Congratulations to Tricia D. for winning a copy of THE PILOT.
Welcome to my friend Nancy Gideon's 5th annual Haunted Open House. Have you gone before? If so, you know it's 5 days of chills, thrills, and treats.
I've made no secret that I do not like scary books, movies, creepy crawlies, and roller coasters. I don't like being scared. If I wanted to be frightened, I'd watch the news. But for Nancy, I'll swallow my fear and talk about scary movies.
I don't seek out scary movies, but sometimes I'll get caught unawares. Like the movie Wait Until Dark. Suzy (Audrey Hepburn) is blind. Three guys are trying to find a heroin-filled doll given to Suzy's husband. If you've seen the movie, you'll understand why the guy opening the refrigerator made me jump out of my skin.
Talk about jumping out of my skin . . . When my kids were 8 and 9, my sister insisted we see the movie Gremlins. She thought it sounded like fun. Hah! That was back in the day before PG-13. My kids spend most of the movie huddled against me or on my lap. That night they asked to sleep in my bed. It sounds silly now, but I was so glad because I knew I'd have nightmares of those creatures jumping out of Christmas trees and from under the bed.
When I tell people I write science fiction, they give me that look, like "you've got to be kidding, I hate sci-fi." So I tell them no creepy aliens. I'd rather write adventure, romance, and humor. No scary stuff. And that's what I call fun.
After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from returning. Mining heir Dillan Rusteran has loved her for years. Little do they know that by rescuing more children they're tangling with a trafficking ring that puts Rissa in danger.
“To what do I owe this honor?” The pleasure house owner laughed. “Finally going to take me up on my offer to sample my newest provider? He’s absolutely delish. And what stamina.”
Though her cheeks flamed, Rissa brushed aside the offer then quickly explained her need for small clothing.
“Slavers?” Fortuna screwed up her face in disgust. “I heard rumors of disappearances in cities like Rhadaman but not in the colonies.”
“About the clothes?” Rissa needed to return before the girls decided to explore. Or, worse, leave.
Fortuna led her up the back stairs to the sleeping quarters. “SeeMee isn’t working right now. She’s the smallest.”
A few mins later, Rissa had a bundle of clothing from the generous SeeMee who was only too happy to help the escapees. “I chose this life,” the tiny pleasure worker explained. “Nobody should be forced into it.”
And that, Rissa thought, made the difference between pleasure houses and prostis. Choice. She had to make sure those girls bathing in her sanitary could make their own choices.
“The other girl is taller than you,” Rissa said to Fortuna. “About this high.” She leveled her hand near her own shoulder.
Fortuna nodded. “Wait here. Don’t want to interrupt anything.” She grinned.
When she returned to the tavern with the clothes, Rissa found the girls wearing what she’d left them. Her shirt hung almost to Anaris’ ankles. On Pela, it reached her knees. They’d been sitting on her settee, Pela brushing Anaris’ hair. They jumped up when Rissa came in.
Both eyed her warily.
Pela broke the silence. “What are you going to do with us?”
Rissa sat on the end of her bed across from them. “I can find transport so you can return home.”
“No.” Pela’s sharp response surprised her. “I won’t go back.”
Anaris looked even more frightened. “Please don’t,” she whimpered.
With delicate probing, Rissa got their stories. Both girls had been sold by their fathers to the traffickers. Her heart twisted for them. How could a parent not appreciate the gift of life given to them? To sell their flesh and blood was unconscionable.
Rissa reined in her anger. “You have a choice where to go, what to do. Nobody will force you. Now try on these clothes, and when you’re ready come down to the kitchen.”
Pela stood in front of Rissa. “Why are you helping us? What’s in it for you?”
Now for the treat. You don't have to do any tricks, just leave a comment.
What is the scariest movie you've ever seen?
A lucky commentor will win an e-copy of THE PILOT, the first book in my Outer Rim series.
Enter the Rafflecopter for multiple ways to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
After you've left a comment and entered the Rafflecopter, it's time to visit the other participants. Have fun and good luck!