About Gates of Hell
Written by Willa Okati
When ex-Marine Guy Lake is rescued from his supposed kidnapper, a man purporting to be Rasputin, it sets of a chain of events that no one can explain. From Guy's mother to his psychiatrist, from the judge at Rasputin's trial to the enigmatic bodyguard, Asmael.
Why is Guy so sure he wasn't taken against his will? Who is Rasputin? Is he really an immortal with the power of healing hands, the guardian to the gates of Hell? Or is he just a man, and a crazy one at that? Find out in this fascinating tale of love and danger!
Kiernan Kelly, bestselling Torquere Press author, writes:
Every so often a story comes along that weaves together elements of the natural and supernatural, of history and myth, of the possible and the implausible so successfully, so finely, so completely, that the result is a work of fiction that rivets our attention and makes us believe.
This story, THE GATES OF HELL by Willa Okati, is one of them.
At times gritty and edgy, sometimes laced with black humor and always realistic, Willa Okati dares to take us by the hand and lead us down a spiraling path into the dark realms of madness, only to jerk us back into the harsh light of reality.
All along the way Okati keeps the reader on edge, seesawing in their beliefs. Is Rasputin simply a madman ala Charles Manson, or someone much more sinister? Is Guy a hapless victim, or the perfect Prince for a hellish King? Is Asmael guardian of the damned or the demented?
THE GATES OF HELL will keep you second-guessing yourself until the very end. Okati has given us a story that will stay with reader long after the last page has been turned.
"Mmm. It's getting late."
Rasputin shifted his weight on the uncomfortable bed where he and his lover rested. A mattress, actually, laid directly on the scarred linoleum floor of the abandoned motel room in which he had chosen as the place to make his last stand.
For the moment.
Where was he…? Ah, yes. The mattress. Distasteful, truly. Sprung springs and rips with no sheet to cover them. Possibly it had once white but now hopelessly begrimed.
Not at all what he preferred or would have chosen, but sometimes life ordered one to accept what they did not like -- to suck it up and deal.
"No. We still have time." Rasputin sucked the fleshy lobe of Guy's ear into his mouth for a playful nip. "The Tsaritsa will not require my presence for hours."
Guy tilted his head to give Rasputin better access. Rasputin knew how Guy loved having his ears teased. He had been with many men, and all had their unique hot spots. For Guy, they were the earlobes, the space between his nipples, the perineum, and the tops of his feet.
Rasputin found such knowledge helpful in the extreme. He lived for many things, chief among them now, bringing Guy pleasure. "Sweet pet," he mumbled around the bit of cartilage caught between his teeth, releasing it unwillingly but knowing he must in order to speak clearly. He contented himself by resting his chin atop Guy's head, the once-short bristles now grown out long enough to feel soft. "I would defy both Tsar and Tsarina for you."
"No." Guy bumped against Rasputin's chin, as a cat would when it wished to be petted. Rasputin obliged, drawing a line down Guy's torso. Wildcat. Bobcat. Mountain lion. Serval. A mix of all and the better for being blended.
Playfully, he drew the Y-shape of an autopsy incision. "I know so much of you, but what lies inside?"
"Organs. Blood. Meat." Guy clung to Rasputin. "Nothing important."
Rasputin sharply tapped Guy's breastbone. "Not so. Blood is of vital importance. Blood is what drew you to me, after all."
"That's why blood doesn't matter anymore. I don't need to worry about those problems when I'm with you."