Broad Universe Full Moon Blog Tour: Free excerpt from ‘The Only Song Worth Singing’
Greetings! You’ve now jumped into part of the Broad Universe Full Moon blog tour, which means you get a chance to discover some great writing as well as become eligible for loads of great prizes! Be sure to check at the end of the post to find out how you can win something amazing.
As promised, here’s an excerpt from my forthcoming novel of musical magical realism, The Only Song Worth Singing. Enjoy!
“Tell me … what you want.”
Sheerie’s voice was one note below a whisper, a firm but faraway sound like rumbling from within the earth. The sharp edges of her fingernails traversed his cheek, over his neck and down his chest, tugging here and there on tufts of hair as she went, an explorer searching for new territory.
Ciaran shuddered, a quiver running through every muscle. He was having a hard time focusing. The room was dark save for a sliver of streetlamp light bisecting the bedsheets, though her eyes glowed as they took him in. He did not question that she could see him in the dark.
Dark had been necessary. Given the choice Ciaran usually preferred to see every inch of what was his for the all-too-brief moments when he and another intertwined skin on skin, shadow and liquid and hair and hands. But all of Sheerie at once, in the light, had been overwhelming so he had flipped the switch and bathed them in moonglow. Not seeing her now made it possible to talk with her a bit, and have her quite a lot. They’d already gone at it twice and he was no longer certain he had any control over how he reacted to her touch.
“Anything?” he asked, trying to match her voice.
“Anything,” she assured him. “Tell me.”
So now she was a genii, asking him for his pleasure. “I want,” he began, discovering that no one had ever asked him this. Not in an earnest, important way. What do you want for lunch? What movie do you want to see? What song do you want to play? Those things were asked all the time. But Sheerie was not about surface choices. She went deep and she went hard and she went fast. She did not care if he needed a drink of water; she cared if he thirsted.
“Yes?” she asked, and the hand traveled beneath the sheets. “Tell me anything.”
“I want … somethin’ of me own,” he said, and was astounded to feel tears sting his eyes.
His face flushed. He hadn’t known how much he meant it until he put the desire into words; it was as if she had uncovered a truth about him so hidden it had been invisible even to himself. But it was real, it was said and it was true. He felt so plain sometimes, so ordinary. Being in Mal’s shadow all these years, knowing he was seen as less than. It didn’t hurt daily. Or even weekly. But it was there. Then when Patrick had come back to them the things Ciaran felt he had going for him – silent enigma, clever musician – that was Patrick all over. Plus Patch had that funny wide-eyed innocence he always carried with him, as if the world was forever unknowable. It left Ciaran wondering if he was really just the hack in the band, easily disposed of if someone had to be tossed overboard.
Sheerie’s hand paused its searching and she curled up in his arm, setting her head against his heart. “I hear you in there,” she said. “Blood and muscle and life. You have so much inside, you live at full throttle, don’t you my love? It’s why I want to be with you. You have so much to give.”
He was silent. He felt her constructing words around him like a poem, creating mysteries out of his breath.
“I want,” he said again, but this time did not follow it up.
She set a finger on his lips. “I understand completely. And I will give it to you.”
“Give me what, exactly?”
“What I promised,” she said, her hand returning to its hunt, and more quickly finding purchase this time. She gave him a gentle squeeze that grew in intensity, and he shuddered again. “Everything.”
Once again, thanks for visiting — and let me know what you think in the comments below.
One lucky commenter will be picked at random and receive a copy of my book of short stories, Home for the Holidays (your choice as to whether you want it in print or e-book format; be sure to mention that in the post).
Contest ends on Nov. 7, and prizes will be announced Nov. 10.
Now, please visit some other terrific posts in the Broad Universe Full Moon blog tour!
The excerpt sounds great!
Would love to be in the draw for a printed copy of Home for the Holidays. 🙂
Thanks, Elin! Will let you know soon!
Nice bit of the story – the rest of it’s darned good, too.
High praise! Thank you!
bn100candg at hotmail dot com
Thank you, Pippa! I’m going to check out your site!
Remembered your name from an NME article, and looked you up to discover this!
A great excerpt.
Whoa! That’s a trip in the wayback machine. Curious about which NME piece. But thanks for the feedback, and glad you enjoyed. Can’t wait to get this book out there.