Over my career, I’ve written for small publishers and large. There are pluses and minuses to each. It’s the same way with self-publishing, but one of the things I like most is having control over my stories. I listen to advice, but I get to make the final call. In the case of Ghost Flute, for example, there was originally an epilogue that ended the story. However, the publisher I was working with decided they liked how the story ended without it. I removed my ending, but that was something that always bugged me about the story. I felt that without the epilogue, a thread was left hanging. Once I retained the rights to the story and decided to re-issue it, I went back and read the story with fresh eyes. Guess what? I still loved the epilogue and thought it was needed. So I put it back! Ahhh, feels so good.
She stood, aiming the key for the keyhole, but went still when he braced his palm against the doorframe, close to her head.
“I don’t need a flute to tell you I want you under my blanket with me,” he said quietly. “I’m not shy.”
She stood motionless but, in the moonlight, he could see her breathing hard. Her eyes were focused determinedly on the door, but the pulse in her throat pounded wildly.
“What do you have against me, Serena?”
Her gaze flashed to his. Her eyes were wide, yet the vibe he was getting off of her wasn’t fear. Not totally. She stood her ground, not backing away from him, but he saw how she pressed her thighs together. It was a tiny, sinuous move, almost imperceptible.
But he saw it.
And it made the erection in his jeans nearly burst through the zipper.
She might be a little scared of him, but there was more to it than that.
He moved in closer. She turned sharply to face him, but he backed her up against the door. Planting both hands flat on the wooden surface behind her, he trapped her. Her breath caught, and he let his body press against hers. She shuddered, and her hands came up to his shoulders, yet she didn’t push him away. It gave him the opportunity to just feel her.
And she was perfection. Soft skin. Warm curves. Hard nipples. For a moment, it was the only thing in his head.
She might not trust him, but she wanted him.
“Why are you afraid of me?” he asked. “What have I done?”
She gave a tiny shake of her head. “I… I can’t get involved with you. It’s just not in me.”
It felt like it was in her. He brushed his nose against her temple. He could get addicted to her skin. He wanted to feel it all over him. “I won’t hurt you, Little Feather, and I won’t let anyone else either. Stay with me tonight.”
Are you looking for some spooky, sexy reads to get you in the Halloween mood? Might I suggest a couple of my stories? They’re perfect for reading next to a fire, all curled up as the house settles and footsteps ring out from the empty attic above.
First, there’s my Gothic novella Everlasting.
Genre: Contemporary, Gothic erotic romance
Release: September 2011
When innocent college student Chevon takes an impulsive road trip, she finds herself lost in a thick, unpredictable fog. Out of nowhere, the Everlasting Inn appears. The remote house on the cliffs is a haven, yet it evokes erotic thoughts and a haunting sense of déjà vu. The hazy memories consume Chevon, arousing her and tempting her. She takes a job at the inn and when the sexy new owner shows up, she remembers what she’s been craving. And why…
The Romance Reviews gave it a Top Pick Award and described it as “temptation incarnate.”
Next, there’s my story Ghost Flute, that’s heavily influenced by a Sioux legend. Native American culture is rife with spirits and monsters and mystery. I loved doing research for this story.
Genre: Paranormal erotic romance
Release: June 25, 2010
Serena Little Feather is hoping to reconnect with her heritage when she agrees to house-sit on the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation. She just never realized how close to the past she’d get.
At night, Serena hears a flute playing behind the house. The music is haunting and seductive, rousing intense feelings of lust and need. But music isn’t the only lust-inspiring thing in her life. Her neighbor Chayton is dark and sexy, but she’s been warned against him. She doesn’t know which scares her more—the overwhelming pull of the music or her attraction to the bad boy.
Chayton wants his beautiful neighbor. Their kisses sizzle and their touches burn, but the music she’s hearing worries him. Legend told of a Sioux brave who’d lured many women with his flute playing. He’d seduced them and cast them aside—until he was found dead with a knife in his stone heart. It was said that the brave’s spirit still roamed the countryside, playing his songs and looking for love. Every so often, a pretty girl responded. Chayton fears that this time, the pretty girl is Serena.
RT Book Reviews says, “This eerie ghost story is brimming with steamy sex set in an interesting plot.” Read the interview they did with me about Ghost Flute here.
Deaths among Oglala Lakota babies are the highest in the USA. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of babies under one year old per 1,000 live births. The IMR on Pine Ridge is 300% higher than the national average – the highest in the US. Healthy Start, a program that helps prevent these deaths desperately needs a home. This vital program has been relocated from one poor location to another. They now have a chance to get a high-quality, sustainable, energy-conscious facility — but they need help!
Learn more at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/268593?c=home and contribute what you can.
My story, Ghost Flute, is set in the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota. This novella is special to me, because it broke me out of a severe writing slump. For the first time in a long time, the characters were clear and their story was vivid in my mind. The Sioux culture and way of life are key to this story, so when I learned of the Sioux Nation’s effort to buy back land that is sacred to them, I had to share.
The Sioux Nation has until November 30th to raise money to purchase land they call Pe Sla, a sacred site in the center of the Black Hills. Located near Mount Rushmore, this land is in jeopardy of being developed if it goes to another buyer. The sellers have agreed to sell to the Sioux tribes if they can reach the asking price of $9 million. “The Tribes of the Great Sioux Nation, representing the poorest counties in the United States with 80% unemployment, have pooled their strained resources to buy back stolen, sacred land. They are on the verge of accomplishing something truly monumental but need our help. The Tribes have put together approximately $7,500,000 so far but need close to $1,500,000 more to secure Pe’Sla.”
They have quite a way to go to meet their goal. For more information, go to http://www.indiegogo.com/pesla. Please help if you believe that preserving history and a way of life is important.
Reviews are coming in for Ghost Flute. Here are a couple:
Siren Book Reviews: 4 1/2 siren stones “I couldn’t put it down, and the goose bumps that covered my skin were a sure sign that the story mesmerized me.”
Night Owl Romance: 4.75 stars and a Top Pick “This is a wonderfully original and interesting read and once I started reading, I wasn’t able to stop till the book was finished.”
I’m so happy people are enjoying the story.
People often ask how writers come up with ideas. Really, we don’t always know. They’re just suddenly there. The idea for GHOST FLUTE came together differently than any other story I’ve written, though. I was struggling with an idea block. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, because I wasn’t writing at all. If I’d had an idea, I would have been. I just couldn’t brainstorm. My creative well was dry.
Then one day, I was sitting, staring out at the trees behind my house. It was sunset and the sky was in that hazy in-between stage. I starting thinking, I wonder what’s back in there tonight? Quite a bit of wildlife stroll through the area or make their homes there. Anyway, the daydream took off… just the feel of the story.
I don’t know why I thought of the book of Native American mythology that I own, but I did. I’d bought it years and years ago, just because it looked interesting. I don’t think I’d ever cracked the cover, but I did that night. I thumbed through the various myths and legends and there it was, my inspiration. Everything came together in that moment — the setting, the story’s vibe, and the characters. I’m a plotter, so that came through really strongly, too. The story stuck in my head and grabbed on with both hands.
I started writing it the next day and, now, it’s almost ready for release.