Saturday, March 16, 2013

Welcome Debut Author Lexi Post!

That moment when a writer gets "the call" from a publisher and finally sells a book is one of the best moments in a writer's life.  Mine happened over twenty years ago (yes, I was twelve) and I still remember every jumbled second of it.

When I heard that my friend Lexi Post got her call, I couldn't have been happier and so I'm thrilled to be spotlighting her here on my blog with her newly published debut novel, MASQUEPlease join me in congratulating her and please take a moment to read this wonderful blog and excerpt from  MASQUE.  Be sure to read to the end....there's a giveaway or a fabulous Venetian mask !

Thank you Erin for inviting me to your blog. You have always been very open about your own foray into authorship, and your “haunting” books have been so amazing that I feel a bit in awe J
Speaking of haunting, has anyone Googled “haunted bed-and-breakfasts” lately? I did.  Over 3,500,000 sites came up, but then again, that’s how Google works.  So I clicked on a couple links. The first link was an article from the Travel Channel.  The second was a site that listed 200 haunted inns from all over the United States. Whoa, I didn’t realize this was such a “normal” item, but it certainly made my debut release MASQUE a little more believable, that is if you believe in ghosts.
Yes, my just released erotic romance is set in a haunted abbey that was actually used as a Pleasure Palace by a prince. Wait, let me step back.  Before anyone thinks I’m throwing everything at my setting except the kitchen sink (well, it did have one, but no electricity), I should explain that my story was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death.” It actually wasn’t me who made the setting an old abbey that was formerly used by a prince to entertain his aristocratic friends while his subjects died outside. Nope, that was all Poe’s doing.
However, I do write erotic romances inspired by the classics, so at the end of Poe’s story, when everyone died, I was a little stuck.  How could I make this story come alive in a very different way today? First, I simply made 73 of the guests from Poe’s story into ghosts. Now I had some characters. Second, the masked figure that somehow gets into Poe’s sealed abbey is supposedly Death.  Well, I didn’t see how Death would make a honorable, hunky hero. This is an erotic romance after all. So I decided, since everyone died in Poe’s story, how would they know it had been Death, especially because Poe claimed to hate allegory and particularly Hawthorne’s? Perhaps it wasn’t Death at all, but a friend of the prince who was trying to make a point and help the prince see the error of his ways and finally help his people outside the abbey.
Only, of course, everything went wrong.  Everyone died and 73 ghosts were trapped in the abbey along with the hero, whose name is Synn. I decided to go with that J And this abbey of Poe’s is a magnificent place for a haunting, for not only does it look like a Medieval Castle, but it has 7 colored entertainment rooms. I’ve kept these rooms the same in my story, even down to the way they were lit which was with braziers on the outside of two opposing walls and large stained glass windows through which the firelight colored the room. The rooms were blue, purple, green, orange, white, violet, and black, except the black room has red windows. In fact, both Poe’s and my story is full of color because it features a Masque (a costume party). The clothing, especially in 1861, was elaborate and the masks, masterpieces.
The modern day heroine, Rena, buys the abandoned abbey to turn it into a haunted bed-and-breakfast. See, I get to the point eventually. Rena turns out to be quite brave, as well as quite interested in Synn.
Personally, I’ve only stayed in one haunted hotel and that was the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH. Have you ever stayed overnight in a haunted place?  If so let me know, and I will put you in a drawing to win this mysterious Venetian mask made in Italy.
While you try to remember, I will give you a sneak peak at MASQUE.
Enjoy,  Lexi
From the cover:
MASQUE by Lexi Post
Rena Mills plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a haunted bed-and-breakfast to prove she can be successful without her ex-fiancé. What she finds inside is Synn MacAllistair, the distinguished, self-proclaimed Ghost Keeper. Her dreams soon fill with sexual cravings for him. But are they dreams?
Synn, born in 1828, is determined to free the souls of the resident spirits, blaming himself for bringing the Red Death that killed them. When Rena steps into the old Pleasure Palace, he’s sure he can take her through the after-midnight Pleasure Rooms and stoke her passion to complete the Masque so the souls can cross over. Her innocent fire makes him crave more, but it’s far too late for him.
As Rena begins her erotic journey, her heart becomes more involved with every sensual caress until she discovers by completing the Masque she would lose her ghosts. Synn’s betrayal wars with her compassion for her ghostly friends. Torn, she must make a choice between her financial security and freeing seventy-three trapped souls. Either way, she could lose her Synn.

Keep reading for an excerpt from  MASQUE:
Rena leaned with her back against one of the dining room windows and stared hard at her friend. “Val. I’m not going to let you tell me it can’t be done.”
“It can’t be done.”
She ground her teeth and stalked back to the table. Putting both hands on the dark wooden surface, she scowled. “I said, don’t tell me that.”
Valerie sat back in her chair and clasped her hands. “Look, I know how important this is, but unless we can find a way to drill through this stone that will take less time, there is no way you will be able to open until next year.”
“My finances won’t make it until next year. I have to get this place up and running by fall and I’d still be missing the entire summer tourist season.” She dropped her head in defeat, a familiar sensation.
Valerie placed her hand on hers. “I know, kid. I’m doing the best I can.”
“Can I help?”
Rena turned at the sound of Synn’s deep voice, loving the way it reverberated through her like a well-played bass cello, chasing away her inadequate reality. He stood leaning against the doorway of the dining room in a pair of tight, muscle-defining tan leggings and a loose white shirt. Very casual and very sexy.
At her inspection of his person, he returned the favor and she wished she’d left her hair down instead of in the clip she’d thrown it in. Her jeans and baggy sweatshirt didn’t exactly say “sexy” either.
Synn strode toward them to peer over Valerie’s shoulder at her list of tasks. “What is it that is causing you trouble?”
Valerie glanced at him, and Rena had to smack down a little green envy bug at the attention he paid her best friend. She should be grateful. Valerie could be doing a dozen other jobs right now instead of helping her with this bed-and-breakfast project.
Valerie circled two items on her list and pointed with her pen. “These are our major projects, updating the running water and adding electricity. The last, the electricity, is huge. We have to drill conduits into these walls for every inch of line we need to feed, and that will take a lot of time. From the size of this place, I’d say there are literally miles of conduits we will need.”
Synn stepped back and looked at the walls. Without a word, he strode over to a brass candlestick set upon a built-in shelf and pulled it down. The wall moved.
She and Valerie scrambled to see inside.
Synn swept his arm toward the opening. “Will this help?”
Grabbing her flashlight off the table, Valerie walked through. Rena followed.
“We’ve got a freaking racetrack back here, Rena. Look at this!”
She did look. It was a narrow hallway built between two walls, yet in the distance she could see a small window where light spilled onto the floor. She stepped back and bumped into Synn. “Damn, but you’re quiet.”
He steadied her with a hand to her shoulder. “These are the servants’ corridors. They run throughout the Abbey. Can you use these as conduits?”
Valerie couldn’t have smiled wider. “Of course! We can run the lines high on the wall so the employees can still use these hallways. Then all we need to do is drill through the thickness of the walls to where you need the plugs and lights. It’s perfect.”
Rena dared to hope. “Really? Are you absolutely sure, Val?”
Her friend nodded.
“Yes!” She turned to Synn and gave him a hug. “Thank you so much. I owe you one.”
He quirked his brow. “I like the sound of that.”
A shiver raced across her skin and deep inside her chest. She still didn’t know what he thought of her little escapade the night before and didn’t have the guts to ask. Nope. Not knowing would save her all kinds of embarrassment. She glanced back at the hidden servants’ corridor. “Hey, wait a minute. Why would an abbey have a servants’ corridor? Don’t priests or monks take a vow of poverty or something?”
Synn waited for them to exit, then pulled the candlestick vertical again and the hidden door closed without a sound. “As I said yesterday, the name Ashton Abbey is a misnomer. This was always intended to be a Pleasure Palace for the prince. At one point, over a hundred of his closest friends lived here with him.”
Valerie sniffed. “Well, so far, I’ve only seen one ghost and that’s not a very big haunting if you ask me.”
Synn turned his gaze upon Rena. Her body temperature rose at the knowledge in his eyes, but he addressed Valerie. “You will not remain disappointed for long. Rena has already—”
The sound of a dish shattering interrupted him. Rena looked at him and Valerie. “Ghosts?”
He sighed. “That would be Mrs. McMurray. She is frustrated with her inability to help you after waiting so long to have guests. My guess is she tried to move something even though she should wait at least a couple more days. I’ll go look in on her.”
Rena watched Synn’s ass as he strode through the doorway leading to the kitchen. She barely contained her sigh, but Valerie wasn’t fooled.
“Ree, are you seriously thinking of pursuing that man?”
She shook her head. “I know, I know. I need to stop falling for upper-class men.”
Valerie grabbed her arm. “You listen to me, girl. I don’t know what Bryce told you, but you have twice as much class as he does. But this guy here? There is something he isn’t telling us. I can feel it in my bones. Can you wait until we figure out what it is before you rebound into another relationship?”
“Hey, who said anything about a relationship? I think I need a good year before trying another one of those. I was thinking more along the lines of a little rebound sex. I mean, come on, you have to admit, the man is hot.”
Valerie narrowed her eyes.
“Okay, okay.” She threw her hands up. Valerie was right. She needed to get control of her sexual interest and focus on her main objective. No sex until the Abbey was complete. She nodded with assurance as she made the pact with herself.
Lexi is giving away a Venetian mask to one lucky commenter so be sure to let her know what you think about her exciting new novel!

For more information on Lexi Post visit-            


Anonymous said...

The Hotel Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA is said to be haunted. I didn't see any ghosts myself, but my husband didn't sleep very well. He wouldn't go into details as to why. If I did see any, I don't think I would have been so accepting of them as your characters were in your book.I probably would have been freaked out!

Judy Shepps Battle said...

I have never been to a haunted hotel but Lexi has sure convinced me to try one!

Of course, I will be majorly disappointed if the ghosts are not up to the very high bar of erotic skills that the ones who populate the Masque manifest. Except for small details like the ghosts periodically losing their visibility, one totally forgets their unearthly status and Synn, well who cares what type of status Synn has with the erotic skills he posesses (big smile here).

Kudo's for this well-written and stimulating novel that honors the classics as well as our own libido potential.

Can't wait to read your next book, Lexi!

Lexi Post said...

Dscott, I didn't have any encounters at the Mount Washington Hotel either, but it was still cool to hear about. If I encountered REAL ghost, I'd probably try to talk to them :-}

Lexi Post said...

Judy, thank you for your kind words about my book. The next book goes to my editor this month, so cross your fingers she likes it :-)

Denysé Bridger said...

Lexi, another wonderful post about this fabulous novel - I've just started reading it, and I do love it!! Clearly you've not only done your homework/research, you've had a helluva great time doing it and that shows!! Congratulations again on what I am sure is the start of a long and successful career!!!

Hugs, Denyse
(Who has had a ghostly encounter, but not in a hotel or B&B1)

Lexi Post said...

Thank you Denysé. Oh now you have left us all hanging (pouting). You must tell me about it sometime. Thank you so much for purchasing the book. I'll be interested to see which room you like best ;-)

bn100 said...

Nice excerpt


Unknown said...

I have never stayed at a haunted inn or bed and breakfast but I would love to. I'm really fascinated by everything paranormal. I love reading true ghost stories in books and books on haunted places. I can't necessarily say I had a haunting experience, but when my brother died many years ago we had a weird experience at church at his funeral. When he was alive he was absolutely terrified of spiders. I'm talking little girl screaming, scared to death fear of the little creatures. Anyway, at the funeral during the service a spider came down from somewhere (we have no idea where because the rafters are way way up high and there wasn't anything else above it for it to be hanging from). It was hanging right between his wife and his 8 year old son. We freaked out a little and then all of a sudden it was gone and we had no idea where it went. Not long after this the song "On Eagles Wings" was playing and right in the middle of the song a huge bird went flying past the wall which has all stained glass windows. The shadow it created inside the church was like a massive bird flew through the church. It was truly crazy and somehow brought peace during a difficult time. sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

Lexi Post said...

Thank you bn100. I'm so glad you liked it :-)

Lexi Post said...

What a wonderful story, Shannon. I can see how that would bring you peace. People often think of a haunting as a ghost that is not happy, but I can see where the spider and bird can be a positive. The ghosts in MASQUE are definitely not unhappy, well except one :-}

Lexi Post said...

We have a winner! Shannon Bereza :-)

Unknown said...

So, so excited!!!