Friday, March 16, 2018

First Fantasy Novella by Best Selling Author Christopher Rice

One Thousand and One Dark Nights--Once upon a time, in the future… I was a student fascinated with stories and learning. I studied philosophy, poetry, history, the occult, and the art and science of love and magic. I had a vast library at my father’s home and collected thousands of volumes of fantastic tales. I learned all about ancient races and bygone times. About myths and legends and dreams of all people through the millennium. And the more I read the stronger my imagination grew until I discovered that I was able to travel into the stories... to actually become part of them. I wish I could say that I listened to my teacher and respected my gift, as I ought to have. If I had, I would not be telling you this tale now. But I was foolhardy and confused, showing off with bravery. One afternoon, curious about the myth of the Arabian Nights, I traveled back to ancient Persia to see for myself if it was true that every day Shahryar (Persian: شهريار, “king”) married a new virgin, and then sent yesterday's wife to be beheaded. It was written and I had read, that by the time he met Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, he’d killed one thousand women. Something went wrong with my efforts. I arrived in the midst of the story and somehow exchanged places with Scheherazade – a phenomena that had never occurred before and that still to this day, I cannot explain. Now I am trapped in that ancient past. I have taken on Scheherazade’s life and the only way I can protect myself and stay alive is to do what she did to protect herself and stay alive. Every night the King calls for me and listens as I spin tales. And when the evening ends and dawn breaks, I stop at a point that leaves him breathless and yearning for more. And so the King spares my life for one more day, so that he might hear the rest of my dark tale. As soon as I finish a story... I begin a new one... like the one that you, dear reader, have before you now.

I loved the idea of participating in a series based upon the concept of the ancient stories--so fantastical that they kept alive the storyteller just so that the King would keep Scheherazade alive to tell another one...

When Christopher Rice was asked to participate, he chose a fantasy story that is quite lovely and romantic tale as its characters meet what could be a ghost, a genie, or other magical person who offers a candle to the young woman who happens to visit his store one day... This erotic tale has just three characters--that are humans that is...Cassidy, Shane and Andrew... This is their story...

Two-and-a-half-years, she reminds herself, keenly aware, once again, that ever since she became a business owner she’s tended to round down her every accomplishment, accomplishment, as if no achievement of hers will be good enough until Cassidy’s Corner is out of the red and fulfilling Internet orders from all over the world. Then everything will be better; then she will earn the respect of her husband’s fellow architects at Chaisson & Landry, men and women who currently see her as nothing more than a housewife with a love of long novels and a codependent friendship with her gay best friend. And then she will never have another insecurity in the world. Ever. If she’s not careful, this cruel, self-defeating line of thought will wash away her ambitions with the speed and ease of the rain sluicing through the gutters overhead. She’s not a teenager anymore. She has no business blaming others for the terrible pressure she places on herself at the start of every workday. And if she doesn’t watch herself, she’ll make it Andrew’s fault, too. If he weren’t so driven and successful, she wouldn’t feel the need to compete. And if he weren’t so goddamn handsome, then she wouldn’t constantly feel like she didn’t deserve him, that other women were whispering things behind her back, things like, “What’d she do to land that one? Does it involve splits?” It is fear that tricks her into seeing the blessings in her life as obstacles. It is fear, plain and simple, that twines its black fingers through the love and respect she has for her husband, pulling it apart until its strands look like chains. And nothing good in her life has ever come from treating fear like a teacher. Worse, these thoughts are just painful distractions from uncomfortable, everyday realities. Owning a business is a lot harder than she thought it would be. That’s the long and short of it. And it’s just easier to indulge paranoid fantasies than it is to balance the books, conduct bi-weekly inventories, and stay abreast of trade conventions where she might find that rare, expensive specialty item that will snag the attention of a tourist from Atlanta or a Garden District housewife wandering the Quarter after brunch at Galatoire’s. And then there’s what happened during Mardi Gras...

Since I had just finished reading Rice's latest book, I remembered that I had one other story on my long TBR list by this author...and pulled it up! It is superb...

Was it the stress Cassiday was feeling? Or was there something that was beginning to happen within her home life--with her two men--her best, and gay, friend, Shane, since childhood and her husband, Andrew... Perhaps she was so tired when she feel asleep that she entered into a magical fantasy dream... But as each moment continued, Cassday was questioning, this can't be real, even though they were all quite surprised at what had happened after drinking too much at the Mardi Gras... Now her heart and mind were torn...

