This is The New Book!

So I couldn't help myself and wrote just a bit of Shahnoi even though I was supposed to be devoting myself to finishing Shaded Grey! It's all you guys and the support you give! Shaded Grey has now crossed 50 followers! To celebrate, I will be announcing my plans for a new kinda award soon...
For now, this is the new book I'm planning on writing.
I'm repeating the little blurb I gave that day- just so anyone who missed it can catch up- 

Ru Rennan came to the Shahnoi Valley with the carnival that only comes once in every twenty years. He has no past, no present and no foreseeable future. He is a young man with only his name for comfort, and a way of arresting everyone who speaks to him. He is the carnival’s freak- predicting easily what’s in everyone’s pockets, reading minds, reading feelings.
He is the only one who stayed behind as the town’s newest permanent resident in one hundred years. He is the only one who knows that the ghost who haunts Shahnoi, the Dark Nevvie, is no ghost. He is the only one who sees what she is protecting. He is the only one who understands.
Nevvie doesn’t know what to think of Ru. After almost one hundred years of a solitary, terrifyingly lonely existence…will he put an end to her longing for company, or will he end her existence forever, as she has feared for over hundred years?

I am Ru Rennan.
He studied those words, written in a sprawling, large print on the side of the cardboard box in which the carnival’s gymnasts kept their props in. The red marker pen had dripped a little when he wrote, and the ‘u’ in his name had a long, bloody-looking tail.
I am Ru Rennan.
He brushed a hand through wavy hair and chewed on his upper lip. Really, what was the proof? The man with the Freaks and Oddities sideshow, Larsen, had called him Ru when he had woken up. Had, in fact, emptied a bucket of water in his face and yelled it out. He’d heard ‘You!’ at first, but then louder voices had added to the man’s already strangely female voice- the pretty rope-walker Morena had screeched, the burly guy with the carousel had growled it, the large and bearded woman whose name he didn’t know yet had practically wailed.
What a strange name.
 He turned back to the horse he was painting. It was supposed to be on the carousel, but it’s once blue eye was now a glaringly empty bit peeled off color and showing the rotting wood inside.
Carousel music played in his background, strange and eerily captivating to him. The music was mixed with the cacophony of the sideshows being set up. Morena and Larsen were hammering a tent pole into the ground. The bearded woman was whining with her fire-breathing husband. The two young guys who owned the See the Real Mermaid sideshow was coaxing the “mermaid” into her apparently too tight fish tail.
Ru, if that was his name, found he liked the sounds.
 The Ferris wheel was going up, and the strange hum of the generator was like a constant chord to the other, more elevated noises. He applied another blue stroke to the horse’s eye and turned his gaze on a young woman just leaving her tent, rubbing her blackened eye.
A fist slamming in her face- pain- now where did that purse go!-I woke late will I have time to eat before work starts-someone should remind Cor about the broken mirror in the House of Glass- and is my nose broken by the way it feels like it is broken it should be broken-
Alarmed, he looked away, and the thoughts that weren’t his fled from his mind. So did the feeling that there was something beneath her bed, in the ghostly darkness- the purse she had lost.
Ru Rennan, mind reader, carny-boy.
It felt strange to be discovering him by himself. He’d already done the physical of course. Looked at him in a cheap, dirty mirror and found sharp, anthracite black eyes and tanned skin; a straight nose and a long scar down one side of his face. He was tall, and strong from apparently wrestling about heavy carousel horses and heavy boxes full of tent pegs.
No one expected him to speak for some reason, and he wondered if he could for a while- until he spoke to the inanimate wooden horse and found he had a voice after all. Maybe he just didn’t use it. Or maybe people preferred he didn’t use it- if they knew he could get in their minds and read anything there.
He guessed they did know. He’d been looking at the purple and gold posters that the carnies were distributing to everyone who came within fifteen feet near the field they had set up camp in. It listed the bearded woman, the fire-breathing man and the amazing aerial dancer Dellie, along with the mermaid and him- the Spectacular Boy, Ru Rennan, who could tell you your deepest secrets.
Freaks and Oddities sideshow, it announced in slightly raised golden type. Eight thirty at night, Freaks and Oddities sideshow.
He was a freak and an oddity apparently, and he wondered if he should be unhappy about that. He felt oddly detached from himself, like Ru Rennan was just a new dress he’d cast off when bored.
