Character Interview: Luke Rainer

Okay.  I’m finally getting around to giving Luke, the lead investigator of the oh so popular ghost-hunting show, Cemetery Tours, the opportunity to interview me.  It’s been a long time coming, since I haven’t posted a character interview since the one I did with Kate: https://jackiesmith114.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/character-interview-kate-avery/

That being said, let’s get started!

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Jackie Smith (JS):  Welcome, Luke!

Luke Rainer (LR):  Thanks, Sweetheart.  Good to be here.  I gather you’re a fan?

JS:  Probably one of your biggest.

LR:  Awesome.  That’s what I like to hear.

JS:  So, what questions do you have for me?

LR:  Here’s one.  How come I don’t have a girlfriend?

JS:  Do you want a girlfriend?  You don’t really strike me as a “relationship” kind of guy.

LR:  Not really.  I’m just wondering.  I mean, I’m gorgeous.  I have a great personality.  What gives?  Why am I still single?

JS:  Well, aside from the fact that you just confirmed that you don’t want one, I’m kind of of the mindset that you’re too focused on your career to have time for a serious girlfriend.  You might find one eventually.  But for now, you’re kind of man candy for my readers.  You know what I mean?

LR:  You’re using me as bait.

JS:  Yeah, sort of.  But really attractive bait.

LR:  Fair enough.  Okay, here’s another question.  I’ve been chasing ghosts for a while now, yes?

JS:  Yes.  Basically your whole life.

LR:  And that’s awesome.  But when do I get to hunt something a little more sinister?  You know, go after some demonic entities or evil spirits?

JS:  Never.

LR:  What?!  Why not?!

JS:  I mean, if you really want to go hunting demons, knock yourself out.  Go for it.  I’m just not going to write about it.

LR:  That’s not cool.

JS:  Too bad.  I’m the author.  You have to do what I tell you.

LR:  Not necessarily.

JS:  Okay, you’ve got me there.  Sure, when you’re not in my books, you can hunt as many demons and evil spirits as you want, but they scare me, so I’m not going to write about them.  Besides, these are ghost stories.  Not demonic entities stories.

LR:  But you believe there are demonic entities out there.

JS:  Enough to not want to mess with them, even in fiction, so yeah.  Besides, I don’t think Michael can see those, and these really are his stories.

LR:  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Everyone loves Mikey.  He’s the main character.  Whatever.  When are we getting a Luke Rainer series?

JS:  That’s a good question.  If I ever feel so inclined, I might write you one.

LR:  Really?

JS:  I never rule anything out.  Except demons.

LR:  Drat.

JS:  Sorry.

LR:  You never let me have any fun.

JS:  You’ll have fun in the next book.

LR:  Really?

JS:  Well, I hope so.  I’m kind of rewriting it.  But you’re a lot better off in this new version.  I promise.

LR:  Okay, good.  I don’t know why, but I trust you.

JS:  You really don’t have a choice.

LR:  I have one more question.

JS:  Shoot.

LR:  Can I be in the new Ghostbusters movie?

JS:  Probably not.

LR:  Why not?

JS:  Because I’m not associated with that franchise in any way whatsoever.  But if I was, I’d totally write you in.

LR:  Aw, really?

JS:  Promise.

Read Cemetery Tourshttp://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-E.-Smith/e/B00F7BPXX6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1427829800&sr=8-1

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Such an Amazing Weekend!

Oh wow… where do I start?

I’ve got to be honest, I might share more than one blog update today because I’m not sure that everything will fit in one post!

I guess I’ll start with Wednesday evening.  I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting Kathleen Kent, NY Times best-selling author of The Heretic’s Daughter and The Outcasts.  She was such a friendly and lovely person, very personable.

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I also took her a copy of Cemetery Tours, which, I admit may have been a bit presumptuous of me, but she was so sweet and excited about it.

The next day, I was delighted to be a guest at the Melissa Book Club.  They were lovely ladies and I had such a wonderful time!  I love going to book clubs.  It’s so much fun meeting and connecting with people who love books as much as I do.

