Nothing is really black By Xavier Axelson
Paranormal erotic romance; each time I write it, my skin crawls. How many words can you possibly need to explain or categorize your writing? Will we start a new acronym;PER? Hurry someone start using it and let the madness begin! It is true that both my latest release, Earthly Concerns and the one prior, Lily arePER’s but only because they must be called something and they both have sex and they both have paranormal events taking place within their pages. However, I don’t believe either story revolves around the paranormal elements. To me, Earthly Concerns has more of a fable-esque feel to it; lately I’ve been obsessing over the one involving the fox, the crow and the cheese, (I’m sure you know it) and maybe in some way Earthly Concerns is a reflection of that fable. It’s the idea of having something and not realizing what you have until it’s gone, I know, I know, cliché but definitely relevant. Or maybe it’s the idea of selfishness and vanity being the sister to generosity and selflessness, and how in the end selfishness will undoubtedly leave you hungry, as it did the poor, poor crow who dropped his cheese. It could also be that wit overcomes stupidity. I think I like the last one most.
When I wrote Earthly Concerns I wasn’t obsessed with fables, I was trying to figure out the complexities of what it means to truly be able to love someone without fear and without selfishness. I also wasn’t expecting Earthly Concerns to come out right after Lily and was frankly nervous as both have father’s who have lost their daughters. But publishing times are dictated by the higher gods, not the lowly scribes so be it as it may and let the cards fall where they will. It was also a strange realization to find I had written two stories about fathers with daughters and wondered what that theme was all about. In Lily, Pryor the dad, is wracked with grief and on the verge of madness when love comes along and offers him hope and a way to cope with his fractured family and broken heart. In Earthly Concerns the father, Barrett, is aloof when he is asked about his child, as if being a parent is more burden then blessing. It is only after she is snatched from him suddenly and without explanation, that he finds himself bereft and having to seek help from a man he hurt, again, because he was aloof and selfish.
It’s difficult for me to grasp why these characters came to me as and when they did. Maybe it is because we are all selfish and selfless at the same time; maybe it is because I value and admire parents, especially those who have lost children. That would really be the honorable thong to go with, but it is again all and more than that. I am believer in the balance of light versus dark and the yin and yang of black and white; without balance, there is chaos. I nurture this balance in both Lily and Earthly Concerns because all the men and children in both stories are straddling the imaginary meridians between life and death, light and dark and more importantly, they are forced to stare into the spaces in between to find themselves again.
Earthly Concerns is an erotic nightmare, with a fable element. It really is a story about the power of generosity, generosity of spirit and the price of selfishness. While there is an erotic romance involved, there are forces at work in the story that scare me and hopefully will frighten readers too.
Between love and loss, there is obligation…
It was a peaceful night when Barrett and his daughter were driving home… then something happened. Something sinister.
Between shadow and light, there is uncertainty…
Now the only person Barrett can turn to for help is Anson, a man gifted with psychic abilities beyond reason. But Anson is also his ex-boyfriend, a man whose heart he’d already broken.
If you can see, you have to help.
As Anson delves deeper into the circumstances surrounding Barrett’s accident, he begins to realize that he’s not only in a race against time, but in a battle against his own broken heart and the terrifying understanding that whatever has taken Barrett’s child is a force of evil beyond anything either man has ever encountered.
And between decision and consequences, there are… Earthly Concerns
How could I just go over, and if I did, would I just be stumbling back into the pit of snakes I had just narrowly escaped the first time? I thought this and a hundred other dangerous thoughts until I saw him begin to stand up. I waved him down, then went over and sat down.
Apparently, I thought the best course of action was to dive right in, avoid any further uncomfortable thoughts from belching up from the cesspool that I was creating in my skull.
“Tell me everything,” I blurted, trying to avoid looking into his eyes.
“You look good, all hot and cute,” he said, trying to maintain his smile, but the weight of his sadness was too intense. Instead, he managed a pained grimace.
“Thanks.” I wanted to say more, return the compliment, but found I couldn’t; he was a keen listener and would be able to detect any false sentiment I might throw out. I stared down at the menu and tried to ignore my heart, which had once again taken up its incessant thrumming.
“Thanks for coming,” he said.
I didn’t look up, but could feel him staring at me.
When the waitress came over, we ordered. Without the menu to stare at, I looked up and past him.
“Anson.” He said my name like it was some sort of invocation.
Did he believe he was dreaming? I could only imagine the nightmare of not knowing where your child is and if she would ever come back.
“Tell me everything,” I repeated, my voice steady. I lowered my eyes and faced him; and seeing his sadness, I swallowed hard.
“It’s unreal,” he said, this time looking away from me, his eyes glistening. “I’m not sure I know what’s happened.”
The waitress arrived with two small cups of clear broth with some vegetables in them and refilled our waters.
“I’m sorry,” I said, my eyes riveted on him. I couldn’t believe I was sitting across from him in the same place I had met him once before; the day he wanted to return a t-shirt I had left at his place after one of our interludes.
Even now, looking beaten and tormented, the man somehow managed to provoke me in ways other men hadn’t. I saw him as beautiful and felt my stomach lurch. I looked at his brown eyes that I remembered looking gold in the sun, and his oddly handsome face. Not a traditionally good looking face, but handsome in a bookish, learned way. I felt my body begin to respond.
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