Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Ally Blue for taking the time to talk with us today about their retro title from Samhain Love, Like Ghosts. Prism Book Alliance® recently reviewed Love, Like Ghosts. You can find the review here.
We are here today to talk about Love Like Ghosts. What can you tell us about?
Thank you so much for having me here today! Love, Like Ghosts was inspired by a visit to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill when my daughter was a student there. She took my husband, my son, and me to an awesome place called Gimghoul Castle in the town of Chapel Hill. Here’s an article about it:
I think the place is a private residence these days, but you can see it from the road. It’s gorgeous, and definitely inspirational 🙂 Can you blame me for setting a college-boy story there? Especially with the stories and legends surrounding the area where it’s built!
Another inspiration for this book — other than the Chapel Hill campus itself, which is beautiful and incredibly atmospheric — is a grave my daughter and I noticed in the old cemetery on campus. Many of the graves date back to the 1700s, and this one in particular has a brick border that curves inward in a very odd and evocative way. We decided that this grave must be a portal to another dimension. For me, that sparked that idea of a Bay City Paranormal Investigations type book, only with a college age protagonist. Who better to serve as my main character than Adrian Broussard, psychic and psychokinetic son of BCPI hero Dr. Bo Broussard?
Tell us more about our main characters.
As I mentioned above, Adrian is the oldest son of Dr. Bo Broussard, one of the main characters in my Bay City Paranormal Investigations series. In book 5 of the BCPI series, An Inner Darkness, we learned that Adrian is a powerful psychic with psychokinetic powers, just like Sam Raintree, the point of view character throughout the first five BCPI books (the ones that form the main series arc). In the ten years between An Inner Darkness and Love, Like Ghosts, Adrian has learned to harness and control his powers. What he hasn’t learned is to accept and embrace that aspect of himself rather than fearing it.
Greg Woodall is a fellow student at Chapel Hill. He’s a theater major — the polar opposite of Adrian’s physics major. He’s friendly, outgoing, openly sexual, bold, daring. Everything Adrian isn’t. He also scoffs at the idea of ghosts and entities from other worlds, something Adrian knows far too much about. Greg is instantly attracted to Adrian’s intense, quiet, blunt charm, and throws everything he has into seducing Adrian. When he learns what it is that makes Adrian more than just a sexy nerd, he not only challenges himself to accept it, but challenges Adrian to accept himself.
What makes this book so special to you as its creator?
Adrian is very much a part of me. He’s so much like me, it’s a little bit scary. Not that I have his powers! I don’t, and I’m not sure I’d want them, to be honest. But he’s always felt alone, and apart, and that part of him speaks to me. I think it probably speaks to a lot of people, actually. So many people feel like outsiders, for no reason we can easily pinpoint. Adrian’s otherness is obvious, but I still identify with him on a fundamental level, because I’ve always felt that I don’t quite fit. That other people look at me and see someone they don’t understand, or don’t see me at all, and I’ve never really been sure why. And my feeling is that I’m part of a whole invisible host of others who have felt that same way, all our lives, and have never truly understood why. I don’t know if others feel as connected to Adrian as I do. But that’s how I feel, for whatever it’s worth.
Finding someone who loves him not in spite of what he is, but because of it, is the pivot on which the rest of his life turns. Yes, his family loves him for all he is, and that’s why he made it as far as he did. But Greg’s love took him beyond that, gave him the support he needed for the rest of his life. We all need love in our lives. All of us. I’ve found that with my husband and children, with my wonderful sister, with my friends, and with my found-family of fellow authors and readers. Adrian found it with Greg 🙂
If you could change one thing in Love, Like Ghosts what would it be and why?
Oh man. I don’t know! I’d have to re-read it to be sure, LOL. Y’all don’t kill me, but I might put less sex in it. Lately I’ve been gravitating toward less sex in my books. Of course I’ve also been seeing fewer sales… hmmm….
Still, I don’t think I’m wrong. I mean, sex certainly has its place. But lately I’ve been a little bored with it. I’ve been wanting more other stuff. More mystery, more horror, more funny, more whatever else the story’s about. Maybe I’m just getting old, ha.
