Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cold, But Not Heartless

By Aurelia T. Evans (Guest Blogger)

I am an overly emotional person, except when I’m not.

Sometimes my emotions get so intense that the only solution is for some enterprising up-and-coming technician in my brain to turn the switch off for a while. The technical term is ‘dissociation.’ Authors are no strangers to dissociation. It’s practically a job requirement, not a symptom. The only problem is when it extends beyond when I’m writing and into my real life. The numbness, the inability to feel anything but emptiness, disconnected—it sure beats feeling like I’m stuck in the bottom of Jame Gumb’s Silence of the Lambs pit. It lets me stay functional. But it has its own problems, as you might imagine.

Most of my characters find themselves in the grips of powerful emotions. Sex magnifies everything. From passion to anger to fear to love, romance and erotica lends itself to torrents of feeling.

Julia is different.

She’s not the first character I’ve written who’s lost her memory. Tora, from Wolf Girl (coming out at the end of the year), has her memory wiped away by an external force. She’s a creature of pure emotion, since that’s all she has. Julia, from my vampire serial Bloodbound, took quite a different turn. When awareness returns to her, she’s cold, numb, emotions as stripped away as her memory, although not stripped away because of her memory.

Writing Julia was an interesting exercise. She’s not as easy for people to identify with, harder to pin down, harder to connect with because she can’t connect with herself. She’s a cold fish, a hard woman, bleached in mind and body. The qualities that appeal to the vampire love interest in question, Nathan, aren’t her stunning good looks or sparkling personality. Yet the vampire priest and I agree—she’s fascinating, especially the things going on beneath the blank surface of her thoughts. Because she’s far from empty.

Julia is damaged as a fallen family photograph. Something in her head is splintered. Bridges were destroyed long before her memory failed her. I find Julia darkly appealing, and I relate to her damaged side more than some of the other relatively well-adjusted characters that I’ve written. If someone wants a more connected character, I have plenty of others to choose from (since I have quite a few stories coming out this year and the next). Bloodbound is Julia’s story, the story of a woman whose coldness has helped her survive. And that’s how I like it.

The serial novel Bloodbound is my first attempt at self-publishing—it only seems appropriate that I get to start the process with an atypical protagonist. I’ve been making noise about indie publishing for a while, but I’m finally forcing myself to just do it. It helps that I have a banging cover—that’s one of the main reasons I’ve pushed myself to actually do it.

I’m nervous and cautiously excited, since self-publishing means everything’s on me. But erotica is fortunately an indie-friendly genre, and I have a wonderful support system for the process.

Allow me the pleasure of introducing you to Julia and some of the other characters in the first book in the Bloodbound serial, Blood Lost.


Blurb

Bloodstains on her clothing and bloodlust between the sheets, she’s never been more lost…and that’s why he chooses her.

As if wandering the streets in bloody clothes after losing her memory isn’t bad enough, Julia’s been kidnapped by vampires, then presented to Nathan, high priest of Dominion.

Nathan’s not interested in a bleeder, perfectly content with fellow priest Lucas as his companion, lover, and willing servant. However, when Lucas offers her to him, Julia’s endearing confusion and lack of fear intrigue him.

With nowhere else to go without her memories, Julia accepts his offer and embarks on a sensual but deadly journey into the world of Dominion and its arrogant, esoteric elite…as well as the darkness of her own desires and the mystery of her past.


Excerpt

Get the fuck off me, you fucking leech, evil prick, wannabe demon!” Monica struggled, kicking her legs back and forth, trying to scratch the priest with her good hand, but he somehow managed to evade every single attack.

You think you’re the first fighter I’ve brought to him?” the priest said, laughing. All the kindness had drained out of his demeanor, although the warmth of his voice made his cold declarations all the chillier.

Now would be the perfect time for Julia to try to escape while the priest distracted himself with Monica, but this time there was no chance of saving Monica if Julia left now. It wasn’t that there was no point in saving herself, but there was less point. She had nowhere to go, no reason to save herself when there wasn’t a whole lot of self to save.

And even if she wanted to try just for the sake of blind hope, the dust motes in the center aisle moonbeam were coalescing as Monica fought, her jabs becoming more focused but no less futile. Julia hesitated with one foot on the stage and the other off, the younger girl trailing behind her and clinging to her shoulder to hold her back.

I think that’s quite enough, children.”

Monica stopped fighting and instead stared, stunned, at the man coming up the center aisle.

