'My story starts last autumn. I want to set it down because I understand now that I’ll never be able to leave this place. And I want you to remember me as a good person.'
So begins Split, my neo-Gothic tale of bondage and submission set in a puppet museum on the Yorkshire moors. And today it’s out in the UK along with Lust Bites, the hot volume of vampire erotica from me, Portia Da Costa and Mathilde Madden. (Sorry Yanks, you have to wait till January.)
Split tells the story of Kate, a woman who flees London and her boyfriend to take a job in a weird little village called Heddlestone. She doesn’t tell her boyfriend she’s leaving. Drawn by a strange compulsion, she simply vanishes. I am Kate Carter, five foot nothing, freckled and fair, pear-shaped but sprightly, a librarian on the run.
Kate lodges in the attic of Jake, the strange, beautiful puppeteer whose surreal, doll-filled house adjoins the museum. When Kate first meets Jake, she’s smitten.
He was too tall for his suit so he was all wrists and ankles, a man almost as gangly as his puppets. I know I’m a romantic fool, but my stomach really did flip. His hat was of battered brown leather, dark curls peeping beneath the brim, and his pale skin was dotted with a couple of moles. His nose was narrow, a little misshapen, and his cheekbones enviable, his face having a refined feminine bone structure, although his neck was strong. He reminded me of a deer, full of wild nervous grace, his stone-grey eyes at once timid and serene.
Jake’s social awkwardness is belied by a dark, sexual confidence and when he and Kate get together it seems as if, surrounded by puppets and isolated from the world, they’re in a realm where anything might happen. But Kate also desires Eddie, Jake’s brother, a thickly-muscled bruiser who’s smug, arrogant, contemptuous and crude. Although she dislikes him, Kate recognises some warped part of her finds him horribly thrilling. Soon she’s involved in a second dark relationship, and all the while she's haunted by a gathering sense that there's something very wrong about Heddlestone.
There’s a cold intimacy to this place and the brothers have drawn me closer to its dark, disturbed heart. They had me from the start, Jake with his beauty and that clever careful mind, Eddie with his arrogance that gets me right in the groin. Even now, I don’t know who I prefer. I’m split between them, relishing both but trusting neither. Lust has taken me to some strange places but none stranger than this.
Split is released today along with Lust Bites. This makes me very happy!
Something else which makes me very happy is being the first author in Love Honey’s newly-launched erotic online book club. Love Honey are running a huge promotion on my second, ever-so-slightly-controversial book, Asking for Trouble, and you can buy it over there for a ridiculous 99p. Yes, I'm dirt cheap! The book club looks fantastic. You can read an interview with me, join an Asking for Trouble discussion forum, and there are even questions for you to ponder. I confess, I’m nervous. Some people love Asking for Trouble, some people hate it. If you don’t already own it, now’s your chance. I doubt I will ever be 99p again. That’s so cheap, you may as well buy a vibrator while you’re there.
To celebrate all this happiness, I’m giving away a copy of Split and Lust Bites on my blog. Come on over to my place and add a comment. I am very friendly, so friendly that I'll say Lusties can play too.