Maria: Hi, I’m headed to Earth. England to be precise. I’m to interview Gar Durran, one of the many characters in Liza O’Connor’s upcoming book, Ghost Lover. For some reason Liza arranged for me to interview him instead of the heroine’s fiance, which would seem the logical choice. She wouldn’t tell me why, but hopefully we’ll figure it out.
Yikes! I may have gone through a time warp, because that looks like a freaking castle. I like castles, but let me text Liza, because I do not want to tangle with angry knights… Ah, she says the the Durran castle has existed since the 12th century, but if there are more than three towers, then we are on time.
She also claims it’s cram full of ghosts in the spring time when the garden is in bloom. Naturally, she sends me here in the fall.
* Arrives at the massive, carved wood door and knocks *
* Butler takes Maria directly to the library. *
Maria: Wow, is this a nice library, there must be thousands of books in here. If you like, I can digitize them and insert a microscopic implant in your brain so you access them whenever you want.
Gar: *stands, causing what sounds like a cat to yowl.* Miss Hammarblad, welcome to my home. And I’ll pass on the implant. I’m an old fashion fellow. I like to view actual paintings of art and hold books as I read.
Maria: *shakes hand with him* I suppose that’s why Liza painted you instead of buying pictures as she did for everyone else.
Gar: I suppose I should be grateful she took the time to paint me, but I wish she would have bought oils and canvas and done it properly. Instead, she somehow managed to paint it on her computer.
Maria: Well, you know starving authors and all.
Gar: *motions for her to sit on the leather couch as he sits in the chair across from her.* May I get you something to drink and perhaps a light snack. I’m sure you must be tired from your journey.
Maria: I'd love some coffee. Lots of milk but no sugar. And maybe a cookie or something...
Gar: *stares at the desk in anger, then jumps up and rushes towards it, grabbing a teacup just before it falls off the edge. Then he speaks in a soft, but very angry whisper* I’m warning you, Mr. Finch!
Maria: Mr. Finch, the ghost cat? Is he here? Is that who complained when you stood up?
Gar: *Sighs heavily then returns to the couch, the teacup safely in his hand.* Liza told you about Mr. Finch?
Maria: Yes. Was she not supposed to?
The butler enters. “James, please see this cup is cleaned and put away. And serve Miss—
Maria: Just call me Maria
Gar: Maria a coffee and a pour me a brandy.
James: Yes, sir.
Maria: And a saucer of milk for Mr. Finch.
*Purrs resonate through the room*
Gar: Never mind the milk. And fix my brandy now. *Once James left, Gar spoke.* Sorry, but Ghosts do not drink or eat. All Mr. Finch would have done was walk through milk leaving pawprints all over the room. While he is invisible to the human eye, he remains substantially here in this plane of existence.
Maria: Exactly what does that mean?
Gar: If he deigns to greet you, you will notice. He weighs nearly two and three quarters stones.
Maria: Sorry, I have no idea how much a stone weighs.
Gar: About 17 1/2 kilograms.
Maria: What’s that in pounds?
Senna: *speaks from the door* Mr. Finch weighs about 39 pounds, which is very large, even for an ocelot. In fact, if Guiness would allow ghosts to compete for their records, I’m pretty sure he’d go in the record books as the heaviest ocelot ever.
*She hands Maria her drink and then sits by Gar, handing him his brandy with a loving smile*
Gar: Why are you serving the drinks? That’s James’ job.
Senna: *grimaces* The servants have their hands full right now.
Gar: *takes a deep gulp of the brandy* What has my brother done now.
Senna: *places her hand on his leg* You don’t want to know. It will only put you in a bad mood and then Mrs. Hammarblad—
Maria: Call me Maria.
Senna: And I’m Senna. Then Maria will think you are ill-tempered instead of being the nicest man she has ever met.
*Gar’s arm flew upward.*
Gar: Finch! Watch what you’re doing! *He turns to Senna.* Did I douse you in brandy?
Senna: *pets air above her lap* Not enough to fret over. I’m fine.
Maria: So Mr. Finch is in your lap right now?
Senna: Mr. Finch, may Maria pet you? She’s come all the way from a different galaxy in her spaceship to met you.
*Senna stops petting and sighs.*
Senna: I’m sorry. He seems to have left.
Maria: Jumps as a crushing weight drops across her lap. Tentatively she lowers her hand and makes contact with a hard furred body.
Mr. Finch’s purrs resonate through the library.
Maria: This is fabulous. I wish I could see him.
Senna: He’s always invisible, but Lassier created two paintings of Mr. Finch. One when he first bought him from a sailor and later in his prime. Let me get them for you.
*Senna leaves the room.*
Maria: I like her.
Gar: She’s the finest woman I’ve ever known. *He sighs and stares at his hands wrestling one another*
Maria: I think you love her.
Gar: *nods once* With all my heart, but she is engaged to my brother, so nothing can be done. Lassier tried to fix matters, but it hasn’t worked.
Gar: He’s the most troublesome ancestral ghost in the castle. Renoir Lassier, the famed artist who is renowned for his sexual escapades both when living and in his afterlife.
Maria: You mean—
Gar: He’s a ghost lover and has been consoling unhappy Durran wives for centuries. I suppose he’ll be doing the same for Senna when she marries my brother. *He tosses the remainder of his drink down his throat*
*Senna renters the room* Here are Lassier’s paintings of Mr. Finch.
Lassier says as a kitten, Mr. Finch would not be still, so painting him was nearly impossible, but once he matured, Mr. Finch was a perfect model and thus the likeness was excellent.
Gar: *smiles at Senna* Where on earth did you find these?
Senna: They showed up in my room one day.
Gar: *grips her hand and kisses it, then looks at Senna* I can speak for the entire staff, Brendon and I, plus all the ghosts when I say I am so glad you’ve become a part of our family.
Senna: I’m not really part of the family yet. You haven’t agreed Brendon and I may marry yet.
Gar: Senna you became a part of this family from the day you arrived. Never doubt you belong here.
Maria: *lifts the invisible cat on her lap and gently places it on the couch.* Well, I think I’ve enough for my blog now. Thank you so much for your time. *She glances down at the indent on the couch* I am honored to pet you, Mr. Finch. *She then smiled at Senna* And you Senna. Knowing Liza, your future will be difficult, but in the end, things will work out, so never give up. *glances at Gar* Either of you.
And thus ends Maria’s interview. Hope you enjoyed it.
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.
Brendon moved to the window and stared out. “I don’t think you realized how bad things became for me when Nan died. I’d lost the only person who cared for me. I had no one left. The million dollars I lost on a roulette wheel wasn’t done just to get rid of the cook. I did it to get your attention. While you didn’t give a shit about me, you’ve always loved money. And it worked. You finally noticed me.”
“And sent you away,” Gar said with remorse.
“Yeah.” Brendon turned and gave him a faint smile. “Not exactly the response I’d hoped for, but it turned out all right. I met Senna and since then life keeps getting easier with each day. Now I find I even like you most of the time.”
“Well, the feeling is mutual. You’re still eccentric, but you’ve a good heart and good intent, and I’m proud you’re my brother.”
Suddenly the door opened and Senna walked in looking at both men with concern. “Are you two having a fight?”
“Not at all.” Brendon smiled. “In fact, Gar told me he’s proud I’m his brother.”
Senna’s eyes filled with appreciation as she grinned at Gar.
Her smile almost broke Gar’s heart. God help him, but Brendon had nailed the truth. He did love Senna, and more than anything, he wanted her to be his wife.
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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