New post up on Kill Your Darlings
And to celebrate the release of Jared Thomas's Calyspso Summer (review coming soon!)
Guitar so loud we can feel it in our chests. Someone else’s hair in our faces and someone else’s knuckle in our teeth and sometimes, when it’s really good, a current charges from body to body and everyone around us is part of it, part of us, part of the drumbeat thundering through so hard our breathing shifts to follow its pulse. Music turns us inside out with hunger, the need to hurt ourselves, get drunk, fuck, punch strangers, the need to take off all our clothes and run around in the grass screaming, the need to get in a car and drive off in the middle of the night with a pack of strangers. We let the music shake us loose from the moorings of our bodies and hearts and brains, until we are nothing but sex and sweat and fists and hot hot light.
Cass has a guillotine heart, severing ties as neatly as a whistle-sharp blade cutting the head from the body. Like any good revolutionary, she pretends that the casualties mean nothing.
I am to Aurora what a gift-store postcard print is to a Klimt hanging on the museum wall. I do not love her any less for it; I think it is best to know what you are and make peace with it.
The growl that came out of that massive chest was a reminder that her man was not, in fact, a man. He was the last purebred vampire left on the planet – and when it came to her and sex, he was fully capable of going wrecking-ball to get at her.
And not in that stupid-ass Miley Cyrus poser-sex way – and provided Beth was willing, of course.
Yet here she was, head over heels with a straight-up killer who had a trucker’s vocabulary, a royal bloodline as long as his arm, and enough attitude to make Kanye West look like a self-esteem reject.
… hundreds of dirty human women who hadn’t brought up safe sex or STD tests or whether or not they’d already contracted AIDS from letting sluts like him into their panties.
Jaenelle plopped on air, spraddle-legged. “I know it,” she muttered, crossing her arms. “I knew it was written in male.”
Saetan vanished his glasses. “I beg your pardon?”
“It’s gibberish. Geoffrey understands it but can’t explain it so that it makes sense, and you understand it. Therefore, it’s written in male – only comprehensible to a mind attached to a cock and balls.”
—‘Heir to the Shadows’
Ladies like to seem mysterious.
Not Lady Jaenelle Benedict. She didn’t try to be mysterious, she simply was. She walked in full sunlight shrouded in a midnight mist that swirled around her, hiding, revealing, tantalizing, frightening. Her honesty had been blunted by punishment. Perhaps that was for the best. She was good at dissembling, had some understanding about her family’s reaction if they learned some of the truths about her, and yet she couldn’t dissemble enough because she cared.
How many people knew about her? Daemon wondered as he brushed his hair. How many people looked upon her as their secret?
— ‘Daughter of the Blood’
Jaenelle opened her arms.He stepped into them and held tight. “I don’t think you’ve ever realized how strong, how necessary the bond is between Warlord Princes and Queens. We need you to stay whole. That’s why we serve. That’s why all Blood males serve.”
“But it’s always seemed so unfair that a Queen can lay claim to a man and control every aspect of his life if she chooses to without him having any say in the matter.”
Saetan laughed. “Who says a man has no choice? Haven’t you ever noticed how many men who are invited to serve in a court decline the privilege? No, perhaps you haven’t. You’ve had too many other things occupying your time, and that sort of thing is done very quietly.” He paused and shook his head, smiling. “Let me tell you an open secret, my darling little witch. You don’t choose us. We choose you.”
—‘Heir to the Shadows’
“I’d like to paint a portrait,” he said. “Of you. You and Greta together.”
“Just because. Because you’re at the right age for a portrait and I haven’t painted one in a very long time.” Finn tilted his head and squinted one eye at the statue.
“Thirteen is the right age for a portrait?”
“Of course it is,” he said, turning his squinted eye on me. “It’s the moment right before you slip away into the rest of your life.”
“Then what about Greta?”
Finn laughed. “Well, I’ll have to try and catch her before she slips away completely.”
My sister Greta and I were having our portrait painted by our Uncle Finn that afternoon because he knew he was dying.
I watched him sitting there with cards up his sleeve. Decks and decks of surprise cards he could slide out whenever he wanted to. Stories of him and Finn I’d never heard. Not like me. My deck was thin. Worn out from shuffling over and over in my head. My Finn stories were dull and plain. Small and stupid.
“I suppose I’m in that very small group of people who are not waiting for their own story to unfold. If my life was a film, I’d have walked out by now.”
Not the way they were, not clumsy and thick, but more like shadows. Like small eclipsed moons, floating over my heart.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
“I can’t help thinking that if I had a twelve-year-old brother I’d take him to the batting cage or to the arcade or something. Just to forget about it for a minute. Because I never forget about it. Not even for a minute.” She brushed an ant from the back her hand. “I wish I’d gotten to meet you, brother.” The word felt bittersweet in her mouth, round and heavy with something that could have been.
“Of course not. He wasn’t perfect at all. He farted in front of my mother on purpose and he snuck lizards he caught outside and put them into the basket where I kept coffee filters just so I’d freak out. Once he told me my ass was fat in front of his first-grade teacher. And, yes, he used the word ‘ass.’ But no matter what, he was perfect.” Kate smiled. “You two have that in common.” Pree snorted, but Kate saw delight in her eyes, and something similar danced within her.