Blog Tour: The Charlatan's Conquest (Phantom Fixers #1) by Vivien Dean

Vivien Dean is making her clubhouse debut today! Welcome! She's here today to promote her new Dreamspun Beyond book, The Charlatan's Conquest and she's talking ghosts!

Thank you to Boy Meets Boy for hosting me today! My name is Vivien Dean, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the Dreamspun Beyond line. I’m especially excited to talk about my book, The Charlatan’s Conquest, and why it absolutely had to be about ghosts.

One of my favorite parts about paranormal stories is the chance to use monsters as a metaphor for more abstract ideas. Mary Shelley did it in Frankenstein. Joss Whedon did it with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Stephen King does it in almost everything he writes. These characters resonate for people because, on some level, we recognize what they represent. We might even identify with it. But putting them in monster form makes them easier for us to confront. The real world can be scary enough.

I knew from the start that my heroes would be scientists. I wanted to write a love story that featured characters similar to those I see every day, men who sometimes get ignored in romance because they game a lot, or work a lot, or are more comfortable with a computer than they are with people. Brody was the first to come to life for me. He was intense and driven by some cause I had yet to figure out, but the second I realized that he also felt incredibly isolated and lonely, everything clicked. A part of him, deep inside, wanted to be invisible. He felt cut off from his father after his mother died and unable to be himself in the affluent, conservative community in which he grew up. In his mind, the best way not to be judged – and be found lacking – was not to be seen in the first place. What better paranormal entity to embody that than ghosts?

In the world of The Charlatan’s Conquest, ghosts roam our plane of existence because they refuse to move onto the next. Most people can’t see them, let alone interact enough to banish them. Only a select few have that particular ability, so when Brody’s father is convinced his house is haunted, he hires someone to get rid of his unwanted guests. For a skeptic like Brody, the whole notion of ghost hunting is ridiculous, and he crashes the initial meeting in an attempt to keep his father from getting scammed. In spite of what he witnesses, he still doesn’t want to accept the truth. That’s another way he’s just like the ghosts.

Lucky for Brody, he has Cruz Guthrie to set him straight. Cruz is a software engineer, not a ghost hunter, but he took the job offered to his best friend because the money was too good to pass up. From the start, he sees Brody for who he is. The trick is, though, convincing Brody to trust him enough to believe in it, too.

Sometimes, in some genres, monsters win. That’s life. This, however, is romance. Love always wins. Even when ghosts fight back.


With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.

Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.

Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.


Dreamspinner Press paperback (buy the paperback and get the ebook for FREE!)


VIVIEN DEAN is a firm believer that love doesn’t care about gender. That’s why her titles encompass both GLBT and het, erotic and sweet, as well as a wide variety of genres. After growing up in the snowy and isolated Midwest, she went off in search of her creative muse. She performed on stage, wrote and directed indie films in Orlando, then met her British soulmate online. One wedding, two children, and ten addresses later, she resides in the Bay Area where it’s easy to indulge in her favorite pastimes—good theater, great movies, and amazing food.

Vivien is a four-time EPIC eBook Award winner and collaborated with Pepper Espinoza to write as Jamie Craig for five years.


Twitter: @VivienDean

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