a note from paranormal romance author, Julia Barrett.
I thought long and hard about self-publishing. I wasn’t worried about striking out on my own; I’m used to blazing my own path. Regardless of whether we are with a publisher or publish a book ourselves, every author wonders if his or her work will be accepted and, most importantly, read. That’s normal. The technical aspects were scary, but friends helped – actually author friends were life-savers.
“A ghost romance won’t work,” I was told. “Nobody wants to read about a dead man.”
Well, I did, I wanted to find out how Sara Wise, a reluctant ghost seer, fell in love with Natan de Manua, a man who’d been dead for five hundred years.
I wanted to know, is love stronger than death? Can these two unlikely lovers have an HEA? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Here’s an excerpt:
Sara stood on the porch, her purse over her shoulder, keys in her hand. She didn’t want to leave him. “You’re sure you’ll be all right?”
Nathan grinned at her, his grin heating her all the way down to her toes. “I’ve lived in this house for three months. I’m sure I’ll be safe for one day.”
“If you take a shower, don’t scald yourself. Test the water first. I left you a full pot of coffee and there’s cream and sugar if you don’t like it black. And be sure to drink water. Remember, you need to drink water now or you’ll get dehydrated. Eat whatever you want, but maybe it would be better if you didn’t use the stove, and…”
“Sara, shhhhh.” Nathan slid a warm hand beneath her chin. Tilting her head up, he kissed her soundly. When he ended the kiss, he said, “I’ll be fine. Go.”
“You’re sure you can’t come with me? You can’t come outside?”
He shook his head. “I cannot cross the threshold.”
Sara studied his face. “You’re sure?”
Nathan gazed down, first at his bare feet, and then his eyes roved over the grass, green and lush from the winter rains. “I’m tempted to try, but no, I cannot leave this house.”
“What will happen if you do?” Sara cleared her throat and waited for his answer.
Nathan rocked back on his heels. “I believe I would vanish again and I have no desire to become incorporeal.” He winked at her. “I would miss the taste of your, uh, coffee.”
Sara couldn’t hold back what she knew was an ear to ear grin. “All right, I’ll go.” She reached for his hand and gave it a squeeze. “Be here when I get home. I have more questions for you. Promise you’ll be here.”
“Okay, bye.” She continued to stand on the porch steps.
“Sara, you must let go of my hand if you wish to get to work on time.”
“Right.” She laughed out loud. “I’m going. It’s just that, well, over the years I’ve met many incorporeal beings, but never one like you.” She stared at Nathan for a moment. “There’s something we never got around to discussing, and I have to ask this question because it’s going to bug me all day.”
“Ask your question.”
Sara took a deep breath and blew it out. “What are you?”
It seemed to Sara that Nathan looked everywhere but into her eyes. At last he met her gaze. “I don’t know. Sara, I wish to hell I did, but I don’t know what I am.”
Sara knew she should leave, but she couldn’t let go of Nathan’s hand. “One more question. What language do you speak? I mean, when we make love, sometimes you say things to me, words that don’t sound like Spanish.”
Nathan’s smile crinkled his eyes, causing her heart to flip-flop. “I speak Castilian, Andaluz, Arabic and Hebrew, Greek, Latin and of course, English. I’m not always aware which language I use when we make love.”
Blushing now, Sara made a move to leave the porch, but Nathan tugged her back. “You have another question on the tip of your tongue. I can sense it.”
Holding back her laughter, Sara asked him, “You can, can you?”
“Yes. I’ve come to know you very well. Remember, I watched you for a very long time before I made my presence known.”
“Hey, that’s right. About that…” Nathan drew her into his arms, interrupting her thoughts.
“I have to leave, Nathan.” Sara looked up at him.
“Yes, I know. Ask your question.”
She rubbed her cheek against his rough linen shirt, realizing she’d have to buy him some clothes now that he was corporeal. “Your mother,” Sara murmured. “What was her name?”
Nathan’s chest expanded as he answered. “Katherine Neville.”
For an instant, the name didn’t register. Sara sucked in a breath and took a step back.
“Katherine Neville, as in the War of the Roses Nevilles? You said she was from a semi-royal family. Did you mean, like, the Kingmaker’s family? Richard Neville?”
Nathan nodded. One look at the expression on his face told Sara it would be better to leave well enough alone, at least for now. She rose on tip-toes and gave him a kiss before leaving him, forcing her legs to walk to the garage. This is a lot to digest.
“Will you write it?” He called after her, his voice low. “Will you include my mother in your book?”
Sara turned. “I don’t know, Nathan. I don’t know that I want to finish the book.”
Before she could run back to him and bury herself in his arms, she threw up the garage door and climbed behind the wheel of her car. Unreality is starting to set in. I’ve got to leave because I’m about to convince myself that I’ve lost my mind. There is no other explanation; at least nothing logical comes to mind.
In fact, the only real question here involves my sanity.
Sara backed the car down the driveway, shooting a glance at the house. The front door was closed and Nathan was nowhere in sight. The story of his family’s fate spun round and round in her brain like a windmill.
They were burned by the Inquisitors. The Crown confiscated his father’s wealth only to lose it a year later. His mother was a Neville. I’m in love with a man who’s been dead for over five hundred years. But he doesn’t remember dying. Gaaaa! Sara smacked the steering wheel with her open palm. Quit it! You’ll go mad if you think about the impossible nature of, well, this, of everything. Nathan is impossible. Sure there are ghosts, you’ve seen plenty, but Nathan’s presence is simply impossible.
He can’t exist. You’re in love with a man who can’t exist on any plane. Not on earth, not in heaven, and not in hell. Apparently, he’s only corporeal in your house and between your thighs.
Sara stopped at a red light and rested her forehead on her hands. Your mother was right, you know; you girl, are certifiable. I wish my dad was still alive.