigorously shook my head. Stop it, Cami. Geez. Where had that thought come from? For such a pragmatic person, I was certainly entertaining fanciful notions.
Shifting the strap of my purse and carryall higher on my shoulder, I ascended the stairs to the porch. I reached out a gloved hand for the brass knocker, but before I touched it, the door swung open.
An attractive middle-aged woman, blonde hair piled atop her head in a messy, yet somehow sophisticated bun, smiled warmly from inside the doorway. Behind her, dim lighting glowed in a foyer elegantly appointed in gold and ivory.
“You must be Camille Burditt. I’m Loretta Delgado, welcome to Spook Light Bed and Breakfast.” She stepped back and extended a welcoming arm. “Please, come in, you must be frozen solid.”
“Yes, thank you,” I managed through chattering teeth.
I started to step forward and something cold—colder than the frigid February air—brushed along my nape beneath my damp hair. I gasped and whirled, looking back out into the night. A brief glow penetrated the snowy dusk, then was gone.
“Are you okay, dear?”
It took a moment to respond, but I nodded, attempting to make sense of what had just happened. Tremors vibrated through my stomach, and I swallowed a knot of fear. Was that the spook light? No, of course it wasn’t. The house sat several yards back from the road where the light had been seen—well, where people claimed they’d seen it. Those alleged sightings had been between the hours of ten p.m. and sunrise. This was much too early. So, what had I seen? Not a ghost. Specters didn’t exist, except in the imaginings of weak-minded people who needed something to believe in.
Nothing, that’s what I’d seen. I was just exhausted and freaked out by the remote wildness of my surroundings. But I could have sworn…
Nothing, it was nothing.
I hurried across the threshold, breathing a sigh of relief when the heavy oak door shut out the blackness, the eerie sounds, and the spot where I’d witnessed the inexplicable glow that was positively, definitely and for certain, not a ghost.


*** A World of Gothic is a Gothic Mystery Romance Series by authors from all over the world. For information on other titles and for interesting tidbits on mysteries and the authors, check out A World of Gothic Facebook page: 

Find the books here:


Alicia, thanks so much for visiting my blog. Your excerpt set a truly gothic feel!



14 comments:

Diane Burton said...

Pre-ordered my copy. I love gothic mysteries. Cut my teeth on Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Best wishes, Alicia.

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

Pre-ordered mine, too! I love how you get our hearts beating overtime right from the start!Is there really such a thing as the spook lights? Best wishes for DEVIL'S PROMENADE!

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you so much, Diane! I also love those old gothics. It's so much fun to write them too. I hope you enjoy!

Alicia Dean said...

Aww, thank you too, M.J. YES, as a matter of fact, there is. And, they are about 15 miles from where my sister lives, which is 200 miles from me. My writer friends and I took a road trip in March to check it out. We sort of might have seen the spook light. Oh, and the area is actually called 'Devil's Promenade.' Cool, huh? :)

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Great interview and excerpt Ali!
Good luck and God's blessings.
PamT

Linda Carroll-Bradd said...

I like Diane read Holt and Whitney, mostly because the books were ones my mother left on the table next to her favorite chair. Although the Gothic heroines of the 1970s were not as interesting as the ones featured today. Love the professional title "paranormal debunker" which tells me about the heroine's personality. How great you did firsthand research on the "lights." Research road trips are fun. Best of luck with the new release.

Ashantay said...

What a great excerpt! You know I don't like scary reading all that much, but your hook has me...hooked. Best wishes on your upcoming release! BTW - we have "spook lights" here in the mountains, too. Let me know when you're up for a long road trip east!

Marissa Garner said...

Great interview and terrific excerpt! Best of luck with your book.

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Love Gothic, love the excerpt. You're in good company with this one. Thanks so much for sharing, Alicia, and thank you, Elaine, for hosting.

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you, Pam...I appreciate you stopping by and the kind words!

Alicia Dean said...

Hi Linda...thank you! No, they were not as interesting, but there was still something compelling about those stories and the mood/atmosphere. Yes, I like 'paranormal debunker' which was a suggestion from one of the other authors in the Gothic series. It was lots of fun!

Alicia Dean said...

Ha, Ashantay. This is 'scary light,' I promise. Just a little spooky but not all that scary. Thanks so much!

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you, Marissa! I am so glad you stopped by!

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you, Elizabeth. I'm so glad there are still so many gothic lovers out there. I appreciate the kind words and wishes!