When I was fourteen, my parents were house hunting addicts. We’d get ice cream and go cruising down hidden country roads, they’d slow down every time we passed a “for sale” sign, and I can’t count how many houses we actually went inside. Every now and then, there didn’t even have to be a “for sale” sign in the front yard. My mother would see a house she fell in love with and they wouldn’t hesitate to go knock on the door, ask about the neighborhood, if they were interested in selling, or even if they could come inside and look at the house.
Living as I do in a town that makes a living from its history, these requests were surprisingly frequent for some of these people who lived in the Grand Old Dames that sprung up for the rich and powerful in the Wild West. So we went on a lot of tours.
But there was one house I never expected to see on our little jaunts because I dreamt about it.
In my dream, we’d bought this house and moved in. I’d changed schools and everything was perfect. Only it wasn’t. We’d moved into a community of werewolves. They stalked us when the moon was full—we even had this little panic room where we were supposed to lock ourselves up so they couldn’t even smell us.
One night, some of them get in. Somehow, I trick them into going into the panic room and I burn them alive inside. When I escape, I’m wearing a red cloak, the hood is pushed back and I watch them burn. (The mind of a writer is a scary place, sometimes. *grin*)
It’s not too long after this nightmare I see the house of my dreams. Literally. It’s on top of a hill with a great view of the river. It’s secluded, just like in my dreams, and surrounded by a small forest. The doors in the house are unlocked, because whoever lived there before left in quite a hurry and the county hasn’t changed the locks yet. We can buy it for back taxes.
I don’t want to go inside, but my parents drag me into the basement room that looks just like the panic room. There are burn marks in the corner and stains on the walls where someone has had a fire inside. My dad said it was kids looking for a place to get into some trouble.
And all I can think about is the fire in my dreams, the gnashing and snarling of jaws meant to rend and tear flesh… The red t-shirt stained with something dark in the corner. I tell my dad about my dream and he laughs at me. He says he won’t watch Day Scream Theater with me anymore if I can’t keep it together.
It didn’t. The only thing that kept me out of that house was damage to the foundation that would cost more to fix than the house was worth.
My adult mind knows that I probably saw the house sometime before and it had locked itself in my imagination as a great setting for a werewolf story. But I’ll never forget the terror I felt at the prospect of moving into that house, the red t-shirt that had most likely been used as an oil rag for some old, leaky jalopy—the way the color of it burned into my brain.
Now I write about werewolves as heroes, gallant knights who use their monstrous natures for good. They’re by no means saints. Even after all of this, my beasts are still beastly.
Especially Konstantin in Claimed By the Beast that released January 1. It’s the second in my trilogy of gypsies, zombie werewolf viruses and all other manner of good times.
He’s a new kind of beast. One infected and transformed by the virus, but not like the others. He’s stronger, faster, smarter—he’s the perfect predator. The next step in evolution.
And my heroine studies his kind, she’s looking for a cure, but she’s terrified of them. The same way I was terrified of that house, those things I saw. Mine was only a dream, but for Daphne, it doesn’t stop when her eyes are open. She has to navigate her way through a whole new world where all the things she thought were absolute, suddenly aren’t.
What about you? Have you ever had a dream that’s seemed to come true? Talk creepy with me and I’ll enter you in a drawing for an Audible code for a free audiobook. I’ll announce the winner on this thread next Monday, the 13th.
About Claimed By the Beast
Dr. Daphne Panetta is desperate to find a cure for a virus that turns its victims into zombie werewolves. Infected Konstantin Gevaudan should be nothing more than a test subject, but the only thing Daphne fears more than the beast within him is her own intense attraction to the virile man himself….
When the research facility where he’s being held goes up in flames, Konstantin has no choice but to take Daphne on the run with him. For the desire burning between them can mean only one thing: she is his true mate. But how can he claim her without changing her—forever?