If it was a dream, it was so real... It started when she was hurrying to pick up materials for a job and it had begun to rain...As she was passing a shop delicious smells flowed out to her and she stopped...The shop keeper quickly saw her and invited her in to wait until the rain slowed... As soon as she was in the shop and her materials were stacked on the floor, she turned and went to a specific candle--it was as if she was drawn into the flame itself as it produced smells she at first couldn't identify. Then she realized that there were hints of both of the men who were important to her. How strange that she would think that, because surely it was made of various scents to produce this unique assault on her senses...

The shopkeeper talked to her and immediately insisted that she take the candle as a gift--that he made candles for specific people and, surely, this one had been created for her... Later, he gave instructions...and she followed them...

And that's when the magic began and the three gold-sprinkled spirits visited...

Do you enjoy erotic fantasies? I would quickly tell you that, in my opinion, it was the writing of the author that made this story so fascinating... Setting the story within a fantasy allows readers to consider how the story affects them. The story, the timing, are elusive, suspenseful... How do we define and reveal love to those closest to us? And is attraction the basis of love, or does love evolve from friendship and caring? Readers will undoubtedly be left with thoughts--intriguing thoughts...

I think I was most interested in the inner introspection of each of the three characters as each chapter changes from one person to another. Do we ever really share our most intimate thoughts, needs, desire? If not, can true intimacy occur? In what form? The story is more exploratory in psychological musings than the average erotic tale... To me that was surely a bonus which makes me highly recommend it for those who read explicit erotic fantasies...


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Best Seller Christopher Rice Presents New Series--Bone Music!

So what do I do for my birthday? Why, I give myself a book that I wanted to read, as soon as I saw it was available! It's been awhile since I read Rice's fabulous writing... Check out A Density of Souls and The Snow Garden. I've also reblogged a previous interview frp, my other blog, which I am now merging into Book Readers Heaven...for easier viewing...

Bone Music:
The Burning Girl Series

By Christopher Rice

If you've read the book,
do you agree with these potential characters?
Jason Briffel reads the transcript again. His hands are shaking. If anyone inside this roadside diner notices how badly he’s sweating, they’ll probably blame the baking desert heat outside. But it’s not the heat. It’s the same full-body reaction he experiences every time he reads the ten-year-old record of the last time Trina appeared onstage with her birth father. 
Normally the transcript focuses him, which is why he picked it up after the plate of steak and eggs in front of him failed to ignite his appetite. He thought it would collect his scattered thoughts, channel his anxiety and doubt into action. 
It’s been seven years since he showed up on the doorstep of her grandmother’s house in California, even longer since he mailed her those letters explaining how her birth father and her so-called rescue by the authorities had averted her true destiny. Her soul was being starved. Together, the two of them could reawaken that exceptional and enlightened young girl Daniel and Abigail Banning had coaxed into being.  
But today the transcript hasn’t worked its usual magic. Reading it has left him angry and confused. He’s gripped now by the humiliating memory of what happened to him that fateful night at Burnham College. He’s feeling the vise grip of the two blazer-clad security guards who’d appeared out of nowhere right after he entered the auditorium. The ones who’d threatened to call the cops as they carried him out so quickly he could practically feel the wind in his hair. 
A hopeful, perhaps foolish part of him had been convinced that someone in Trina’s inner circle would have seen the wisdom in his letters. Abigail Banning certainly had. 
Unlike Trina, who responded to his attempts at honest communication with a restraining order, Abigail replied in great detail to every single letter Jason mailed her at Haddock Penitentiary. She recognized Jason as the vehicle for her adopted daughter’s restoration, a daughter who’d been divinely gifted to her and then cruelly removed by a world that did not understand the spiritual necessity of life taking. Abigail blessed Jason with words he’d been desperate to hear since he’d first laid eyes on Trina. You will be the Daniel to her Abigail, she’d written. And in so doing, you will become become my son, too. Why hadn’t he read that letter instead of this transcript? He’s brought it with him, along with several others. They’re at the bottom of his backpack, along with the coil of rope, the rolls of duct tape, and the Ziploc bags in which he plans to put the bullets he’s going to strip from the three different guns she keeps in her house. 
Should he read it now? No, there’s no telling what effect it might have on him. Instead he searches the diner for corrupters. There’s one sitting a few tables away: pretty and young, with a blonde ponytail and a halter top that reveals just enough suntanned skin to corrupt. She taps at the screen of her smartphone. The mustached man sitting across from her gazes out at the passing eighteen-wheelers with a vacant stare that reveals all the damage she’s done to his soul. She ignores the man on purpose. Jason knows this. That morning, or possibly the night before, she denied the man sex and took great, silent, delight in the pain this caused him. Right now she’s texting a girlfriend, or maybe several, and they’re reveling in the power she lords over the man, in the pain her withholding creates in him. And she does this because she is a corrupter, one of many. And once Jason has awakened Trina to their combined destiny, she will give herself entirely to their union and help him remove women like this blonde whore from the earth. Trina will burn away the evidence of his work, just like she burned away the detritus of Abigail and Daniel’s victims. But first he has to break down her walls, show her there’s no escape. From her true calling. From her real mother. From him. These thoughts, these plans—this vision—finally give him the confidence he’s been seeking since he stopped off at this diner. He has only a few hours left in his drive, a few hours until he’ll reach the isolated parcel of Arizona desert she now calls home.

