Monday, July 1, 2013

SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEW ~ Haunted Raine by R.E. Hargrave





Haunted Raine by R.E. Hargrave
 
Distracted by the everyday routine of raising children, being a wife, and keeping a home, Lorraine Morrissey let life pass her by. Her wakeup call comes when she realizes that with their children gone, her husband Richard is rarely home, and she’s filling her solitary days with trivial tasks. A crazy idea to save her marriage leads to a summer beach vacation unlike any she’s ever taken; one that involves unknowingly buying a haunted house.


The fast approaching ground disappeared, replaced by an old, worn, wooden floor.  I shook my head to try and clear it of the cobweb fuzziness I felt. Raising my hands in front of me, I didn’t recognize them. They were dark brown, dry, and the skin was cracked in places. They didn’t feel connected to my body either. My words got stuck in my throat when I tried to ask what was going on. Swallowing to clear the blockage, I surveyed the room. Before me burned a dwindling fire inside an old-fashioned stone hearth, and to my right, old shuttered windows were thrown open, letting the cooling night air in.
“Girl!”
The hoarse male voice startled me. I spun around, becoming aware of heavy skirts
tangling in my legs.
“Yes, sir.” The voice, thick with a low country accent, wasn’t mine either, but the sound had passed through my lips. What the . . .
“How many sacks of cotton did you pick today?”
A tremor settled into my arms as panic tightened my chest. Tall and wide, the white man advanced on me. I skittered back toward the hearth at the look of hatred on his face.
“None, sir. I’s sorry, but my momma –”
“There are no excuses, Jesse. Rain or shine, y’alls task is at least two sacks a day while the cotton’s a blooming.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Did your momma get her two sacks picked?”
Beyond my control, my head shook side to side, and I curled in on myself more while taking another subtle step back. Warning sirens were going off, but it was obvious, I had no say over my faculties, nor did I have any idea what was going on. “She’s got the sick, sir.”
In slow motion, his hand rose, and I took in every detail: thinning, greasy brown hair slicked back from a shiny forehead, a narrow beak of a nose stretched down the length of his long face to a thin pair of pale pursed lips. His green eyes were bloodshot with the drink that wafted from his mouth. The yellowing linen shirt he wore was opened down to his mid-chest, exposing pale, untoned flesh. Proof that he relied on others to get the work done.
“‘She’s got the sick, sir,’” he sing-songed, mocking me. “Not my problem, girl. What is my problem is that you owe me four sacks’ worth of cotton, and have nothing to pay with.”
At his words, an uneasy feeling settled in my stomach. I didn’t like where this was going and took another step back, bringing me a little closer to the fire and the iron tools I could see in my peripheral vision.
“But I can think of another way that you can start paying up.”
When he came at me, I spun to grab the poker. Before I could reach the tool, arms enveloped me from behind, yanking me back until I collided with a hard chest.


 



So you should all know by now that I LOVE character interviews.  I especially love them, when the author sits down with the characters and have a little conversation with them.  That’s exactly what I asked R.E. Hargrave to do with Lorraine and Richard Morrissey from her latest book, HAUNTED RAINE.
R.E. ~ Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Kim has graciously offered us her interview space. Let me introduce you.  Kim, Readers, this is Lorraine and Richard Morrissey. Their story Haunted Raine will be available this summer as part of the Summer Heat anthology from Renaissance Romance Publishing.
Lorraine ~ It’s a pleasure. I like this space, it has a good aura.
Richard ~ *groans* Angel face, not in open company. Thanks for having us, Kim. Rachel, you know I prefer Rick so let’s not be formal.
R.E. ~ You guys are so cute! Rick it is. Lorraine, can I assume the same for you?
Lorraine ~ Of course, dear.
R.E. ~ Well, I guess we can just dive right in. I know y’all’s story, but why don’t you fill in the readers, Raine? That’s a lovely head scarf by the way, awesome shade of green.
Raine ~ Thanks, it was a gift from a dear friend of mine, Momma Faye. Let’s see, where to start? It was about five years ago that I realized Rick and mine’s marriage had hit a rut. The kids were all grown and had moved off to start their lives, leaving us with a new dynamic in the house to adjust to.
Rick ~ I didn’t adjust well, I suppose. Poor Raine got ignored while I buried myself in work and healthy living.
Raine ~ It wasn’t all you, Rick. I hid away in the library or spent all my time volunteering at the hospital.
R.E. ~ *clears throat* Hey guys, focus please. Truly, I love how sugary sweet you are now, but the readers are here because there was talk of a haunting. At least I think that’s why. It’s not for the sex this time around, that’s for sure.
Rick ~ About that, Rachel? Why did you cock block us?
R.E. ~ Really, Rick? Writing you two getting it on would’ve been like writing out a sex scene for my parents. *shudders*
Raine ~ Well, you’re the one that wrote us in our fifties!
R.E. ~ Okay, okay. I’m sorry. You have to admit I did at least let y’all get a little steamy, right?
Rick ~ *takes Raine’s hand and threads his fingers through hers* Yeah, yeah you did.
R.E. ~ Letting you two out might have been a bad idea.  Back to business. Raine, please continue.
Raine ~ Thank you, dear. As I was saying, we’d hit a bit of a rut. The kids were all grown and had moved out, and Rick and I just didn’t know what to do with ourselves without them around all the time. One spring day I was chatting with a patient at Spartanburg Regional, and she started telling me how her son flipped houses for a weekend hobby. His older teenage sons always helped out, and it was a family thing for them. It got me thinking.
Rick ~ That’s not always a good thing, by the way.
Raine ~ Oh, hush, you.  This time it turned out to be a good thing. Well, in the end it did.
Rachel ~ *shivers* Did it just get cold in here?
Raine ~ *closes eyes, and then smiles knowingly* Yes, that’s just the loa, they mean no harm. So, I suggested to Rick we see about using some of his vacation time and get a small place on the beach that we could work on over the summer. What a summer it ended up being! St. Helena is quaint and simply breathtaking, and the residents, well, they’re some of the nicest people y’all will ever meet.
R.E. ~ So you made new friends, then?                                
Rick ~ *laughs* You could say that. Seriously though, we made new friends, and watched our family grow because of Raine’s brilliant plan. I’ve never seen my wife happier than she is now, and that vibe has run over to our daughter Lily as well. It’s been something to behold, that’s for sure. Granted, there has been some really weird stuff, too, but I’m learning to deal with the less aesthetic parts of our new way of life. I swear the women have stronger constitutions than most of us men—they snap a chicken’s neck in a heartbeat—
Raine ~ That’s quite enough, Rick. We don’t want to give away too much, and there are secrets that must be kept regardless.
Rick ~ Sorry, angel face.
R.E. ~ Sounds like you two can’t really say too much more, so let me wrap up with a last question for you both. What did you take away from that fateful summer?
Rick ~ I was losing my wife, my reason for living, without having even realized it. Sad that it took outside forces, on a multi-dimensional level, to make me see. St. Helena, the Fontaines, and just everything about the homestead fell into our laps when we needed it. What did I take away from our actions? Easy, I gained everything—Lorraine—I got my heart back.
*crickets chirp as Rick and Raine stare lovingly at each other*
Raine ~ *sniffs and wipes corner of left eye* I found myself. On the sand swept shores of St. Helena I discovered where I belonged.
R.E. ~ Thank you for your time today. Congratulations on the newest member to your family, it was fun sitting down with you two again. To the readers: I hope you’ll enjoy reading Haunted Raine. I’m in good company with Forbes Arnone (In My Mother’s Footsteps) and M.B. Feeney (Just Like in the Movies) who are co-authoring the Summer Heat anthology with me.

Thank you R.E., Raine and Rick.  It was nice getting to know you guys a little better and getting a little bit more of feel as to what you guys went through during that summer.  Hey readers, if you would like to check out Haunted Raine, you can purchase it here.  Or, if you prefer to have a couple of stories to read, you can purchase the Summer Heat anthology here.

About R.E. ~
R.E. Hargrave is a fledgling author who has always been a lover of books and now looks forward to the chance to give something back to the literary community. She lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX with her husband and three children.


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4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and checking it out, M.B..

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  2. This was crazy different, but fun to do. Thanks so much for having me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, R.E.

      I have to admit, Rick caught me off guard with one of his comments to you. :) The story seems different from what I initially thought it would be.

      Thanks for stopping by and checking in.

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