Ever since Heather Demetrios told us about her "dark but pretty sexy" jinn trilogy, we've been dying to read the first book, Exquisite Captive. And today, IT'S FINALLY HERE! Here's the official scoop on the book:
Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.
Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.
Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?
Inspired by Arabian Nights, Exquisite Captive brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.
Um, YES PLEASE. In honour of the book's launch, here's an exclusive interview from The Society for Jinni Masters!
Jinni In A Bottle: How to Care for Your Slave
The Master’s Guide to Jinni Ownership
THE SOCIETY FOR JINNI MASTERS caught up with international playboy Malek Alzahabi, Earth’s resident expert on all things jinn. We joined him on his yacht on the Rivera, where he dished on everything from summoning your jinni to making the perfect wish.
SJM: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule, Mr. Alzahabi.
MA: You’ve got five minutes.
SJM: To clear up any confusion, which do you prefer: genie, jinni, or djinn?
MA: Genie is most common in America and derives from the French génie. Djinn is a variation of jinn. All are acceptable, but I prefer jinni, as that’s the word in my native Arabic. Jinn is the plural form, as in “I have one jinni, but there are many jinn on Earth.”
SJM: Despite the secrecy of our organization, there has been a recent spike in jinn ownership. However, most masters know next to nothing about the creatures they control.
MA: Since you’re American, I assume all you know about the jinn you learned from I Dream of Jeannie and that Disney monstrosity, Aladdin. Forget all that nonsense. Where I come from, we are taught that jinn are real creatures—as they are. In North Africa, the Middle East, and many other parts of the world, people are brought up on stories of the jinn. They can be found in our folklore, including The Arabian Nights, and many respected spiritual writings.
SJM: So you’re saying that if I travel to a country like Morocco or Saudi Arabia, people will tell me stories about real experiences they’ve had with jinn?
MA: Yes. And they’ll tell you to say a bismillah when you’re in an abandoned place. It’s a protective word and can be used to banish jinn from an area.
SJM: We’re so used to hearing stories about vampires, angels, witches—things like that. In the West, we know so little of the jinn. Where do they fit in?
MA: Just like humans, some jinn are good and some are bad. We humans tend to fear what we don’t understand. Who you really need to worry about are ghouls. They’re cannibalistic jinn that assume the appearance of their victims after they eat their flesh. Stories of ghouls are common all over the Middle East and North Africa. If you read Arab folklore, you’ll see a lot of parallels between the jinn and Western European mythological creatures, such as faeries.
SJM: So there different kinds of jinn?
MA: There are five castes of jinn: the Ghan Aisouri, Shaitan, Djan, Marid, and Ifrit. Four draw power from one of the four elements—earth, air, water, fire—while the fifth can access power from all four elements. Each caste has its own monsters. The ghouls are Ifrit jinn (fire jinn). The si’lah are Marid water jinn—mermaids you’d do well to steer clear of.
SJM: The most pressing question I get from members is: how does wishing work?
MA: You get three wishes. You must word them exactly as you want them to be granted. Trust me, my jinni, Nalia, would be the first to tell you that your jinni slave will do you no favors.
SJM: Can you wish for anything?
MA: Hardly. No love, death, or infinite wishes, no wishes to inflict pain, no wishing for more wishes or for another jinni. No two jinn are alike. Some will struggle to manifest a Porsche, while others can make you invisible.
SJM: What happens when I make my third wish?
MA: Your jinni is free to go. The shackles will come off and the bottle will be nothing more than that—a bottle.
SJM: How does the bottle help us control our jinn?
MA: Simple. Iron makes jinn incredibly ill. The bottle your jinni came in when you received her from the slave trader is where you should put her when she needs to be punished. My slave, Nalia, is most accommodating after a long stint in the bottle. I wear the bottle around my neck, but if yours is too large, I recommend keeping it in a safe. If another human gains possession of your bottle, they become the jinni’s new master.
SJM: How does summoning work?
MA: When you get your jinni, he or she will have shackles on her wrists. The slave traders create a spell so that by simply touching your bottle with the desire to see your jinni, she will be summoned to you.
SJM: And they actually travel by smoke?
MA: It’s called evanescence. And yes, it resembles smoke. It allows jinn to travel great distances at the speed of light and it is one of the things that make them unique magical creatures.
SJM: Does a jinni need to do everything her master says?
MA: Yes. There is a difference between commands and wishes. If I tell my jinni to jump, she asks me how high. Nalia gives me attitude, of course. We’re working on that. But if I want her to manifest something, then I need to use one of my wishes. I have one wish left.
SJM: How does their magic work when they’re not granting wishes?
MA: They connect their energy—which they call chiaan—to a natural element. They draw energy from that element and use it to manifest things and create illusions. They can also control that element—they might start an earthquake, for instance. They can even become their element.
SJM: Many expatriate jinn are calling for an end to the jinni slave trade. They say they’ve been trafficked against their will, drugged by jinn slave traders and then sold to human masters. What’s your stance on this?
MA: First, the fewer people who know about the jinn, the better. We need to silence these expatriate jinn. I’m all for deporting them. The last thing we need on Earth are a bunch of jinn communists. Second, this is a business. The function of a jinni is to grant wishes to a master. My jinni lives in the lap of luxury. She has nothing to complain about. And when she does complain, into the bottle with her. That usually straightens her out.
SJM: Well, thank you for your time, Mr. Alzahabi. It’s been a pleasure.
MA: The pleasure was all yours, I’m sure.
Thanks for stopping by, Heather (and Malek and the Society of Jinni Masters)! Check out Heather's website, or find her on Twitter (@HDemetrios). And keep an eye out for the book report on Exquisite Captive!