What scares you? The things that scare me often end up in my stories. My upcoming paranormal romance, BEAUTY’S BEAST, is no exception. In honor of the month of October, I’m including a short excerpt of my villain’s entrance into the story. Nagi, the ruler of the Circle of Ghosts, and his offspring are conjured from all the substance of my nightmares. My heroine, Samantha Proud, has spent her entire life running from this peril and now he has found her and her family.
Here’s an excerpt from BEAUTY’S BEAST:
Her mother screamed and pointed. Samantha turned to see the gray billowing smoke of evil disembodied ghosts surging toward them from the south. Samantha and Blake transformed instantly into their bear forms, standing before their mother as she gasped with one hand over her heart.
“We are found,” she cried, her words all but lost in the raging winds.
Samantha stared in horror at the approaching horde: Nagi, his evil ghosts and something hideous. She knew what these must be, felt certainty swallowing her up. She had heard of them all her life, the living offspring he had sired. Toe Taggers! Nagi’s children were pale and brutish, living monsters, all teeth, claws and quills. She covered her face and turned away.
Sebastian howled, releasing the beast within. He could not fight ghosts unless they took corporeal form and, not being a Seer, he could not even spot them. But he could make out the Toe Taggers and Nagi drawing nearer. He stood between his family and attack as he called to the heavens. The dark clouds rolled in, blotting out the stars. The shriek of the wind screamed in Samantha’s ears, but she saw him clearly, there in the south, advancing like death.
© Beauty’s Beast by Jenna Kernan, Harlequin Nocturne, April 2013
One of my reoccurring childhood nightmares included some threat to my family. The menace changed. What stayed constant was my terror at the realization that I did not have time to save them all. This recognition would paralyze me into inaction and I would wake in a panic just before the hammer fell. Nagi attacking Samantha’s family as she watches helpless is just putting the words to what I have dreamed many times.
So what monsters haunt your nightmares? Do you have any reoccurring themes?