Like the priest holding Monica, this man appeared at first glance unobtrusive, his presence quiet. Like the priest, he wore the uniform, but his clerical collar was black instead of white. His skin was naturally tan but somehow still managed to appear pale, as though the color underneath the translucent golden layer had leached out. The priest’s smile was gentle, but this new man’s smile—though following the same curve—gave the impression of a stalking cat rather than a content one. Although he didn’t appear old, his hair was prematurely silver all the way through, as though touched by frost, with lowlights of slate gray near the scalp where the hair was denser.

And whereas the priest’s eyes were nearly black, this man’s were nearly white. They pierced instead of welcomed, and although she wasn’t proud of it, Julia lowered her gaze when they attempted to bore through to the mind beneath her skull.

My Master,” the priest breathed with religious reverence. “Kneel, woman,” he told Monica, but he truly addressed all three. “Kneel with me before your Master.”

I kneel to no one,” Monica retorted. However, even she was shocked and awed by this unassuming man that somehow dominated the entire room just by existing, his appearance as average as it was inexplicably alien. She dropped to the floor when the priest buckled her knees with a solid kick.

The priest, too, knelt to honor the man, keeping a hold around Monica’s neck.

The younger girl collapsed not onto her knees but to the side, sobbing renewed as though she did not know how to stop. Julia forgot about her as soon as the girl released her grip on Julia and left her standing.

The white gold of the man’s skin was cool on her chin where he brushed his fingers like a frigid winter wind. Ever so gradually, he lowered his hand and she lowered herself with it. Anything to keep from looking into those eyes. He withdrew when she knelt at his feet.

Rise.”

The priest gripping Monica stood in a single graceful motion, intimately familiar with the act. He pulled Monica up with him. The younger girl quivered as though she could feel the master’s chill from three feet away. She might not have even heard the man’s command as she proceeded to simply dissolve into a pool of exhaustion and fear.

Julia stood up and stepped back onto the stage, away from the man. She kept her eyes downcast, but not in deference.

So these are the women you’ve chosen for me, Lucas,” the man said. He paced before the stage. Julia could hear that smile when he added, “I can tell you have reached the end of your patience with me, if these are the ones you have brought. Just picking them at random now, are we?”

I tried picking them deliberately, but they were never what you wanted,” the priest, Lucas, replied. “I apologize if these seem like desperate selections.”

Oh, I understand,” the man said. “It is frustrating when your Master cannot even articulate what he wants. How can you be expected to know what intangible quality might appeal to me, what a woman must have to feel right, when all you’ve ever known I liked was you?”

Your commands have never been a chore,” Lucas protested.

No, but you must indeed be at your wit’s end if that poor girl is any indication. Come now, Lucas, you already knew she was too young. And limp. A wisp of a thing not even fit for donation.”

The fine, shiny, black shoes paused before the despairing heap of the younger girl. That hand reached out and stroked across the girl’s forehead. Her sobs abruptly ceased, her eyelids fluttering. In a few seconds, she pitched forward. Her face almost hit the wooden stage, but the man caught and cradled it before laying her down. Her back rose and fell, which meant the girl was unconscious once more, not dead.

A mercy for all, Julia thought.



Bloodbound Release Schedule:

Blood Lost (Book 1) – February 14 (FREE!)
Bleeder’s Ball (Book 2) – February 28
Blood Pool (Book 3) – March 14
Blood on the Moon (Book 4) – March 28
Bleeding Heart (Book 5) – April 11
Bloodbound, the Complete Serial Novel – May 9


Links to Bloodbound Book 1
(The ones listed as not yet free may be free by the time you check!)

Smashwords, multiple formats, including Kindle (recommended, FREE): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/519123
 
Amazon US (not yet free): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TJ44EIC
 
 
 
 


Links

Bloodbound serial novel page:





About Aurelia

Aurelia T. Evans is an up-and-coming erotica author with a penchant for horror and the supernatural.

She's the twisted mind behind the werewolf/shifter Sanctuary trilogy, demonic circus series Arcanium (publication starts April 2015), and spiritual gothic/urban fantasy series Meridian (publication TBD). She's also had short stories featured in various erotic anthologies.

Aurelia presently lives in Dallas, Texas (although she doesn't ride horses or wear hats). She loves cats and enjoys baking as much as she dislikes cooking. She's a walker, not a runner, and she writes outside as often as possible.

4 comments:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Aurelia,

This sounds AMAZING. I can't wait to read it. In fact, I'm off to snag my free copy now.

Thanks for being my guest!

Anna Barlow said...

Thank you for this cool gift! Good luck with the next book!

aureliatevans said...

Thanks so much for having me, Lisabet!

aureliatevans said...

Thanks, Anna!

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