· Do you have a specific writing style?
I tend to prefer short sentences, staccato style, and my descriptions are to the point rather than long-winded.
· How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
The series involve an eternal bond between a Spirit and his human, hence the “forever”. I had used this word in my first book, and I thought it would tie the whole series together. The “and one week” refers to the one-week deal offered by my heroine to her Spirit.
· Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
It depends. So far, I had written the books first, then given them a title. But for number three, I have decided on a title first. Just like my writing, I’m a seat of the pants title chooser, so I decide whenever the time feels right.
· If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Stephen King. There are no long, boring description or complicated, headache-giving plot line, yet the atmosphere is undeniable, and the characters full of life. His writing style looks deceptively effortless, which makes reading just as effortless. And that’s what I think makes a great writer.
· What books are in your to read pile?
The latest books by Simone St James, Lisa Gardner and Phil Rickman. Unlike a lot of people, my TBR list is tiny, because I don’t search for a book unless I have time to read one. And if I find it, I read it there and then.
· What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
I am taking a break from the Spirits of Saoradh series, to pen down a contemporary romance, titled “Recipe for disaster”. I haven’t ironed out the details yet as I’ve written maybe twenty per cent of the first draft, but it features a successful writer and his private chef. When they decide to pretend of a love relationship between them, they expect their lie to remain trivial and useful to the both of them, but their deception will soon spiral out of control.
· Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Please bear in mind it hasn’t been edited yet.
Faded jeans and long sleeve top on, Ellie gathered her chef’s whites neatly on the bed, retrieved the shopping list, and set out for the exit.
“Elena is wonderful, Hunter,” the female voice said. “She’s smart, polite and very classy. Stop being such a mule. Give her a chance. And I’ve already organized a meeting, so you can’t refuse.”
An older woman, silver hair tied up in a neat bun, was smoking in the hall. Heavy lipstick marked the cigarette, and dark eye-shadow defined her eyes. Her chic grey suit and patterned scarf denoted money and style. Hunter stood in front of her, his annoyance visible.
“Grams, why do you keep insisting on pairing me up with every eligible woman who crosses your path? I told you, oh, a hundred times, I am not interested. I’m big enough to sort out my own love life, thank you.”
She shushed him with a dismissive wave. “At your age, I was already married to my second husband.”
“See how well it served you,” he grumbled. “And I’m not going to that freaking meeting. End of.”
She pulled on her cigarette and blew smoke high. “So you prefer banging your half-witted floozies rather than make an intelligent woman your respectable wife?”
Hunter crossed his arms. “One, you know why I don’t want to marry again.”
“Two, you have no right to tell me how to live my life. What I do and who I bang, as you call it, is my business, not yours. Three, you’re the most pathetic matchmaker I’ve ever met. Your taste in women sucks.”
“Sure, because your choices have been so enlightened.”
“That’s rich coming from you. How many men have you married and divorced again? Remind me.”
“I’ve loved them all, Hunter, which is more than I can say for you and your women.”
“Are you insinuating that I’m a cold blooded pig?”
Back hunched, Ellie lifted her heels to avoid the clacking of her shoes and prayed to remain inconspicuous by hugging the wall. She caught Hunter’s glance but he didn’t seem to care.
“There’s another reason why I can’t meet this Elena,” he said.
“Oh, really?” She pulled on her cigarette. “And what dumb new excuse have you found?”
“I have a girlfriend already.”
He had? Ellie couldn’t stop a weight falling on her chest and squashing her over-zealous hormones. So much for an eligible bachelor. Not that anything could have happened between them since he was her employer, but she hadn’t dismissed some light flirting, outside working hours. Why were handsome men always taken?
Ah, never mind. As long as he enjoyed her cooking and learnt to broaden his culinary experience, she’d be satisfied.
She had her hand on the metal handle, ready to push it and leave, when she heard the next sentences.
“Her, by the door.”
· Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have to say Agatha Christie, because she’s the only author whose books I’ve re-read. The storyline isn’t pretentious, the writing style isn’t over-flowery, the characters aren’t dramatic or larger than life, and I think that’s why I find it easy to fall back into her world. Pure escapism.
· Do you have any advice for other writers?
Inform yourself. Read writing blogs and books, scrutinize your favourite author’s style, and listen to impartial advice from beta readers and reviewers. There is a lot more to the writing craft than I first imagined and I’m still learning every day.
· Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
Just for fun
· If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
Maybe not a superpower as such, but having never-ending luck would be awesome. Luck defines everything. You can never lose, never fail, never get sick. I would use it each and every day, and would gift it for specific event to friends and family!
Forever and One Week
Spirits of Saoradh
Genre: Paranormal romance
Date of Publication: 24th April 2016
Number of pages: 262
Word Count: 78.5K
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
The Spirits of Saoradh, who carry the guilt of a crime they committed when they were alive, now spend their ghostly days in the Void, dark nothingness where time and space are distorted. Until they get bound to a human. As often as needed, that human can call them to the real world, ask them to grant a wish, then send them back to the Void. The Spirits also have to follow strict rules or be punished, unaware that they can earn their redemption through a selfless sacrifice.
Spirit Logan despises the obedience he has to show to his humans, and prefers the enjoyable solitude of the Void. For three years, he has managed to threaten them into severing their bond, thus having his memory wiped of their existence. Except his latest human, an emotionless woman with a secret past, isn’t scared of him. Worse, she doesn’t care about his ability to make wishes come true.
Tessa, a twenty-six-year-old nursery teacher in Fort William, Scotland, doesn’t expect a sullen ghost only she can see and touch to burst through her solid defences. Both dismayed and intrigued, she offers Logan a deal he can’t refuse: to live with her in the human world for one week, at the end of which she will agree to release him.
Slowly, Tessa braves through the safety of her detachment towards people to show Logan some kindness. But the more her feelings deepen, the more Logan increases his distance…
“What the hell do you want?”
The sharpness of his voice didn’t shock her as much as him turning up in her dining room. She presented the coffee tin to the Spirit lurking in the shadowed corner. She didn’t notice herself pressing on the metal until it created a dent.
“I would like a full one, please.”
If he could fill the can with the same beans he had used the last time he had granted her wish, she would cry in happiness. His coffee had tasted like smooth chocolate with a hint of bitter nuttiness. The fruity flavour of her usual brand had suddenly vanished to blandness.
“Are you asking for freaking coffee again? Are you serious?”
Her extended arm began to ache. “Please, and I need some painting supplies, too.”
He crossed his arms. She couldn’t watch the expression on his face as it was bathed in darkness, but his posture was relaxed. “I thought you didn’t need me.” The sarcasm was drenched in triumph.
She brought the empty tin to her chest. He hadn’t been cross at her for her lack of reaction yesterday. He had been cross because he had been unable to rebuff her. “I take it you won’t give me anything.” She threw the tin in the bin.
Feet spread out in front of her fridge, she opted for the last of the yoghurts, the lemon flavour one she hated. Why the supermarkets insisted on using this vile fruit in their value range, she had no idea. Paper lid removed, she tucked into her breakfast without enthusiasm, standing in the middle of the room.
“Are you kidding me?”
She carried on eating, bracing herself for what was to come.
“Hey—” He grunted with annoyance. “Hell, I don’t even know your name.”
“Tessa.” The slightly acidic and too-sweet yoghurt churned her stomach.
“Well, Tessa, you need to wish for it. I can’t get you anything until you use the proper word. Say it.”
She plunged her spoon in the foul creaminess. “What’s the point? You’re going to refuse me anyway.”
His arms unfolded as he levitated, crossed-legged, elbows wide. His fingertips drummed his thighs with increasing speed. “Try me.”
She didn’t bother replying. She knew his kind. People who had to have their way because they considered themselves so much smarter than others. Tessa dealt with them with casual indifference, because that meant they wouldn’t search for trouble. They would leave her alone.
He grated that part of her she had put to sleep a long time ago.
She didn’t like it.
Not one bit.
Yet it compelled her, like a chickenpox itch you know you shouldn’t scratch but can’t resist.
Once she had dropped the empty yoghurt pot in the bin, she proceeded to wash her spoon, aware of a glare cutting a hole at the back of her head. She wiped the cutlery dry with slow movements, blew on it then polished it. The sound of fingertips on denim was getting louder in her ears. So he was getting frustrated.
She couldn’t wait for his next move.
Water running from the tap, she rinsed her sponge, soaked it in a lavender-scented cleaning spray and wiped every nook and cranny, from the sink to the kitchen counter, with deliberate fussiness. She lifted her kettle and her toaster, pushed her plant to the left, then back to its place, and scrubbed those pesky corners. The cupboard doors were next, after a few more sprays of lavender.
If I started singing, would that be too much?
His hoarse breathing had turned into a low growl.
But she was too far gone to stop. So when her wrist got captured by a powerful hand, an unexpected thrill coursed through her.
“Say it,” he ordered. “Say how much you wish for coffee.”
His grip was painful. Implacable. It brought her back to reality, chased away that stupid excitement she never should have pursued. Logan was just like everyone else. No doubt he would resort to violence because she had taunted him. Because she hadn’t done as she was told.
So she shut herself down, and let him pull her to face him.
“Jesus Christ, not again.” He yanked his hand away from her.
Images of her mother flashed like a nightmare. She had to concentrate to keep her vision focused on him.
“How can you go from provoking me to this lifeless thing?”
She rubbed her wrist, where his print had marked her flesh. He could scream as much as he wanted and take out his anger on her. A calm resolution had flooded her senses. It shielded her soul. Nothing would hurt now. The soft glow of his eyes had intensified to blazing gold, a sheer contrast to his reddening face. His eyebrows were so low they could cast their own shadow over his cheeks. And his lips…
A painful twinge hit her in the throat.
His bottom lip was cut, the blood dried up as a crust. But it was his neck that had her stumbling back against her sink. It had two perfectly parallel, crimson crevices crossing from one side to the other. She was no expert, but these scars were fresh, and made by a razor-sharp blade. She could swear it.
His tirade halted abruptly.
He seemed to hesitate between retreating in the corner and standing his ground. That he chose the latter didn’t surprise her.
“That’s none of your business,” he replied to her silent question.
About the Author:
Born in France, Caroline studied hotel management before spending a couple of years in England, Ireland and Belgium. In 2001, she and her husband settled close to the Loch Ness monster in the Highlands of Scotland, and soon, two children and about thirteen fish joined them.
Dramatic scenes are her favourite to work on, which is perhaps a reminiscence of those teenage years when every single one of her stories had to end in epic tragedy (Shakespeare had nothing on her). Thankfully, these days, she veers towards the happy-ever-after finale set in a glorious orange and red sunset.
Apart from writing, she loves digital fantasy art, loud rock music, and anything weird and new for her to discover.