June 08, 2013

Nephylim: Christmas In July: A Very Special Edition

Please help me welcome Nephylim, who is talking about a Special Edition of her Enigma series. Don't forget to go to the bottom of this post--you've got the chance to win a free copy of the book and a signed poster!

Christmas in July

On July 1st I will be pleased to present a Special Edition incorporating Book I and II of the Enigma series. The Special Edition will be available for one month only and will contain original artwork as well as a brand new short story Silver’s First Christmas.

Silver is a total enigma, even to me. Snatched of the street at twelve years old he was stripped of him

memories and personality and re-invented as a sex slave. Renown for his beauty and skills as an erotic dancer, he takes the underground world he inhabits by storm. Until he falls in love.

In the shady world of white slavery love between slaves is strictly forbidden; so strictly Silver had to watch his lover beaten to death before he suffers a similar beating that leaves him close to death on the side of a motorway.

Lost inside his own head, Silver is rescued by his carer River and the two begin a journey together that leads them to placed neither could have imagined.

Silver is an amazing character to write. He has a world view different to anyone I have ever met. In some ways he’s so innocent, in others so…not. He’s experiencing so many things for the first time, at least in this incarnation, and he’s so scared he spends a lot of time hiding from the world and the people in it. At the same time, he spreads love around him like a flower spreads pollen, attracting the nickname ‘Sunshine Boy’. He’s certainly my sunshine boy.

Over the years I’ve been writing him I’ve been inspired to write and paint him over and over and yes, I’ve fallen in love with him. 

In Book one we follow his journey from someone who’s so lost inside is head he barely reacts with the world around him, to someone who lights up the world around him. In Book two the journey continues with River and Silver trying to settle down into a peaceful life together. That doesn’t happen and the introduction of River’s twelve year old brother into the mix causes havoc.

I have been wanting, for some time to explore the British child protection system which I work with day to day in my professional capacity as a family lawyer. I’d been wanting for some time to express my feelings of how social workers destroy families. Politically controversial I know but I’ve never shied from that. The experiences River and Silver go through are partly taken from experience and partly pure fantasy but I think anyone who’s worked in this environment will recognise the general structure and attitudes.

The pressures get too much for River who, torn between his brother and his lover sides with Ben, unwittingly causing Silver to believe it’s because he’s ashamed of him and believes he’s a danger to Ben.

Believing himself to be unloved and unwanted, Silver runs away, seeking to return to his past and , instead finding a way to move into the future. We’re introduced to new characters, in particular the boy who is to become Silver’s best friend, and another daemon lover of mine, Ariel

Through his experiences with Ariel and his friends, Silver undergoes a transformation and returns to River a changed man.

And so the journey begins again. In Book III it continues as Silver starts to find his footing in the strange new world and surprises everyone with the direction his emerging personality takes them.

What a journey I went on in writing Silver and his friends. I had never written so much as a sequel before and here I am writing Book V. I don’t think I’m ever going to get bored with Silver. He’s part of my life, like an invisible friend. His portrait is hanging over my fireplace, with that look in his Silver eyes. My muse; my friend; my inspiration.


