Excerpt and Preorder links below
The eBook releases on October 5th
Wolfgang's lover has been dragged into the sea by something that should not exist.
Stalking the beaches with night-vision goggles yields the answer to the mystery - a mermaid. He traps her and plans to dissect and kill her.
Conflicted by unexpected morals, he releases her into his pool then leans on the glass to watch her swim. The undulations of her naked body fascinate him.
When he takes her in his arms and she shifts to human form, revenge slips away...
Raffaela is the captive of a man who evokes a passion she thought lost to loneliness centuries ago. Can this truly be love? Yet nothing is what it seems to be.
Wolfgang is not an innocent. He has done bad things. Many. Bad. Things.
When the Ravening calls and her craving to kill returns, which of them will prove to be the real monster?
Contains graphic sex scenes, consent issues, violence, and some evil mindfuckery.
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The sky was wilder than she’d ever seen it, and already the power and fury of the storm drenched and chilled her. Frigid water charged across the deck, dashing at her face, tugging at her dress, as if to take her prematurely.
She screamed, her throat tearing with nonsense babbles. The men turned their eyes from hers.
Swiftly, they silenced her pleas with a cloth gag.
Bound as she was, at ankles, wrists, and arms, she could do nothing as they carried her across the clipper’s deck.
Beneath the roar of the wind, she was carried, beneath the towering waves trying to smash them from the rolling deck of the ship – muted, terrified, and abandoned by every other human on the vessel. She cursed them in her mind even as she feared for her life. Above, the rigging and masts lurched beneath a swirling chaos.
The rain thudded at her skin. The cloth in her mouth tasted of oil. They’d silenced her. Ashamed of what they did, perhaps. Even Guffrey, the ship’s carpenter and the man she had last bedded, had turned away as she was accosted.
This storm threatened to take the ship, and she was a woman and bad luck – no matter that she’d been welcome to whore her way across to Ireland until this storm found them.
If they sacrificed her, they might be spared.
She cursed them again then sobbed and laughed all at once. Her tears were a paltry contribution considering what the sky and the sea were doing. Water washed across the timber deck as if the sea had already claimed the ship.
Grim-faced, the two men took her closer to the rail, lowered her, then steadied themselves, and made the sign of the cross on their chests. This was their last, desperate sacrifice to save a doomed ship running before the wind with bare masts and tattered rigging, with the keel likely to give if the winds and waves strengthened.
They didn’t speak, though the storm would only have torn the sound from their mouths.
They picked her up between them, by legs and shoulders, and hurled her over the rail.
A mighty wave curled past and followed her down. She might drown before she reached the sea.
That would be a mercy.
There was none.
She fell – still trying to free herself, as if she could swim to safety, as if the ropes were not knotted tight and cutting her skin, as if she were not already condemned.
No one lives without hope.
She tried to free herself and failed.
The sea did not grant her the final grace of allowing her to slowly sink. It swallowed her in one ravenous gulp, gobbled her into its foaming gullet and drove her fathoms deep. In seconds she was buried under tons of water. Her hands were still bound at her back, her arms to her sides, and her ankles clamped fast and hard together, so that the bones hurt where they pressed at each other.
Her red dress wrapped her gently like a shroud.
Silence filled the void as she sank. The storm noise became distant.
The last bubbles from her lungs were lost to the roiling sea, in the bedlam of a hurricane angry enough to roll the ship a few seconds later, to pour in until its holds were bursting, and then to drive it under.
Drowning, terrified, and lost, she felt her body begin that effortless plunge. The shadow of the ship followed her down. Beneath lay a mile-deep trench. A place to sleep.
As her heart beat its last weakened thud-thud, something bit her at neck and back, tore away her clothes, and released her from the ropes.
But she was gone. Already, Raffaela was a limp, lifeless thing, and the surface was too distant to be reached.
Her open eyes saw nothing but cold black.
In the black, something lusted after her, something strange with sharp triangular teeth.
It feasted on her, plucked at her, thrust into her. It gave her life. A new, if transformed, life.
When her eyes saw again, the carpenter was falling past her, tumbling to the very bottom. Where he would hopefully rest and rot.
“Curse you, all of you,” she croaked from her sea-swept, sea-scoured, salt-cured throat.
Somehow, her words reached her ears.
Her heart began to beat again and something dire swam away from her, lithely sweeping at the water with a sinuous tail.
No one came to tell her what had happened or what she had become. She was alone beneath the waves, and although that by itself was clearly a miracle, she was unsure as to what sort of a miracle. Were there bad miracles?
The sea had become her world. She could breathe and move and swim rapidly. It came to her easily, naturally. What was she?
By feel, she found she had sharp teeth that were smaller than but similar to those she’d seen on sharks.
By sight, she found her pretty tail – a long hefty, scaled thing. The scales had a pearlescent shimmer lent to them by the light filtering down to where she swam. The tail propelled her through the water with power and grace, or so she judged it to be.
There was no one to disagree with her.
Over the weeks and days she glimpsed others like her, but they kept their distance. She did not understand or know their reasons, but it seemed wise to do the same. She was frightened of what someone like her might do to a new addition to the … species.
Was she a mermaid? It must be so.
Or was she something else, something more monstrous?
An undefined hunger dwelled inside her, and it seemed to be waiting for something.
Catching and eating fish, seaweed, and various other creatures she tried to not examine as she bit into them, calmed her, but it did not last, and always that deeper hunger waited.
Eventually the clouding of her mind drove her to swim upward, closer to the surface. Up there her new, shocking hunger might be sated. It raged at her while her body grew numb and her limbs prickled with drifting pains.
She popped her head above, into the air, and found she could still breathe, though the air lacked the clean taste of the sea. The scents of mankind pulled her to the ships that sailed by. After several days of following the ships then losing them, she ceased to deny herself. She was weaker and hungrier, yet also more able to smell them, their flesh, their lusts and their urges, Closer to land, where hills rimmed the horizon ahead of her, the ships often slowed. Some of them kept together like schools of fish.
Fishing boats. The men called to each other as they cast their nets.
She swam closer to a boat swaying back and forth in the waves, and there she found her first prey. A young man, merry of face, concentrating on his net while he hauled on ropes.
He saw her and frowned.
With a hold on the boat’s side, she lifted herself and her breasts, above the water.
The man froze.
Then she opened her mouth and sang to him in a voice that pricked him with desire and kept him staring at her fixedly as he approached. With the slightest of tugs, she pulled him closer. When he fell over the side, she slowly lured him deeper, downward, pulling off his pants and wrapping him in legs that had newly formed just for this purpose. To spread them, to fuck a man while he drowned, to kiss him as he thrust, to take him into her world. Finally he was spent. His mouth gaped, his wide-open eyes glazed over, his chest stilled. His limbs washed to and fro like pale seaweed.
Though she had tasted his blood at his neck, it was his death she sought.
Then… his life rushed into her, a fresh and glorious sun to heat her, strengthen her heart, and give her the force to go on.
She watched as he sank.
Many hours passed before guilt assailed her. She curled into a ball, hugging her tail, unsure when it had reformed but not caring. She’d killed. A man. So she could live. It was a terrible, sinful, wrong thing she had done.
A life for a life, though, her desires told her. It wasn’t so bad.
Curled up, she stayed huddled on the bottom for a full day. Siren. That is what I must be. Though really, she still wasn’t sure.
The next morning, when the sun rippled on her skin through the water, she took a deep breath, frowning at herself and surveying her long, pretty tail, and she vowed never to do that again.
But the hunger was not to be denied. She called it the Ravening.