As I near completion of the first book in a brand new paranormal mystery series, I’m looking back to the first book I had published. Towards the end of 2009, Harlequin announced that their new imprint Carina Press was open to submissions. I submitted a manuscript that had attracted interest from agents but never quite got the golden ticket. Honestly, I was almost ready to abandon my dream of publication (this was just before self-publishing was really seen as a legitimate option). Anyways I had a few nail-biting weeks before Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator was accepted as one of the Carina Press launch books. Then I kind of went into shock and took a bit longer than I should have to accept the offer.
I went on to write five books in the Allegra series working with two terrific editors. Mostly with Liz Bass, but briefly with Deb Nemeth, who edited the anthology: Carina Press Presents: Editor’s Choice Vol II. I learned a lot from both of them.
At the time of writing this, all the Allegra Fairweather books are heavily discounted. The first book is a mere 49c at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and direct through Carina Press.
To give you a little taste of Allegra, here’s an excerpt from an interview:
Allegra Fairweather: My family put the ‘dys’ in dysfunctional. There were Dad’s frequent work trips followed by his disappearance when I was fifteen. Then there was my failure to win Mom’s approval, and the less than ideal relationship with my sister, Lily. Let’s not even mention my step-father Senator Hampton. Still, I had my guardian angel, Casper, so it wasn’t all bad.
JN: Do you have a motto or code you live by?
AF: Punch first, ask questions later.
JN: What one thing would you take to a deserted island?
AF: My guardian angel, Casper, who would double as a means to get off. I’d get sooo bored on a deserted island.
JN: Where would you go on vacation?
AF: I work all over the world so I prefer to ‘vacation’ at home.
JN: What is your most distinguishing characteristic?
AF: My bright red hair. Yes, it is natural. What? You don’t believe me?
JN: What is your major skill or talent?
AF: My right big toe itches when I’m near the paranormal. Oh, and I have a mean left hook.
JN: If you had to pick another career, what would it be?
AF: Are you kidding? This is the only thing I know how to do.
JN: What is your favorite food?
AF: Pina colada, oh wait that’s not a food. I like all food.
JN: Who do you love?
AF: Sshh, it’s a secret.
Allegra Fairweather here. Paranormal investigator. Got problems with specters? Shapeshifters? I'm the woman to call. Just don't call me a Ghostbuster. The last guy who did that ended up flat on his back with my boot at his throat.
With my 99.5% success rate, solving the mystery of a bleeding rose that has sprung up on the shores of Loch Furness should have been an easy gig. But already I've heard the shriek of the local banshee, discovered two bodies (and then lost to bodies), and had a near-death encounter with a three-hundred-year-old ghost. And perhaps most dangerous of all, the hot pub owner who hired me now wants to show me exactly what's under his kilt.
Luckily, I'm ably assisted by my very own guardian angel. I'm grateful for his help--but he's also drop-dead gorgeous. A bit distracting when I've got a mystery to solve, and the clock is ticking...