One of the first things she did when she was finally on her own was to choose and legally change her name.
Charlotte soon became Charley, a name she liked and enjoyed using. It was entirely different from her real name, Trina, and its association with The Burning Girl...

Trina's mother had been gruesomely murdered while Trina was in the car. The couple who had acted together to fulfill their thirst for violence had taken the raise as their own. Trina never knew that her "parents" were serial rape/ murderers. Until she was 7 and they started her out by giving her the responsibility to burn all that had been worn and owned by those murdered. The Burning Girl soon became what she was best known as...

And, it wasn't surprising that a stalker had started following her after seeing all of those false representative books and movies of her formative years... He had tried to talk to Charlie and she quickly put a restraining order on him...Then he talked to her adoptive mother, who was in jail. She quickly realized the potential of getting her daughter to again "work" to fulfill her earlier role in...murder...And Jason wanted to be her partner just as her adoptive father had been to Abigail, her mother...

When her birth father found her and freed her--only to then use her as the basis for books and movies about the years she lived as the child of serial killers, she was harassed and forced to say what she was told.  When she had been old enough to act on her own, she sued her father and escaped from a life she was now trying to put behind her. To do so, she had built an extremely secured home which, initially, was totally away from everybody...She hibernated, not wanting or needing to be with any people. But she had started going to local AA meetings. That's where she met Dylan...

He told her that he knew she didn't belong in AA meetings, but he did provide the opportunity she needed to talk out what had happened. They had met routinely thereafter and Charlie had shared more than she would have ever thought she could...She had begun to trust again... but was still very afraid... Dylan suggested she take medication to help...

“The world is full of bad men, Charlotte. Go find some. 
Show them what you can do.”

And that's when the major plot begins! And it breaks into an unbelievable, fantasy thriller where Charlie becomes "close" but not the same as Bionic Woman. She is a much more fascinating woman which is suited to be responsive to her special needs based on her past and what happened since then... Think, perhaps, PTSD meds with a "kick..."

I loved the way one character was brought into the story. You see, he was a bully in the same school after Trina had been freed...and he was the one who started calling her Burn Girl. But Luke Prescott is a changed man who has an interesting FBI background and also an interesting hacker brother, both of whom greatly enhance the story. Charlie and Luke slowly begin coming acquainted with the new people they now are... as do the team that is slowly developing and surrounding her with care...

Then there is a former close friend of her grandmother who had died, leaving another devastating loss for Charlie to handle... He successfully works with former alcoholics and immediately is there to help protect her when Charlie's first trouble begins...

That is, when her stalker is already in her home one day when she returns...and attacks!

The psychological suspense of the story is what drew me in the most... While I would normally move quickly through a thriller, I found there were so many brilliant gems in paragraphs that kept coming, that I slowed the pace of my reading in order to dwell on significant issues that were woven within the story that I found relevant to both my own and, I am sure, other lives who have been traumatized in some way. The writing related to Charlie's various experiences was sensitively done, and showed the breadth of knowledge and thought of the author in both character development as well as his story telling. Rice's writing is intellectually stimulating, relevant and compelling.

While loving both the previous novels by this author, the "concept" of the medication and the reason for its trial and error approach, provided much to ponder...and a wonderful goal should anybody ever develop such a medication... I am so looking forward to the next in series, having pre-ordered even if it doesn't come out until next year! Charlie's a woman who has gone through trauma like no other... But will she be able to continue to keep the "potential" of the drug under control??! I loved this book and is easily added as a personal favorite! For women, this just might be a must-read for several reasons, at least in my opinion...


