The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Date of Publication: 9/1/2013
Number of pages: 240
Word Count: 82,000
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Ready to get her life back on track after ending a painful marriage, Danica Giles returns to the Creole cottage where she grew up in the New Orleans French Quarter. Danica is anxious to rekindle her friendship with a former resident from her old neighborhood, the seductive Gaston Deslonde. But Gaston isn’t exactly a normal guy.
The charming man has been dead for over a hundred and fifty years, and the childish crush Danica once had on her ghostly playmate quickly turns into something much deeper.
When a handsome new man enters Danica’s life, Gaston vows to do whatever he can to hold on to her. Danica soon discovers that the most forbidden of all desires cannot be satisfied without paying a grave price. Love can blur the lines between life and death when you are living among The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine.
Alexandrea, please tell us about yourself and your writing.
I am a nurse by education, a certified wildlife rehabber by choice, and a writer by design. I have been in nursing for over twenty-five years and taught at several universities, but did not really immerse myself in writing fiction until six years ago. When I am not writing, I usually am caring for a house filled with all types of wildlife. Next to writing, animals are my second passion, and I use all my medical training to care for those injured and orphaned wildlife brought to me by the public. There was no single moment or motivation that inspired me. Words always appealed to me, or more to the point, the way words could express emotion appealed. I was encouraged throughout my early years by my parents and teachers to write. By high school, it became something of a calling; something I felt compelled to do. Despite pursuing a career in medicine, writing was always in the back of my mind as my dream job. Fortunately, that dream turned into a reality.
What does your writing space look like?
Cramped. I have a laptop, desktop, lamp, sticky notes everywhere, and pictures of New Orleans on the wall. Plus, access to a lot of gum. There are the first copies of my books to the side, and my writing awards are framed and on the far wall. I write on a small desk, and there is not a lot of room. There is always a Chihuahua under my chair, as well.
How long have you been writing?
I began writing at the age of eight, but did not write my first novel until I was in my thirties. That book, To My Senses, opened up a new door for me and I have been writing ever since. The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine is my 9th published novel with contracts on more well into 2016. I write in Romance, either paranormal, suspense, or contemporary.
What inspired your current book?
Growing up in New Orleans and the French Quarter ghosts are a way of life. Everyone has them, and I wanted to show that in a story where it was not considered odd, but just part of New Orleans. In addition, I have always loved a good ghost story. I grew up in a cottage in the French Quarter and that was the setting for the book. I wanted to write about the place and the warmth I always felt there.
Please tell us about your current work in progress.
The next book is called Cover to Covers and is coming out 2/1/14. It is a contemporary romance tale about a romance writer who pens novels with the heroes based on the one man she loved and left behind. Many years after the failed affair, that man walks back into her life, and she begins living the romance she has always written about. Soon, her writing changes because of him, and so does her life. They have problems to conquer, failed marriages to put behind them, but what they initially felt for each other long ago is still there. It is a tale of rediscovery and second chances. Find out what happens when a romance book moves out from behind the cover, and comes to life between the sheets.
Has anyone in particular been an influence on your writing?
Ian Fleming. His James Bond character (from the books, not the movies) was so detailed and interesting that you could see the guy come to life from the page. He was a master at character building.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? Who is it and why?
Dallas August from the Nicci Beauvoir series. First, he is sexy as hell, handy with a gun, and interesting. I would love to see him in the flesh and get to know him. I think also, if I were in a dangerous situation, he would be the man to have around.
Danica leaned against the doorframe and reflected on the various stages of childhood and adolescence she had gone through while occupying this room. The rainbow-painted walls her mother had painstakingly decorated for her had been replaced with posters of boy bands and television heartthrobs until her mother had died. After the funeral, Danica had come home and removed all the posters in a fit of rage, wanting to be surrounded once more by her mother’s rainbows. The last year she had spent in this room, she had felt comforted by those rainbows, as if her mother’s love had been forever sealed beneath the paintbrush strokes on her walls.
"I missed this old place," she whispered.
A sudden rush of cold air moving down the hallway caused Danica to turn away from the bedroom door and peer into the darkness behind her. She took a few steps further down the hall until the aroma of cigar smoke mixed with a hint of brandy wafted in the air around her. Danica remembered that smell. It had always filled her bedroom whenever the dark man would appear.
"Is it you?" she softly called into the hallway. "It’s me, Danica. I’ve come back. Just like I said I would."
Danica walked briskly past the entrance to the master bath to the final door at the end of the hall. Without hesitation, she pushed the cypress door open and walked inside the master bedroom. The light from the large picture window overlooking the courtyard shone into the room, accentuating the deep burgundy color of the carpet beneath her feet. She stepped into the center of the room and observed the ceiling fan above. Danica waited, straining with every breath to hear the slightest stirring.
"Welcome home," a man’s wispy voice resonated around her.
A hopeful smile curled the edges of Danica’s heart-shaped mouth. "Thank you, Gaston. It’s good to be home."
A few minutes later, Danica returned to the living room, where she found Pat scrolling through messages on her cell phone.
"Let’s sign the papers," Danica happily announced. "I want to get moved in as soon as possible."
Pat gave her a wary going-over with her brown eyes. "You positive about this, Danica? I need to make sure you’re aware that other tenants have had problems—"
"It’s fine, Pat. I know you said the place is haunted and people have had some bad experiences, but this…." Danica waved to the room around her. "Just feels right."
Pat gave a skeptical shrug. "I have the papers ready back at the office. The rent is eight hundred and fifty a month. Mr. Caruso wanted me to charge you the same rate he charged your father. He insisted I make this as appealing to you as possible. You must have made quite an impression on the old man when you were a kid. He never cuts anyone a deal."
"Please tell Mr. Caruso I appreciate it."
Pat replaced her cell phone in her front jacket pocket. "Let’s turn off all of these lights and head back to the office."
Suddenly, from the shuttered window beside them, three loud knocks reverberated across the room.
Pat grabbed at her chest. "Jesus! What in the hell was that?"
Danica smirked as she watched the color drain from Pat’s perfectly made-up face. "Just someone outside on the street banging on the wall…happened a lot when I was a kid. Drunk tourists would often bang on the shutters at all hours."
Pat regained her composure. "Of course, you’re right. I didn’t think of that."
Danica motioned to the pocket doors leading to the kitchen. "Let’s get you out of here, Pat, before you have a heart attack."
"Gladly," Pat offered and rushed to the doors. "I never liked this place. I just hope you know what you’re doing, Danica."
"I know," Danica asserted with a grin. "I’ve always known."
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About the Author:
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Her first novel, To My Senses, introduced readers to the world of Nicci Beauvoir and garnered numerous awards and rave reviews.
Her popular second Nicci Beauvoir novel, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader’s Favorite Book Awards 2011, and was named best Romantic Suspense novel by the Spring 2011 NABE Pinnacle Book Awards. Her fourth novel, Broken Wings, won best Contemporary Romance by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2012, was a Silver Medal winner in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards for Romance, as well as a finalist in the USA Book Awards for Romance in 2012, and a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for Contemporary Romance for 2012. Diary of a One-Night Stand, was released in August 2012 and was named a Paranormal Romance Guild’s Best Reviewed of 2012. Her last novel, Acadian Waltz was a Readers’ Favorite Book Awards finalist for Best Contemporary Romance and Best Southern Fiction.
A permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.
Where you can find Alexandrea Weis on the Internet: