"Immoral: Tales of a Vampire Hunter #1" . . . Then and Now

Immoral: Tales of a Vampire Hunter #1 early cover idea
Immoral: Tales of a Vampire Hunter #1 (early cover idea)
Today, someone "liked" this 2013 cover idea I posted in a Facebook group way back then and gave me such a thrill. How lucky I am to have had the support of readers for all this time. You made the book #1. You turned it from a short story into a trilogy, and you have kept it in the top 100 on Amazon since 2013. The Omnibus Edition comes out soon, and IMMORAL (the first in the series) is . . . and always will be . . . free as a "thank you" to readers. None of this magic could have happened without you.

Just for fun, here's the old, original description:

Vampires, Vampire hunters, forbidden love, thrilling adventure and hot sex. Readers say, "What a fast paced, roller coaster ride of an erotic adventure. I had a hard time putting this book down. As the reader follows Oliver Ripley on his coming of age adventure, there is sex, death, romance, and plot twists to keep the action moving forward at a rapid pace." 

Click the link to download it today - http://amzn.to/1dO7gF7

Erotica Writing Themes (in 5 Easy Steps)

I write. I read. I review books. I edit, and I love helping other writers. We're all in this thing together.

Often, when I ask erotica authors the theme of their story, they say, “Sex?” If you want to sell more work, make more money, and receive more recognition, that's a bad answer. Your story has to contain other elements. Here why:

1. Every compelling story has a theme, usually tied to common human issues and emotions. The Shining? Ignore your problems (or try to hide from them), and they’ll come back and bite you in the ass—hard. Gone with the Wind? Don’t be so focused on what you want today that you sacrifice what you need tomorrow (because, Scarlett, though tomorrow is another day, you might wake up and find what you want most doesn’t give a damn about you anymore).

2. It’s difficult to write an interesting story where sex is the whole story. We’re adults. We’ve had sex. We’ve seen it and read about it. Most of us have had issues that impact our enjoyment of sex, our comfort level surrounding fetishes, discussions about sex, or our relationships with people because of sex. Despite our familiarity with it, sexual desire still embarrasses or shames many people. It delights the hell out of others who've managed to get past all that. These things are always more intriguing than the sex bits. Even if you write straight-up porn, you can elevate it by adding thematic elements to your plot.

Few stories linger in my memory because most erotica writers today ignore everything but the sex. A favorite story, Normal by Charlotte Stein, is full of sex, but the theme is sexual fear—what if you find you enjoy edge play a little too much for comfort? Another erotica writer who gets the power of theme is Remittance Girl

3. Okay, so why don’t more erotica writers use themes? Some writers have trouble with themes because they don’t understand what they are or how they work. Some resist sending a message or conveying a moral. They confuse subjects and opinions with themes. Drug addiction and death are subjects, not themes. Sex is a subject too, not a theme. A theme contains the story’s controlling idea, emotional lesson, or moral argument (though no moral judgment must occur). A theme is not a box or a rule. No one likes those. A theme is like a thread, tying things together and giving the sex meaning.

Some writers are lazy. They want to write a story and be done with it. The idea of editing, developing, or (god forbid) changing anything, sounds like work. “It’s just a story,” they say. “My narrator is unreliable,” they insist, to cover weak writing. “If I rewrite things, it won’t be my story anymore.” To all that, I call bullshit. Professional writers know the real story (and the theme) emerges in the editing. It’s hard work but worth it when you create something of substance, not just another story about doing it.

4. Themes give us familiar images and comforting signposts along the way. Think of any Disney movie (yes, even though we’re talking about writing sex). The stories might involve evil circus-owners, or talking lions, or princesses with enemies, but they all contain elements we’ve come to recognize—abandonment, happily-ever-after endings, mommy/daddy issues, fairy tale and mythology touch-stones. We plunge right into Disney’s worlds because so much is already embedded in our memories. They tap into common themes. Use themes wisely, and you help readers fill in the blanks, so you can focus on the meat of your tale and on your character’s development. You won’t have to resort to lengthy explanations, back-stories, long descriptions, or dull dialogue to tell your story.