Christopher Rice is the recipient of the Lambda Literary Award and is the New York Times bestselling author of A DENSITY OF SOULS and the Bram Stoker Award finalists THE HEAVENS RISE and THE VINES. He is the head writer and an executive producer of "The Vampire Chronicles", a television show based on the bestselling novels by his mother, Anne Rice. Together they penned RAMSES THE DAMNED: THE PASSION OF CLEOPATRA, a sequel to her bestselling novel THE MUMMY OR RAMSES THE DAMNED. BONE MUSIC, the first installment in his new Burning Girl series, was released March 1st, 2018, and the sequel, BLOOD ECHO, will be released in February 2019. With his best friend, New York Times bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, Christopher hosts the YouTube channel THE DINNER PARTY SHOW WITH CHRISTOPHER RICE & ERIC SHAW QUINN (#TDPS). THE DINNER PARTY SHOW began as a podcast and Internet radio show. You can download and stream all of their episodes at He lives in West Hollywood, California. Visit him at

Join Discussion With Christopher Rice, New York Times Best Selling Novelist! A ReBlog

[New York Times Best Selling Novelist, Christopher Rice, graciously agreed to an interview here at Book Readers Heaven... I was thrilled! Excited! A little fearful to be asking a well-known author my type of questions... You all know I get a little personal on topics that interest me...LOL So here goes...]
Good Morning Chris! I'm so happy that you agreed to visit! I'm a new fan, so you'll find I ask some fairly in-depth or personal questions as I try to get to know a new author (for me). 

I picked the first picture of what you look like today as a self-assured successful writer, but at the time you wrote your first two books, this young man didn't appear quite so confident, or maybe it's just because you look like you were indeed very young then!

When did you first start writing?
 I started writing when I was in college. I went to college with dreams of becoming an actor, but when I arrived at Brown I soon learned no one there shared that dream. I didn’t get called back for a single audition my freshman year.  Before then, I’d been a voracious reader, and I’d always nursed some fantasies that I’d eventually write material to perform in. So when my primary outlet was taken from me, I defaulted to another. No one could stop me from writing. They didn’t have to publish it or do anything with it. But they couldn’t stop me from connecting with my imagination in that solitary and  fulfilling  way. 

As the son of a well-known author Anne Rice, did you gain your interest in writing from her... or from your own personal desire to write?
I think I avoided the idea for a long time because of her fame. And even when I finally started pursuing writing obsessively, which was in college, I was focused entirely on screenplays and stage plays. I transferred to NYU’s Dramatic Writing program, believing that I would never write a novel, that I didn’t even have the muscle for prose. And when I did finally write a novel, it felt like an accident. I took a short story I’d written and started tinkering with it and the tinkering didn’t stop until it was the length of a manuscript. 
Now I can see advantages of having Anne Rice as your mother, but, come on, really, do you enjoy working along with her, combining signings, for instance?
The joint signings are a trip. I love them. They’re laborious, for sure, but they’re also wonderful. When I fly solo, there aren’t anywhere near as many people. On my own I do mostly quiet readings with groups of twenty or thirty people. With her, it’s like a wonderful circus. And the babies. We both love all the babies people bring up in line. She insists on holding every one. 

LOL...Just like she once held you!

You mentioned that you knew that if you did start to write, you would want to write the books you'd personally want to read... May I assume that is because there are not many books with homosexual characters as lead participants in the novel? I can think of this as the only reason since surely you have some favorite authors from through the years? 

This is partly true. There are a lot of books with gay main characters, but there aren’t many books in which those characters are active heroes or heroines. The MM romance genre is mainly where this is happening, and many of its authors are women who enjoy writing about two men together. They’re producing some wonderful stuff too. But this trend is more recent, and when I first started writing there were very few gay detectives and no gay superheroes. The most popular novels with gay protagonists back then were social chronicles. They were works of activism, many of them were focused on the AIDS epidemic and its terrible cost. Those books were wonderful and necessary, but they weren’t what I wanted to write. From the start, I’ve been attached to genre labels. I’ve wanted to write the type of books I devoured as a young person but with full inclusion of gay people. 

Just so you know, yes, I am going...there...The two books that I've read are actually your first two books recently republished with additional material. The Density of Souls and The Snow Garden have gay men, yes... But there were very few actual sex scenes in these books. Has your work changed since then? If so, how and why? 

