Did you see the latest AAD Author visiting Larissa’s Bookish Life yesterday with her own After Dark on Bourbon Street story? You should totally go read it…like now.
After Dark on Bourbon Street
A big thank you to Literary Escapism for allowing me to stop by and chat with you all. I guess I should start with an introduction. I’m Tess Jennings, a pretty normal woman except for the fact that I have a special gift—I can see and talk to ghosts.
Now I’ve always dreamed of going to New Orleans. What can I say, I love a good party and I would be the first in line to enjoy Mardi Gras, but see there are eight very good reasons for why I avoid New Orleans. No matter that I’m jealous of everyone who travels there, here is why I stay away.
- St. Louis cemetery
- Le Pavilion Hotel
- Arnaud’s Restaurant
- Canal Street at City Park Avenue
- Cafe Lafite in Exile
- The Sultans Palace, Gardette-LePrete Haunted House
- The Beauregard-Keyes House
- Hotel Monteleone
So what are these places you ask? Why would I be so leery to go here? Isn’t the answer clear, ghosts have a nasty habit of talking to me and needing me to help them. So considering these places above are the most haunted spots in New Orleans then I will avoid them. I have my hands full back in Memphis with enough ghosts that won’t leave me alone—especially one that I don’t mind so much since he’s a sexy-as-sin ghost—but I don’t need to add to my to-do-list.
All I can say is if you’re looking for a spooky place to go and want some ghostly adventures, then any of the places above will prove to be worth your while. For me, I’ll stay right here in Memphis and deal with the ghosts who are already too much for me to handle, and also snuggle up next to the ghost who I don’t being haunted by.
If you’re interested in learning more about my story, leave a comment to be entered to win an ebook copy of Supernaturally Kissed (International). And thanks again to Literary Escapism for letting me stop by and chat a while.
Kipp McGowen, a cop with the Memphis Police Department, will stop at nothing to gain her help, including using his ghostly charms to seduce her.
Tess must help solve the five year old cold case of Hannah Reid, because solving the case will save Kipp. But a bigger problem presents itself. Tess is falling in love with a ghost. Now she must decide. Keep Kipp forever or find the killer…
An icy wisp of air swept in behind me, causing my heel to twist as I stumbled. To the other pedestrians striding along the downtown Memphis street, the sensation would be brushed off as a cold breeze.
They were wrong. A spirit lingered here.
“Can you hear me?”
From the intrigue rolling in his voice, he hadn’t expected me to acknowledge him. Shit! I’d already given myself away. A mistake I’d rectify.
Without hesitation, I righted my stance and strode forward with purpose, forcing myself to remain deaf to the voice. If I ignored ghosts long enough, they moved on and searched out someone else who held the same irritating ability, whom I had yet to meet.
Much to my annoyance, the ghost stayed right on my heels and his presence remained strong behind me. The cold air at my back remained a contrast to the warm morning air in front of me. Every hair on my neck stood up and goose bumps pimpled a trail along my skin. If only I could rub them away, but I didn’t dare. Ignoring him would make him go away.
“You can hear me, can’t you?” the ghost asked again.
Spirits were typically harmless, but annoying. I’m dead, what’s going on, why am I a ghost—yada, yada, yada. I quickened my steps and made my way down Peabody Place in hopes he’d leave me alone.
He sounded desperate, which meant a big headache for me. If I hadn’t worn my damn slingbacks, I would’ve tried to run and hide. But the three-inch Manolos and the tight, tailored gray skirt restrained my movements.
I passed Miss Polly’s Soul Food Café, and the delicious aroma of bacon and eggs drifted along the air. My empty stomach complained. My only thought after I woke had been caffeine. Now I wished I’d grabbed a muffin with my latté at Starbucks. With ten minutes to get to my desk, I couldn’t worry about such things.
My boss, Event Manager Dylan Cobb, would hand me my ass if I stepped into the office a minute late. Sadly, there’d never been a day I didn’t cater to his every need.
I approached Beale Street and sighed in relief, relishing the warmth surrounding me. Not only from the sun above—the spirit’s cold presence at my back had vanished. Pleased my dodge of him had worked, I took a sip of my energy in a cup and smiled. Coffee’s fantastic, the ghost is gone—life is good.
Another block passed under my heels before I reached the historical red-brick building. Randall Marketing, written in black block letters, decorated the striped green-and-white awning.
I opened the door to the office and strode in, greeted by a bubbly voice. “Good morning, Tess.”
“Give me a moment here.” Doris shuffled paperwork around her desk, her auburn curls bouncing on her shoulders. The receptionist had always been messy, yet somehow organized. “There were a few messages on the voicemail for you.” She raised her head and held out the pink slips of paper. “A lovely day today, is it not?”
“Sure is.” So I lied. The ghost hadn’t kicked off my day on a high note. Not as if I’d tell her about my interaction with spirits. My ability to converse with spirits remained on a need-to-know basis, and as far as it concerned me, no one needed to know. I grabbed the messages from her hand. “Did your weekend treat you good?”
“I spent the entire weekend knee-deep in my garden.” Her cocoa-colored eyes lit up. “My best year ever, I’m hoping. You’ll have to come out and have a look-see.”
“I’d love to.” Doris treasured her gardens, so I tried to appear interested, even though my green thumb looked black.
Her smile brightened, but when the phone rang, she waved a goodbye and answered the call. “It’s another beautiful day here at Randall Marketing, how may I direct your call?”
