Beware this blog post contains spoilers for anyone who has not yet read the Starblood trilogy, soon to be known as the first three books of the Starblood series. I’m currently writing the fourth book.
Vamptasy Publishing have picked up the entire series, so each of the stories will be released individually for Kindle. The final date for buying the trilogy as one volume for Kindle will be November 1st. Starblood will be released in December. The trilogy will still be available in one volume as a paperback after this date.
Before I started writing Ribbons (book four) I wanted to set down Freya’s timeline from the first three books. It was actually quite a task. I’ve heard a few readers say that the first book was confusing at times. I have to admit that this is probably my fault. For some reason (and I personally think it adds to rather than detracts from the story) Freya’s narrative twists around the stories of the other characters like her ribbons twist through her hair. So for those who have read Starblood, Psychonaut and Black Sun I can now summarise Freya’s story in chronological order. The books span a decade of her life.
Freya’s tragic life from 13 – 23. Full of spoilers.
Freya is at her sister Tanya’s funeral, aged 13. Her sister was murdered in a park by teenage boys. At this point Freya senses that her parents will do anything to try and keep her safe, including preventing her from having a life.
Freya buys The Book of Lilith from a secondhand book store on the way home from school at the age of 15.
Lilith guides Freya to and through the park where her sister died when Freya is 15 years old. There she watches as her brother Ivan and Raven make out.
Freya sneaks off one night and loses her virginity to Dave in the woods, aged 16. Lilith is lost to her for a while.
At the age of 18 Freya is hanging around with Star, Raven and Donna, but she is also deeply obsessed with her brother. Lilith returns to Freya and successfully influences her life choices. Her mother catches Freya peeking into her brother’s bedroom window and ostracises her. Freya invokes Lilith and asks for the goddess’s strength to guide her. She is led to a cave where she meets her goddess then is transported to her brother’s bedroom whom she rapes in his sleep, shouting out Lilith’s name and bringing her to Earth via Satori’s bedroom.
Freya and her friends encounter Lilith briefly in a rum bar, than meet her properly on the night she seduces Star at Club Midian. We don’t see Freya again until the night Raven is murdered. Satori tries to get Freya to explain what happened after the murder, but her father chases him away. Freya and Donna grow closer and attempt to console one another.
Not long after, Freya engages Samael’s services as a demon lover. She collects their mingled juices to create a magical powder. She learns from Ivan how to access spiritual realms and creates a sacred space with a willow tree at its centre. Lilith leaves Satori’s dagger for her to find there. Satori buried it with Star in the mountains.
Donna burns her apartment down with herself inside it after an argument with Freya. Freya visits Satori and he learns that it was her, not him, who brought Lilith to Earth. They agree to try and save Star together, accessing the realms of existence via their sacred spaces and travelling to Lilith’s realm, Binah. She also seduces Satori, but he realises he doesn’t trust her and pushes her away afterwards, increasing Freya's resentment.
Freya invites Dave back to the woods and kills him there. With Lilith’s guidance she creates her own doppelganger, Deya, from Dave’s corpse then leaves Earth to travel to Binah. In Binah she finds Satori’s dagger again, is attacked by a giant wyrm and meets Samael, who tries to convince her not to pursue Lilith. She goes anyway but doesn’t find the goddess and is knocked back to Earth by a sonic boom when the sun and moon combine in Binah.
When she returns to Earth she has to share Deya’s body. In her absence Deya has sorted out a lot of Freya’s life and they have a boyfriend now, Rob. She moves to York to live with him. This all happens in one year while Freya is still 18.
Four years later, at 22, Freya wakes in the apartment she shares with Rob. Their baby, Jasmine, is crying. After she settles the baby she discovers that Rob has been murdered. She calls Ivan for help. He arrives with their father and another man who tidy the scene and remove all evidence. Freya is brought back to their home in Bristol. Ivan and Mike (the dad) think she killed Rob, and Freya herself isn’t entirely sure.
Raven’s ghost visits Freya and tells her Ivan is in danger and that she must kill Star to save him. Freya accidentally kills Ivan instead. She is committed to a mental hospital and her father tells her that he and her mother are adopting Jasmine.
A crazed nurse lets Freya out of her room when Freya offers to help her set fire to the hospital, but instead Freya decides to escape. She is 23 years old. Red rain is falling.
And that brings us up to the start of Ribbons.
I have only just begun the first draft of Ribbons. The story will be told from the points of view of Freya, Edensun and Marian.
