by Jacinta Maree
Publication date: Sept 16th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Supernatural
Since being discovered as Soulless, Nadia has become a target for both terrorist groups and government corporations. Now, her only hope for survival rests in the hands of the man sent out to kill her: Diesel, the Mad Dog terrorist.
Diesel is determined to free himself of the never ending curse of reincarnation and the haunting memories that plague his mind. But when his search leads him to Nadia, a greater desire stills him from taking her life.
Unable to see into Diesel’s cracking mind, Nadia instead puts her faith into his strength, fueled by eleven generations of unmatched rage and insanity. Their tight-rope relationship balances the two between life and death, love and rage, trust and betrayal.
Tension pulls at the hems of their dangerous companionship, and as time runs out all madmen must eventually make their choice.
Book two of the thrilling Immortal Gene series dives deeper into the danger of trusting your heart over your head.
Five Top Scenes From The Series
Writing Soulless and Soul Finder has been an incredible rollercoaster. I’m forever pushing my own limits and trying to twist my own plots, characters and stories to explore themes I haven’t touched on before.
When it comes to the Immortal Gene series, I have written a story where the hero and villain have fallen in love with each other before becoming their ‘roles’ in this dystopian adventure. It is a very toxic relationship and one that pushes the characters into completing their destiny.
Top favourite scenes (In no particular order):BIG WARNING – SPOILERS
Subtext: Diesel has just survived an assassination attempt and is wounded. Nadia, despite Diesel’s insistence they must remain strictly away from each other, seeks him out and finds him sewing up his wound alone on the bathroom floor. Rushed with adrenaline and gratitude of finding him alive, Nadia kisses him but quickly pulls away. Diesel pulls her back into him and they proceed to make love. During this time, Nadia is overwhelmed to panic of losing Diesel afterwards, fearing he’ll no longer be interested in her.
I didn’t want that distance from Diesel, that cruel detachment. Suddenly, Diesel’s eyes fluttered into focus, feeling my body slow. I looked down at him, tracing the wet beads curved along his cheek. He looked so strong and so sure of himself when I was falling into doubt.
“What is it?”
I could barely speak. “Do you love me?”
I expected the question to anger him. I expected him to laugh. To scrunch his face up and say, you don’t know what love is. Part of me expected him just to say yes, to give me the answer I wanted so I would continue. Suddenly, yes or no, there was no answer good enough to convince me of his earnestly. I regretted asking such a stupid thing.
But Diesel’s grip tightened. “To the point it has broken me.”
He kissed me gently this time and I knew what he said was honest.
Subtext: Nadia and Diesel have just managed to escape an ambush, but both were badly wounded and lost out in the woods. While desperately trying to seek shelter and aid, both Nadia and Diesel are slowing coming to terms with their impending death. This is the first time Diesel really opens up to Nadia, expressing why he can’t let her leave him behind.
His top lip curled, as it always did in his half smile. “I can’t stop thinking about it.”
In his hands, he fiddled with the hunting knife. “You.” He twisted the blade and flicked out, clearing the dirt under his nails. “You were going to leave me. You said it was better this way, for the both of us.” The rasp of his accusing voice felt like a guillotine above my neck.
I uncomfortably shuffled back but didn’t speak.
“You were right. Your life without me would be better. Easier. Safer.” Every word strained from his lips as though he was pushing air from the pit of his stomach. My eyes widened and my heart picked up speed. Diesel lightly shook his head. “But this isn’t about making things easier. You’re with me now and you won’t leave no matter how hard it gets.”
“That’s not for you to decide,” I said with a cringe.
“Because if you leave me—”
With an anguished sigh, I turned my head away. “Let me guess, you’ll always find me? And if I try to run you will break my legs and chop off my fingers and remove my eyes—”
“No. If you leave me, I will vanish…and I don’t want to vanish, Nadia.”
Surprised, my jaw went slack. Without even blinking, Diesel stilled his fumbling and tightened his stare, looking at me in a way I felt penetrated to my very core.
“You don’t know what it’s like living in this hell. I’m drowning under black water and I can never surface. You remember what it feels like to have your body shut down only to wake up not knowing which reality is real. It would’ve been easier to fade into a drifter, to stop the fight altogether and just crumple into the purest of insanities. In my darkest moments I almost allowed it to happen, but then I met you. The girl with no reincarnated memories. The one without a soul imprint. It’s you, and only you, who can save me. But then you came into my room with that bullshit story about how everything would be better if we were separated. You left me tied to a bed, and for hours I thought I had lost you. Do you know how that feels? To have everything you’ve ever wanted just walk out? I came to realise just how dangerous you are to me. Just how easily you can break me in half. That’s why I can’t let you leave.”
Subtext: After escaping prison with Diesel’s help, Nadia is quick to betray him and try to escape his clutches. She manages to hit him across the face with a wrench, but thanks to her own ailing health, decides not to push her luck further and runs home. She arrives home to find herself not welcomed anymore, especially by her younger sister, Annie. At this point, Nadia has just realised Diesel has been following her the whole time. This is the first time Nadia sees just what lengths Diesel will go to just to keep her.
He had stood so perfectly still that I shrieked in surprise. The dark blotch quickly sharpened into a face just as Annie turned around at the brush of his presence. Diesel pulled on the back of Annie’s shirt and hoisted her up onto the kitchen counter. He swiftly disarmed her and took the knife for himself. To stop her screams, he covered her mouth with his hand and held his finger to his lips.
Annie’s face was just a pair of large, hazel eyes high beaming in terror. I could see the six-year-old girl in her reacting, tears springing to the surface.
“Shut up and don’t move.”
