I’m excited, are you excited?
Silver Screen Dream releases on Monday and there’s still time to pre-order so you’ll be one of the very first people to lay your hands on Johnny the Djinn and Rahul his master! Do you want to know more? Okay, well then here’s the blurb:
And an exclusive excerpt just for you lot and tomorrow? Tomorrow you’ll get a Silver Screen Dream Sunday Snog! I spoil you guys, I really do. Anyway Here’s the beginning of the story, Johnny tells a mean introduction:
Before we go any farther, I should introduce myself. You can call me Johnny. It’s not my name, but you can call me by it. I’m a Djinn and we don’t give out our real names willy-nilly like you daft humans. We know the power of a name and are very cagey when it comes to introductions.
Occasionally, though, we get tricked, and that’s what happened to me many moons ago, and now I look after a young human called Rahul. He’s not the man who tricked me, that was his father’s father’s father’s father’s father or something like that. Some Djinns get let off easy with only a generation or two of service before a kind human wishes them free, but somehow I managed to get stuck with a family full of selfish bastards. I just get handed down from Khan to Khan and do their bidding. It’s not a thrilling life.
I don’t interfere in the affairs of mortals unless I am explicitly ordered to. Well, usually. It’s not a hard and fast rule. If Rahul were to trip up and fall in the Ganges, for example, I’d leap to his rescue because he would be in mortal danger, no explicit order needed. I’m bound to the dark-haired, blue-eyed fool, and so I have to keep him alive and well until it’s time for his natural demise.
Rahul doesn’t mistreat me, he doesn’t call on me at all hours to make him magic beverages or massage his calloused feet like his father did. I do very little for him, truth be told. He’s asked me to grant him one wish in all his life so far, and that was to make him famous. So we hit Mumbai and he became an overnight Bollywood sensation.
He’s a good-looking lad, for a human, with russet-toned skin and eyes that shine like hidden sapphires, and so he fell into the acting life with ease. I barely had to use any magical influence at all. I accompany him on set, but I tend to ignore the whole rigmarole myself. I prefer filling in the Mumbai Times crossword than watching the simpering girls dancing and the boy meets girl, loses girl, finds girl storylines of Bollywood.
Some of my relatives would kill for my glamorous life, but then they’re trapped in bogs, deserts and wastelands. Some days I wish I was in a wasteland. Let me tell you the tale of when my Master went to London and the headache I had looking after him there. I’m a Djinn, we like to tell stories and moan. It’s a little known fact.
Rahul was just finishing up work on the latest Bollywood blockbuster, Benazir, which means Incomparable to all you English-speaking folks. I can’t remember what it was about, but it was the typical Bollywood love story and I mostly ignored it during filming.
“Johnny,” my master summoned me.
I put down my needleworkâ€”what, even Djinn need a hobbyâ€”and I did the impressive poof thing complete with smoke, lightning and glowing, red eyes.
“Oh, stop messing,” he snapped. “This is important.”
“Yes, Master.” I bowed and changed into Rahul’s preferred envisagement. I find it to be rather constricting to be in human form, but I have to do his bidding whether I want to or not.
“I’ve just spoken to Uncle Rajeesh, and he’s spouting some nonsense about marriage.”
“Well, you’re getting on now, Rahul. You’re in your late twenties. It’s time you settled down.”
“Oh, shut up, Johnny. They have that horrible, simpering woman Malati all lined up for me. Apparently, all this was decided years ago when my father went into business with hers. It explains why they kept making us play together as kids even though we hated each other.”
“Well, yes. It makes the wedding go much smoother if you know your future wife beforehand.”
“I’m not ready for marriage, and I will not have one arranged for me,” Rahul snapped. “I command you to stop it.”
“Ah, Master, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
“Why not? I am your Master, correct?”
“Then you do whatever I command you to do.”
“Technically, Sir, yes.”
“What do you mean ‘technically’?” He raised a questioning brow.
“Well, I accepted an order from your father, and as he was my master first, his command came before your command.” “And what was it?” Rahul snapped.
“I was instructed by your father at the time of Malati’s birth to ensure that you married her for the good of the family, so I’m bound by that command.”
“Bullshit,” Rahul snarled. “My father is dead. I’m your master now.”
“Yes, Master, I know, but your father was very specific when he made that particular wish. He told me it should supersede your wishes and should be my number one priority after his death.”
“So you won’t help me avoid the wedding, then?”
“No, Sir, I’m afraid I can’t.”
“Well, then I command you to go back into your stupid little kettle and stay there. What’s the use of having a damn Djinn if he won’t do as he’s told?”
I disappeared with less pomp than I’d arrived and settled back to my crossword. I didn’t care whom he married, I just had to do what I was commanded to do.
You get to see a lot when you’re a Djinn in an ornamental kettle. I know an elaborate Arabic tea kettle is not a home to brag about, but at least it wasn’t the usual lamp. Lamps really are cheesy. I take what little joy I can, where I can.
A few hours after I’d been banished back to my comfortable kettle home, the door of the caravan rattled on its hinges and the sound was accompanied by girly giggles.
“At last,” the young lady exclaimed. “I hate filming in the jungle, it’s not good for my hair or my complexion.”
“Mine, neither,” Rahul agreed, and the annoying giggles started up all over again. “Did you hear they’re planning a big launch in London for this one?” Rahul asked the willowy maiden.
“Oh, no, I hadn’t heard. That’s amazing. I’ve always wanted to go to London.”
“Well, I’ve been told they’re only taking a few of us over there. I’m definitely going, and of course Farhanaa is going.”
“Oh, of course.” She almost spat out the words. “Little princess big nose would have to go.”
“I hear they may take a few others of the cast, but the decision hasn’t been made, yet.”
“Do you think they’ll take me?” she asked. She fluttered her eyelashes as if she were blinking into a force nine gale.
“I don’t know, Panya. I would say your role is integral to the whole movie, but who knows what the director might think.”
“If my character didn’t exist, the love story wouldn’t exist. I think I should go to London.”
“So do I, my dear,” Rahul replied sweetly. “You’re by far the most beauteous of all the women, you’d be the best advertisement for Bollywood. I know it.”
“Do you think you could persuade Dakshi of that?” Panya rubbed her lithe body against Rahul’s arm and did the tornado thing with her eyelashes once more.
“Well, he does listen to me, so I might be able to get you into the party.”
“Oh, Rahul, I’d be ever so grateful if you could.”
Rahul was talking out of his backside. Dakshi pretty much hated him, but Rahul wouldn’t let a little detail like that get in the way of getting some skin on skin action. Rahul had many wonderful character traits, but they were hidden in the dark corners of his soul.
“Well, I have to make sure the most beautiful woman in Bollywood is by my side in England.”
“Oh, you’re so charming,” she said and batted a limp hand against his arm.
“I only tell the truth,” he replied with his most over-used and most disarming smile. “I’m so lucky to be working with you.”
It was as if they were practising for a scene in the stupid film. They stopped talking and stared at each other. I could hear the dreamy twang of a pretend sitar and I thoroughly expected a gaggle of sari-swirling dancing girls to sway and shimmy past at any moment. It couldn’t have been better choreographed if there had been a director on set, so to speak.
Their lips met in perfectly synched slow motion. They didn’t move for a moment, as if a camera were zooming in to capture the contrast of bright red lady lips and dark guy lips. Then the kiss began in earnest and after a matter of seconds the heat level grew and the whole thing became less Bollywood and more steamy sex tape.
The rest will be available to pick up on Monday from Total-E-Bound but you can Pre-order your copy now! Monday we’re going to party Bollywood style, here on the Blisse blog so be sure to join me for launch!