War has come to Saicean. With Orontes as King of the Oceanids, the threat to Saicean and its inhabitants has never been greater. The Oceanid army has laid siege to the underwater paradise, and Estelle Bailey once again finds herself trapped by Orontes’s hand. This time, within the walls of what should have been a safe place.
Tensions mount as supplies run short, and being the only female Sachael in a world dominated by desperate men leaves Estelle feeling vulnerable. Tired of having to live like a prisoner, even a well-treated one, Estelle decides to act. They need a weapon. And she can think of only one person who still has the means to kill Orontes and end the war—Michael.
With Azariah and Chanon in tow, Estelle flees their world, heading to the remote islands of the Faroes. But their mission to find Michael yields so much more than they expected. Faced with information that could change not only the war, but the course of all Sachael existence, the trio must make a choice: return to Saicean with Michael, or follow a lead that could change everything and pray they make it back in time to save their home.
Book Three of the Mine Series, Sachael Discovery layers new intrigues and betrayals into Estelle’s journey, escalating the stakes to levels as sweeping as the backdrop of beautiful locales.
Growing up, Melody Winter showed a natural ability in art, a head for maths, and a tendency to write far too long English essays. Difficult to place in the world when she graduated, she pursued a career in teaching, but eventually ended up working in finance. Melody is convinced that the methodical time she spends working with numbers fuels her desire to drift into dream worlds and write about the illusory characters in her head.
Melody lives in North Yorkshire, England, with her husband and two teenage sons. When not dealing with football, rugby, and a whole plethora of ‘boy’ activities, she will be found scribbling notes for her stories, or listening to 80’s music on her iPod.
Melody has a tendency to fall head-over-heels in love with her main characters, even when they frustrate her and refuse to act the way she wants them to. She is a romance writer at heart and loves reading and writing about anything mythological or magical, as well as exploring the gritty side of love affairs and the complexities of being in love.
SACHAEL DREAMS was her debut novel, (REUTS Publications, USA) and the first in the New Adult Romantic Fantasy series—the ‘Mine Series’. The second book in the series, SACHAEL DESIRES’, was released in November 2015, and the third book in the series, SACHAEL DISCOVERY, is due to be released on the 27th February 2018. SACHAEL DESTINY is due to be released in 2019.
Melody has also self-published three books, INIQUITY, the first book in a Dark New Adult Romantic Fantasy series— ‘The Ascent’. (The second book in the series, ADVERSITY, is due for release 2018.) STARSHINE, and PROMISE, both contemporary romance, were released last year.
Skylar Fairweather always knew she was a witch, destined to be the next Regent of the Luminai Coven, but nobody ever asked her if she wanted it. Living in a world full of light, fighting the shadows, having knowledge that there really is more to life than the mundane, but never really knowing who to trust.
As things start going awry on her eighteenth birthday, Skylar is faced with an alternative and discovers she’s more than anyone ever told her.
When secrets are kept to keep you safe, and the truth could be the thing that destroys everything you thought you knew, what would you do when given the choice?
Hi everyone! I’m Sloane *waves*. I’m 27, a total book nerd with a penchant for travel and I probably use the words Dude & Awesomesauce far too often in real life.! I write mainly Paranormal Romance NA & YA, but I’ll be branching out into other Romance genres too.
I was born and raised in Peterborough, England along with 2 sisters, 2 brothers and a plethora of cousins, I come from a REALLY big family! I’m one of the clumsiest people you’ll ever meet, but I try to stay on my feet *haha*. I still live here with Mr M & our fur baby Arya.
Please don’t be afraid to come and say hi! I don’t bite I swear 🙂
The price of fame – One life – FOREVER.
The price of love – Heartbreak.
The price of one regrettable mistake + fame = Hopelessness
Be careful what you wish for.
Noah Haxby learned that lesson a little too late.
Young and impressionable, he followed the orders from the kingmakers of rock, gathered a massive following, and gained notoriety for his hellraising behavior.
Years later he was buried in hurt and regret; living a shell of a life that was almost in ruins – that is until tragedy struck and his life took an upward turn, bringing second chances in more ways than one.
However, Noah is still unable to shake his past, and the rock star’s life wasn’t truly his own until in a moment of clarity he risked it all.