5. Themes tie together otherwise disparate elements. With a well-thought-out theme, you can write from multiple perspectives, in first person and/or third. You can flash forward, backward, or sideways, and your reader will follow your theme breadcrumbs and walk away feeling as if they’ve read one solid piece of writing. Themes are stepping stones to better writing. Well-done themes enchant readers and editors alike. Anita Shreve masterfully shows this skill off in her excellent novel, The Weight of Water, jumping back and forth in time, perspectives, and tense. Though considered mainstream, this work contains many erotic elements, most of which would not have worked without such a strong theme and command of writing.

Feel free to chime in, or ask questions in comments, if you'd like help figuring out how to start using themes in your writing. 

7 Ways to Sell Your Erotica (or Erotic Short Stories)

Everyone wants to know how they can sell their short erotica stories (or erotic short stories as some people call them). It’s the first thing people ask me when they find out I've sold every short story I've written, in many cases more than once.

There’s no big secret (sorry to disappoint you). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do that will set your work above 85% of other writer’s submissions to anthologies and magazines.

Here’s the quick and dirty run-down:

  1. Find a good source for “Calls for Submissions” (when a publisher asks writers to submit their work for consideration), so you don't waste time hunting for current calls. My favorite is the Erotica Readers and Writers Association lists. You can get on their list here. They’ll email you current calls for submission and guidelines. And that brings me to the next tip . . .
  2. Read and follow calls for submissions like a boss. Every editor will tell you exactly what they’re looking for in a story and how to format and submit your work. Follow the rules. This is not the time to step outside the box. Editors tell me 85% of submissions are tossed in the trash simply because the writer didn’t follow the submission guidelines.
  3. If you have a story that’s perfect for a call, submit it (follow the specs and reformat it if necessary). If you’re way off on word count, trim the story. If you can’t cut your story, but you still think it’s perfect for the call, read on to #4.
  4. If you have a story that’s almost perfect, but you have a question, write the editor and tell them your issue. Let them invite you to submit or tell you no up front. Trust me; they appreciate being asked (especially when you’re in doubt because of content or word count). Even if the answer is no, you’ll look like a professional.
  5. If you are writing a story from scratch, make a list of storylines you expect other writers to submit. For one of these ideas to be accepted, it had better be AMAZING. You have a much better shot at selling a story that’s unexpected. Throw your first list away, and make another list. This time, come up with ideas that fit the call but come at the editor’s wish-list from a different angle. Surprise them. Be unique.
  6. Have readers (not your mom or friends) critique your work. You can join a critiquing group online (the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, linked above in #1, has an excellent on-line group specializing in erotica), or join a group like the one I started on Facebook, The Slush Pile where readers, writers, and editors are happy to offer suggestions and help you fix boo-boos before you submit your work.
  7. Edit like a pro or hire an editor. Spell-check doesn’t cut it when you’re submitting professionally. Try Grammarly’s free software or pay for the pro version. Read The Chicago Manual of Style. Educate yourself on proofreading and editing, or hire a professional to handle editing and proofreading for you. It’s worth the money. Nothing turns off a story editor more than work full of mistakes.

I hope this helps you in your quest to write and sell your erotica (or erotic short stories or whatever you want to call it).

If you have a specific question, don’t hesitate to ask me. Besides reading and writing, there’s nothing I like more than helping other writers and talking about the art of writing.

NOTE: I am not affiliated in any way with the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, Grammarly, or The Chicago Manual of Style and, I receive no compensation for steering people their way.

On Prince's Loss, His Gifts to the World and to Me

Prince, 1980 Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
The day Prince passed away, I listened to his music, letting it speak for me as my daughter tried to understand my tears and sadness over his loss. You see, while I might admire their work, I seldom feel a personal connection to celebrities, recognizing (after working in the film industry and hanging around musicians and famous people for much of my life) that most of us do not know them. Not really. We know what we think we know about them based on what they choose to show us. I understand; we are strangers to them.

Prince was different. While I didn't know him, he knew me. He knew me in the 80s when I was a young girl experiencing passion and heartbreak. He knew me as a woman in the 90s when I struggled to figure out who I was, feeling things people said I shouldn't, with goals and desires others said were wrong. He knew me when I wore $5.00 Payless fake-suede boots with spiked heels and a $1.00 faux-diamond necklace strapped around one booted ankle, strutting down Sunset Blvd. into a club, feeling good about myself in a way that had nothing to do with how I looked on the outside in my cheap-ass clothes.

