When I was 15 years old, I saw the movie The Red Violin with my cousin and absolutely had to have the soundtrack. Over the years, I've collected violin memorabilia, especially after writing Wings of the Divided, Book 1 in my angel fantasy, in which the violin plays an important part.
I was feeling in a particularly violin-loving mood today and thought I'd post some pictures of my little collection, share some of my favorite violin music, and offer an excerpt from my book (the violin part, of course).
Here's a violin clock on my guest bedroom wall. The clock part is broken now, but I keep it because it's pretty.
Here's my "violin corner," which has a violin lamp on top, some violin art on the second shelf, and an actual violin on the bottom.
Perhaps one of the reasons why I love Anne Rice's work so much is her incorporation of the violin in many of her stories.
Here's a little glass violin box, as well as a miniature violin, case, and bow I got in New Orleans during my first visit with my dad a decade ago.
Here's the theme song of the movie The Red Violin:
And finally, here is an exclusive excerpt from Wings of the Divided, where my character the Fallen angel Laphelle hears the violin for (what he thinks is) the first time, after which he will never be the same. Enjoy.
Out of pure rebellion, Laphelle took the cloak off his wings. Fantasies of murder dashed through his ancient mind, the sword in his imagination slicing through fool after fool who challenged him—they all happened to have Malynko's face.
He hated, hated, hated being labeled a flimsy rotten First Rank. And he knew that the only reason he hadn't been promoted to Elite status those thousands of years ago was because he didn't have the "patience" to be taught. Whatever. He didn't need teaching; that's what they didn't realize. But the Elitists were proud students of the ways of Lucifer, a special group of dark angels who were allowed to converse with him any time they liked. And what made Lucifer so special? It wasn't like he ever showed his face on the battlefield. It was all up to angels like Laphelle. He hissed a sigh through clenched teeth. The system made him weary.
He craved respect for being the unstoppable warrior that he was.
He desired to be looked up to, not down upon by those of higher status, those who were jealous of his ruthless power.
He wanted to be calling the shots.
He wanted it—because he rightfully deserved it.
But he knew such thoughts were in vain. The system had never been broken. And it would remain the same until the war ended. If it ended.
He abandoned the party district, searching for Mannsway, ignoring anyone who made any sort of comment about his wings or his bare feet or his dashing good looks. The farther away from downtown he went, the quieter it was, and soon he was cleared of all human company. Hair whipping back in the wind of his walk, he found the road he was looking for.
It was then that Laphelle heard the sound of the violin.
He stopped, the soles of his bare white feet pressed against the cool stones of Mannsway. An odd sensation crept through his toes and up his legs and further until his entire body surged with the most intense feeling of déjà vu. Without truly comprehending what it meant, deep inside his soul, he knew that it could only be explained by one word:
Carried by the traveling night air, the violin's melody touched his ears and gently caressed away the tension of his body. The sudden sound was a light kiss to his senses, and he slowly closed his eyes, the beast in him tenderly tamed by the invisible delight.
He concentrated on the sound and it grew louder.
A bright happiness, long suppressed, immediately lit up in his soul, and strong, sparkling sunrays of peace pierced through the shield of clouds hovering around his heart. He could not recall ever having heard such a blessed sound; yet it was still familiar—that unmistakable entrancement that engulfs the listener when bow and strings come together in a union so beautiful and so magical that no one, not even he, as stubborn and cold as he was, could turn away his ear.
Letting the sound sweep him to a dream—no, a memory—of beauty, and bliss, and brilliant light, he desperately searched within his mind for the meaning of this feeling. The origin of that sound. The memory itself.
But it was impossible to dwell on anything less than the divine music that called to his soul so intensely.
He had to find the instrument making that sound.
The song was a simple one, happy and plain, but Laphelle thought it was the most beautiful, intoxicating thing he'd ever heard, pulling at him harder than any desire he had ever felt before. It took his spirit on a journey, lifting him higher with the notes, swooping through the skies in a vibrant vibrato. Without thinking about where the music was coming from (it could have been miles away with his excellent hearing) he followed it.
The tall antique lampposts alongside Mannsway lit his way, and he cracked a side smile, lost in his beautiful dream. He crossed the empty bridge over the quiet starlit waters of the river.
The sound was getting clearer. He felt a cold chill down his spine and warm cuddling comfort around his heart. The music evoked both complete joy and sheer terror within him. As the volume increased with each nearing step, his heart beat faster and all sense left him.
He could hear only the music.
It taunted his mind, pleading with him to remember. He tried, oh he tried, but he could not remember. He walked, past the back gate enclosing the grand gardens of Max's mansion to his left, following the road and the music. The adjacent path leading to Remington Auditorium was a step away to his right, and an electric charge went through him as he passed it by. But he ignored the feeling and kept his eyes forward.
What was making that music? His mission's importance grew with each passing second and soon he was no longer smiling but in a state of panic. He had to find it, had to.
While any human would have been completely exhausted after walking so briskly across the entire city, Laphelle's strength actually grew with each blessed note of the violin. He passed Country Club houses to his left and right, his bare feet numbed from the music. Looking everywhere for the origin of the sound, he noticed that the farther he went, the poorer the houses became. He turned left, walked a street, and turned right on another. Without the sun to soften their harsh appearances, the shabby houses around him looked as if they stood in a shadow of the apocalypse. Roofs were torn, yards unkempt. Dirty.
Then he reached the humble, little home at the farthest end of Edenton. It sat proudly atop the hill, looking outcast from the other houses that seemed to hug the valley.
It's coming from that house.
Want to read more? You can get your copy of the book, currently available in Kindle and Nook e-book format. *It will also be available in paperback form soon. (Also, the sequel's releasing in February!)*
Thanks for reading.