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This is a teaser for my novel “Out of Hand” that will be out tomorrow!
“Mimi sank back into her seat and looked out of the window. The trees were still flying by. She was still feeling a bit queasy, but her head was pounding a little bit less and her mind was clear. Her only goal had to be to earn her freedom.
“I can’t do this anymore.” I let my carving knife fall to the floor. “Do you know how exhausting this is?”
“What is?” Your eyes, beautiful. Like two deep bowls of gravy.
“Pretending that I’m not in love with you.”
I don’t even know how we arrived at this point, you and I. I have always needed so much. Attention. Care. Smiles. Answers. Answers more than anything. And food.
I found carrots. I found steak and worcester sauce and mushrooms. I found different types of pasta. I learned that potatoes never float and that different oils have different boiling points and that, for the love of god, don’t be scared of salt. I found double heavy cream and real butter. I found non-stick pans and the best recipe for pizza dough. I learned how to crack an egg with one hand and which season produced the nicest onions. I found food.
And I found you. When I bought my own restaurant you came with it. That first year, beloved, I hated you. You seemed to bring me the best produce at the worst of times. I couldn’t cook everything. There was never enough time. And people? People are cruel. It doesn’t matter if I did my best. People would never like my carrot and strawberry stew. People would never enjoy my pizza with artichokes, mayo and lettuce. Of course I knew this. You didn’t have to tell me.
I wanted to invent something new, I wanted to find that revolutionary spark and run with it. But maybe I shouldn’t have done trial and error with several thousand dollars in the balance. I didn’t care. I wanted to figure it out. Taste, smell, sight, touch. Stomachs.
You, a simple food runner, decided to teach me, the chef. I hated it. Your most resistant student. More Darth Vader than dutiful padawan.
You taught me to roast garlic. To grill the perfect medium rare burger. When I wanted to serve fries with risotto, you wouldn’t let me. You wouldn’t even let me eat it myself. You didn’t care that I thought that herring completes any lasagne or that liquorice smoothie should be on every menu. You didn’t care that every fermented snail I wanted to boil was organic.
And I’m the weird one.
At times I likened you to leprosy. You bound my arms, my mind. You made me blind in the kitchen.
And then you made me blind in other places. It was probably instinct. We’re human after all. We need food and air. We developed a nose to breathe and to smell. Taste buds to taste. Sweet, sour, bitter, umami. But humans have other needs to. I had known about that, in theory. But I had been too obsessed with finding the perfect sweet potato I hadn’t cared for anything else.
But then you kissed me. Beautiful idiot you called me. Crazy, crazy woman. And “What have you done to me?”
To you, I wondered. I didn’t know I had done anything to you. It had never even occurred to me that two women could share a kiss like that one. I thought you were the one who had changed everything. You had kissed me. Not the other way around. I was innocent as a summer potato. Small. Fresh. You were more like a devilled egg, maybe innocent on the outside, but strangely spicy and aromatic inside. A stable on any buffet table. You had taught me that.
The first time you took me to bed, I felt like I had gone out of the frying pan and into the fire. My skin bubbled and cracked, like pork belly in the oven, every time you touched me. But instead of cooking, it felt like every time you nipped at my skin, the more raw I got. Not just my skin but on the inside. My lungs and my brain and my heart. I had thought my organs ran on glucose and fat. I was wrong. My fuel consisted on one stubborn and patient food runner.
That led us to this day. I had been wrong, I realised that now. Carrots works best in carrot cake, not chocolate cake and you can’t make meringue out of whipped barracuda. You were right, I was wrong. I’m ready to admit that now.
I shed off my apron and my big white puffy hat that I had once thought I was entitled to. I had nothing left. If you wanted me to sell my restaurant, I would. Everything I am… is and was yours.
“I don’t want to talk anymore.” The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them. It doesn’t matter. Not anymore. All words are said. I don’t have any left. “I don’t want to be alone anymore either.” I let my carving knife fall to the floor. There is nothing left of me. “Do you know how exhausting this is?”
“What is?” Your eyes are empty, like the sky.
“Pretending that I’m not in love with you.”
Author note: Don’t ask. 😛
My wonderful friend and fellow bookperson, Madge Whitlin, interviewed me today about State of Emergency and about writing in general.
It’s up on her blog, go check it out!
The story you’re about to read is not a story like my usual stories. It’s possible to read it as a standalone story, but otherwise it’s about the main protagonists that you will meet in my first novel “State of Emergency” which is to be published later this week. It contains snippets on how Mercedes and Idun fell in love.
Cover is by the talented Deniz Pekin.
The soft voice by her door made Rae lift her head. She had ignored the earlier yells from somewhere in the house, but her homework wasn’t interesting enough to ignore Leone looking at her shyly.
“Can I come in?”
Why are you here? Leone had never visited her room like this before.
Rae nodded and moved her chair back so there was enough room for Leone to come inside the tiny bedroom. “Of course it is.”
I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve decided to self-publish my first novel, State of Emergency. I’ll have more information in the days and weeks to come, but the goal is for it to be out on August 10.
Here is the blurb:
Sweden, Present Day: Idun Tyr receives a warning from her sister, and army lieutenant, telling her to hide and not come out no matter what she hears. By the time she re-emerges, the world has changed. Her phone has no signal, the internet and televisions aren’t working, and her town is empty of people. Everyone is gone. She sets out to find her missing girlfriend, Mercedes and embarks on a long journey, learning to survive in this new reality. A dystopian lesbian novel about a country torn apart by a vicious disease, following three women on different sides: military, vigilante and prisoner.
Beta read by my lovely friend K.
Hannah glanced at the tall figure next to her. Seeing Jane on her feet, smiling and alive was more than fantastic. If it wasn’t for the scrapes on her cheek, the black eye and the left arm resting in a sling, Hannah could almost pretend that everything was normal and that the past couple of weeks hadn’t happened.
She reached for another potato to peel and in the same moment Jane reached for another egg. Their fingers brushed over the counter.
“Oh, sorry.” Hannah blushed as their eyes met briefly and she hurried to focus on the potato in front of her.
No. Nothing was normal. Nothing would ever be normal again. Everything was new and exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.
Or The Queen of Fire and the Empress of Ice
“I knew you would come.” Rafaela, queen of the Reattlen, couldn’t keep the smirk of her face as she looked at the intruder in her chamber.
Talanamar, the leader of the Eibmoz – a people made up of only mercenaries – walked towards her on visibly stiff legs. Rafaela hated the way Tala walked, it reminded her of old injuries, and yet it was something she wouldn’t change. It was part of Tala, part of her past and her present. Probably her future too.
Not that Rafaela would know of Tala’s future. Their time together was over now. Rafaela had called for help across the five domains and Tala had answered. She had, together with over five thousand soldiers, come to the Reattlen’s aid. The threat was gone. The Eibmoz had to return to the Frozen Lower Islands now.
“Yeah well… You made it clear, my queen.” Tala sounded pained. “You made it clear that you wanted me to come to you. I couldn’t find it in myself to refuse.”
Nonnie closed the door after paying the babysitter and sending her through it. She sucked in a shaky breath as she returned to the living room where Nicole was waiting for her.
The doctor was sitting casually on the sofa with a lazy look in her face. She had never looked better, managing to somehow look cocky and hopeful in the same time. The top buttons of her shirt were undone, revealing her olive skin. Nonnie wanted to press her lips to that exposed triangle of skin.