by Madelynne Ellis
Broken Angel is what results when my imagination is allowed to run riot. It’s the outpouring of years of role-playing and comic/manga reading, entwined with gothic horror and a large dose of visual kei. In a sense it’s a retelling of an old story, you know the one – hero caught up in events has to stop the apocalypse. In this case, the return of demon rule on Earth.
Here's the blurb to help clue you in:
After stealing a copy of an ancient manuscript, Blaze Makaresh finds himself being hunted down by a gang of Youkai – demons who infiltrate human society in order to satisfy their hunger for sex and flesh. When Talon, an elite society of demon-hunters, come to his aid, he's soon enmeshed with the beautiful Asha, and the dawning of an age old prophecy.
The ever lovely Portia da Costa was kind enough to stop by and pose a few questions.
Q. I love the sound of your hero Blaze. Is he inspired by any one movie star, singer or other male celeb? Or is he a composite figure? Or even a fabulous creation purely from your fantasies?
I tend not to use famous people as character templates, but in this instance, Blaze’s image is very heavily based on Japanese mega star Camui Gackt, specifically in his video to the song Vanilla. I just love the kohl-lined eyes and manga hair. I was also quite taken with the idea of him locked in a cage, so naturally I had to include that in the story.
Q. Tell me a little more about the world of Broken Angel. It feels bleak and post apocalyptic, and like something out of a [very good] comic book. And yet some names of places and people sound slightly British. Is that the case? Is it an alternate universe England or a completely imaginary?
Post apocalyptic is a very good description; basically the city Blaze inhabits is split in two. The Heights, where the rich folk live in their metal and steel skyscrapers and the Old City, which is bit like York or Edinburgh squashed into a tighter area and allowed to decay. It’s a city surrounded by a vast wasteland. No one really knows much about what lies beyond the walls. It’s a community largely cut off from the rest of the World. It is intended to be an alternate Earth or perhaps a future Earth pushed into another dark age by the loss of electricity.
Q. Demon hunters fighting in lace and satin? That's unexpected. The costumes of the Talon sound remarkable... can you describe some of the detailing? And where does the look derive from?
The look is heavily based on Visual Kei and Elegant Gothic Lolita imagery, which in turn is based on the Victorian and Edwardian fashions of the European aristocracy with a heavy dose of black and a splash of Ziggy Stardust thrown in. I wanted something that was visually striking, but which would also serve as a mask behind which the members of the Talon could hide. They’re essentially vicious china dolls.
Any more questions folks? If so, please ask them in the comments.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the sneak teaser.
The interior of the mausoleum was surprising clean and scentless. The narrow entranceway widened after a few feet into a heptagonal chamber, where Jaku had lit a hurricane lantern that hung from the ceiling. For want of a bandage, he’d pulled his leather glove back on. He was busy lighting a wooden torch when they reached him.
Blaze peered into several of the deep cubbyholes that lined four of the walls. ‘No bodies,’ he remarked.
‘They’re out walking, as they have no guardian to protect them yet.’ Jaku’s low voice echoed off the stonework. ‘We’d best make sure we’re gone by the time they return.’ He opened a door, which led onto a spiral stair. ‘There are two levels below this. The lowest opens into the city catacombs, but the way is warded with old magic. I should be able to get us through. Wait here, and don’t touch anything.’
The moment the door closed, Asha grabbed him. ‘Since we’ve got a moment,’ she hissed. She backed him against a wall and pinned his hands above his head. ‘Talk to me,’ she growled into his face. ‘Tell me what happened in Rodgers’ office. Why did you kiss me? Why is Venom chasing you? What’s this all this about?’
Alarmed, Blaze shook his head. ‘I don’t know. I swear it.’
‘Show me your back.’ She didn’t wait for him to turn, just spun him around and wrenched up his jacket and T-shirt as far as they would go. ‘Aah!’ She jerked him forwards into the cold stone wall as her fingertips traced over the smooth skin of his shoulders. ‘How? There’s not even a mark.’
‘I don’t know.’ He pressed his cheek to the cool granite, feeling sickly hot again. He didn’t have any answers for her. All he knew was that her touch was making his temperature rise.
Asha continued to rub her palms across the tight muscles of his back as if trying to find a single defect. He shivered, as the strange caress roused further heat in his loins. His cock slowly thickened, and the memory of her mouth forming a perfect O around his shaft returned with vivid clarity.
Blaze pushed her off and turned around. ‘I swear, I don’t know, but stop.’ He held her at arm’s-length, his hand pressed to her abdomen just below her breasts. He was aware of her breathing, shallow like his own. She was looking at him, her expression starting to glaze again.
‘There’s this as well,’ he blurted. He didn’t know what was happening, but maybe they could make sense of it together if they trusted each other.
His stomach was already showing, so he only had to pull the black fabric a little higher to show her the brand upon his skin. ‘It happened in the bathroom, the same time my skin healed. I didn’t know if it was something you’d done, or if it was a result of the attack or what. It’s why I kissed you. You were so insistent on checking my wounds. It was the only thing I could think of to distract you.
She traced her fingertip over the symbol on his chest. It sent shivers of pleasure rippling through his abdomen. His next breath came out sharp. ‘Careful,’ he gasped. She didn’t remove her hand, just kept her palm pressed to the sigil.
‘I take it you don’t normally tear iron bars off walls.’
‘What are you feeling?’
Blaze shook his head. He couldn’t put it into words, and wasn’t sure if he wanted to. He certainly didn’t want to share the fantasy running through his head about how he longed to lift her skirt, reverse their positions and fuck her until every vestige of her mask cracked, her skin turned ruddy, and their bodies smelled of sex and each other.
He could hardly breath, let alone speak.
‘Pain?’ Her hand slid down his front from his breastbone to the sensitive space between his naval and his groin. ‘Pleasure?’
Even her words were like a caress. Blaze trembled. His balls felt heavy and tight, just the way they had when she’d fellated him. ‘Careful! Careful!’ he whimpered. ‘Last time it hurt.’ He grit his teeth.
Asha kept her hand still, although it remained in contact with his naked skin. ‘Then tell me what you’re feeling?’
‘Fire. Burning.’ He had to spit the words out. His mouth felt parched, and he could feel his temperature spiralling upwards. His eyes snapped open. ‘Touch me, Asha.’ He wrenched open his fly with one hand and dragged her palm down to his crotch with the other. ‘Please. I need you for this… I don’t understand it, but I need you.’
‘What do you mean?’ she demanded, although her soft palm closed around his aching shaft.
Blaze just sighed in relief as her thumb rubbed a lingering caress across the head of his cock, and pleasure raced along the shaft like a stream of sparklers. He didn’t understand, but he knew he needed to come.
His eyes fluttered, then rolled upwards into his head.
It was raining ash and feathers: great black feathers… The sky was distorted, coloured a yellow-tinged metallic grey, and all the clouds had creepy blood-red linings. He was naked on the cathedral steps…no…the roof. For a split-second, he was disorientated, then he spread his arms wide. Lightning struck the roof. It crackled along the apex and poured into him until he was full of fire and light. His whole body was ablaze.
It was the most excruciating and ecstatic experience of his life.
Almost consumed, he was suddenly snatched back from the flames and trapped again within his own body. Asha was staring at him, her hand still curled around his cock, although she was no longer caressing him. Steam was pouring off his body.
‘Venom’s done something to you,’ she gasped. Then she turned and fled onto the spiral stair.
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Tuesday, February 5, 2008
by Madelynne Ellis