It started with a single premise from my first book, Demon’s Bond. Nina sees dead people.
I was working on my psychic trilogy, getting close to outlining the third novel and knowing it would be about a haunted house. I’d grown up in a house I swear is haunted, so I figured I had plenty of experience to draw from. Then one night I found my grandmother pretty shaken up and she told me she’d seen a dark shadow figure pass right through her living room.
Ties of Family was born. The shadow figure my grandmother saw clinched the idea, and so I did a little research.
Now, most of us have seen the shows – all manner of shows – but I learned that while a medium is a psychic, not all psychics are mediums. Mediums are more concerned with relaying the truth of the past than other psychics, who tend to predict the future. This is because mediums have the ability to communicate with the dead and other spirits, and go beyond the capabilities of other psychics in that they don’t rely on intuition or energy readings, but on advice or messages from the spiritual energy they encounter. This is primarily done through a telepathic exchange of information where the medium may receive visions, hear noises or words, or be overcome with very strong sensations or feelings – these are the ‘clair’ talents.
- Clairvoyance – clear seeing, the ability to see what is not physically present
- Clairaudience – clear hearing, including voices or noises like cannon fire on an old battle field.
- Clairsentience – clear feeling, or having an impression of what the spirit wants to relay
- Claircognizance – clear knowing, ‘just knowing’ something is
In traditional Spiritualism, which was wildly popular in the late 1800s, a medium would be the one hosting a séance. The medium could be overtaken by the spirit, oftentimes speaking in their voice, or simply hearing and relaying the message. Unfortunately, there were also many con artists taking advantage of grieving clients, and we’ve all heard the stories of a medium hosting a séance with a complicated network of strings, pulleys and levers so that bells rang, tables knocked and chairs shook.
And that’s exactly what Michael Marsden expected of Nina Rodriguez in my book, Ties of Family. Michael is a skeptic, having never been to his family estate before and never believing his father’s tales of ghostly activity on the property. Nina is hired to investigate and discovers things aren’t quite right with the Marsden family.
Nina is a bold woman, confident but hiding behind sarcasm after an experience with a demon in her youth left her idea of sex much darker than normal. She likes pain, but not just any pain, true pain – talons ripping through her skin, teeth biting into her flesh – and can’t reach climax without them. Terrified she will hurt others or be hurt herself, she’s avoided any intimacy with another person.
But, from the beginning, Michael has her off balance, continuously finding her in situations that leave her feeling vulnerable. And he might not believe in the entities haunting his family, but he absolutely believes he can bring Nina pleasure in bed.
“You let a monster torture you with pain. Now you’ll let a man torture you with pleasure.”
Unfortunately for Michael, his skepticism dies a dramatic death when the entities haunting his estate target him. Nina is the only one who has a chance of figuring out what the spirits want, and the only one with the talent to put a stop to it. But she isn’t a Marsden, doesn’t have any blood ties to the family, and therefore has no way to win the battle without Michael’s help.
She’s got to trust him, but that’s a difficult concept for her on the best of days, let alone after Michael falls under the influence of the evil plaguing his family.
Ties of Family is an erotic horror, perfect to read for the Halloween season. It’s the third in the trilogy, but all the books are stand-alone and feature three different women with three different talents. It’s available on Amazon, Smashwords and everywhere Smashwords distributes.