Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! In keeping with the spirit of ghosts and goblins and the full moon, the Halloween party sizzles! Today’s featured guest is Barbara Edwards. Barbara is here to chat with us about her Halloween-inspired book Ancient Awakening!
Here’s a blurb and excerpt. But first, a little about Barbara.
Barbara Edwards is a native New Englander who lives in a Victorian Gothic built in 1872 with her husband, a Belgian Sheperd and a very quiet ghost.
Blurb: In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.
Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical
company where he discovered a bio-weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth. In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.
Legend gave him many names, but the wide halls of his mountain retreat no longer
echoed with countless worshipers. He could have ruled the world had his ambition
not died with the passage of time. The endless whispers were from the cold winds
and the few praying priests. He didn’t care that he couldn’t remember his real name
For an eon he’d regretted the loss of softer emotions. Love had been the first feeling
to die, along with the woman who had insisted he would never harm her. He couldn’t
recall her features just the merry tinkle of her laughter and the bright smile she
had greeted him with every morning. He licked his lips. She’d tasted sweet.
Fierce need flared in his gut and he sniffed the air. Outside his chamber a single
acolyte in long brown robes waited to escort him. His mouth curved with a mirthless
smile. The silent servants had ignited the flickering wall torches. Shadows jumped and shivered in the drafty halls like nervous virgins.
Sharon: Let’s have a warm welcome for Barbara Edwards. Barbara, welcome to the Haunted Mansion!
As the bell in the bell tower tolls out the witching hour, Barbara is escorted down the long dark corridor by Oliver, costumed as a knight. The bats flap their wings in flight as they screech out a welcoming chirp. Torches flicker as they enter the parlor, revealing Sharon, costumed as the Queen of Hearts.
Sharon: Welcome, Barbara. Come have a seat if you dare and Oliver will serve refreshments. Tell me about your costume.
Barbara: First let me thank you for inviting me to this fascinating placed. I’m formally dressed as a world famous author, a role I’d love to have in real life.
Oliver appears, sporting a tray of martinis above his head. With a sweeping bow, he places a perfectly chilled gin martini with a touch of vermouth in front of Barbara. He smiles a beguiling smile as he fusses with the chips. “Shaken, not stirred with two olives.” His eyes glaze over and he yanks off his armor. “If I might be so bold as to ask for your autograph, Ms. Edwards?”
Barbara: I’d love to sign a copy of Ancient Awakening for you. Let me prick my finger and draw a drop of blood to write with.
Sharon: Did you forget about my dirty martini, Oliver? But then the raven clock screeches and the interview commences.
Sharon: I love the sound of your book, Ancient Awakening. It sounds full of intrigue, love and my favorite, legends. Tell us about the premise and the characters.
Barbara: ‘Mel’ is a common-sense cop and Steve a scientist who deals in facts. Both are sensible people who don’t believe in the supernatural until evil comes alive in their backyard. The New England village of Rhodes End is located on the conjunction of magnetic ley lines that draw paranormal activity. Normal people live normal lives unaware of what happens around them.
Sharon: What inspired you to write paranormal?
But before Barbara can answer, a woman’s chilling scream shatters the windows.
Sharon: Oh, it must be your ghost. Did you bring it along? LOL As we were saying, tell us why you like the paranormal?
Barbara: I grew up next to an old cemetery with crumbling gravestones, gloomy pines and scary shadows. We played there during the day, but ran from it at night. I was always aware that things hid in the dark. Writing about my nightmares helps me sleep better.
Sharon: Oliver adores dressing up and Halloween is his favorite holiday. Do share a favorite ghost story with us. Or better yet, tell us about the ghost that haunts your Victorian Gothic home.
Barbara: I’d rather call him a shade. He appears as a silhouette wearing a visored hat and heavy coat at exactly 3:35 am in the living-room. He is facing the door. I don’t know if the last owner saw him since she died and we purchased the house from her estate. I think he’s the original owner who worked as a conductor on the railroad. I haven’t tried to talk to him.
Horrified, Oliver passes out cold, his heavy metal armor smacking the hardwood floor with a resounding thud. The skeletons from behind the walls cackle loud enough to wake the living dead.
Sharon: Get up, Oliver. We all know you went to acting school and you did not impress Barbara and she will not give you mouth to mouth. Now quit showing off and go away. So Barbara, how about superstition? And legends or lore? As a native New Englander, you must fancy quite a few.
Barbara: I love history and New England is ripe with wonderful tales. The original new world vampire family was dug up and burned by the neighbors not far from here.
Sharon: strokes her black cat. Ohhh. I love it! I certainly hope you don’t have any aversion to black cats, do you?
Barbara: Not at all. I love cats. My current cat is a calico that brings me dead mice, snakes and other nasty gifts.
Sharon: So does sweet Freddie here. So what is next for Barbara Edwards? Another Black Rose?
Barbara: Yes. The next book about Rhodes End continues Mel and Steve’s story with the addition of a werewolf and a girl who sees auras.
Sharon: And we’ll be looking for it. What was your favorite Halloween party and costume and did it have any bearing on your writing?
Barbara: Last year I dressed as a gypsy and read Tarot cards. Any event can be used in my writing, especially where emotions are stirred. People reacted very strongly to my readings and want me to do it again this year.
Sharon: I would love to have my cards read by you some time. I enjoy tea leaves and fortunes so much, so long as they’re good. LOL
The raven clock screeches and the hour is up.
Sharon: Just one more question, Barbara. What can the wee ones expect at the Edwards home this Halloween?
Barbara: I’m wearing a Black Widow spider outfit and decorating the porch with a huge spider week. Spooky music will play softly as they climb the stairs to get dark chocolate bars.
Sharon: I love it! Well, thank you so much for coming to the haunted mansion, Barbara. Where can we purchase Ancient Awakening and get in touch with you?
Barbara: Ancient Awakening can be purchased directly from theWildRosePress.com or you can visit my website www.barbaraedwards.net to read more and click the buy button. I also have a blog http://barbaraedwards.net/blog/blog.asp for Barb'Ed Comments
But then the organ music grinds and Oliver grabs Barbara for a spin, knocking her into the cobwebs. He sings the words in her ears,
“Halloween, Halloween Oh what funny things are seen Witches hats, coal black cats, broomstick riders , mice and rats…”