Is the story of Lyndon Groome and the Groome Castle a real ghost story at UNC? Or based on a real ghost story?
Not exactly. I made up the story in the book. But there is a legend based around the property — or, more exactly, the area — where Gimghoul Castle, the inspiration for Groome Castle, is built. See the link up above, in the first question g It’s a pretty interesting story!
Will we be seeing more about Adrian’s physics project in the Mojo Mysteries series?
You know, I hadn’t really thought much about it. But probably so. In fact, I just got back from a visit with my daughter in New Zealand, and some of the places we visited sparked some awesome ideas that I think might fit really well with Adrian’s physics theories. Especially the glow worm caves. OMG that place was amazing! I wish they would’ve allowed pictures. All the glow worms on the cave’s ceiling looked like a vision from Dr. Who or something.
If you could give one piece of advice to new writers, what would it be?
I know it’s been said a million times, but it bears repeating because it’s true: KEEP WRITING. Don’t give up. Everyone gets rejections. Everyone is told at some point (usually many points) that they’re terrible and don’t know what they’re doing. Don’t listen. Don’t give up.
By the same token, don’t EVER think you’re the shit, that you’re miles above everyone else and can’t possibly get any better. YOU CAN. You’re never, ever perfect. You can always improve. Keep working. Keep getting better. Learn to distinguish useful criticism from bullshit, and learn to use it to fine tune your writing. Remember, writing isn’t a gift from on high. It’s a skill. Learn it.
Tell us about some of your other titles.
Oh man. I have so many.
All the Mojo Mysteries books, which star Adrian and Greg. I love these books. They’re so much fun for me. Basically, Adrian and Greg solve paranormal mysteries. The first two are set in Chapel Hill, and the third — just released October 6th — is set in Atlanta, during my favorite geek conference, OutlantaCon. Which EVERYONE should attend, BTW. Just saying.
The Bay City Paranormal Investigations series stars Adrian’s dad, Dr. Bo Broussard, and tells the story of how he meets and falls in love with Sam Raintree. And also how they discover and battle interdimensional portals. OMG the angst, y’all! These books are exciting and a bit creepy.
If anyone likes to read horror with a gay romance subplot, please, please pick up Down from Riptide Publishing. It’s my first horror novel. I’m super proud of it 😀 You can read the synopsis and the first three chapters on the Riptide website.
Rapid Fire Time
Tattoos or piercings? Tats!
Think before you talk or talk before you think? Talk first. It’s a terrible habit O_O
Chinese food or Mexican food? Mexican!
Classical or Electronic? What, music? Don’t make me choose, I won’t!
Sweet or Sour? Both!
Alone or At a Party? Depends on my mood O_O
Mini Van or SUV? SUV!
Mayo or Miracle Whip? Pfft, Miracle Whip.
TV or movies? Movies!
cinnamon or maple? Maple!
What are you working on? What is next?
Right now I just finished edits on The Secret of Hunter’s Bog coming from Riptide in March. It’s a contemporary mystery romance, fun and sexy. I’m in the middle of writing The Burnt Skull B&B for Butt Villains On Vacation coming from Wilde City Press this spring, and am starting on a novel for Riptide’s Bluewater Bay series.
After that? I’m not sure. Either the next Mojo Mysteries book or another book in the Hellscape series from Samhain. I’ve really been wanting to do another Hellscape book, although I have so many ideas for Mojo Mysteries right now… We’ll see 😀
Title: Love, Like Ghosts
Author: Ally Blue
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
Truth. Lies. A century-old mystery. What a tangled web…
At age eleven, Adrian Broussard accidentally used his mind to open a portal to another dimension. Now, ten years later, he’s successfully harnessed his strong psychokinetic abilities. In the process, he’s learned the lessons which have become the guiding principles of his life. Absolute truth. Absolute control. Always.
Sticking to his personal code of ethics has never been a problem, until two chance meetings—one with a hundred-year-old ghost, one with a handsome, very-much-alive man—turn his orderly existence upside down.
Having grown up in a family of paranormal investigators, Adrian is intrigued by the spirit of Lyndon Groome and determined to solve the mystery of his death. Greg Woodhall, however, affects Adrian in unpredictable ways. Not only does his every touch challenge Adrian’s hard-won control over his abilities, his company quickly becomes a light in Adrian’s lonely life.