Well, I’ve recently published several works of erotic romance, THE FLAME
and THE SURRENDER GATE, both of which are set in the same universe, The Desire Exchange. In both of these books, the stories themselves are focused on sex and sexuality; so yes, there are a lot more sex scenes in some of my books now. But just two books ago I started working in supernatural horror with THE HEAVENS RISE, and it was wonderfully liberating. I started publishing very young and so my work has evolved considerably, I feel, since my first novel. My God, I hope it has. It’s been almost fifteen years now. 

Well, I just downloaded The Flame so I'll let you know what I think later...

Back to the books I've read so far, The Snow Garden and Density of Souls [Please click over to read my reviews if you haven't already)] 

Frankly, I loved them as they were because you took the time to allow us to know the characters. And, before you mention it again, I would love to read the sequel of The Snow Garden if you do decide to write it! 

I was impressed 
and thoroughly enjoyed both books but found them totally different in style. Dare I say the first somewhat more personal perhaps--perhaps somewhat based upon your own life?--yet with chilling scenes, while the second was much more literary and suspenseful. Do you have a preferred genre and what have you been publishing since your first two novels? 

I like suspense. Even my erotic romances have suspense in them. I like the idea that the world of my characters is going to be seriously upended before the novel’s over, maybe even right as the novel begins, and that the resulting changes won’t all be negative. I think that’s the idea that ties all of my books together. Violent change is often the only solution to an interminable state of secrecy and deception, which is how many of my books begin.

I noticed that, in both books, there are major female friend characters with whom the main character becomes involved. Given some of the other things covered, would you say that these individuals represent an emotional support important to gay men that they don't necessarily receive from their partner? I say that because both of the female friends seemed to be more emotionally connected to the main character than are the other male characters…

I’m not sure. In my earlier life, most of my most important and lasting friendships were with females. It wasn't until adulthood that I really developed close friendships with other men. Part of that had to do with coming out. First I had to come out of the closet, then there was a period where most of my friendships with gay guys were highly sexualized and it often wasn't clear whether something was going to be friendship or something more. Then, later, things sort of stabilized and I was finally in a place where I could have important chaste friendships with other men. Today my best friend is a man, another novelist, Eric Shaw Quinn. We do The Dinner Party Show together. ( 

Let's start with A Density of Souls... How did you arrive at the title and could you share what it means to you? As your Debut novel, why did you choose the story as written?

The title was with me long before that novel was. Construction wise, the book was several different storylines I’d been experimenting with as screenplays. They were all tied together by a tremendous amount of anger I was holding onto about being a closeted gay kid in high school. 

There is certainly a plethora of dysfunctional issues, including alcoholism and my understanding that was not unusual in Louisiana. Did I understand that right? 

Louisiana has a different relationship to alcohol than most of the country, that’s for sure. 

I enjoyed the scene where Stephen steals a picture at School.  The interesting characteristic that body beauty is an important attraction for most gay men... I'm not so sure that is only something important to gay men, however, LOL... 

On the other hand,   Jeff was more supportive to Stephen so is there some point where personality and other issues becomes the dominant factor in looking for a long-time partner? And just to add a questions for your fans--would you consider marriage at some time in the future? Wondering minds surely want to know…

I’ll consider marriage if I ever fall in love. How’s that for an answer? 

Great Answer!

But yes, physical attraction is important when you’re younger, but I think it changes over time. Stephen’s character is defined by a deep sense of self loathing and a deep sense that he isn't masculine enough to be socially acceptable. So he lionizes any man that represents what he considers to be a masculine ideal. That’s not how my own sexuality operates today. Those aren't really the terms anymore by which I choose to view potential mates and partners.  So I’ll say this much - I’m not still single because I've been holding out for a supermodel. 

Although I have read other books with homosexual characters, I enjoyed your books much more. Basically, the books were wonderfully written with two story lines that were amazing and brilliant in many ways... The one thing I realized was that the books were sharing the lives of your characters--good, bad, or otherwise--not based upon their sexuality, but rather on those routine events, places and actions that make us all unique. By doing so, I became intimately involved with your characters just as I would with others... Is this what you meant by wanting to write the books that you would want to read yourself? 

Very much so and thank you for your kind words. 

Taking that a step further, are your stories based, at all, on your own life or the lives of people you've known in your life? And would you be willing to share how? 

