Occasionally, I come upon a review (there has been more than one) of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin where the reader threw the book across the room and stopped reading at the scene in Chapter Four where crazy orphan boy Sigfried Smith encounters a young woman deliberately wearing too-tight clothing to flaunt her curves and uses the word (brace yourselves, my dear readers) trollop.
These reviewers universally agree: clearly the author (not the character, mind you) must be a disapproving prude out to slut-shame all well-endowed girls.
This is obvious, because the “trollop’s” name is Salome Iscariot–which no author in their right mind would give to a character who was not a villainess. So don’t read her book. Because, you know, evil.
Salome Iscariot is not a villain.
So, to put to bed any rumors that Salome Iscariot is not adored by her author, here is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released Third Book of Unexpected Enlightenment: Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland.
Valerie Hunt and her best friend, Salome Iscariot
Though the World May Burn
“Eeevil! I told you he was evil!” Salome arched her back into a bridge atop a table in the Storm King Café and raised one leg, pointing her toe toward the ceiling. Her skirt slipped down revealing her black-tights-clad thigh. She pursed her deep red lips. “Vladimir Von Dread is sooo evil! Not that I object to him anymore, mind you. He’s actually kind of cool, not to mention brain-stunningly gorgeous, but…conqueror of sixty-five worlds! Totally eeeeevil!”
Siggy’s eyes grew huge, fixed on the shapeliness of her inner thigh. A happy dreamy look came over his face. Then, yanking his gaze away, he grabbed a fork off the table and stuck it into his own thigh until he grunted with discomfort.
“Um, Miss Iscariot,” Siggy raised his palm to form blinders, blocking his view of the young lady. “I don’t mean to sound critical, but this may not be the best place for a display of modern dance. Right, Lucky?”
“I don’t know,” Lucky cocked his head to one side and then the other, “maybe it’s a mating dance. You should bite her on the back of her neck and drag her off to the harem cave. Do you have the hot volcanic sands ready for the eggs?”
“Lucky,” Sigfried replied sternly, “I have explained to you about no harems.” He leaned over and put his arm around Valerie, who rolled her eyes. “Miss Iscariot may be eye-burningly attractive, but I am a one-woman man.”
“I am with Mr. Smith, Miss Iscariot. Perhaps this is not the best venue to appear so unclad,” murmured the Princess, who sat at the same table as Siggy, sipping her tea. Her Tasmanian tiger sat regally beside her.
“Oh you people. You’re such prudes.” Salome flipped her legs over her head and landed lightly on her feet on the floor. She spread her arms. “Ta-da!”
She adjusted her skirt with lackadaisical slowness. The older boys at the far table were not as chivalrous as Sigfried and watched the whole thing with prurient interest. She turned and gave them a languid, smoky glance over her shoulder.
“Does your boyfriend mind you doing that?” Rachel asked, thinking with pleasure of the moment, during the Knight’s dueling period, when she had bested Salome’s boyfriend, the handsome and arrogant Ethan Warhol.
“What can he do about it?” Salome shrugged her shoulders in a fashion pleasing to the upperclassman boys. “If he wants the gorgeous lusciousness that is me,” she made a cute, cheerful gesture, ending with both her hands—and her flaming pink and fire-truck red nails—pointing at her face, “my entourage of lust-maddened boy-toys is part of the package.”