I'm excited to have Julie Howard on my blog today with her amazing stories. Since I've never had a brush with an A list celebrity, or even Z list celebrity for that matter, I'm thrilled to read about Julie's adventures. Julie's new book SPIRITED QUEST, is the latest installment in The Wild Rose Press's Deerbourne Inn series. Great to have you here today, Julie!
Julie's Amazing Stories:
When you’re a reporter in Las Vegas, you run into some pretty interesting people. Quirky. Wild. Famous. I interviewed a few. Later, I also wrote for a national news service. They too were thirsty for stories about famous people so I kept my eyes open for opportunities and snagged a few.
The most notable person I met, in my writer’s point of view, was the late, great Kurt Vonnegut back in the 1990s. He had cult status and rarely did interviews. This was a man uncomfortable with his fame. When I heard he was doing a reading, I made sure to get media credentials and gained access to a private Q & A room after the public event. The Q & A nearly ended before it began as the first hand raised belonged to a man who stood and said: “You are like a God to me.” With that, Vonnegut turned and left the room. A handler eventually got him back into the room, and we all glared at the other man to keep him quiet.
Being a business reporter for a few years, there are a number of business executives that made my list: former HP chairwoman and presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca, Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher (who passed away in January), business takeover magnate T. Boone Pickens, and (very briefly – more of a brush off than an interview) Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn.
The fun ones, of course, were the celebrities. My first close-up with fame was in the late 1980s interviewing a guy I’d never heard of at the time: Craig T. Nelson. We were both much younger, me just twenty-one. The Emmy winner was in the middle of a TV shoot at a local airbase and I was given fifteen-twenty minutes to ask my questions while he rested between takes. I met him in a locker room, where he strode into the room wearing the long underwear he had on under the heavy flight suit he wore on set. I don’t want to imply anything improper about this – he was fully covered, from wrists to ankles – but I will say I noted he was a very handsome fellow.
Anyone remember Richard Simmons, the diet and exercise guru? He was a blast to interview – like talking to a live spark.
The toughest interview was Oscar-winner Patricia Neal, who once was famously married to author Roald Dahl (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”). She was of the old Hollywood and shimmered with glamour. However, she was suffering the effects of a series of strokes and this was made obvious when I asked who her favorite leading man had been. She struggled to recall the actor’s name and finally appealed to her assistant for help before coming up with his name: Ronald Reagan, who just happened to be president at the time.
There were other notables I came across, but these are the ones that stick with me. They made great features. I do love a good story.
Now onto my own story, my new release Spirited Quest.
She’s chasing a ghost, but who is chasing her?
Paige Norman believes in a tangible, explainable world. When her ghost-hunting niece comes for a visit, she tries not to scoff. But someone, or something, is stirring up trouble at the Deerbourne Inn and her niece, Jillian, is at the center of the mystery.
Paige is certain the handsome Aussie photographer is behind the unexplained disturbances, and she warns her niece to stay clear. Meanwhile, Jillian gets to know the otherworldly Lady of the Deerbourne, who foretells an encounter with "two men." Then the pranks turn dangerous. Has her niece attracted a stalker or has she conjured an evil presence? Can the culprit be the man who has captured her heart?
He nodded a friendly greeting to her, his gaze grazing past to include others on the porch. “G’day, ma’am. G’day all.”
An Australian. Her heart skipped a beat. Oh, to be twenty-five, even thirty-five, again. His gaze settled on her niece, and as always happened to men where this girl was concerned, his jaw slackened, then tightened.
Next to her, Jillian grew still, lifting wide blue eyes to the newcomer. The moment passed. He was through the front door and into the lobby, and the door closed behind him.
“You’re in for some nice company this week,” Paige commented with a smile.
A frown flickered across her niece’s face. “I’ve seen him before.”
“Not exactly. He appeared to me in a dream.” Jillian’s blue eyes were troubled as she gazed at the Inn’s front door. She lifted one hand and rubbed the back of her head, then gave a shiver. “There was blood and I was afraid.”
Julie Howard is the author of “Crime and Paradise” and “Crime Times Two.” She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spirited-quest-julie-howard/1130412180?ean=2940161285923
The Wild Rose Press: https://bit.ly/2FM4nLA