Excerpt from “The Ghost”

TheGhostblogtourbadgeSo you’ve probably heard me rave all this year about Christine Rains‘ paranormal series The 13th Floor. Though I’m not usually a reader of paranormal romance, these are among the best books I’ve read in 2013. Today I’m part of her blog tour marking the release of the final book in the series, The Ghost. Although each book is its own story and stands on its own merits, you probably want to go and read them from the beginning, especially as The Marquis is free!

Here is an excerpt from The Ghost, with inline comments from the author, rather like those Director voiceovers you get on DVD movies. Fun.


Setting up the scene: Chiharo and Jeremy find a spirit that survived an attack the monster that’s killing people in the building. They want to question the tortured spirit, but most of his essence is gone.

“Adam.” Chiharo whispered his named and then cleared her throat to say it louder. “Adam. It’s okay. It’s over.”

A portion of the mist swirled in her direction. His head? Did he hear her? (It took me a few days to come up with how this scene was going to go. A powerful ghost talking to a lesser ghost. How could I do it? I eventually decided to go with how it might be if a psychic were speaking with a spirit.)

“Adam.” All the books said to remind the spirit of who they were. Help them focus. “Adam Creel. We’re here to help you. My name is Chiharo. I used to live on the eighteenth floor. Two guys live there now. One burps a lot. Remember being in the elevator with him last week? He laughed when his burp echoed in it. You laughed with him as not to offend, but later you told your mom you thought it was gross.” (I thought humor like that might trigger a powerful memory in a teenage boy.)

The mist thickened slightly, forming a barely recognizable facial structure. The mouth moved. (Chiharo and Jeremy are fully formed ghosts. She’s in full color while Jeremy is less powerful and gray.)

“You’re doing it. Keep talking.” Jeremy urged her on and rested his hand on the small of her back.

The gesture took her out of the moment with Adam. The coolness of Jeremy’s palm and the imagined weight of it was immensely vivid. There was no open back to her dress, but it felt like skin on skin. Technically, there wasn’t flesh either. Just their energies mingling to form these impressions. It was far more sensual than she anticipated. (I loved writing the small things between Chiharo and Jeremy. Touches are so much more than simple touches between ghosts.)

“Chiharo. Are you okay?” Jeremy’s voice made her blink and brought her back to the situation at hand.

“Yes, fine. Just a bit unnerved.” A huge understatement! She held out a hand toward Adam. “It’s okay, Adam. Just focus on the words. You can speak. No one can hurt you now.”

The fuzzy shape of a teenage boy moved toward her. Not exactly floating, but something between that and crawling. A brumous limb shot out, and an icy chill claimed her hand.

“Something in the room! I couldn’t see it! I couldn’t hear it! It just had me, and I couldn’t get free. I fought so hard, but it had me. I couldn’t get away.” Adam’s cry sounded like the scratching of mouse trapped in a tin can. Tiny, squeaky, and frantic. “Help me, help me, help me!” (I had Adam speaking gibberish at first, but I didn’t like the way it sounded. There’s a portion of him still there, and he needs to get this message across to Chiharo. Language is ingrained to us and so I believe he could still talk so she understood him.)

“It’s all right. Adam. We’re here. The monster is gone.” Chiharo really hoped the fiend was gone. Fighting the urge to steal a look around the room, she kept her gaze upon Adam. “Do you remember anything? You didn’t see or hear a thing? No warning?”

“Nothing! It just suddenly had me. Please help me. Where’s my mom?” Adam blubbered. A lost little boy. Too young to die.

Chiharo’s chin quivered. “No one else is here. I’m sorry. It’s just us. We’ll take care of you. You’re safe now. Do you think you can get up?” (Chiharo is protective of the tenants of her building. She especially relates to Adam being an only child and a bit different from his peers.)

“Mom. I want my mom.” Adam didn’t move, but his grip became fiercer. “I can’t move. My legs. It ripped off my legs and drank me. It drank me!”

“It drank your blood?” Chiharo gasped.

“I knew it was that bastard vampire!” Jeremy whooped.

Chiharo nudged Jeremy with her elbow, not taking her eyes from Adam. “Tell us what happened so we can help you.”

“It drank me. Not my blood. Me!” Adam screeched. He said something more, but Chiharo couldn’t understand him. His anguish muddled his words. (I wasn’t sure how to put what the fiend did to Adam. It stole his essence, drained him of his being. I wanted to stick with something basic. Something a terrified boy could explain.)

“What did he say?” Jeremy poked her.

