We're lucky to have Lori Zaremba in the house today!
SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
LZ: Trudy Hicks is an ex-cop turned ghost hunter. She uses her knowledge to go into each investigation and treat it as a cold case, solving why the ghosts are in turmoil. Trudy is the person you want for your best friend. She is strong, smart and capable yet down to earth and sometimes she lets you see that she can be a bit vulnerable.The theme throughout the book is Trudy’s bravery. She must lead a crew of inexperienced ghost hunters into some pretty dicey situations and protect them. But most importantly Trudy must decide if she is brave enough to give away her well-guarded heart.
SC: Speaking of ghosts, do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?LZ: Ha! Well, since I’ve been seeing and communicating with dead people all my life I could go on and on about my experiences. But I will stick to one bizarre encounter that relates to Case One- The Deceit.
I was looking for a famous flapper-like personality to be in the scene where Vanessa goes to the Chicago speakeasy with Raul. I was googling names, and no one seemed right. A woman’s voice in my right ear whispered clearly, the name, Marian Davies. I had the shivers down my back, and I knew by researching her- she’d be perfect.Now at the same time, my sister CJ was visiting my niece in New York City. They went to a friend’s apartment in Manhattan for dinner. My sister who smokes had to walk down three stories to go outside. When CJ went back inside, a woman passed her on the steps, dressed in 20’s style clothing. CJ r greeted her and the woman greeted her back. My sister turned back to make sure she was seeing right and watched as the woman disappeared into thin air.
Going back to the dinner party and quite excited, my sister told Angelica, the friend hosting the dinner party, about what she had witnessed. Together the two tried to make sense of who the woman may have been. Angelica promised to do some research.Fast forward to a year later. Angelica is now visiting my sister, and we are all having dinner together. Mind you, my book is complete at this point but un-edited and not yet read by anyone other than me. Angelica proceeds to tell my sister that she did her research, meeting with local historians and knows who the flapper is that my sister saw in the stairwell. I'm curious because my sister told me about her experience but so much time had passed..
Angelica tells us an intriguing story of a newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst who secured the building that Angelica lives in as a love nest for the woman he was involved with romantically. Their long term affair lasted until her death. The affair is also well known among the locals and well documented.The woman's name was non-other than Marian Davies. Coincidence?
My guess is that Marian really wanted to be in the book ~so she is.
SC: Fabulous story. Thanks for sharing. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?LZ: My publisher has approved Case-Two-The Kept which will go through the editing process in April and I’m hoping it will be released in early summer. Case-Two is a little darker as we learn more about Trudy’s past. The haunting is on the Jersey shore and the team uncovers a white slave trafficking operation during the early 1900s. This book has so much action, twists and turns and most importantly lots of paranormal activity.
I am currently writing Case Three-The Hex. This one gives me the shivers of excitement and is keeping me up at night. I will reveal that it’s based in the French Quarter. It involves Voodoo, a brothel and some witches who will save the day.SC: Thanks so much for stopping by. Let's take a look at your novel now.
Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter
Case One -The Deceit
Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Date of Publication: 2/12/2019
Number of pages: 337
Word Count: 78500
Tagline: Some secrets are meant to stay buried.
My job? I hunt ghosts. Not to prove they exist—because I already know they do—but to figure out why they’re still here.
My first big case leads me to a mansion on the Chicago Gold Coast, the previous home of a wealthy socialite who lived there until she accidentally fell to her death in 1927.
I’ve never been this determined—and excited—to solve a case like this one before. Pity I’m forced to work alongside a man whose sole purpose is to debunk paranormal activity. But the worst part? He’s gorgeous, and the more we work together, the more I realize I might be falling for him.
Together we’re delving deeper and deeper into the spiritual world. But the more secrets we uncover, the more pissed off these ghosts become; and that’s when I start to realize…we might be in way over our heads.
Looking once again across the table at Jason, she noticed he was listening to his two-way radio.
“I’ll go check it out,” Trudy heard him say as he excused himself.
“Is everything all right?” Paul started to rise from the dinner table.
“Everything is fine. Sit and relax. I have to go and check one of the cameras.” Jason slipped from the room.
Trudy caught up to him at the base of the stairs. “What’s going on?”
He looked at her warily. “One of the cameras on the third floor caught the door of your room slamming shut.”
