Thursday, June 24, 2010

Carina Press Launch... Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell

Hi I’m Janni Nell and I’m delighted to be a guest on Toni’s blog to talk about my Carina Press release Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator. As a debut author, this is all very new to me. Toni has kindly provided some questions to help me get the hang of things. So here goes.

What genre do you write?

This is kind of a difficult question. It’s cross genre mystery/paranormal with a bit of humor thrown in. A fun quirky mystery.

What do you like most about writing in this genre?

The chance to let my imaginative go to weird and wonderful places. Plus I get to make Allegra say all the snarky things I could never say in real life.

Is this the first story you’ve sold and, if so, how did you react when you found out you were going to be a launch author for Carina Press?

It is the first story I’ve sold and I didn’t react the way I’d expected. Instead of screaming and happy dancing, I went numb. I couldn’t quite believe I was actually going to get published. I kept thinking the acceptance email must have been meant for someone else. Until my husband pointed out it was unlikely anyone else had written a story called Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator. Then he took me out for a celebratory lunch. After than it kind of sunk in.

Do you write to music or prefer silence?

Silence definitely. Music is too distracting. I continually stop writing to sing along, which is something you don’t want to hear. Trust me.

Favorite Movie?

I love musicals and comedies. My current favorite is Mamma Mia.

Favorite Drink?

Champagne. Also, like my character Allegra, I’m partial to a good pina colada.

Tell me a little about your Carina Press release…

Allegra and her guardian angel, Casper, investigate paranormal activity in the Scottish village of Furness. They encounter a wailing banshee, a three-hundred-year old ghost and dead bodies that mysteriously disappear. But it gets worse. Allegra is falling in love with Casper and that’s absolutely forbidden.

What are you working on now?

The second Allegra Fairweather book. I’m almost finished the first draft.

* * *

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a guest on Toni’s blog today and meeting you all. Until we meet again…

May your guardian angel watch over you.

Allegra Fairweather here. Paranormal investigator. Got problems with specters? Shapeshifters? I’m the woman to call. Just don’t call me a Ghostbuster. The last guy who did that ended up flat on his back with my boot at his throat.

With my 99.5% success rate, solving the mystery of a bleeding rose that has sprung up on the shores of Loch Furness should have been an easy gig. But already I’ve heard the shriek of the local banshee, discovered two bodies (and then lost two bodies), and had a near-death encounter with a three-hundred-year-old ghost. And perhaps most dangerous of all, the hot pub owner who hired me now wants to show me exactly what’s under his kilt.

Luckily, I’m ably assisted by my very own guardian angel. I’m grateful for his help—but he’s also drop-dead gorgeous. A bit distracting when I’ve got a mystery to solve, and the clock is ticking…


Falling toward certain death isn’t much fun. Time slows so you have plenty of it to think about how it will feel to hit bottom. I didn’t like the painful images that entered my mind so I pushed them away. Instead I thought about the possibility of not hitting bottom.

You might think I had little chance of avoiding it considering I was plummeting downward at a frightening rate. But nothing in life is certain. There are always surprises.

I felt an updraft of wind beneath me. Seconds later I had stopped falling and was being carried upward in a strong pair of arms. Leaning my head against the broad expanse of chest at my disposal, I sighed. Casper.

I couldn’t see him – I was still battling the dust particles in my eyes - but I could hear the steady beat of his wings.

Casper is my Guardian Angel. He’s been with me, on and off, since I was a child and because he could appear and disappear at will I had called him after the friendly ghost. I don’t know what his real name is. I never asked. But I probably couldn’t pronounce it anyway.

As far as I can work out from the little he tells me Casper once belonged to an old Germanic tribe. He died fighting the Romans sometime during - I’m guessing here - the first or second century AD. He wasn’t immediately eligible to enter Heaven – well he had spent most of his life raping and pillaging – so he was put on Guardian Angel Duty. One day, if he behaves himself, he’ll gain enough credits to enter Heaven.

I felt Casper descending. As he set me gently on the ground, I heard the sound of running water, not from a faucet but natural like a stream.

‘Hold still,’ he said, his voice deep and rich with the accent my tutoring in English had never quite eradicated.

I felt a damp cloth on my cheeks. He wiped gently around my eyes while I blinked furiously trying to dislodge the gritty particles.

‘You’ll have to bend over,’ he said, ‘and bathe your eyes in the stream.’

‘I can hardly see, Casper.’

‘Don’t worry, I’ll guide you.’

He held me around the waist as I bent toward the stream. I gasped when the cold water hit my face but the relief of having the dirt flushed from my eyes was bliss.

When I raised my head, only a little scratchiness remained. I could put up with that until my eyes healed.

I got to my feet and looked at Casper. It had been three months since he’d helped me with a case and it was good to see every inch of his six and a half foot frame. His shoulder-length golden hair was as thick and wavy as ever and the strange gold and green of his eyes continued to remind me of nothing so much as the dappled light of an ancient forest.

I wanted to hug him but instead I planted my hands on my hips and said, ‘You took your time. I was falling for at least a minute before you caught me.’

You can visit Janni’s website at or drop by her Facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. I love the excerpt, Janni. Such a hide-your-delight-crankiness to end on.