I blend things, and I blend characters. I take certain events and make them turn out differently than they did in real life. And to create characters, I often take several different people and mold them into one. I’m not very good at non-fiction. It usually turns into comedy or satire when I try to write it on my blog. So for dark suspense, there needs to be a sense that I’m working in an altered landscape, and then I feel more free to take chances. But that goes with the territory when you’re writing a genre novel. There are certain set expectations you have to fulfill. Some writers use tropes, some writers use cliches, and often the difference between the two is a matter of personal opinion and a function of the person’s opinion of the entire genre in which you’re writing. 

Knowing the difference between time periods when these novels were originally published, I found myself thinking about your characters as if they were living their stories in the present time. I'm not talking about details, but rather the decisions made then and now. For instance, it seemed clear to me that boys, say, athletes, may have participated in sexual interactions with other boys in early life... but did not consider those gay activities. Girls on the other hand, at that time, probably continued to keep their sexuality a part of their secret life as opposed to sharing among friends. Do you agree? And do you think the openness that now exists would change those parameters. In fact, although I think your books are timeless--at the same time, I would hope that Stephen's experiences as a youth would not occur today??? 

I agree with you here. The atmosphere inside of American high schools has advanced by leaps and bounds since these books were published. Bullying and teen suicide are still big problems, but one of the reasons they’re problems is that gay kids are coming out in numbers they never did before, certainly not when I was in high school. My first boyfriend came out in high school and it was practically a local legend in New Orleans when he did so. Because it was just unheard of then. Around that same time, my friend Corey Johnson, who is now on the Manhattan City Council, made headlines when he came out to the fellow members of his high school football team. It was a very different time, and a book about a gay kid struggling through high school today would have to reflect that new reality. 

Allow me, please, a more updated question related to that...  Given that it seems to be "big news" when a professional athlete comes out, what are your thoughts about what environment really exists in the U.S. now or where you would prefer to see it? 

We’re not there yet. We’re close. But we’re not where we need to be. It may seem like we are, but the fact is, until a public statement of homophobia can end a politician’s career as effectively as a public statement of racism does today, then we’re not there yet. There are still large quarters of the country, very powerful quarters, which abuse religion to justify their personal prejudices and sexual confusion. Until these quarters lose their political power, their ability to control congressional elections, and their ability to bully the leadership of the Republican Party into accepting anti-gay positions they don’t personally believe, then the battle is far from over.

Well said... 

In A Density of Souls, it seemed that there were more strong feelings within families than I expected. In my own life, although there was always secrecy, I have known homosexuals in all part of my early school and on into my professional life, that never seemed to affect interpersonal relationships. Was that because I was blind to what was happening? That I was accepting of the individuals matter of factly...or just was never in a situation where bias and prejudice existed? By the way, I thought your book ended in the best possible manner, given all that had happened. Why was keeping the ending so important to you, if you can share without giving the story away? 

It isn’t sexuality that damages people. It’s sexual secrets that damage people. I think the strain on the familial relationships you see throughout the novel comes from the secrecy, not sexuality. So, if in your own experience, the homosexuals you knew were open with everyone about their identity, you probably weren’t witnessing the same kind of strife that’s depicted in the novel. I’m glad you liked the ending. I wanted the ending, however dark, to also be ambiguous in a certain way. My mother, interestingly enough, had a very different read on it than most readers. She actually thought it was fairly upbeat. As for spoilers, I hate spoilers in general, especially with my own books, but with other people’s books and movies as well. 

On the college campus, .I saw a professor who ignored his personal desires and chose to marry, only to have a bad marriage... If you were in a professional position where your sexuality would become an issue professionally, what would you today's world? 

There’s no going back for me now, so it would be hard to consider the question. I’ve also had a very supportive family, which I think helps.

The Snow Garden became a personal favorite for me, so the only real burning question for me is, why choose Hieronymus Bosch's (1450-1516), The Garden of Earthly Delights, as such a central part in the book? Also, who created the central panel in the original home of Eric Eberman? And why did he turn the house over to his grad student--for his research proposal??? And, would you be willing to share your own personal opinion of this work, either supporting or speaking against known criticism…

If there’s a hell, Bosch painted it. We had a print of his hanging on the wall of our house when I was a little boy, and ever since then I’ve been obsessed. Eric Eberman was a character profoundly tortured by his sexuality. Bosch’s nightmarish landscapes reflected his inner life entirely. So it made sense to me that this respected professor would find himself in thrall to these academics who truly believed they could conquer sexuality with intellect alone. Personally, I do believe in a higher power and I do believe there’s much to the experience of life beyond what we can perceive from moment to moment, but I’m not a Christian and so I don’t believe hell or the concept of hell. It’s far more likely to me that this plain is closer to what we would describe as hell and what comes next is a more peaceful stage, a place where we can actually put to use what our souls have learned on this plane through repeated trial and error and loss. 