Chiharo threw him a stern look. She knew he wanted it to be Kiral. Just another reason to hate his murderer, but she wasn’t going to let him have it. “Adam said it drank him, not his blood. I don’t know what it means. He’s not making much sense. You can’t hear him?” (It’s not a secret that Kiral killed Jeremy five years ago. Before Kiral changed and sought out his redemption. Jeremy thinks the monster killing people could be Kiral, but Chiharo is certain it’s not.)

“Nothing. I can see his smoky lips flapping, but it’s like having the TV on mute.”

Her contact with Adam’s hand must’ve given her the channel to speak with him. The new ghost had no form now. The trauma was too fresh. Adam needed time and that was something none of them had.

“I don’t think he’s going to be able to tell us anyth—” A bright flash of light cut her off. She held up an arm to cover her eyes. Spots danced behind her lids. Jeremy cursed beside her.

When Chiharo could see again, there wasn’t a trace left of Adam’s spirit. Not one wispy strand.

“Dammit! He went into the freakin’ light.” (This part wasn’t something I planned. It happened as I wrote the story. I love being a pantser! Chiharo and Jeremy briefly talk about the light, but neither of them ever saw the light. I don’t get overly philosophical. I deleted a few paragraphs so it wouldn’t be. Perhaps if the situation weren’t dire, they might have a long talk about the afterlife. As it is, they have much more important things to worry about!)


About The Ghost:

Chiharo Black lives with six supernatural tenants in a haunted building’s mysterious thirteenth floor. Of course, no one knows she’s there except the cats. Being a ghost can be a bit frustrating and lonely, but it isn’t as bad as her mother made it out to be.

Until another ghost intrudes on her territory. Jeremy Emerson wants revenge on the vampire that killed him and won’t stop until he has it. To top it off, a nightmarish shade sneaks in and leeches the energy from the building’s residents before setting its sights on Chiharo and the thirteenth floor. She can’t decide which one is more frightening: the one wanting to eat her soul or the one who might win her heart.

Chiharo must convince Jeremy to stand with her against the hellish parasite. If they cannot work together, the greedy fiend will not only drain their energy but everything that supports the thirteenth floor’s existence.

Christine Rains

ChristineauthorsmallChristine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. Christine is a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. She has twenty-one short stories and eight novellas published.

Contact Christine via her Website, Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter as @CRainsWriter


Untethered Realms: Christine Rains

UR A continuing series about each author in Untethered Realms, a neat spec-fic publishing group. Check us out:  Facebook | Twitter | Website

I’ve read all but the latest 13th Floor books and they are some of my favourite books of 2013. Though The Ghost is coming out soon, I recommend you read them from the beginning. They’re fast reads.


Christine Rains

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She’s married to her best friend and fellow geek living in south-central Indiana. They have one son who is too smart for his parents’ own good and loves to dance to Gangnam Style. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She’s a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface). She has several short stories and seven novellas published.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Christine Rains
Tell us about your latest book?
This is the final book in the 13th Floor series, THE GHOST. Chiharo Black lives with six supernatural tenants in a haunted building’s mysterious thirteenth floor. Of course, no one knows she’s there except the cats. Being a ghost can be a bit frustrating and lonely until another ghost intrudes on her territory. It’s an explosive ending to the series that ties everything together. It’ll be released on July 13th.


What genre(s) do you write/want to write in?
My novels and novellas are paranormal romance. Though I’d like to do more science-fiction. My short stories cover many dark fiction genres.

What do you like most about being an author?
I love creating. Bringing characters to life, birthing worlds, weaving mysteries.

What do you hate about being an author?
Marketing. I never know if what I’m doing is right and if I’m doing enough. I feel like I’m walking around blindly and hoping someone notices me.

What does Untethered Realms mean to you and why should folks follow UR?
UR is a fantastic group of writers. Not just to help one another market their work, but we’re sharing ideas, helping brainstorm, and commiserating with other writers. Other people should follow UR for amazing stories and great personalities. We’re friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand to writers just starting out wanting to know how to go about doing things.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I spend the majority of my time with my son. We go on all sorts of adventures. We like to hike and hopefully this summer, we’ll get to go camping. I love to travel too, but that will have to wait until I have the time and money for it.

What’s the most fun you’ve had writing a scene or character and why?
I’ve had so much fun with all my characters. It’s difficult to pick one. One character that has been with me for several years is Magena Silver, a beautiful witch and manipulator extraordinaire. I’ve written a trilogy for her, but I just can’t seem to get it right. She challenges me as a writer, but that only keeps me coming back for more.

If you could live as one of your characters, whom would you choose and why?
I put my characters through the wringer. Why would I want to live as any of them?! Yet if I could avoid death looming over me, I’d like to be Stefanie from THE ALPHA. She’s an alpha werewolf at peace with who she is. A strong, sensual, and confident woman. Plus she can turn into a wolf and revel in her primal side.