On Friday, I was finally, for the first time in my life, talked into signing up for NaNoWriMo.  Originally, I had been led to believe that people just write books during the month of November.  I honestly had no idea it was this entire website and community that you join!  How cool is that?!  Anyway, I signed up under a super secret pen name A) just in case it doesn’t work out and B) because the project I’ll be working on is YA and SO COMPLETELY different from Cemetery Tours and I want to keep my reputation as a spooky ghost story writer for at least a little while longer.  I’ve got to tell you though, I am SUPER STOKED to be participating this year.  I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!  I even designed my own cover for the book.

Saturday, was one of the most exciting days of my career thus far.  I was asked to give a short presentation on ghost stories at the Colony Public Library!

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I decided that no one wanted to listen to me talk at them, so I decided to engage the audience in a little Ghost Story Trivia!  I think everyone really enjoyed it.

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There was a bucket of fun prizes.

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And consolation prizes.

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This is me, looking dumb while talking.

I also had the honor of meeting and listening to a presentation on Ghost Towns by non-fiction author, Robin Cole-Jett.  Her photographs and experiences in these abandoned places are so fascinating that she’s inspired me to delve more into urban exploration.  You can find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Red-River-Historian/195104580538409?ref=hl

Afterward, I went on an amazing history tour of the Colony, but I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.  I have a lot of pictures and one totally creepy story to share!

Before I get to that blog post, however, I wanted to share Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s AMAZING review of Between Worldshttp://caffeinatedbookreviewer.com/2014/10/worlds-jacqueline-e-smith.html

I highly recommend Kimba for anyone looking for an honest, thorough, reliable, and all around awesome reviewer!  You can find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/kimbathecaffeinatedbookreviewer

Seriously, folks.  She’s awesome.

Thank You All!

Well, my GoodReads Giveaway is officially closed and the winners have been selected!  I’d like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Debra and Elaina and thanks, not only to them, but to all 1035 who entered!  I am so honored and humbled!  That is huge for me!  This giveaway was so successful, I’m thinking I might have to host another, perhaps around Christmas time.  You know, Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, Ghost of Cemetery Tours.  Perfect.

I know a lot of people ask the question, “What is your advice to aspiring authors?” and usually, my answer to that question is, “Don’t give up, don’t get discouraged, keep writing, keep trying.”  The truth is there are several answers to that question, but I think one of the most important answers, one that isn’t said enough, is “Appreciate your readers.  Let them know how much you respect them and how much they mean to you.”  After all, without readers, an author is just a person who happens to write books.  You can’t be an author without readers.  It’s that simple.  So thank you all, those of you who’ve not only read my books, but who’ve read any book, and I’m pretty sure that’s all of you.  Without you, we’d be nothing.

In other news, this week I am hard at work on my presentation for Saturday at the library, so I might not update as much.  Then again, I am a procrastinator at heart, so who knows?  I might be updating twice in the same day.  I have started on the PowerPoint and let me tell you, it looks AWESOME!  I can’t wait for Saturday.  It’s going to be so much fun!

Finally, before I head off for the day to work on whatever, I would like to share with you some pictures that I took at the State Fair on Sunday.  I love the Fair.  It’s an autumn tradition!  Please enjoy! And yes, I know they’re mostly butterflies. 1800370_10204152373183209_6172022537605151984_n 10358576_10204152391023655_6875129902640818005_n 68140_10204152392743698_2983443370607601280_n 10616188_10204152416224285_6970240175496926964_n 10435032_10204152427504567_3854728729772781408_n 10410717_10204152435504767_7071731802431461461_n

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The 2014 IndieVengeance Day Scrapbook

Over the weekend, I had the honor of participating in IndieVengeace Day. A group of Indie Authors from all over came together to read, sign, and share their books.  I had such a lovely time with this talented and amazing group of people, and I’d like to share some of the pictures with you today!

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Such a great and talented and hilarious group!

Day 1 of the event was held at a Cafe Brazil.  For the record, I highly recommend the grilled cheese.

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The room looked amazing.

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We even got our own place cards.

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I reconnected with some dear old friends.

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Me and the lovely and talented Tracy James Jones.

Some of us read stuff that we wrote.

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Scott Morgan.

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Ben Ditmars

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Amber Jerome-Norrgard

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Stacey Roberts

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Yours Truly

All in all, it was a great night.

The following day found us all in Allen, Texas at Savour Tasting Room and Social Club.

