This month and next I’m featuring a different paranormal author every week. My guest author today, Meg Benjamin, is a prolific romance author who covers the genres from contemporary Texas Hill country novels to paranormal stories of mediums and ghosts. She’s addicted to travel and cool Texas music, and loves animals. Please welcome Meg Benjamin to Jessica Aspen Writes.
My first paranormal novel, Medium Well, was released recently by Berkley InterMix (followed by Medium Rare on August 20 and Happy Medium on December 17). All three novels are ghost stories because, well, I’ve always been sort of intrigued by ghosts. Haven’t you?
When I was a kid, I devoured every ghost story I could lay my hands on at the local library, and I still enjoy reading those “ghosts of Colorado” books they sell to tourists. So when I started working on my ghost books, I found that I knew quite a lot about what ghosts were supposed to be like. I knew that a lot of ghosts were looking for closure, and if you could figure out what they wanted, they’d go away. I knew that twilight was ghost time, or at least you were more likely to see them then than at other times of day. And I knew that ghosts tended to stick around places where they’d had traumatic experiences, sometimes places where they’d died.
But that was all pretty standard stuff. As I started to work on my medium books, I found lots of questions I didn’t know the answers to. How do you protect yourself from ghosts, for example? Different cultures had different answers, but elements like iron and salt seemed to be pretty standard. Did ghosts ever threaten humans with anything besides just a good scare? Yes, as it turned out. Most cultures have stories of malevolent spirits that could really do a number on the living if you weren’t careful.
All of my research gave me ideas to play with. What if you had ancient ghosts who were a little like vampires, drawing strength and “staying power” from humans? What if you were a reluctant medium who really didn’t know how to go about using your power? And what if your “spirit guide” was a real pain in the posterior?
In the end, I came up with a mixture of traditional ghost lore and my own inventions, all of it set in a very real place—the King William District of San Antonio. And I had a lot of fun doing it. After all, who doesn’t like a good scare, assuming there’s a happy ending somewhere down the line!
Here’s the blurb for Medium Well:
Love At Second Sight
Real estate agent Danny Ramos has always had a knack for selling homes, but when his boss saddles him with a neglected carriage house, Danny discovers that his abilities are more than simple intuition…
On his first visit to the house, Danny is confronted with visions of a violent murder. His assistant, Biddy Gunter, doesn’t seem affected, and Danny starts to think he’s going crazy—until he gets a visit from his mother, who suggests that Danny’s uncanny talent to sell old houses may stem from his family inheritance: psychic empathy.
When Biddy reveals to Danny her own strange dream about the carriage house ghosts, they team up to investigate and discover both the house’s dark history and their own unexpected attraction. But as the hauntings turn from unsettling to downright dangerous, Danny and Biddy need to figure out how to rid the house of its ghostly inhabitants, before their budding romance meets an untimely end…
Before I came to Texas twenty years ago, my husband and I lived all around the U.S., including Kansas, Iowa, Washington, Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Pennsyvania, with brief visits in California, Connecticut, and New Mexico. In fact, one of my favorite things to do (in pre-gas price hike days) is to travel around the country, preferably off the Interstate.
A couple of years ago my husband took a new job in the Colorado foothills, so I’ve now relocated to the northwest Denver suburbs. It’s a big switch, but my mom grew up on the Western Slope, and she gave me an abiding love of the mountains, so I’m not expecting too many problems (and no, I don’t mind the snow).
In Texas I taught English, desktop publishing, Web design, and editing, among other miscellaneous things, before finally retiring after putting in my twenty-five. At the same time, I worked as a freelance writer and editor, on projects ranging from computer manuals to underwater photography books.
My husband and I managed to raise two wonderful sons, along with a variety of cats and a couple of dogs. We still visit South Texas, and we still love to wander around the country when the spirit moves us, although these days we’re likely to fly in and rely on public transportation (let’s hear it for light rail trains!).
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Next week I’ll be on the blog with the Tortured Hero Bloghop and giving a way a copy of my own tortured hero’s book, Snow and the Seventh Wolf. Check out the link HERE to see what other fabulous authors will be on the hop. There will be some terrific prizes on most of the sites and a large swag basket, so plan to be hopping April 25th-28th.