All David craved in his childhood was the love and acceptance his parents would not give him. Their denial of affection festered in him, and bitterness and darkness grew until it consumed him. Shadowy secrets, manipulation and cruelty become the weapons of his vengeful nature. Control of a vast financial empire finally gives him the power he long coveted. Marty, a stunning femme fatale with a provocative tattoo reenters David’s life. Her insatiable dark urges for male attention lead her astray from respectability and love with a good man. Through their twisted psychological attraction David and Marty discover they enjoy mutual sinister thoughts.
Marty attempts respectability. She sets her eye and heart on a loving man who offers normalcy, but her wanton hunger keeps luring her to return to the depths of depravity. Another woman holds a prior claim on her love interest and simmering jealousies threaten to flare into open hostility. Marty is determined to destroy her. She commits herself to do the unthinkable to win her man.
Controlled by the Devil in her DNA, Marty savors flashbacks to her iniquitous seductions of her teacher and other lovers. Conflicting inner voices wrack her emotions leaving her helplessly catatonic and crying. Her roiled feelings reach a shocking climax when David cleverly makes a spellbinding offer packaged with an irresistibly delicious choice. Escape from torment is within her grasp, or she may choose to reach for everything and risk upending her world.
Erotic, emotionally sensitive and provocative, THE SECRET AND THE BUTTERFLY will speak to your heart, absorb your soul and cause your thoughts to flutter in wonderment.
“THE SECRET AND THE BUTTERFLY contains explicit instances of marital and relationship cheating, child abuse and an instance of hypnosis that leads to the suicide and murder of a woman and her children. If you have a fragile psyche or suicidal tendencies you are strongly discouraged from reading this book.”
(For those harried souls among who are too busy to read the entire story and for commentators who like to look at a road map before they begin a journey.)
Poon, an exhausted Monarch butterfly, secretly listens as Marty describes her sexual conquests and her conflicted search for monogamous love. Barbara, the good and discerning heroine, is a steady countervailing presence to Marty with an opposite moral compass. David and Marty, rejected by their mothers from early childhood, are masters of deception and treachery.
Marvin is the aristocratic founder of a financial institution. Susan is Marvin’s beautiful mistress and partner, and Marty is the illegitimate and incorrigible nymphomaniac daughter of Marvin and Susan. Bob is the handsome virile salesman and Barbara, or “Little Sparrow,” is his dazzling, nubile love interest. Bob makes Barbara’s heart throb. She desires him as her ideal mate. Lesser characters are Estella, Bob’s embittered anti-Semitic mother; Arlene, Bob’s earliest confidant; Eloweiss, David’s resentful mother and Marvin’s anguished Orthodox wife; Joseph, Susan’s tormented estranged husband; and Dolly, David’s black sheep confidant.
Patriarch Marvin strives to lay the foundations of a dynasty while seeking asylum from his family roots by relocating in the West. He uses the social status and money of his wife, Eloweiss, for the mortar to cement his ambitions, but he chafes at the constraints of his marriage. Marvin and David, committed Zionists, hold a closely guarded secret and share their family ambition for wealth and power. Both men institutionalize unethical business practices to further the family goal
David suffers deep emotional scarring from his mother’s rejection, and nurtures a malicious resentment of all those who are fortunate to know love. His ultimate goal is a twisted perversion of his father’s, and a sharp departure from Marvin’s vision. David seeks reparations from humanity writ large by reshaping Marvin’s company into a platform for multiple genres of malevolent criminal activity. David, a tormented sociopath, relishes corporate intrigue and develops plots to psychologically torture his employees. Both father and son view women as convenient disposable instruments to be used to advance the firm.
Bob’s childhood involved the premature loss of his father. He compensates by earning money to help Estella, his impoverished mother. He believes his successes put his childhood troubles behind him, but his self-deception is recognized and brilliantly exploited by the wily David.
Barbara observes the depravity that swirls around her and quietly develops her skills. David underestimates her and she uses his short- sightedness to her advantage. Barbara learns wisdom and patience. Bob is immediately drawn to Barbara, obsesses and lusts after her but she makes him wait until she’s ready to implement her plan. Her decisions and moves are coached by Chief, her wise father. Virtuous Barbara paradoxically facilitates the immoralities of others by diligently working to serve them. When shameless Marty hijacks Bob’s love for Barbara, after a bout of depression, soul- searching and consultations, Barbara resolves to get Bob back again.
Secret dealings underpin David and Bob’s behaviors in a firm built upon Marvin’s pledge to Israel. Bob becomes David’s partner and sets out to build an empire. Sharp differences in the cultural backgrounds of abused little Bobby and sadist David manifest themselves in inevitable confrontation.
Susan and Marty veer from their Christian roots and steep themselves in unthinkable debaucheries. Susan betrays her parents, spouse and child. Marty becomes an insatiable fleshpot who revels in seduction techniques and her starring role in orgies. Remorseless and wanton, she consigns a hapless rival for one of her love interests to tragedy.
Susan and Marvin lionize each other. They openly flaunt their interfaith adultery and crush the spirits of their spouses. Marty’s tempestuous affair with Bob sends Barbara soul-searching to understand what it means to really love a man.
The thread which binds the story is incipient evil resulting from the absence of parental love. Seductive and omnipresent, it is ever ready to wrest control of characters’ moral compasses and point them toward maleficent deeds. This evil takes root in Marvin and Susan and becomes a multigenerational presence. It eviscerates innocence and integrity and blossoms into the sociopathic behaviors of Marty and David. Masking his wickedness, David artfully engenders sympathy and devotion from his vulnerable prey, then torments and destroys them. Marty guilefully disguises her wickedness with irresistible sexuality. She is masterful, unparalleled, and devoid of morality or remorse.
Naive Bob, with best intentions, falls in with this den of corporate vipers. The uncertain discovery quest of Bob and Barbara, as well as the heartlessly cruel murder plots of David, Marty and Susan are all seeded, nurtured and cultivated in THE SECRET AND THE BUTTERFLY. Through the evil mire Barbara, or Little Sparrow, glimpses the possibility to realize her dreams through a union with her “Big Horse” Bob. She becomes a masterful strategist at corporate politics, holding her cards closely and waiting for the perfect time to play them.
THE SECRET AND THE BUTTERFLY analogizes the birth and growth of corporate evil to the egg and pupa stage of a butterfly. The butterfly’s egg and the milkweed upon which the emergent caterpillar feeds are both products of their parents. Evil’s growth phase occurs stealthily, ever gathering strength and momentum. The chrysalis stage of evil takes place opaquely to its enablers, keeping its true intentions well disguised.
The lives of Marvin, Susan, David and Marty are the story’s eggs, caterpillars, and fully fledged butterflies. Bob, the firm’s employees, its sales agents, clients and collateral victims are David and Marty’s enabling milkweed leaves. The plot’s first murders occur in THE SECRET AND THE BUTTERFLY inside the transformative opaque cocoon of the firm, and all evidence of the macabre events escapes detection. Ultimately the mature evildoers emerge from their confining cocoons in full regalia, mesmerize their innocent victims, and consume their souls.
I’m reclusive by choice. I live near the edge of a wilderness area and my best friends are the forest animals. I love watching them go about their lives. I like to disappear into the wild for several days or a week at a time to get my best ideas and do my thinking. I have one house pet, a big tabby cat named Bud.
My interests are varied. I’m fascinated by peoples’ varied personalities and forever curious about how different people came to behave the way they do and think the way they do. I like to write about things where I believe I can tell a story that sheds a fresh perspective on a possibly misplaced common perception, or when I can perceive something about the future that, for reasons I do not fully understand myself, I can develop a story around and use that story to project what will happen. I try to feel what my characters feel in my stories. In fact, sometimes I cry when I write about sad things, and sometimes I cry happy cries when I write about things that relieve a character from stresses or something bad. I also feel a terrible sadness for my bad boy and bad girl characters because they can’t help themselves from being bad. When my characters fall in love, I try to put into their minds the same feelings I think I would have if I were them.
It’s hard to explain what inspires me to write. It’s more because I enjoy doing it than anything else. I get to thinking about someone I knew or read about or heard about and then a story takes form. Some mornings when I wake up there are thoughts about one or more of my characters swirling through my mind and I hurry to write those thoughts down because they are the very best outlets to express the story. Somehow they bubble up from the sub-conscious. Likely the mind is more miraculous than any of us realize. Writing is a way for me to give to others by releasing my feelings. I’m always hopeful that my work will help someone gain a perspective they didn’t have before or someone will better understand a person they couldn’t understand before.
In the evenings I like to write my first drafts in pencil by an oil lamp. There’s something special about thought processes that take place when I’m alone with my lamp, my pencil, the wonderful silence and Bud. He loves to walk on my draft paper or lie down and stretch himself out on it. That’s his goofy way of telling me he needs my attention. Then I hold him close to me like he’s a little baby and give him gentle hug rubs until he purrs. That’s how I know he’s happy and feeling healthy. He has a great purr. He goes “purr, purr, purr, purr purr.” The rubs help him slip into another world, cat dream world I guess. My place gets a little untidy when I’m immersed in writing but it’s always clean, except for when Bud leaves a fur ball someplace. He can’t help himself when he does that. He’s a cat!
Momma Hellmouth’s Review
The Secret and The Butterfly by Rosemary Ness-Bitner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My Review of The Secret and the Butterfly by Rosemary Lightfoot Ness-Bitner
My Rating 4 stars
What a Read! This is a very intense story and it was very different from what I’m used to reading. I enjoyed the different elements and the psychological behaviors that each character shows us. The erotic elements are very hot, this is not a read for anyone who may have triggers when reading. The story was well written and refreshing from what I’m used to. I look forward to more from this author so I can see where she takes our minds next!
*Reviewed for Hellmouth’s Bookblog & Reviews
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