by Karen Robards
With the Charlotte Stone series, it wasn’t a case of me being inspired to write about a ghost. I started out to write a straight up thriller about a psychiatrist, Dr. Charlotte Stone, who studies and hunts serial killers. Near the beginning of the first book in the series, THE LAST VICTIM, one of the serial killers Charlie is studying, a very handsome, charismatic convict named Michael Garland, is knifed in prison and dies in her arms. At that point, he was supposed to be out of the book. But he was such a strong character, so full of life, that he refused to leave. He came back as a ghost, to terrify and haunt and annoy and eventually fall in love with Charlie. So what can I say except, sometimes ghosts happen?
(As a side note, my editor had no idea that the big bad serial killer villain was going to morph into a ghost who was a continuing character – and the love interest, and eventual hero. I think she was shocked. But I loved Michael, and she ended up loving him, too.)
THE LAST KISS GOODBYE, the second book in the series, began moments after the first book ended. By this time Michael was firmly established as a character in my mind, and his relationship with Charlie kept growing and evolving. The interaction between them was hot and funny, and I had a good time writing it. The thing about writing is, the story comes alive in your mind. Which is great when it’s a too-die-for (that’s funny if you’ve read the books) love story, and not so good if it’s a terrifying search for a serial killer, which each book in this series is as well.
begins a couple of weeks after the end of THE LAST KISS GOODBYE. Michael is facing Eternity, and for him it’s not exactly the Pearly Gates. Charlie is doing her best not to fall in love with Michael. Together with an FBI team, they embark on a desperate search for a serial killer who has taken two of their family members as Michael’s time on earth starts to run out.
These books have been described as paranormal romantic thrillers. There’s mystery, suspense and lots of humor in them, along with some scares and an unusual love story that has gripped my writer’s imagination and refuses to let go. Spookville is as real to me as Las Vegas (In HER LAST WHISPER, Charlie and Michael visit both). Ghosts pop in and out, Charlie and her team hunt serial killers, and Michael (who says he’s innocent) struggles to hold the Bad Side of The Great Beyond at bay.
I’m having the time of my life writing about all of them. Books one through three are available now. Book four, THE LAST TIME I SAW HER, will be out in August, 2015.
Can be purchased in mass market paperback and eBook