Today’s Sneak Peek is from The Scholomance. This book was very cathartic to write, allowing me to confront a recurring nightmare that has plagued me for more than thirty years and trap it in a medium I can control. I had hoped that writing this book would destroy the dream forever. Sadly, this was not the case, but it did allow me to exorcise some demons (heh). For those who have never heard of it (or worse, those who’ve only heard of it by way of Warcraft), the Scholomance is a hidden school where magic is taught by the demons who dwell there, but there is a price: Anyone who reaches the door of the Scholomance may enter, but the Devil claims one out of every ten of those who try to leave. After Mara, a young woman born with telepathy, receives a desperate letter from her only friend, she enters the Scholomance, determined to find Connie and save her, only to become trapped, first by the Scholomance itself and then by the darkly alluring lord who rules there.
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Mara turned toward him, not fast. He rose from his lazy crouch in the shadows just as slowly, as deliberately. The carving on the door had been a very good likeness after all. His skin was grey and rough even to look at, like living stone, raised and thick where the ivory spikes pierced through. His hair was black and very fine, and waved out behind him in the same breeze that moved the curtains. His eyes glowed green, just a little.
“Shall I disrobe?” he asked, indicating the ornate buckle of his plated belt.
“Disrobe?” Mara echoed, frowning.
“So I must assume, as thou hast come to my bedchamber.” He motioned, and true enough, there was a bed, crafted in a wide oval, with a stone lip all around and great bat-wings looming at its head.
Mara raised her eyebrows. “Do you sleep?” she wondered.
“Nay, not often,” the demon replied affably. “Yet I do fuck, and one must have one’s comforts.” He cocked his head, spreading his mouth in a wide, humorless smile. “Thou dost not flee, nor rebuke, nor submit to me. How curious. I suppose thou hast some request to make. Speak it.”