Daughter of Belial by Jennifer Juvenelle released in October in the psychological thriller genre.
Some Family Trees Should Be Burned. . .
Greer Girls are special. Greer Girls are rare. Greer Girls are central to the secret Order of Belial.
Sophie Greer knows none of this. All she knows is that her now ex-boyfriend cheated on her, she’s alone working in Paris, and her mysterious billionaire boss, Edward Hughes, is way too interested in her life.
But when Sophie is kidnapped in Moscow while on a business trip, she’s plunged into the dark underbelly of the global elite and a sinister secret society with deep ties to her family; ties that lead to revelations darker than anything Sophie could have imagined.
Betrayed by the man who raised her, and targeted by the illustrious Hughes family, only one thing is certain—family history can be deadly. If Sophie is to survive, she must decide who to trust and what to believe, or risk being crushed beneath the weight of the all-powerful secret Order of Belial.
After removing his weapons, the men bind Wyatt’s hands behind his back using a zip tie before gagging him. They’ve barely glanced in my direction, so focused are they on subduing Wyatt. Subtly, I attempt to take a few steps away from the group when, of course, Mr. Leader Guy decides to switch his attention to me.
“Where do ya think you’re going, little lady?” he asks.
I freeze but don’t respond. Seems like a rhetorical question, anyway. I look to Wyatt for support. He’s backed into the wall of the tunnel with the other two men guarding his flanks. Slipping Wyatt’s gun into the back of his waistband, the asshole in charge approaches me.
His breath, a sickly sweet halitosis, poorly masked with hints of spearmint, wafts into my nostrils when he speaks. “Don’t worry, sweetheart,” he says, coming closer, “the big, bad man can’t hurt you anymore.”
“Who are you?”
“Dante Pierce,” he says, holding out a gloved hand for me to shake, “pleased to meet ya.”
I refrain from taking his hand. This miffs him. Rolling his eyes, he addresses his men, “Seems to me our fair maiden isn’t feeling too appreciative about being rescued.” His men laugh awkwardly, exchanging nervous glances.
Dante Pierce doesn’t seem to notice. Returning his attention to me, he slowly removes his helmet and gloves. Never breaking eye contact, he drops them to his feet along with his rifle, and steps so close to me our noses practically touch. My bones rattle in their sockets as he looks me up and down in a predatory manner. By the time he completes his visual perusal of my body, I could take a hundred showers and it still wouldn’t be enough to wash off the scum from his gaze.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
JENNIFER JUVENELLE is a Native American/French author born in Hollywood, raised in Detroit, and fashioned in France. Formerly an actress and model, Jennifer now splits her time between crafting psychological thrillers and the magic of motherhood. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Jennifer made healing from trauma a priority when her life became untenable. Daughter of Belial is the unexpected product of her journey from trauma to triumph. An eager explorer, she currently lives in a remote Mexican seaside-jungle village with her debonair Aussie author husband and their young son.
DAUGHTER OF BELIAL:BIRTH OF A NOVEL
It was a sunny day in June 2016 in Los Angeles, CA. I’d just had a healing conversation with my ex-boyfriend wherein he apologized for his harsh treatment of me toward the end of our relationship. I was feeling good. I could sense a kind of energy stirring inside me: my cue that words wanted to flow. So I sat on my bed, opened my laptop to a blank page and, with my hands resting lightly on the keys, waited.
Immediately the first sentence of my book (I’m running as fast as I can but my legs feel like molasses) burst onto the page, followed quickly by the rest of what became a prologue. That first sentence has undergone revision, the prologue was incorporated into the first chapter, but the essence remains: a young woman is dreaming of being chased, her pursuer is behind her, hunting her. She’s trying with all her might to run but it’s like running underwater—slow-going at best.
Have you ever had a dream like that? The first scene in the book is actually a personal nod from a recurring nightmare I used to have as a child.
For those who know me personally, they will find in the beginning of Daughter of Belial several similarities between the protagonist and a former version of myself: clumsy, a little naive, easily swayed by others but earnest and sincere, and despite a battered heart, still seeking love and connection.
I started writing my book from a personal place but it quickly became evident that a magical blending of fiction and nonfiction was taking place. For the first time in my writing life, I felt something click and the words flowed like never before. Within a few days, I’d written two chapters in a book I didn’t know I was writing!
I’m an intuitive writer, meaning I write from some mysterious internal place without plotting, planning, or deciding on storylines. At the start of every writing session, I open myself up internally to receive Divine Inspiration, and then I wait. Usually within a few seconds, the start of a sentence will come. My job is to get out of the way. To trust. I write down the words as they flow. Sometimes they come in a rush, other times a trickle. But always, they come.
How had I gotten there?
The first part of 2016 was extremely challenging. All of 2016 really, but those first months brought me to the depths of despair. I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Instead of facing that fact, I ran from it. I lived in denial, but my body knew the truth which caused me to feel intense suffering for many years in the form of anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and seeking love in the wrong places with the wrong people. I sought refuge in alcohol, numbed myself with weed, induced artificial highs with party drugs. I went from one extreme to the next, and in January 2016, it caught up to me.
Though it was a difficult time, it marks the major turning point in my life. I decided to stop running, to finally face the truth, confront myself and acknowledge what was going on inside. At first, I didn’t even know. I just knew it hurt. But little by little I unwrapped the trauma, the shame, the anger. I didn’t do it alone. I found help. Shyly at first and then boldly, actively seeking treatment modalities that called to me. I invested in myself. Moreover, I realized I was worth the investment.
I had a major healing breakthrough in June 2019 that was nothing short of a mystical experience. Afterward, I knew that though life might continue to challenge, I would never struggle in the same way as before. The days of depression and escapism were over. A few months later I started writing my book again after an eight month hiatus. That’s when it really began to pour out of me and I completed the book in April 2020.
There is power in fiction to reveal truths in a palatable way. Story has the ability to draw us in through allegory and narrative, and the potential to leave a lasting impact on those whom she touches most. My favorite books have always inspired me to question my perceptions, to think deeper.
In Daughter of Belial, I invite you to follow a lovable, albeit slightly naive, protagonist into a world seething with vile creatures—monsters in ten thousand dollar suits and million dollar smiles. It’s the story of a woman who doesn’t know herself. She’s surrounded by liars. She’s targeted as a result of not knowing her true power, and she’s put to the test. Will she crumble beneath the weight, or own her power and surmount the odds against her?
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