He knew me later as a writer when I found the courage to cut myself free from what others were doing and wrote what I felt in my heart. He inspired me and countless others, usually anonymously and without credit, and he inspired me to write a story, Amaranthine Rain.
"Carnality was to Prince what photosynthesis is to plants. And in this metaphor, as befits a man famous for playing all his own instruments, he’s also the bee, pollinating pleasure." - Wesley Morris, The New York Times
No quotes, tributes, articles, pictures or music videos could do justice to the different things he represented to so many people.

"He lived." That was the best way I could explain Prince to my daughter. "He lived, and he felt, and he inspired people to find their own way and to do it passionately without giving a fuck about what anyone else thought or did. He never said these things. He showed us, and we heard his message in every song lyric he wrote and felt it in every guitar lick he played."

I wrote Amaranthine Rain the way Prince wrote lyrics, spending days finding just the right words to express poetically my feelings about infidelity, love, and death. Passion, loss, and hatred. I wrote it for a writing contest I knew I wouldn't win because my story's eroticism wasn't "in your face" enough.

sex in the rain
Photo credit - Elena Toma
So I wrote another story. In twenty minutes. A kiss-my-ass story more in line with what I knew would be accepted. And I felt guilty about it. About betraying myself. So I sent both stories. Of course, the other story I'd written won. The obvious story. The funny, fake story. The one without an ounce of heart.

"The judging was blind," one of the judges told me later. "We had no idea you'd written both stories until we'd decided on the ranking of prizes, and we agonized over the choice to ignore a work so many of us felt was the first-prize winner. In the end, we gave Weather Girl the prize because we felt it represented what erotica readers expected of us. But we loved Amaranthine Rain. We argued and debated, and I left the judging feeling shitty that the world wasn't ready for erotica like this and wouldn't see your words. I'm so sorry."

Photo credit - Nikki Moore
I wasn't sorry. His words affirmed what I'd already figured out on my  own; my writing had worth. I had worth, no matter what others thought. Even if I was the only one who could see it between the lines. Even if my work never found an audience. Even if people thought I was weird, or different. Even if my brother-in-law was ashamed and my in-laws and mother ignored my efforts. I had to keep writing. And never, ever write something again just to conform to what others expected, desired, or validated. I have a feeling Prince would have understood that.
"Thunder drowns out what the lightning sees." - Prince (from Raspberry Beret)
So I kept writing, and over the years, short-fiction collections of my work have been published by three publishers. My writing has appeared in magazines, anthologies, collections, and in five novels. I write under this name and others. Inspired by Prince, in so many ways, I often help artists and writers without expecting anything in return.

And I never thanked him. Never reached out even if I knew I probably wouldn't hear back from such a famously reclusive and private star. I never gave him credit for helping me to become me, for showing me that as flawed as I am, as different as I am, I have value just as I am. To me. To anyone who reads something I write and feels something, anything.

He inspired me, but nothing reflects Prince's influence more than Amaranthine Rain, a short story (and later the title of a collection of my stories) that would never have existed if not for his influence.
AMARANTHINE - Resembling the amaranth flower. Purple in color. Unfading, undying.
So Amaranthine Rain was really called Purple Rain, in Prince's honor. Like he so often did, I never spoke of it. And, to my knowledge, no one ever made the connection, though the story and title are filled with references to the color purple, rain, and Prince-like themes.

Prince at Coachella 2008
I'm certain he hears us now, thanking him as our hearts are awash in purple grief that feels like oceans of violets in bloom within our spirits as we relive his genius through his music and our memories of him.

READ Amaranthine Rain

Sexy new Cover for "Amaranthine Rain"

Amaranthine Rain by Zander Vyne a short story collection
So Amaranthine Rain (a short-story collection) is #69 today on Amazon (in paid literary short fiction . . . huzzah!), and my Facebook page is once again gaining followers (4,699 as of today). 
Coincidence? Considering the majority of the stories in the collection are erotic horror, I think not. 69. 69. 69. 
Maybe today is the day I will sell 69 copies in one day. Or, better yet, 666 copies ;>)
getBook.at/AR_on_Kindle (Universal linky-link for Amazon)

http://bit.ly/1Vvzb5R (Barnes and Noble link)

Underwater Explorations

Eden, my science fiction story inspired by The Twilight Zone, will appear in Underwater, The book cover reveal is today. The anthology releases sometime this fall.

Here's the official blurb:

When was the last time you came face-to-face with a mermaid?

