Age 21 Years Old
Where are you from
I am Jordanian Canadian, and I currently live in Ottawa, Ontario.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m currently studying Psychology Bachelor of Science in Carleton University. As for my family, I have one older brother, two younger brothers, and two younger sisters. I love them all very much, and I try my best to cherish all moments with them.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Saleh: I recently got published by Titan Inkorp Publishing House, and it really inspired joy into me, after the long, necessary hard work of trying to get into the publishing business.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Saleh: The main reason I started to write was to inspire and to convey what I personally believe to be true. I wanted to write to fight the part of the rigidly placed status quo that appears to be oppressive and unnatural in my eyes. Writing to me seems to be like an adventure that starts beneath the Earth and then ends up in the skies, where my voice can be heard. And it’s not that I want only my voice to be heard, I want all of our voices to be heard in the name of truth, peace, and love.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It all started back in high school, when a friend of mine showed me a poem he wrote. After reading it and seeing how beautiful the art of writing and poetry is, I started to write ever since. I used to be the typical case of that ‘dude’ who’d always write during classes.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
What mainly inspired me to write God Forsaken is the fact that I wanted to raise awareness on certain important issues that the world faces today. My main goal of writing the book is to inspire coexistence of all religions, and more importantly, teach people about the beauty of the philosophy called Deism. Deism simply and elegantly means, to believe in God only through natural observation. How beautiful is that? That’s all we need! That way, we wouldn’t have to follow every verse in our Holy Books, especially when it inspires violence towards other religions. I have absolutely no intention to offend anyone. I’ve always loved everyone I know, no matter what their beliefs are. I’m just trying to raise awareness to the danger of religious extremism. People are going to hate me for writing this book, but you know, you can’t please everyone. You really can’t. And as for the extreme darkness and twisted emotion in Part 1, it will change throughout parts 2, 3, and 4, but not in a cliché way.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’ve read a lot in my lifetime, and never was I so inspired by a writing style like Chuck Palahniuk’s. The mini-paragraph writing style is so powerful, because he gets straight to the point when he wants to make a concept of element of the story clear to you.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title, ‘God Forsaken’, from the concept of prayer. I’ve met many souls in my life who have given up on the concept of praying to God, as it has always left them in disappointment as to the lack of an answer. Constantly people are praying, crying, sobbing, letting their hearts out on the altars of their gods, seeking for an answer, and ultimately enlightenment. And even when they do get answered, they don’t seem to realize that it was all but a chance based on an inner psychological boost. What I want to tell my readers is that the only form of prayer that’s ever, ever worth having, is action itself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
What I want my readers to know, and this is important, is to question absolutely everything that they are encountered with in their lives. I am very, very aware of the fact that questioning can be extremely painful in the beginning, as it sets you apart from the status quo, from the will of society, and more painfully, from others. But it is necessary! There is no way anyone can achieve enlightenment or become a master of himself unless he has first questioned.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Well, it is realistic in the sense that it can be related to through the messages, but it’s not in the sense that there are certain supernatural intervention in the story.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are a lot of elements in the story which relate to my personal experience in my pursuit for knowledge, but there are some aspects and events of the story which are too dark and extreme to be related to me. Some of it related to me, and some purely fictional.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Two Authors, Osho Rajneesh, the Indian mystic philosopher, and all of his books which focus on the area of philosophy. Also, Chuck Palahniuk, specifically Fight Club.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Definitely Chuck Palahniuk. He is one of the few people in my life with whom I have related to in a spiritual sense of understanding.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading Survivor for Chuck Palahniuk. If it talks about someone who claims to be an antichrist, then we can’t really help but admit that the story would be interesting. His idea of implanting the Antichrist into his story is what inspired me to write this novel, God Forsaken.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There is an author named Mark Kirkbride, author of Satan’s Fan Club. He also adopts the writing style of Chuck Palahniuk, and I thus found his book to be very intriguing. His writing style is brilliant, and the book contains a lot of humor to keep you flipping the pages.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My current projects have mainly to do with completing the novel series, and releasing Part 2 sometime soon.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Kylie Price, Author of Wings of Vengeance. She has always been a kind friend and a great supporter. The world would definitely be a better place if we had more Kylies.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
If I am supported enough in my writing, then of course, that would be my ultimate, greatest dream come true! Writing is one of the main reasons I get up in the morning, and the main reason I don’t want to sleep at night.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The one thing I would’ve wanted to do was to wait until I finished all four parts of the story, and then publish it, because people might get the wrong idea from Part 1. People would begin to think that I don’t believe in God. I do! It’s just that I do believe in God in a different way. All I want for my readers is to wait until all four parts of the book are finished and then judge my work.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It all came ever since I started to imagine, started to imagine and realize that life is far greater, far more beautiful and inexplicable, than what others would claim it to be, and what books might reveal to me.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The main idea of Part 2, which will be named Sabir, is heading back to the origins of the fictional religion, Illumina, and finding out how Mazin, the prophet of Illumina, really created the religion. It’s going to be even darker than Part 1. But Part 3 will be of redemption, and Part 4 will be the elegant closing of this emotional rollercoaster of a story.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
It is in fact very difficult to write sometimes, especially when you have something important to say. As Stephen King once said, “The most important things are the most difficult to write.” For a debut novel, I feel I am tackling big issues, especially that I’m only 21 years old. But still, as Paulo Coelho said, “If it’s still in your head, then it’s worth writing down.”
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Chuck Palahniuk, because he writes not only for the sake of telling a story, he writes to make you a different person when you finish reading the last page of one of his novels. Some of his lines cut very deep into me, like the line that the narrator of Fight Club (the novel) said to himself as Tyler Durden was pushing the gun in his mouth. He asked himself, “Where would Jesus be if no one had written the Gospels?”
