Hello! I’m Wend Petzler and the book I am discussing is Moonlight and Madness, also which I am offering three free downloads to three lucky winners! (Contest ends 12/5 at 11:59 EST) This particular story was probably the most difficult one I’ve worked on since becoming a writer, honestly a pain in the ass. That was until Dante materialized and changed the whole book around. Sexy pirate, ghost, and a practical joker, Dante offset the harsh content involved in Moonlight and Madness dealing with a serial killer. After Dante arrived, the words flowed and I penned my first serial killer/ghost story.
I wanted to do a book far different than any other tropical set backgrounds and added an English castle that had been brought to a South Pacific island. The main characters are unusual as Emma is a survivor of her husband’s attack, killing him and died herself briefly. She comes back with a gift, a curse she considers it, able to see ghosts. She flees to Paradise and tries to rebuild her life when she meets Dayton, the mayor of the island. Sparks fly between them, but Emma fears anyone knowing her secret, until she begins to see her dead husband and then meets with the infamous Dante, a pirate who’d been murdered by his jealous wife. He helps Emma deal with her gift and when another woman is murdered, leaving her an angry ghost to deal with, he takes the girl in hand, so to speak. I found it so much fun having a newly made ghost butt heads with a two hundred year old one, how she learns to adjust to her new … life and help catch her murderer whom she cannot remember who it was. Also, Sadie and Dante’s banter help Emma and Dayton through their doubts and fears, showing them that love is worth the fight and not fear possible losses.
The one small regret I have is cutting out the Halloween theme and made Moonlight and Madness a Christmas one. Don’t get me wrong, it brings an element of difference to this unique novel, but I’ve been gravitating toward the macabre of late and it would have been fun to make it a Halloween party. I decided Christmas would be more in line with Emma stepping out of her shell and bringing in the warmth and fun of the holiday not usually celebrated traditionally as in colder climates. I did, however, keep the séance scene because let’s face it … ghosts and séances are fun.
I hope you all enjoy Moonlight and Madness as much as I do. It was quite an experience working with these characters, especially a pirate who is used to getting his way. All in all, I wouldn’t have Dante any other way.
*Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance at one of three copies of Moonlight and Madness.
Tenderly, he brushed the damp strands of her hair away from her face. Curving his palm over the scar on her throat, covering it, he drew her to him, to meet the kiss they both needed. Sliding his other hand up her back, he pulled her into the warm shelter of his hard body.
Emma almost smiled as Dayton trembled when her hands slid up his bare arms, along the muscles of his shoulders. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she pressed closer to him.
He yanked her up until her toes barely touched the ground. A growl rumbled low in his throat.
Thrilled, she answered his passion, quivering in response.
His large hands roamed her back, touching her, bringing her body to life with an inferno of craving and need.
Dayton was backing her toward the bed when a flicker of smoke by the balcony doors made Emma turn. Jerking out of his arms, she exclaimed, “Son of a bitch!”
“What the hell?”
Cheeks aflame with embarrassment, she stuttered, “I-I have to go.”
“I left something on at the house.” She grabbed her sweater, hurrying out of Dayton’s bedroom. Glancing over her shoulder, she cursed again.
Protesting, he rushed after her as she practically ran down the steep stairs. “What about the tour?”
“I’ll come back in couple of days. Right now I have to go.” She made it to the kitchen when the silvery smoke materialized in front of her, forming itself into the sexy pirate she’d seen at the market.
“Why, lass? We have so much to converse about with one another,” he cajoled.
Putting on the brakes, Emma tried to stop, but Dayton, who was following on her heels, collided into her, bumping her right through the leering ghost. “Agh!” Freaked out by the biting ice cold of Dante Kane’s astral presence, she nearly slammed face first into the door. Catching herself, she spun around and cried, “I hate it when they do that!”
“Whoa, Emma. What’s wrong? Who are ‘they’?”
“Leave me alone,” she snapped, glaring at the pirate who stepped in front of Dayton.
“Honey, I’m not doing anything to you.” Frowning at her, Dayton wore the very same expression the doctor at Meadows had worn when she told him that his mother was very perturbed at him for working at an institution when he could make more money in the private sector.
“Not you.” She stopped before she blurted out the ghost’s name.
“Who? No one’s here except you and me.”
She hated the look of pity and sadness on Dayton’s face. She’d seen that expression far too many times, and it tended to piss her off.
“Who do you see?” he pressed on, eyeing her with caution.
“No one,” she ground out through clenched teeth, refusing to admit anything. Facing the door, she reached for the knob when she felt a tug on the back of her shirt as someone pulled her back in the apartment. Turning around, she found Dayton had moved into the kitchen, putting distance between them. She opened her mouth to make an excuse and leave when a lock of her hair hit her in the face.
“I’m warning you! Stop that,” she snapped when her hair flew up again.
“Emma, I’m not doing anything!”
The sexy, arrogant leer made Dante more disturbingly charismatic and dangerous than his grandson. Wild, a predator wrapped in a gorgeous body, he circled her as if she was a lamb before the wolf.
Refusing to be intimidated, she held her ground, glaring at him as he played with her hair.
“Tell him about your gift.”
Terrified, she shook her head, whispering, “No. Please don’t ask me to do that.”
“Tell him, Emma. It’s very important.” The pirate insisted, his savage countenance softening as he gently laid his large hand against her cheek.
A rush of tears blinded her. Begging him, she brokenly said, “I can’t. He’ll think I’m insane.”
Dayton’s head reared back. “Honey, I don’t think you’re insane.”
Leaning close to her ear, Dante whispered, “Please.”
A ragged sigh of defeat escaped her. “I see Dante Kane.”
“Kane? As in Dante Kane, my dead ancestor?” Dayton’s dark eyebrows shot up, and he stared at her in disbelief.
“The jerk is smirking at me,” she complained, glaring at the pirate.
“Whoa, you actually see Dante Kane? Here in my kitchen?” He backed up into the fridge, eyeing her in alarm.
“What?” she huffed. “You wanted the truth. You wanted to know about me. Well, here it is. I see dead people, and when they know I can see them, they won’t leave me alone! And guess what? You were right. Dante is haunting your castle!” With that, she fled from Gray Stone.
Moonlight and Madness is available from Evernight Publishing!