“Oh, I left it open for the dog when I came down to dinner.”
“Jasmine?” He raised a questioning brow as he referred to the golden retriever who was sound asleep under the dining table.
“No.” She bit her lip and tried not to laugh at his puzzled expression. “I left it open for the other dog that was whining and scratching at my door.”
“Oh, I see, the imaginary one,” he quipped, climbing the stairs two at a time. Trudy was almost at a sprint to keep up, careful not to slip in her high heels. They finally reached the third floor. The air was so thick that Trudy could barely move her legs and felt the hair on the back of her neck rising in warning.
“Shhh. Did you hear that?” A door slammed from inside her room.
“What the hell was that?” Jason said as he reached for the door, looking down at her.
“It’s probably just a little mouse,” she said, causing him to frown down at her before slowly turning the knob.
They entered the room as quietly as possible, and a blast of frigid air struck them. Jason reached over to flip the switch for the light. Everything was normal. They quickly searched the room for any signs of a disturbance. The room was just as she left it, and the door to the bathroom was open as before. She couldn’t figure out what made the slamming noise that they heard.
“Uh, were you typing an email earlier?” Jason asked, looking at her laptop.
“Oh, yeah, to my mom. I forgot.”
“You better take a look at this.”
Trudy looked at the screen and saw her email was
still up. She had written, “Hi, Mom. We’re at the house. All is well. Please...” That was where she stopped when she’d been interrupted by a phone call, and that was where it looked like the email went wild with,
The two letters repeated the whole way down the page. “How is that possible?” she questioned.
“Maybe your keys are stuck.” He bent down to get a better look at the keys then tapped them to see if they were sticking.
“Please, there’s nothing wrong with the keys. Someone was playing.”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m not talking about a human.”
“You think a ghost did this?” Humor danced around his mouth as he tried to keep from smiling.
“Well, it certainly could be a possibility, and it is the reason we’re here.”
“Not we, you. I’m here to look at things rationally.”
“Rationally...really?” She was irritated, folding her arms over her chest and glaring at him. “What was rational about the events that led us into this room? And for the love of God, what was rational about what happened to you in the basement?”
Jason sat on the bed, elbows on his knees, and looked down at the floor. “I don’t know, but I plan to find out.”
She looked at him for a moment and could almost feel his confusion. He was a bit lost in all this chaos. She sat beside him and mimicked his pose. Trudy elbowed him on the arm, and the simple touch sent a thrill racing through her body. “I guess we have our work cut out for us.”
His gaze settled on her half-smile. “At least it won’t be boring.”
Her heart did a somersault. “Yeah, I don’t do well with boring.”
Feeling brazen, she leaned over and planted a quick kiss on his mouth. His eyes widened in surprise, and Trudy jumped up, grinning from ear to ear.
“Let’s go, Mr. Young. They’re probably wondering what’s happened to us.” She was halfway out the door.
Jason grabbed her hand before she could reach the hall and spun her around. His lips claimed hers before she could grasp what was happening. Trudy felt his hand on the small of her back molding her to him, while his other hand gently held her head. She felt a thrill like never before, and just as her knees started to give out, he released her.
“Better hurry, Gertrude. Wouldn’t want anyone to think you were trying to take advantage of me in this here grand bedroom.” He smiled into her eyes, and once again she was lost. She shook her head to clear it and get some control of her senses.
“We better go, or I’ll be taking advantage of you.” She laughed, and he did too. She loved the sound of it. She glanced over her shoulder. “I hope that damned camera of yours was turned off.”
As they headed out the door, Jason walking just behind her, he grimaced when he saw the red light on the camera on and grunted, “Oh, shit.”
About the Author:
Lori Zaremba is a full-time Internet Sales Manager and writes Web Content as well as providing Copy Editing for businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Lori has published short ghost stories on Your Ghost Stories, as the Haunted_Cleaner and on her website lorizaremba.com
On her website, lorizaremba.com, Zaremba refers to herself as the ghost magnet and briefly describes her encounters with departing spirits.
Lori began writing her fiction story as a creative offering of why a ghost would haunt. Before long the story became a novel Case One: The Deceit in the Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter series.
Lori currently lives in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with her husband Wayne and two fur babies Jaxson and Stewie.