Thursday, December 23, 2010

Duet by Eden Winters

I've been told that my latest novel, Duet, is hard to classify. It's half historical, half contemporary, and very paranormal.(And it has as sexy Highlander in a kilt!) It's also contains one of my favorite themes: love that exists even beyond death -- and a happy ending, of course.

Here's the blurb:

The English are an evil not to be tolerated, or so Aillil Callaghan believes, and Malcolm Byerly, the Kentish tutor Aillil's father brings to the Highlands to teach his younger brothers, is no exception. Their affection for the boys and a shared passion for the violin bring the two men together, and scarlet fever tears them apart. When a Druid priestess offers her aid, grief-stricken Aillil vanishes into legend, to be handed down from one generation to the next.

Over two centuries later, violinist Billy Byerly’s arrival at Callaghan Castle for a concert feels like coming home. An old man presents him with a strangely familiar violin, and from its strings he draws melodies he doesn't remember learning. Billy doesn’t believe in ghosts, but if the tales of the Lost Laird aren’t true, then why does he dream of a dark-haired, kilted Highlander? And why is he haunted by the strains of a phantom violin? Two violins, one love. How many lifetimes?

Here's an excerpt:

The canvas hanging over the hearth was blank. Billy flinched, looking up to find the raven-haired Highlander standing over him, smiling and extending a hand. The gesture seemed comforting somehow, and Billy reached out for that large, rough hand without hesitation. In a part of his brain inaccessible during waking moments, he knew this man, the Lost Laird of the Callaghans. Far from the expected fear, Billy was filled with deep and sincere longing. Giving trust freely along with his hand, he followed the otherworldly visitor from the great hall.
"Where are you taking me?" he asked, without really caring. He’d go anywhere this spirit led.
"You'll see in a few moments," the specter replied with a soft chuckle, placing a blindfold that had appeared from nowhere over Billy's eyes. "Take care where you step."
"You're taking me upstairs?"
"Shh... Quiet, my little fox," was murmured against Billy's skin, warm lips finding and tickling his neck. Ghosts had warm lips? A shiver flew up his spine. "A few more steps."
Billy had never ventured upstairs before, but had a good idea of their destination, and his anticipation soared. A door quietly shut behind them and a rich Scottish burr husked, "Open your eyes." The blindfold slid from his face.
Billy's eyes flew open and he stared in shocked amazement. The familiar bed, the trunk, the mirror, the chair! He'd been to this room before! His guide smiled, eyes crinkling at the corners. A hand on his back ushered Billy toward the enormous bed, then slipped beneath his shirt to tease the thin patch of hair above his trouser band.
"I want you," the ghost murmured against Billy's nape, whiskers tickling the sensitive skin there. Billy shivered, not from cold, but from arousal. A second hand joined the first, and his dream lover stripped the shirt away, leaving him bare from the waist up.
Gentle hands stroked his sides, turning him, and dark, lust-filled eyes left Billy feeling more desired than ever before. Cock already hard and aching, he feared he'd come immediately from a single touch.
"Do you trust me?" the apparition asked.
"With my life," Billy replied, knowing in his soul that it was true. He watched, fascinated, as the spirit's lips descended, drawing ever closer.
 A faint meeting of lips, like a shy hello, and then the gentle exploration escalated into something deep and passionate. It had been far too long since Billy had had the attention of another, and the craving for this man was nearly unbearable. The kilted Scot reached down and squeezed Billy's erection with a strong hand. "It seems you missed me, too, Mael Caluim."
Billy woke abruptly, still feeling those lips upon his skin. Why did he have to wake up now? Why couldn't he have finished the dream?

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