Desktop: "The Bird" (in "bones", gothika #2 anthology)

bonescover Today is the release day for "bones", the second volume of the gothika series -- m/m romance with a gothic twist. This volume is all about Voodoo. There are 4 novellas by Kim Fielding, Jamie Fessenden, BG Thomas, and myself.  You can get it at 25% off for a short time on Dreamspinner.

My story is called "The Bird" and here's the blurb:

“The Bird” by Eli Easton Colin Hastings is sent to Jamaica in 1870 to save his father’s sugar cane plantation. If he succeeds, he can marry his fiancée back in London and take his place in proper English society. But Colin finds more than he bargained for on the island. His curiosity about Obeah, the native folk magic, leads him to agree to a dangerous ritual where he is offered his heart’s most secret desire—one he’s kept deeply buried all his life. What happens when a proper English gentleman has his true sensual nature revealed and freed by the Obeah spirits?


First off, the story is set in the West Indies during the end of British rule.  I've always been interested in old horror movies set in the tropics like "Island of Dr. Moreau", "I Walked with a Zombie", "White Zombie", etc.  So the horror side of this story was definitely influenced by those films.  On the romantic side, this story definitely owes a nod to "Wide Sargasso Sea", both the book and film, which has a visceral sense of sweaty, muggy senuality. I love the film version starring Nathaniel Parker, so he is the model for my lead character, Colin.

wss MV5BMjU0MTE4NjkwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzcyMjY0NA@@._V1_SX640_SY720_



The story is set on a sugar cane plantation in Jamaica owned by a British Earl.  His third son, Colin, is sent to set the plantation to rights after being mismanaged for years by a lazy overseer.  I found some great resources online for the workings of a colonial-era sugar cane plantation.

Cannes-sucre-Georgi_late_1800s Sugarcane_planting

planting sugar cane with 1 bud



One of the women who works on Colin's family plantation is Tiyah, rumored to be a powerful Obeah woman. Below is a stock image I found that reminded me of Tiyah. She's very beautiful. Colin ends up doing Tiyah a significant favor. And in return, Tiyah offers to give Colin "his heart's desire" through Erzulie, an Obeah loa. Colin is curious and he agrees, but he has no idea what is about to happen.




A bird features heavily in this story, as a metaphor and a magical conduit. The bird looks like the one below, which is a black-crowned night heron.


black crowned night heron



John Pivot is a neighbor of Colin's in Jamaica, an Englishman who lost his wits in war and has been exiled to Jamaica by his family to be hidden away. John's fate is more linked to Colin's than Colin realizes.



Colin's best friend since his school days and perhaps more.









That's it for this desktop!  I hope you enjoy reading "The Bird".  Please leave a comment for me at goodreads or amazon if you do.