By J.P. Bowie (Guest Blogger)
I have always been interested in all things supernatural. As a kid I would snuggle down in bed with a well worn copy of some ghost or vampire story purchased with my pocket money from a second hand bookstore. The first time I read Bram Stoker’s classic, Dracula, I couldn’t sleep for weeks. I would lie in bed, eyes wide open waiting for the first light of dawn to peek through the bedroom curtains. You’d think that would have cured me of late night horror story reading – but no. I lost track of how many times I re-read that gothic tale, the terror it stirred in me compounded when I found out that a Scottish castle ‘just up the road’ from where I lived in Aberdeen had been Stoker’s inspiration for Dracula’s lair. Actually it was a good hundred miles from where I lived, but in my vivid imagination a vampire could fly that distance on his bat wings in the twinkling of an eye.
My love for vampires was given a boost when I read Ann Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. Here was a whole new kind of vamp. Instead of Stoker’s soulless monster, Rice’s undead men were elegant and alluring, though just as dangerous at times. Always the romantic, I wanted to write about characters like that, and started with a short story, Vampire Dreams, then graduated to a full length novel, My Vampire and I, which became an eight part series. Yes, even vampires deserve happy endings.
I had to try my hand at the occasional ghost story, especially when the plot for one was handed to me on a plate. My parents’ house was besieged by a poltergeist for several weeks until we got to the root of the problem. I wrote A Ghost Story – yes, that’s the title, based on the events I witnessed firsthand. Of course, I added a hot romance between the two male protagonists along with the eeriness of furniture being overturned, loud banging noises and doors suddenly flung open then slammed shut. All good fun, although I have to admit, the door slamming part made me jump a bit!
Recently, I followed that up with Highland Hearts, about the ghost of a man who couldn’t leave the home he loved even after he’d passed. When a great-great-great (and I think more greats) nephew inherits the old pile, his first thought is to dump it as quickly as he can. But once again, ghostly intervention prevails, along with romance, and a happy ending for all is assured.
I love writing fun stories like these, but sometimes the muse takes me on a different path and a more serious tone. My latest release, Trust Me, deals with a subject that some may find objectionable.
Here’s the blurb:
Scott Riley is living with a terrible secret — one he dares not share with his family or friends. Who can he turn to…who can he trust?
After losing his job because of one man’s actions and lies, Scott Riley is desperately seeking employment or he will have to give up his car and his apartment, perhaps even return home. Being the victim of rape, he feels shame, humiliation and a deep seated anger that he cannot bring his attacker to justice because of what he thinks it might do to his parents. Rather than have them live with the knowledge of what happened to their only son, he does everything in his power to spare them, even at a cost to his own happiness.
When Ross Nelson offers Scott a position in his software company, Scott feels that this change in his luck may prove to be the turning point where he can put his painful memories behind him. Although aware of the obstacles inherent in an office romance, Scott and Ross soon find themselves irresistibly drawn to one another. But Scott’s nemesis refuses to stop tormenting him with texts and phone messages, some obscene, others that contain threats and derision.
Can their love for each other overcome the ravings of a deranged stalker, or will they be torn apart by the clear and present danger this man represents?
The strident buzz of his alarm clock woke Scott from a dark dream he was glad to break free from. It was always the same. The sensation of being trapped, of hands around his throat, visions of a leering face, a struggle, futile against his attacker who was so much bigger and stronger, the pain from his head being struck over and over until blackness swallowed him. The daytime hours gave him some freedom from the horror, although even then, so many times his thoughts would be tainted by memories of that heinous day more than three months ago.
He used to enjoy dreams. When they were just that…dreams. Dreams of people he knew and didn’t dread, or of someone he didn’t know but wished he did. Someone holding him, kissing him. He’d awake aroused, his mind trying to recapture those sensual moments—but that was before Elliot.
He pushed himself out of bed. He didn’t want to start the morning thinking of that bastard. Perhaps this day would turn out to be a better one. Maybe, after three months of looking for a new job he’d finally catch a break.
After relieving himself, he splashed his face with cold water in an effort to clear his mind of the lingering shadows those dreams would haunt him with. He prepped the coffee machine and turned on the TV for the morning news. The pinging sound from his cell phone alerting him that he had a text message, made his stomach churn. Get a grip… He’d changed his number again, so it couldn’t be from him. He picked his cell up and stared at the message then let out a long shuddering breath as he read the words.
Good morning Scotty. Got a job yet? Didn’t think so. Nobody wants to hire a pussy like you.
No matter that he’d received texts like this several times a day, ever since he’d left Blackwell and Norris, his last employer, he had not become immune to them. They still had the power to make him sick to his stomach. Not so much the actual messages, and this one was mild compared to the filth he sometimes read on the screen, but the idea that the man who sent them, the man responsible for him losing his job, who had assaulted him, the creep had somehow managed to find a way to communicate with him, yet again. He had changed his cell number three times and still the bastard had managed to track him down. He shouldn’t be too surprised, he supposed. Anyone with a knowledge of software and computer programming could probably do the same thing. Just about anything could be hacked if you knew how. What he couldn’t understand was why Elliot persisted in cyberstalking him. He couldn’t believe the SOB thought he could wear Scott down, that he would actually respond to any of the often obscene texts he received.
Surely he couldn’t imagine for one minute that I’d ever want to see him or talk to him again. He can’t be that much of a maniac. No, he’s just sick—dangerously sick.
His coffeemaker beeped and Scott poured himself a mug of the strong, black brew adding a bit of sugar. At least today he had something to look forward to. After the last two weeks of failing to secure an interview from the dozens he’d applied for, he’d finally managed to get an appointment with Nelson Enterprises, a fairly new company, but one that had received glowing accolades in Tech News. Under the direction of its young innovator, Nelson Enterprises was quickly making a name for itself in the software design and marketing industry. Maybe, just maybe, his luck would change for the better. Maybe.
Coming out of the shower he heard his cell ping again.
Shit… That fucker is determined to ruin what I’d hope was going to be a better day.
Once he’d ascertained that the text was from Elliot he was going to ignore it. allow him to bring me down again? But a couple of the words drew his attention. He felt the blood drain from his face as he read the message.
Come suck my cock. You know you want to.
If Scott could have afforded a new cell phone, he’d have thrown the one he held in his hand against the wall.
If you would like a copy of Trust Me, please leave a comment on this post and I will have random.org draw 2 names. Please remember to include your email address.
I want to thank Lisabet for allowing me to invade her blog world today. I had the pleasure of meeting Lisabet some years ago in Los Angeles at an author get together arranged by our mutual publisher. It’s a pity that we all live so far apart and communication is mostly through blogs or email.
Thank you, Lisabet, until we meet again…
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