I love supernatural books – I especially enjoy reaper tales (too much Terry Pratchett?). I’m pleased to turn the blog over to author Gina Ardito. Author (of among many other books) Eternally Yours part of the Afterlife series.
First a blurb:
After one too many disappointments, Jodie Devlin took her own life. Too bad her suicide is only the beginning of her troubles. Until a new future can be created for her, Jodie will serve as one of Death’s bounty hunters, retrieving souls who haunt Earth. She’ll need smarts, charm, and trickery to convince these specters to give up the ghost and move on. Of course, these same skills will come in handy for verbally sparring with her bull-headed, know-it-all trainer.
It’s no wonder Luc Asante is so bitter toward women. His former wife ordered him taken off life support, condemning him to employment in the Afterlife. Now he has a trainee—a female trainee who’s as soft-hearted as he is hard, as impulsive as he is methodical. In a place where perfection is the norm, she flaunts her flaws just to drive him nuts.
If they weren’t already dead, working together would probably kill them.
Traveling between the dead and the living, bringing peace to lost souls, Jodie and Luc will be forced to come to terms with their differences and their pasts, to discover a love that might bind them for eternity.
Now some questions:
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
A. What do you do when you’re stuck in traffic, on a long line, or just plain bored? I start making up stories about the people around me. Remember when you were little and you played make-believe? It’s kind of like that–for grown-ups. I look at a couple in a hotel lobby and I’m already wondering who they are (husband and wife? siblings? coworkers?), why they’re in the hotel (wedding? vacation? business trip?) where they’ve been (locked in meetings all day? just woke up after a night of passion? back from a day of sightseeing?), and where they’re going (upstairs for another round of passion? out to dinner? into the dining room for the rehearsal dinner?), and so on. The possibilities are endless. I can combine the answers in bizarre ways (it’s a coworker’s wedding and the business associates have just eloped and don’t want anyone to know) and come up with new stories. Some ideas come from dreams. Still others just evolve out of the ether. The funny thing is, the more I write, the more stories pop into my head.
Q. Describe your writing style.
A. I call it “crack addict.” I write constantly: first thing in the morning, during breaks at work, immediately after work, while cooking dinner, while doing housework, before bed. I’m not happy when I’m not writing. If I’m somewhere where I can’t write, I’m thinking about writing. Or playing the make-believe game I mentioned, which, technically, is thinking about writing. So there. 😛
Q. Do you have only one WIP, or do you bounce around between projects?
A. I’ve done both. Currently, I’m working on a contemporary short story, the sequel to Eternally Yours, and I’m preparing my next completed manuscript for publication. Did I mention I also run a freelance editing business? Told ya. “Crack addict” to the max.
Q. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A. I’m a bossy-boots know-it-all. Which makes me a pretty good writer and a fabulous editor, but a challenge to my friends (who love me anyway). I’m a born and bred Long Islander, married for more than half my life at this stage, mom to two kids, a pretty decent cook, a Leo, and a self-proclaimed shenanigator. And…yeah..my books all have this same snarky sense of humor.
Q. Novel you would like to see turned into a movie?
A. Eternally Yours, of course! I think it would be amazing–visually and emotionally. The story of what happens to us after we die would appeal to both men and women, and the romance…ah, the romance! It’s got something for everyone.
Q. If you were going to cast the main characters of your book, who would get the part?
Luc has always been Johnny Depp in my mind–I even say he has movie star-slash-pirate looks (an homage to Jack Sparrow) when describing him the first time Jodie sees him. But I could also see Jude Law or Ben Barnes in the role. Jodie was Natalie Portman while I wrote the story. There’s a vulnerability to her–with a quiet strength simmering beneath the surface. She’d still be my first choice. Other options might be Lea Michelle or Vanessa Hudgens.
Want a sneak peek? Here’s what happens to Jodie after she commits suicide and wakes up on “the other side.”
Jodie’s gaze flew to a long reception desk with ten clerks behind and nine customers in front. A dark-haired, sloe-eyed woman in the same white and gold uniform leaned forward from the open slot and signaled to Jodie with a crooked finger. Confusion dogging her steps, she inched forward. The woman’s attention veered to a computer monitor and keyboard, fingers clickety-clacking with expediency. “Name?”
“Jodie Devlin,” she replied through dry lips.
“Any middle initial?”
The woman frowned. “Date of death?”
She almost answered with her birth date, but then stopped to think. “Date of…” A lump rose in her throat, and she swallowed with difficulty. “…death?”
Over the polished mahogany top, the woman’s hands rolled in mid-air. “Can we speed this up, please? There are a thousand people behind you. What was your date of death?”
“The eighth of A-April.”
Brow cocked, the clerk sighed. “You’re not on my reservations list. Are you sure you’re supposed to be here?”
Was she? She had absolutely no idea. After another glance at the marble and mahogany décor, the crowds of lost sheep, and the harried attendants, she leaned over the counter to whisper, “Ummm…where exactly is here?”
“Oh, for God’s sake.” Palms against the marble edge, the woman pushed away from the keyboard. Her barstool-style wheeled chair skidded across the floor. Leaning, she slammed a large red button on a table behind her. “Sherman? I think I’ve got a thirty-six-slash-eleven over here.” She rolled back behind the counter, eyes narrowed. “Are you, perhaps, a suicide?”
Heat rocketed into Jodie’s cheeks—did she have cheeks? Whatever she had, embarrassment shot flames through her face. She managed a slight nod, and then turned away.
Through the milling crowd, a small man, only about as high as her shoulder and narrow as a swizzle stick, strode toward her. He was garbed entirely in white except for the gold studs winking in his earlobes. Despite the snow white clipboard he clutched under one arm, he extended his hands in greeting. “Miss? My name is Sherman, and I’m the spirit guide here. How can I help you?”
He had a face like an apple left too long on a windowsill, ruddy bronze with sunken cheeks, wizened to a state that made him appear ancient, yet ageless. Long white hair, a lion’s mane, swept away from his high forehead and fell to his padded shoulders.
“She doesn’t have a reservation,” the woman said with a sneer. “At least not for her current date of death.”
Understanding dawned on his mushy face. “Ah. Miss…?”
“Devlin.” Jodie’s reply sounded hoarse in her sandpaper throat. Swallowing, she tried again. “Jodie Devlin.”
“Miss Devlin, why don’t you step away from the reception desk so we can continue moving others forward? If you’ll follow me, I’m sure we can straighten this out.” Without waiting for her reply, he turned to head back into the crowd.
Sidling away from the snotty clerk, Jodie hurried to catch up to Sherman. “Straighten what out? What’s going on? Where are we? Is this heaven?”
“Please, Miss Devlin. Follow me.”
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