Tell me about your latest book.
The Lady’s Ghost is a Regency-set romance with a mystery at its heart.
First Portia’s late unlamented husband left her penniless, then his nip-farthing brother dumped her at Ashburne Hall to decay. If mice in the walls and holes in the roof aren’t bad enough, someone wants her to believe the place is haunted. But Portia doesn’t scare that easily, even if catching sight of the brooding ghost leaves her strangely breathless.
When he was accused of murdering his fiancée a decade ago, Giles Ashburne fled the country to his supposed death. Now he’s returned to the Hall to uncover the evidence that will exonerate him, only to find himself playing a ghost in his own home. Nothing he does drives Portia away, and worse, the stubborn chit is starting to grow on him.
The more Portia learns about Giles Ashburne, the more certain she becomes that her ghost is not only innocent, but far from dead. When she sets out to prove it, she puts herself on a crash course with not only Giles, but the real killer. If Giles and Portia don’t learn to stop striking sparks off each other and work together, there will soon be two ghosts at Ashburne Hall.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on the next book in the series, tentatively titled The Duke’s Despair, which follows several of the characters from The Lady’s Ghost into their own story of double-dealing, sabotage and, of course, romance.
Who are your writing role models?
Oh my, that’s a difficult question to answer! I love the Regency period and romance in general, but my reading tastes are very eclectic, and I tend to find my role models in a variety of genres. Things like Ellis Peters’ warmly human characters in the Brother Cadfael mysteries, the unrelenting pacing of the supernatural horror written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Neil Gaiman’s apparently limitless imagination.
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
Not as well as I’d like, especially at the moment. It’s difficult to prevent writing from taking a back seat to other commitments. Knowing which one is more important to me (writing) does not always translate into giving it the space it needs and deserves. This is a balance act I’m still working on.
What are your other passions outside of writing?
Reading (but what writer doesn’t say that?), making stained glass panels and chainmail jewelry, helping out on the local volunteer fire department (which is one of the things that eats up time and makes the balancing act difficult – it’s one thing to volunteer to help out your neighbors as a volunteer firefighter and another to find yourself elected chief, with all the responsibility and paperwork that entails). I also operate a slowly growing editing service for other writers (www.ravensgateediting.com) – I’ve been editing for more than twenty years and thoroughly enjoy the chance to help people make their books the very best they can be.
Note to readers: Colleen edited Ever After and she is currently editing my current WIP. She is awesome!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
The Lady’s Ghost and The Duke’s Despair are just the beginning of a web of books all connected through the lives of the characters. Secondary characters become heroes and heroines, the main characters in one book become supporting characters (and sometimes obstacles) in other books, and readers stand a chance of discovering why Lord X was holding up the wall at his own ball, or Lady Y flirted so egregiously with the hero only to dump him the next morning.
For more about me and my books, visit me at: http://www.colleenladd.com
Book information for Lady’s Ghost:
Print ISBN: 978-1-941881-01-9
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-941881-00-2
After her husband’s death, Portia Ashburne finds herself banished to Ashburne Hall, left to fend for herself in the crumbling old manor.
Ten years ago, when Giles, the previous Lord Ashburne, was accused of murdering his fiancee, he fled on a ship that was lost at sea. Locals claim his spirit haunts Ashburne Hall.
Portia doesn’t believe in ghosts. She suspects the Hall’s hostile caretakers of playing tricks on her. When she sets out to prove it, she puts herself on a crash course with both Giles and the real killer. Will The Lady’s Ghost be able to save her?