You've all been so kind in your praise of Miserere. I'm working on a brief prequel, it's a scene I've long had in my mind about Lucian and Rachael when they were younger. I wanted to read a few passages from Miserere before I wrote it; I needed to venture back into Woerld for a little while.
Also if you come back tomorrow, I'll share a snippet from a new secret project I've been working on, something that I'm really excited about.
In the meantime, I thought I might give you a short passage from The Garden.
The Garden is about three men and how they overcome their differences. Oh, and there are angels and Daimons and magic and past incarnations, because I enjoy writing about those things.
And romance. There is usually romance in my novels. I think love redeems us, cleanses us, gives us the grace to become more generous, better people.
I can be a real sap.
Justin at Staffer's Book Reviews debuted chapter one of The Garden, but in that chapter, you didn't get to meet two of my favorite characters, Diago and Miquel.
The Garden takes place in Aragon circa 1348, and in those dark years just before the pestilence and when the Church solidified its power over young Spain, same-sex lovers were burned at the stake if discovered. Diago knows this firsthand. He is older and though many years have passed since the actual event, he is still traumatized by the death of his first lover. Miquel is younger, and like most young people, he sees the world in black and white. He believes that others should accept him even if they don't understand him.
I'd like to introduce them to you in one of my favorite scenes:
Miquel lay facing Diago, one hand tucked beneath his head, the other resting close to Diago’s face. Diago pushed Miquel's black hair aside and traced the fine blue vein beneath his jaw. He rested his fingertip against Miquel’s throat.
This is love. Diago licked his lips.
“The hunger, is it bad?”
“No.” Diago lied, but lies were easier. He took the younger man’s wrist and pressed his lips to the vein, felt it throb against his mouth.
Diago lost his words beneath the beat of his pulse. This is love. I feel his calm heart pound against my lips and want to taste his blood though I will not, I will not, I will not. A drop of sweat wept down Diago’s temple and escaped by the corner of his eye. He drew Miquel close and stroked the back of his scalp gently.
“Did you hear me?” Miquel asked.
“I heard. Guillermo knows about us.”
“He wanted to know if Julian was your lover.”
“Are you afraid?” Please let him be afraid. Let him see the danger.
“I will stand by you.”
Would you see Miquel burn? Diago crushed the memory of Ashmedai’s poisonous words from his mind. “Guillermo interferes where he doesn’t belong. When we sought to bring your soul back to your body, our hands touched, and he saw you and me. He saw the dark love that we share.”
Miquel lifted his head. His smoky eyes burned. “Don’t call it dark, love is not dark.”
“This new magic that Belita has forced on us allowed him see into my mind.” Prying where he has no right to be. Diago glanced at Guillermo; the caballero still slept soundly. “He saw my love for you and I lied.”
Miquel’s gaze hardened. “You murder me. Every time you deny me, Diago, you murder me.”
In its own way, The Garden, like Miserere, is a love story too. Diago calls their love dark, but Miquel knows the truth.
Love is not evil, nor is it dark.
Not when it is true.