I've noted some comments from individuals on your various pages noting "thank yous" for your books. Have you purposely set about providing books for the homosexual community? If yes, why? Do you think there will come a time (when?) there will be no need for gays to look only to those authors willing to write from their own experiences? 

This is very moving. Thank you for saying this. I wrote the book I wanted to read. I’m still doing that, in a sense. I might make a decision to shift to a certain genre, but in that case, I write the book that I would like to read in that genre. Writing is such a lonely business, and it’s so fraught with failure, that you really have to be in love with your own work to stick with it as a profession. When I wrote my first two books, there was no GLEE. Ellen hadn’t come out yet. There just weren't the diversity of representations of LGBT people on the small and big screen that there are now, so you *had* to go to books to get them. That’s no the case anymore. Or it’s the case in different instances. You’re not going to find any really great ongoing gay romance series on T.V. right now. For that, you have to go to books still. 

The reason I ask this may have already answered by your response to your desire to write what you want to read... My question relates to where you see your future, genre-wise. I believe most of what you write now is suspense/thriller, correct? Ever considered a romantic suspense for instance? Fantasy or SciFi? Have you considered co-authoring with your mother? And could you also share what you have coming up in the future?

 I’ve just published two  works of erotic romance, both of which involve suspense, THE SURRENDER GATE and THE FLAME. I have considered co-authoring with my mother and we might have an announcement about a project along those lines very soon! I’m publishing another erotic romance called KISS THE FLAME later this year, in November 2015. This will be the third book published in The Desire Exchange series and I’m very excited about it
My very best wishes for your continued success! It's been great sharing with you and I do hope you consider a sequel to The Snow Garden. In the meantime, I'll be seeing what it means to exchange desire...And I just had to add one more pic... Very Cool Dude! I think he should be your main character in a period book about the age of that camera...Suspense, of course! Thanks again for visiting!

Note: This discussion was previously published (with an updated video) on a blog that I no longer use since it didn't get as much coverage...I am in the midst of moving most articles to my main this is actually a new post here! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Broken Chains

On a hot summer day in Baku in 1973, Esmira met a young man in the bookshop that she managed. While speaking to a friend over the phone, her eye caught the mysterious stranger entering the store. Esmira glanced at him. Her gaze was caught by his striking looks: broad-shouldered with hazel eyes and an olive complexion.
Esmira’s assistant saleswoman, Sveta, approached him with a broad smile on her face. “Sir, how can I help you?” She tossed a paper fan back and forth in front of her doll-like face. 
He shared the smile. “War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, please.” Sveta located a copy of the classic, after which he paid for his purchase and departed. 
Her eyes lingered on him as he exited the shop. She sighed audibly. A week passed, and this elusive male customer returned. When he came into the bookshop, Esmira was standing by the cash register scribbling sales inventory in a notebook. Sveta had abandoned the sales counter to take a nap in the store-room in the back, leaving Esmira as the only other person in the front of the shop. 
With a broad smile, the man greeted her and asked for a book by Nasradin Nuris. Esmira mounted a stool to retrieve the item. She began to search among the bookshelves. As she found the section where Nasradin’s books were located, she noticed out of the corner of her eye that the man was ogling her figure. Noticeable warmth coursed through the man’s body. His heart pounded impatiently. As Samed licked his bottom lip, he pondered her lithe body, beautiful legs, and firm round bottom. The stinging sensations shot through his hands, which were fidgeting nervously. Because of his penchant for curvy women, he clearly aimed to possess her right there, without any regard whatsoever for her own intentions.

Broken Chains

By Emiliya Ahmadova

While this is a family saga that include issues from at least four generations, the book hones in on the life of one of the children, Silvana, who succeeds in breaking the chains of her childhood. The drama takes place in the Port City of Baku, the Capital of Azerbaijan... 

When her mother Esmira, met Samed, she was managing a bookstore and Samed visited first to buy a book but came back...He planned to capture the attention of Esmira and have his way, no matter what... Esmira was a young Muslim girl who was so naive that she had no understanding of contraception. Of course she got pregnant. Samed immediately told her to get an abortion... Silvana was the first child to this man who spent much of his time seducing and taking young girls as his own, for at least one time...