Noah Haxby is the frontman of Fr8Load, so he’s a rock star. His life is all over the media, for all to see and judge. Noah started his career at a young age & he was being told what to do and how to act by his management team. That has left Noah with a reputation that precedes him, and a life that isn’t what he wants. Noah doesn’t feel like he’s living, he feels like he’s surviving. That is until after the performance in Australia.
Maggie is a school teacher, she’s seen the media and knows of Noah, not just because of the media, her sister Shona has been kinda obsessed by Noah for years. Shona also works as part of Fr8Load’s image team. Maggie is the one looking after Shona’s daughter Molly whilst Shona is off doing her job. Maggie’s life is turned upside down after tragedy strikes and she has to travel to Australia.
Maggie and Noah are drawn together through a tragic circumstance that no one could have foreseen or really controlled. Maggie has understandably been hostile to Noah and doesn’t want to even be in the same place as him. Noah cannot understand why she’s like this towards him and wants to find out why.
This is when we start to see the real Noah Haxby. We discover the man behind the media portrayed bad boy.
Ok, that’s enough about the storyline, I wouldn’t want to give too much away!!
The characters are fantastic, they are realistic, loveable and sometimes hateable too 😉
Maggie is level-headed and thinks things through before making decisions. It’s the way she’s always had to be and has to be now too. That said Maggie has chosen to believe the things she’s read and seen about Noah. After speaking to him she realises that she has no idea who he truly is and that she shouldn’t have believed everything in the media. Maggie has a lot to deal with right now, but she’s a strong woman.
Noah has been through a lot, he’s always in the limelight; whether he wants to be or not. He’s done some stupid things in his past that he’s not proud of and he’s paying for them now. Noah wants nothing more than to be able to live life without everyone believing the that he’s a bad person because of those mistakes. He’s a good, kind and loving man.
There is so much emotion in this book, all of it is real, the only way to describe it is it’s like being on an emotional rollercoaster ride that you can’t get off, and more importantly, don’t want to get off.
KL’s writing is as good as ever. I did find it to be fairly similar to other books by KL but that doesn’t take anything away from this particular book.
As a reader you can feel the emotions KL has put into her work and you can feel the emotions the characters feel as well as your own feelings and emotions that the events and characters invoke as your reading.
Free To Breathe is written from both Maggie and Noah’s POV, this makes it easier to understand them both and their feelings surrounding the events they face.
I really have enjoyed reading Free To Breathe and I think that anyone who loves romance books will find themselves hooked on this book very quickly.
~~K.L. Shandwick Bio~~
Writing came relatively later in life for K.L. Shandwick after a challenge by a friend led to The Everything Trilogy and now she loves creating new storylines.
Her characters have flaws and she hopes this helps the connection between them and her readers. K.L. enjoys the journeys they take her on during the creation process and each character has his or her own voice. She also doesn’t use prepared outlines for her stories preferring the characters to take their own direction as the story progresses. These days K.L. lives in the Yorkshire countryside and writes full-time.
Is K.L. Shandwick a new Author to you? Check out K.L. Shandwick’s awesome emotional reads on her Amazon page. Already a fan? Never miss another release by clicking that little yellow follow button at the side and Amazon will always alert you to her new releases.
A man has been stabbed. A woman is bloodstained. The nightmares from her teenage years have begun again for Olivia Field – just as she is preparing to marry.
Ex-convict, Tina is terminally ill. Before she dies, the care of her younger, psychologically unwell brother, Wayne must be ensured. So Tina calls in a promise made to her thirty years ago in a prison cell. A promise that was written down and placed with crucial evidence illustrating a miscarriage of justice in a murder case.
Tina believes Olivia is perfectly placed to provide the care Wayne needs, but to do so, Olivia must be forced to cancel her own wedding and wreck the lives of those close to her. Tina’s terrible blackmail demands put Olivia’s entire future and, ultimately, her freedom under threat.
The Promise is a fast-paced psychological thriller told from several third person viewpoints. The novel explores the lengths to which people are prepared go in order to protect those they love and the impossibility of ever fully escaping our past actions.
The Promise is also available on Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, OverDrive and other major online retailers.
Sally Jenkins writes grip-lit and commercial women’s fiction. She also works in IT for a multi-national consultancy and when not at the computer can be found out walking, church bell ringing or improving her public speaking skills. Sally lives with her husband near Birmingham, UK and has two grown-up daughters.
