Friday, May 4, 2012

Behind the Books--Only In Darkness

My book Only In Darkness is now available for Kindle.  This was the fourth and last of my books published by Avon Books, and very few people know that my inspiration for the story came from a tiny red clapboard church that sat under a huge maple tree on a bend in the road at Mosgrove, Pa. 

Mosgrove is a tiny village that is situated in a deep cleft between two steep, forested hills.  It's a shady place that doesn't get much direct sunlight, except when the sun is directly overhead.  Its huge boulders, towering hemlocks and creek rushing through the village to the Allegheny not far away lend it a delicious air of mystery.  I often drove across the Ridge Road and over the hill to Mosgrove on my way to Kittanning, and when I passed that little church, I always imagined a tall dark-haired man standing in the doorway.  That man eventually became Draegan Youngblood, an expert at counter-espionage.  Draegan Takes on the role of Reverend Mattais in order to catch the Tory spy Sparrowhawk, but it is a role he doesn't relish.

Since I was raised by devout parents, but am very irreverent, it was a lot of fun writing about Draegan's struggles to maintain the charade he has undertaken.  He is a womanizer, and unscrupulous, so standing in the pulpit is damned uncomfortable for him, and his discomfort intensifies as he succumbs to his deep attraction for Fallon Deane, a young woman he suspects might just be the spy he is chasing.  Draegan has more secrets than his real reason for coming to the village of Abundance.  Secrets that can be kept only in darkness.

There is one more factoid that may be of interest to readers: though Only In Darkness takes place in 1778, it is connected to my contemporary Romantic Suspense As Night Falls, coming this summer to Kindle.  The female protagonist of ANF is Draegan and Fallon's great-great-granddaughter, and she is living in the mansion where Fallon and her uncle Lucien lived.  The church also plays a role in ANF.

Hope you enjoy Only In Darkness!  SK

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Saying goodbye to a good friend

I'm sad to say that I am writing with one less dog these days.  Frazer, who was just 8 years old, said goodbye to us and to his failing body on April 17, and passed through the veil and into the Light.  The dynamic of the household has changed with his decision to go.  Sparky and Boo have grieved his absence just as I have.  It's so quiet.  The chaos I always enjoyed is suddenly gone.  There is no one to bark insanely for no reason at all.

Frazer was a Shetland sheepdog.  A beautiful, big boy with a shiny black coat and a huge white collar.  He came into my life when I was mourning the loss of another Sheltie named Faelan.  Frazer filled the void Faelan's death created.  He was more than just my dog.  He was my protector, and my friend, and he saw me through years of difficulty.  He died from complications of Cushings disease.

I am endlessly grateful for the wonderful memories he left behind with  me.  And I am grateful for Sparky and Boo.  Dogs are angels on four feet.  They ask for precious little, and they give so much.  They don't judge us for how we look, or whether or not we have deep pockets.  As long as there are retriever rolls in the house, and water in their water bowl, there is very little complaining. . . and even in death, they think, not of themselves, but of us.

My wish for Frazer is that he has a meadow full of sweet grass in which to run, and a body that will not betray him.  And I hope that he is able to understand that he meant the world to me.  At some point, I will immortalize him in a story.  Tonight, we send him our love.