Since December 2012, Christine Rains has introduced us to six wonderful books from her amazing 13th Floor Series. In my opinion, the series has been a huge triumph; with Christine adding her own spin to classic paranormal/ supernatural mythology, and combining it with some memorable characters.
Now, the final instalment in the series, The Ghost, is here and Christine is going out with a bang. The story centres on the 13th floor itself, and an evil entity that could destroy all our favourite supernatural tenants. Their only hope, a sweet and innocent ghost by the name of Chiharo Black.
After reading the dramatic climax, which was brilliant, Christine and I got together to chat about ghosts, our favourite literary spooks, and what I thought of her book.
1) Do you believe in ghosts?
Clare: I'm not sure. I used to when I was younger, but I've become more sceptical in my old age. Or perhaps I just like to convince myself they're not real, so I'm not scared like a sissy in the middle of the night! LOL
Christine: I do believe in ghosts. They may not be exactly what we think they are, but there's something out there that we don't have an explanation for.
2) Have you ever had a ghostly experience?
Clare: Yes ... well, I believed so at the time. I was around 14 and a friend and I went to a part of the neighbourhood we weren't supposed to. We got to the bottom of the road, and there was this clearing with a huge concreted area. Kneeling down on the ground was a pale girl with long white hair and raggedy clothes. She swirled her hands around in the dust on the floor, and suddenly from nowhere a fire sprang up. Worried it would cause an accident, my friend and I raced up the road to the guy we'd seen washing his car outside his house. We told him what we'd seen and he followed us down to the clearing. When we got there, not only was there no girl, but there were no ashes or sign of fire either. The man was convinced me and my friend had pulled a prank on him, but we were certain it was a ghost.
Christine: Cool! That's a neat experience. I've never had one myself, but not for lack of trying. I've sought out ghosts, but I've never had any luck, or maybe I'm not receptive to that sort of paranormal activity.
3) What did you think of the final book of the 13th Floor series?
Clare: I thought it was absolutely spectacular, and contained everything I love about The 13th Floor Series. Relate-able believable character, even when they're paranormal being. A sweet, romantic love story I couldn't help but root for, and your own fascinating, unique spin on the supernatural.
Christine: Thank you! I worried about this one because the main character is a sweetheart rather than a kick butt heroine. It was fun writing about ghosts, though. Particularly Chiharo and Jeremy!
4) Do you think it was a fitting end?
Clare: Yes, I think it was a brilliant end. It pulled the 13th Floor and how Chiharo has been using her ghostly powers to protect it, into focus, while giving us a brilliant new character and revisiting the old characters we know and love. There was a real sense of finality, especially with the reveal at the end.
Christine: Thank you again. I wanted to threaten the existence of the 13th floor itself and include all the characters in this one yet still making it Chiharo's story.
5) What's your favorite ghost movie?
Clare: Admittedly, I haven't seen too many ghost movies, as they scare me. Seriously, I'm even scared of Ghost Busters. Stay Puft Marshmallow Man gives me the creeps! *shudders * Ghost, with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, is a brilliant, classic love story with a great paranormal twist.
Christine: Ah, Ghostbusters! Gotta love 'em. I like the classics like Poltergeist and The Changeling. I watched Poltergeist alone one night as a teen when I was babysitting. I had to keep checking on the kids!
6) What's your favorite ghost book (other than mine!)?
Clare: Yours of course! Ever by Jessa Russo also springs to mind, that's another brilliant paranormal love story, and an interesting take on ghosts. But the one that really stands out in my mind is The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. The image she creates with words of a male spirit haunting the Mayfair women living at First Street, New Orleans, is both haunting and hypnotic. Even on a tenth read though, that book and the ghost Lasher pulls me in.
Christine: The Witching Hour was awesome. I also love The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake. I love all the ghosts in Gaiman's book, and Blake's story was a highly original take on ghost stories.
7) Do you think one day we'll be able to scientifically explain ghosts?
Clare: Yes, I think so. There's such a large portion of the brain we don't use. Who knows, perhaps some of it, will allow our spirits to live on on earth. I think eventually, scientists will find explanations for all paranormal phenomenon, like psychic abilities and ghosts.
Christine: I believe we will too. I agree that there's a lot about ourselves we don't understand, and with advances in science, we'll be able to learn more about our brains unlocking some of the mysteries of the world.
Title: The Ghost (The 13th Floor series, #6)
Author: Christine Rains
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: July 13th, 2013
Blurb: Chiharo Black lives with six supernatural tenants in a haunted building's mysterious thirteenth floor. Of course, no one knows she's there except the cats. Being a ghost can be a bit frustrating and lonely, but it isn't as bad as her mother made it out to be.
Until another ghost intrudes on her territory. Jeremy Emerson wants revenge on the vampire that killed him and won't stop until he has it. To top it off, a nightmarish shade sneaks in and leeches the energy from the building's residents before setting its sights on Chiharo and the thirteenth floor. She can't decide which one is more frightening: the one wanting to eat her soul or the one who might win her heart.
Chiharo must convince Jeremy to stand with her against the hellish parasite. If they cannot work together, the greedy fiend will not only drain their energy but everything that supports the thirteenth floor's existence.
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not writing or reading, she having adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of Untethered Realms and S.C.I.F.I. The 13th Floor series is her first self-published series. She has seven novellas and twenty-one short stories published.
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