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Sandra Novelly

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Out of Erebus
by Sandra Novelly   

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Books by Sandra Novelly
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Publisher:  Smashwords


Copyright:  August 5, 2012

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According to the Bhagavad Gita hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed. Add envy and an obsession which will stop at nothing—even murder—to achieve its goal, and thus is created a toxic brew of wealth and power gone awry.

According to the Bhagavad Gita hell has three gates: lust, anger, and greed. Add envy and an obsession which will stop at nothing—even murder—to achieve its goal, and thus is created a toxic brew of wealth and power gone awry.

Fiona and Fenella Cameron, sisters who are two years apart in age yet as close as twins, come to New York with a dream—to own a talent representation agency. The two become protégés of CEO and founder of Blair Enterprises, Gerald Blair, whose life is ruled by both his business empire and his earthy sexual tastes to the detriment of his wife, Patrice.

An unspeakable attack on Fenella by a wealthy client of impeccable character forces her to return to her native land rather than risk the agency’s reputation with an accusation she feels she cannot prove. While in Scotland she enjoys a renewed friendship with a certain redheaded hotel owner. Not long afterwards, however, Fiona is hospitalized by a severe and mysterious beating and Fenella is forced to return to New York. Even after Fiona attempts to keep her sister safe by hiding her with a friend, Fenella is kidnapped. Fiona turns to her ex-fiancé for support and aide in a frantic search to find her sister.

From Glasgow to small town Scotland to dynamic New York City, from penthouse apartments and a New York mansion to a forested retreat in the mountains, Out of Erebus chronicles a complex list of characters with great weakness, as well as, immense strength, and some whose love batters down even the gates of Hades.
Their childhood had been nearly idyllic—or so thought Fenella Cameron—with the exception of those times her mother and sister refused to go to Faenmor with her and Father and, to be quite honest, those occasions when Mother and Fiona, her elder sister, forced her to go shopping for clothing in which she had no interest and to be primped and curled and fussed over by the employees of Mother’s ‘day spa.’ Actually, she thought her younger years a wonderful experience, none more so than the time spent in Faenmor, hiking or fishing with Father and getting acquainted with a certain redheaded young man whose parents owned the local hotel. It was only as she grew older that she realized everything may not be quite as pleasant as she remembered.

Fiona remembered their childhood quite differently. Even as a small child when Father insisted she accompany her parents and sister to Faenmor, she balked. She simply did not like outdoorsy jaunts and considered Faenmor quite boring, especially when Fenella would go off fishing with Father or traipsing about with that redheaded boy. As she grew older she put her foot down, literally, when asked to go to Faenmor which she considered far too rural and unexciting for words. But then shopping with Mother and lunch afterward in one of Glasgow’s nice restaurants, or trips to the spa to be pampered were always quite enjoyable experiences.


Fenella pulled her sister’s arm. “Fiona, we shouldn’t listen to private conversation. Come away from there.”

“Bugger off.” Fiona tossed her mane of mahogany red hair and shook off her sister’s hand. A brief, crooked grin lit her face at Fenella’s pained expression over Fiona’s choice of words.

The Cameron girls, two years apart in age and worlds apart in personality, were actually so devoted they might have been twins.

Fiona’s brow creased and she gestured toward the door as her cocky grin faded. “Something’s going on with Mum and Dad and I want to know what it is. You can scamper on if you must, but I am staying here.” She pressed her ear to the door, and gave her complete attention to the dialogue between her parents.

“I am tired of pretending to be a dutiful wife to a dull academic, a professor of literature,” she heard Mother say.

Inside the room, Jackson Cameron winced at the sarcastic emphasis of his title. Arline Cameron turned away from the study window to face him.

“I know you realize you have a more solid marriage to that damnable university in Glasgow than we have, and more interest in books than you have in me.” Mrs. Cameron pulled the volume her husband had been reading from his hands; it dropped with a thud to the polished oak floor. “Do at least grant me the courtesy of looking at me when I speak to you, Jackson.” She lowered herself into the twin of the leather armchair in which her husband sat. “The girls’ education and social training are complete, and they are well old enough to care for themselves. Now I will step into the societal role to which I was born.” Before Mr. Cameron could utter a word, she rose and turned toward the door.

