Love never dies. That's the premise behind my erotic romance novel, "Blurred Lines." I was inspired to write about this subject after my husband died at the young age of 34. Before his death, we'd never experienced paranormal activity at our home. Almost immediately after his suicide, my phone would ring with static at the other end. I'd see a shadow figure that looked exactly like his upper torso looming at the edge of the bed. There would be knocks on the window with no one there. I'd wake up all tucked in beneath my covers as if someone lovingly wanted to keep me warm. I would have vivid dreams where he'd sit and talk with me about the day just like he used to do…and when I woke up, my skin would tingle where I felt he'd touched me.
Ghosts became a fascination for me. I started watching paranormal investigations on television, reading whatever I could on the subject, and eventually met with a psychic who validated the experiences I'd had in my home.
It was the psychic, who eventually became my friend, who said to me one night, "Why don't you write a romance based on a ghost?" As a romantic suspense writer under another name, I couldn't figure out how to do that without making it scary, which isn't what I wanted to do at all. Dakota Skye was born to create "Blurred Lines", a story about a deceased man, his grieving fiancee, and a man who is destined to love her if only he can break through the grief that holds her captive…and if only the ghost understands that he needs to let her go.
I truly believe that love never dies. It transcends time, perhaps becomes another energy that surrounds those of us who survive. Death is not the end of our existence, merely a transition.
An excerpt of 'Blurred Lines'...
Or Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DakotaSkye69
Murder. The word still didn't roll off her tongue with ease. 'My fiancé was murdered..." she doubted she would ever get used to saying those words. Ironic, in a twisted way, that she wrote about crime for a living.
Shane had been killed during a high profile trial of alleged members of the Mexican drug cartel. Some teenager had been arrested for the crime, but she knew he'd been a punk hired to do the deed. Of course he wouldn't talk, was probably a folk hero south of the border.
Sierra and Shane...that's how she'd come to think over their four-year relationship. Always a duo, their names always said as one entity.
Palms against the door, she pushed herself away and forced herself into the room. She needed to make a fire, unpack, settle in...her gaze landed on the framed photograph above the mantel. Shane and Sierra, arms around each other and laughing, with Lake Tahoe as their backdrop—joy and love captured in a snapshot. Now he would always be forever tan and young.
She had been in a downward spiral ever since...now she clung by her fingernails to a career she'd fought and sacrificed for all these years.
I miss you, Shane, she thought with tears in her eyes.
She shook off the dark thoughts and resumed starting the fire.
"Sierra..." Her name whispered through the house, a memory of Shane saying it so long ago.
A tingle went up her spine, lifting the hairs on the back of her neck, before caressing her skin with a feather-like touch.
If only, so many if-onlys.
She poked at the kindling, wishing they had bothered to install a gas fireplace when they'd originally bought the property.
Her cell phone sounded with the horror movie music indicating it was the dreaded Alexander calling again. How many times did she need to hit 'decline' before he got the message? Didn't the man have a life beyond work?
He thought he was some kind of god simply because he was former DEA turned writer. She snorted again and poked at the sticks in the hearth. Ass. Know-it-all. She had a Masters in Creative Writing from Berkley, not to mention three Emmy's on her desk, and an Oscar nomination for a documentary she'd produced. She was a writer, not Alexander Blaine who bragged about 'stumbling into it.'
Ignoring the phone, she started the fire, knelt back on her heels, held her hands up to the warmth, and grinned with satisfaction.
Shane had called her a certifiable city girl. Well, look at her now.
She searched the kitchen for the supplies Mary had stocked before her arrival. Grabbing a bottle of wine, she smiled.
"Mary, you know me too well," she muttered as she turned the bottle around in her hands before reaching for the corkscrew.
"You're so beautiful," Shane's voice echoed through her memory. "I'm the luckiest man in the world to be loved by you."
She squeezed her eyes closed and indulged in remembering him holding her, kissing her, making her believe in fairy tales and love stories.
