Halloween has always been my favorite time of year. I enjoy the mystery, the treats, and the decorations. I love seeing people in costume and looking at houses decorated with pumpkins, graveyards, and ghosts. I also like the roots of the holiday–its connection to those who have passed. For me, Halloween is not only a time to enjoy all things paranormal, but to remember those who are no longer with me.
Halloween has always been a time for family, especially since it’s my mother’s birthday and she also loves the holiday. Some of my favorite memories are of family Halloween parties and spending the holiday with loved ones.
What is your favorite thing about Halloween?
Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas, and novels.
When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out, spending time with her family and pets, and running the Compelling Beasts Blog, dedicated to antagonists, antiheroes and paranormal creatures. She also writes under the name Saloni Quinby. Visit her online at http://www.kate-hill.com.
Excerpt from Handsome Bastard
The body sprawled in the road leading to his villa brought Cyprian Augustus and his servant to a stop. In spite of the pouring rain, his superior sense of smell caught the scent of fresh blood combined with a distinctly feminine aroma that roused Cyprian’s interest.
“Shall I see who it is?” Sextus asked his master.
Before replying, Cyprian glanced around, enveloped by the icy feeling that usually preceded disaster. Finally he nodded and dismounted. Sextus did the same and followed him to the body. Both men knelt.
Covered in a layer of mud and a wet, bloodstained tunic so thin it scarcely concealed her every lush curve, the woman remained unconscious as Cyprian touched a hand to her neck. A pulse beat steadily against his fingers. Despite the noise of the storm, when he concentrated hard enough, he could hear her heartbeat. One of her eyes was blackened and her cheek badly bruised. Her nose and lips oozed blood, as did several shallow cuts on her arms and legs.
Chestnut hair clung to her shoulders, neck, and face. Cyprian brushed a tendril from the corner of her mouth. He noted that in spite of the beating she’d endured, she was quite lovely.
“How do you suppose she got here?” Sextus asked.
“No definite ideas.”
“Well, how about giving me an indefinite one if you think you know something?”
Anyone unfamiliar with their past would find Sextus impertinent, but their relationship extended far beyond that of master and servant. It had endured long past any mortal’s comprehension. Cyprian’s mouth twitched downward. He had suspicions about this beaten woman in slave garb who had the delicate beauty and well-fed look of a lady of leisure. Of course, he knew from experience how many beautiful slaves filled the wealthy households of Rome, but it was simply a feeling that told him to use caution. Such feelings had kept him alive for centuries, while others of his kind succumbed to death by mortal hands.
“Do you intend to leave her?” Sextus asked. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Cyprian had committed a cold act, yet when he did he invariably had a good reason.
Then use your reason, he told himself. Stop looking at her pretty face and those luscious, magnificent, potentially deadly curves.
“If we leave her here she’ll most likely die,” Sextus said. “Either from those wounds or from exposure or from someone running over her in the middle of the road. So if you intend to leave her to such a fate, at least let me have a taste–”
“Stop.” Cyprian raised his eyes to the heavens, and then he shook his head. “Pitiful excuse for a blood-drinker that you are. Can’t you tell her injuries aren’t remotely life threatening? It’s warm enough out here for her to survive, and who else but you or me would be traveling this road at this time of night?”
“Apparently someone was. How else did she get here?”
With a low growl, Cyprian tugged the woman into his arms and stood. He carried her to Sextus’s horse and placed her over the saddle.
“Why does she get my horse?”
Curling his lip, Cyprian glanced at Sextus over his shoulder. “The question should be, why do I keep you around? Guide the horse. When we arrive home, bring warm water and bandages to my cubiculum.”
“Ah.” Sextus smiled, revealing the tips of his tiny fangs. “That’s more like the Cyprian I know. Bring her right to bed.”
“It’s usually a good place to begin getting the truth out of a woman.”
“I know several husbands and lovers who might not agree with you.”
“That’s because they’re stupid.”