We’ve had vampires. We’ve had modern people. We’ve had ballroom guests from all over the world.
Jousting knights in the 15th-century
But for the first time ever I introduce to you—right here in the ballroom—a medieval lord! Oh, and by the way, he’s a ghost.
Me: Welcome to the ballroom, Lord Iversly.
Iversly: Charmed, my dear.
Me: Everybody, this is Lord Rhys Iversly, the villain of my new Regency ghost novel, Captive Bride. Although I don’t think he’s a villain at all, really. Just terribly tormented by an awful incident in his past. His living past, that is. Before he died, you know, and started haunting a castle.
Iversly: Good of you to clarify that.
Me: Speaking of clarity, let’s be very clear here: I can’t see you. And if any of our guests can see you that means they’re—
Me: So, lovelies, I won’t be testing anybody about what Rhys looks like here today, k? Let me just assure you, he’s tall, dark and a wee bit forbidding.
Iversly: A wee bit?
Me: I’m biased toward your better side.
Iversly: Foolish female.
Me: I knew you’d say that and I’ll let you get away with it because you’re medieval. But you can’t hide the truth. You’re a noble fellow, Rhys, no matter what you wish everyone to believe. And I know why.
Iversly: Managing female.
Halloween happily ever after!
Me: Job description of an author! But let’s get back to the point. You’re from the Middle Ages. The star-crossed lovers of Captive Bride, Bea Sinclaire and Lord Peter Cheriot, on the other hand, exist here in the space-time continuum locale that is Regency England.
Iversly: Do recall, madam, that I also exist in the Regency era.
Me: Yes, but you’re four hundred years old.
Iversly: Nay. I am five and thirty.
Me: A) You’ve been on the earth in some form or another since the early fifteenth century, which means you are in fact four hundred years old, and B) it’s so incredibly nice to talk with a ballroom guest that understands the space-time continuum!
Iversly: I live it every day.
Me: (bouncing up and down a little on the balls of my feet) Which is why you do what you do in Captive Bride for Bea and Peter!
Iversly: I haven’t an idea of what you speak. Women are irrational.
Me: No we aren’t. We’re fabulous. And so are you. You’re the anti-hero I always dreamed of.
Iversly: I would bow, but it would be pointless.
Lady B: Miss Ashe, with whom are you speaking?
Me: Lord Iversly. He’s a ghost.
Lady B: (Lifts her lorgnette and peers at the space in front of me.) Lord Iversly, are you there, or is this gel gammoning me? My authoresses like to tease.
Iversly: Madam, it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance.
Me: Oh, that was a lot more polite than he usually is, Lady B. You’ve already impressed him!
Lady B: (purses her lips) Miss Ashe, this is unusual.
Lady B: My lord, can you dance?
Iversly: At present I lack appropriate footwear, my lady.
Criccieth Castle, inspiration for haunted Gwynedd Castle in Captive Bride
Lady B: Dreadful. Then do go away and return when you’ve remedied that. This is a ballroom, my lord.
Me: Well, she took that pretty well, I think.
Iversly: Formidable wench.
Me: We think so too. But if you tell her that I’ll introduce you to a group of meddling kids and their dog Scooby-Doo, and you definitely don’t want that.
Iversly: I tremble.
Me: Sure you do. But Lady B does have a point. Those big ol’ medieval boots just ain’t meant for walkin- that is, for dancing. But before you rush off to get your ball shoes—
Iversly: I never hasten . . . anywhere. Not even to eternity.
Me: Oh, you poor thing! How can I make it better? Introduce you to a few lovely maidens, perhaps?
Iversly: Leave me in peace?
Me: I can’t. Not just yet at least. You see, in Captive Bride Bea and Peter ask you a few pointed questions about life in the other world. I’d like to open the floor now to our guests to interview you. What do you think?
Iversly: Given that you are my creator, your wish is my command, my dear.
Me: Wow, I don’t think any one of our heroes has ever responded to any one of us like that in this ballroom. Four centuries really do mellow lordly characters, don’t they?
So, lovely guests, Lord Iversly is now yours for the questioning! What would you like to ask that you’ve always wondered about ghosts or the afterlife, or are wondering about Bea and Peter’s romance in Captive Bride, or about haunted Gwynedd Castle, or anything else. One randomly chosen commenter will win a rare autographed PRINT copy of Captive Bride.
Captive Bride is available now for $1.99 as an e-book on most e-book platforms: Kindle, Nook, iPad/iBooks, Sony epub, and as a PDF to print from your computer. (It will be available soon directly from Kobo for $1.99 and in paperback for $11.99.)