I offer you a sneak peek at the first draft of chapter one:
The rum bar seems a cosy setting to wait out the apocalypse. Other than the rosy smears down the leaded windows and the occasional battered body stumbling against them outside, Marian can almost pretend that it is an ordinary day. She downs the dregs of her fourth cocktail. Bill stands up to fetch her another, but she lunges and grabs his sleeve, pulling him back down. Her head is spinning and her stomach churns. If she drinks much more she fears she won’t survive.
Marian shakes her head and the room jostles from side to side. Gathered against the far wall, under paintings of debauched saints and half hidden by shadows that the amber lamps do little to dispel, she can see two oracles and two Jessicas. None of their shifting faces carry the slightest accusation, but Marian can’t help but blame herself for the carnage unfolding around the city and beyond.
The oracle says this is not the end. Marian finds that hard to believe in spite of years of devout faith. Her only son is dead and her grandson is out there somewhere, holding open the gates of hell.
Marian grieves. She has no strength left to do anything else. In the month since she buried her charred son she hasn’t worked. She’s barely left the house.
When the phone rings, Marian’s tempted to let it go straight to answer machine, but something compels her to lift the receiver.
‘Marian, I tried your mobile first...’
‘I haven’t charged it. What do you want, Jessica?’
A sharp intake of breath at the other end of the line as the priestess tries to ignore the insult.
‘I’m sorry.’ Marian’s apology tumbles from her lips in spite of herself. ‘It’s been a difficult time.’
‘I know, sister.’ Jessica’s voice is soft. She doesn’t want to fight. ‘We need you to come to the Lucifernum. Be here in thirty minutes. We’re waiting for you.’
The line goes dead. Marian is tempted to ignore the request, or is it a demand? She’s still in her dressing gown. She hasn’t washed in days. It will be impossible to make the deadline. However, she’s well aware that no one ignores Jessica’s commands. If she doesn’t go willingly someone will collect her.
Marian sighs and heads for the shower. At least the warm water will soothe her saline-ravaged skin.
Although she knows parking will be difficult, Marian drives to the bar. The sky is darkening. Maroon clouds block the sun. Her skin tingles, anticipating an electrical storm. She should be at home, wrapped in stinking misery, and yet she is here, double parking as close to the bar as she can reach, because she was summoned.
Twenty minutes late, she shelters under the awning, knocking on the locked oak door, as the first blood-red raindrop spatters the pavement a few feet away. Julio opens the door and pulls her inside as the first drop is joined by its brethren and the ground bubbles with claret. The barman bolts the door behind her.
The intimate room is full but quiet. Jessica rises to greet Marian, leaving her blind grandmother, the oracle, at the table. Two doberman pincers lie at the old woman’s feet. Mike is there and he’s brought his wife and a baby. Their eyes are wide and expectant, but their mouths are shut tight.
Annoyed and confused, it is Marian who breaks the suffocating silence. ‘What is it? Why are we all here?’
Jessica reaches out and pulls her into a tight embrace that seems to squeeze Marian’s grief to the surface until she can do nothing other than sob on the young woman’s shoulder. They remain like that, wrapped not only in each others arms but in the fear that fills the room. Without words Marian understands that she was not called here on a whim. They are all in danger. Something terrible is happening outside and it has everything to do with that strange red rain.
Jessica guides Marian across to her grandmother. Marian perches on a stool at the table. One of the dogs nudges her thigh with its damp nose and she pets its bony head, eliciting a low growl.
Bill brings Marian a glass of golden liquid. It warms her throat and chest as she settles herself patiently. When the oracle speaks everyone listens. Her voice is harsh like tobacco. Her ancient lungs have lost their power and although Marian is only a few feet away she finds herself leaning across the table, trying to drag the drawling vowels and rolling consonants to her ears.
‘They are three,’ the oracle says. ‘They bring the Lake of Sorrows with them. The red waters will soak through every skin and rip open all souls. Regrets laid bare until the pain becomes unbearable. Many will not survive this day and those who do will be changed. We shelter here together, each others strength, each others shield, and thank the Morrigu for her wisdom and warning.’
Marian nods respectfully at the old woman, takes her drink and withdraws, across the room, to where Bill sits on a leather couch. The diamond panelled window is beside them. Marian watches the rain as it forms a red river in the gutter. She shivers and remembers her beautiful boy. Her golden child who she refused to tame or bring to heel. Satori had power, more perhaps than the oracle, however blasphemous such thoughts might be. Now he’s dead, murdered in an Oedipal nightmare. If today is Marian’s last day on Earth she will die without vengeance, with only memories and alcohol to warm her bosom.