In 1977, blood-brothers Frankie Cartwright and Kurt Jamison were inseparable. But when a shocking event touched someone they both loved, the boys handled the trauma differently… Kurt became a cop. Frankie grew up to be a notorious crime lord. Forty years later, when Frankie’s teenage granddaughter Mollie is kidnapped and Kurt is assigned to her case, the former best friends are forced to work together. However, Kurt wants to conduct the investigation within the confines of the legal system, while Frankie would rather use his less-than-legal resources to find her—and punish her abductor. With the cloud of a dark secret casting a shadow over each man’s endeavor to find Mollie, Kurt and Frankie exhaust every resource at their disposal in an effort to save her and serve up their own individual brand of justice.
This is the first book of Christina’s that I have read. I’m sure it won’t be the last.
A Necessary Evil is the story surrounding the once friendship between 2 men on opposite sides of the law… Kurt Jamison; a detective & Frankie Cartwright; a crime lord.
When these two were younger they were best friends, blood brothers in fact. But then events happened & their friendship was torn apart.Frankie now turns to Kurt for help in finding his granddaughter, Mollie, who has gone missing.
Frankie’s request doesn’t exactly go as he would have liked though. Both men end up searching for Mollie. Kurt wants to find Mollie and her kidnapper the legal way, whilst Frankie wants to track them down and get revenge on whoever took her.
The race is on to see who will find Mollie first, or even if they will find her before it’s too late!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The abduction happens right at the start then we receive information from each of the characters as the chapters continue. Each character tells their own thoughts surrounding the current events as well as history too. The majority of the history is from & surrounding Frankie & Kurt, it doesn’t take long to realise why this information is so important.
I really liked how Christina has written a jigsaw puzzle, the information that each character gives are the puzzle pieces. The more you read the more pieces you collect. I found that I started to try & put the pieces together before I had them all… So just when I thought I’d worked out what was going on & what I thought was about to happen… WHAM!! It was all turned on its head.
The characters work extremely well together, the multiple POV really do work in this book, they help to give each character more depth as we can understand each one’s thoughts & feelings surrounding the events. The chapters are clearly labelled with a character name so we know exactly whos POV we’re reading.
Christina’s writing style is really good. It’s very informative but still manages to be suspenseful, keeping you guessing & turning the pages. The plot is good, Christina has taken a simple abduction plot and woven twists & turns into it to make her own.
I have enjoyed reading A Necessary Evil & I’m looking forward to reading more by this author.
~~About The Author~~
Christina Kaye was raised in suburban Central Kentucky in a family full of right-brainers. With a photographer/artist for a grandfather and an author/illustrator for a mother, she was bound to turn out on the creative side of the spectrum. She honed her writing skills in school, winning awards for her essays and short stories. Christina tried her hand at about every sport imaginable, which only went to prove that her efforts were better spent in other creative outlets such as art, singing, and writing. But it was writing that really stuck with her and she spent the next several years trying her hand at writing fiction novels, just for the fun of it.
She took a break for a while and focused on putting herself through paralegal school while raising two amazing Irish twin girls. She quickly learned that being a certified paralegal was the best career choice she could have made. On top of all of the cool cases she has worked on over the years, she was able to write original legal documents autonomously. When a national magazine for attorneys approached her in 2013 to write a short story for them about the life of a paralegal, she jumped on the opportunity. When the article was published and garnered her some amazing feedback, she realized how much she missed creative writing. She sat down and wrote her very first full-length fiction novel that year and hasn’t stopped writing since.
Her first published novel, LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER (written under her former name, Christina Morgan), was named Suspense Finalist for the 2017 Indie Excellence Awards.
She loves reading (all genres except sci-fi), folk music, caramel macchiatos, puppies, thunderstorms, antique jewelry, dragonflies, the color purple (not the movie), and sweet tea.
Christina Kaye lives in Nicholasville, Kentucky with her two teenage daughters.
I want to take a moment to welcome you to Lou’s Luscious Book Blog and to thank you for agreeing to take part in my relaunch/rebrand event.
Before we get into the actual interview questions please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a German native, living together with my husband and little son. Besides writing I love reading, dancing and watching way too many TV shows. Right now obsessing over Tom Hiddleston would also make that list. I love coffee, can’t function without it and tend to turn grumpy when I don’t have it.
Favourite Movie?That’s hard……..I can’t choose. Jurassic World is high up there, along with all the Marvel movies.
