Find more from this author on:
About the author:
Eli Gilic is a translator, author, and avid booklover from Belgrade, Serbia. Four years ago, she moved from the capital to a house in the woods with her three dogs and parrot. She loves gardening, cooking, hiking, jumping from waterfalls, and creating enchanting worlds with words.
What inspired you to write your book?
Most erotic romance authors portray women in a way that enraged my feminist side. I tried to write smart erotica which arouses the mind as well as the senses.
Here is a short sample from the book:
The forest stretches endlessly. Thick branches with leaves the colour of fire. Stillness. Eerie quietness. Especially after the noise of the railway station and rumbling of the train that hit me.
Yes, it ran over me. I frantically look down my body. My deep violet dress with velvet dark blue ribbons isn't torn, it is not even wrinkled. My hands are clean, without a bruise or scratch. I raise my hands to my head. Even my hat is intact.
I really don't understand what is happening. Suddenly, I hear the pounding of hooves. They are nearing quickly. A trail meanders between trees with orange and golden leaves and there I make out movement, faster and clearer as the clatter becomes louder. Fear, curiosity and relief are battling inside of me. I don't know where I am, how I found myself here or where the trail leads, but confusion and ignorance can sometimes be better than unwanted company. But I have no choice except to wait and hope that the newcomer will somehow help me instead of worsening this strange condition.
The movement turns into an outline and then I clearly see a man riding his team. Beautiful black horses, bigger than I've ever seen. Their manes, black like a crow, are gleaming with sweat under the sunlight that is penetrating through the thick foliage. Their mouths are foaming and fire is flashing from their eyes. I have never seen finer horses, but there is something ominous about them. Just like with the young man riding them. Tall, sunkissed. Long, straight, pitch black hair is floating behind him, playful black eyes like deep tunnels that hide something unknown and frightening, high sculpted cheekbones, a straight nose, full lips, strong chin, pearly teeth. The personification of youth, strength and carelessness, but also unfathomable, threatening and soothing at the same time. He is oddly dressed: wide olive pants with lots of pockets, and instead of a shirt, a cotton garment hugs his chest. His muscles are tensing while he pulls the reins.
He easily stops the horses and jumps down in front of me.
“Dear Anna Karenina, welcome to my humble abode.”
How does this stranger know my name? “I don't know who you are and it is not proper to address me by my name.”
The young man laughs. “Ah, the newly dead! You are indescribably boring with those formalities. Your body isn't even cold in your grave, yet your biggest concern is proper address. Everything must be proper, right?”
I cannot speak. I cannot move. I cannot breathe. What is this man talking about? Whose cold body? If I was dead, I wouldn't be standing here, stunned and frightened.
But I was run over by a train. I remember the loud clatter of wheels, the piercing whistle, the growing shadow over me while resolution and remorse were battling in me, the wracking pain … I remember all that. But if I was a run over by a train, I couldn't be standing in the woods and talking with rowdy strangers. Everything must be a dream. Soon I will wake from this nightmare.
It seems like the young man senses what I am thinking about because something vaguely reminiscent of compassion passes over his face.
“You must think you're dreaming. Don't worry. All newcomers feel like that in the beginning.”
“This is a dream.”
“My dear, this isn't a dream. The sooner you accept that, the better. I guess,” he replies and bursts out laughing again.
“Young man, can you please explain what is happening? Where are we? You see, if this isn't a dream, I don't understand how I found myself here … And as you know my name, maybe you know something else. I mean …” My voice betrays me.
“Poor Anna! You really don't understand. I'll try to explain. You have found yourself in a place where, among many others, all those who take their own lives out of selfishness and wickedness find themselves.”
“But I wouldn't be here talking to you if I took my own life.”
“For God's sake, woman, are you so stupid or are you just refusing to understand? And where would you be if you hadn't killed yourself? On fluffy little clouds while plump rosy little boys fly around, playing the harp?”
The knowledge is so terrible that it makes me stagger. No, this is not possible. I don't deserve this. I know that, according to rules, I deserve exactly this, but rules vary depending on the circumstances, do they not? My reasons were valid, I could no longer stand the suffering, I had to end that torment or I would have lost my mind. For God's sake, I endured so much pain and now this befalls me? No, I really don't deserve it. I do not accept such a fate.
“Life is a gift that is not to be rejected, Anna. Every deed has consequences. You're not unreasonable so you must be aware of that.”
But it is impossible that I am in hell. This must be a dream, although it is getting harder to believe in that.
“Are you sure this isn't some kind of joke? Or a mistake?”
“It certainly isn't a joke. And in a perfect organization, such as life after death, there are no errors. A single mistake hasn’t happened since the creation of the world.”