- Book Title: Stealing Innocents
- Book Series: Book Contains 4 Novellas
- Author: Lisa Henry writing as Cari Waites
- Publisher: Anglerfish Press (an imprint of Riptide Publishing) (January 9, 2016)
- Book Length: 233 pages
- Genre: BDSM, Horror, Anthology
- Posting Date: January 12, 2016
Hi! Welcome to the blog tour for Stealing Innocents by Cari Waites. Who is not-so-secretly Lisa Henry. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk a bit about writing Stealing Innocents, and sharing some of my influences, ideas, and even an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment, for your chance to win prizes!
Falling Angels is without a doubt the darkest of all the stories in the Stealing Innocents anthology. Unlike Gamble Everything, which can be read as a fantasy scenario if you squint a little, there is nothing romantic or even remotely redeemable about Arkady’s situation. Falling Angels, possibly, is the dark mirror to Gamble Everything. Because while in Gamble Everything I was happy to write a twisted and hopefully hot story about a boy who sells himself to pay for his father’s gambling debts and is subsequently exposed to a boatload of absolute kinky-fuckery, Falling Angels is set in a much realer, and much darker world. Both Danny and Arkady are taken because of their fathers’ debts, but that where the similarity ends.
Falling Angel is a story about monsters, and obsession, and how far it twists us.
Those who dare to scratch the surface of ordinary, everyday life may be horrified to find a sick underbelly beneath—a nightmare world populated by villains and victims, predators and prey, where the rules of society no longer apply.
Where you’ll find people like Danny, the boy who sells himself to pay for his father’s gambling debts and ends up in a situation more twisted than he ever imagined. Or Troy, the cop whose obsession with saving a brutalized human trafficking victim turns deadly. Or Drew, the mental patient who begins to suspect his nightly delusions of abuse by his doctor are actually real. Or David, the cuckolded husband who decides the best way to get revenge is to seduce his wife’s barely legal son.
Stealing Innocents is an exploration of our darkest human impulses, where sex is power, love is horror, and there’s no such thing as a happy ending.
He hadn’t always been called Arkady. Once upon a time, his name was Dima. His story began a long way away from the club in North London.
“For monies owed,” the man with the whiskers had said, and that was the last time Dima saw his parents. He’d had an idea that he was safer because he was a boy; that he would be on the business end of any terrible things that happened, not the receiving end. But his mother had been a beauty in her youth, and Dima favoured her more than his square-headed father, and he was, he supposed much later, too pretty to waste on thuggery.
Like most teenagers, he’d dreamed of leaving Arkhangelsk behind, and going to America. He wanted to live in Los Angeles. Los Angeles seemed the most obvious choice, because all of Dima’s favourite movies and television shows came from there. He’d adopted American fashion and, to his father’s disgust, American slang. Mostly, he supposed, he wanted to live somewhere warm and earn a lot of money. His English was bad, but he was fifteen and unburdened by practicalities. He would go to America, and he would become rich and happy.
When his father’s employers, for lack of a better word, called in their debt, Dima was still young and naive enough to expect it wouldn’t matter. So what if he had to go and work for them? They would give him a gun and a leather jacket, and in a few years he would have enough money to leave Russia. He wouldn’t steal from the boss. He wouldn’t put their product in a needle like his father did.
It wasn’t until after that first night that he realised his mistake.
Wasn’t until the men laughed and spat on him when they’d finished that he knew for sure.
Three weeks after they took him, Dima left Russia. Not in a plane, like he’d always imagined, but in the back of a lorry, bundled up in a blanket in a shipping container with tape over his mouth and eyes.
At first, Marcus had kept him in a locked room in his house. There were certain men, Dima learned, who paid a lot of money for access to an underaged boy. Dima had
tried to escape once, but Marcus had caught him and beaten him so badly that for weeks he couldn’t move without crying in pain.
When Marcus first brought the cameras into the room, Dima had been inconsolable. No, he didn’t want to be in movies, or on the internet. Whatever was happening to him, he didn’t want people to find out. But after the first few times—after the first introduction to the needle—he stopped caring. Marcus showed him the website and the DVDs: Arkady. Because he looked heavenly.
After a few months, Marcus moved him to the club. Arkady had lived there since. Three years in London, and he had never seen the outside. The move to the club had happened at night, and Arkady had been blindfolded before being put in the back of a van.
His room in the club was nothing more than a narrow space with a bed and a shower cubicle, but it was Arkady’s space. Men were never brought back here. Even Marcus knocked on the door before he unlocked it. Arkady had no possessions except for a few toiletries and the clothes that Marcus gave him to wear downstairs in the club. He had some porn magazines as well, but could only stare at the pictures. He could understand spoken English well enough now, but could not read it. The only word he could write was Arkady.
Lisa Henry – Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Cari Waites is her much darker alter ego.
Go to the Author Page for Lisa Henry
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To celebrate the release of Stealing Innocents, Lisa is giving away a $20 Riptide credit and an ebook of your choice of title from Lisa’s backlist.
Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing.
Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries.
Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Lisa can reach you if you win!