Author Catie Rhodes on Ghosts, Hauntings, and Forever Road

Like most of the other writers I adore today, I first met Catie Rhodes on social media back in 2011.  We pretty much hit it off immediately… talking about writing, TV, mysteries, movies, and more.

Author and Blogger Catie Rhodes
Author and Blogger Catie Rhodes

Some of you may recognize Catie’s name from our Original versus Remake monthly blog series.  She almost always covers the classics, also known as the originals, and she lets me review the newer films—luckily for me, my selections usually include eye candy…  No film is off-limits for our series; but if you leave it up to the two of us, we’ll almost always choose a horror or slasher flick.  Why?  Because that’s what we like.  I’ve only met a handful of people who like gore and psychological thrillers the way I do, and Catie happens to be one of them.

But what really drew me to Catie, besides her personality, was her love of true crime, ghosts, and hauntings.  Her blog, Long Roads and Dark Ends, is one of my favorites out there.  She has introduced me to plenty of haunted Texas spots, and one day I will go on a spooky tour.  Hopefully with Catie…

After a year or so of our chats on Twitter and Facebook, we extended our friendship to email and texts.  I cannot express how much I adore this girl.  We’ve never met in person, despite only living four hours apart, but I know we will.  It’s actually probably a blessing that we don’t live any closer; it’s likely we’d meet for coffee and desserts too much and not get enough writing done.

But before I ramble on, here’s a little bit about Catie in her own words:

Catie Rhodes grew up in the piney woods of East Texas where there wasn’t much to do other than daydream and make up stories. She decided to turn her love of lying into writing fiction after getting fired for telling her boss the President was on the phone. (That’s actually a lie, but it got your attention, didn’t it?)

The truth is, Catie knew from an early age what she wanted to do when she grew up. She just went down a lot of dead end streets on her road to becoming a writer. Her travels and trials taught her life is short, and one has to go for the gusto or get left behind.

Drawing on her East Texas roots, her love of true crime, and her love of the paranormal, she writes the kind of stories she wishes the bookstores sold. Catie relishes being that kid your mother warned you about, the one who cusses and never washes her hands after petting the dog.

She lives in the overcrowded, overly noisy, and overrated Houston, Texas suburbs where all the houses look exactly the same.

Before we jump into the interview, check out Catie’s blurb for her debut ghostly suspense novel, Forever Road

Enjoy!

Seeing Ghosts Is Rough, But Owing A Ghost A Favor Flat Out Sucks.

Forever Road by Catie RhodesMy name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it.

Now I’m not sure I can anymore.

See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor.  Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell.

That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder.  My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up.

None of this can turn out good.

*****

When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

The earliest memories I have are of wanting to be a doctor. By the time I was twelve or so, however, I wanted to write a bestseller. I loved making up stories much more than I loved science.

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

Life, current events, TV, folklore, ghost stories, true crime…you know, the normal stuff.

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Stephen King, Larry Brown, Jim Thompson, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Billie Sue Mosiman, Todd Brown, Joe Lansdale, Robert R. McCammon.

When I was a teenager, I devoured Jackie Collins’s and V.C. Andrews’s novels.

The cover art for your book is amazing.  Did you design it yourself?

Thank you, and no. lol

The illustration on the cover is by Kimberlee Ketterman Edgar of Darkstar Artwork. I had very clear ideas about what I wanted and was lucky enough to work with a professional dedicated to helping me achieve my vision.

Indie Author Services did the lettering on the cover.

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing Peri Jean and why?

Peri Jean looks a whole lot like Winona Ryder when she wore her hair in a pixie cut. I’m not sure why I chose Winona Ryder. That’s just who felt right.

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

Paul Walker, who looks a lot like Dean Turgeau, the male lead in Forever Road.

Paul Walker… serious eye candy

Besides writing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

Research. I love to find a topic that grabs my interest and learn everything I can about it. This hobby is probably clearly evidenced in my blog posts on true crime and paranormal.

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television – what are your four favorite television programs airing today? 

Only four?! You’re cruel, girl. Just downright cruel.  In order:

1)      Breaking Bad

2)      The Walking Dead

3)      The Killing

4)      Sons of Anarchy

I think I see a pattern…

What is your favorite movie of all-time?

Another hard one!

Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2

Okay, I cheated a little since that’s technically two movies. But it’s only one title. Sort of. Fine…I cheated.

Epic Movie…

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater? 

Sweet Tarts and bottled water. Count on me to live large.

You blog about so many interesting haunted and spooky locations.  Which spot was your favorite to visit and did you sense anything out of the ordinary? 

I used to visit New Orleans, Louisiana a lot. One place I found deliciously creepy was St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Marie Laveau is supposedly interred there. At least, there’s a grave with her name on it.

A photo from my trip to New Orleans in 2008... I've actually been to St. Louis Cemetry #1!!
A photo from my trip to New Orleans in 2008… I’ve actually been to St. Louis Cemetery #1!!  Catie should be so proud…

Though I saw nothing in St. Louis No. 1, the place had a great spooky vibe, and I could smell death. At the time we went, we were advised not to venture into the cemetery alone and couldn’t afford to take the tour again. But I’d love to go back and let my husband (the photographer) take some good pictures.

And while I can't remember if I took a picture of her grave or not, I definitely visited her Voodoo store... And yes, I bought a doll.
And while I can’t remember if I took a picture of her grave or not, I definitely visited her Voodoo store… And yes, I bought a doll.

Being a fellow Texan, any haunted locations I should visit? 

Next time you go out to the Hill Country, go to Longhorn Caverns in Burnet, Texas. Gorgeous place. Many of the structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during The Great Depression. It is also supposedly very haunted. If you feel like it, do a google search on “Longhorn Caverns + Catie Rhodes” and view my ghost picture from our visit.

*****

Isn’t Catie great?

Need more Catie?  I mean, seriously… who doesn’t want to go to a haunted location with her?  I do!  Be sure to catch up with Catie at her website, or follow her via her Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Do you have a question for Catie?  Have you read Forever Road yet?  How about this—do you believe in ghosts?  Have any haunted tales to tell?  We’d love to hear from you! 

Before we go, Forever Road is on sale for 99 cents today and tomorrow (July 5th and 6th).  Be sure to grab a copy if you haven’t already… and check out Catie’s short story, Haste, while you are there.

Haste by Catie RhodesShe just murdered her cheating bastard of a husband and his whore. All that’s left to do is not get caught. Or is it?

A short story about rage and consequences.

Spring’s Must Read New and Recent Releases

Spring is here!  Heck, summer is almost here in Texas already!  And with the warm weather comes one of my favorite pastimes… grabbing a book and heading out to the pool for a little R&R.

So today, I’ve decided to share six new and recent releases that are must reads on my bookshelf.  If you’re looking for the next bestseller in the young adult, mystery, suspense, fantasy, thriller, and historical romance genres, check these out and help support six fabOoolous authors!

*****

Forever Road by Catie Rhodes

Seeing ghosts is rough, but owing a ghost a favor flat out sucks.

My name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it.

Now I’m not sure I can anymore.

See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor.  Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell.

That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder.  My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up.

None of this can turn out good.

*****

Two weeks before junior year, Darcy hops a plane to Orlando for a little R&R with her best friend Dylan and his family. Fresh off the heels of solving three murders in Valley, you’d think she’d sit back and enjoy the vacation capital of the world…maybe if you’re a noun. Darcy Walker, however, is nothing but verb.

Before her feet hit the Orlando soil, she’s meddling in the disappearance of a five-year-old boy who vanished six months earlier.

With authorities still no closer to solving the case, Darcy is shanghaied by her impulsivity and runs headlong into that proverbial burning building, convinced she can bring him home.

She travels down a road that not only follows this missing child but branches off into the corrupt and sinister world of mob activity when she tampers in a case on which Dylan’s detective grandfather is working.

After a near disastrous midnight meeting in a warehouse and a date with a mechanical bull, Darcy realizes she might’ve bitten off more than she can chew. Add the boiling flirtationship with her best friend and the appearance of his romantic rival, and she is in over her head.

Will she survive a life of flirting with death too easily? Or will her flirtationship with Dylan become the actual death of her instead?

For a girl with a habit of finding dead bodies, No Brainer gives Darcy Walker more of the same…surprising twists and turns…and running for her life.