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Well, not really, this is still my debut novel. But in the future, if I have to, then I would love to!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Someone named Leana, a designer at Titan Inkorp. She really is a talented artist and knows how to make a cover appropriate for your book.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing this book was challenging everything I was brought up to believe in, and more than that, realizing that somewhere down the line, people will not only disagree with what I write, but they’ll also hate me for it. But again I say, I am not trying to offend anyone, I am only defending what I believe to be true.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that the more I write, the more I learn about the mysteries of myself.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. And when everyone puts you down, criticizes your writing telling you it won’t get you anywhere, you still write, and you write more. The world needs writers, so that people would read, so that individually, your readers would change, and thus the world would change for the better.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Write for a great purpose. Write to heal the world. Write to promote what’s true, what’s loving, and most importantly, what inspires peace.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I read was a book called ‘intelligence’ by Osho Rajneesh. His beautiful explanation of what intelligence really is is an eye-opener. It taught me with intelligence, you respond to your surrounding, while with intellect you only react. It taught me that intelligence has no words while still having meaning, while intellect can say a lot and have little meaning.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I actually love playing basketball. I used to play it all the time back in high school. I also like making people laugh, I do it all the time with my family. I just like letting people know that you shouldn’t take life too seriously, because I used to do that, and it only made me a sadder person.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Game of Thrones! George R.R Martin has the mind as large as the ocean.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Cheeseburger (haha!)/Black/Parkway Drive (Artist)
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have loved to become a musician. I absolutely love music. But not only do I love writing more, but I feel that writing, at least to me, serves a greater purpose.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes, I do! Here it is: http://godforsakensalehmradaideh.wordpress.com/
Title: A Map of Kex’s Face
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Format: 215 pages, paperback
Author: Robin Wyatt Dunn
Publisher: John Ott, San Diego, Calif.
Kex is the administrator of the Eidon Academy, a college with an interdimensional porthole on campus, and the intellectual center of a recently seceded Southern California.
Roberto and his wife Sasha are busy acting out a bad campus novel, with infidelities and academic intrigues, when the known universe undergoes some fundamental changes.
Kex is more than a human being, it appears, but also an avatar around whom mandala-like emanations revolve, frequencies whose meaning Roberto must discern if he is to legitimize his new Department of Cartography . . .
If you have been following me on social media, i.e. (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) you know that I have obtained a contract from Cresco Books for my book “CHAOS”.
I am writing a new novel in my spare time. It is a fairytale retelling and I would like to share a small excerpt of it with you all. Enjoy.
As Elijah lowered himself to Ira’s side, he tried at one last plea for forgiveness. “Ira, I am so very sorry for what I have done. During all the time that I have spent with you, I never realized that what I was feeling for you had in fact become real.” Elijah moved the stray hair from Ira’s face. “I wish that I could go back and abandon my horrid plan. Then I could have had a family. We would both be with our lost daughter. But this is my fault. I cannot fix it. If only I could.” Elijah’s voice trailed off.
A tear escaped from Ira’s eyes. “How could you kill our daughter?”
Elijah began to cry.
“You say that you loved us, yet you are the end of us? How could that be if your love for us had been true?” Ira’s breathing slowed and was becoming more labored. He knew that her life would soon be over. There was no magic that could save her or their child now. The terrible deed had been done and now there was certainly no repairing the damage that he had caused their family..
Ira began whispering a spell, but Elijah was so guilt stricken that he had failed to understand what was happening. She was so full of anger toward Elijah and even with her last breath being used to curse him was not enough for her.
Elijah heard Ira let out a weak laugh. When he turned to her she smiled, placed her hand on his chest right over his heart and then drew in her last breath of life.
Instantly, Elijah realized that Ira had indeed placed a curse on him, but he had never dreamed that she would go as far as to curse her own soul as well.
Within moments Ira’s plan had begun to take its course. Elijah noticed that he was changing. Something inside him was taking over his body. A tremendous amount of pain. The intensity of it left him unable to make a move or to even cry out. He was frozen in place, forced to endure Ira’s punishment for the wrong that he had done.
His bones snapped. Muscles ripped and tore away from the bone. His human form was taking on a new shape. It was one of an animal. Long, black fur covered his body. He let out a ear piercing scream when the curse Ira had placed on him twisted him for the final time. His human teeth were now that of a very large predator. The only thing that was left of Elijah’s true human form was his brilliant ocean blue eyes. After his transformation was complete he looked up at Ira’s ghostly body floating before him. Right then he knew that she had done something even far worse than that of what he had done.
Ira had taken on a new form as well. She was now the most evil of any High Priestess’ that had ever been. She spread her arms out beside her as she floated inches above the floor.
“I will have my daughter back, Elijah. I will not stop until I do and you are going to help me.” She sneered at him.
He opened his mouth to speak, but only the roar of a bear came out. Ira had made him the king of the forest and he has to do her bidding. Only she knows what was in store for him now.
“This entire land is cursed because of what you have done. You will lure a girl with golden locks into this forest so I can claim her soul in order to raise our daughter from the grave. You will do this even if it takes a thousand years.”
Elijah growled and a tear slid down his fur.
“I have made you the savage beast that you once were. Now your soul belongs to me. If only you had been true this would never have happened. We could have had a wonderful life together. Both of us could have watched our daughter grow into the woman she was meant to become. Now you have ruined it all and for that you will pay a fair price. Out to the woods bear!”
As Elijah made his way out and into the woods, he could hear Ira laughing behind him. What have I done, he asked himself.
As an author I have discovered that there are many people out there that are just waiting to criticize others. Some are just dying to be your friend, but the reasons for that friendship are not always honest.
Reviews are good and some, well, are just bad. But that doesn’t mean that your writing is completely terrible. It just means that the message or story that you were trying to tell doesn’t fit well with that person. Think of it this way. Theres movies out there that you just don’t want to watch. It is not due to the fact that they are bad movies. It is because they do not appeal to your personal taste.
So don’t read that one star review and let it crush your hopes and dreams. Your story might not have been suited for them. What is important is that you continue to follow the dreams and goals that are your own.
