The cover is new. It represents one couple, who continue through the book, first as hero and heroine and then as secondary characters in the next two romances.
When writing a fantasy, the one rule is the book must stay true to the world it created but otherwise-- anything goes. Because in Diablo Canyon, spirit guides and even monsters got their own points of view, it may have led to some reader confusion, which might be more difficult for readers not familiar with paranormal thinking. The spirit guides take on a point of views in the three stories, as they struggle with fulfilling their goals. They operate (sometimes with frustration) through the small, still voice of wisdom. Only a rare human can directly see or talk to them.
I believe I have a muse (what I call him) but can't say I've heard him arguing with anybody but me-- and a lot of what I believe to be his inspiration is through dreams, coincidences, or my subconscious (and I can pay attention or not). Having this inner voice doesn't block me from seeing the physical reality around me-- nor does he order me to do things.
My muse or someone like him has been with me all my life. As a small child, I saw him as a playmate. My talking about what the two of us did and that he had a name worried my parents and eventually I quit seeing him. I don't think he left... although might we have different ones at different points in our lives? Regarding this, I don't know-- except in Diablo Canyon, where it was my choice-- the guide job is a lifetime commitment-- and sometimes a frustrating one.
Diablo Canyon involves the paranormal, ranch life, Montana, some unscrupulous humans, and oh yeah, a different love story for each of the three parts (or novellas depending on how someone bought them)-- the last with a rather unusual heroine.
This is the only story/stories my partner and I published with an option. (When Fates Conspire, The Dark of the Moon, and Storm in the Canyon are offered as novellas without the spice (sensual but all descriptions stop there). Diablo Canyon, with all three parts, has the kind of heat readers can expect in my books-- ♥♥♥♥). This snippet is from the second part-- The Dark of the Moon.
“What are you two doing here?” Racine asked-- not that she wasn’t grateful.
“Curiosity,” Remus responded and then looked toward the horseman who had now stopped and was watching them.
“Who are you?” Pace asked his gaze moving from one to the other.
Racine didn't like that one bit. It was disturbing. He saw them and believed he could talk to them. That was not how it was supposed to be.
“The bigger question,” Justus said, “is who are you that you see us?”
“And can talk to us?” Racine added, trying not to sound annoyed and knowing she probably failed.
“Well, you aren’t exactly keeping yourselves secret, now are you?” Pace hooked his knee over the horn of the saddle and lit a cigarette. “What are your names?”
They told him. “Generally we are unseen,” Remus added with a bemused expression. “It’s not often we run across a human who is aware of the third dimension.”
Pace smoked. “I didn’t ask for it.”
He nodded. “It can be inconvenient.”
“Get you institutionalized if you aren’t careful,” Justus agreed with a laugh.
“So I’ve been told. You already know who I am. Now I want to know why you are here. Not on Aganes’ side, that much is obvious.”
“You know the demon's name?” Justus now sounded more surprised than disturbed.
“I’ve met up with him before in my… uh work.”
“Cole hired you for the job,” Remus said. “We heard that much. He didn’t know all about you though did he? Not all about you.”
Pace shrugged. “He could have. He and I have not actually met. He hired me through the investigative agency where I work. Dirk Langston runs it. The thing is, Cole wouldn’t have hired our agency if he hadn’t wanted something more than the usual.”
“Why would Cole want that that?”
“At the moment, I can only guess,” he said with a smile.
“How much does Myra know?” Racine asked, feeling increasingly troubled by this whole conversation. Humans should only be able to see spirits when they died. Pace seemed very much alive. Was he a warlock or sorcerer.
“Neither,” he said, as if he’d heard the question she knew she hadn’t voiced.
“Your buddy was right. I inherited it. It came down through the men in my family. When I was small, my father taught me not to fear what I was seeing but then added don’t let others know—at least not until you can trust them.” He drew deeply on the cigarette.
“So it was a gift,” Remus suggested.
Pace’s laugh held no humor. “It is what it is-- as I have observed a lot with life. The question I have is what are the two of you doing here? I’ve seen the little beauty there around.” He gestured toward Racine. “You two are new.”
“How much do you really know of the other side?” Remus asked.
“No more than I have to..."