Leaving her behind, I strode down the hall toward my office and sipped my coffee. The warmth slid down my throat and provided an immediate rush to my energy levels. At the third door on the right, I entered my bleak workspace with its pale-blue walls, closed the door behind me and approached the desk. I dropped down into the black leather chair and flipped through the messages. None were urgent enough to worry about now.
I powered up my computer, but a knock at the door had me glancing up. Before I got a word out, the door swished open and I cringed, fully aware of the looming trouble.
Caley, the officer manager and my best friend since the age of four, looked like a typical Barbie. Perfect skin, long flowing blonde hair and a body men drooled over. I might have been jealous of her perfection since I couldn’t pull off her looks even with a makeover—so maybe a little envious—but her appearance had always been a front. She was the devil in disguise.
She scowled, shutting the door behind her with a slam. “Do you mind explaining where you were all weekend?”
“At home.” I batted my lashes. “Why? Did you try to call me?”
She pointed her finger, narrowing her eyes at me. “Don’t you try that shit on me. I called you all weekend and your phone went straight to voicemail.”
“Hmm…” I pretended to ponder. “The battery must have died.” She had enough gall to just come over, but the little hint had been a subtle way of telling Caley to leave me alone.
“Liar.” She plopped down in the seat across from my desk. “Where were you? I wanted to go out.”
“Nowhere. Honestly, I vegged on the couch.”
Caley snorted. “You lead such an exciting life.”
My mouth parted to offer a snappy retort, but a cold wisp of air brushed across my skin, causing my lips to snap shut. Damn! I thought I’d got rid of him.
“Hello.” Caley snapped her fingers in front of my face. “Leave the aliens behind and return to Mother Earth.”
I blinked, trying to force my attention back to her, yet failing. The ghost knelt right beside Caley—not kneeling, of course; more like floating, since ghosts were never able to obtain physical contact with the world around them—and my focus held strong on him, unable to stop myself from ogling. He stared intently, with one crystal-blue eye, while the other was a chocolate color. His strong jaw, the muscles clenching along his cheeks, all spoke of power. But as he ran his hand through his untidy sandy-colored hair, his expression showed playfulness. His black tank top left his arms exposed and muscles upon muscles layered those arms.
“Anyways,” she said, dragging my gaze back to her. “I had to go out with Susanne because you left me high and dry.”
I laughed. Caley’s horny, twenty-year-old stepsister had the body that men chased after. “You did have the option to stay home, you know.”
Her eyes widened. “On a Saturday night?”
“Yeah, you know, get some popcorn, watch a movie and relax.”
She frowned. “If you don’t stop your grandma behavior, your va-jay-jay is going to shrivel up and die.”
The ghost chuckled.
His smooth laugh hit me like a cup of warm cocoa, causing my insides to melt. Nothing amused me. First off, Caley had been so wrong—maybe a little right—but I’d never admit to her accuracy aloud. Second, reacting in such a heated way to a ghost definitely didn’t hit my to-do list today.
“Excuse me.” I spoke not only to Caley, but also to the irritating ghost. “My va-jay-jay is just fine.”
“Well, I’m glad to hear you’ve still got some spunk.” She stood and placed her hands on her hips. “Because we’ve got a double date tonight.”
“A what?” Dear God!
She grinned from ear to ear. “Yes, my dearest Grammy, we’re going out.”
“Two guys I met on Saturday night. You’re coming with me, either willingly or unwillingly, so suck up your hesitations, babe, because saying no isn’t an option.”
“But it’s a Monday night.” Not saying a date didn’t sound like fun. A month had passed since my last attempt at dating—which failed miserably—but a man Caley chose while drunk? No thanks. My sex life might have been as dead as the sexy ghost in front of me, but I’d still search for a way out. “I have to work tomorrow.”
She wagged her finger in classic Caley fashion. “You’re a grandma.”
Most times, I respected her persistent personality. She never backed down, always dreamed big and went for the gold, but her grit hadn’t been all rays of sunshine. Her determination made her annoyingly tenacious. I had to agree or she’d never give up, and getting her out of my office sounded all too good. “Fine. I’ll go with you.”
“Oh, stop looking so pissy. We’ll have fun. Promise. I’ll come to your place at eight.” She opened the door, glanced over her shoulder and winked. “Leave the granny panties at home.”
Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2011 All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Meet Stacey Kennedy!
Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll find fast paced action, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance Ebooks Bestseller lists. If she isn’t plugging away at her next novel, tending to her two little ones, she’s got her nose deep in a good book. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband.
Be sure to drop her a line at www.staceykennedy.com, she loves to hear from her readers.
Want to purchase Stacey’s novels?
The Magical Sword
- The Willow at Amazon | Book Depository
- The Wicked at Amazon | Book Depository
- The Devil’s Kiss at Amazon Book Depository
- First and Last at Amazon | Book Depository
Once Bitten, Forever Burned at Amazon
All She Wants for Christmas is Her Dom at Amazon
Supernaturally Kissed at Amazon
Bind Me at Amazon
Forever Bound at Amazon
A Deadly Whisper at Amazon
Shadowed Soul at Amazon
A Broken Bond at Amazon
Bless The Beauty at Amazon
Whispers of Evil at Amazon
Stolen Dreams at Amazon
Thank you Stacey for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Stacey is giving away a copy of Supernaturally Kissed. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: What kind of ghost (or who) would you like to encounter in a New Orleans graveyward? While we’re at the AAD Conference, where should we hit up? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
In addition to the fabulous prize above, Larissa and I are giving away two $25 ARe gift certificates, so be sure to answer the question.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until February 28th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.