Dahlia: The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit
by David Minutillo
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romantic Thriller
Making a pact with the underworld isn’t a problem …
… but change the deal and hell breaks loose.
Dahlia’s world was turned upside down as a child and her innocence taken. But she chose to fight back with her own blend of magical mayhem. Levi has been let down by every person he’s ever loved. He’s betrayed, lost and about to end it all.
London, 2019. Our star-crossed lovers meet at a tattoo festival on the Thames. Big Ben might look the same, but magic is spilling onto the streets as Dahlia’s dark spirit begs for blood. Can she keep her raging orbit in check long enough to survive? Are they doomed? Or can Levi save them both?
You'll love this paranormal thrill-ride of beauty, chaos and despair which will keep you guessing until the bitter end.
Dahlia and I sink into each other as the energy builds in her too. We’re both glowing like brilliant suns with a need to prove nothing and gain it all. I close my eyes, put my hands on her belly and feel the force that’s giving her life.
The waves are pushing out to my extremities, each stronger and more powerful than the last. It’s like the surge of pure ecstasy, but it doesn’t dissipate as they break. This is a tidal wave with such force it could shift a city. I become queasy as my stomach starts to spasm. It wants to get the tea out and fast. I close my eyes and force my inner muscles to hold it down. Eventually, after retching several times, the tumble dryer settles, and I’m able to sink back into the bliss.
The owl hoots again.
“Are you ok?” she asks as her eyes flicker closed.
I can’t manage a yes, just a long, satisfying groan as I fall deeper from reality. The waves have completely subsided and left a spiritual glow in every corner of my being. I close my lids and can see into my mind. I’m standing in the centre of my thoughts, watching neurons fire as they communicate with each other. Dahlia is standing next to me, barefoot and brilliant.
A small travel journal on a family holiday to Italy in 2005 would become the catalyst for my first book. After bad weather forced us inside, I found myself scribing a story about a fictional character named, Lucca from Portofino. Balcony Nights – Tales of a Moonlit Guitarist was born, and for the next year, my keyboard took a beating as my imagination leapt into print.
But my downfall was self-belief. And eventually, niggling inadequacy won the battle, and I shelved the project. Over the next decade, I would get random hot flushes of enthusiasm and open the manuscript from time to time. Though inevitably, after a day’s tinkering, I would see a complete rewrite was in order and quietly back away from the near finished draft.
Ironically, another holiday would change all that, when I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (the Holy Bible for anyone suffering with procrastination). It was time to kick my own ass into submission and get a book finished. The idea for Dahlia came into my head a few days later, and once again, I spent morning and night, before and after long days of work, bashing away at the keys. One day I looked up and there it was. A 120,000 word, completed manuscript.
Not long after, came the redundancy call from Egan. And just like that, I was a full-time writer. It’s now been a year and change since that day, and I couldn’t be prouder of sticking to my guns and working my ass off to make this dream come true. In that time, I’ve started and finished a novella called Travel Infinity, completed a second, 100K manuscript called Scarecrow and have just published my first novel called Dahlia - The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit on all major sites.
I love getting asked this because the story is so out there.
In 2018 I was on a charity mission to East Timor. A few nights after we arrived, I woke at 1am and couldn’t switch my mind off. I decided a midnight mission through the markets outside our compound was in order.
The smell of fresh fish and frying bread hung in the air. Locals haggled over produce and spat wads of beetle nut at their feet. Others shouted in Bahasa, a siren rang, a rooster sang his song proudly. I got burnt by bubbling oil and slipped on entrails. The bustle was so intoxicating I ventured deeper into the unknown.
After buying some coffee flavoured sludge from a rickety stall, I noticed I was being watched by an eccentrically dressed, pretty woman in her forties. Her hair was wrapped in a black headscarf, her eyes were dark, she was heavily jewelled and had a different cut of face to the locals. Being the only white person in the markets, I was an outcast. And in her, I’d found an ally.
I was summoned with a curling finger and was too scared to refuse. Her stall was no bigger than my pantry and was hidden behind a blackout curtain. Was this the start of an unwilling organ extraction? Was I about to get jumped for the wad of Rupiah in my pocket?
We sat around a table no bigger than a pizza tray and after chanting a blessing, she gave me a beaded necklace and held it in my hand. “Shirt off,” she said in the only English she spoke during our interaction. I obeyed because I was under her spell. We sat and stared at each other. She mumbled as she gazed into my eyes, squeezed my shoulders, read my palm and pulled a random tarot card.
Then, without warning or explanation, she disappeared out the back of her “office” to never return. I freaked out and made my escape a minute later. But the magic remained.
Later that day, as I was laying bricks and sipping coconut water from the source, I started building the story that would become Dahlia : The Velvet Witch and Her Dark Spirit. The pretty witch was my partner, her mystical energy spread to me, she had a dark side which I discovered was because her soul belonged to a demon. She was mentally ill from years of suffering, but she was brave and kept fighting.
I was so captivated I did something I hadn’t done in fifteen years and put pen to paper. I had 5,000 words when I landed in Perth. A year later I had 128,000. After another year of editing, I’d sharpened it to 87,000 words and uploaded the finished manuscript to Amazon, IngramSpark and Findaway Voices.
Today, I’m writing the next story in the series … Dahlia : The Forest.
Follow the tourHEREfor special content and a giveaway!