Vivienne realizes she is dying. All she wants to do is see her daughter Giselle one last time and apologise. But Giselle no longer exists and it is Crow, a gender-queer anarchist, who returns to a family home that is plagued by ghosts and violent memories.
With the help of a shaman ze met in a dream, Crow unravels terrifying family secrets, hoping to find closure at last. But can anyone survive the shadows that lurk behind these fairy tales?
Goodreads | http://smarturl.it/Ballerina
Intrigued? I know I was. Here's a couple of teasers and excerpts from the book...
"My name was Crow. I was nineteen years old and had spent most of my life trying to escape all forms of hierarchy, most accurately portrayed for me, by the image of the matriarch, i.e. my crazy mother.
Mother’s name was Vivienne. We didn’t look alike, we didn’t act alike and we certainly didn’t think alike. Vivienne was a prima ballerina before she gave birth to me and I had all the grace of an elephant. She wore long, floating skirts and big jewellery, while I felt more comfortable in combats and t-shirts and hated the long hair she made me wear as a child, a symbol of begrudging femininity that never felt comfortable. My head was shaved now, much easier.
As far as I could remember I had always hated her, and she me. I never figured out what she wanted from me and simply assumed it was my unhappiness. Once free of her oppression, I naturally transferred this simmering animosity to other unworthy authority figures, but things were rarely as simple as they seemed.
I survived the blow from the shield, although the crowd were moved on and the building cleared. A pity really, another community space handed over to the country's rich elite. It made my head spin. I never understood the principle of profit over people. There were a lot of things I didn’t understand, but in the end I was a fighter and I guess I existed outside of society. It was easier that way, less complicated, and I could keep my priorities in check. I liked to think of myself as a freedom fighter, like my dad. The squat had everything I needed and I did a bit of this and that to make enough money to feed myself. All I had ever wanted was to survive and be free.
It’s why I left home when I did, at thirteen."
"I thought I heard footsteps in the room above - Vivienne’s room. At first I assumed it was the sound of old water pipes shaking until I heard the sound again, more clearly than before. Hackles up, I silently put down my cutlery and pulled the knife from my bag. I slipped off my boots and crept up the stairs.
Portraits loomed over my head. I shrank beneath the weight of their stares. My ears grasped echoes of resentful whispers and I hung my head in shame. Ashamed of what? I couldn’t remember, not really, perhaps it was purely that I wasn’t more like her.
I faced her door, shaking with fear, expecting her to rush out at any moment, screaming my name or slapping my face. I concentrated on my breathing, trying in vain to calm down. I was grown up now. She couldn’t hurt me anymore.
Mastering my fear, I opened her bedroom door and inspected the empty room. Vivienne’s huge bed crouched in the corner like a monster ready to pounce. Shadows lingered at the edges, a dark audience to mother’s regular performances. The air smelt stale. It reeked of old perfume, sweat and sex."
...There is also a FB party for the release of Starblood Graphic Novel on September 30th. Fancy joining us? here's the link...
So now we've looked at The Ballerina and The Revolutionary, here's a bit about Carmilla and the places that you can stalk her...
Carmilla Voiez is a new voice in the world of horror and dark fantasy. Her imagery harks back to the writings of Clive Barker and H P Lovecraft, but her voice is uniquely female. A varied diet of feminism and activism, a deep love of horror and a fascination with the Goth aesthetic created the creature of darkness we find today. Her books are both extraordinarily personal and universally challenging. As Jef Rouner of Houston Press once said - "You do not read her books, you survive them."
Carmilla lives in North East Scotland and finds inspiration in the wildlife, castles and desolate places that surround her. She lives with her two children, cats, and a poet, by the sea.
Carmilla's short stories can be found in a number of anthologies, including Klarissa Dreams. Her novels "The Ballerina and the Revolutionary" and "The Starblood Trilogy" are available for Kindle and in paperback. The Starblood graphic novel with art by Anna Prashkovich is due out on Sep 30 and the team have already started work on Psychonaut the graphic novel. A complete collection of her short stories "Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales" is due to follow in 2017. Carmilla Voiez also writes erotica and a collection of these stories is available for Kindle.
~Places To Stalk Carmilla~
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Missed yesterdays post and The Starblood Trilogy? Catch up here...