Over two years ago, I wrote five gothic novels for Harlequin Shivers. They were what I think of as ‘true’ historical gothics, written in the first person and with all the shivery feel of implied horror. Of course, they are also very steamy love stories! For one reason or another, my favorite of those five stories never made it to publication. I’m pleased to say that I have now taken the decision to self-publish it.
Island of Shadows is set in 1930s Venice. Mussolini is in power and there is a dark undercurrent to the glamour of the masquerades. Even so, the dazzling jewel that is Venice, shines bright in the canopy of the Venetian lagoon.
But it was the nearby island of Poveglia that drew me to write this story. Poveglia has earned the reputation of being the most haunted place on earth. Uninhabited and forbidden, it sits lonely, silent and abandoned, in complete contrast to its dazzling neighbor.
This is a romance in which two stories entwine. The love story between my hero and heroine, both of them characters who have been damaged by their past, is no less important than the love story between an island and its undead.
There is a dark undercurrent to the glamour of the lagoon and its lavish masquerades. The Ombra are a vampire-like race, living in the shadows. Instead of feasting on blood, they survive by feeding on the souls of the dead. The Ombra exist alongside the living without fear of detection. Having thrived for centuries, they are powerful, wealthy, fear no one and ruthlessly destroy those who stand in their way.
Maggie Forbes has come to Venice to see if she can discover what happened to her husband, Martin, who disappeared on a research trip to the island of Poveglia, the most haunted place on earth. Soon after her arrival in Venice, Maggie makes the acquaintance of two very different men. Torn between friendship and lust, Maggie must follow in Martin’s footsteps to unlock the secrets of Poveglia.
But time is running out. The Ombra lord is seeking a bride and the wedding day is looming.
Island of Shadows is available from Amazon