Man, oh man, but I do love the idea of magic. (I know, who doesn’t, right?) After all, there are just so many perks that come with it – power, glory, security. Sure, there are also those nasty little side dishes of responsibility and selflessness, but those are merely expectations as opposed to requirements. We’ve all read enough villains in our time to know that not everybody picks the side of good when it comes to magic.
I’m not really surprised by that concept, either. Vices have a much stronger pull than virtues. They’re seductive little beasts. They sit back in velvet thrones and mumble intriguing scenarios like: sure, being good is its own reward, but you know what also makes a damn good reward? Money. Fame. Importance. The terrified servitude of millions.
Or, something like that… I try not to listen too closely.
My point being, that more often than not, it seems like the path towards the dark is a simple step, while the way towards the light is chock-full of sacrifice and suffering. This is probably where I’m supposed to point out that the rewards of the soul are far more sustaining than the rewards of mankind. Or offer some kind of prophetic sermon about how the more difficult the journey, the greater the prize when you reach your destination.
But, sometimes… well… sometimes it gets hard.
Hard as in: man-this-is-cumbersome-and-burdens-my-soul kind of way, folks. Get your minds out of the gutter. (Just kidding, I love the gutter. I have shares in Gutter Inc., I’m sure of it.)
This is the struggle faced by the main character, Doren, in the Gift. It’s also the same premise that his love interest, August, has to face. While Doren is offered all the benefits that fame and fortune can grant, August is offered the power to manipulate and chain someone’s heart. These are slippery slopes our boys tread on, indeed, but having the right people on one’s side when the time comes to start making decisions and weighing consequences, sure does help a whole hell of a lot…
by AF Henley
Exclusive Excerpt for The Novel Approach
It was only by the grace of a power mightier than all of them that when Doren walked into the lobby, there was no one else there but the desk clerk. His eyes were red from tears. His hands were still bloody. He was exhausted, physically and emotionally, and it was hard to force his steps to continue bringing him forward.
But the clerk looked up and smiled, and Doren could swear that there was gratitude shining in the man’s eyes, maybe even pride.
“Ah! Doren, sir! What a pleasure to see you’ve made it back!”
Doren watched, swaying softly, unwilling to expend the energy to form words.
“You’ve had a busy night then, I take it?”
Again, silence followed the man’s question.
The clerk, however, didn’t seem to mind. He walked slowly around the desk and leaned towards Doren,
cautiously, before grabbing Doren’s shoulder in an effort to steady Doren’s body. Doren gave in to the fatigue and slumped against him. “There, there, sir,” the clerk said, patting Doren’s shoulder. “You’re going to be just fine now. Just fine indeed.” The clerk reached around and slipped his hand around Doren’s clasped one.
Doren looked at the juncture of both their arms and it took him a full minute to realize he had the CD clutched in his grip. When? How? He didn’t recall grabbing it from the car … yet there it was … back to haunt him, back to steal him away again. Horrified, Doren looked up at the clerk, questioning the man with his eyes as if the answers ought to be right there.
He smiled at Doren’s expression, but the look was full of kindness, as if to a child. “How’s about you just give that to me? I’ll take care of that for you.” The clerk pulled at Doren’s fingers, forcing Doren to release the grip that he himself could not seem to shake, and when the CD finally left Doren’s hand, a shivery sigh passed his lips.
An enormous weight lifted from Doren’s shoulders, tears flooded his eyes, and he looked up gratefully at the man who, at that moment, seemed very near to Christ-like.
“Now,” the clerk continued, slipping the blood-smeared CD out of sight on the desk. “Perhaps you have
someone you would like to check in on, hmm?”
Fear, then guilt, flooded Doren’s expression, unleashing memories he would have just as soon forgotten. “August,” he moaned, lurching from the clerk and down the hall.
Buy your copy of the Gift here: Purchasing Link
Doren was born with a powerful gift – a gift he’s managed to use to put him well on his way to becoming a star. But there is more to that gift than just musical talent, and as careful as Doren is to hide that fact, there are some who know of the power behind the sound, and all the ways they could abuse it.
August’s goal in life is simple: make an impact in the music industry. An opportunity to work as the personal assistant to Doren seems to be exactly the kind of break he needs to accomplish that goal.
But all too often in life, simple becomes just another complication, especially when there are people whose goal is even simpler: destroy and dominate.
Word Count: 89,000
Content: Contains some explicit content
About the Author:
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions, but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly working with LT3 since 2012, and has been writing like mad ever since – an indentured servant to the belief that romance and true love can mend the most broken soul. Even when presented in prose.
Comments, kudos, and signature card requests are happily received at AFHenley.com.
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And my thanks for reading.
AF Henley <3