Friday, December 6, 2013

Ghost Lover

Today's special guest is Liza O'Connor.
Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog, Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.


I love the ghostly element in your book. Have you ever seen a ghost yourself?

In fact, I live with a ghost. Not a sexy one like Lassier. My co-resident is the original owner of my house, Mrs. Martin. The dear old lady died in her bed and the first thing she did is chase her ill-tempered husband out of her house. A lovely young family bought the house. Eventually, the family grew to seven: the parents and five fabulous young girls. Mrs. Martin never had any children and I think she fell in love with those girls. Thus, when I bought the house, she was a bit noisy (boards constantly creaking and doors opening). I believe she was searching for the girls she’d grown to love.

Eventually, she settled down (boards stopped creaking), still she keeps moving my area rugs and she does NOT like having men sleep in her room. That’s happened twice. She managed to chase a male house-sitter out of her bedroom, but not my dad. However, she did get his attention with all her stomping and huffing. First I knew of the problem was when he came into the kitchen and asked if I had a ghost. I laughed and admitted I did. My dad is probably the least ‘sensitive’ person in the world. I could only imagine how much trouble she had getting his attention. Poor woman was probably exhausted.

I also love the fact that the book is set in an old castle. Can you tell us how you envisioned the castle? Did you visit existing castles to get an idea, or did the setting just come alive in your mind?

The Durrans built the original castle in the 12th century. Protecting the inhabitants would have been its main purpose back then, thus it had a moat and lots of small openings to shoot arrows from and protect the heavy wooden door.

However, the Durrans, while not always nice, were excellent at protecting and growing what was theirs, so each generation expanded and modified the original castle until today, it looks like this.

The original tower is to the far right in this picture. And unlike most modern castles, the moat was never filled in, however erosion over time has reduced both its depth and width and now it is hidden by the foliage. A permanent flat steel bridge provides access to the castle now.

Let me show you the castle from Senna’s viewpoint.

Senna took in the ancient castle towering above her. An ageless mystique emanated from the stone fortress. She walked forward and placed her hand onto the archway framing the massive carved wood doors. The rough stone felt cold to her touch, but oddly familiar, as if she belonged here.
They walked through an entryway of dark mahogany cabinets and benches and entered a massive room with cathedral ceilings. A sweeping stone staircase curled toward them from the right, looking like a giant cat’s paw. A thick wooden table, at least fifteen feet in length, dominated the center of the room. Modern couches and chairs gathered on the left side, creating a smaller oasis within the overwhelming larger space

And of course, there’s a dungeon, even if Gar insists the dungeon is long gone and is now a wine cellar. As proof it still exists, Lassier, the ghost warns Senna never to go down into the dungeon where several ghosts are chained for eternity.

The two English brothers are very different. Can you describe Brendon and Garrison for us?

Brendon lives life for the moment, and thinks making love is the finest pleasure on earth.

He possesses a boyish charm, but to ensure the chicks don’t think him too boyish, he’s grown a small goatee to make him more sensual. Apparently it works. The only female he has not seduced is Senna. Even when they marry, she intends never to have sex with him. Given he’ll never be faithful, it is the only way she save herself from a broken heart.

Gar is a throwback to Lassier’s father who only loved one woman his entire life.

 As the story begins, he’s a bit grumpy and discontented with life. He dates, but he cannot find anyone to suit him. He has a great deal of responsibilities, not just controlling the multitude of ancestral ghosts in the castle, but taking care of his brother. And now, he has a new worry. Recently, Brendon called and offered to return some priceless teacups if Gar would buy plane tickets for him and his fiancĂ©e to come home. The young woman has ‘gold digger’ written all over her and there is no way Gar will allow her to take Brendon’s fortune.

Tell us about Senna, and what causes her to leave her apartment in the United States and travel to a castle in England to begin a new life.

Brendon guessed Senna’s bank code and withdrew $400 from her bank account, causing her rent check to bounce. The landlord, upon hearing she wouldn’t have the money for three weeks and then she would need more time to pay for next month’s rent, handed her an eviction notice and said he wanted her out by the end of the week.

What was she to do? She had no money to rent another place. She had no friends to take her in. She feared she’d be on the street, homeless and would soon lose her job as well—no one likes a smelly employee.

While Brendon couldn’t return the $400, he offered a better alternative than her becoming homeless and stinky. She could go with him to England. His trust fund had a half million, and if she married him, she could take charge of the money and spend it wisely for the both of them.

The idea of marrying Brendon terrified her, but she agreed on two conditions.

1) She received proof he had a half million. (The way his eyes sparkled when he spoke of the money made her question its existence.)

2) She would never, ever, ever have sex with him. Given his propensity to jump the bones of every girl he meets, the only way she saw this ever working out is if she never fell in love with him, because otherwise, he would break her heart.

Brendon agreed, and off they went to the airport, where Brendon almost causes them to miss their flight because he’s shagging a contortionist in the broom closet of the bar.

It puts her in a surly mood, which bodes badly for her first encounter with Gar, who is also in a surly mood because of Brendon’s recent phone call home.

So the ‘homecoming’ may be a bit rough.


Two sexy English brothers. One irresistible ghost. Who would you choose as your lover?

Completely broke and with a criminal record to boot, Senna Smith is one day from eviction from her apartment when Brendon, her promiscuous roommate from London, suggests she go to England, marry him, and manage his fortune. With few other options, she agrees to an open marriage. But she’ll never, ever, have sex with him, knowing if she falls in love with him, he’ll break her heart.

As trustee of Brendon’s family fortune, there is no way Brendon’s older brother, Garrison Durran, is going to let him marry a self-professed American gold-digger. As Senna tries to embrace castle life and English society for Brendon’s sake, Gar discovers Senna is the perfect woman for him--beautiful and intelligent, kind and caring. Now, if she wasn’t already engaged to his brother…

The ancestral ghost of Durran Castle has to intervene if the Durran brothers have any chance of an heir. He can’t leave them to fix matters on their own. They are useless buggers when it comes to love. As counselor to Gar, matchmaker for Brendon, and lover to Senna, a ghost’s work is never done.

CONTENT WARNING: Allergy warning: Ghost cat in book.  


 “So my brother steals all your money and to compensate you, he suggests you come to England, marry him, and he’ll give you his trust fund.” Only his brother could contrive such an absurd plan.

“Yes.” By her brief answer, he gathered she thought it a perfectly reasonable solution.

His brother might be an idiot, but this gold digger would soon discover Gar a force to reckon with. “Did he steal a half million from your bank account?”

Brendon laughed. “Do you have any idea how long that would take? Cash machines only allow you two visits a day at two hundred dollars a pop.”

“How much did he take?” Gar restated his question.

“Four hundred,” Senna replied.

Gar stared up at the ceiling praying for patience, then glared at Ditz. “So why didn’t you pay her back the four hundred?”

Ditz stubbornly refused to answer, and instead glanced at the girl.

She sighed and faced Gar. “Precisely what I asked. He said he didn’t have the four hundred, but if I married him, he would come into a half million. Since the landlord planned to evict me, I really had no choice but to accept the offer.”


Liza will be awarding a digital copy of "Worst Week Ever" to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and a grand prize of one $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her Virtual Book Tour. 

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