It was Esmira's mother, Sadaget,  who wound up taking care of Esmira's children... yes, she had two more by Samed... Readers will learn of the life of the children as they follow daily interactions within the family.
Seeing her mother, Esmira froze, aghast. Her whole body suddenly felt weak. She felt like she was going to black out. Esmira held onto the table to keep from falling , her heart beating fast. Allah, have mercy on me! Sadaget saw Esmira's belly, and her jaw suddenly dropped. Her mother’s facial expression made Esmira agitated. Her knees began to shake...
“I'm ashamed,” answered Esmirain a low voice. Sadaget picked up the newspaper. She threw it at her daughter. It hit her belly and fell onto the floor. Esmira moved two steps back. 
“You should have shame, jumping into a man's bed without marriage!” yelled Sadaget. She shook her head and approaching Esmira, she spat on her. Next, she slapped her face. “Whore! Was it Samed?”

Although Esmira never was told, her mother had also got pregnant as a single girl and had been so careful trying to prevent the same thing happening to her daughter! Raising children without a father was a difficult life. 

Initially, it was planned that the child would be given up for an adoption, but as soon as Esmira and then her mother saw the baby, they chose to keep her. Esmira took 3 months leave to take care of the child, but soon it was Sadaget who had primary responsibility. In the meantime, Samed had moved on to live with another woman, but then moved back with Esmira, while continuing to lie about everything, including that he still saw other women...

An important twist had been in place that became more prominent as Silvana grew. Sadaget's background had been in the Orthodox Church, so she read from both the Bible and the Koran, which allowed Silvana to learn about both religions. As she grew older and began to think and act on her own thoughts, she had made her own decisions about which spoke to her more. But those thoughts could easily get her in trouble since her honest actions did not necessarily match those of others. Even then Silvana was bold enough to speak out to those who did wrong...

Silvana did everything she could to help her granny and the family, learning English so she could look for a job. But when she found it, she soon was faced with her first experience of having a man try sexual interaction... She walked out! 

Silvana is a fantastic character. But living where she was allowed the family cycle to continue--Silvana was the fourth generation of being a woman of the age for marriage. Would she break the cycle of living and raising a family without a husband? But Silvana had a dream of marrying a prince charming, someone from a foreign country who would take her away from her old life...

She thought Mark who was English was to be that man and when all her dreams seemed to be coming true, she thought everything was perfect... She was wrong...

Each of the women in this family had accepted the lies of men who had wanted only one thing... By the time Sadaget had followed her mother, she had learned enough to be a strong woman, able to earn a basic living and continually taught her daughter about keeping herself for her husband. When Esmira failed, Sadaget continued to support her family and continued to try to break the chains of servitude...But it was Silvana who had listened, who had learned enough teachings from the Bible and Koran, and, developed the fortitude to act to seek the freedom from bondage...

One interesting think I learned was that the individual lives of the women, whether Muslim or Christian, were not really that different...but that it took each of the individuals to seek and then choose to follow her own path for her life... It was heartwarming as well as a challenge to watch these women struggle for...freedom... 

The issue of religious choice seems to be more of a factor in America than ever before... Those interested may find Broken Chains of help in seeing and making a woman's life choices...


Dear Readers,
I am from Azerbaijan but currently live abroad. Azerbaijan is very beautiful country and we speak Azerbaijani language and some know Russian.
I am a believer, mother, author, motivational coach, ex scout leader who believes in the possibility of everything. I work hard in order to achieve my goals and make sure that God plays a main role in my life. I do not take the answer No for no.
I love writing and enjoy helping people. It allows me to create something new or bring something positive into someone's life.
As a writer I will continue writing covering the topics that not only would capture the readers' interest, but teach, give direction and highlight the issues that as humans we are facing. I would like to try myself in different genres producing a unique piece for my readers. However, I do not see writing as my career. It is a hobby and a tool that allows me to share my knowledge, entertain, motivate and guide. I wrote Broken Chains, A Hell for All Seasons and in a process of editing My twin sister and I(book for children).
Broken Chains symbolizes freedom from the fears, anxiety, negative situations etc. It shows an ability to break the chains that keep someone down and move forward to something new and better without looking back.
Little bit about my education.
I have diplomas in business management as well as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in human resources management. I also have international diplomas in the advanced study of the theory and practice of management, administration, business management, communication, hotel operations management, office management and administration, and professional English from the Cambridge International College, in addition to a certificate in novel writing. I speak four languages (Azeri, Russian, English, and some Turkish), but my native language is Azerbaijani.