Sneak Peek at The Voluptas Butterfly Short Story…

Fiona Kernaghan

The Voluptas Butterfly is an unusual romance about the magical power of longing. It’s from “Beguiling” - my forthcoming collection of urban fantasy short stories and songs. Working on the collection is a supreme pleasure, as I get to unleash a way of working with words that songwriting doesn’t often permit–yet songwriting is probably where my rebellious metaphors come from!

Anyway- for now,  in the excerpt below, I’d love you to meet Emma– a shy Goth beauty from Santa Monica, and the object of her desire: professor and Indian English author, Devendra…

The Voluptas Butterfly – an excerpt 

Voluptas: satisfaction, enjoyment, pleasure, delight (whether sensual or spiritual; syn. oblectamentum).

Devendra Sarin stood wishing the podium would open up and kindly eat him. The Events Room at the Santa Monica Barnes & Noble would be as good a place as any for him to rest in peace. They’d be fine mourners—this smattering of listless attendees, slumped in their chairs, eyes cast down over their phones. Under the unforgiving wash of fluorescent lights the lanky, young author’s olive skin looked sallow. His dark eyes searched for safety in his notes and even his Adam’s apple ducked for cover as he swallowed hard. Devendra cleared his throat and bravely forged ahead with the talk he’d prepared to promote his book, “The Anatomy Of Personal And National Debt: An Analysis Of Capitalism And Desire.”

Desire. It’s faithful. Devendra’s most faithful secret admirer, Emma, sat erect—hers the only enthusiastic spine in the room. A spine enjoying the tingle of focused attention as Emma let Devendra’s expensive New-Delhi-via-London boarding school accent wrap around her. It walked her beyond wrought iron gates into a cool shroud of mist. Each clipped word, every melodious syllable and exacting consonant arrived in her ears reassuringly, lulling her into a time and place with no trailer parks, no drawled slang leaking from the crevices of shrunk minds, no reality TV numbness. Just scotch served neat at 6:00 p.m., measured conversation over dinner at 8:00 p.m. and, outside in the generous darkness, green lawns that stretched forever.

And so, Devendra’s words laced up around her. Strapped in by vowels and consonants Emma thought, “Mmm, tighten your hold…” and a fist of black butterflies opened inside her rib cage. Testing their wings. Testing her walls. The fortitude of boundaries is often sensed in silence—beneath the flicker of a small, forced smile like her own. To the common glance Emma was just another committed Goth chick, a darkly pretty droid of a Barnes And Noble store clerk, an aloof fringe dweller. That she was hard to miss but easy to refrain from approaching was quite an accomplishment. She’d spent years refining her spiked façade. Behind it Emma could simmer in private, unfulfilled ecstasy. She sat simmering tonight in her black on black ensemble; five inch patent leather heels, fishnets under a tartan kilt, and of course her favorite black lace corset, heavy with flowered brocade and full to the brim with painstakingly white flesh. Her quiet triumph: the buttermilk skin of her French Lavender scented décolletage, so beguiling as to ensure Emma (or “Miss Grace,” as she loves to be called) is usually denied the pleasure of eye contact. Most people scan past her gunmetal grey eyes and molasses locks and dive into that creamy skin instead.

There, under her cool surface, a longed for scene was unfolding in Emma’s always active imagination. She was waking up to the warm-bread-smell of Devendra’s skin in tangled bed sheets—his dreaming body draped around the curve of hers—with Satie playing on her iHome alarm. She’d get up early and rent out her soul to slow the sun and stay there with him under layers of sleep. She’d craft lies as masterful as the earth being flat to keep him on the tip of her tongue, to mend the fraying of attraction, to stave off the inevitable turning away. Eventually, whole tender worlds can be lost forever in the space between words in a voicemail. Better to keep them alive but sleeping in the dimly lit rooms of possibility that only dreamers know. One day, she won’t be like this. One day, her mind will be free of doubt. Her mouth and words and actions will all sync up seamlessly. Like it’s the easiest thing in the world. For half an uncomplicated moment Emma’s red, lacquered lips parted at the sweet idea of it, but no point formed. No sound emerged but the shadow of a sigh.

Emma’s mouth remained useless, until, on the walk home, just a few blocks from her apartment, she was seized by a coughing fit. Purple veins bulged in her pale neck as she hacked away on the corner of 3rd and Arizona.

“Something from the Eucalyptus trees,” flicked through her mind. “Fuck me…” She rasped once more into the briny night air, eyes squeezed shut against the ridiculousness of it.

She didn’t notice the small, soggy insect exit her throat and hit the pavement, where it twitched in the unseeing beam of headlights. It tilted pathetically to the left and right as though in its death throes. A Great Dane strode by with its hipster owner in tow. Confused by the scent of newborn lust, the dog paused to sniff the struggling, and then exhaled roughly in bewilderment. In that rush of warm breath, the moist ball unfolded in a blink to reveal two panels of black wings, soft as velvet, each with a fierce blood red droplet in the middle. Two delicate feelers unfurled, and in a heartbeat she was away. A Voluptas Butterfly never has any trouble finding shelter with her sisters. Born out of longing, pleasure, and pure desire, she will always find protection amongst all that which our senses adore. The patient Voluptas Butterfly waited, hidden in rafters of moonbeams, amid delicate white Jasmine blossoms, trembling in anticipation along somebody’s garden fence.

To the Jasmine’s dismay just a few minutes passed until a taxi approached. Devendra rode alone in the back with the window down. He leaned into the dirty breeze and closed his tired eyes. He loved the smell of the damp sea air slumming with the exhaust fumes of a million L.A commuters. It seemed to him like sweet and sad memories all mingling together. At a stop sign he closed his eyes and took another long, slow, deep breath. The clever Voluptas Butterfly seized her opportunity…


The above is an excerpt from the beginning of The Voluptas Butterfly, an urban fantasy short story about the magical power of longing. To see how the story ends, watch out for the short story e-book coming soon to Amazon.

The Voluptas Butterfly by Fiona Kernaghan coming soon to Amazon and Kindle - beta cover mock up by Mirella Santana

The Voluptas Butterfly by Fiona Kernaghan coming soon. Beta cover by Mirella Santana.

For more about my fiction writing you may also enjoy this post: Are You My Reader? 

My other two blogs: The Song Mistress and Create An Enchanted Life

Are you into Pinterest? The Voluptas Butterfly has a Pinterest page: Emma Grace’s Favorite Dark and Pretty Things.

Seeking Friends For The End Of The World As We Know It



Just like we can never step into the same river twice, everything we create causes a little death and then, re-birth. The exchange of ideas between authors and readers is a conversation co-creating new realities. How would you like yours to be?

I write because the world is full of wonder begging to be captured. Having explored my own darkness and unmasked many a monster, I am interested in the pivotal moments and events in life that bring to light our sensual, loving, adventurous selves.

I am interested in stories that inspire us to see and feel in new ways. I believe in the power of yes, and that Goethe was right when he said boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

While my blogs, Create An Enchanted Life and The Song Mistress, are conversational, my fiction is descriptive.  You’ll find tight focus on delicious details. You’ll also find liberal use of metaphors – that, in the tradition of Spanish Magical Realists, may even be taken literally. The Voluptas Butterfly reads like a poem in that way.

Although my stories are short, I invite you to slow down, linger, luxuriate… We humans are privileged to enjoy language and imagery. Both resonate with messages that sing to the subconscious. In my writing you will find inanimate objects are alive: that Jasmine blossoms have feelings and thoughts, and sea kelp is quite aware that it likes to dance–with the tide or mystical creatures… but more about that later!

Astrologically, I am an earth sign – a Taurus with a Sole Dispositor in Venus. You may already be grinning at that. Or this may be a good time to reveal that I have an irreverent sense of humor, I am an expert pleasure seeker, and that I like to graft beautiful, imagined things to the “real” and often imperfect world we live in, hence my love of magical realism and urban fantasy.

If any of that strikes a chord with you… I am thrilled! You may be my reader! I’d love to hear from you, and to know where in the world some of my songs and stories have landed. Thank you for taking an interest in my work and what you’ve found here. I hope it brings you sustenance for the road ahead, and finds you glad we traveled some of it together.


 Coming soon! 

Excerpts from…

The Voluptas Butterfly: an unusual romance from “Beguiling” – a collection of Urban Fantasy short stories and songs for the magically minded.  

And Now, Something For Your Most Important Sexual Organ…


Robert Doisneau, 1948. "Almost every form of art was looked down upon and judged at one point. Open your eyes and your mind."

Robert Doisneau, 1948. “Almost every form of art was looked down upon and judged at one point. Open your eyes and your mind.” Tache Magazine.

How long has it been since you had a conversation that, well… thrilled you? I was lucky to have one last night with Red Dodge, the visionary Executive Director of Tache Magazine. Things are revving up in anticipation of Tache’s tricked out launch issue in May, and I’m psyched to be writing a feature article for it!

The launch issue will include interviews with Slash and Duff from Gun And Roses, innovative fashion spreads inspired by, and for, those of us living in the real world, plus loads of juicy and intellectually stimulating editorial still under wraps. Should be fun.., ’cause you know – the most important sex organ IS the brain, right?.. lol.

Anyway, it’s fair to say I’m cerebrally intoxicated by the lifestyle, attitude and culture Tache supports. Not just another glossy, beauty mag – and dare I say smarter than Inked, I suspect Tache is the readable equivalent to that impossibly stylish person you admire who turns up at the coolest gigs, doesn’t brag about their Master’s Degree, and makes a Martini to disrobe to.


For a sneak peek of their vibe, here’s some of Tache’s recent tweets:

“Life doesn’t impersonate art, life is art. The way that we express ourselves is an expression of how we live our lives and our creative side. Never limityourself to what you believe is possible.” 

“After producing The Director, a documentary about Gucci designer Frida Giannini, do-everything guy, JamesFranco, is back to direct a new Gucci eyewear video. Titled #Techno #Color#Sunglasses, the video was filmed at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and stars Franco himself alongside model Natalia Bonifacci. They both wear Gucci’s colorful new frames and instantly engage in a romantic pursuit. The vibe is cool and retro, with washed-out colors, classic cars, and plenty of Hollywood glamour.” Style summed it up!

“Almost every form of art was looked down upon and judged at one point. Open your eyes and your mind.”


Available in print, and digitally on iTunes world wide, Tache is an innovative, high end fashion publication that embraces the marriage of style, art, expression , uniqueness and fashion. Tache’s official site is coming soon, meanwhile, for sweet deals and the hottest news follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.


If you like this you may also enjoy my other two blogs: The Song Mistress and Create An Enchanted Life.  Preview and purchase my short stories and music on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes worldwide.  



The Voluptas Butterfly – Coming Against The Odds


The Voluptas Butterfly by Fiona Kernaghan coming soon to Amazon and Kindle - beta cover mock up by Mirella Santana

The Voluptas Butterfly by Fiona Kernaghan coming soon to Amazon and Kindle – beta cover mock up by Mirella Santana

Between songwriting and recording sessions I’ve been pleasantly immersed in finishing one of my short stories. After leaving it a while I was shocked to think I sent a rough to my mom (it’s a smidge erotic) and pleased to be drawn back in by it. I might be on to something…

“The Voluptas Butterfly” is an urban fairy tale that explores an unlikely love, physical attraction and the power of desire to transcend commonly held ideas of what’s possible. A trusted beta reader and successful indie author told me it’s very much in the style of Spanish magical realists. That was an unexpected compliment! 

Having not released anything like this before it’s hard to know who my readers may be  and who would enjoy this kind of writing most. How does one figure that out?.. hmm. Anyway, I’ll keep working on the cover layout, post some excerpts soon and hope you enjoy!


Happy Free Download Friday!

Free Download logo-2

Happy FREE DOWNLOAD FRIDAY! To say THANK YOU for your follows, “likes”,  friendship – and support on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes all over the world this weekend only a brand new song, “Still With You”, is available as a free download. Here’s a link to where you can grab it from Soundcloud. Feel free to share. :))

Thanks again! And I hope you like it!

Still With You - lyric

The past only bleeds when the second hand moves

I only remember when the sun comes through

And the stars come out and the world goes ‘round

Again I can’t pretend


In a wrinkle in time

In a thunder clap I



I’m still with you

Unyielding and true

Living every moment

On repeat I can’t undo

The ties that bind us two

I’m still with you


What if the planets could realign

And alter everything what might we find?

Would you reach once more – take that fall

Again and change the end?


In a wrinkle in time

In a heartbeat I



Like a desert’s whispered kiss

Can you feel this wish?



















Letting It Come Through Me

FK on mic 1

A quick post on the site this week – from back in the studio recording vocals on all these new songs! They’re mostly kinda poignant, hopeful ballads so I’ve been channeling memories of my Nan who passed away a while back, and thinking about how we’re all connected in this awesome human organism on our tiny blue pearl hurtling in space.

I’ve been singing and recording for more than twenty years but even now I still think it’s a bit weird hearing myself in the “cans” (the headphones) through a good mic that captures everything. Sometimes I’m like “Who is that?” and am shocked when I realize it sounds good. Pretty funny, hey. Other times I get caught up in thinking I need to try harder or make more of an effort because this is so important and all that – but I find the best takes by far come from when I stay really centered and super relaxed and just let it come through me.

I’ll post some of what we’ve been working on soon!

Thanks, Saraswati.


Once I put the request in to my subconscious or the powers that be or wherever songs come from there’s no letting up. It’s like turning on a tap I can’t turn off.  So I haven’t been sleeping this week. I type lyrics into my phone all night instead.

Of the twenty or so new ideas courting me, this morning one was very insistent. I could hear the whole melody in tact so I finally got up about six to shut it up. Creeping across the living room the bright fluorescent pink sunrise was amazing and something I rarely see. Who knew? Anyway, I got my laptop and guitar out, sat on the studio floor in the cold and used my Mac’s quicktime audio recorder to piece together a work tape to refer back to later. That’s how most of my recordings begin and the polishing process starts.

This week Dan and I have been working on new songs for licensing and use in TV, in particular. I love having clear directives from creative executives and mixing all of that up with new inspiration and ideas I’ve stashed and seeing what comes of it. These latest recordings are mostly hopeful sort of songs. They’re quite piano oriented, with electronic drums, percussion and eclectic synth pads, and I think there’ll be a sprinkling of string parts here and there, too.

The next most important part is the vocals. This pic above is my view from in front of the mic in our home studio. Watching over us there in the background is Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, music arts and nature. Man, she must really be having her way with me because a lot of the lyrics I’m drawn to write lately have those themes. I hope she keeps smiling on us! For now, it’s back to the work tapes and rehearsing to the band tracks before final vocals this weekend…