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There were balloons.  A lot of them.  Which is okay, because I really like balloons.

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It was a bit windy, so I had to tape down my name tag and even my flowers.

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But overall, the day went splendidly.

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Reading a ghost story and there are orbs in my picture… Hmm…

I’m so honored to have spent the weekend with these amazing, wonderful authors.  To find out more about them, please visit their personal websites!

Bed Ditmarshttps://benjaminditmars.wordpress.com

Julie Frayn: http://juliebird.ca

Tracy James Joneshttp://tracyjamesjones.wordpress.com

Jeanne McDonald: http://www.jeannemcdonald.com

Scott Morganhttp://www.write-hook.com

Amber Jerome-Norrgardhttp://amberjeromenorrgard.com

Stacey Robertshttp://www.trailertrashbook.com

Cinta Garcia de la Rosahttp://cintascorner.com

Melissa Zaroskihttp://melissazaroski.com

Susie Clevengerhttp://www.susieclevenger.com

Love you all!  Thank you for an amazing weekend!

Let the Good Times Roll!

This will be my last update before Monday, and it’s going to be a short one because I still have so much to do!

This weekend, I’ll be participating in IndieVengeance Day, which includes readings and book signings.  I think it’s going to be awesome.  If you’re in the Dallas area, you should definitely check it out! http://indievengeanceday.com

I have a lot of other stuff I’m working on also, but I’ll tell you about that later.

While I’m gone, keep in mind and spread the word that there are still a few days to enter my GoodReads Giveaway!  I’m giving away 2 signed copies of BOTH of my books in honor of Halloween and I want you to win!  Yes, YOU!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds

Characterization Exploration

I’m in the middle of writing the first draft of the third installment of the Cemetery Tours series.  I’ve come to really love these characters.  I’ve been with them for a while now, and they feel like friends to me.  In the past few years, I’ve probably spent more time with them than with my living, breathing friends.

Characters have always been the absolute most important element of any story for me.  If I don’t like the characters, I’m not going to like the book.  It’s that simple.  I read one book last year (I will not mention it because I don’t want to trash another author’s work on my blog) with such horrible, selfish, whiny characters, I could hardly stand it.  None of the characters had any redeeming qualities whatsoever.  If I succeed at nothing else, I want my characters to be likable.  Well, except for the ones that you’re not supposed to like.  They’re actually a LOT of fun to write, but I digress.

As the first book in the series, Cemetery Tours served as sort of an introductory book.  We met the characters, learned their names, the basics.  Between Worlds delved more into developing relationships and adjustments after the events of the first book.

This third book, however, takes place five months after Between Worlds, and the characters have developed a lot since then.  They’ve had more time to get to know each other and I’ve had more time to get to know them as well.  Now, instead of watching them react to certain situations, I’m exploring what exactly makes them that way.

Of my three main characters, Michael, Kate, and Luke, Michael remains the most stubborn.  Kate and Luke are a lot alike in that they’re both happy characters.  They’re both easily amused and easily fascinated.  Michael is more reserved, which stems from a lifetime of trying to remain unnoticed by ghosts and spirits.  Since he met Kate and Luke, he’s become more outgoing, but those twenty-eight years of hiding within himself I think really took a toll, and I think he’s always going to be a little reserved, and that’s okay.  That’s why Kate likes him, and that’s why I like him.

Last night, I tried to imagine what Michael what be like, what he might have done, if he didn’t have the ghosts.  I realized I feel a little sorry for him, because being surrounded by the spirits and trying at all costs to avoid them and not draw attention to himself really inhibited him from developing a real sense of self.  Unlike Kate and Luke, who have real interests that they discovered by themselves, Michael’s entire character evolved from a desire to be something he’s not.  He didn’t have time for self discovery because he was too obsessed with self denial, if that makes any sense at all.  That’s why I’m glad he has Kate, Brink, and even Luke.  I think they really bring out the best in him.

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Friendly Reminder that you only have ONE WEEK LEFT to enter my GoodReads Giveaway! Win signed copies of BOTH Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds just in time for Halloween!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds

Busy Busy Busy

As an indie author, I’ve found that there are two kinds of busy.  There’s the kind that all indie authors are all the time.  The kind that is not very active, but it is constant.  Indie authors always have something that they can be doing.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that we always do what we’re supposed to do (I personally spend way too much time on Pinterest…), but there is always something there.