Tell us a secret, something few people know about you!
I have an extra large head. Not even large men’s hats fit it. I like to think it’s because I have a very large brain.

What’s your next book about? Go on, tease us!
I’m not sure which project I’ll be working on next. I want to revise one of my manuscripts and query it. It might be the one about a witch whose an expert with love potions but resists falling in love herself, or it could be the new one I have brewing in my mind. It’s an urban fantasy about the underdogs in the supernatural world.

Other Untethered Realms authors: Angela Brown | Julie Flanders


Christine Rains: The 13th Floor novellas

TheDragonslayercoverthumbPlease give a warm welcome to Christine Rains, author of the paranormal series The 13th Floor (among others). I’ve read the first two in the series: The Marquis and The Alpha and they’re super reads. Christine writes about very compelling, charismatic characters. The Dragonslayer is out now, and The Harbinger coming March 13th.

Graeme: How and why did you become an author?

CR: I’ve always been a writer. Ever since I could print, I wrote stories. I write because I love it. It took a long time to gain the confidence to publish, though. Perhaps age has toughened up my skin.

Graeme: Which of your books is your favourite, and why?

CR: Oh, this is tough. I love my concept for the 13th Floor series. I’m currently writing it, so I’m in the “in love” stage with it. Yet for my favorite, I have to say my Magena Silver trilogy. Magena is a unique protagonist. She challenges me as a writer. I love the cast of characters in the trilogy.

Graeme: Which of the 13th Floor occupants is your favourite, and why?

CR: Harriet the banshee. Did I answer that too quickly? I hope the others aren’t jealous. Harriet is a compassionate soul that was cursed and has to live a double life. She’s in love with a vampire, and the only time they see each other is when she’s in her hideous old hag form. I love her internal conflict and how that along with her curse makes her interact with the world.

Graeme: Which authors/books inspire you the most?

CR: Stephen King has been a great inspiration for me since I was a teenager. His worldbuilding and characters are phenomenal. I also love George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, and Karen Marie Moning.

Graeme: Tell us some random thing about you that your readers might not know.

CR: I have lots of freckles and I hate them.

Graeme: Describe your writing environment.

CR: I have a little room stuffed full of books and games. The walls are a calming moss green and there’s paintings by my son on the walls. The desk is old and simple, but it’s still holding up. I always have a thesaurus beside me, and if I’m lucky, a sweet snack.

Graeme: Are you a plotter or a “pantser”?

CR: Pantser. I’ve tried to outline and become more of a plotter. Organization would save me time and I need that, but I’ve never been able to stick to an outline. My stories take a life of their own and go where they want. Luckily for me, it has worked out most of the time!

Graeme: Who would you most like to meet and what would you say to/ask them?

CR: I always have trouble with this question. I’d like to meet a lot of people, but I’m very shy. One day, I’d like to take a car trip (for a book tour, if I’m lucky!) across the country from one coast to the other and meet all my online friends.

Graeme: What’s next once you’ve finished with the 13th Floor? Tease us…

CR: I’m not sure which project I’ll pick up next. I have a couple of paranormal romance manuscripts I want to polish and query later this year. Possibly one involving a sexy witch who’s an expert at brewing love potions or a reclusive psychic that has fallen in love with a ghost.

Graeme: If you could live anywhere in the world, where and why?

CR: A log cabin in the woods by the Rocky Mountains. A cozy little home with not much upkeep. That way I’ll have time to write and travel.

Graeme: Awesome! Thanks sor answering those, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Folks, check out Christine’s 13th Floor books below. Well worth a read.

Christine Rains

ChristineauthorsmallChristine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. Christine is a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. She has twenty short stories and five novellas published.

Contact Christine via her Website, Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter as @CRainsWriter


TheDragonslayercoversmallOn the rooftop of neighboring building, dragonslayer Xanthus Ehrensvard fires at his target, Governor Whittaker. How he missed the shot, he doesn’t know, but fleeing the scene, he picks up an unwanted passenger. Gorgeous reporter Lois King saw Xan’s face, and she believes it’s the story to make her career. Except he can’t let her walk away knowing what he looks like. Xan has to show her the Governor is a bigger threat to the world than he is.??

Xan knows dragons never went extinct. They evolved with human society, taking on mortal forms, and slithered their way into positions of great influence and power, just like the Governor. But it’s no easy chore proving to someone that dragons still exist, and even more so, they’re disguised as famous people. Xan must convince Lois or find another way to silence her. An option, as he gets to know her, he likes less and less.

??After all, dragonslayers are no longer celebrated heroes but outlaws. Just as the dragons wish it. But this outlaw must make a plan to slay the dragon or risk its retribution.

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