Instinctively, I snatched at the closest thing within reach, which was unfortunately a ladle from the pot. I swung it at him, holding the spoon end toward his throat.
“Don’t you dare hurt her!”
“Nice place.” His eyes snapped toward me pinched with rage. He had a look of fury that stopped me mid breath. The rainwater had cleared the blood from his cuts and plastered his hair into a sticky mess against his face. He threateningly flexed his fingers around the knife. Annie trembled fearfully. She looked at me as though she hadn’t just held the same knife to my face a moment ago.
His sharp canines pressed into his lip as he smiled. “Surprised?”
“How did you find me?” I asked. His smile strained further in his annoyance. He was pissed. Really pissed. I swallowed lightly. “If you want the contacts back—”
“I meant what I said before,” he snarled. “I busted you out. You’re mine now. You really think I’m ever going to stop chasing you?”
The harsh kitchen lights cut shadows along his rain-washed cheeks and busted nose, making the mix of blood and dirt caught in his whiskers gleam against his toasted skin. If I had seen him look like this before then I would never have spoken a second word to him. “No.” My voice scratched at the back of my throat. “But you should have.”
Subtext: Diesel’s plan to destroy FRIM has worked but at the cost of Nadia’s respect and her friends. Nadia comes to understand who Diesel really is, and what he is capable of doing to gain power. This is a strong moment as Nadia fights against her heart, trying to rationalise that Diesel cannot be the monster he is perceived to be. And if he is indeed that monster, she refuses to allow herself to continue loving him.
I stepped back. “You’re disgusting!”
“Nadia.” He smiled as though I was joking. He reached out to touch me. I jerked away.
With all the coldness I could master, I gritted through my teeth. “Men like you remind me that there are such things as real monsters.”
My words hit something dark inside of Diesel and immediately he dropped his smile. “Hmm, so what do you call those that love monsters like me, huh? How disgusting are you then?”
He was right. We were a candle on fire, destined to destroy each other. He was a flame, clinging to me, not letting me go as I melted beneath. I could feel myself weaken in my core, my sides running with wax. The more the flame ate and picked me away, the further my body hollowed until all that was left were brittle walls melting into a puddle. Once I was gone, he’d snap shut into smoke.
“Maybe you are right. Maybe love really is just poison an idiot drinks.”
Diesel’s eyes narrowed. “Didn’t you say nothing could break you?”
“I’m not broken. You are. And this is a poison you can now drink alone.”
Subtext: The truth about Nadia’s condition has left her feeling incredibly scared and alone. She tries to get Diesel to talk about his feelings toward her, which of course, only angers him. This is a favourite scene because it really hits where both of their fears are about. Nadia fears death whereas Diesel fears emotional attachment, so in a way, both are scared of being vulnerable.
“Am I…important to you?” I asked before I could catch myself. I needed to know. I needed some sort of security that I wasn’t going into a war by myself.
“What do you mean?” Diesel’s smile dropped.
“Am I more than just some girl you can use? Do you feel scared for me? Worried for me? Compassion for me?”
“Where is all this coming from?”
“You must feel something, right? Even you said before that you were drawn to me. Why did you tell me that? Why did you kiss me? Why are you comforting me now?”
“This is ridiculous.” He pushed off the ground into a stand. Like a nervous tick, he ruffled the back of his hair. “Why does it matter?”
“It matters a lot. I need to know. What are you afraid of?”
“Don’t get the wrong idea about us. I only kissed you because I thought it would’ve been fun. And last night…nothing even happened. You’re overthinking things.” His answer was like a slamming door, abrupt, loud and final.
A nerve ticked off inside me, unaccepting his reason. “No, I’m not overthinking things. The moment things get too real, you just back off. Has this got something to do with Katie?”
His black eyes snapped toward me. “You don’t know what you’re talking about! This has nothing—”
“I know you cared for her.”
“You know nothing about me,” he roared.
“Bullshit! I do know you. I know you dream of her every night. You’re always muttering about how you need to find her. Tell me what happened.”
Diesel gripped his hair. “Shut up! I don’t want to talk about it!”
“Why? Why not? Why can’t we talk about it?”
“Stop it! Please? I can’t…” He turned away but I chased him, constantly pressing myself up into his face as I pushed him around.
“Stop running from me! I’m not Katie, Diesel! I’m not her! You can care about me, I’m not going—”
“Nadia, stop! Just shut up!” He lurched forward and grabbed me by the collar with both hands. He yanked me up and pulled me to his chest as his knuckles skimmed my throat. Diesel’s face bloomed red. I tried to kick out of his grasp but struggled in the sloppy sand. “You’re right, you’re not Katie! But just because you’re born different don’t think you won’t fade, too, don’t think you won’t vanish and fade away from me.”
I snapped my hands up to his and pulled to loosen his grip. “Diesel! Diesel stop!”
“Why you? What’s so goddamn special about you? You are just some freak I picked up in a jail cell.” Just as fast as his rage peaked, it suddenly subsided. He wobbled off balance and dropped his hold.
“I just…” He looked at his hands, alarmed. “I’m sorry.”
My breath trembled out. I knew I had pushed him too far but I couldn’t find the strength in me to tell him to stay. Diesel turned and walked back toward the cliff. Suddenly, he was gone and the open sea returned in front of me.
Born in Melbourne Australia, Jacinta Maree considers herself a chocoholic with an obsession with dragons, video gaming and Japan. She writes a variety of genres including YA paranormal, steampunk, horror, new adult, dystopian and fantasy. Winner of 2014 Horror of the year and bestselling author, Jacinta writes to bring enjoyment to others while fulfilling her own need to explore the weird and the impossible.