The warm morning sun was shining on my skin, erasing the coolness of the dew that had fallen on me. The ground beneath me was hard and several jagged rocks were digging into my back. I knew that I should have been feeling some amount of pain from it, but I was only feeling a slight amount of pressure. I couldn’t feel much of anything except the heat from the morning sun and the sore itching feeling in my throat. My head was foggy, almost like I had been drugged.
I wasn’t sure why the itching feeling was turning into an awful burning sensation. It felt like I had been walking in the desert for days, without a single drop of anything to drink. All of my thoughts were bouncing around in my head. They were all distorted pictures and things about what had happened. All of it, moving too fast for me to understand at the moment. The only part that was clear was that I had been attacked by the most gorgeous boy that I have ever seen in my entire life.
I was not sure why the man had attacked me in the first place. More than that, the fact that he had left me here alive was puzzling. I wonder what had made him not kill me. I had seen his face clearly and I am certain that I would be able to recognize him if I was ever given the chance to see him again. Something about that thought was disturbing to me. It was almost as if I wanted to see him again. It was probably some sick fantasy that I was having. One about killing him for what he had done to me. How could I not? Worse than that, my attacker had been so mesmerizing to me. He had my attention from the very second that I caught sight of him.
His face had been only inches from me and his pale blue eyes burned into mine. I had had a strong feeling that there was something off about him. There was something wrong with him, unnatural, and extremely dangerous. However, his beauty had enticed me and I was proud that he had chosen me instead of some other girl. I wanted to be the one that he wanted to talk to. Now I hated that decision more than any other one that I had made. I had been so stupid. I knew better than to be alone with someone that I did not know. There was just something about him. It was something that had made me more at ease in his presence. He should have killed me for being such an ignorant person.
He was my age, around eighteen, but something had told me that he was older. I was not sure what made me think that, but that had been the first alarm to go off in my head, one that I had ignored. Now, I wish that I hadn’t.
I could easily picture him in my head. The blackness of his hair glistened in the moonlight and his skin reminded me of a white silk dress that my mother had. It was so pale and seemed lifeless.
His breath had been so intoxicating to me and I remembered that when he spoke I was unable to move. That was the second alarm that went off and I ignored it just like the first one.
I cannot believe that I had gone against everything that my parents had taught me and I was suffering the consequences for that now. They had warned me and I did not listen and look where that got me. Left, alone, to die in some field that I was not sure exactly where it was. I wanted to call out for help, but it was no use. It was not like there was going to be anyone close enough to me to hear when I did. I might as well save my breath, I thought.
The part that was bothering me the most was the fact that he had bitten me. I remembered feeling a sting and then smelling the blood seconds later. The rusty smell had been overpowering to me and I can remember almost fainting because of it. I thought that I was going to make it out of our struggle without any major damage to my body. That is, until then. I just know that I was going to end up with some dreadful disease as a result of his mouth being in contact with my blood. Whatever it was had started to flow straight into my bloodstream. I shivered at the thought of it.
I was wishing to myself that I had been near a hospital, but I knew better. There was no way that he would have left me anywhere near any significant population. It would not have been a smart thing for him to do.
And it wasn’t like I could get up off the ground anyway. My entire body hurt and the fire in my throat intensified with every passing second. It felt as if some invisible rope was forcing me to stay on the ground. I was feeling hopeless about my current situation and even worse about the fact that there was no help around for me.
After a short while of struggling under the pressure, I managed to move my hand to one of the pockets in my jeans. There it was… my lifeline. I fumbled around for a second or two until I could actually get my hand in my pocket. My cell phone was still in there. The frantic feeling that came over me caused me to drop it as soon as I pulled it from my jeans.
“Great going.” I said aloud. I had never been great under pressure and right now, I was really testing the limits of that fact.
I fumbled around with my hand, trying to locate the phone. Finally, I found it. At least my attacker had been gracious enough to leave me on my back, but whatever it was that was holding me was more powerful than I had thought. I did not like the idea of not being able to see what was keeping me on the ground, but right now, that is the most important thing. The most vital thing right now was that I had to find help.
I flipped my cell phone open and tried to dial 9-1-1, but for some reason my phone would not dial out. It had never done this before. I knew that it was not a billing issue. My mother always paid all of the bills on time. Maybe it was just that I was not getting a clear enough signal to use the damn thing.
I dropped my hand back down to my stomach. I was feeling defeated until the phone rang. I quickly raised the phone to my ear, not paying any attention to who the caller was. I did not care. All I knew was that my phone had caught just enough signal to let a call through and I was not about to waste the opportunity to get help.
“Hello?” I asked with panic in my voice.
“Hello, beautiful.” A voice said on the other end.
I knew at that very moment that it was the man that had brought me here. His voice was not something that I was going to be able to forget any time soon. It was etched in my mind perfectly. Fear filled me and I tried to close the phone, but my body was not responding to what I wanted it to do. My hand stayed with the phone against my ear.
“Are you feeling better?” he asked.
How did he think I was feeling? I mean, hell, he had bitten me and left me here to die. Now he was just going to torture me some more until I actually did die. If this was what he was planning to do, I would just as soon to go ahead and die.
“I know that you may not understand what is happening to you, or why, but I can teach you how to live now. Are you hearing me?”
I did not dare answer him. I didn’t feel that I had to. I didn’t owe him anything and he was not one of my parents.
“Fine, maybe you would like to spend another three days in that field?” he asked, but I could tell that his voice had a sincere tone to it.
“No. I want to go home.”
I waited for him to answer me. It seemed like his pause had been for him to be able to think about what I had said.
“Okay, I will come to you and take you home.”
“No! I don’t ever want to see your face again. I don’t know why you are doing this to me!”
The rage in my voice was undeniable and I knew that he was not going to be very forgiving of that. When he finally said something back to me, I was taken aback by his response. “Have it your way.” He laughed at me and hung up the phone.