Favourite Music?Sunrise Avenue, P!nk and Kelly Clarkson
Favourite TV Show/Series?Criminal Minds (and ten others)
Do you enjoy reading? If so what do you like to read?Absolutely everything, but I tend to read fantasy most.
Who is your favourite author?Why are there so many hard questions LOL? Colleen Hoover probably.
What are you reading at the minute?Six books at the same time. Took up The Chosen by JR Ward again yesterday.
What freaks you out or gives you the heebie-jeebies?Any kind of horror movies honestly.
If you could meet any person living or dead who would you like to meet and why?Kelly Clarkson – she’s amazing, down-to-earth and seems sure approachable.
Quick Fire Questions:
Sweet or Savoury?Savoury
Chocolate or Vanilla?Vanilla
Favourite Drink?Apple water
Good Guy or Bad Boy?Good guy
Writing Related Questions:
What drew you to genre of books do you write?I ended up writing the kind of stories I love to read myself. YA fantasy and mysteries are amongst the books I devour, so it was only natural I would try my hand at that for me.
Would you ever consider writing a different genre? If so which one?I would love to venture out. I have a few plans already and wanna get into paranormal and urban fantasy. Also plan on writing an actual romance.
What made you want to write?I spent a lot of time fanfic writing with my best friend. I never expected to publish a book, but when the idea for my debut was born in a dream, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Only when I had it down on paper did I feel better. I haven’t stopped writing since.
Do you set yourself daily targets when you’re writing?Not really. I try to use the limited time I have as best as I can.
Do you have people to use as a sounding board?I do, which I’m very thankful for.
Who is your favourite character to write or that you have written and why?I loved writing the relationship between the sisters Sky and June for Broken Jar Of Memories. I loved exploring a relationship I don’t have myself and felt deeply connected to them. Their characters were easy to write and just flowed along. They constantly kept me entertained.
Are any of your characters based on real people? If so can you tell us which characters or people? There are a few that are based on people in my life. My best friend plays a big role as much as a few other people I give cameos. I love doing that.
If any of your books were turned into a movie or tv series who would be your leading man/lady?I am really bad at this. However, I’d like to have someone kick ass like Jennifer Lawrence play Sophie of the Dalysia trilogy.
Which book would you most like to see as said movie/tv series?My Dalysia trilogy.
And finally is there anything else that you would like us to know?
Spotlight time, please provide blurbs, covers & links to your books 🙂
Broken Jar Of Memories:
Family first. That’s Skylar Austin’s motto. So when her little sister goes missing, her whole world threatens to come crashing down in a single night. But then June is found and everything should be perfect, right?
Only it isn’t.
June doesn’t remember anything — not even the sister she had always admired. With the aid of the sisters’ memory jar, Skylar wants nothing more than to help June regain what she has lost. While her kidnapper is still out there wanting to finish what he started, the Austin family struggles to keep it together.
Some memories are buried for a reason. So what happens once they start to unravel? Will they keep the danger at bay – or bring it right to their door?
One night can change everything.
For seventeen-year-old Sophie Evans life is completely average. And she likes it that way.
Until one night, her apartment is attacked. Out of nowhere, creatures climb through her windows with only one goal in mind: to kill her. Only with the help of two handsome strangers and her next-door-neighbor does she make it out alive.
While the immediate danger is gone, Sophie finds herself thrown into a world she didn’t even knew existed — dealing with powers she knows nothing about and a race counting on her to save them.
How can she be the only hope of a race she never even knew existed? When pressure threatens to suffocate her, can Sophie fight the odds stacked against her, or will she lose herself in the process?
The Test was just the beginning.
Having reigned victorious in the Dalysian Test, Sophie is shocked to discover it is not the end of her journey on Jenace. Finding herself responsible for the fate of an entire race is a burden impossible to bear, but one she knows she cannot walk away from.
With the help of a small group of trusted people Sophie begins to prepare for the infamous Trials, but quickly realizes that the competition isn’t the only threat to her survival. Worst of all, her biggest opponent turns out to be her greatest weakness.
What do you do when you don’t know who you can trust anymore? How do you keep going when faith threatens to desert you and the burden you carry is almost impossible to bear?
With the Trials looming, Sophie has to find a way to beat the odds. Failure is not an option.