Then there is the active kind of busy.  That’s the knd where we actually have engagements lined up, specific things to be working on, to be honest, it’s kind of like being back in college.  Those weeks are a lot of fun, but they don’t occur as often.  This is going to be one of those weeks, and I am so, so, so excited about it.

Friday and Saturday, I’m participating in an event I attended last year as a fan, not as an author.  It’s called IndieVengeance Day and you can read all about it here: http://indievengeanceday.com

I’m really excited about the two-day event, but before I can get to it, I still have a lot to do.

I was lucky enough to have been asked to read through my friend Jeanne Skartsiaris’ new book, Snow Globe.  I’ve been going through and making notes (I’m going to write a small blurb for her! Neat!), but I really need to finish that up.

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You can find Jeanne on GoodReads here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7425985.Jeanne_Skartsiaris

I’ve also mentioned before that I was asked to give a presentation on ghost stories at the Colony Public Library on October 25.  I was so honored and excited to be asked, and I’ve been putting a lot of thought and research into figuring out exactly what I want that presentation to be.  Well, around 5 AM on Saturday morning, it finally came to me.  I am so excited about this presentation.  It’s going to be awesome.  Now that I know what I want to do, it’s time to buckle down and get to work on that as well.  I’ll tell you more about it after I actually give it.  I want it to be a surprise!

So yeah, lots of good, fun things are happening.  Cemetery Tours has been selling really well this month.  I have a lot of people signing up for my GoodReads giveaway.  Speaking of, don’t forget to enter! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/109579-between-worlds

And of course, on top of all of that, I’m still hard at work on my two current WIPs.  Cemetery Tours 3 is a lot of fun.  It’s a little more complex and complicated than the first two, but it’s also very colorful and I think it’s going to be good.  It better be good, or I’ll have to keep rewriting it until it is!  My goal is to release BOTH books in 2015.  That will mean a lot more hard work, but it’s so completely worth it.

I hope y’all have a splendid Monday!

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Ghost Stories and Research

This isn’t going to be a very long post.  In fact, I’m not sure it even counts as a post at all.  I just wanted to share a picture of my library’s Halloween ghost story display.  As you know, I am quite partial to the ghost story and I love seeing them celebrated!

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I actually went to the library seeking books on ghosts in history and in fiction for a presentation I’m working on.  Conveniently, I found several right there next to the display!  I’m really looking forward to reading them.  I’ve got to be honest, I kind of love doing research.  It’s so interesting, everything that the world has left to teach and discover.  Learning is just fun.

I also totally found Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell in the YA section, so I will probably be signing off here very soon in order to read it.  I love YA and I don’t care what anyone thinks.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone! Go read a ghost story.  Be scared.  Halloween is upon us!

10 Reasons Why Cemetery Tours is the Perfect October Book

Okay, it’s officially October.  It’s definitely one of my favorite months of the year.  In fact, it might be my absolute favorite.  Last year, however, it also became my most marketable month.  That’s right.  As the author of ghost stories, I take full advantage of October and all it’s ghosts and spookiness.  Ergo (my favorite word), I have come up with this little list of reasons why October should be the month that everyone reads Cemetery Tours and/or Between Worlds.

And when I say and/or, I mean please only read Between Worlds if you’ve already read Cemetery Tours.  There are too many spoilers and you will not enjoy it and I will not enjoy you not enjoying it.

So, without further ado or crazy writer rants, I present to you…

10 Reasons Why Cemetery Tours is the Perfect October Book (Featuring Quotes from Amazon Reviews)

1.  It’s fast-paced and a pretty easy read (or so I’ve been told).  October is a month for state fairs and homecomings and celebration.  It’s a fun month.  No one wants to read a long, boring, and depressing novel that requires a lot of thought and concentration during one of the funnest months of the year.

