Andrea asked me to talk about the real ghost I live with and how I came up with my story Ghost Lover. My first reactions was the two topics were entirely separate things. Yet, living in a real ghost’s house leaves no room to doubt the existence of ghosts. So to me, ghosts aren’t paranormal creatures of make believe, but beings who do exist, and thus may become characters in my books.
First, let me briefly tell you about my real ghost. I hadn’t been in the house more than day before I sensed her presence, heard her sigh, and heard the constant creaking of floorboards that sounded like footsteps. However, I perceived no malevolence so I didn’t worry about it.
Curious, I asked my old neighbor, who had known the original owners, if either of the Martins had died in the house. Turns out, Mrs. Martin died in her bed and soon after her ill-tempered husband sold the house and moved away. Then a nice family with two young girls moved in, and over time, the family grew to five girls.
I think Mrs. Martin may have ignored the light to chase off her husband. According to the neighbor, he was very mean. The house had been built for her, by her brother. It’s possible she didn’t want him to own what was hers. He wasted no time selling the house and getting out.
After chasing off her husband, she may have stayed because she loved the new family with the young girls. (She’d never had children and these girls were adorable. I even thought them adorable.) When they moved away and all that remained was one young woman (me), who worked long hours at work and then came home to write until bedtime, the change upset Mrs. Martin and she left no doubt a ghost lived in my house. The boards creaked constantly as if someone was walking around the house and opening doors, searching for something. I think Mrs. Martin searched for the girls she had grown to love.
Overtime we settled in nicely. But she got upset whenever I let male guest sleep in her bedroom. I didn’t catch on the first time, when a friend house-set for me. He chose to sleep in her bedroom and she evidently did not like it. She unnerved him enough he went upstairs to sleep. Being a guy, he wouldn’t say anything about the situation other than the downstairs room creeped him out and he couldn’t sleep. I’m quite certain it was Mrs. Martin.
Later, my dad came to visit and he was of bad health and couldn’t get around easily, so I put him in her bedroom on the first floor. My dad is the least ‘sensitive’ person in the world, yet the next morning, he entered the kitchen and asked me if I had a ghost.
I laughed. “In fact, I do.”
He then explained how he heard boots hitting the floor and someone stomping over to where he was, then huffing and stomping from the room.
Given he could barely walk, I couldn’t move him upstairs, so I went inside Mrs. Martin’s bedroom and calmly explained why he needed to sleep there. If she gave him further problems, he kept it to himself. But I suspect she hung out in the basement until he left.
Finally, one Halloween when I had actually managed to buy candy, a parent of goblins complimented me on my great Halloween scene. What scene? I’m wearing normal clothes holding a bowl of candy. When I challenged her compliment, she explains she meant the semi-transparent old woman sitting at my piano, visible from the bay window.
I shook my head. “Must be my real ghost. Nothing I can take credit for.”
She laughed, evidently thinking I kidding. “Well, it’s a fabulous ghost.”
Once she and her goblins got their candy and left, I went to the room being complimented and stared at my empty piano. “Seriously, a complete stranger gets to see you, but I don’t?” Then I huffed and returned to my chair. When my door banged to feed more goblins, I called out. “Maybe you’d like to greet the kids and give them candy?”
No response, so I had to get up and feed the little monsters myself.
So how did my real ghost impact the creation of Renoir Lassier?
Since she is real, I treat Lassier like a real character, as well, although he is far more flamboyant and physical than Mrs. Martin. One he fully materializes, he feels like a real person. He can also “borrow’ a live person’s body anytime he wants and they will be totally unaware of it. And since he was a great seducer of woman in life, he remains so in his afterlife.
Renoir Lassier, the Ghost Lover, came to me in a morning haze dream, like all my characters do. A handsome ghost of the past enters my bedroom and makes love to me. I’m unable to open my eyes, but otherwise, I ‘felt’ wide awake.
I’ve experience this morning haze many times where cats stomp all over my bed, only I can’t open my eyes to verify it actually is a cat. However, to have a guy ghost…that only happened this once, and I, for the record, do NOT believe it really happened. But my dream of Lassier was so sexy, I had to write the book.
In the morning, I did research to see if people really do have sexual encounters with ghosts. Turns out everyone and their aunt is claiming to have gotten down with a ghost.
Just ten months ago the singer Kesha claims she had sex with a ghost.
“I’ve got a song called ‘Supernatural’, that song was about having sex with a ghost. I lived in this flophouse at Rural Canyon and there was this weird energy that lived there. And it progressed into this dark, sexual spirit. It did scare me but that’s part of the fun of it.”
According to Wikipedia: No scientific evidence backs up the phenomenon of spectrophilia. (Shocker, right?)
However, folklore exists in almost all countries. Plenty of stories, both written and oral, tell of men and women who were visited by ghost lovers. Some even say they had a child from the encounter.
Today, research and interviews tend to be conducted by those in the paranormal field. Spectrophilia has become a frequently talked-about subject among ghost hunters and TV series of the paranormal and you have to wonder how much is real and how much is hype to improve the ratings. I’m leaning heavy on the hype.
But since I KNOW ghosts exist, I am willing to believe it’s possible that at least one of the people claiming to danced the tango with a ghost is telling the truth. Thus, from that possibility, I created a very sexy, sensitive fellow, who just happens to be a ghost.
Lassier is an ancestral ghost of the Durran family who has to intervene in current affairs because Senna is about to give up and return to the States which will probably mean neither of the Durran men will ever marry and have children. So the ghost takes on the image of Gar and enters Senna’ bedroom. Knowing Gar won’t confess the truth, he tells Senna he loves her and wants her to be his wife.
To Lassier’s shock, during his efforts to sway Senna, he falls deeply in love with her, tempting him to take possession of Gar’s body forever. But he knows that will end badly for all.
Instead, he comes up with a solution that will make all but himself happy, and prevent the Durran line from ending. He finds a young woman perfect for Brendon and has Gar retrieve her from the states.
Instead of solving the problems, it only makes matters worse. You would not believe how tangled a Menage de Cinq can be and how hard it is to straighten out.
By Liza O’Connor
Contemporary Romance with a touch of paranormal
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.”
About 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.
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To Be Released December 2, 2013
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A humorous disaster romance of epic proportions.
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