Leanna Renee Hieber's Nine Rules for Victorian Ghostbusting

In the fall, as I was signing The Season at the fabulous Books of Wonder in New York City, I was approached by a stunning ginger-haired Leanna Renee Hieber who boldly introduced herself and invited me to Lady Jane's Salon--the now famous romance reading series that happens on the first Monday of every month here in NYC. Of course, I agreed to go to Lady Jane's...and my friendship with Leanna was born.

In the months that have passed, Leanna's first book, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (book as lush as its title!), was released and we have shared the ups and downs of our debut year! Over mac-and-cheese and mediocre red wine, we've talked about YA and Romance and everything from Goth clubs to rabbits. Strangely Beautiful...and its sequel, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, due out April 27th, are vivd, gothic novels--described by Leanna as "the love child of Jane Austen and Harry Potter...with ghostbusters."

Who doesn't want to read that?!?

So...when I conceived the celebration for the launch of Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake...there was no doubt that Leanna would be a part of Authors Rule(s)...in fact, she was the first to agree to it, and her idea was immediate and awesome and so very relevant to the Percy Parker books she writes; she has channeled Professor Alexi Rychman, the dark and brooding hero of Strangely Beautiful..., who is the leader of the secretive Guard that protects Victorian London from evil spirits:

Nine Rules for Arraigning Spectres
(or, as you modern commoners would call it; “Ghostbusting”)
by Professor Alexi Rychman

1. Make sure your expedition is led by a distinguished, dark, brooding, powerful, stern, striking, compelling, enigmatic (and graciously humble) Professor. It has worked splendidly for The Guard.

2. Become familiar with your local haunts. You’ll be seeing a lot of them, and they of you. You’ll become efficient with repeat business.

3. Dress all in black, scowl often, stomp around with tortured, Gothic flair. Spirits will assume you are the ‘genuine article.’

4. Procure a sweet, elegant, strangely beautiful woman as your destined bride and prophetic destiny. Ghosts admire Prophecies. And, if she can hear the ghosts that you cannot, all the more useful. However you cannot have the inimitable Miss Percy Parker, she’s mine. Don’t you even dare.

5. When admonishing a spirit, creative uses of sacred text may be applied for great effect. Our Headmistress Thompson is a font of useful phrases to confound a vile possessing spectre. When in doubt, the King James Bible will suffice nicely. A flowery translation, yet packing a spiritual punch.

6. Don’t try and listen to the voices of ghosts. You cannot hear them (unless you are talented like Miss Percy Parker) and you’ll likely go mad if you try.

7. Cultivate the use of powerful Phoenix fire and wield with grace and precision. In order to do this, you’ll have to be chosen by the Great One and as I’m currently the capable, fated recipient of this honourable post, then you’ll just have to wait until some future incarnation. Best of luck and God help you.

8. If a door to the Whisper-World (the spirit world) should open up before you, do not go in. This is final. Your head will explode or something similarly terrible. I don’t know exactly, I haven’t tried. I am a man of science and I do admire experimentation, but don’t be stupid.

9. When your weary, tired, lonely, embittered heart thinks it can take no more of the ‘whips and scorns of time’, steal an illicit waltz with an eerily beautiful young creature by moonlight and fall in love. It will transform your soul. (But for the last time, you cannot have my darling Miss Percy Parker, she only has eyes for me.) This may seem to have nothing to do with what you call “Ghostbusting”. But, in fact, it has everything to do with a man’s salvation; an asset when facing the threshold of life and death.

Join the Professor and Percy for their dangerous next adventure as an all-out spectral war is about to descend upon Athens Academy...you won't be sorry! And follow Leanna on Twitter or Facebook for information and contests, where she’ll be running a Book-a-Week giveaway until release day!

But first...how about a chance to win a copy of Strangely Beautiful...? I've got one...and Leanna will sign it for one random commenter!  To enter, comment below with your favorite fictional ghost.  Winner chosen on Wednesday!  (Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you.)

Keep coming back throughout April for a dozen more Authors Rule(s) posts from an awesome range of authors! To read the existing Authors Rule(s), please click here!