Arline’s skirt swished crisply as she crossed the room. When the door slammed behind her, Jackson Cameron removed reading glasses from their precarious perch on the end of his nose and pinched the area between his eyes where a dull ache had begun.

“Yes,” he murmured, “go marry that landed gentry lover. Did you really think I didn’t know?” God had finally shown favor, fulfilling the meaning of Jackson’s name, and Jackson peered heavenward in gratitude. “No more harangues. I’m finally free to do the work I love, as much and as often as I like. I can hike or fish or hang about the cottage in Faenmor, then visit with the locals at the neighborhood pubs without being nagged.”


“Divorce! Please tell me this is your wretched attempt at a joke.”
Even as the words faded, Fenella knew from the wooden look on her sister’s bone white face it was not a simple attempt by Fiona to be humorous. Although Fenella had long suspected there were problems, she was quite unprepared for her sister’s news.
Their parents might be at peace with this remarkable situation. The girls, however, were quite a bit more undecided.

Elder daughter Fiona embraced her mother’s ambitious and acerbic manner.
“I quite understand Mum’s aspirations toward a more privileged social standing than that of a professor’s wife. She was born to be a lady.” Fiona lifted a hand to toss aside tresses of lovingly tended hair, examined a polished nail, and checked the full-length oval cheval mirror in her ultra-femme bedroom to make certain the tailored slacks she wore were not overly wrinkled. “She’s taught me so much and I shall miss her dreadfully.”

Quiet Fenella, on the other hand, loved both nature and books since early childhood and was never happier than when she joined her father on his tramps around Faenmor or during an afternoon spent reading in his well-stocked library.

“I, too, shall miss Mum. And being a family,” she added wistfully. But, like Dad, I have never felt I quite measured up to Mum’s rigid social standards. True to her wise disposition, however, she kept those feelings to herself.

The upheaval surrounding their Mother’s departure—and remarriage as soon as the law allowed—subsided rather quickly. Their father sold the house and moved into an apartment near the university and his work. The girls converted their degrees into employment with a large talent agency in Glasgow, where they, too, took an apartment and where the courses they’d labored over in communication’s, business law, and management stood them in good stead. Both young women loved the work and applied themselves diligently. Soon their names were well known by the models, singers, dancers and actors represented by the agency. Before long they worked their way up to become junior partners.

But Fiona, as usual, had greater and more far-reaching goals. She wanted to see the world beyond the boundaries of Glasgow and felt she had exhausted the city’s offerings.

“Fen, both Mum and Dad have moved on with their lives. She’s remarried and Dad is quite content at the university. What say we move on, too? I’ve researched the visa process. Here is an application for a visa to work in New York City.”

Fenella’s copper colored brows lifted; her blue eyes widened and she drew in a quick breath as her sister handed her the visa paperwork.

“Look, Fen,” Fiona continued, unmindful of her sister’s dismay, “we’ve nowhere to go here in Glasgow. We’re at the top of our game at this agency. There are, admittedly, loads of entertainment types in Los Angeles, but New York presents better opportunities and seems rather more civilized than LA. And we’ll come back to Glasgow for visits. Don’t you want something more than this?” She stood at the window and spread her arms as though dismissing the expanse of city that lay below.

“I suppose.” Fenella’s low, forced tone was lost on her exuberant sister. She knew she would desperately miss Faenmor—and the redheaded hotel operator who resided there. But she could always come back and visit…

The process was arduous, but one by one the two women ticked off items on the list of requirements until finally they left Scotland and flew to New York.

Fiona walked out of the terminal at JFK, threw her arms wide and twirled in a circle. “Oh Fen, can’t you feel the vibrancy of this city. One day we’re going to have our own agency here.”

After a great deal of hard work and a lot more kissing up than Fiona would have liked, her prediction became reality. At ages thirty-five and thirty-three the two women now headed their own entertainment representative agency which catered to overseas, as well as, American talent.

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