Ever explore a hidden underwater cave or been haunted by an unearthly creature? Did that passionate childhood fantasy turn into a real, sexy encounter? When was the last time you discovered a bell concealing the entrance to a faerie mound? Have you wondered what would happen if New Orleans was entombed in radioactive water?

UNDERWATER features sixteen exploratory tales that delve into decrepit landscapes and strange magic, inhuman heroes and crushing experimentation. Two-thirds of the world is submerged—experience what happens within, from the fantastical and erotic to the horrifying and triumphant, UNDERWATER showcases stories that will inundate readers with uncharted territories.

I Like to Watch

When Rose Caraway,
AKA, The Sexy Librarian, includes your story in an anthology, it's kind of a big deal. No, it's a really big deal.

So, I am extra tickled to say I Like to Watch is in her new book, Tonight, she's Yours, GET IT NOW

Gifts, all Year

One of the best things about being a writer is sharing the love of books with others. This year, I'm thankful to every friend who helped me plot, every beta reader who found a typo or mistake (silver for vampires, anyone?) or spent their valuable book time reading or reviewing something I wrote. I am especially grateful to the Facebook beta-readers and writers group "The Slush Pile" for hooking me up with so many readers eager to offer their thoughts on early drafts of my work.

And I'm grateful to be included in ML Doyle's list of her favorite beta reads this year. She's a talented writer, and a bit of a badass in real life, so her female characters are always strong, smart, and sexy. She's my go-to reviewer, and I was so excited she included me along with DL Molles (who just landed a major publishing deal). I ate up his zombie series, and I can't wait to read his new book, Wolves.

Enjoy the holidays, everyone, and thanks for sharing your love of books all year long!

Bespelled: Tales of a Vampire Hunter - Sneak Preview

The thrilling conclusion to the bestselling "Tales of a Vampire Hunter" series. 

Oliver Ripley is older, wiser, and harder . . . a vampire hunter mutant drowning in pain and excess and guilt, hell-bent on punishing himself and taking down as many vampires as possible in the process. Once more, his enemies draw close, setting an irresistible trap. But, Oliver no longer wants to run. A different man now, immoral and depraved, he's become the very thing he swore he would never be. Fearing nothing, with nothing to lose, he seeks only revenge, and leaves only death in his wake. But when everything changes, can he find the human soul within himself in order to save our world and protect the innocent victims of a demonic plot as ancient as the universe itself?

Here's a steamy sneak peak:


Bangkok, Thailand

Oliver Ripley exited the limo and stepped into another world, a place peaceful and serene. A winding brook babbled over rocks, and fragrant white flowers bloomed along a stone pathway. Sculptured faces of ancient Asian gods gazed at him from jungle-lush foliage. Silver chimes tinkled and exotic birds chirped. Oliver did not let the Zen-like calm shake his resolve to do the violence he’d come to do.

“They are ready for you.” A delicate Thai woman met him where the stone walkway widened and became a patio. Tonight, she wore a ruby-red silk traditional Chakkri dress shot through with gold thread. Her black hair glistened, coiled low on her neck.

She walked briskly down a wood-planked dock, over the gently rippling turquoise-blue sea to a large pavilion flanked by two more just like it, filled with people. His audience. The ones who paid his rent with their twisted desires.

He wondered what it cost them to indulge their morbid cravings. Judging from his cut, it had to be a pretty penny. And what of their souls? Did they carry what they witnessed with them, like a dark secret, or did they manage to leave it behind in a way Oliver never could?

The nameless Thai woman left Oliver in the empty center pavilion and backed away from him, bowing low out of respect and maybe a touch of fear.

The party had been going on for a while. Some people were already naked. Others lounged fully clothed and intent on Oliver’s every move.

Oliver waited until the sun had gone down, and that twilight time had come when the clouds were dark purple, black and blue. Under a bruised sky, he would do what he’d come to do. He hoped, as he did every time, this would be the last.

He lifted his hand, calling for silence, which came swiftly. The crowd was eager for the show to begin. “Bring me the girl,” he said.

A woman in the audience yelped, setting off the nervous laughter of others in the audience. All eyes were on him and the girl who walked slowly toward him, like a bride, down the narrow dock and over the water that sparkled now in the moonlight.

