Summary: Before she can be kicked out of her house, Caroline runs away to join the circus. Even though she’s far from the oddity or performer that Arcanium is better known for, jinni Bell Madoc grants her wish to become a part of his circus and assigns her to the carousel. It’s repetitive work and quarters are cramped, but it’s a perfect job while Caroline figures out what the hell she’s going to do with her life.
But then some of the creepy carousel mounts – the ones that look like human men, bound, chained, and tortured – start coming to life at night. Caroline must not only come to grips with the shady motivations of her new employers, but with the driven desire inside her for Riley and Colm, bound to Arcanium and to the carousel to atone for their sins, who beg her to save them.
So it looks like Carousel ended before I expected it to, and you won’t hear me complaining. I’d been a bit overwhelmed by the large tomes that my subconscious insisted I write. It was nice to write a long novel without the story going nuts. The biggest contributor to the reasonable length was that there was less going on, fewer conflicts, than in Fortune. Aerial, which I’ll attack after Bloodbound, will be longer. I’ll have four people to juggle, each with their own wish angst that’s much more severe than Caroline had to deal with.
Now, Carousel is tamer than Fortune and the general idea of the Arcanium series. However, if you’re coulrophobic, I do want to let you know that this is NOT the story for you. The clowns play a much bigger role in this story than any other. I knew they had a significant place, but they ended up contributing more to the conflict than I’d anticipated.
I think it’s funny that my tamer Arcanium novel has demon clown sex.
Anyway, writing Carousel fulfilled a deep need in me to be productive while I’m waiting for health issues to be resolved, since I can’t start work until I know I can continue work on a regular basis. I enjoyed writing it, even those places in the beginning that were harder to get through because of the predictable anxieties. And I enjoyed finishing it, even if it ended on a darker note than I’d intended – although it was much needed and more organic that way. It’s always important to remember that Arcanium isn’t a fundamentally good place – this is an erotic horror series – but that doesn’t mean some good can’t be found in it – which is where the gothic romance kicks in.
Now for the part no one cares about but me.
Word count: 85,921 words
Projected word count: 100,000 words
Days to write: 23
First line: “By the time Caroline reached the scrolled and spiked iron gate of the circus Arcanium on its last day in town, she was pretty sure she hadn’t thought her brilliant plan through.”
Largest number of sexual participants at once: 3, although I don’t count voyeurs (If I did, it’d be 5). And there are lots of threesomes, which makes sense if you consider the summary. It’s not quite as relentlessly kinky as Fortune, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t go nuts in one or two sex scenes. Have I mentioned demon clown sex?
Number of sex scenes: 9. Possibly 8, since two of them occur around the same time, but it feels like a separate scene.
Next on the list: Bloodbound serial edits, then writing Aerial (Arcanium Book 3).