Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fathoms of Forgiveness - Separated for 200 Years, A Couple Confronts Their Demons (Each Other)

The second novel in the Sacred Breath Series by Nadia Scrieva
Romantic fantasy/Science-fiction novels about biologically plausible mermaids. 

      There is no divorce in the undersea kingdom of Adlivun. Marriage is a bond that lasts until death—even if death comes in several centuries, and in that time your spouse happens to become your sworn enemy. This is the conflict that General Visola Ramaris faces when she learns that the mighty Vachlan is behind the attacks on her kingdom. She has sworn to protect Adlivun with her life, but long ago, she also swore to love and honor her husband...
      Visola must choose whether she will destroy Vachlan once and for all, or attempt the hardest thing conceivable: communication. After two hundred years of desertion, she has no faith in their feeble bond and knows she can never forgive him. When he threatens the person dearest to her, she must take action. Confronting Vachlan on enemy territory would be nothing short of suicide. She knows that if she falls into his custody, the deranged man would relish breaking her down and making her lose her sanity.
      Princess Aazuria forbids Visola from taking matters into her own hands; she will do anything it takes to protect her friend from the man who wants to crush her. Alas, Visola is a crazy, uncontrollable warrior woman with the blood of Vikings in her veins. Why would she ever consider doing the safe and predictable thing?

A brief excerpt from chapter 11 of

        “Your boobs are stunning, General,” said a young man, nodding emphatically.
        Visola smiled at him thankfully, and had started to form her flirtatious reply when something whizzed right by her ear. In the next moment, before she could process what had happened, she saw the quarter-sized dark hole in the middle of the forehead of the man who had complimented her. There was shock on the faces of his companions, and all the smiles that had been on their faces disappeared. A dark cloud of blood began to surround the young man as his eyes stared forward, wide open but unseeing.
        Visola felt awful. It had just been a little bit of harmless flirting. At least, her flirting was usually harmless. She briefly wondered if it signified unrest in the Clan of Zalcan’s camp that they were killing their own men; then she realized that this type of thing would only inspire more discipline in the troops. They had plenty of manpower to spare. Considering the way she had left Adlivun, after knocking her princess unconscious, she was not one to pass judgment on this.
        She did not want to turn around to see the beast that had shot the bullet because she knew exactly what she would see. It would be him, but he would be changed in some awful way. His viciousness and spite would appear in his transformed face as great ugliness and scarring. It would be a creature of untold horror; something that children could not look at without bursting into tears. She could feel his eyes boring into the back of her skull. His violating gaze was forcing itself between the strands of her hair and into the skin of her scalp, beyond hair follicles, blood and thick cranium, and into the most tender part of her brain. There, it sprouted razor-blade blossoms which it promptly juggled with inside her head, slicing and dicing away at her grey matter.
        Turn around, her frayed cerebellum told her. She refused. She could see his reflection in the fearful faces of the men in front of her. She could see the way that he petrified everyone, and she did not need to see the revolting person that was causing this. Turn around, her unprincipled curiosity implored her. She had seen glimpses of him from afar in the battles of the 1950s, but she had not faced him directly.  There is a monstrous phenomenon behind you, her imagination told her. Her self-degradation had to add, and you’re married to it, sucker. She had never been a wimp, and she knew that she needed to turn around eventually. I need a divorce, the progressive part of her declared. She took a moment to make her face absolutely, utterly expressionless. Maybe I should think about baseball, a desperate part of her suggested. I like baseball, an honest part of her argued.
        Unify yourself! the wisest division of her psyche commanded all the other squabbling subdivisions forcefully. Be strong, and be calm, and be emotionless. Everything will be okay. You should turn around. So, knowing that it was the wisest part of herself which advised this, Visola obeyed it. I am bulletproof, declared the brave bits. There were quite a few of those. Only because my clothes are made of Kevlar, explained the derisive portion. She ignored this last comment, and was able to make herself tranquil and strong before she finally turned around.
        Some good all that mental preparation had been. She saw him and knew that she should not have come. Aazuria had been right to lock her up. She silently wished that this was all a nightmare; at any moment she would surely wake up comfortable and protected on the luxurious floor of her prison cell. She held her breath. At any moment now. Really, any moment. Hard floor? Vertical bars? Okay, so never mind—this was real, devastatingly real.
        Meeting the scrutiny of his steel-grey eyes made her feel sweltering hot and bitterly cold at the same time. It was a thousandfold more difficult to tolerate the intensity of his gaze when it was penetrating her skull from the front instead of the rear. She felt like her eyes did not offer as much protection as the dense bones of her skull had. He was already piercing beyond her eyeballs to knead her memories with his knuckles, and to dissect her thoughts with his fingernails. She tried to get past the pain in her skull to objectively observe her enemy. His jet-black hair was pulled back into its classic ponytail at the nape of his neck. Had he not changed his hairstyle in all this time? Had he not grown hideous with all the horrible deeds he had done?
        It did not seem possible, but he looked exactly the same. Except for his eyes; those vicious grey-blue eyes would have terrified any lesser woman to tears. Visola could not help seeing the blatant resemblance to her daughter in his face. Although Alcyone’s coloring was closer to Visola’s own, there was still so much of Vachlan in her. Seeing this; seeing the glimpses of Alcyone in this man who was little more than a stranger, drew her spirit to him involuntarily. Visola realized that she had to face the terrible truth.
        She was not strong enough to face the father of her child.      

About the Author: 
Nadia Scrieva was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, where she grew very strong from carrying heavy bags filled with books back and forth from the library. She attended the University of Toronto, graduating with a B.A. in English and Anthropology. She likes knives. Her writing always features powerful females and (mostly) honorable male characters. 


1 comment:

Catherine Lee said...

As a librarian, I love that you grew your body strong carrying books back and forth from the Library...We usually hear about people growing a strong mind by using the Library! LOL...

catherinelee100 at gmail dot com