Shani Struthers…Choose Your Cast of ‘The Haunting of Highdown Hall’…

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I have just finished reading ‘The Haunting of Highdown Hall’ by Shani Struthers, and loved it! It was a pacey, twisty, spooky read that has left me hanging out for more books in the Psychic Surveys Series. No pressure of anything Shani, but I’m ready when you are!

Today, I am stoked to welcome Shani who has chosen those she would cast as the characters in ‘Haunting’ on the big screen…

Blurb:

‘Good morning, Psychic Surveys. How can I help?’

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The latest in a long line of psychically-gifted females, Ruby Davis, can see through the veil that separates this world and the next, helping grounded souls to move towards the light – or ‘home’ as Ruby calls it. Not just a job for Ruby, it’s a crusade and one she wants to bring to the High Street. Psychic Surveys is born.

Based in Lewes, East Sussex, Ruby and her team of freelance psychics have been kept busy of late. Specialising in domestic cases, their solid reputation is spreading – it’s not just the dead that can rest in peace but the living too. All is threatened when Ruby receives a call from the irate new owner of Highdown Hall. Film star, Cynthia Hart, is still in residence, despite having died in 1958.

Winter deepens and so does the mystery surrounding Cynthia. She insists the devil is blocking her path to the light long after Psychic Surveys have ‘disproved’ it. Investigating her apparently unblemished background, Ruby is pulled further and further into Cynthia’s world and the darkness that now inhabits it.

For the first time in her career, Ruby’s deepest beliefs are challenged.

Does evil truly exist? And if so, is it the most relentless force of all?

 

Character 1 –  Cynthia Hart

Tell us about this character:

1950’s movie star, Cynthia is world-famous – ‘the most beautiful woman in the world’ – the papers call her. About to star in Hollywood blockbuster, Atlantic, she is in demand the world over. Cynthia is also dead. On Christmas Eve, her thirty-first birthday, she suffered a fatal heart attack at her home, Highdown Hall, her glittering career cut cruelly short. Cynthia’s not happy but it’s not just her early demise that upsets her, it’s something else or rather, someone else. Someone who is waiting in the shadows, who refuses to let her pass into the light – someone whose grudge grounds them both.

Who would you choose to play this character?

Cynthia Hart is based on a true-life movie star but I cannot reveal her name in case I get sued! A friend of a friend inherited her house back in the ‘90s and this is based on his story of what he experienced there. However, I have chosen a less well-known 1950s movie star to be the face of Cynthia – Rhoda Baxter – who has the same Titian curls, sapphire eyes and voluptuous figure! I’ll let you into another secret – Cynthia Hart is the name of my grandmother – although she died when I was 7, she was so glamorous and movie star like, I thought the name quite befitting!

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Character 2 –  Ruby Davis

Tell us about this character:

Ruby Davis is the latest in a long line of female psychics – she can see through the veil that separates this world and the next – and because she can, she feels it is her duty to help earthbound spirits move towards the light, or home as she and her grandmother call it. To that end, she has set up a company called Psychic Surveys who specialise in domestic spiritual disturbance. By occupying high street offices her aim is to remove the taboo surrounding psychic matters, to put the normal into paranormal. Aged twenty-four, Ruby herself is a down-to-earth, ordinary character, albeit with an extraordinary gift.

Who would you choose to play this character and why?

I have a Pinterest board with all Psychic Surveys characters pinned to it and I have to say, although Ruby was picked from hundreds of pictures and is no one particularly famous, she is Ruby – exactly how I envisaged her. It’s the eyes…

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Character 3 –  Cash Wilkins

Tell us about this character:

Cash works with computers – a word as mysterious to Ruby as the psychic world is to others. At the beginning of Psychic Surveys, she meets him in the pub – they are reading the same book – and quickly they strike up a deal. She wants a website, he wants to learn more about her fascinating career. She agrees to let Cash accompany her to an initial survey – that survey is Highdown Hall, the home of Cynthia Hart. Cash’s fascination is not just with Highdown but with Ruby too and a tentative relationship develops. Ruby is wary of men, she finds they tire easily of her work and the effect it has on her – but Cash seems different, he wants to help her. “I don’t know, it just seems really noble what you do, helping grounded spirits to move on, unusual but noble.”

Who would you choose to play this character and why?

Again, I picked the face of Cash from hundreds of Pinterest contenders – there’s no one else I would consider him to be, no one famous anyway. But hey, look at him, he’s gorgeous isn’t he?

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Character 4 –  Theo

Tell us about this character:

Theo is in her late sixties and as wide as she is tall, almost! Her hair, instead of snow-white, is pink, a soft, tasteful shade of pink but pink nonetheless! Whenever Ruby see’s her she is reminded of a line from Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem, The Night Before Christmas, the one that referred to St Nick as a ‘right jolly old elf’. But Theo is no elfin-like creature, she is actually one of the most formidable women Ruby has ever met – a long-timer in the field. Although Psychic Surveys is Ruby’s business, she often tends to take her cue from Theo.

 

 

Who would you choose to play this character and why?

Easy one – Judi Dench but with pink hair!

Other team members include Ness, in her early fifties with dark hair and winter pale heart-shaped face. Whereas Theo is effusive in nature, Ness is more sombre – Ruby suspects past experiences have made her so, particularly her work as a psychic with Sussex Police, but if that is so, Ness is not saying. At twenty-one, Corinna is the youngest of the group – a sensitive rather than a psychic, she is bright and bubbly despite her preferred Gothic attire with abundant Pre-Raphaelite red curls.

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Character 5 – Jed

Tell us about this character: Jed is undoubtedly the star of the show. A black Labarador that has long since passed – he attaches himself to Ruby during a psychic cleansing – switching his highly developed sense of loyalty from the family he once protected to her. And he is a protector, coming to the rescue on several occasions when Ruby finds herself in psychic trouble. Ruby suspects he is more than just an animal spirit but what he is she doesn’t fully know – not yet.

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Also by Shani, The Runaway Year

runawayWhen the going gets tough… it’s easy to run. Layla does, as far away as possible. Penny and Hannah do too, each in their own way. But how long can you run and what happens when you stand your ground? Over the course of 12 hectic months, three best friends embark on an emotional rollercoaster of a ride, discovering that if it’s love you’re up against, true love, you can’t escape that easily.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Shani Struthers…Choose Your Cast of ‘The Haunting of Highdown Hall’…

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me Sarah – halfway through PS2 so hopefully you won’t have to wait for long! xxx

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