A Scarlet Christmas by D.L. King (@d_l_king)
Hi Lucy and thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’ve got a new novella out, which is kind of unusual for me as I mostly edit anthologies and write short stories. But this one is special, at least to me. It’s a femdom retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
I started writing this years ago, but put it down and forgot about it. A few months ago, I was going through my bits and pieces (sometimes they give me ideas and sometimes, I decide I need to work on one of them) when I came across the two or three paragraphs I’d written. Evidently the time was right because I actually started dreaming about the story. I’d wake up and want to write down what I’d been dreaming about.
I have to say, I really love this story. It makes me laugh and brings tears to my eyes. And, of course, it makes me hot, too.
It’s a book as much about New York at Christmas time, as it is about learning to care for fellow humans on the planet and lead a good life—and maybe even have fun while you’re doing it.
I do want to warn your readers, though, it isn’t a romance, as stated on Amazon. There really isn’t any love match at all. It’s all about learning a hard lesson and getting on with your life. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of sex, because there absolutely is! I don’t think anyone can say I don’t put enough of the good stuff in my work.
I thought I’d add a little excerpt, just to give you a taste. This little clip doesn’t have any sex in it. It’s just a bit of an introduction to what you might expect to find. Of course, I think you should buy it now, so you can read it on Christmas, but that’s me.
Ebenezer looked from side to side. Nothing that could be used as a weapon. He got out of bed and, as he stepped onto the floor, the board he landed on squeaked. The door was locked, buying him time. Where was his phone? Just as he realized he must have left it downstairs, a voice on the other side of the door spoke.
“Eb, are you in there? I don’t want to frighten you. Do you mind if I come in?”
“Who are you? What do you want?” Ebenezer barked, though his voice wavered a bit.
“Eb, it’s me, Sherman. Look, do you mind if I come in? It’s really cold out here.”
“Sherman? Sherman Tindall? Sherman Tindall’s dead. I’m calling the police!”
“Look, Eb, I’m really sorry, but I’m on a tight schedule, you know. I don’t have time and it really is cold in your hallway.” As Ebenezer watched, a gray mist issued from under the door, eventually coalescing into a somewhat transparent, 3D image of his old friend, Sherman Tindall.
“Sherman, it is you. What the devil are you doing here?” Ebenezer asked. “I mean, how did you… what did you do to… I mean, you’re dead—aren’t you?”
“My god, man, don’t you heat this house? Well, this room’s a little warmer than the hall, but really. You’ll catch your death. Mark my words. And I know what I’m talking about,” and he put his semi-solid index finger against the side of his semi-solid nose and tapped twice.
“Heat costs money, Sherman, and why am I arguing with a ghost? You’re not even here. I’m still asleep and having a nightmare—probably from that substandard Chinese food I had for dinner. That’s the last time I order from those guys.”
“You’re not having a nightmare,” Sherman said, “and you have more money than God. Spend a little. That’s what it’s for. You can’t take it with you and don’t I know it? And actually, that’s why I’m here. I can’t stay long.”
“Pity,” Ebenezer said.
Sherman’s ghost huffed and mumbled something about drawing the short straw. “Look, you’ve got to change your ways before it’s too late. I learned too late and look what my afterlife is like. I counted you as a friend in life and I don’t want to see you follow in my footsteps.”
“Why, what’s so bad about your afterlife? You’re out, visiting friends—whether they want you to, or not—what do you expect?”
A high-pitched scream issued from the ghost and then a low moan. He opened his coat and Ebenezer could see a host of tiny creatures pulling and tearing at Sherman’s insides. His organs were ripped to shreds and the walls of his stomach were torn and bleeding. “An eternity of pain, that’s what awaits you.”
Ebenezer shrank back. “Sherman, that’s terrible. Let me call someone, a doctor or something.”
“There’s nothing that can be done. Not for me. I’m dead, remember? I’m only here to warn you.”
“Warn me about what, Sherman?”
“Three spirits will come for you tonight. Do not mock them or it will go worse for you. Trust me on this. They are powerful and they know what you need.” Ebenezer opened his mouth. “No. You must do as they tell you. They are come to help you and that’s all I can say.” Another scream ripped through the silence that followed and was almost immediately cut off. Sherman was gone, leaving Ebenezer standing at the foot of his bed with his hand against his heart.
He added wood to the fire and banked it, then poured another two fingers of scotch and crawled back into bed. That was crazy. He knew he was awake, but that couldn’t have happened. There were no such things as ghosts. He took a drink of scotch and leaned back against his pillows. “Must have been a dream,” he muttered before falling back asleep.
And, if you like it and want to review it, or tell people about it, well, I wouldn’t tell you not to. I’m just saying…