As the mystery surrounding Lyndon’s death turns sinister, Adrian’s relationship with Greg deepens into something serious. Something Adrian wants to keep. But intimacy isn’t as easy as honesty, and when the heart’s involved, the line between right and wrong can blur.
[Warning: This book contains a gory ghost, a haunted castle, nerdy college parties and gay sex enhanced by psychic powers.]
Adrian Broussard expected to encounter the ghost of Lyndon Groome at some point. He just never expected it to happen his first afternoon at the castle. In broad daylight.
The apparition floated just above the dark gray stone floor, spectral brains leaking from its shattered skull. A blotch of nearly transparent blood wavered in and out of existence on the floor beneath its bare feet.
Adrian found those particular details terribly intriguing. According to the stories he’d heard since arriving on the UNC campus three years ago, Lyndon Groome had vanished without a trace on Halloween night, nineteen-oh-five. Since then, Lyndon’s sad, blood-soaked ghost had been occasionally spotted here in the tower room on Halloween night. Some stories claimed he ran away with an older, married woman. Another rumor had it that Lyndon, distraught over the loss of a lover, had run from the castle in the dead of night and been murdered by persons unknown. There were other stories, of course, but those two were the most persistent, probably because Lyndon had never turned up anywhere and no body had ever been found.
It fascinated Adrian to come across a ghost story in which so many visible details appeared to fit with at least one of the more popular tales, even if the spirit itself happened to show up a bit early.
From his spot in the doorway of the small octagonal room, Adrian darted a swift look down the narrow stone staircase spiraling into the distance behind him. Laughter, conversation and the echo of hammers drifted from the group of fellow college students working three stories below, but as far as he could tell no one had followed him. Which was a good thing, since he was pretty sure he wasn’t supposed to be up here.
Adrian returned his attention to Lyndon Groome, who floated nearly invisible in the sunlight streaming through the window. The specter’s pale eyes stared straight into his. The colorless lips moved, shaping a word Adrian couldn’t quite hear.
Moving with careful precision, Adrian paced forward one slow step at a time, his hand stretched toward the diaphanous figure. He opened his mind just enough to let a trickle of his psychokinesis past the absolute control he’d gained over the past decade. His power attracted paranormal entities like a magnet, which was one reason he kept such a tight lid on it. Maybe a little taste would lure poor, sad Lyndon close enough for Adrian to communicate with him. He’d been able to interact in a limited way with spirits in the past by touching them, so he saw no reason why it wouldn’t work this time. With a bit of luck, maybe he would be the one to finally learn Lyndon’s fate.
As if in response to Adrian’s thoughts, the apparition wafted closer. Adrian stopped moving and waited, his gaze holding Lyndon’s. -Come on, Lyndon. Don’t be afraid.-
Lyndon’s shade drifted nearer. A chill raised the hairs on Adrian’s arms. “That’s it,” he whispered. “Come here.”
“Who’re you talking to?”
At the sound of the unexpected voice from the doorway, Lyndon vanished, taking the puddle of brains and blood with him. Adrian shut his eyes for a moment to calm the brief flash of irritation before it could get away from him. Between the set-up and the actual work of running the planned Halloween haunted house here at Groome Castle, he had three whole weeks of work ahead of him. Surely he would have another chance to attempt communication with the entity.
Opening his eyes, Adrian turned to face the newcomer. It was a boy he’d never seen before. A very good-looking boy, with a dancer’s body poured into snug jeans and a long-sleeved Carolina T-shirt. Adrian swallowed. “Um. Hi. I’m Adrian Broussard.”
The big gray eyes lit up with a definite spark of interest, and the pretty lips curved into a flirtatious smile. “Greg Woodhall.” Crossing to where Adrian stood, Greg held out a hand. “Very nice to meet you, Adrian.”
“You too.” Not knowing any way out of it, Adrian took Greg’s hand and shook. As soon as he politely could, Adrian retrieved his hand and stuck both in the front pockets of his jeans. “Are you part of the haunted house?”
