Monday, October 5, 2015

{Book Blast + Giveaway} Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1) by J.L Bryan

Hey y'all, I'm so happy to be spotlighting today the first book in one of my favorite ghost hunting series ever, Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper by J.L Bryan. Check out the excerpt then grab it for FREE at all retailers but B&N's which is only .99cents.

Also, in the interview see if J.L Bryan would ever stay in a haunted house and read about his ghost experience! Plus, you can enter to win a signed copy of Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper!

Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper #1) by J.L Bryan
Publication Date: August 27th, 2014
Genre: Adult Paranormal Mystery

Summary from Goodreads

Ellie Jordan’s job is to catch and remove unwanted ghosts. Part detective, part paranormal exterminator, Ellie operates out of Savannah, Georgia, one of the oldest and most haunted cities in North America.

When a family contacts her to deal with a disturbing presence in the old mansion they’ve recently purchased, Ellie first believes it to be a typical, by-the-book specter, a residual haunting by a restless spirit. Instead, she finds herself confronting an evil older and more powerful than she’d ever expected, rooted in the house’s long and sordid history of luxury, sin, and murder. The dangerous entity seems particularly interested in her clients’ ten-year-old daughter.

Soon her own life is in danger, and Ellie must find a way to exorcise the darkness of the house before it can kill her, her clients, or their frightened young child.

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Gripping my flashlight in one hand and the Mel Meter in the other, I began to ascend the stairs.  It grew colder with each step...sixty-one degrees on the first flight, fifty-three by the time I reached the midway landing.  I started up the second flight.  
“You’re right behind her,” Stacey whispered. “This is so freaky.”
Forty-eight degrees.  My own footsteps sounded as loud as gunshots in my ears as I climbed the stairs.  Forty-five degrees.  By the time I reached the top step, it was at forty degrees, and I could see a frosty plume each time I exhaled.
I stood in front of Lexa’s door.  The upstairs hallway was cold and silent around me, the moonlight thin from the windows, barely penetrating the darkness.  The gloom felt oppressive, the air unnaturally heavy.
I was just about to drop the thermal goggles down over my eyes when I heard the tiny click from Lexa’s door.  Lexa’s name was painted on a wooden square mounted in the middle of the door, surrounded by little flowers and butterflies in bright pigments.
The round doorknob gave the smallest squeak as it turned.  The door to Lexa’s room crept inward, again moving slowly, as if nudged by the lightest possible draft of air.
Lexa sat up in her bed, outlined by a feeble pink-flower nightlight plugged into the far wall near the fireplace.  The room grew even darker around her, as if the nightlight were burning out.
“She’s here,” Lexa whispered to me.  She raised a shaking arm and pointed at me. “She’s right beside you.”
The temperature was down to thirty-six degrees—my fingers would begin to freeze if it grew much worse.
I turned toward the freezing center of the cold spot and reached for my goggles again.
I didn’t need them.
She took shape gradually, like a scrim of frost collecting in midair.  At first, she was just a shape—female, petite, a little shorter than me, pale as ice.  Then more details appeared.  She wore a clingy, low-cut black dress, and some kind of teardrop-shaped pendant hung against her transparent white flesh.  Her hair was colorless and stringy, hanging in thick clumps.
Then I could see rope burns on her neck, and I recognized her face from the picture.  Mercy.
She stared at me with hollow eye sockets.  Even at her most detailed, she was transparent, barely even there.  I could plainly see the hallway behind her.  I felt like, if I blinked, she might vanish again.
“Ellie, what’s up?” Stacey asked. “Are you seeing something?  These temp readings are down low, like deep-winter low...that whole upstairs hallways is like creepy-crawly with cold—”
“Sh,” I whispered.  Her chatting wasn’t helping me.  Every nerve in my body was tense, screaming at me to run away, to run straight out of the house and slam the door behind me.  It was hard to ignore my instincts, but I had a job to do.
Resisting the desire to flee, I forced myself to speak instead.
“Mercy,” I said. “Mercy Cutledge.”
The ghost’s hollow eyes widened a little, giving me a better view of the empty hallway behind her. Her mouth opened, and I thought I heard a cold buzzing in the air.  For some reason, it made me think of the ice machines at cheap motels.
“Mercy,” I said. “Leave this family alone.  Your time here is done.  You need to move on.”
Her lips drew into a sneer.  She had no visible teeth or tongue—as with her eyes, it was just empty hallway behind her when her mouth opened.
She blasted one word at me.  I felt it strike me in the forehead like a gust of arctic air, and I heard the word inside my brain more than with my ears: Leave.
“You don’t understand, Mercy,” I said. “You’re dead, you died--”
A howling shriek hit me right in the brain.  The ghost charged at me, her misty face distorted and distending as she put on speed, her empty eye sockets and mouth hole stretching to inhuman shapes.