The mermaid had stalked angrily into her tent, and the Ferris wheel was running. Ru finished the last stroke of blue on the horse’s eye and then began to carry it to the carousel, which was still playing that faux-innocent music he felt so captivated by. The lights were on, and he watched the horses go up and down with the tinkling of bells and the flashing of bulbs with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a toddler at his first fair.
The big man cuffed him on his head and growled in a voice that cracked like icicles, ‘Don’t stand there staring, boy! Larsen gave you no work?!’
He watched a black horse make its way around the singular orbit it revolved on for its entire wooden life, oddly drawn to it and its ruby eyes. The rest of the horses were blue eyed for some unfathomable reason, and he knew instinctively that this horse was his favorite, that the few times he’d ever gone on this ride- if he had- he had always ridden him. There was something defiant and resolute about that horse and the strong shape of him.
‘You’ve been strange since morning, you have. Coming down with something?’
He shook his head and left the muttering carousel man before more questions followed.
In the next half an hour, Ru walked as though in a brightly colored, richly populated dream. His mind saw tableaux even in pandemonium and hysterics.
The large tent that had reptiles in glass boxes arranged within in was the first tableaux- two men fought over the space next to it, one with the bowling pins and the balls, another with a skill test and a girl who danced with hoopla rings.
The next was at the Glass House, where Cor was standing with an expression of utter disenchantment from life on his face- like he would have loved to just melt into the wet, sticky mud of the rain-washed ground.
The third was the Freak and Oddities tent- a large purple affair where Larsen was trying to pacify the bearded woman who was in hysterics, and the thin man who was complaining of a heart attack which allowed him extra pay.
 He touched the posters on the tent walls- touched his own two-dimensional face and wondered if he always smiled like that? Like he was an animated glass statue protecting itself from the world.
Ru Rennan, mind reader extraordinary. He will tell you what is in your pockets! He will tell you what your dead mother’s favorite teacup looked like!
The purple and gold flyers really gave no scope to the strangeness of the whole thing. Ru stared into his own picture’s black eyes, trying to see through them as though they were windows holding all his secrets just beyond them.
Who are you, Ru? Who’s Larsen to you? Where you always a carnival freak?
Somehow, everything that he was before that day seemed to have vanished from his mind. Anything that he planned to be after a few years…well, that too seemed to have vanished. No past and no future. No memories to construct his timeline on.
Who was he supposed to trust?
Larsen called to him. ‘Ru! Over here, I need help- ’
He didn’t turn around. He kept walking.
Beyond where the flags atop the tents fluttered against a meltingly blue sky, ran a brown stream. He sat on its bank, watching the water gush and smash into rocks strewn all over the stream bed, batter the branches of a tree which slid into the stream like it drew sustenance from the swift, cold water. Shards of ice glittered in the liquid as it flowed and Ru straightened, peering out at the scenery around him for the first time.
Snow capped mountains on all side. The sun struck off ice in glimmering rainbow-colored arcs and blinded him from looking too high. He scanned the east, west and north and found only ice and sun. To the south there was more snow, but not as much as the rest. It was like being in a tropical sundae and kept in refrigeration.

On the artwork:
the model is the beautiful Daria from DA. Her art account is called Luria-xxii and i mention her specially because she gave me permission to use her beautiful photos for creating Nevvie.

I cut the Ferris wheel from an old photo of mine, and the petals and stuff are so myriad in origin that I really cant trace them!


  1. OMG, Varsha/Ani!!!! What a BEAUTIFUL cover!!!!! Now I gotta get into the story! And, of course, I also have to get into "Shaded Grey".

    I just HAD to tell you how MUCH I like the cover of "Shanoi"!!!!!! You GO, girl!!!!! : )

  2. yayy! Thank you- I dunno how it came out the way it did, but am so happy how it turned out! The model really liked it too, so all roads cleared! :)

  3. Well, i have finally read this excerpt! And once again I have to say, 'OMG"!!!!! This is beautiful, beautiful writing, Ani!! You write so poetically... I especially LOVE the way you paint pictures with your flowing use of words!

    I would now like to know whether you are planning to publish the entire book. If you are, I sure hope it will be a REAL book, and not an e-book. I can't STAND e-books!!

    Let me know. Meanwhile, KUDOS on your writing!! Keep it up!!!! : )


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