She was young and very lovely. Shades of brown. Autumn. Shaggy, red-brown hair, cocoa skin, doe eyes. Naked, and unbound, she walked to him, stopping a respectful distance away, meeting his eyes. On her finger, she wore a large ruby ring that marked her. Vladula. Her breasts were tiny and her legs long. Hair formed a triangular thicket between her thighs. In the black coils, bits of red caught the light of the oil lamps lining the edge of the pavilion.

“Why are you here?” he asked her, not speaking the words aloud, but pushing the question into her head as they gazed at one another for the first time—vampire and vampire slayer, hunted and hunter, instantly connected.

The audience need not hear this part, the truth they had not paid to witness. But Oliver had to. “Are you prepared to die?” he asked, when she did not answer, speaking aloud this time.

A woman in the audience shrieked. This was part of what they paid for—the sense of danger, being so close to a real, live, honest-to-goodness vampire and vampire slayer, facing death made palpable and entertaining because it wasn’t their own. Aware they were in the presence of creatures capable of taking their lives, quickly and efficiently, had they the desire. Sex and death and danger formed a wicked cocktail, an addictive drug. Most, of course, thought it was an act. A snuff film performed live for their twisted enjoyment. Made more interesting by the roles played—creature-feature monsters come to real, sexual and deadly life.

“I want to die.” The girl’s voice rang out in his head and then repeated out loud, soft and sure.

The crowd cheered.

Oliver looked away from the sadness within the girl’s eyes and watched as a middle-aged white man with a huge cock shoved a small blond woman to her knees and pushed himself into her mouth, gripping her long hair, his shifty eyes glued to Oliver.

“Why?” Oliver looked once more at the girl, pushing his voice into her mind where no one else could hear him.

“I didn’t ask for this. I’m scared.” Tears spilled from her eyes as she spoke the words aloud.

In the audience, clothes were shed, tops lifted, nipples sucked, cocks stroked. This was what they’d come to see. This was what they’d paid for. This was what they wanted. Sex and danger and death.

“Fuck her,” someone said, their tone that of one already in the throes of pleasure, impatient for their climax.

“Kill her,” another shouted, their voice gruff with a darker excitement.

Oliver spoke aloud, as the vampire girl had. “You desire it fast and hard. Quick.” He leaned down, closer to the girl, his lips almost brushing hers.

The audience’s collective excitement hung heavy and alive in the air, like an electrical storm. The sounds of flesh slapping on flesh sounded a drum-like beat that seemed to echo the pounding in Oliver’s heart.

The girl trembled. Her eyelashes swept down as she looked away, but she stayed in place, standing before him begging him to kill her, save her. Pushing the words into his head.

Oliver sighed. She was another too weak to free him from his curse. Another who only begged him to put her out of her misery, with no idea of his. Weak she was, afraid and suicidal. A victim of the vampires, a fledgling with no Master. A Vladula.

He slipped his hand under her hair, his thumb resting on the frantic pulse fluttering in her neck. The hairs on his arms rose.

“Please. End it.” She opened her eyes. They were dry now, determined.

“Would that I could end it for us both,” Oliver said softly, too softly for anyone else to hear.

His hands on her shoulders told her what to do. She sank to her knees, mouth open before him, those huge eyes still begging him. Her voice was silent, but in his head, her thoughts flowed as his slayer soul reached out and easily snared her newly made vampire essence and the small nugget that remained of the girl she once had been.

He saw into her mind as if watching a movie. She showed him how they’d come for her in a dark, underground parking garage. Arms loaded with books, fumbling for her keys, she had been an easy victim, lost before she hit the ground. And then, the man with a black Mohawk, who wore a leather collar, studded with silver spikes. Spike Vladula. Blood. Voices as she lay dying. “The key. The doorway . . .” as the vampire took her over, brought her to the brink of death, and then eased her back. In the end, dying, afraid, she’d drank the blood, heard the strange, senseless words. I don’t want to die, she’d thought then as she did now. But I can’t live like this.

“Why?” Anger and sadness flooded him. Seeing the man who’d killed his daughter, even in this girl’s memory, filled him with murderous rage. He yanked her head back with a fistful of her hair.

“If I have to live like this, I’m already dead.” Her voice was a scream in his head.

She answered the wrong question, telling him why she wanted to die, as if he didn’t know the gut-wrenching torment one such as she felt trapped by abilities she never asked for and didn’t want. She did not know why Vladula had picked her, why she was here, or why she was about to die.