That was easy, I thought to myself. I wondered what it was that he had found so funny. He had to be an extremely sick and twisted individual to do something like this to another person. And for him to be able to laugh about it was terrifying.
I tried once more to move and I found that the thing that had been holding me down was gone. I was free. Now, all I had to do was find out where I am and how to get out of here.
I looked around me and all I saw was an empty field and woods that were surrounding it in every direction. My stomach turned hard this time and I couldn’t seem to be able to make myself swallow. Had I really been out here for three days?
I remembered the rocks that I had been laying on and I moved the dead leaves around until I found them again. They were gravel. That meant that I was near a road. Or, at least, I hope that I was. That would sure make everything a little easier for me, but something inside me was saying that nothing was ever going to be easy for me again.
As I looked at the trees again, I noticed that the leaves had turned the colors of autumn, more so than they had been three days ago. The reds, yellows, and browns mixed, creating a picture like scene around me. The grass was blended with the blades that had died and with some that were still very much alive.
A noise off in the distance startled me and I jumped. I looked in the direction that I had thought that it had come from only to find a couple of deer grazing on the grass.
My stomach turned again. This time it was such a brutal response to my hunger that I found myself running in the animal’s direction. My legs moved with more speed than I had ever known them to have and I realized that my mouth was watering just to look at the innocent creatures ahead of me.
I was almost on top of them before they knew that I had been anywhere around. My instincts took over and I charged the larger of the two of them. I wrestled it to the ground and something inside of me was screaming to stop, but it was too late. I had taken a bite out of the side of the deer’s neck and began to drink the blood that was spilling out of the wound. The blazing pain in my throat had begun to disappear, but the sickening feeling I had about what I was doing was worse than anything that I thought was possible. Nothing mattered more to me at this moment than the warm delicious liquid that was soothing my entire body and I was horrified because of it.
The deer had bleed dry way before I wanted it to. I looked around trying to find the other one, but it had already fled. I suppose the one that I had already drained would have to be enough for now.
I felt sick. It was not a nauseated feeling. It was more like being severely depressed. I hated what I had just done. I hated it with a passion. Some deep part of me was telling me that I was evil.
All the good had been erased from me and I was now this awful thing that I would not have ever thought would exist. The only word that I could think of to describe it was, “ABOMINATION.”
I sat on the ground, staring at the precious animal that I had killed. I guess killing it was better than killing a person, but I had still taken a life and I was not pleased with my actions. Although, my throat actually felt good now, nothing could ease the fear I was having over what I had become.
My phone rang and I knew in an instant that the person that was calling me was not someone that I want to talk to. Looking at the front screen of the phone, I saw the unknown number that had called me only a short time ago. Hate filled me and it quickly turned to rage. I hated the man that was trying to get me to talk to him. He had made me what I am. He had taken my life from me and I will never again be normal. The usual everyday tasks that I had done before today would never be the same. I was not going to be able to function the same way that I had. I knew deep down that I was always going to want blood and lots of it.
I ignored the call until my phone stopped ringing. Little did I know that he was going to keep calling, but after about four times of him calling and me not answering prompted him to start sending text messages. They were the usual messages that someone would send if the other person were trying to ignore them.
I think he actually sent Hello three times. Then the fourth time the message was more impatient. You need to talk to me.
I don’t know why he thought that I needed to talk to him. Did he not remember what he had done to me? I mean, really, what was I supposed to do, just have a conversation with him as if nothing had happened? I don’t think so.
I was proud of my sudden courage and I decided that I was well enough to try to find my way out of here. I hope that there was a road around here somewhere, or a house, at least. Maybe the people that lived there would let me use their phone. That is, if it was even possible to have phone service this far out. My way of thinking had given me a renewed spark of hope. Hope that I was really going to make it out of the situation that I was in.
I walked with a steady pace, trying not to stop unless I had to. I wanted to find someone that would help me. I wanted to go home more than anything else. I thought about my mother and how she was probably sick with worry about my unexplained absence. I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain what happened to me, or where I had been. There was no explanation that I could give her that wouldn’t make her think that I am a lunatic. None of that really mattered now. All that matters was getting there and seeing her face.
My thoughts wandered as I walked. For some reason, the man’s face never left my mind. I studied him and tried to go back over everything that had happened. Everything seemed to be moving so fast that I could only catch onto a few bits of the memories at a time. That wasn’t helping me at all. I needed to be able to know exactly what happened. I needed to know the reason that I was going to hunt him down and kill him and it had to be the right one. I knew what the reason was already, but I denied the thought.
I knew what he had done to me. It was the most horrifying moment of my life. He had changed me, but I was still not sure what I was. I guess some things are better left in the dark.
I walked for a long time until I came to an old gravel road. It had been freshly repaired with new gravel, but it was the big kind, not the usual type that would be in someone’s driveway. Walking over it had caused me to slip and not be as sure of my footing as I was in the field. That wasn’t a big deal. I was just glad to see something different.
The blood was making its way through my system and I could feel it making a difference in how I was moving. My legs weren’t as numb as they had been a few moments ago and the tingling has left my arms. I felt stronger, more sensitive to everything that is around me. Every one of my senses had grown in intensity and I knew that I could use them to my advantage. I could use them to find my way home again.
My eyes could see longer distances now and I could distinguish between everything that I could smell and hear as well. I could smell each animal that was in the area near me and some that weren’t so close. The scent of their blood made me thirsty again. I began to notice that I could hear even the slightest movement that they were making, right down to each beat of their hearts.
Even though, I had just completely drained a full grown buck. I was still thirsty for more. I needed the energy and the strength that the warm liquid gave me. The need to attack was terrifying, but at the same time I wanted to do it. It was beginning to feel like my natural instincts.
