Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour, Author Guest Post & Giveaway: No Ghouls Allowed (Ghost Hunter Mystery #9) by Victoria Laurie

On a trip to Georgia to see her father, M. J. Holliday finds herself trapped in a haunted mansion and discovers...


M.J. has had a distant relationship with her father since her mother died more than two decades ago. But when M.J., her boyfriend, Heath, and BFF, Gilley, take a break from their show, Ghoul Getters, and visit her family home in Valdosta, Georgia, they find Montgomery Holliday a changed man. The source of his happiness seems to be his new fiancée, the charming Christine Bigelow.

But despite the blush of new love, Montgomery and Christine are dealing with a big problem in the form of the antebellum mansion she is having renovated. After a series of strange accidents, the work crew is convinced the place is cursed, and the contractor has walked off the job. At Christine’s request, M.J. and her pals agree to find out if they’re really dealing with some spirited saboteurs and a possessed plantation home.

 Eeeek + Ha + Sniffle = Fun For Me!

             Here’s the thing…it’s my job to freak you out.  Truly.  And baring that, it’s my job to make you cry.  Baring that, I should at least be able to make you laugh.
And if I can’t make you do any of that,…well then clearly you are dead inside.  

The truth is, I loooove writing scary stories that are balanced with either a whole lotta funny, or, something emotionally powerful that makes the reader well up a little.  Sometimes I’m lucky, and my stories are both scary and riddled with punch lines.  Other times the focus is a bit more serious, and funny may not always be appropriate.  Each book is a little different with it’s own unique combo of, “Eeek!” + “Haha!” + “Sniffle!”

Mostly, though, I want your heart to pound, your funny bone to itch, and your eyes to leak.  And it delights me if all of that would happen to you someplace public – the subway, the lunch counter, the library.  Can you tell that I’m a bit of a sadist?  

Still, I will give fair warning for my M. J. Holliday fans that my latest release, No Ghouls Allowed, is super-duper scary.  As in…even I had trouble writing once it got dark out.  And to balance that “better keep the lights on” feeling, I had a choice to either bring on the funny, or reach for something a little more emotional.  I went for emotional.  “EEEEK” + “SNIFFLE!”  + perhaps only a soupçon of “ha!”

Mostly I thought that after nine books it was high time for my fans to get a better sense of M. J.’s character.  For those of you who’ve read the series, you know that my plucky little protagonist has been a bit of an enigma, which hasn’t always been on purpose.  I was excited to write this particular installment to finally fully explore what makes M. J.,…well,…M. J.  In the end I can honestly say that it was such a satisfying endeavor.  I finally feel like I’ve presented her fully to you, my fans.  I feel like you now know why she is the way she is, tough, cool, but also a person capable of caring deeply for those she loves, and I’m not sure that in previous books that always came through.

It also, I think, finally makes it clear why M. J. would put up with her BFF Gilley’s antics all these years, because, as you all well know, he can be just a bit of a handful.  

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been closer to M. J.’s character than I was while writing this book.  She’s the most like me in this ninth installment – except of course that if someone asked me to go explore a haunted old mansion I’d be all, “Uh…I would, but I think I have to be somewhere else right now.  And tomorrow.  And the day after that.  And for the rest of my life.”

So, yeah, I’m totally willing to scare the pants off you, because, like I said, that’s just fun for me. 

And if you could also throw in a chuckle and a sniffle, that’d be super swell, too.  J

Victoria Laurie is the New York Times bestselling author of 26 books and counting. Victoria divides her time between her two adult mystery series, (The Psychic Eye Mysteries, and The Ghost Hunter Mysteries), and a Y/A thriller, When (Formerly titled Death Date), to be released in early January of 2015.

As a professional psychic, Victoria's protagonists - psychic Abigail Cooper, and spiritual medium M. J. Holliday - tackle the tricky world of the paranormal while fighting bad guys and demons with plenty of plucky humor and determination.

And using that keen understanding of the paranormal, Victoria also created the character of Maddie Fynn, a teenager with the unique intuitive ability to predict the exact date of someone's death.

To showcase her writing range, Victoria has also penned a children's epic adventure series, The Oracles of Delphi Keep. 

There are two things that I loved about this book.  One - the feel of the old south.  There is NOTHING like antebellum homes in the old south.  They have their own air of romance, don't they? :)  And two - M.J. and her crew.  They never get old or tiresome and M.J. is the perfect sleuth.  

The mystery in this book was fantastically written.  Ms. Laurie has always been gifted at writing compelling stories, but this one had help from the setting itself.  The home plays just like an additional character, and it's brilliant!  Add in the paranormal aspect of the story, and you have a beautiful cocktail of spooky and thrilling!  

This series is a wonderful addition to any cozy lover's collection, and even 9 books in, it's still going strong.  Do yourselves a favor, and check these out! :) 

Rating: 4.5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own.

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 copy of No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie to give away to one of my lucky readers! Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways! 

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Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

I love Victoria's Psychic Eye series, and enjoyed the only Ghoul Getters book I've managed to get hold of. I need to catch up! Thanks for an interesting guest post, and I look forward to finding out more about M.J. (Even if I do prefer to avoid the scary books.)

Karen B said...

This series sounds terrific! 9 books and I've missed them all - how did that happen? Time to catch up.

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