Guiding her hands to his cock, he held her fingers in his, showing her how to do it. His anger, her fear, their shock and confusion, on stage before people who now fucked all around them, eyes glassy, drunk on forbidden pleasures, had quickened his breath and hers. His flesh surged upward, driving into her seeking fingers. His fury adding to the tension.

Her lips appeared bruised, swollen like her nipples, sweet buds tight and high despite the balmy ocean breeze. Her thighs parted. She looked up at him as if no one watched them. Her eyes locked to his fingers as he slipped buttons free of leather and wrapped his fingers around his cock.

The memories running through her mind as his soul enveloped hers like a cocoon could be nothing but truth. She could not hide anything from him in the throes of death as he took her life. But what did it mean? Why would Vladula send a messenger with no message? Or a message that made no sense? If she had been able to lead him to Spike, Oliver wouldn’t have been so irritated. He’d simply kill Spike and anyone stupid enough to be with him. As it was, being tipped off about his cover being blown just meant he’d have to leave Bangkok so he’d be free to hunt without the distraction of dealing with Vladulas. Though killing them was enjoyable, he preferred to do it on his terms, and on his schedule.

Distracted, Oliver watched a man shoot a thick stream of white over a curvaceous woman’s breasts as the dying vampire girl worked Oliver’s own hard flesh as if the thick appendage she sucked was her lifeline. Her moans vibrated along his shaft.

Pleasure peaked, and around them, the air began to glow and spin. Energy whipped the colors into a rainbow swirling around them. A cloud of pure life-force shimmered around vampire and vampire hunter.

A collective gasp swelled from those who watched. Could they see it? Feel it? Oliver thought they must, on some level, though most still convinced themselves it was an elaborate, very expensive show.

“Beautiful,” someone said, wonder in their voice.

Inside, where none could see, and only Oliver and the girl could feel, their souls spun together. Oliver’s dipped inside, finding her essence fresh and young, innocent and blameless. A life too soon taken away, condemned. His heart contracted. Pity flooded him. As tears flowed from her eyes, and his seed filled her mouth, he felt her at her core. He knew her as if he’d been with her always. From her first steps to the ones that had led her here. And he cared. He cared enough to free her.

Gratitude shone in her eyes as she realized what was happening to her, even as the light within them dimmed, and his slayer soul began to extinguish the faint light still clinging to life within her.

The crowd roared its satisfaction when the girl slumped to the stage.

As the last spark of her life began to fade, and Oliver waited for the cold, dead stare he knew well, a frisson split off from the cyclone of their combined energy, as if seeking to escape death, untethering itself and fleeing the girl, spitting and stinging as it slammed into Oliver like a fist punch to the chest.

At his feet, the girl jerked as if shocked by jolts of electricity. Her chest lifted, back arching, breath gasping. Her eyes flew open, and her scream seemed to shove the foreign, contaminated thing deeper into Oliver.

His slayer energy swelled, a hurricane circling the vampire curse—for surely, that’s what the crackling thing was—smoothing it, containing it, and absorbing it until it winked out, not even a smolder remaining.

At his feet, the girl stirred and opened her eyes. She blinked. Confusion furrowed her brow, her thoughts as jumbled as his, and still wide open to him. Not a hint of vampire curse tainted her now. Somehow, Oliver had danced with her soul and seduced away only the vampire part of her, leaving the girl as pure as before she’d been attacked and used in the Vladula’s war against him.

Despite his confused astonishment, Oliver scooped the girl up, tossed her over his shoulder and left the stage. His long legs made quick time up the dock.

The tiny Asian woman met him, passing him the usual, small pouch containing his pay. She bowed low, not meeting his eyes, not remarking on the limp girl he carried.

In the driveway, the limo waited as it always did. The breeze fluttered perfumed flowers, and night sounds whirred. The noise of the crowd, dressing, whispering in low voices, seemed far away, soon locked beyond the insulating world of the limo. Driving down streets clogged with cars, red and white lights streaking by, it was silent. Oliver was left alone with his jumbled and raw emotions, the strange girl sleeping on his lap, nestled under his jacket, her face peaceful. She’d passed out.

For Oliver, the torment over what had happened was quieted by the shrieking of awakened inner demons. Closing his eyes, he let the memories consume him.

(Releases December 19th)