Along with my new vigor, I could feel other things now. Things that I wasn’t sure what they were, or what they meant. I had a pulling sensation in my mind. It was as if I was being led by some invisible force. My sense of direction was never very good, but I felt now that I knew where I was going even though I didn’t have a clue. I decided that the best way for me to get through this was going to be by staying calm and being attentive to everything that happens. I need the details.
As I walked farther in the direction my body wanted to go, thoughts of home and my mother poured into my mind, temporarily breaking my uncompromising need to get to a place where I was going to be safe, a place with people.
I was sure that the man wouldn’t be so quick to try to attack me again in a public place, but thinking about that wasn’t exactly true. I had been in public when he took me the first time and what is going to stop him from doing that again? I tried not to let the worry that I was feeling cloud my mind, but it was no use. What could he possibly do to me now that would be worse than what he had already done? If he killed me, that would be a blessing.
I pictured my mother in the kitchen baking her famous cookies. The apple apron that she always wears was tied securely around her and it was covered with flour and food coloring. She was the kind of person that always managed to keep a smile on her face. I suppose that she was more concerned with what everyone would think about her and if she looked happy, she could evade the on- going condolences that everyone offered.
They were because of my father’s recent death. He was driving down the highway when he fell asleep. He had not known that he was veering off into oncoming traffic. A semi that had been headed in the other direction collided with him. It had been the worst accident that our town had ever seen. Both the driver of the semi and my father were killed instantly.
That was the most horrifying day of my life. I hated that he died, but I was thankful that he didn’t have to suffer. That would have been the worst. The thought of either of them having to lay there in such distress was sickening, to say the least.
Everyone kept telling us that he was in a better place and today I was much more certain of that than I had ever been. Heaven has to be better than this. A place where not a single bit of evil existed was where I wanted to be right now. I would hate to cause my mother any more hurt than she was already going through, but it seemed that I wasn’t going to be able to live the right kind of life. I knew the urges inside me would only grow worse until I finally done something that I was not going to be able to take back. It was only going to be a matter of time before that will happen.
My phone rang again and I looked at the message that had come through. I already knew that it was him. Why did he have to keep trying to get me to talk to him? Had he not done enough to me already? I guess not enough to satisfy him.
“Feeling better?” the message read. How could he possibly know how I was feeling? Maybe it was just a really good guess, unless he was somewhere close to me. He had to be watching me from somewhere that I could not see him.
I immediately began searching the area around me. I had not noticed that I had walked so far. The field was far behind me and I could not see the fall leaves of the trees that surrounded it. I was walking on nothing but dirt. It reminded me of a place that was being used to harvest trees for sawmills. Of course, the trees were no longer there. Everything looked so empty, except for the new saplings that had been planted in the place of the trees that had been taken. There was no possible way that he could be hiding. There just wasn’t anything left to hide behind.
I stopped when I came to a huge rock off to the side of the machinery tracks that I had been walking in. I needed to think.
Are you not going to answer me? Another message came through.
What am I supposed to say to that? I wasn’t sure why he even thought that I would want to talk to him. He has to be extremely disturbed. To still be trying to torment me seemed a little much, even for your everyday common garden variety of serial killer.
He wasn’t going to stop until I do answer him, so I took a deep breath and typed my reply. Why should I? You tried to kill me!
I sat there, listening to the animals around me and waited to see what his response to my message would be. And it didn’t take him long at all to answer back.
I understand why you are angry. I didn’t try to kill you, I did kill you.
He was right. I hadn’t given much thought to it until now, but he had killed me and if I was correct about what I was, then I had awakened dead.
I would like to speak to you in person. I want to try to help you adjust to your new life.
The fact that I needed help understanding what I had turned into and he was the only one that could assist me with that. He left me feeling that I had no other choice but to accept his offer. I fumbled with the phone, fighting the overpowering urge to vomit, and typed the only word that I could think of. Where?
The burning feeling returned in my throat and I wanted more blood. That much I was sure of. I couldn’t deny it and I knew that it would only become more painful the longer that I tried to ignore it. The pain was something that I wanted to avoid, so I placed my phone on the rock beside me and concentrated on finding a heartbeat.
Finding another source to drink from had been harder than I thought. The time that it took was more time than I had expected and the burning had now turned into an itchy dry feeling. I knew that it would only be a matter of minutes before the pain set in. That was when I heard it.
The beat was off in a strange way. It seemed that the animal was sleeping, but I could tell that it was strong and very well fed. In fact, the animal had recently eaten. The smell of the blood was faint, but I was soon off the rock and on my way in the direction that I needed to go.
I walked with swift movements and it felt as if I was flying at one point. I needed to feed and I needed to fast. My limbs felt like they weren’t as powerful as they had been after my first feeding and I wanted to be strong again. I needed to be if I was going to meet with him.
I reached the sight in which the scent was more distinguishable. It was in the mountains, not far away, but not close enough for comfort. I inhaled once more and caught the delicious scent again. My body moved in a way that was astounding and it was like I was being forced by my thirst to move. Soon, I was right on top of the animal. The shock of what it was problematic. Looking at the huge cat was making me tremble with anxiety and pleasure at the same time. Mountain lions sure smelled appetizing. Before the animal was alerted of my being there, I tackled it.
The cat put up an enormous fight, but I soon found that I liked the struggle just as much as the taste of the blood. There was no doubt in my mind that I was a predator, an excellent one at that. I drank from the cat, feeling every beat of its heart along the way. That excited me. The feeling of the kill was intense, but the sorrow for the creature wasn’t far behind. I couldn’t hide from that.
This was the part that was the worst, but I pushed every feeling that I was having about it to the back of my mind. This was how I was going to have to be in order to survive and I did not need to be regretful about the kill. Not if I want to live, or, I guess I should say, exist.
After I was finished draining my prey, I began walking back in the direction of the rock that I had been sitting on. I was not thrilled with the idea of checking to see if he had replied back to my question. Maybe I didn’t need him like I thought I did. I was beginning to think that it was possible for me to be able to live out in the woods. I would be able to avoid killing a person then, but what about my mother?
Thinking of her made me shake off the idea of staying away. She needs me. I am all that she has left now with my father gone. Would she be able to accept what I am? Or would she make me leave and pretend that I had ran away? I just won’t tell her about what happened and then everything would be fine. Lying to myself seemed like a good thing to do at the moment.
I was back at the rock in no time at all, but I sensed that I wasn’t alone. There was something else there and I was certain that it wasn’t an animal because I couldn’t hear the beating of a heart or smell blood anywhere. The presence seemed empty and cold.
Moving closer to the rock, I saw a man standing beside it. He had his back to me and looked like he was holding my phone. Standing as still as I could, I watched him. My eyes focused in on the back of his head and I recognized the black hair instantly. It was him. He had come to meet me here. But how did he know where I was? He must have been following me the entire time.
“I know you are there.” he said as he turned to face me. I was frozen with fear. I couldn’t move at all. And believe me, I wanted to. I wanted to run away from him as fast as I could, but it was impossible.
He walked up to me like nothing had ever happened and I was unable to flee. I wanted to, but something held me there. I was more frightened in this very moment than I had ever remembered being. What could I do? Nothing.
“I see that you have fed again.” He was good at knowing when I had taken blood. I guess he could sense the power it gave me. Maybe he really had been watching me all this time. I wasn’t sure about either of my ideas on the matter.
I didn’t say anything back to him. I couldn’t. I was both fearful and intrigued by him. He had the knowledge that I needed to survive and I knew that he could kill me at any time that he wanted to.
The thought of him killing me made me feel even worse.
“I have no plans to harm you.” Aden saying that eased the tension that I was feeling. Although I was now this unnatural being,
I wasn’t quite ready to die. Not like I had thought that I was earlier. I want to see my mother one last time before I died.
He took my hand and led me back to the rock. “Please, sit” he said as he took his place on one side. I cautiously sat down beside him, expecting anything to happen at any moment.
I took a quick moment to really look at him. Now that he looked calm and wasn’t on top of me trying to kill me, he looked, well, good. His eyes sparkled in the sunlight and I soon found that I couldn’t break eye contact with him.
“What am I?” I asked before I realized I had said anything.
“You are a vampire.”
I had thought that before now, but I wasn’t sure. If I actually was a vampire, how can I be out in the sunlight? I realized that I had so many questions that I wanted to ask him. There was so much for me to learn.
“How are we out in the sunlight then?” I asked.
He laughed as he made his reply. “We are Day Walkers.”
He explained that we are a different breed of vampire. We can walk in the sun, eat and drink regular food, but we did still need to have a regular diet of blood to survive. I found all this to be more interesting than I had expected it was going to be.
“What is your name?” I asked him, not thinking that my question might anger him. Thankfully, he seemed to be fine with whatever I asked him. That was sure going to make this a whole lot easier, I thought to myself.
“My name is Aden.”
What a beautiful name. I caught myself lost in thought about the gorgeous being that had attacked me. I knew that I should hate him, but the more that I talked to him, the more I relaxed.
“I haven’t had the chance to ask your name either.” Aden said as he looked at the rock.
“Laynie.” I blushed as I looked at him.
He looked up at me just as I was trying to look away. His eyes held mine and at that moment I felt the fire again.
“Why am I so thirsty?”
Aden explained that it was because I was feeding on animal blood and not human blood. Obviously, human blood stays in our system longer. I hated the thought of that. It was wrong to feed from a human. Or, that was what I thought.
“What happens if I don’t take human blood?”
He waited for a moment before he said anything in return. All the while, he was looking at me, smiling as if he was happy about something.
Aden was very confusing to me. I wasn’t sure whether he liked me or not and I guess that really doesn’t even matter, but I would like for him not to be planning on killing me without me knowing about it. All the thoughts that I had about getting revenge on him had disappeared. I didn’t want that now.
“If you do not drink human blood you will die.”
I was hoping that would not have been his answer, but I think that I should not get my expectations about my new life twisted with a fairy tale. This was certainly going to be more than that.
We talked for a long time and I hadn’t noticed that nighttime was within a few minutes. My attention had been focused on Aden and I had not been aware of anything but what he was telling me.
I was desperate to understand what kind of life I was going to lead. Was it going to be torture? I shivered at the thought of having to feed on a human. That was the part that I don’t think is ever going to go away.
“I need to feed now. I am almost to the point of pain.”
I could tell that my saying that had rattled him. He was pale and I had a feeling that he needed to as well.
“I don’t sense anything out here that would sustain us both.”
I scanned the area and found that he was right. The only animal that I had found had been a tiny rabbit. That was only going to make our thirst worse.
“Come. I have a place nearby. The fridge is full of human blood.” he said and before I knew it, he had put my phone in his pocket and snatched my hand.
We were moving at such a rate of speed that I was certain that we were flying. I love the feeling that it gave me. So much power was in this new body and I could do anything that I wanted to.
We came upon a small house at the base of the mountain. The area that surrounded it was sure to keep away any unwanted visitors. The trees were thick and made the house look darker than normal, but I liked the way it looked. Aden had taken great care of it and I could tell that he wanted it to look nice. Why, I have no idea. It wasn’t like anyone was going to want to come out here.
A small rose garden, filled with different shades of blooms, was off to each side of the walkway. I felt the need to stop and gaze at them. The thirst couldn’t even keep me from it. I had always loved to look at flowers and these were in such wonderful condition that I had to take the time to appreciate them.
Aden pulled gently on my hand and I could tell that he was in great need of blood, so, I didn’t linger at the gardens any longer.
For some reason, I didn’t want him to be in pain. I guess it was because I had felt that pain before and it was not a pleasant experience. I don’t think that I would wish that on anyone. Not even him.
I remembered what he had told me about bloodlust. If I waited too long to feed, than my body would take over and force me to take blood. When that happened, there would be no stopping me from attacking and it wouldn’t matter who I done it to. Aden said that vampires had been known to attack other vamps in the process.
