Today I welcome back fellow Crooked Cat author Shani Struthers, on the eve of her next book launch.
Hello again, Shani! Your latest book, Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street is coming out tomorrow. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
All the Psychic Surveys books deal with a particular theme and in Book Three it’s reincarnation. Ruby meets Elisha Grey, who is tuning into a past life that’s frightening her. Ruby isn’t keen to get involved because she is so busy and doesn’t see the need to diversify – reincarnation is not her specialist field. Also, there’s the on-going case of 44 Gilmore Street to deal with – the spirit causing trouble there is very territorial and growing increasingly violent, able to interact physically on occasions. The case is drawing public attention – negative public attention – adding to the strain. Elisha, however, is adamant that Ruby helps her…
On your last visit you talked about Eve: A Christmas Ghost Story. Am I right in thinking there’s a link between the two books?
Eve is the prequel novella to the Psychic Surveys series and features two of the main characters ten years before they’ve met Ruby Davis (who runs Psychic Surveys) and a case they’re working on in the market town of Thorpe Morton. You get to meet Theo and Ness in more depth and realise how Psychic Surveys – the high street consultancy specialising in domestic spiritual clearance – came about. Fast forward in time and you have Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall. There will be six books in the main series and perhaps another novella spin off featuring another character from the book, Corinna.
Are you working on another book?
Always! In-between the Psychic Surveys series, I’m working on the first book in a new series: This Haunted World Book One: The Venetian. It’s a series of books not linked by characters but by locations – they’re all going to be set in and around the world’s most haunted places! First up in The Venetian is Venice and the nearby island of Poveglia in the Venetian Lagoon – the former is the ‘world’s most haunted city’ and the latter, ‘the world’s most haunted island.’ The books will mix fact with fiction and I’m really excited to write them. The Venetian has been read by several beta readers already and received great feedback – I’m planning on a late summer release for that.
Sounds intriguing – I love Venice! Finally, would you like to leave us with a taster from the book?
44 Gilmore Street Excerpt
Come on, Ben, where are you?
Was he hiding? Was that it? Despite his defiance the other day, had they cowed him? If so, he might be more amenable to moving on. And if he were the show would be over. The fuss would die down. Unlike the Enfield case, which went on for months and months, this would be a paltry one-day affair as far as the public were concerned – nothing in comparison, disappointing – certainly not the stuff of books, films and drama. She found herself fervently hoping. Please, please, let it be that easy. What joy if it was! She’d grab Cash, Corinna too, maybe even cajole Theo and Ness into it too, head to the pub and celebrate – buy the first round, the second, even the third. Damn it, she’d buy the entire pub a drink she’d be that relieved.
“Ben,” she called again. “You need to go to the light. Leave the Gordon family in peace and find peace yourself. And you will find it, Ben, because that’s what there is on the other side, peace. You’re holding on to such negative emotions, but you don’t have to, you can let them go. There’s no judgement in the light either if you’re worried about that – you’ll be welcomed because that’s where you belong. Go, Ben, go now.”
The atmosphere was as still as a millpond. No creaking of cupboards warning of an attack to come, no mugs hovering threateningly in mid-air, no kettle boiling. Ruby could feel hope radiate from her centre outwards.
“Has it worked?” Corinna whispered. “Has he gone?”
“I don’t know, I can’t sense him,” replied Ruby. And she couldn’t, it was as if the room was indeed empty. She dared to let hope envelop her.
“He has, he’s gone–”
“Wait!” The command had come from Ness. Ruby turned to look at her. “Something’s wrong.”
“But the kitchen’s empty,” began Ruby but Theo interrupted.
“It’s not the kitchen you’re referring to is it?”
From behind them they heard a scream.
“What the hell–” Ruby swung fully round.
It was Samantha.
Cash was already moving forward and the others followed at his heel. The door to the living room was closed – had Samantha done that? Ruby remembered leaving it open. Cash tried to open it but it wouldn’t budge.
Another scream pierced the air. It wouldn’t be only them who heard it; the reporters were sure to as well.
“Cash, open the damn door.”
“Erm… hello… that’s what I’m trying to do here.”
And he was, she couldn’t deny it. He was throwing the full weight of his body against the painted wood and still it wouldn’t budge.
“Is there a lock or something?” Ruby said, her eyes lowering to the handle.
“It’s Ben that’s stopping us,” Ness explained. “He can’t keep it up though, the door will weaken soon. Keep trying, Cash.”
Cash did as he was told.
The word was whispered in Ruby’s ear.
Fucking stupid bitch!
It was much louder this time. She whipped her head from side to side.
“Where are you, Ben? Where the hell are you?”
“Right now, he’s everywhere,” Theo answered. “His presence is filling this house. Visualise white light and remember, Ruby, words can’t hurt you.”
No, but implements could and Samantha was in the living room with a ton of them, including the knives. There came a cry from within.
Thanks for sharing that with us, Shani. Nice to talk to you again, and good luck with 44 Gilmore Street.
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Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street