Jamie Summer is a native of Germany, where she lives with her husband and son. She’s currently working on her next book and wishes there were 48 hours to the day so she could do everything she sets her sights on.
Besides writing Jamie enjoys watching her son grow up, reading and watching way too many TV shows.
For you chance to win an ebook copy of one of Jamie’s books, winner’s choice (direct to kindle)
Hi Carmilla, I want to take a moment to welcome you to Lou’s Luscious Book Blog and to thank you for agreeing to take part in my relaunch/rebrand event.
On to the interview
I’ll start with the general questions:
I love so many films. Today let’s say “Pan’s Labyrinth”.
Post punk and Goth – stuff like Virgin Prunes, Coil, Fields of the Nephilim and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Favourite TV Show/Series?
Do you enjoy reading? If so what do you like to read?
I love reading. I’ll read horror, literary classics and contemporary fiction. Favourite authors include Clive Barker, Zadie Smith, Haruki Murakami and Iain Banks.
Who is your favourite author?
Of the ones above it’s hard to choose, but probably Clive Barker.
What are you reading at the minute?
Maya Angelou’s autobiography. I’m on book 3.
Favourite type of food and drink?
Sushi and coffee
Describe your perfect weekend?
Snuggled up with a pot of coffee and a great book, or walking through the woods in Autumn.
If you could be any age, what age would you be and why?
I actually like getting older, apart from the aches and pains.
Most embarrassing moment to date?
There are too many to count. A good friend used to say of me “For someone with a brain the size of a planet, you really say stupid things.”
When you’re not writing what do you like to do?
Reading. I’m sorry but it’s true.
When you were at school what did you want to be?
Journalist or author.
What freaks you out or gives you the heebie-jeebies?
I hate being too close to fireworks. Does that count?
Do you have any pet-peeves? Care to share any with us?
People who are too perfect.
Do you have any strange habits? Fancy sharing any?
I wear sunglasses outside in almost any weather.
Do you have any superstitions? What are they?
What is your earliest memory, that you’re comfortable sharing?
Most of my early memories revolve around photos and I’m not sure how accurate they are. I do remember as a pre-teen trying to seduce, with erotic dance, the posters on my wall.
If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?
I want to visit Japan, the old and new capitals – Tokyo and Kyoto.
If you could meet any person living or dead who would you like to meet and why?
I’d love to properly meet Iain Banks. I saw one of his talks the year before he died, but I’d love to share a pint or two and a chat with him. Other than that I’d love to have met Emma Goldman.
If you were stranded on a desert island and had food and drink, what 5 things would you want with you and why?
Music – but unless there’s electricity I guess that would mean an acoustic guitar (I guess I’d learn to play). Books – at least a couple of novels and a book of poetry. A parasol and sunglasses – the sun and me aren’t the best of friends. Company, like a cat or dog or something.
Can you list 5 things (non-author) related that we may or may not already know about you?
I used to run a Gothic clothing company called Drac-in-a-Box. I need to live by water (sea or river) to feel content. I love cheezy horror movies. My hair is almost always messy. I love to dance.
Quick Fire Questions:
Sweet or Savoury?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Good Guy or Bad Boy?
Writing Related Questions
What drew you to genre of books do you write?
I’ve always loved horror. One of my fondest memories is watching Hammer Horror with my dad on a Friday evening. With horror there isn’t really a limit to what you can do or express, but I try to keep the stories very human at the same time.
Would you ever consider writing a different genre? If so which one?
I’d love to write literary fiction, but I always stray towards very dark places.
Do you have a certain place that you write? (Like a writing cave?) Or do you prefer a certain type of atmosphere? (like quiet or music in the background?)
I tend to write with a laptop on my lap on a comfy chair, or if I feel stuck I’ll take a notebook and pen to the woods.
Do You have a set writing routine? Will You share it?
What made you want to write?
I find it the best way to express myself and I desperately want to be understood.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
A shower or a walk.
Do you outline the whole story before you begin writing or just roll with the flow?
Always with the flow.
Do you listen to music when you write? If yes do you have any particular favourites?
Sometimes, and it depends on what I’m writing. One of my favourites is Dead Can Dance.
How do you research when writing your books?
Mostly by reading non-fiction but also, when possible, by visiting a place.
Do you set yourself daily targets when you’re writing?
Do you have people to use as a sounding board?
Yes. I have a beta reading team and also a couple of authors I chat with.
How do/did your family feel when your first book was published?
My dad was proud, the rest weren’t particularly impressed. They’d like it more if I made money, I think.
Where do you get your character inspiration from?
Myself and people I meet.
When you’re writing do the characters talk to you? Do they tell you what they want to happen?
Yes. I often dream about my characters too.
Who is your least favorite character to write or that you have written and why?
I disliked writing Paul from Starblood. I never managed to get under his skin.
Who is your favourite character to write or that you have written and why?
Freya, again from Starblood. She’s really out there.
Are any of your characters based on real people?
Most of them contain aspects of me, and I’m real, I think.
Can you share a snippet of your current WIP?
Venus Virus is in a very early stage so I don’t feel comfortable sharing that yet. How about a page from Psychonaut the Graphic novel, illustrated by Anna Prashkovich?
How important do you find reviews? And what do you make of negative ones?
I love reviews both of my work and books I’m considering buying. I always try to leave reviews. I don’t get upset about negative reviews. They are never nasty and I know not everyone will like what I write.
Do you or have you ever used events from your own life in your books? If so how close to the real event did you keep it?
Yes. One of the short stories in Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales was about something that happened when I was a teenager and then a revenge fantasy added on for good measure.
If you could collaborate with any author alive or dead who would it be & why?
Mary Shelley. She was a visionary and I would have loved to meet and write with her.
If any of your books were turned into a movie or tv series who would be your leading man/lady?
OMG! I have no idea.
Which book would you most like to see as said movie/tv series?
The Starblood Trilogy as a TV series to give it plenty of time for the characters to develop.
And finally is there anything else that you would like us to know?
I’ll be at The Darker Side of Fiction event in Peterborough on October 7th.
Spotlight time, please provide blurbs, covers & links to your books 🙂
Excerpt from The Starblood Trilogy by Carmilla Voiez.
Lilith rests her face against the windowpane. They will not see her. Their eyes, mouths and hands sense only each other. Her own body grows moist and hot as she watches them caress each other. Hands cling, pull and grasp in movements more forceful and aggressive than in consensual couplings between man and woman. Lust drives them blindly into each other’s bodies, again and again.
Lilith places her hand against the glass. Oh, to be in there with them, and experience this passion first hand. Their love-making feels demonic, a step above human sex, as when Samael filled her, all those years ago. Their sex had a purpose: procreation, filling the world with demons to thwart His great work. The magicians’ poundings have no purpose other than pleasure and eradication: losing themselves in each other, desperate to forget the world around them, locked inside their own warm, safe place.
The boy is tiring. Or is he crying? He crawls beneath the sheets of the huge bed. The white-haired man plants kisses on his lips, but the boy shakes his head. Letting his lover sleep, the man sits naked on top of the covers, smiling. He glances up at Lilith then reaches for his glasses. Slowly, as if every muscle in his body has turned to gelatine, he pushes himself up and stumbles bow-legged towards the window. Their eyes meet and he reaches out his own hand and places it on the other side of the glass. She smiles at him as he reaches for the window latch with his other hand. The handle moves but the window doesn’t open. Pointing to the lock, he shrugs and motions to Lilith to meet him downstairs.
Sliding off the windowsill, she falls lightly to the ground, landing on her feet. Then, she crosses the perfect lawn to the front door.
Moments later, she steps inside. The man before her is different from the boy-magician. Sentences beginning and ending with ‘your will’ and ‘humble servant’ gush from him. Her thoughts drift upstairs to the pale body curled up in slumber in the room above them. Again she wonders why she feels drawn to him. He is nothing – an awkward, arrogant child. She heads towards the staircase.
‘Lilith,’ the white-haired man calls to her.
She turns to look at his thin, silk wrapped frame and weak, obsequious eyes. He is speaking again. The sound annoys her.
‘I felt it the moment you stepped from Chaos into Malkuth. The world trembled as your foot touched the floor. We all did. You have an army here, should you want it.’
What is he telling her? The words buzz around her ears like ravenous gnats. An army? What do I want that I might need an army? ‘An army.’
His eyes shine. ‘Yes, we want to change the world in your name. Stay here, please. Lead us into temptation.’
Lilith shakes her head. ‘You’re a liar and a misogynist. You want to follow because you want revolution, freedom and fire. If Samael or Asmodeus appeared beside me you would bow before them and, under their protection, spit at all I am and all of womankind. Why do you desire revolution when this world is already of your making?’
