But first a reminder about book I, The Obsidian Stairway:
She meets Tully -- handsome, attentive, mysterious and unlike any servant OMara has met in the Pleasures. His extraordinary service is about to allow her to experience a level of intimacy she has only ever imagined.
And now, here's a little synopsis of what's to come in The Amber Columns:
Sex is what we sell in the City of Dark Pleasures. To work here you need to sequester your emotions, your humanity, your soul if theres such a thing. If you dont youre in danger of losing it all together, permanently.
For someone like me, my damaged soul is all I have left. I try to slip it off like a coat when I work, and most of the time I can. Most of the time no feelings at all come into what I do. But there are times I weaken, times when patrons get to me either for good or ill. Mostly ill.
Once a woman I met got inside me like no one has. It wasnt love, but it was as close as I will ever be. OMara was her name. OMara Tanner. Every morning I read her byline on the Island News Service. She writes about fluffplaces to shop, entertainments to see. She wrote about me once. It was all lies, but I dont hold that against her. Our civilization is built on lies. The brief time we spent together was all lies.
Sometimes I think I would give up everything just to have OMara Tanner lie to me again.
Its only at night that Im scared of him. During the day I think about his golden eyes, his warm skin and his velvety voice to the point of distraction. I could lose my job if I dont get my shit together. A lost job means a lost income. If I cant pay my rent I could lose my citizen status. And then what? Then I join him, working in the Pleasures?
I could go and see him. I should go and see him. I can find the money somewhere and go and get him to hook me up to that infernal machine of his and lose myself in his beautiful dreamscape. The one in which we are lovers. If I can just spend another moment in that forlorn and hopeless dream I might be able to get him out of my system.
As it is Ive been masturbating until my fingers ache, and the skin of my clitoris is burning and raw. Whenever I climax I hear his voice, saying my name. Or I say his name.
Maybe before the Expiation people knew that the love of a good man was a powerful, devastating intoxicant. It weakens you, distracts you, makes you prone to obsessive thoughts and lost productivity. Maybe thats why they did it. To increase productivity.
Love must be the most potent force on earth, if it can fuck you up even when you know its not real.
Without further ado, here's the lovely new cover:
Isn't it gorgeous? And when you read the book and discover what he's looking up at it's even better! And if that's not enough to get you excited, here are a couple of teasers: