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Author Q&A ft by Loretta Marion | HOUSE OF ASHES Book Tour | GREAT ESCAPES TOURS Presents Supernatural Mystery

HOUSE OF ASHES: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery by Loretta Marion is on virtual book tour with Great Escapes Book Tours. The supernatural mystery...

HOUSE OF ASHES: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery by Loretta Marion is on virtual book tour with Great Escapes Book Tours. The supernatural mystery stops at Readeropolis with an author interview and giveaway. Enjoy!
Author Interview

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

HOUSE OF ASHES would be a great read for anyone who loves mysteries – especially those that take place in small seaside villages! My writing often bridges the genres of mystery, suspense and women’s fiction with a whisper of romance usually thrown into the mix. HOUSE OF ASHES also introduces a paranormal element, so it has a lot to offer the reader. A mysterious disappearance, a ghostly presence in the protagonist’s beloved home – which she is about to lose to mounting debt – and the interweaving of the historic tale with a century-old curse from which the present-day story is born.   

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

HOUSE OF ASHES was not the original title of the novel. There were a number of working titles for the book as it evolved. I had finally settled on The Lighterman’s Curse, which will become clear why to those who read the book. However, my publisher thought it needed a different title, and after a bit of back and forth with my agent and publisher, we came to the agreement that HOUSE OF ASHES was most emblematic of the story.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

This is always a difficult question to answer because of the relationship a writer forms with each of her characters. I like them all in different ways and for different reasons. Spending time with my characters is my favorite part about being a writer.

However, I would have to select Cassandra (Cassie) Mitchell. She’s the heart of the story and the character I spent the most time with while writing the book. Cassie and I do not share a great deal in common, so I had to crawl into her skin. As I did, I came to appreciate her persona, the struggles she faced and how she dealt with adversity. I also admire her determination. I’m not so sure I’d be as tenacious as she was in the same situation. I like to create women who grow and evolve, and I think Cassie made great strides when forced to confront her personal demons.

Even though I picked Cassie, I also must admit to having a huge crush on Chief Brooks Kincaid.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

Again, it’s hard to pick a least favorite character because they are all meant to do a job – be it in an appealing or unappealing manner. Mrs. Kruk would be my least favorite if I met her in real life, but she’s a minor character and is supposed to be unpleasant. If forced to select a character with more of a presence in the story, it would be Zoe. Not that I dislike her, but she pretty much turned her back on her much younger sister during a time of extreme loss. To be fair, the reader doesn’t learn why that is until later in the book. Plus, she needs to have done this for the story to work.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
The ghostly presence in the story was inspired by my own personal experience with a visitor from the spirit world. Shortly after my husband and I moved into our first home together, some odd happenings began to take place in our cozy abode. We lived in rural Connecticut and our property abutted a 300-year-old cemetery. Hmmm…was that a good idea? Actually, I’d always been fascinated by old cemeteries as the ancient tombstones have interesting tales to tell, and we loved that our rustic farmhouse was next to such an interesting portal to the past. We just hadn’t been prepared for one of its residents to take an interest in us. For the next several years, our otherworldly visitor stirred up mischief in our home, but nothing menacing. In fact, we became accustomed to his little pranks.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

The best way to keep up with my writing would be to sign up for my email list at my website: I do not bombard my list with unnecessary emails. Usually quarterly updates unless there is something new and exciting to share.

For more regular updates I can be followed on Facebook:
I also have a presence on the following:

What can we expect from you in the future?
I am working on the second book in the Haunted Bluffs Mystery series which will be released in the fall of 2019. It’s lovely to work on a series because now I don’t have to say goodbye to Cassie and the crew just yet.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
If a reader enjoys HOUSE OF ASHES or any of my books, I would love to hear about it! The best way to help contribute to their success would be to spread the word to friends, fellow readers, libraries, local book stores and by writing positive reviews. I didn’t realize until I became a writer how important reviews were to the success of a book. Now I make sure to review every book I enjoy.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
For writers, patience and persistence are key. It’s important to have realistic objectives and be open to constructive criticism from professionals. Only submit clean and polished manuscripts to agents and editors. Learn how to properly pitch your book. Attend writing conferences that’s how I met my literary agent.

For readers, I would just say to be open to all genres and to appreciate the amount of time and heart an author invests in writing a book.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I hope readers will enjoy Whale Rock and the Haunted Bluffs Mysteries as much as I have enjoyed creating them. I was a reader long before I became a writer and will always want to crawl into the worlds created by other authors. Reading is a special pleasure and if I can bring that to readers it will be a great honor and a thrill.

Thank you for your time and interest, Readeropolis. I enjoyed the interview!

About the Author
House of Ashes: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery
Supernatural Mystery
1st in Series
Crooked Lane Books (November 13, 2018)
Hardcover, 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1683318439
ISBN-13: 978-1683318439
Digital Details Coming Soon

A family patriarch’s dying proclamation, an enigmatic disappearance, and a century-old curse converge in the shadows of a majestic home on Cape Cod’s craggy coast.

