Dressed provocatively in a revealing blood-red fetish-themed bodysuit paired with matching six-inch stiletto heels, Heather stood in her study staring out at the torrential rainstorm, her notebook computer sitting idle on her desk. It was just forty degrees outside, but the fire raging within the study’s brick fireplace kept the cold, damp night air nicely at bay.

Standing there, staring out into the rain, I took another sip of wine as I pondered the pathetic state of my love life. My second husband of four years had filed for divorce just last week. Citing irreconcilable differences, a polite way of saying he couldn’t live with all the darkly erotic horror books I wrote, or more importantly, with my darkly masochistic desires and fascination with all things occult that fueled them. I had my lawyer file for a no-fault divorce and an equal division of our joint property. My latest divorce was finalized in court this morning. Noticing that my wine glass was almost empty for the fourth time this evening, I sighed with annoyance as I realized the bottle on the table was empty, time to head downstairs to open another.

Starting downstairs, I paused on the bottom of the steps when I realized that none of the lights downstairs were on. I usually left at least the kitchen lights on, but since I’d come home earlier than usual, perhaps I’d forgotten. The clicking sound of my heels on the hardwood floor echoed off the silent hallway walls as I headed toward the kitchen entrance. I could imagine the horrors that might await when I entered. Perhaps a deranged serial killer hired by one of my ex-husbands, intent on rape and murder. Or, like in the book I was currently writing, an erotic take on Lovecraft’s horrors, a monstrous creature from the dark universe already salivating at the thought of consuming my flesh. But, I knew, all that was waiting in the darkness of the kitchen was tonight’s second bottle of wine.

In truth, the only horror awaiting me in the shadows tonight is that I only have until Friday to get the final draft of my latest erotic horror novel to my publisher. That, and sometimes a pinup, is nothing more than a pinup...