Are you alright now, sweetheart?” Hester asks gently. I nod, with a hiccup. “You’ve had it rough haven’t you? It’s all happened so quickly. I know you’ve done your best but you just don’t realise what all this has done to Silver. You, of all people, know what he’s like. He’s a beautiful, sweet boy but he doesn’t see the world in the same way we do. He doesn’t understand any of this and all he sees is that you’ve abandoned him and he’s rationalised it by believing he’s done something bad or that he is bad.
He truly believes you’re ashamed of him and everyone’s been lying to him, when they said they love him and don’t care about his past. He’s convinced himself he’s a worthless whore, you’re ashamed of him and everyone else hates him. I think he’s starting to come to believe we’re not going to throw him out in the street but that’s about as far as he can go right now.
He’s tired and sad and confused and it’s making him ill. I don’t want to see either of you hurt and I don’t want to try to force you into doing something you can’t do but...I know you love Silver, I know you do and I know you don’t want to see him hurting like this. River, I’m scared, we’re all scared. One way or another we’re losing him.”
Is it really that bad?”
Just go and see him, River, that’s all. Just see him and talk to him.”
Of course I will. That’s why I’m here.”
I think Sam and Hester realise I’ve had enough because they don’t say another word. It’s awkward but most of that comes from me.
My heart jumps to my mouth when I hear steps on the stairs and my head jerks up, as Julia walks slowly into the room. She doesn’t look like her usual bubbly self, not at all. She’s subdued and serious, but thoughtful. When she notices me staring at her, she smiles a little smile and then hugs me without saying a word.
Is he...? Can I...? Does he...?”
Of course he does. He wants to but he’s scared to. You have to be gentle, River. Don’t shout at him again.”
But I didn’t shout, he....”
I know but right now, whatever happens, he needs you to be there for him, just him and never mind the past. He’s sick, River, sick at heart and he needs lots of healing. He’s hiding in a different way than before and this time I don’t think he can back. I’m scared River. He’s scared too and he doesn’t know what to do to make it better.”
Did he talk to you?”
Of course he did. He always talks to me.”
Will he talk to me?”
I don’t know. He wants to but I don’t know if he can.”
I have to try.”
Oh yes, yes you do.”
My mouth is dry and my heart racing, as I slowly climb the stairs. What will I find? Will he hate me? Will he be...? For the gods’ sake River get a grip. He’ll be what he always was, he’ll be Silver, the man you love.
He’s lying on the bed, curled up in a position I recognise. It’s his safety position, his arms wrapped round himself and his knees drawn up. It’s the position he adopts when he’s scared, in pain. This time I caused it and I feel sick.
I can’t move over the threshold. I can’t bear to look at the evidence of what I’ve done. As I hover, he looks up. His face is so pale, even under the blotchiness of constant weeping, and his eyes.... I watch the emotions fly through the dark, dark eyes: hope, fear, excitement, hope, doubt, pain and finally a dull, hopeless resignation. He lowers his head again and breaks my heart.
I don’t have to think anymore. To hesitate any longer would be unthinkable. What is there to think about? When I take him in my arms, he gasps and tries to pull away but I won’t let him. He doesn’t struggle but he’s stiff and unresponsive. He’s shaking and breathing hard and I have no idea how he’s feeling, what he’s thinking, but it can’t be worse than how I’m feeling.
I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I swear, I never meant to hurt you. I love you, Silver, I love you more than I can possibly express. You’re everything to me, everything. Please, please don’t hate me. I was such a fool. I didn’t mean any of the things I said, I swear I didn’t. I was being an idiot, letting off steam. Please Silver, please forgive me.”


In all, there are five blog posts celebrating the conception of Christmas in July. On each blog there is a question. If you answer all three questions correctly you will be put in a drawer for a free copy of the book and signed poster. The competition will run until the 1st July and the winner will be drawn at the release party.

Today’s question is – What River’s brother’s name?

Here's the list of participants for the other questions:



  1. I Believe it to be Ben.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. River's brother's name is Ben.

    Thanks again, Nephy, for giving Silver to us.

    Kathy C

  3. thanks for the look into the books. I enjoyed your doing it the way you did, by giving us more info about the books and also your life as a person/author. You revealed more about the story and the characters and it captured my imagination more each day. I will definitely have to read his story someday. It was nice not to read just a synopsis or the same thing on each blog. I enjoyed the tour through his world.

    River's brother is Ben.

  4. River's brother is Ben.


  5. Ben! River's adorable brother's name is Ben!

    THANK YOU, Neph, for being you and writing/sharing your wicked imagination with us in the form of these awesome stories. And thank you, also, for this blog hop contest. It was fun getting to know more about Silver and you. :)


  6. River's brother is Ben
    sstrode at scrtc dot com