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Monday, January 15, 2018

The Story Behind The Story of The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins


Ghosts: The Story Behind The Story

My husband and I had checked into the remote cottage overlooking the water just that afternoon.  It was in Nova Scotia, up a road bumpy enough that we worried about our car’s suspension—but the views were magnificent, the July evening balmy, and the lobsters we steamed for dinner delicious.  Coastal fog and a cool breeze swirled around our windows as we fell into a deep sleep…

…until just before 3 AM, when every smoke detector in the house went off, jolting us awake.  But there was no fire.  And when we managed to get the alarms turned off, on they came again.  Over the course of the next few days, we discovered that the life expectancy for light bulbs in that house was pretty short, too.  And our laptop computers didn’t seem to hold a charge very long,  Even the battery in the grill outside was dead…

We called the realtor, who smiled and made fixing motions, but Ken and I knew what was up.  At home, we live in a house that was built in 1740.  It has ghosts, too. We soon figured out the vacation cottage had belonged to a recently deceased artist whose family was now renting it out.  Betcha Mr. Ghost didn’t think too kindly of his paying guests—even though we admired his paintings.

I’ll admit we were relieved to move on to the next part of our vacation after that week was up.  Our at-home ghosts have only really kicked up their spectral heels once.  My husband’s a church musician, and he and I had just returned home from something people in his job dread: having to play the funeral of a friend.  We were grieved, and Ken went upstairs to nap with our two cats.  I fussed with my computer, not really writing.  Suddenly, the giant brass floor lamp in the room behind my study hit the floor with such force that it pulled the cover off the radiator next to it. No one was in the room and no traffic was on our street.  A few days later, it happened again.

A local ghost investigator visited after that, and discovered some of the older—and permanent—residents of our house.  One’s a broken-hearted gent in my husband’s office.  Poor chap doesn’t know he’s dead, and the ghost busters have told us it’s rude to inform him of that fact.  The ghost in the room with the lamp is a clean freak who mainly sweeps the floor.  Sadly, this has no effect on 21st century dust.  

So, yeah—ghosts.  As a little girl, I was fascinated by the Topper TV show.  And of course, I love Ghostbusters—both the original and the remake.  When I set out to write The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins, I wanted to write a ghost story that was funny as well as being scary—and just a little sexy! I was a chef when I was younger, so I thought throwing a little tasty food into the mix might be good, too.

Alrighty, then! What do YOU think happens if you have a one-nighter…with a ghost?

The Chef and the Ghost of
Bartholomew Addison Jenkins
Aletta Thorne

Genre: paranormal romance,
mainstream romance, holiday

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Date of Publication: October 26, 2017

ASIN: B076WJK63L

Number of pages: 158
Word Count: 51,000

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Tagline: What happens if you have a one-nighter—with a ghost?

Book Description:

Autumn, 1982. MTV is new, poodle perms are the rage, and life just might be getting better for Alma Kobel.  Her ugly divorce is final at last. Her new job as chef at Bright Day School’s gorgeous old estate is actually fun.  But the place is haunted—and so is Alma’s apartment. Bartholomew Addison Jenkins’ ghost has been invisibly watching her for months. 

When he materializes one night, Alma discovers Bart—as he likes to be called—has talents she couldn’t have imagined…and a horrifying past. What happens if you have a one-nighter with a ghost?  And what happens if one night is all you want—and you end up ghosting him?  

Some spirits don’t like taking “no” for an answer.

Amazon      Evernight      BN
Excerpt:

A ghost. Of course he was a ghost—even though before that night, she’d never felt anything spooky at her place in the almost-year she’d lived in it. Alma still had the plate with the omelet on it in one hand. Ghosts didn’t eat, did they? She held it out to him anyway.
“Go ahead and have your supper,” he said. “I don’t need food. I take it you understand why.”
Alma nodded, not sure what to say. For a ghost, the man looked rather … dashing, she decided was the world. He must have been muscular in life. There were nicely rounded biceps under that loose shirt, and they showed when he moved his arms.  His knee knickers fit tightly over a flat belly, and his stockings made his calves look like they were made out of smooth, white marble. His eyes were a startling, luminous golden brown.
“Sadly, we are still perfectly able to smell a good meal cooking.”
“We?” Alma said.
The man nodded. “Your dead,” he said, solemnly.
“My dead?” she said.
“Well, you live here, don’t you? So, I’m your dead, now.” He stopped looking so serious then and as if guys in knee knickers and white stockings were born doing it, he opened her refrigerator and pulled out the bottle of Chablis. “Here, give me your glass,” he said, and topped it off. The glow from the refrigerator’s light made him even more luminous—and just the slightest bit translucent.
“Thanks,” she said, although it was her wine. She put her plate and glass down on a little enamel-topped kitchen table she’d bought at a local church thrift shop and pulled out one of the table’s funky old chairs for herself.
“Fork? Napkin?” he said, pulling those things out of the drawers next to Alma’s stove. Alma used cloth napkins from the restaurant supplier—big white ones.
“You know where my things are,” she said, spreading the napkin across her lap.
“That shouldn’t surprise you,” he said. “Eat your omelet while it’s hot. Go ahead.”
Alma took a bite. “Um, the pepper grinder on the stove?” she said. “Could you, please?”
“My lady.” He smiled and handed it to her with a little bow.
 She ground a little pepper over her plate and took another bite and sipped her wine. He sat down across from her, put his elbows on the table, and his chin in his hands.
“I enjoy watching you eat.”
“Okay, I guess. It’s not … weird?”
“No.”
 A ghost is watching me eat an omelet. “What’s your name?”
“Bartholomew Addison Jenkins,” he said. “These days, I just use Bart.”
“These days. But you’ve been here since you…”
“Since 1784,” he said.
“Which was when you died, I guess.”
“I must tell you, dear lady, saying that to one of us is considered rude. In better ghostly circles, that is. Some of us are not aware we are dead. Some of us do not like to be reminded of it.”





About the Author:

Aletta Thorne believes in ghosts.  In her non-writing life, she is a choral singer, a poet, a sometimes DJ, and a writer about things non-supernatural.  But she’s happiest in front of a glowing screen, giving voice to whoever it is that got her two cats all riled up at three AM.  Yes, her house is the oldest one on her street.  And of course, it’s quite seriously haunted (scared the ghost investigator who came to check it out).  She is named after a little girl in her family who died in the late nineteenth century, at the age of two. The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins is her first romance.



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