He bows his head, but not before she sees the hatred burning in his eyes.
‘You want power and glory,’ she says. ‘I see through you, into the black heart beating pointlessly in your skinny chest. You are nothing, good for nothing.’
‘I am nothing,’ he agrees. He kneels before her. ‘Please, make me something. Let me serve you. Do you want him? I can call him down. What do you want? I will get it for you.’
Lilith strides into the kitchen. Everything sparkles; it is like magic. Drawing a heavy butcher’s knife from a chrome block, she touches the tip and runs a finger along the blade.
‘Sharpen this,’ she tells the man hovering in the doorway.
He looks at her then sets to work, gathering a wand and leather strap from a drawer. The knife sings as it is sharpened. Closing her eyes, she lets its song fill her.
‘Knives. Wonderfully phallic, don’t you think?’ she says, more to herself than him.
‘Yes,’ he answers quickly. ‘People who carry knives are sexually repressed. It’s the act of penetration they crave.’ He blushes and turns away. ‘I’m sorry … here, it’s sharp now.’
She takes the blade from his extended hand. He does not meet her eyes. ‘You know what I did. Did you watch? Did it excite you?’
‘No … I didn’t watch,’ he stammers, shaking his head. ‘Baron … my guide … told me.’
‘Ahh.’ Losing interest, she turns on a tap. Water hisses into the sink, beating a frantic rhythm on the aluminium. She turns it off again and looks around the room, but her mind wanders upstairs. A smile makes her lips tremble then it grows into laughter. The man looks at her. His lips twitch in a silent prayer or chant. Is he afraid now? Good. She steps towards him, and he takes a step back then recovers himself.
‘I want to help you,’ he says. ‘We share the same dream: a world full of demons and magic, hedonism and despair.’
‘You will help me,’ she tells him. She pats the flat edge of the knife against her thigh. The movement attracts his attention, and his jaw drops.
‘I’m more valuable alive.’ He looks as though he wants to say more, but his words fail him.
Another step closer, she can hear his heart beating fast, the rhythm flawed; a beat skips and another echoes.
‘No! Please!’ he cries. ‘Satori, help me!’
His words are silenced by her fist. She smashes open his jaw with her punch. Terrified, he stares at her, his mouth hanging open. Tearing open her blouse, she reveals the swell of her left breast and pulls his gaping maw to her nipple.
‘Worship the terrible mother,’ she whispers in his ear. ‘For she gives you life and binds you to death.’
Excerpt from The Ballerina and the Revolutionary by Carmilla Voiez
Portraits loomed over my head. I shrank beneath the weight of their stares. My ears grasped echoes of resentful whispers and I hung my head in shame. Ashamed of what? I couldn’t remember, not really, perhaps it was purely that I wasn’t more like her.
I faced her door, shaking with fear, expecting her to rush out at any moment, screaming my name or slapping my face. I concentrated on my breathing, trying in vain to calm down. I was grown up now. She couldn’t hurt me anymore.
Mastering my fear, I opened her bedroom door and inspected the empty room. Vivienne’s huge bed crouched in the corner like a monster ready to pounce. Shadows lingered at the edges, a dark audience to mother’s regular performances. The air smelt stale. It reeked of old perfume, sweat and sex.
I marched to the wardrobe and opened the door. Frills burst forth from its bowels. I moved soft, delicate fabrics and checked behind them. No one lurked there. I pulled back the curtains and opened a window. Sunlight poured through the smeared glass, bouncing off Vivienne’s full-length mirror and flooding the room.
Breathing slower now, I sheathed my knife and strolled to the bedroom door. Already the air smelled fresher. I turned around as I reached the hallway, glancing back at the rich fabrics and heavily patterned wallpaper – a true boudoir, a shrine to her pleasure. I sighed and moved to walk away when something caught my eye. Turning back to the room, I watched as the décor altered.
Subtly at first – the colour of the light-shade, a change of carpet then everything looked different. And there was Mother, centre stage, on the bed, naked, legs splayed and mounted by a huge man. Her flushed face fixed on me and I was a terrified ten-year-old girl once more.
‘What do you think you’re staring at?’ Vivienne demanded.
‘Maybe she wants to join in,’ the oily-voiced stranger suggested.