Edited Nov. 25, 2014: Searing Betrayal has been removed and is now only an excerpt. To read the entire Dark Phoenix novella, you can go to the Books page for retailer links.
Without saying too much I wanted to point out that this middle story (of the five) became sort of the turning point between Landon and Jak. It’s also the piece that delves the deepest into the minimal world building I did for the entire story. There’s a lot more to be discovered, obviously, but given the fact that dark phoenixes are solitary creatures, there just wasn’t any need to do anything expansive.
This piece did let me play with the syrens a little–which actually reminds me to tell you why I choose such a weird spelling when a normal spelling and a million other names for mermaids abound across a great many cultures. Well…the real reason was because I already had another story with sirens (Like Dark Algae) and they were inherently different in that their voices were automatically powerful sexual attractors without their explicit consent in the deal.
I wanted a mer-creature who could still manipulate people using their voices, thus needing sirens because that name gave the automatic assumption of the ability, but I also wanted to make it clear that they were of a different breed altogether than my original creation. Probably unnecessary considering these stories are contemporary based and the other had a secondary world setting, but those were my reasons for using syren vs. siren/mermaid/naiad/merrow/nixies, etc.
Next Sunday, Nov. 2: Gentle Burn – Dark Phoenix 4 (fantasy, short story, M/M) – There’s a point in every relationship where it either becomes more intimate…or completely fizzles.