GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle
by Sharon Buchbinder
The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
The past meets the present when a curse turn-of-the-century man meets a feisty modern day woman.
When hotel inspector, Tallulah Thompson, is called in along with her pug, Franny, to investigate renovation delays, she meets an extremely annoyed and dapper turn-of-the-century innkeeper. The only problem is he’s in limbo, neither dead nor alive, and Tallulah and the pug are the first to see him in a hundred years.
Cursed by a medicine woman, "Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius" Stewart is stuck between worlds until he finds his true love and gives her his heart. When he first sees Tallulah, he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Yet, her stunning beauty, and feisty attitude pull him in.
With the fate of Hotel LaBelle on the line, Tallulah with the help of a powerful medicine woman turns Lucius back into a flesh and blood man. She and Lucius team up to save the hotel, but Tallulah can't help but wonder if he will ever let go of his past love and learn to love again.
A book flew at his head—and sailed through him, bouncing off the wall and landing on the floor.
Mouth agape, the woman stared from him to the book and back to him again. “You’re a ghost.”
“Not exactly. Shall we start over?” He leaned against the wall and folded his arms across his chest. “After a hundred years of being invisible to everyone except you, I’d like to know who you are and what you’re doing here.”
“Of course. Why not? Could today get any weirder?” She sank into the desk chair, shook her head, and sighed. “My name is Tallulah Thompson. I’m a hotel inspector, hired by the current owner as a consultant to find out why the renovations are delayed and what he needs to do to fix it. He’s teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.”
“What tribe are you?”
She jerked her head up and those doggone lapis lazuli eyes of hers sparked as if she’d strike him with lightning and kill him with one look. “No one asks that. It’s not politically correct.”
“Well, I guess you haven’t been talking to the right people. And I don’t know what you mean by that last part. I’ve never been involved in politics.”
“Nowadays, it’s considered rude to ask about another person’s national origins.” She threw her hands up. “Why am I giving a ghost an etiquette lesson? What am I thinking?”
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"The heroine and hero are fully realized characters who readers will root for and the narrative is descriptive and fast paced ... Buchbinder knows how to pull readers into the reality she's created." ~ Karen Sweeny-Justice, RT Book Reviews
"This is quite a good ghost story, with several twists & turns ... It's an interesting story, well developed, & I liked it." ~ Alberta, Manic Readers
"Sharon Buchbinder pens a hauntingly lovely paranormal romance story ... If you love your paranormals to be a little more on the unusual side with a twist, this is a definite must read as it combines history, heartache, mystery and mystical happenings." ~ Pauline Michael, the Night Owls Review Team
Guest Post by the Author
Dogs as Characters: Pros and Cons
As an author, unless your book is titled A Dog and His Best Friend, It’s a Dog’s Life, or Me and My Owner as told by Rusty to A Ghost Writer, you might want to consider the advantages and disadvantages of using a pup in your book. Here’s a list of considerations and my experiences.
Pro: Cute and Lovable: If you need to make a curmudgeon a tad more lovable, adding a dog to the mix to show how he or she changes is a good move. This was used effectively in As Good As It Gets. In the beginning, the writer/curmudgeon tosses his neighbor’s Yorkie down a trash chute. (Cue the horrified gasps in the audience.) By the end of the movie, the curmudgeon has spoiled the dog with unlimited bacon and he and the neighbor have joint custody of the pooch. Smooth move!
Con: Too Cute and Lovable: If the dog has too much time on scene as an adorable canine, it may be time to cut back his or her screen time. This is also true if he’s a bad dog—unless the book title is CUJO. The dog must remain in the background, not the foreground of the story.
Pro: Humor/Tension Breaker: I write paranormal romantic suspense, so there tends to be a lot of tension in my books. The plot races forward, but everyone needs a break from time to time. In The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle, Franny the pug in her so-ugly-she’s-cute way provides an icebreaker between the heroine, Tallulah Thompson, who is alive and the hero, Lucius Stewart, who is stuck in limbo. At times, Franny acts as go-between, clown princess, and snorer in chief. When I needed to write something funny about her, all I had to do was look at my pug, Agent Frank.
Con: Humor/Tension Breaker: A little bit of potty humor goes a looooooong way. Unless your book is aimed at ten year olds and under (see also children’s books) this kind of humor can make a reader throw the book across the room or use it to clean up after their dog!
Pro: Watch Dog/Rescuer: You don’t need a Saint Bernard to do this. Remember Lassie? Always barking about little Timmy falling down the well? Where the heck were Timmy’s parents, anyway? Nowadays we’d be calling Child Protective Services, but back then the dog was the best guardian for little Timmy. In my book, Desire and Deception, a Weimaraner, which is a loyal-to-the-death family dog, latches onto the wrist of an armed psychopath and enables the heroine to save herself.
Con: Always on Watch Dog/Rescuer: Unless your book is titled Lassie Lives Again, most readers will tire of the too-stupid-to-live (TSTL) heroine who cannot make it through the day without being rescued by her Teacup Yorkie. Seriously, Timmy was a child. And always in trouble. A romance heroine is usually over the age of 18. She should be smart enough to avoid open wells and dark cellars.
Pro: Investigative Helper: With their acute senses, dogs make excellent investigative assistants. They also can get into spaces and places where humans can’t go. In Some Other Child, Winston the Weimaraner, goes out early in the morning to do his business and returns with a blood encrusted handkerchief, the first of many clues to come in this mystery.
Con: Lead Detective: A very popular children’s show features a large blue dog who gives the audience clues to solve a puzzle. This is great for younger readers, but not so great for adults. My advice: never let the pooch be the lead detective in a romantic suspense novel.
Bottom line: Dogs make great characters. However, unless the main character in your book is the dog (and books like that are puplentiful), an author takes a risk using a dog as a character in his or her book. Remember, like any other secondary character, the canine companion can outshine the main character and upstage his or her owner. Let your heroine and hero be the stars and keep the pooch out of the limelight.
About the Author
Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. When not teaching or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, Maryland, and Punta Gorda, Florida.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of ten ebook copies of The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder.