It’s opening lines blog time again! Today, I am delighted to welcome a good friend to this blog, H K Carlton. Let’s get stuck into those words!
Thank you so much for featuring the first 500 words from The Fall of Cairnnon Castle, book three in the Lustful Possession series.
This installment of the LP series is my favorite of the seven short stories in the collection. Is that okay to say? It’s not like having a favorite child, right? Lol. It’s got a little bit of everything I love to read and write.
Parts one and two of this series, Meet Me in the Dark and Dark Foursome, are contemporary, paranormal, erotic, romance, but part three, takes a sudden unexpected medieval, time-travel twist. Our heroine finds herself trapped in history, torn between two strapping, feuding Irishmen, brothers no less. What’s not to love?
The first 500 words — The Fall of Cairnnon Castle
Lustful Possession Series, Book 3
Cairnnon Castle, Ireland—The Present
The earth underneath me quakes. The sky above me falls. It rains down on me. Pain explodes inside my head. My ribs break. I am crushed.
A deafening rumble offends my ears. My body is tossed and crumpled, battered by debris. It goes on for an eternity.
And then… Silence. Stillness.
The pain is immense. Like nothing I’ve ever endured in my life.
Oh, God! Please! I implore wordlessly.
I cannot speak, scream, or moan. My eyes are closed. But beyond me, there’s brightness, so vivid I detect it through my closed eyelids. I try to open them, but none of my faculties are functioning. I am heavy. My lungs are burning. It hurts to even take shallow breaths. I concentrate on the unenviable task of simply inhaling in and out—an action I have obviously taken for granted all these years. The dust is choking me. I try not to cough. I will split apart if I do. My ribcage has already splintered with the weight upon me.
A low hum begins. It is annoying, but as it goes on it becomes comforting, harmonious.
As the fire in my chest subsides, I am lethargic, sleepy, and content.
I know what this is. It is elemental. Inevitable, from the moment we take our first breath.
I wait for it…
* * * *
I am in and out of consciousness.
“Just come,” I whisper. Speaking is laborious, yet somehow it happens. “Just take me.”
The incessant drone becomes vibration.
I sense it, a presence. Above me. Surrounds me. Becomes me.
The pain subsides by degrees. Warmth seeps into me. I sigh at the pleasure of it. I hadn’t realized I was so cold.
Without words, it communicates with me. Death is one with me.
“You enjoy that.”
“Yes. Thank you.” My gratitude is profound.
“You know what I am.”
It is a statement. It is a part of me. It knows what I am thinking.
I don’t need to articulate. “Yes.”
“You are not afraid.”
“No, you comfort me.”
For a moment I sense confusion, and I am bewildered by it. It is not my uncertainty. It is illogical. Death would not emote.
But my thought is distracted. The lovely heat spreads, radiating through every part of my broken body.
“Ahhhh, that feels so good.”
Everything in me tingles, from the top of my head right down to my feet. There is no pain. Not even my lungs hurt anymore. My inhalations become rapid instead of shallow. My blood rushes. I can hear it traveling through my veins. My pulse pounds in my head. My body throbs. My breasts tingle and my loins catch fire.
I squirm. My body tightens. The heaviness in my lower body is nothing but carnal.
I am not even being touched, but I am being consumed and stimulated on every level. Mind, body and spirit.
It fills me, inside and out. Unable to stop myself, I feel…
Castle Cairnnon—perhaps not the gate, but the epicenter of hell.
Neve Brádach had always wanted to work with an internationally renowned team of paranormal investigators, so when a U.S. team decides to explore a famous site in her own backyard, Cairnnon Castle, she does everything she can to secure a place on the team.
One of the most haunted places on earth, Cairnnon Castle is home to one of the most malevolent entities ever documented, Bás a thagann. Loosely translated, it means simply—death comes. When the enthusiastic American troop descends on Neve’s Irish hills, the last thing they expect to do is rile up the evil within.
But Bás takes an immediate interest in one of the American investigators and holds him prisoner within the castle, sapping his strength and will. As Neve and the others rush to find a solution before another good man loses his soul to the malicious elemental, she discovers the secret that might send Bás a thagann to its own permanent hell.
As Neve verbalizes the words that should free Cairnnon from its most evil resident, the castle crumbles around her, leaving her broken, dying, and trapped in the belly of the beast.
Neve is left defenseless to fight it and is forced to suffer a life that is not her own.
This series is a re-release
Warning: This collection of short stories contains m/f and m/m couplings and cliff-hangers. Installments must be read in order.
Universal Link (including Amazon)
Coming soon to other vendorsAuthor Bio:
H K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of romance and its varied sub-genres. From naughty to nice, historical to contemporary, time travel to space travel, and everything in between.
Variety is creativity’s playground—It’s where you’ll find me.
Many thanks H K!
Don’t forget to come back next time for Jay Willowby’s opening lines.