If a jinni could could grant you three wishes, what would you wish for? Set in modern-day Los Angeles, Heather Demetrios’ EXQUISITE CAPTIVE is a sensual, rich spin on tales of old about the ultimate wish-granters: genies. Here, Heather reveals her expert opinion on making wishes!
Heather Demetrios: My 3 Wishes
Disclaimer: The author wishes readers to know that the following post is purely hypothetical, as she is deeply opposed to the dark caravan, the jinn slave trade. Obviously if she ever met a jinni, she’d destroy their bottle so that they could be set free and she encourages you to do the same.
You’d think that writing a book about jinn (aka genies) would make me an expert on wishes. I should, of course, have wishes that would totally blow your socks off. I should be able to out-wish any wisher this side of the Mississippi—and on the other side, for that matter. But the truth is, the idea of coming up with three wishes messes with my head and I get all angsty and existential about it, until a totally hypothetical exercise turns into this personal indictment of my character. I think about wishes and I feel like I get a C in Humanity. Because here’s the thing: I know I should wish for totally unselfish things like world peace, an end to human trafficking, and food for all, but what I really want is an endless supply of cash so I can buy a Maserati like the one Nalia, my jinni in Exquisite Captive, drives. Because I have an evil, selfish black heart. Okay, but seriously. If I had tons of money, I could have my cake and eat it, too, right? I picture myself traveling the world (first class, naturally) while making the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation look like a kid’s piggy bank. But, as Biggie says, “Mo Money, Mo Problems.” For example: dying when my private airplane crashes. Rich people are ALWAYS doing that. So wishing for cash…is it kind of like cursing yourself?
Maybe my wish problem is that I’m not thinking outside the wishing box. As a huge fan of fantasy, shouldn’t I be wishing for something magical? Perhaps the ability to draw magical energy from the elements as my jinn in Exquisite Captive do? Or at least be able to produce a proper Patronus Charm. But, then, you know, there’s that old adage, “all magic comes with a price” (I can totally picture Rumpelstiltskin from One Upon A Time saying that, can’t you?). I mean, my jinni heroine has enormous powers, but even she got trapped in a bottle by a good-for-nothing jinni slave trader. If you’ve got magic, you can bet your last galleon someone out there is gonna try to use you or take it from you, or just generally wreak havoc in your life. Like dark lords and stuff.
A lot of people tend to wish for knowledge, like knowing how to speak every language in the world (incidentally, my jinn can do that and it’s quite handy, I have to say). I’ve considered wishing for a talent, like being able to sing better than a dying frog, which is pretty much what I sound like. But here’s the thing: it’s about the journey, not the destination. Right? Sure, you could wish for the talent to write a National Book Award-winning novel, but then when you got the award, wouldn’t you feel like a total fraud? And then you’d have to go to therapy and do weird things to find your Zen and, eventually, you’d probably wind up trying to track your jinni down and ask them to undo the wish. Only, if they’re like the jinn in Exquisite Captive, that’s impossible. So then you’re totally screwed and the most you can hope for is to write a memoir about your wish drama or perhaps an Idiot’s Guide to Wishing.
So maybe, if I were being smart, I actually would wish for the totally altruistic stuff, not really because I’m like a young, perkier version of Mother Theresa, but because, deep down, my greatest wish is to not have regrets. As someone with chronic buyer’s remorse, I could get into some serious wishing trouble. I mean, clearly. Is this not the most neurotic wish list you’ve ever heard? Tell you what: next time I find a jinni, I’ll just wish them free.
About EXQUISITE CAPTIVE
Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.
Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to release Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle—and keep the dangerously persuasive Malek from trapping her inside it.
Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at too terrible a cost. . . .
In this gorgeous fantasy, Heather Demetrios brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.
What would you wish for if you had three wishes?