THE GHOST OF HER EX by Aletta Thorne -- What happens when the ghost of your ex just can’t leave you alone? ***Interview with the Author -- Excerpt -- Giveaway***
The Ghost of Her Ex
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romance, Ghost Stories
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Date of Publication: October 23, 2018
Number of pages: 193
Word Count: 56,000
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
What happens when the ghost of your ex just can’t leave you alone?
Just because she’s sixty-three, cynical, and a church musician, Emily Rauch is hardly done with life—or love.
Now that she’s traded in her old barn of a place for a tiny house in the hills, Emily’s ready for a new start.
Throw in one enormous pipe organ, two ghosts, a pot dealer named Santa Claus, the reappearance of Emily’s bad-boy college squeeze, and a blizzard...what could possibly go wrong?
An Interview with Aletta Thorne
Welcome to JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
Tell us about your newest book.
It’s a ghost story, a sexy love story, and a mother-daughter story. The main character is a woman in her 60’s, a classical musician, a church organist. But she’s wildly irreverent, and she curses like a sailor. I love my characters: old baby-boomers who are so, so done with being respectable. There’s a pot dealer named Santa Claus. And it all happens in a charming Hudson River town.
Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing your newest book?
I write big, crazy plots, and there’s a lot of comedy in my books—but I also want my characters to be utterly believable so that when something nuts is happening, my readers will come along with me. I have a basically three stories going at once in THE GHOST OF HER EX: the main character’s romance, her relationships with two ghosts (yes, really!), and her relationship with her daughter. Making it all tie together in the end was pretty nerve-wracking, but such is the life of a pants-er. I am a total pantser!
Tell us a little bit about your writing career.
I started out as a poet who wrote a little free-lance journalism: music criticism, mostly. I still write poetry under another name (my birth name, if you must know; my romance name started out belonging to my great-grandmother). I crossed over to fiction about six years ago, when I started writing time travel novels for teenagers (also under my birth name). And I hopped over to romance from there.
They say Hind-sight is 20/20. If you could give advice to the writer you were the first time you sat down to write, what would it be?
Don’t give up! And don’t always do what comes the most easily. I still love writing poetry—I have a collection of poems I’m promoting at the same time as THE GHOST OF HER EX—but it’s worth stretching your wings and trying something new. Going from poetry to young adult to full-on paranormal romance was hard, but totally worth it.
What was your most difficult scene to write?
The first sex scene in my book between Emily, my main character, and the guy she ends up with was tough because I was so involved with both of the characters that it was just…how do I put this? Intense. It almost felt like I was intruding!
Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?
Yes. And they reveal themselves to me as I write. THE GHOST OF HER EX is a love story about transitions, aging, letting go—and laughing your head off. Really!
What are you working on now?
Is there a release date planned?
Indeed. I love a good ghost story.
Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?
Oh, gee. That’s like having a favorite child. Emily Rauch, the main character in THE GHOST OF HER EX is such a tough lady, and she’s still muttering “Fuckity fuck fuck” in my ear as I answer these questions. She’s smart, cynical, not afraid to be a little reckless, and really talented. I loved writing her.
Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?
What are your plans for future projects?
Is there anything you would like to add before we finish?
Good luck with your newest release, and thank you for being with us today.
“…You are a woman of … appetites, Em. You like to eat and drink and…”
“…and fuck.” Emily shocked herself by saying that. Dropping an f-bomb when you were just randomly turning the air blue was one thing. But this was no fuckity-fuck-fuck. This meant actually doing the deed…
But she hadn’t shocked Al. “Indeed. And fuck.” He nodded, his lips tight. “I left you in the lurch.”
Emily sighed. “Yup. Yup. Guess you did. But we talked that stuff to death two decades ago. Shit, Al! It’s just … just … I don’t know what it is. Alexa, play Widor organ music.”
“I don’t know any songs by Widor,” said Alexa.
“Alexa, argh!” Emily made neck-choking gestures toward the black cylinder on her counter.
“Bee-boop,” said Alexa. Her illuminated blue ring danced and turned itself off.
“I know our lovely and talented daughter meant well with that thing,” said Al. “But The Echo sucks at classical music unless you get lucky. Works better just to ask for radio stations.”
“You’re too good at that. Do you haunt many Echo owners?”
“Just Gordon.” Al laughed ruefully. “That young fella of his bought an Alexa for him. Alexa, play WQXR.”
“Playing WQXR.” Alexa provided them with the middle of Respighi’s “Ancient Airs and Dances.”
“Not bad,” said Emily. “No static. It barely comes in up here on the FM. And they’re a public station now, so no more pre-need funeral ads, I guess. God, funerals!”
“Yeah. That. I gather you had a spectacularly bad day…”
“Do you get special ghost email about that or something? Ghost Facebook?”
Al’s laugh, again, was rueful. “Hard to explain. It doesn’t work like that. I never really thought of you as a femme fatale, Em.”
“I wasn’t the one who fatale-ed him! I honestly didn’t intend to have anything else to do with him! Or not much else, anyway. Look, I was being a sex-positive, independent woman caring for her own needs. He went home to his girlfriend, tried for a little more of the old slap and tickle … and crumped.”
“And now you’re playing his funeral. And he came to the organ loft today to bother you.”
Emily began to laugh, too—a bit too hard. There was nothing else left to do. “Oh, fuckity fuck!”
Then there were tears in her eyes again. She laughed until she ran out of air. “I never even unblocked him on my phone. I never even friended him on … Facebook! It was supposed to be a nothing. A one-off. A…”
“I sort of remember Brad. He was at the reception when you played in Brooklyn, right? Was he a good organist?”
Emily wiped her eyes. “He was terrific. But loud and flashy—at least when we were kids. A show-off. I don’t think I’ve actually listened to him play since before I met you. He loved boat races as much as he loved music. Not to mention chasing women. I used to regard that as a challenge when I was in school: break the womanizing horn-dog’s heart and win the Battle of the Sexes. Ah, Al, we’re so nuts when we’re young.”
Al took Emily’s hands. “‘Nuts’ is harsh. I think we’re young when we’re young. You know?”
“I do know.”
“Em, I’ll tell you this… Brad’s going to be … around. Womanizer or no, he probably liked you a lot more than you thought. I get that. Plus, he doesn’t know he’s dead, right?”
“He seems a bit unclear about that. He’s got to know I’m practicing for his funeral. You never seemed unsure about being…”
“Being dead. I had lots of warning. I was sick for a long time.”
Emily nodded. “That sucked. You sure didn’t deserve it.”
Al pecked her cheek with his usual hurried and dry kiss. “No one deserves it. Your friend clearly has unfinished business,” he said. And then he disappeared.
Aletta Thorne believes in ghosts. When she’s not making up ghost stories for grownups, she is a choral singer, a poet, and a DJ. But she’s happiest in front of a glowing screen, giving voice to whatever it was that got her two cats all riled up at three AM. Her house is quite seriously haunted—even scared the ghost investigator who came to check it out! After all, she lives just across the Hudson River from Sleepy Hollow. Aletta Thorne is also the author of The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins.