‘My story starts last autumn. I want to set it down because I understand now that I’ll never be able to leave this place. And I want you to remember me as a good person.’
So begins Split, a neo-Gothic tale of bondage and submission. Split tells the story of Kate – five foot nothing, pear-shaped but sprightly, a librarian on the run – and is set in a remote puppet museum on the Yorkshire Moors. For years I’d been wanting to write about a puppet museum. I’m not sure why. And now I’ve done it. Split is my third novel. Here’s a taste:
Kate Carter, pulled by an eerie sensuality, flees London and her boyfriend to take a job at Heddlestone’s puppet museum. Living in the attic above the museum, Kate is drawn into the secluded sensual world of Jake, the strange and beautiful puppeteer. Surrounded by the carnival freakery of Jake’s house, overlooked by marionettes and glass-eyed dolls, and troubled by noises in the night, Kate goes deeper into new and at times frightening explorations of love, lust and surrender..But Kate is also seduced by Eddie, Jake’s mocking, boorish brother, and soon becomes entangled in a second dark relationship. Split between the two men, Kate moves closer to uncovering the truth behind Heddlestone, a cold, secretive village murmuring with rumours of ghosts, orphans and missing women.
My skin prickled with goosebumps and he moved the chair to stand behind me, his body touching mine but barely. I gazed at the stuffed birds in the dome on the piano, knowing better than to turn and, without preamble, he lifted my long skirt and slid his hand down the front of my knickers. I caught my breath, a quiet sound that was loud to my ears because it was so full of truth. With a single probing finger, he split my lips apart and rubbed, finding me hot, swollen and milky. His other hand stole under my jumper and he rested his arm across my stomach, half-holding me to him, half-caressing, as his right hand explored. He had to bend his knees to reach me – most men do – and the ungainliness of that always turns me on.
‘I want to find you,’ he whispered, still rubbing at me. I couldn’t speak. My thighs were so heavy. His fingers were slithering through me, and my vulva was like soft, warm butter. The hand on my stomach undulated, squeezing the flesh it found. The fire spat once and, apart from our breath, the rain and my occasional moans, that was the only sound for a while.
Praise for Split
‘Kristina Lloyd writes sex with a formidable force. The eroticism in this novel is glorious and gratifying without being gratuitous and graphic … This is a masterpiece of erotic storytelling.’ – Ashley Lister, Erotica Readers & Writers Association
‘Kristina Lloyd writes incredible sex scenes … [Split] is clever, beautiful, dreamy and gritty. The language is rich, yet economical. The characters authentic and intriguing. I loved it.’ – on Dionne Galace: it’s not chick porn