July 23, 2014

My Boyfriend Is a Ghost: a guest post by Kimberly G. Giarratano, author of "Grunge Gods and Graveyards"

About Grunge Gods and Graveyards: Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.

Kimberly is the middle of a blog tour right now, promoting the heck out of Grunge Gods and Graveyards, and was kind enough to stop by the blog today with a guest post

My boyfriend is a ghost

What is it about ghosts that makes them such romantic fodder for paranormal reads? In my debut novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards, my female protagonist falls in love with a ghost. (Well, technically she falls in love with him before he becomes a ghost, but once he’s lost his corporeal form, the sexual tension increases dramatically.)

Grunge Gods was originally inspired by an old film called The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. In the movie, a young widow moves into a haunted seaside cottage and falls in love with the ghost of the man who once owned the house (played by Rex Harrison -- I saw this movie when I was in high school. I think he was a sea captain). Anyway, Mrs. Muir and the ghost have a romantic relationship until the day she dies an old woman. Then they connect in the afterlife. I found this movie to be so romantic and touching that it stayed with me long enough to inspire a novel. So, what is it about ghostly romances that readers, like myself, find so compelling? Well, I’m going to break this down into, what I call, ‘The Three S’s.’

SEXUAL TENSION: There is nothing sexier than a hottie ghost that the main character cannot touch. One of the aspects of Danny and Lainey’s relationship that I tried to play up in Grunge Gods was the fact that there was this heavy romantic undercurrent that they couldn’t act on. They had kissed once before but once Danny became a ghost, their ability to touch each other was pretty much annihilated. They would flirt, get themselves all hot and bothered, but for so much of the story, Lainey could not feel Danny’s touches. It became an itch they couldn’t scratch.

[Side note: In The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, there’s a part where Rex Harrison’s character says something to Mrs. Muir that she need not be ashamed of her figure (It’s set in the early 1900s so it’s supposed to be quite scandalous). Sure, it could come across as a little pervy, but the ghost was checking Mrs. Muir out. Hot!]

SECRECY: There is something incredibly romantic about the secret lover. And nothing could be more secretive than loving a ghost. Lainey can’t possibly tell anyone she is seeing ghosts, let alone lusting after one. So instead, she has this big, special secret that only she and Danny share. Not only does it strengthen their bond, but it takes their relationship into the forbidden zone, which...makes for extra sexual tension. See above.

SADNESS: Dying young evokes incredible sadness. It’s tragic. Painful. Haunting. In Grunge Gods, Lainey feels responsible for Danny’s death. She believes that had her actions been different, Danny would still be alive. So everyday Lainey lives with that pain and guilt. She will not get to be Danny’s prom date or see him off to college. She won’t get to hold his hand at a concert. Danny’s death fundamentally changes both of their lives. If you want an unforgettable romance, there needs to be sadness as well as joy because it haunts the reader well after the story is over.

Well, there you have it -- Kim’s three S’s as to why ghosts make for the best romantic interests. Why do you think ghosts are such hot romantic leads? Please sound off in the comments and thanks to Gef for having me.

Kimberly G. Giarratano, a forever Jersey girl, now lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and small children. A former teacher and YA librarian, Kimberly adores Etsy, Jon Stewart, The Afghan Whigs, ’90s nostalgia, and (of course) everything YA. She also speaks Spanish, but is woefully out of practice.

Kimberly always dreamed of being a published author. Her other dream is to live in Key West, Florida where she can write in a small studio, just like Hemingway.

You can visit her blog at kimberlyggiarratano.com or tweet her @KGGiarratano.

Below you'll find a Rafflecopter entry form for a chance to win some swag, but if you can't wait to get your hands on a copy of Kimberly's novel, you can find it at these fine bookstores:


  1. I love this conceptualization. Kim, you should totally hold on to this and use it when you're talking to emerging writers.

    Also, there's actual brain science to support your #2: apparently secrecy really does make relationships hotter. I'll have to look up the title of the book I read this on, but I got the impression it's pretty well established, scientifically.

  2. Thanks for having me on the blog today!

    Also, thanks Jill!