About The Author

J.L. Bryan

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories.

He is the author of The Paranormals series of horror novels (Jenny PoxTommy Nightmare, and Alexander Death) the Songs of Magic series for younger readers (Fairy Metal ThunderFairy Blues, and far) and other books. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, their son, and some dogs and cats.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads


1.     What inspired you to write Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper?

I was interested in writing about ghosts because, unlike pretty much any other kind of paranormal critter (vampires, werewolves, etc.) it's not clear whether ghosts are real or not. I thought it would be fun to write a detective series about a character who deals with them all the time.

2.     Have you ever had a ghost experience before?

One time my wife and I were staying with some friends who lived in an old house in Athens, Georgia. We slept downstairs and were the only people on the floor. We were both awoken at the same time by a deep male voice saying “shoo, shoo” just a few inches above our heads, like someone was leaning over us and talking. Nobody else was in the room. We didn't tell our friends about it until they'd moved out of that house.

3.     What made you choose to write in the paranormal genre?

I've always been interested in the supernatural and sort of looking into mysterious and unexplainable events. I also think that we can learn about ourselves through imagining human beings in extreme circumstances, whether that's dealing with paranormal monsters or a dystopian future society.

4.     What was your favorite scene to write in Ellie Jordan?

Probably the ghost ones, like early on when she's first encountering the ghost in the house, or later when they have to visit the abandoned old insane asylum to look for clues.

5.     Which character was your favorite to write?

I really enjoy writing both Ellie and Stacey and how they interact with each other. Their psychic friend Jacob is becoming more and more fun to write with each book.

6.     Do you have a dream cast for any of the characters?

I don't because I don't keep up with newer actors very well. This would be a really interesting blog post if someone else wanted to do it, though (hint, hint!).

7.     What is your writing process like?

I have a toddler, so I pretty much just write whenever I can. A lot of times that's late night! I try to hit specific wordcounts, but it always goes slowest earliest in the first draft and gradually picks up steam. Then I go through a number of drafts before sending it for editing.

8.     What kind of research did you have to do for this book?

I've actually done kind of a silly amount of research for this series, and I still do. First, I've read or listened to as many true (or supposedly true) ghost stories as I can find. I wanted to learn all about what real ghostly experiences were like, instead of following other fiction. I also researched the real technology and procedures used by ghost hunters and applied those to Ellie's investigative process. My goal has been to make it is as realistic as possible as far as reflecting “ghost culture” in the real world.

9.      How many books are you planning for the series?

Eight or ten right now.

10.                         When you were a kid, what was your favorite ghost story you heard?

There was an old house in an overgrown field near where I grew up. People would say it was haunted. I think that was the scariest one because it was so close and I could have walked inside the place if I wanted to (but I didn't want to). I don't even remember a specific story about it, people said different things. I did watch a lot of Scooby-Doo as a kid, too. And I was obsessed with the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, which are about a certain kind of ghost.

11.                         When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was thirteen and wrote a book about a delusional kid who dressed up in a dog costume and tried to fight crime, despite his lack of any superpowers or anything. It was called Dogboy.

12.                         What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Ellie Jordan?

How many real or supposedly real ghost stories are out there. I've read several books about ghosts just in the Savannah area alone. There are lots of books and websites that collect people's ghost stories, and lots of people have personal stories if you start asking around. There are at least a dozen “ghost reality” shows on TV, where haunted buildings are investigated with technology or by psychics, or people recount experiences they claim to have had. The abundance of ghostly experiences by real people has made researching and writing the series much more interesting to me.

13.                         Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read widely, not just in your own genre, read lots of books on craft, and write every day. Commercially, you want to write in a popular genre and make sure you have quality book covers that reflect the correct genre.

14.                         What is your favorite genre to read or watch?

I like to read historical nonfiction, biographies, things like that. Nonfiction is great fuel for your imagination.

15.                         If someone dared you, would you spend the night in the house in the story?

No! Not unless Ellie had cleared the place first.

16.                         Is there a genre you’d like to write but haven’t yet?

I actually write some science fiction on the side, but it hasn't done as well as the supernatural stories so I don't focus on it.

17.                         Why did you choose to have the book take place in Savannah, Georgia?

It was an easy choice for me because I live in Georgia and have visited Savannah several times (and I'm always willing to go back for more research!). Some of my ancestors were present at the founding of that city. So I wanted to write about a city with which I was familiar, and Savannah is a great setting, with lots of old mansions built in every style and centuries-old graveyards, plus the city is built on top of multiple native burial grounds. It's believed to be one of the most haunted cities in the country among paranormal researchers and among people who live there. Most of the buildings in the Historic District have at least one ghost story attached to them. It seemed like a place where professional ghost hunters would really have their hands full! 


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