After the debut collection of short stories, “The Whisper Jar”, Carole Lanham has her first novel, “The Reading Lessons”, coming out this month from Immortal Ink Publishing. However, more good news are coming from Carole Lanham with the announced release of a new novella. Morrigan Books, the publisher of her debut collection “The Whisper Jar”, will publish this year Carole Lanham’s novella “Cleopatra’s Needle”, first in e-book format, followed by a paperback edition and a special hardback with extra artwork. There is no information yet on the release date or who the artist drawing the cover and the extra artwork of the hardback edition will be, only that “Cleopatra’s Needle” is a story of Welsh superstition, love, murder and tempting red-haired witches. Until we find out more and Carole Lanham’s novella is published Morrigan Books gives us a taste of “Cleopatra’s Needle” with a small excerpt – which I took the liberty to reproduce here – and offers the chance to one lucky winner to receive a personalized, signed copy of the hardback edition when it is released. To enter the competition you can leave a comment on the announcement post or at the Witch Awareness Month Facebook page entry.
15 April 1896
We’re taking turns doing it. Every afternoon, we sit in the wash house and try our hand at calling him with our minds. Practice is vital, according to Bethan. Well, it goes without saying, she got her turn first. Sure enough, five minutes later, he appeared at the door, broom in hand, smiling sheepishly. Most of the time, he acts grumpy about that time we tied him to the chair but when Bethan called him, he behaved as though all was forgiven. ‘Do you want another kiss?’ Bethan asked. ‘Yes please,’ he said then shook his head, as if to clear it, and scurried away. We laughed to see him so rattled.
When it was my turn, I pictured him kissing me like he did that day in the kitchen. I remembered the feel of his lips on mine and how hard he was breathing when he opened his mouth. It took longer for me to summon him and when he finally came, he looked hesitant. I closed my eyes and thought of what I’d most like him to do. Boy leaned forward and ran his tongue slowly along the seam of my lips. ‘M-mm,’ he said. Then he ran away.
Bethan pronounced it a failure because I wasn’t able to hold him there, but I don’t care. He didn’t put his tongue on her. Gwendraith made him touch her breast yesterday before he ran off but that only made her giggle. It wasn’t good like when he kissed me.