"I'm here. See me." The voice startled her from indulging. Clear. Deep.
Dropping the corkscrew, she swiveled around and glanced across the room. No one. Only the empty kitchen with its clean marble countertops and gleaming pans met her vision.
"I really am losing my mind," she muttered as she skipped the glass and drank straight from the bottle.
Endless days of work on the set of a hit television series took its toll. The stress of having to mesh with a partner had given her anxiety attacks, not that she'd ever admit that to anyone. In show business, writers were only as good as the ratings of the most recent show. Fickle. Not exactly the safe life in academia she'd once envisioned for herself.
She dropped her iPhone into the stereo after making sure to put it on 'do not disturb', scrolled down to her favorite playlist, and kicked off her shoes. Music filled the room, drowning out any imagined ghost voices. Settling onto the sofa with the bottle nuzzled against her chest, she watched flames snap and crackle.
She could see Shane without closing her eyes. Often she'd imagine seeing him in a crowd, his tall silhouette a head above the others on the street. Sometimes she would see him at their favorite restaurant sitting at the bar while she picked up her take-out after another late night at the office. She'd always do a double take only to find him gone, a figment of her imagination.
Dreams were the most vivid. She would wake up and swear she'd been touched, her skin tingling where she had imagined his fingers to be.
"I miss you so much," she whispered, allowing the tears to fall. She suppressed them most of the time by staying busy and immersed in her career. But now—in this place that had once been their hideaway—emotions bubbled to the surface despite the pills designed to keep them buried. "Without you I'm just a stressed out work-a-holic. No one's ever going to love me like you did."
"You're wrong, Sierra."
She took another swig from the bottle, in a way resenting that she still heard his voice in her head. People nagged at her to snap out of it, let him go, move on; but how was that possible when she saw him in her dreams and heard him in her head? The therapist told her that it was okay to talk to the deceased, that she could still have conversations if that made her feel better. Of course, she'd neglected to tell the doctor that often she heard a response.
Just my imagination.
"I'm here." Shane's voice.
A surge of energy rushed through her like an electrical shock. She closed her eyes and sighed.
A caress against her lips. She opened her eyes and saw Shane leaning over her. Despite being a lawyer who could wear a suit like an Armani model, he'd had the surfer dude look down to a tee. She grinned at the lock of blond hair falling across his tanned forehead.
"Always too handsome for your own good," she whispered to the image. "I miss you so much."
"I've never left you," he said.
She covered her eyes with her hand and shook her head. "You did, they took you from me, too young, never should have happened..."
"I'm here, Sierra. See me." He touched her hand. She felt it. Heavy. Warm.
Impossible. Too much work and too little sleep had pushed her over the edge, add pills and wine to the mix and everything felt unreal.
"I'm losing everything, you know. I can't function. The show has dropped in ratings despite some damn DEA expert slash pain in my ass who was supposed to save us from going in the ditch. I can't write anymore. Period. I can't do anything anymore, not like I used to, not without you. Now I'm going crazy."
"You're not here."
"I'm here, I've never left you. Look at me. It's taking all I've got to do this."
One finger at a time, she lifted her hand from her eyes. She swallowed disbelief despite the warm energy rippling through her body.
Shane leaned over her, contagious grin in place, body heavy on top of hers. She reached up, simultaneously scared and fascinated. When her fingers touched his hair, she froze.
"I don't believe in ghosts," she whispered.
"I've noticed. Do you know how hard I've been trying to connect with you?"
Frozen with fear yet driven by curiosity, she forced a whisper from her lips, "Why here? Why now?"
"You're so sad, I don't want you to be sad anymore."
Tears slipped from the corners of her eyes despite his words. "How can I not be sad? You were my world."
"That's not true." He kissed her, the touch like a breeze over her lips. "You had it goin' on when I met you, don't you remember? You ignored me because I looked like an uptight lawyer in my suit. You were at that restaurant with all of your artist friends and I couldn't stop staring. You avoided going out with me for a full month, always too busy working. Don't you remember? You never needed me. You wanted me. There's a difference."
She shook her head, unwilling to remember. Hanging onto sorrow had protected her from living without him. She didn't want to remember life pre-Shane...and she didn't want to think about life post-Shane. Limbo felt like a safer place to hide from reality.
Now she had conjured him up from memory; that had to be the only explanation. She'd taken talking to the void a step further.
"You're not real." She touched her fingers to his face even as she said the words.
"Want me to prove it to you?"
She shook her head 'no,' even as her thumb moved along his chin. The energy rippling beneath her fingertips zapped like electrical shocks, rather than a solid form. Maybe she had lost her mind, which was the only explanation she could believe.
"I see you everywhere," she whispered.
"I am everywhere." His smile made her heart ache with longing.
She slid her fingers over his lips with fascination and relaxed against the sofa cushions. Eyes narrowed, she stared at the image above her. She wanted to believe, but her imagination had gotten her into trouble in the past.
"You're not here," she said. "I just want you to be so badly I'm seeing things."
"You ask a lot."
She closed her eyes and shuddered with the need pulsating through her body. Her hand moved beneath her sweater, fingers tracing over her abdomen before sliding over her bra. Where her hands drifted, ripples of energy followed, creating a trail of sensation over her skin. Desire warmed her blood.
"I miss being loved," she whispered.
"I love you." Shane's voice against her ear. "Let me touch you."
"I wish you could." She ached for him, for the love they had shared, for the laughter, and the partnership.
With a sigh, she set the wine bottle onto the floor and pulled her sweater off. Another shudder went through her body, ripple after ripple of intensity. Closing her eyes to submit to fantasy, she moved her hands over the swell of her breasts.
She felt his lips against her neck, breath against her skin. Shane's blond head bent over her, the familiar scent of his shampoo overwhelming her senses, his voice whispering about how much he loved her.
She missed making love, holding a man against her, tasting him on her tongue, feeling him move between her thighs.
"Believe in this, Sierra. I'm really here," the whispered command made her squirm against the seat and reach for the zipper of her jeans.
But the zipper slid down without her fingers touching it. Her eyes snapped open.
"Is this really happening?" She choked out the words from a throat swollen with fear while her heartbeat raced with hope.
"Do you want it to be?" He loomed over her, a solid form, yes, but one zapping with an electrical current. "You see me."
"I see you."
He kissed her; energy sizzled between their mouths as he shoved her jeans down her legs. Where he touched, her skin reacted with an intensity born from loneliness and need.
Only the good die young. When Shane Weston is murdered before prosecuting a key member of the Mexican drug cartel, he can't accept the idea that all of the plans he had had for his life will never come true. More than that, he can't let go of the love he has for his fiancée.
Love never dies. Sierra Daniels is crushed after Shane's death. Head writer on a successful television series, she can't get back into the groove of life. All enthusiasm for work is gone. Ready to quit everything, she travels to her cabin in Lake Tahoe in hopes of escaping everyone's expectations and disappearing for a while.
The lines between right and wrong often blur. Alexander Blaine has risked his future on a career change from DEA agent to lead consultant and writer on hit television series. Sierra's grief has shadowed everyone around her, including him, and jeopardizes both of their careers. Unwilling to accept defeat, he follows her to Lake Tahoe determined to break through the barrier enveloping her and make her see that life is still worth living.
Letting go is like a death. Sierra never thought she would be caught in a love triangle between her writing partner, Alex, and the love of her life, Shane—especially because her ex-fiancé is now a ghost. Tormented with both guilt for moving on with someone else and a desire to be free of the past, she's into the gray area of right, wrong, life, death, ghosts, dreams—the part of life where all the lines are blurred.
Or Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DakotaSkye69