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.
Publication Date July 2nd 2013
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.
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.”
“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.
Interview with R.E. Hargrave
1: I would like to start off this interview with a random question…humor me. What kind of food do you find sexy and why.
Random indeed, but I’ve learned to expect that from you!
Okay, sexy food, let me put on my thinking cap . . .
Go ahead and laugh, but I’d have to say grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.
I can see you giving me a funny look; wondering just how in the hell a grilled sandwich is sexy. Allow me to explain.
My husband of almost nineteen years (our anniversary is this July!) was my high school sweetheart. Now, there’s also the fact that I’m an only child, and therefore, was used to doing things for myself. Imagine my surprise when my new boyfriend invited me home for lunch.
I knew my mother probably wouldn’t be thrilled that I’d left the campus, to go be alone in an empty house with a boy no less, but I went anyways.
He was nothing but a gentleman while I sat at the table and HE cooked for ME. You guessed it, a grilled ham and cheese. They are amazing; I’ve had over twenty years of this wonderful man dropping everything to grill me a sandwich whenever I’ve wanted one.
What could be sexier than that?
2: Tell me three things about yourself- the woman- that readers would be surprised about?
Wow, okay, um . . . you like to ask the tough ones, don’t you? I have amazing readers, and because of that I’ve never held anything back. When I’ve been asked, I’ve shared, so I’m not sure what about me could surprise anyone anymore! For you, I’ll try to think of something.
1) I’m one of the shyest people you will ever meet. Seriously, I border on panic attacks when I have to go into new situations with new people.
2) I hate mushrooms. They are fungus, slimy fungus when wet, which should’ve been left on the forest floor!
3) I can’t stand squibbies. You know, those little pieces of paper that fall to the floor … bits of tissue, craft project debris, or paper edge when you tear it from the notebook … I see them on the floor and it’s like I can feel them crawling on my skin. Weird, huh?
3: What inspired this beautiful tale? How did the idea of this book develop and what became your muse as you wrote.
When Renaissance Romance Publishing announced the open call for their Beach Reads collection, it sounded fun. What kept me from jumping in and starting to write straight away was deciding what I wanted to write. I automatically assumed that majority of the submissions would be your “typical” beach story revolving around sun, fruity drinks, and scantily clad bodies, but that’s not what the beach is to me.
I’ve always enjoyed winter beaches. The ones that are deserted and have an air of mystery to them when you walk along the fog-lined shores. Those kinds of beaches are the ones with stories to tell, and in my experience, they were usually ghost stories.
Haunted Raine is dedicated to my father for teaching me to swim, expanding my imagination with a joint love of Carolina ghost stories (in particular the Blue Lady of Hilton Head), and encouraging me to believe I could do anything I wanted. I have no doubts he was watching over my shoulder while I wrote.
4: Which character, in this love story, do you most connect with and why?
I’m probably going to shock you with this one: Samuel Fontaine.
He’s not in the story very much, just brief parts, but he just showed up one day while I was writing and told me he wanted to be in it. The only thing that would make him happier would be peach pie. Who was I to refuse?
5: As you wrote, at what moment did you stand back and say wow … never saw that coming?
Oh! I know the answer to this one without having to ponder too long! I knew when I started writing Haunted Rainethat it was going to be a ghost story, but what didn’t reveal itself to me until I had it about half written, was the WHY behind it. When Jesse told me what her part of the story was, I hit my stride and couldn’t get the story finished fast enough. Pieces started falling into place; and while I researched various information to make sure I was ‘keeping it real,’ I was amazed at how the various threads of my story were interweaving.
You might say the loa intervened.
6: Which authors or books have touched your life and why?
Twilight, for the obvious reason. Without it I wouldn’t have met all the wonderful people I have in the last couple of years. I seriously doubt I would’ve been brave enough to try writing if it weren’t for the fanfic jumping point I had.
Both of Laurell K. Hamilton’s series (Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry) I have to credit for finding the courage to get kinky once I started writing.
Anne Rice taught me the power of a solid plot line, and the necessity for those ever important details. Can you imagine Lasher’s story without all the Mayfair background and traveling abroad?
7: Lastly, what would you like your legacy to be? What is the one thing you would like your readers to say about R. E. Hargrave as a person?
I’m a people pleaser. That means I like seeing people happy. Sometimes I extend myself too far trying to keep those around me in that state, but I do it because I care about people.
The best I can hope for, is that others will think back on me as honest, loyal, hardworking, and loving.
About the Author
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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