I didn’t want to attack anyone. Not even Aden. I just want to be able to live peacefully, but I was sure that in order to have the life that I wanted, I was going to have to do it alone. I couldn’t involve anyone else in what was my nature now. Just imagine what my mother would think if I came home one night covered in blood.
I could sense the fogginess entering my mind. That had been one of Aden’s first warning signs that he gave me. I knew now that it was only going to be a matter of minutes before I was in pure bloodlust.
He had asked me to wait in the living room until he had the blood prepared. It was his intention for me to be made to control myself around the juicy red liquid that I was craving now.
Better yet, I was starving. “Aden?” I called from the sofa.
“Coming!” I heard him shout from the kitchen.
I hope that he hurries because I don’t know how much longer I am going to be able to wait.
“Calm down, Laynie.”
But it was too late. I could feel the rage building up inside me and I knew that there was not a single thing that I could do about it. I could smell the blood and I was up off the sofa in an instant. I moved with stealth and precision as I made my way to the entrance of the kitchen.
When I turned the corner in the direction that I smelled the blood, there Aden stood. He was poised to attack. That caught me off guard. He wasn’t going to attack me. He was going to have to defend himself from me.
“Laynie, you better stay back!” he screamed at me, but I didn’t care. All I could think about was getting to the blood on the counter behind him. Aden knew that too.
He turned to grab the oversized coffee mug, then put it on the counter in front of me, and smiled. “See, everything is okay, sweetheart.”
I immediately took the mug and turned it up, taking all the precious liquid inside and leaving not a single drop behind. I could feel the panicked feeling from the bloodlust leaving me and I was face to face with Aden. How could I have been so stupid? I could have killed him and whoever else might have been in the area. I was sure to make myself feed on a regular basis from here on out. I couldn’t risk getting out of control like this again.
I stood there looking at Aden. I wanted to apologize for almost attacking him, but I was so ashamed of myself that I thought I would be better off to just keep my mouth shut. I didn’t want to make him angry at me.
Every emotion that I was used to having had been heightened. My anger turned to rage and I noticed that my sadness quickly turned into desolation. There was just so much that I needed to learn.
But there was the matter of the emotion that I was feeling right now. I had never felt this. It was a burning like my thirst, but it was in the rest of my body. Maybe it was the human blood that I had just drunk.
Soon, my mind wasn’t clouded and the need to feed was still there, but I had managed to tuck it safely away. I wanted to drink more and obviously Aden knew that I was going to because he had turned his attention away from me and began to warm up another mug full for me. The beeping sound that the microwave had made when the process was finished was like music to my ears. It soothed me to know that I was going to be offered blood again.
He took the mug out and handed it to me. I took it without hesitation and thanked him. This time I didn’t drink nearly as fast as I had with the previous cup. Savoring the taste was working wonders for me and I was glad that I didn’t have to take it directly from the source. When I was finished, I took the mug to the sink and washed it and placed it in the dish drainer.
“Are you feeling better now?” Aden asked.
“Yeah… Look, I’m sorry about before. I wasn’t sure what was happening and when I finally realized it, well, it was too late.”
He nodded and smiled at me, knowing that I was sincere in my apology. I felt more at ease with him. Being comfortable around him was a good thing. That meant that I was no longer thinking of ways to kill him. Honestly, I think he turned me because he was lonely.
Firstly, thanks to April for hosting me on her blog today and giving me a chance to talk about The Vampire’s Concubine serial. This blog tour is to celebrate the release of the second book in this serial, Rage, and there is a chance to win this, and the first book in the serial, An Amusement, at the link below. But, before we get to that, I hope I’m going to be able to give you some insights into the books in the serial, where I’m planning on taking my readers and why I started out on this short-story journey.
I’ve been writing since I was very young. My primary school (4-11yr olds) teachers, when giving out creative writing assignments, used to have to brace themselves for not the hundred to two hundred words that they were used to from most pupils, but pages and pages of (rambling) fiction – I must have been a royal pain to grade. I wrote my first ‘novel’ at 11, and please note, I have placed the word in quotes due to my wish that that little piece of ‘art’ never ever see the light of day again. 🙂 As well as original fiction, I also used to dabble in the odd piece of fanfiction before I actually knew what fanfiction was. It wasn’t until I discovered the internet in the early 90’s that I realised other people did the same thing and then there was no stopping me – so I cut my writing teeth first in the Highlander fandom, and then Harry Potter, shifting my way from gen to het and finally to slash/femslash fanfiction.
I have also kept going with my own original fiction, but until three years ago, I had not made the move to publishing it. I’d thought about it, ever since that first ‘novel’, but until the possibilities of eBooks came along, it had been an elusive dream. Now, thanks to the opportunities offered by the likes of Amazon and Smashwords, I run my own publishing company, Wittegen Press, with my twin sister, Tasha.
I write and publish a number of different genres: fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, horror, young adult, and, of course, erotic romance. The Vampire’s Concubine is a combination of two of those genres, a paranormal erotic romance. This short story serial is set, unsurprisingly by the title, in a paranormal world where demons and vampires are real and my two leads are, by the end of the first story, both vampires. Hieron, Vampire Lord of Harkham, is ruthless, powerful and master of all he surveys. A stranger arrives and offers him 99 years of absolute service in exchange for becoming a vampire. Bargain agreed, that stranger, unnamed and without a past, becomes Umi, Hieron’s slave and one of his concubines. Thus, must master and slave become bound in a relationship based on obedience and secrets.
I’ve always loved stories with magic, or supernatural aspects, since I grew up reading fairy tales and ghost stories and so it was just a natural progression for me to weave that into my erotic romances. I tend to call them erotic romances, because, for me, the relationship should always come first, however hot the sex is intended to be :). Anyone who’s read An Amusement, or Rage, may wonder how I can make that statement, because these two books are set very close together at the beginning of the relationship between Hieron and Umi, and that relationship is antagonistic, to say the least. At the moment, all is very black and white; Hieron is the master, Umi is his slave. I can promise, though, as the overall story develops, not all will remain so clearcut.
I have had the idea for the arc behind The Vampire’s Concubine for sometime, but each time I thought about it, it didn’t feel like a single story, and nor could I mentally break it down into two, or three books. Mainly, this I think, is because the arc traverses a century and the continuity breaks in the overall story meant I couldn’t convince myself of the unbroken unity of the individual pieces. So, as I developed it, I began to consider that maybe it wasn’t a few longer books, but a collection of shorter stories, beginning with a cluster at the beginning of the arc. The time between the interludes then widens until reaching the end of the arc where they will cluster again in a nail-biting conclusion.
Some people might ask, ‘Why erotica, why not just make it a paranormal fantasy adventure?’ And there are many answers to that, but I’ll be brief. 🙂 I like writing erotica, I like exploring stories where the relationship is central to the plot, and, being frank, I also enjoy writing the sex. I have a penchant for adding a power differential to the erotic stories I write too, but that’s another post for later on this blog tour. ;P
So, I have much planned for Hieron and Umi: Umi must learn to live in Hieron’s world of court and politics, while Hieron has to deal with the fact that he doesn’t know, and may never know everything about his mysteriously fascinating slave. And then there is the question of what will happen at the end of those 99 years – who was Umi before he appeared in Hieron’s rooms and why has he made this bargain of servitude? All will be answered at the conclusion to The Vampire’s Concubine serial.
Rage picks up the story immediately after An Amusement, where Umi has become a vampire and Hieron’s slave. The story is seen through the eyes of Yan, Hieron’s favourite concubine and therefore Umi’s rival. Still, Yan finds that survival is more important than rivalry when Umi, apparently by merely existing, draws down Hieron’s wrath on the lord’s entire household. A solution must be found before someone dies.
Thus the saga continues as Hieron discovers more about Umi and Umi learns what it means to be at the mercy of his unpredictable master. The third story, Dark of Mind, is in development and I hope readers will find it and all the short stories in The Vampire’s Concubine engaging, exciting and sexy.
Rage & An Amusement Giveaway!
For a chance to win copies of Rage and An Amusement, check out the competition here.
Sophie Duncan is a UK author of genre fiction with Wittegen Press. She has been writing since she was a child and has been sharing her work with others since she discovered the internet in the 1990’s. She has published original works in many genres, from contemporary fantasy, through crime and mystery drama, to erotic romance. All of her published books can be found listed at her author page on the Wittegen Press website.
Other places Sophie would love to connect with you are:
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+SophieDuncan
Her blog, Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles – http://sophiesthoughtsandfunmbles.blogspot.co.uk/
Erotic Fiction blog, Fantasy Boys XXX http://fantasyboysxxx.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter @thwax and @wittegenpress
Wittegen Press on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WittegenPress
Thwax on Tumblr – thwax.tumblr.com
When, Hieron, vampire lord of Harkham, is approached by a mysterious young stranger, he finds himself tempted by the bargain his bold visitor makes: ninety nine years of absolute service in return for vampire power. With no name and no explanation of the reasons behind the offer, the attractive enigma becomes Umi, Hieron’s slave, concubine and vampire childe.
Yet, from the very first moments the bargain is sealed, Hieron discovers his concubine to be an erotic and obsessively maddening challenge.
The Vampire’s Concubine is an erotic romance told in short-story episodes.
Rage – The Vampire’s Concubine #2 ($0.99/£0.77/EUR0.86)
The bargain has been sealed, Umi is now a vampire and belongs to Hieron as his concubine. Yet, Hieron cannot reconcile himself to the secrecy behind his new slave, it makes him dangerously angry and the vampire lord lives up to his warning to Umi that he will be cruel.
Hieron’s demands weigh heavily on Umi, who, it seems, cannot please his master. As Hieron’s rage grows, Umi’s time is running out. Desperately, he searches to find the key to salving Hieron’s fury before the beast within his sire rises to destroy him.
Purchase ‘Rage’ and get ‘An Amusement – The Vampire’s Concubine #1’ FREE – see inside the book for details.
Available at Amazon and Smashwords – for buying links, please see this entry on the Wittegen Press website: wittegenpress.com/rage.
An Amusement – The Vampire’s Concubine #1 ($0.99/£0.77/EUR0.86)
Hieron, vampire lord of Harkham, is unaccustomed to visitors in his private bedchamber unless he has expressly invited them. Such an unsolicited intrusion should mean the interloper’s death, but Hieron finds himself unusually fascinated by the stranger who appears before him unbidden. Offering no name and no explanation of his reasons, the young man offers ninety nine years of absolute service in exchange for the gift of vampire power.
Amused and aroused, Hieron agrees to the bargain, names his enigma, Umi and decides he will become his newest concubine. The only thing left is to seal the deal in a bond of sex and supernatural power.
Available at Amazon, Smashwords and iTunes – for buying options, please see this entry on the Wittegen Press website: wittegenpress.com/anamusement
COMING SOON – Dark of Mind – The Vampire’s Concubine #3
Umi is no normal concubine. His master’s gift of vampirism notwithstanding, there is much more to him than the Lord of Harkham has yet discovered. Hieron is no longer angry with Umi’s secrets, but he remains intrigued and, demon-owned twice over Umi maybe, but it is his mind that interests Hieron the most.
Under Yan’s tutelage, Umi is discovering the rites and skills to being a concubine, and Hieron is master when it comes to the night in his newest concubine’s veins, mostly. That bond holds a limit that Hieron has never experienced before: his childe has resisted the most intimate of contacts, that of the mind to mind control that normally lies within a sire’s remit.
There is power in his childe, power not of the vampire’s giving and, before Heiron is ready to deliver Umi to the harem, he means to discover it.