Thirty-seven-year-old painter Cassandra Mitchell is fourth-generation to live in the majestic Battersea Bluffs, a brooding Queen Anne home originally built by her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, and still standing despite tragedies that have swept the generations. Local lore has it that there was a curse placed on the family and the house is haunted, though opinions are divided on whether it's by malicious or benevolent spirits. Cassie believes the latter―but now she stands to lose her beloved home to mounting debt and the machinations of her dream-weaving ex-husband.

Salvation seems to arrive when a nomadic young couple wanders onto the property with the promise of companionship and much-needed help―until they vanish without a trace, leaving behind no clue to their identities. Cassie is devastated, but determined to discover what's happened to the young couple...even as digging into their disappearance starts to uncover family secrets of her own. Despite warnings from her childhood friend, now the local Chief of Police―as well as an FBI agent who pushes the boundaries of professionalism―Cassie can't help following the trail of clues (and eerie signals from the old house itself) to unravel the mystery. But can she do so before her family's dark curse destroys everything in its path?

About the Author

An author of fiction, Loretta Marion’s writing bridges the genres of mystery and suspense and women’s fiction, always with hints of romance and humor, sometimes delving into the psychological and paranormal. She creates strong but flawed and struggling characters as appealing as the rich atmospheric settings in which the stories take place.

Loretta is a true bibliophile and has loved reading and creating with words since she was a young girl. And that affection for the written word followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she put pen to paper crafting marketing and advertising copy, educational brochures, and newsletters. But her passion for writing fiction evolved from the unlikely world of hospice. As a volunteer, she set out to establish a Legacy Story program to honor and preserve the rich heritage of the fascinating people who were soon to leave this world. The meaningful experience inspired her to create her own interesting characters and stories. Her debut novel, The Fool's Truth, was a twisty and suspenseful mystery with whispers of romance. Her newest novel, HOUSE OF ASHES – A Haunted Bluffs Mystery, is the first in a series published by Crooked Lane Books.

Though born and raised in the Midwest, Loretta fell in love with New England and has made it the setting for much of her writing. When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey, and their beloved Mr. Peabody, a sweet, devoted and amusing “Corgador” (Corgi-Labrador cross). (

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Present day ~ Whale Rock, Massachusetts ~ Cape Cod September ~ three days since the disappearance

   “I warned you months ago about taking those strangers into your home, Cassie.” It wasn’t the first time Whale Rock’s police chief had made his feelings on the subject known, nor was Brooks Kincaid the only one to scorn my decision to take in the young couple who had fortuitously appeared at The Bluffs nearly four months ago, on a day I’d found myself in a rather desperate place. But nobody understood what a godsend they’d been. Vince and Ashley Jacobson had been my lifeline in saving The Bluffs. More than that, they’d rescued me from a very bleak place. But my descent into darkness was a well- guarded secret. Only Vince and Ashley knew. And now they were missing. Three days earlier, my young tenants had packed a picnic lunch and set off on their bikes for a day trip to Provincetown— and never returned. This morning I’d been summoned to a long- forsaken barn down at Kinsey Cove to identify two abandoned bicycles. The sight of the familiar picnic basket sent quivering fingers of dread up my spine, and I knew in that instant something bad had happened to them.     “There are no answers here.” Brooks was trying to persuade me to go home. “It’s very possible they’ll still just show up at your place. You should be there in case they do.     “I can’t just wait around. You need to let me help look for them,” I pleaded with my old friend.     “You’ve already done all you can.”     I shook my head. It hadn’t been enough. When Ashley and Vince didn’t come home, I’d set out to find them myself, driving all the way to Provincetown in case they were stranded on the roadside. When there was no sign of them in P- town, I’d checked Wizards, their favorite local hangout, but nobody there had seen them either. I’d sorted through their personal items for some type of clue or contact information. But all my sleuthing had dead-ended.     Brooks placed a calming hand on my shoulder and nodded toward the team of police who had assembled and were busy securing the scene and collecting evidence. “Leave this to the experts.”     “Yeah? Tell me, where were the experts when I first reported my friends missing?” The police had refused to get involved until my tenants had been missing for twenty- four hours.         “Your friends hadn’t been gone long enough to be considered officially missing at that point.” He swept the dark blond hair from his forehead in a lifelong habit. “Give us a break. We’ve been doing all we can, with essentially no clues to follow.”     “Something’s very wrong.” I held a fist to my knotted-up stomach. “I can feel it.”


  1. The old house has me really intrigued.

    1. I fell in love with the stately Victorian as I was writing the book. I hope you will enjoy a visit to Whale Rock and fall in love with it too!

  2. I was fascinated by the excerpt and synopsis of the book. Sounds like my kind of read.

    1. Lovely to hear ~ I hope you enjoy HOUSE OF ASHES!

  3. What a generous giveaway! Beautiful cover.