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Glittering Chaos, A

Glittering Chaos, A

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Inanna Publications

de Nikolits, Lisa




2013-07-12 11:49:41: Nomination was created
2013-07-12 14:46:36: payment successful from Paypal (order 92)

Luciana Ricciutelli


Luciana Ricciutelli

Feature film


Lisa de Nikolits' first novel, The Hungry Mirror (2010) was awarded an IPPY Gold Medal in 2011, and long-listed for the 2011 ReLit Awards. Her second novel, West of Wawa (2011) was one of four Chatelaine Bookclub Editor’s Picks and was awarded an IPPY Silver Medal for in 2012.

This novel was released mid-April 2013 and is selling extremely well. It is also receiving wonderful reviews from readers on Amazon and Chapters websites, as well as on a number of reader-blogs.

A trip sparks a family’s darkest challenges as a husband’s obsession for his vanished sister spirals out of control and ends in murder.

The adage about “what happens in Vegas” is funny precisely because we know it’s wishful thinking. A Glittering Chaos is about what happens when “what happens in Vegas” comes home to haunt you.

Melusine is a German librarian whose ho-hum world wobbles after she tags along when her husband Hans attends a Las Vegas optometry conference. A newly empty nester who speaks no English, Melusine’s voyage of self-discovery is punctuated by the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann, nude photos in the desert, a black dildo named Kurt, autoerotic asphyxia, and the unravelling of her husband’s sanity because of a secret from his youth.

These surprising pieces are integrated into a jigsaw that is a poignant, at times even lyrical, it’s a story of sexual coming-of-age, and the sometimes hard price paid for the wisdom of middle-age.

Librarian Melusine (protagonist) starts out as a very conventional and familiar suburban woman and is transformed into a nude model, Sapphic novella author, empowered mother of a new baby boy, requited lover and successful café owner.

She comes to Las Vegas on a business trip with her husband Hans. Turns out their relationship isn't what the viewer or Melusine thought. She becomes involved with a fellow German tourist, a photographer, and that turns out to be more than it originally seems.

Hans, her husband, starts out as a successful man, in control and seemingly untouchable. But he’s a tortured man and his secret love for his vanished sister haunts him increasingly, until he goes mad.

Juditha, a psychic out for all of Hans’s money – or is she? Can she be trusted?

And what about Kateri, the long-lost sister? Is she psychopath or sociopath or a narcissist with no boundaries?

Second careers, families and crises, the snowball-effect of secrets and adultery. Sexual awakening and acceptance, things not being what they seem, superficial familial perfection shattered and replaced by real personal growth and satisfaction life. How the loss of the apparently serene and satisfactory can be replaced by so much more, when we least expect it. How shattering surprises and shocks and losses and lead to enriched lives and great relationships.

There are two locations: Las Vegas (bright, bold, sassy – everybody loves Vegas) to the quaint cobblestone locale of a small town in Germany. The juxtaposition of the two, with elements of Vegas carried into the protagonist’s life in Germany creates a strong backdrop against which the unpredictable, riveting plot of ensuing and glittering chaos can unfold. Of course, the small town can be located wherever it is most effective for the screen.

Men 18–34
Women 18–34
Men 35-54
Women 35–54
Other (e.g., mystery fans)

Has marriage, families, lies and hauntings similar to What Lies Beneath, with elements of familial loss, sadness and homelessness found in Paris Texas, with aspects of death and ambiguity found in River’s Edge. In terms of directorial style; Wim Wenders, David Cronenberg, Robert Altman.

Book Trailer/Videotaped Author Interview (optional):

Chapter 26:

The next day, Melusine wakes and dresses for work. She walks through the living room and sees that Hans is still in his chair, fast asleep. He has been there all night.
She shakes him. He stinks of cheap wine and rancid sweat.
“Hans! Wake up. My god, look at you. Smell you. Go and take a hot shower and use a lot of mouthwash. You stink of booze. You really need to get a grip, Hans.”
He opens one eye and wishes she would shut up. He eases himself upright. His head is pounding but he feels better. He is delighted to notice that he did not dream about murdering Kateri. He gets up clumsily and heads toward the bathroom.
“What a great job Healing Lives Ministries is doing,” Melusine shouts after him. “Tell them thanks, from me. Good god, Hans. I’m leaving. Good luck with your day.”
He closes the bathroom door and stands in the shower. He feels numb, removed from reality.
He dries himself and shaves, nicking himself in a few places that won’t stop bleeding. He sticks bits of tissue paper onto the cuts and goes into the bedroom to get dressed.
But even being in there for such a short time is bad for him; he sees Kateri with her eyes bulging as he squeezes the life out of her and he tastes her tongue as she forces it into his mouth with a deathly kiss.
He retches, grabs his clothes and runs out to the living room to get dressed.
His hands are shaking as he fixes his tie. He cannot stop seeing Kateri and her eyes turning bloodshot as her veins burst from the pressure.
He scurries into the kitchen and opens the last bottle of wine. He downs two full mugs and feels slightly better.
He locks the house and gets into his car. On the way to the office, he stops at a convenience store and buys a variety of breath mints.
He rushes past the receptionist who is asking him how his head feels and if his headache has cleared. “I’m fine,” he shouts over his shoulder, closing his office door behind him.
He sits behind his desk with his head in his hands. He wishes he was sitting on the bench in the sunshine with his wine.
There’s a knock at the door and the receptionist shows a young girl in. “This is Hilde,” she says, her hand on the girl’s back, “from the school. She’s here for her eye exam. Are you okay? Do you want me to ask one of the others to do it?”
“I told you, I’m fine,” he says sharply. “Come in, Hilde. Take a seat in the big black chair. Don’t be nervous.”
Hilde does as he says. She’s a gangly girl in her early teens, with a high forehead and a sharp, pointed chin. She is looking at him with alarm for no reason he can pinpoint.
“I’ll be outside if you need me,” the receptionist says to Hilde and she leaves, closing the door behind her.
“Don’t be nervous,” Hans says, “this won’t hurt. Have you had an eye exam before?”
“No,” Hilde says in a small voice. “I never needed one till now.”
“Don’t worry. I’m just going to ask you which letters look better to you and you have to answer as quickly as you can, don’t think too much, just answer, all right?”
Hilde nods and clasps her hands tightly together.
Hans begins the test. He stands close to her, adjusting the various lenses. Unable to help himself, he glances down at her feet; she is wearing black school shoes with the laces neatly tied.
He moves the equipment to one side. “Hilde,” he says, conversationally, “if you like, you can take your shoes off. Lots of people find it very helpful; they can concentrate better. Would you like to try that?”
“No,” Hilde says in her small voice.
“Oh, come on,” Hans says. “It’s very important that you are nice and relaxed so that your brain can send you a clear message about which letters are the brightest and the sharpest. Take your shoes off.”
The last sentence comes out as a command and Hilde unties her laces and slips off her shoes and Hans repositions the equipment in front of her.
“How old are you?” Hans asks.
“I’m thirteen. Nearly fourteen.”
Hans nods. “Good. Okay, now let’s try again.” He clicks a few lenses into place and asks her which letters are the sharpest.
He has an erection and he is sweating and he recalls that he forgot to put on any antiperspirant and he knows that last night’s alcohol is seeping through his pores.
“I tell you what, Hilda,” he says and his voice is hoarse, “I’m going to touch each foot, one at a time, and then you must tell me if this makes you see better or worse. Can you do that?”
“Yes,” she says meekly.
“Very good. All right, so now, with me touching your right foot do you see the letters better or worse?”
“The same.”
“They can’t be the same. Let’s try again.”
He does this for a while, and then he tries her left foot.
Hilde shakes her head. “There’s no difference.”
Hans pretends to think for a moment. “Aha. I know why. It’s because you still have your socks on. Take them off and we’ll try again.”
Hilde obligingly pulls off her socks.
Hans rubs her right foot. It is slightly sweaty and it is soft and tiny in his hand.
Her foot is perfect. She is perfect. The sparrow-like bones, the softly rounded heel, the silky smooth virgin purity of her skin.
“I can still see the same,” Hilde offers.
“I’m going to try the left one,” Hans says and he caresses the left foot.
“No, it’s still the same,” Hilde insists and she sounds a little impatient.
Then Hans does something unspeakable. He darts down, puts her foot in his mouth and quickly snakes his tongue in between her toes, and he sucks, hard.
Hilde sits bolt upright and screams. Her long piercing cry has the receptionist bursting into the room within seconds.
“What on earth’s going on?” she asks, out of breath.
“He licked my toes,” Hilde shouts hysterically, unable to move; she is still wedged in by the heavy equipment. “He put my foot in his mouth and he used his tongue!” She starts to wail in earnest, her face crumpled.
The receptionist rushes toward the girl and Hans steps aside and sits down heavily in his chair.
His mind is an absolute blank.
“He told me it would help me see the test better,” the girl sobs. “First I just had to take my shoes off and then my socks and he rubbed me and then he put my foot in his mouth and he used his tongue!” She wails the last word and sobs even more hysterically.
The receptionist moves the equipment to the side and puts her arm around the girl. “Come on. Come with me.”
She glances at Hans as she leads the girl away but he is bent forward, studying his hands.
He is considering his options.
It is safe to say that his career is over. And the same, no doubt, can be said for his marriage.
And, since he is out of funds, Juditha is also out of the picture. But what would she say to him now, if he were talking to her? He thinks that apart from instructing him to stop drinking and dreaming murderous thoughts, she would tell him to find joy in his day.
Hans gets up and collects his car keys. He walks past his colleagues who are all huddled around the hysterical girl.
“You’ll pay for this,” one of his former best friends shouts. “She’s the same age as my daughter, you sick pervert.”
But Hans hardly hears him. He gets into his car and starts the engine. Then he backs up, makes a perfect turn and heads out to find his joy.

This highly original, fast-paced family-orientated story with high drama and unexpected twists and turns is ideal movie viewing; the fast-pace of the plot’s twists and turns makes it ideal for edge-of-seat viewing and, while what-happens-next will keep audiences guessing and wondering, the fascinating characters surprise and delight with their actions. No avenue of the dark human psyche is left unexplored and nothing, and no one, is what it seems.

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