“Yep. I’m playing the ghost of Lyndon Groome.” Greg brushed past Adrian. “I figured I’d come up here and get a feel for the place, you know? Since this is where the ghost is supposed to be.”
“That makes sense.” Adrian watched Greg wander across the room to peer out one of the four tall, narrow windows set in the stone walls. God, those jeans were tight. Adrian looked away.
“What about you?” Turning, Greg leaned on the windowsill, crossed his arms and flashed a wide grin. “Are you in theater? Because I gotta tell you, that would make me very happy.”
That made Adrian laugh in spite of himself. No one had ever mistaken him for a theater kid before. “No, I’m majoring in physics.”
Greg’s mouth formed an “O” that made Adrian think of things he hadn’t thought of in a long time. “Physics. Wow. What brings a smart boy like you to our theater department’s humble haunted house?”
“Work study.” Adrian shrugged. “The castle’s an interesting place, though. There’s a lot of history here.”
“That’s true.” Unfolding his arms, Greg tucked a curl of golden brown hair behind his ear and pinned Adrian with a curious look. “Who were you talking to earlier? When I came in?”
Greg gaped. Adrian stifled a smile. He did love to shock people with the truth.
“Um. Okay.” Greg pushed away from the window, eyeing Adrian with rather more caution than before. “Seriously?”
“You’re telling me you really think you were just talking to the ghost of Lyndon Groome?”
“I don’t think so. I know I was.”
“Again, yes.” Adrian grinned. “You’re repeating yourself, Greg.”
That got him a sly smile that made his pulse pick up. “Well, Adrian, it’s not every day a guy hears a handsome physics major say things like I just had a nice chat with a ghost, you know?”
A blush heated Adrian’s face before he could stop it. He forced it back, annoyed with himself. He hadn’t let simple physical attraction get to him like this since high school. Of course, he hadn’t actually felt this attracted to a guy since…well, ever, really. Not even his one and only lover, Christian, back in freshman year, had given him the same quick thrill through his blood that this stranger did.
Before the silence could stretch on long enough to become awkward, footsteps pounded up the stairs and a young woman in paint-splattered jeans and a UNC sweatshirt burst into the room. “Adrian, there you are. We need you downstairs. We can’t figure out how to get the frame straight for the false wall.”
Adrian breathed quietly through the brief surge of impatience. No matter how many times he’d tried to explain it, the group of freshmen he’d been working with all morning just couldn’t seem to understand that being a physics major did not make him a carpenter. If anything, the theater upperclassmen would know more about it than he did, since they had years of experience in building sets. But the younger students hadn’t listened to him so far, and the older ones seemed happy enough to let him deal with it.
-Be calm, Adrian. This is only a little thing. You’ve helped build a few things at home. Surely you can help these kids puzzle out how to put together a simple frame.-
“All right, Chelsea, I’m on my way.” Adrian glanced at Greg, who was watching him with a grin that made Adrian not want to turn his back on it. “You coming?”
Greg sauntered forward, the predatory grin widening. “I will if you want me to,” he murmured, brushing Adrian’s shoulder as he passed.
Greg and Chelsea were already out the door before Adrian got it. Groaning, he clapped a hand to his forehead. His brother Sean would tease him without mercy for not having picked up on what was, in retrospect, obvious innuendo. Thankfully, Sean was a few hundred miles away right now, playing his fourth game as a freshman for the Auburn Tigers. He would never have to know of Adrian’s humiliating cluelessness.
Of course, it was exactly the sort of thing that would make Sean laugh, and that just happened to be one of Adrian’s favorite sounds in the whole world. Maybe it wasn’t a cool thing for a guy to admit about his little brother, but Adrian didn’t much care about being cool. Staring death in the face at the ripe old age of eleven tended to strip away all such unimportant things and leave behind only what mattered. Like hearing your brother laugh.
Making a mental note to videocall Sean that night, Adrian followed Chelsea and Greg downstairs.
About the Author
Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst. She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her man-harem does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row. Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.
Comment on this post for a chance to win an electronic copy of Demon Dog, the first book in the Mojo Mysteries series. Be sure to leave your email in the comment! Ally will choose a winner by random drawing Friday October 30th at 9 pm Eastern time.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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