Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Matanzas Moon: Ablaze by Elizabeth Raven

Elizabeth Raven is a wife, mother, and Veterinary Professional hovering in the shadows and moonlight of relentlessly sunny Jacksonville, Florida. Daylight hours are spent indoors working, reading, cooking, or spending time with family, friends, and her four black cats. Otherwise, she can be found dancing, socializing or joining Ghost Tours whenever her imaginary friends let her out to play!

Connect with the Author

You can catch her at the Ancient City Con in Jacksonville in July!

About the Book

After a wicked Halloween showdown with the vigilante ghost of a Voodoo Priestess, clairvoyant Bridget Quinn is hoping her life will finally cool off. Winter never poses much of a threat to the Nation’s Oldest City where there’s no shortage of Holiday Spirits when the blazing Florida sun sets. Again, the Ancient City is plagued by mysterious murders, this time masked by arson. Hearse-driving Ghost Tour Guide, RIP Ryder, drowns his staggering guilt with excessive intoxication while Officer Nick Maddox’s heart breaks as Bridget’s peculiar behavior escalates. RIP has an epiphany, recognizing Nick and Bridget’s paranormal vexation as the work of RIP’s ghostly nemesis from years gone by... Can RIP rally the troops to save Nick and Bridget before the flames consume them all?

Keep reading for an interview with RIP Ryder from Matanzas Moon: Ablaze:

So this is the famous RIP Ryder, I thought to myself as I sat across from him on the breezy portico in Historic St. Augustine, Florida. The late afternoon sun highlighted his golden tan and rather obnoxious good looks. Wearing a pair of skater-pants, and a shirt with a slogan claiming vast sexual prowess and diversity on behalf of all paranormal investigators, RIP offered a relaxed and pleasant greeting. They said his wayward blond spikes, impish amber eyes, and cryptic tattoos stretched over sculpted muscles were a lethal combination for we who carry two X chromosomes. I had been warned.

My assignment was simple; my interview subject was… NOT. First: the obligatory easy questions. Get him talking, then I could skewer him like the womanizing worm he was.

“Tell us about yourself, RIP. Full name, please.”

“Ridley Tatum Ryder, III.”

“Where were you born? What was it like?”

“San Diego, California. Awesome weather, beautiful scenery, and a level of serenity I can’t even fathom anymore.”

“Is your family close?”

“What family? I was hatched, Claire.”

“What?! I’m Miranda!”

“Yeah. Miranda Claire Scott,” he said as if he were bored. “But they call you Claire. Right?”

With a slow drag from his cigarette, RIP watched me squirm. Mr. Ryder did his research, as well.

After a scowl, I continued:

“What’s your happiest childhood memory?”


Typical, arrogant brat. Was it really that bad? I wondered. Maybe RIP was more complicated than I’d assumed.

Oops! He saw me roll my eyes.

Leaning forward in his chair, his tiger eyes narrowed at me as he campaigned to blow past the fluffy stuff.

“Look, Claire. My childhood was idyllic. At least until it wasn’t. I was popular and well-liked among my peers, and just smart enough to clown my way through adolescence, but not quite smart enough to progress to full self-actualization.” He stubbed his cigarette out in the ashtray. “C’mon, Claire. Is this what you really want?”

I ignored him as his curious eyes traveled over me. Did I really think dressing down would channel some inner Femi-Nazi to give me strength for this interview? Did I think I could just assume some empowered persona I haven’t even met simply through the magic of overalls and a bandanna? Perhaps my methodology could use some rethinking.

“Next question. You’re a legend around St. Augustine. If you could meet a legendary character from any novel, who would it be and why?”

“Easy! Hannibal Lecter. I hear he has a killer recipe for fava beans.”

“Um, okay.” Psycho. “If you could compare yourself to a character from another novel, who would it be?”

“James Bond.”


“Wait. WHY? Isn’t it obvious?” He leaned back to light another cigarette, tossing his lighter onto the table top with comical annoyance. “Rude.”

“Tell us a little about the world of RIP Ryder.”

“What can I say about this magical city that hasn’t been said before? History under every footstep. The ghosts of days gone by drift around you as the city breaths its life into us. And I make a living flapping my trap about it.”

“What is the strangest situation you've ever found yourself in?”

“Ah, yes. I remember it vividly. A threesome with a hermaphroditic midget. I woke up naked, floating on my back in the middle of a motel pool surrounded by a curious audience. The memory causes a shudder to this very day, Claire. … To. This. Day.”

“Wait. You’re not serious, are you?”

He laughed, and exhaled his cloud of indifference before answering.

“I’ve asked you once. Is this really what you want, Claire? Because I can blow smoke up any orifice you choose. All. Day. Long. But I sense you have an agenda, so hit me with your bigguns.”

I gasped. How dare he talk to me like that? How does he get away with this? Oh. Right. It’s RIP Ryder.

Before I could unleash my manifesto, he amended, “So put a space between the G’s. Big Guns. There. Better?” adding with a wink and a disarming smile, “I mean, unless you’re down with it.”

Speechless at his audacity, I reached to gulp my sangria. Why would he suggest such a thing? He wouldn’t find plain, little ol’ me attractive. Would he?

“What— Oh! I mean, where … ? Umm …”

Staring at him, I lost my train of thought as my pen-cap traced my lips inadvertently before leaping and clattering to the cobblestone floor. As I bent to grab it, my notebook slid scattering my papers everywhere, adding to my mortification. I slunk to retrieve what remained of my dignity when he swooped down beside me to help gather my loose-leaf, college-ruled pride. My arm brushed against his, causing little tingles to erupt in random places throughout my body.

Straightening his stack, RIP hand-delivered it to me with an affable smile while tipping an imaginary hat.

Be still my heart.

I steadied myself in my chair and scooted forward with a coy laugh. What’s wrong with me? Oh! His tattoos! They touched me. I’ve been infected!

“Thanks. I-I don’t know what just happened there.” Blushing shamelessly, I straightened my glasses and refocused. Hold it together! I’m going to be a serious journalist after I graduate, for Christ’s sake! Go on, give him the Claire Stare!

“So, umm. I’ve heard things … “ I began. My verbal attack skills were that of a sedated lamb. Good God, this whole thing’s tanking fast!

“Congratulations,” RIP offered with a golf clap. “Once mastered, our senses are largely taken for granted. Kudos to you, Claire. Kudos for listening.”

“No! I mean. About girls. And stuff. Like, YOU with girls. How do you show them you, y’know …“

Mental face-palm. Really? Is this what I’ve been reduced to? Playground lingo? Jeez, why don’t I pass him a note asking to check a box for yes or no if he likes me? Oh, how slippery a slope it is asking a man about his ting-ting traffic …

“That’s information best shared through the art of demonstration,” he said with a sly smile.

Oh, my!

Sorry folks. So much for my glorious sisterhood manifesto. I guess I got derailed a bit. The editors at the staff paper will be less than impressed, and I’ll probably fail my assignment. But, oh well. I have a stellar idea for an erotic short story! I think I’ll start *write* now!

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