*****

Getting pregnant as a teenager and being coerced into giving her baby up for adoption left a festering scar on Jaymee Ballard’s life. Trapped by poverty and without many allies, Jaymee nearly gives up hope of getting her daughter back after her best friend is murdered. Now, four years later, a wealthy woman with legal connections hires her as a housekeeper, and Jaymee gathers the courage to seek her help. But Jaymee’s last chance ends up in a puddle of blood in one of the historic antebellum mansions in Roselea, Mississippi.

I just murdered your wife…again.

An unsigned letter consisting of six horrifying words turns Nick Samuels stagnant life upside down. Stuck in emotional purgatory since his wife’s unsolved murder four years ago, Nick is about to self-destruct. The arrival of the letter claiming credit for his wife’s murder and boasting of a new kill sends Nick to Roselea, where his and Jaymee’s worlds collide.

Jaymee and Nick realize exposing the truth about her daughter’s adoption is the only way to solve the murders. Up against years of deception, they rush to identify the killer before the evidence–and Jaymee’s daughter–are lost.

But the truth doesn’t always set the guilt-ridden free. Sometimes, it destroys them.

*****

When her kingdom’s former enemy suspects their princess is a budding dreamwalker, Lexa is drafted out of retirement and sent to Teltania to train the twelve-year-old girl. But hidden agendas complicate her mission, and Lexa doesn’t know whom to trust. Meanwhile, her own dreamwalking powers are waning when she needs them most. Can Lexa decipher the mysteries at every turn, or will the dreamscape claim yet another dreamwalker?

*****

Paris Love Match a Novel by Nigel Blackwell

Getting a taxi in Paris can be hell.

Piers Chapman expected a boring business trip to Paris.
What he didn’t expect was to fight over a cab with a beautiful girl.

After a bad meeting, Sidney Roux just wanted to hail a cab, go home, and have a glass of wine.
She didn’t expect to fight over a cab with some pompous British tourist.

Neither of them expected another man to jump in their cab.
Or to be involved in a gun fight.
Or a car chase through the streets of Paris.
Or for the man to die.
But they’re thrust together when the mob demands they return what the dead man stole.

Will Piers and Sidney work together?
Will they find what he had stolen?
Will they stay alive?
And will they do the last thing they expected?
Will they fall in love?

*****

Gold. Massacres. Soldiers. Indians. Can Charlotte survive life on the trail or will the wildness of the west tear her family apart?

With Sanderson’s job as an Indian Agent beckoning from California, Charlotte must leave behind her life in Arkansas to follow the man she loves, and whose child she is carrying, in search of a place they can call home.

From Quanah Parker to Wyatt Earp, Charlotte and Sanderson rub shoulders with some of the American West’s most notable characters as they stumble into Government conspiracies, endure a hard pregnancy, and survive nature’s fury — all while struggling to remember what truly makes a home is love.

*****

Don’t these books sound fabOoolous!!  I’ve met all of these authors, either in person or online in writing communities, and I can’t wait to read their latest releases.  I hope you do too!

Have you read any of these books?  If so, please share your thoughts…  Do you have any other new releases that you think the rest of us should read or that you can’t wait to crack open?  I’d love to hear from you!

And, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!  Reviewers agree that FS is perfect for teens and adults alike and keeps everyone guessing until the very end!

FootballSweetheart_Digital

Here are some of the most recent reviews…

five stars

“This was a great YA book. There was mystery, murder, chaos and football. This book kept me in guessing mode throughout the whole book down to the very end. I definitely recommend this to everyone. I can’t wait for the second book.” ~Jlaselle

five stars

“I must admit, I am not much of a reader. However, when I heard about Football Sweetheart, I had to check it out. As soon as I began reading, my phone was glued to my hand during any free time. The story grabbed my attention from the start and I looked forward to having a break so I could get back to it. It was entertaining and very easy to read. It brought back a lot of high school memories for me and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.” ~MJ22

four stars

“Such a great book! I can’t wait for more from this series. Just when I thought I had part of it figured out something would happen and I’d be back to square one.” ~Baferg

four stars

“Tiffany White’s novel is snapshot of the religion of West Texas football. She blends her unique perspective as a football trainer with murder, mystery, and suspense. Laced with female teen culture, this novel will appeal to those who enjoyed the Nancy Drew mysteries.” ~S. Mullins

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