“I still can’t get over how addicted I became to this book just needing the next fix (turn of the page) so I can see what was going to happen next or how everything connected together. ” – Amazon Reviewer Starange13

2.  It’s a great book to read in Starbucks while you drink your favorite seasonal pumpkin spiced latte.  You’ll find that the ghosts and mystery really compliment the October atmosphere.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing, the plot and the unexpected ending. I couldn’t stop reading it!” – Paula Walker Baker

3. Come on, it’s a ghost story.  Ghost stories are fun all year round, but especially in October when all the Haunted History specials are on television and you and friends are off adventuring in haunted houses.

“Grabs you by the throat and scares the hell out of you. This well-written story will keep you looking for ghosts for a long time.” – Amazon Reviewer J.C.D.

4. Furthermore, it’s a ghost story for the nonbeliever.  Me?  I’m a believer.  But several of my readers aren’t, and that’s okay.  Cemetery Tours is for everyone!

“If I believed that ghosts existed, then Jacqueline Smith’s portrayal is exactly how I would imagine them to be. Cemetery Tours is filled with a realism that merges seamlessly with the supernatural, and I obsessed over this book until I finished reading it.”  – Amazon Reviewer L

5. Michael Sinclair is the perfect October book boyfriend.  When I wrote Michael, I knew I wanted him to be dreamy, but not in the typical book hero sense.  He’s tall and skinny, a little shy, a little awkward, he has a dry sense of humor, and he loves Kate with all his heart.  Who hasn’t dreamed of a boyfriend like that?

“The hero of the novel, Michael Sinclair, isn’t dreamy, broody, or mysterious, but rather sweet, albeit a little dorky, and truly searching for his identity. Of course, everything about Michael isn’t what meets the eye, and that’s what I absolute adore about him.” – Monica Britten 

“This author has a brilliant future. I loved this story. I loved these characters.
Michael Sinclair is my new book boyfriend (sorry Jamie Fraser). 😉
Thank you Jacqueline for reminding me how much I love ghost stories.” – Kelly Mc “bookworm”

6. The second book, Between Worlds, is actually set in October, and in an old haunted mansion in Maine.

“When the wonderfully  irrepressible Luke enlists the help of Michael, Kate and Gavin for his popular ghost hunter show, they travel out to the gorgeous Stanton hall manor – Loved this location for the creepy and mysterious goings on!” – Amazon Reviewer L

7.  Along with being a ghost and a suspense story, it’s also a love story.  Perfect for those evenings you want to curl up in a blanket, in your favorite pajamas and socks, light a fire, and read.

“Spooky and heartwarming. Is such a thing possible at the same time? Definitely. And Jacqueline Smith nails it! The characters are wonderful and you can’t help but fall in love with them; no matter where they “live.”” – Amazon Customer “irishfaery” 

8.  It’s great for readers of all ages, young teens and adults alike!  Kind of like Scooby Doo, but with real ghosts and not a creeper in a mask.

“Jacqueline has successfully combined ghosts, mystery, and adventure in a book that will make you want to read till the end. The plot thickens and the roads twist in this exciting and captivating mystery.” – Author James W. Peercy

9.  My main female character, Kate, enjoys eating junk food, so you can totally chow down on as much Halloween candy as you want without thinking about how this lame female character in the book you’re reading only likes veggie burgers and tofu.

“Michael is torn in every way shape and form, especially when his star-struck love interest goes off to dinner with Mr.Cool Hand Luke—and I’m with Michael on that one!—not Kate, but ladies and gentleman, I’m here to tell you that there is a lot of unfolding to be done in this here plot and, furthermore, these are people that you are going to want to be hanging around with, believe me! Wish it didn’t have to end so soon. You’ve really got something going there, Ms. Smith. Kate is my fave! C’mon, give it another whirl of the dice! We want more!” – Steve Lund

10.  Both books will (hopefully) keep you guessing right up until the very end, and what is October without a touch of the unknown?

“I developed a couple of theories about how it would end as I read along, but I couldn’t be sure, and it turns out none of them were quite right. The book kept me on my toes the whole time, wondering what would happen next.” – Hannah Alvarez 

Happy October, everyone!

http://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Tours-Jacqueline-Smith-ebook/dp/B00F7CHQ08/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=17R3ZCF331VM00P8PXNG

http://www.amazon.com/Between-Worlds-Cemetery-Tours-Book-ebook/dp/B00LDZQ1WW/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=19HPBR72ZR1MV89SHTHS

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