Monday, March 4, 2019

Interview: Trudy Hicks: Ghost Hunter Case One -The Deceit by Lori Zaremba (@LoriGhost, @RoxanneRhoads )

UFI welcomes Author Lori Zaremba. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview? 

I’m secretly a gear head. I think I can race anyone in any car and win. I currently drive a Dodge Challenger but even when I owned a Kia Spectra, I won my share of races. Outsmarting the competition (I think it needs to go in a book somewhere.)

What do you enjoy doing on your down time? 

Writing is my down time. I work 55 hours a week  at my day job and care for my 84-year old mama. When I have a free moment I seek solace in my writing.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

The joy I feel when getting my thoughts to make sense on paper.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?

HGTV quietly on in the background, dogs have bones to keep them quiet. Twinkle lights on in my reading closet and a glass of wine or coffee by the computer.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres? 

I love any paranormal books from Nora Roberts (Blood Magick, Dark Witch) Nalini Singh- Guild Hunter Series

How would you pitch Trudy Hicks: Ghost Hunter Case One-The Deceit to someone who has not heard of it before? 

Former Pittsburgh Police officer Trudy Hicks has a new line of work, Ghost Hunting!  Trudy isn’t accepting cases to prove that ghosts exist, she knows they do!

Her mission is to discover why these spirits are in unrest! Following the evidence and partnering with esteemed Police Psychic Dana McCoy, to solve each cold case, and help these troubled spirits to rest in peace.

When Trudy lands her first big case with a makeshift team of investigators, she heads to a mansion on the Chicago Gold Coast. The home is being haunted by a previous resident who lived there until she fell to her death in 1927.

Upon arriving, Trudy learns that she has to share the investigation with sexy as hell, surveillance guru Jason Young, whose sole purpose is to debunk the chaos in the home as anything but ghostly.

Trudy soon realizes that she may be in way over her head. The ghosts are becoming violent, the team is overwhelmed, and the sexual tension reaches a boiling point as Jason charms his way into her bed and her heart. Trudy must keep her focus on the case as the evidence, and spirit interaction takes them back to the opulent 1920's-

Can this tough ex-cop help these heartbroken souls cross over -or will her own tender heart be broken in the process.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that Trudy Hicks: Ghost Hunter Case One-The Deceit is set in?  

The story is based in a mansion on the Chicago Gold coast -present day and in the 1920’s. Parts of it are very glamorous and some are downright creepy.

Do you have a favorite scene in Trudy Hicks: Ghost Hunter Case One-The Deceit?

Yes! I call it Leslies Meltdown. It takes place after a frightening evening of investigating. Leslie ( Trudy’s BFF and free help) didn’t believe ghost’s really existed has to face that they really do.
See below:

Grabbing Jason’s hand that still grasped her forearm, she pulled him with her as she walked out the door to search out Leslie and Patrick. They weren’t out front, so she quickly led Jason around the house to the side porch and could smell the marijuana before she found Leslie and Patrick passing a joint between them.
“What are you two delinquents doing?” Trudy couldn’t disguise the amusement in her voice.
“Fuck you.” Leslie offered the joint up to her.
Trudy brushed it aside and sat down next to Leslie. “Are you all right?” She wrapped her arm around Leslie, holding her free hand.
Leslie closed her eyes and shuddered a little. “I’m still here, aren’t I?” She took another hit of the joint before handing it to Patrick. Abruptly, she stood so she could pace and threw her hands in the air. “I mean, what am I supposed to say to that? No, I am not all right!” she shouted to the darkness. “Everything I thought I knew changed in there,” she said, pointing to the house. “I’m changed.” She glared at Trudy. “You didn’t prepare me,” she said, jabbing a finger into Trudy’s shoulder.
“What?” Trudy stood. “How could I prepare you for that, when I wasn’t prepared for that?”
“Exactly!” She bristled and looked Trudy dead in the eye. “You’re in over your head, Trudy Hicks.” Leslie took a deep breath. “You can’t fix that,” she said, once again pointing toward the house.
“Maybe not, but I can get to the truth as to why these souls are still lingering here.” Trudy remained calm while Leslie worked herself into a tizzy.
“Do you want to know why they’re here?” Leslie spun toward her, fully agitated now. “I can tell you why they’re still here. Because they are pissed! How do I know they’re pissed?” she asked the night air, her voice a few decibels below a scream.
The silence was deafening as they all waited for Leslie to finish.
“They’re pissed because happy ghosts wouldn’t go around slamming doors, or pulling hair, and they certainly wouldn’t be knocking people to the ground. That’s how I know they’re pissed. Goddamn it!” She rubbed her forehead. “I’m done for the night, and I’m sleeping in the van.” She brushed past Jason to head across the lawn.
“Leslie, wait.” Trudy leaped forward.
“Let her go. She’s going to have to do a lot of soul-searching over what she witnessed tonight,” Jason said, pulling Trudy back.
Sighing, Trudy shook her head as Leslie climbed into the van and slammed the door.

Which one character out of all your books was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 

Trudy Hicks was the easiest. I wanted to be her when I grew up. The hardest? I really didn’t struggle. I work in sales so I have come across just about every personality one can imagine. I mimic their traits to close a deal. My characters have combined qualities of the many, many people I have dealt with. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you?

Case Two-The Kept. Is in the Editing Process, I am hoping it will be out early summer. It’s a little darker than the first, we learn more about Trudy’s past and what makes her tick. Lots of action, lots of paranormal activity, lover’s quarrels, sizzling romance and a good old fashion bar fight.

I’m currently writing Case Three-The Hex. There may be a story about a voodoo queen, a brothel and I may introduce some bad-ass witches. Stay tuned…

Lori Zaremba is a full-time Internet Sales Manager and writes Web Content as well as providing Copy Editing for businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Lori has published short ghost stories on Your Ghost Stories, as the Haunted_Cleaner and on her website

On her website,, Zaremba refers to herself as the ghost magnet and briefly describes her encounters with departing spirits.
Lori began writing her fiction story as a creative offering of why a ghost would haunt.  Before long the story became a novel Case One: The Deceit in the Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter series.

Lori currently lives in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with her husband Wayne and two fur babies Jaxson and Stewie.

Find Lori and her books

 Case One:The Deceit
Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter #1
My job? I hunt ghosts. Not to prove they exist—because I already know they do—but to figure out why they’re still here.

My first big case leads me to a mansion on the Chicago Gold Coast, the previous home of a wealthy socialite who lived there until she accidentally fell to her death in 1927.

I’ve never been this determined—and excited—to solve a case like this one before. Pity I’m forced to work alongside a man whose sole purpose is to debunk paranormal activity. But the worst part? He’s gorgeous, and the more we work together, the more I realize I might be falling for him.

Together we’re delving deeper and deeper into the spiritual world. But the more secrets we uncover, the more pissed off these ghosts become; and that’s when I start to realize…we might be in way over our heads.


Looking once again across the table at Jason, she noticed he was listening to his two-way radio.
“I’ll go check it out,” Trudy heard him say as he excused himself.
“Is everything all right?” Paul started to rise from the dinner table.
“Everything is fine. Sit and relax. I have to go and check one of the cameras.” Jason slipped from the room.
Trudy caught up to him at the base of the stairs. “What’s going on?”
He looked at her warily. “One of the cameras on the third floor caught the door of your room slamming shut.”
“Oh, I left it open for the dog when I came down to dinner.”
“Jasmine?” He raised a questioning brow as he referred to the golden retriever who was sound asleep under the dining table.
“No.” She bit her lip and tried not to laugh at his puzzled expression. “I left it open for the other dog that was whining and scratching at my door.”
“Oh, I see, the imaginary one,” he quipped, climbing the stairs two at a time. Trudy was almost at a sprint to keep up, careful not to slip in her high heels. They finally reached the third floor. The air was so thick that Trudy could barely move her legs and felt the hair on the back of her neck rising in warning.
“Shhh. Did you hear that?” A door slammed from inside her room.
“What the hell was that?” Jason said as he reached for the door, looking down at her.
“It’s probably just a little mouse,” she said, causing him to frown down at her before slowly turning the knob.
They entered the room as quietly as possible, and a blast of frigid air struck them. Jason reached over to flip the switch for the light. Everything was normal. They quickly searched the room for any signs of a disturbance. The room was just as she left it, and the door to the bathroom was open as before. She couldn’t figure out what made the slamming noise that they heard.
“Uh, were you typing an email earlier?” Jason asked, looking at her laptop.
“Oh, yeah, to my mom. I forgot.”
“You better take a look at this.”
Trudy looked at the screen and saw her email was
still up. She had written, “Hi, Mom. We’re at the house. All is well. Please...” That was where she stopped when she’d been interrupted by a phone call, and that was where it looked like the email went wild with,
The two letters repeated the whole way down the page. “How is that possible?” she questioned.
“Maybe your keys are stuck.” He bent down to get a better look at the keys then tapped them to see if they were sticking.
“Please, there’s nothing wrong with the keys. Someone was playing.”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m not talking about a human.”
“You think a ghost did this?” Humor danced around his mouth as he tried to keep from smiling.
“Well, it certainly could be a possibility, and it is the reason we’re here.”
“Not we, you. I’m here to look at things rationally.”
“Rationally...really?” She was irritated, folding her arms over her chest and glaring at him. “What was rational about the events that led us into this room? And for the love of God, what was rational about what happened to you in the basement?”
Jason sat on the bed, elbows on his knees, and looked down at the floor. “I don’t know, but I plan to find out.”
She looked at him for a moment and could almost feel his confusion. He was a bit lost in all this chaos. She sat beside him and mimicked his pose. Trudy elbowed him on the arm, and the simple touch sent a thrill racing through her body. “I guess we have our work cut out for us.”

His gaze settled on her half-smile. “At least it won’t be boring.”
Her heart did a somersault. “Yeah, I don’t do well with boring.”
Feeling brazen, she leaned over and planted a quick kiss on his mouth. His eyes widened in surprise, and Trudy jumped up, grinning from ear to ear.
“Let’s go, Mr. Young. They’re probably wondering what’s happened to us.” She was halfway out the door.
Jason grabbed her hand before she could reach the hall and spun her around. His lips claimed hers before she could grasp what was happening. Trudy felt his hand on the small of her back molding her to him, while his other hand gently held her head. She felt a thrill like never before, and just as her knees started to give out, he released her.
“Better hurry, Gertrude. Wouldn’t want anyone to think you were trying to take advantage of me in this here grand bedroom.” He smiled into her eyes, and once again she was lost. She shook her head to clear it and get some control of her senses.
“We better go, or I’ll be taking advantage of you.” She laughed, and he did too. She loved the sound of it. She glanced over her shoulder. “I hope that damned camera of yours was turned off.”
As they headed out the door, Jason walking just behind her, he grimaced when he saw the red light on the camera on and grunted, “Oh, shit.”