BLOG TOUR SPOTLIGHT: The Princeton Allegiant Series — Deborah Garland | #ParanormalRomance #Vampires

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The Princeton Allegiant Series

Deborah Garland

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Drawing Bloodlines

The Princeton Allegiant Series Book 1

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Dr. Alexander Manning’s vampire allegiant demands loyalty and secrecy. Keeping their existence hidden from humans is the Prime Directive. So when he accidentally reveals himself to a woman, a beautiful woman he can’t resist, he’s forced to make a choice: report her to his commander or ‘deal’ with her himself.

Both Alex’s loyalty and secrecy are tested.

Elizabeth should be afraid of tall, handsome, god-like Alexander, who she’s figured out is a vampire. Knowing he’ll come for her, she prepares for the worst and even considers sending her daughter away to live with her ex.

Alexander shows up, not to harm her though. To seduce her. Nights of unending pleasure however take a very serious turn, neither was expecting.

Until Alex’s past catches up to him and threatens to destroy his precious secretive world with Elizabeth and loyalty to her and her adorable seven-year-old daughter.

Will Alex obey his allegiant commander and submit to a woman he hates, or fight?

Never force a vampire to mate…

The Princeton Allegiant Series features a recurring cast of hot and sexy vampires, but each book can be read as a stand-alone. No cheating. No cliffhanger.

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Guarding Bloodlines

The Princeton Allegiant Series Book 2

2- Guarding Bloodlines_379x600Never steal a vampire’s mate.

What’s the world’s most dangerous vampire to do when the only woman he’s ever loved is about to be abducted? He strikes a devil’s bargain, but Loren Tagaris is done playing nice.

Loren’s gifts for destruction have made him the most feared vampire on the planet. To bargain for his progeny’s freedom, he’s forced to bend the knee to the precious New York Vampire Lords and find their missing commander in thirty days. Or hand Julianna, who’s part witch, over forever.

Julianna’s powers are more dangerous than Loren ever imaged. When their hunt for the missing commander unearths a buried secret that terrifies even Loren, all bets are off, and it’s every vampire for himself. Suddenly the Lords abducting Julianna is the least of their problems.

Will Loren give up his own freedom once and for all to protect the allegiant world even if it means losing Julianna forever?

Amazon

 

Matching Bloodlines

The Princeton Allegiant Series Book 3

3- Matching Bloodlines_379x600VAMPIRES DON’T DATE. THEY POSSESS.

Award-Winning Author Deborah Garland is back with an all new steamy vampire romance in Matching Bloodlines, an angst-fest about a vampire in search of a new mate and the matchmaker he hires who ignites decades of unmet needs and passion…only she’s off-limits.

Never match a vampire with the wrong mate…

Nothing could have prepared Francisco St. Claire for living as a single male after centuries of being mated. The serious and scary Commander of the Princeton Allegiant is now heartbroken and that makes him one dangerous vampire. Still, he has an allegiant to run and there is trouble on his borders.

When the ruling lords demand he hire a matchmaker to find a new mate for himself as well as the other males who have sworn to him, the loyal commander follows orders but vows he’ll never love again.

Princeton Matchmaker, Charlotte Kincaid is drowning in debt. She’s so desperate for cash, she agrees to work for a mysterious rich businessman requesting a ‘mate’, who just happens to be a vampire. If only this intoxicating Frenchman with the most sensuous lips she’s ever seen wasn’t her client.

Since meeting Charlotte, Francisco’s emotions and senses have awoken, including his primal need for a woman’s body against his. But if he takes Charlotte to mate and turns her, she can’t find matches for the rest of his vampires.

Will the Princeton Allegiant Commander show his strength by mating with the woman he craves or will he continue to follow orders?

The Princeton Allegiant Series features a recurring cast of hot and sexy vampires, but each book can be read as a stand-alone. No cheating. No cliffhanger.

Amazon

 

Deborah Garland_332x400About the Author: Deborah Garland is now an Award Winning Author! Must Be Crazy has won The Carolyn Readers’ Choice Award.

My newsletter followers get not only a good laugh each month, but also updates on new releases, sales and giveaways. Sign up now to get the new 2019 format: http://bit.ly/2HI3Mgc It’s a NO SPAM ZONE. Don’t forget to follow me here on Goodreads and BookBub: http://bit.ly/2jmpasE.

Deborah’s childhood on Long Island, NY can be described as Cinderella meets Carrie. A latch-key kid, she spent her days after school, cooking, cleaning and looking after her younger brother to help out her very strict working parents. Those hours of nothingness sparked a wild imagination and a few invisible friends.

After years of doing the whole corporate thing, it was finally Deborah’s turn to make the dream come true of being a published author. Her 2017 debut novel, Must Love Fashion, was a Golden Leaf finalist for Best Contemporary Romance. She writes strong and witty heroines and heroes that fall hard for them. Her novels have received words of praise from RT Book Reviews, Kirkus Reviews, InD’tale Magazine, Library Journal, and Uncaged Magazine. In addition to a great book, she loves pugs and chocolate ad eats her bacon cheeseburgers with a Grey Goose Cosmopolitan.

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Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-princeton-allegiant-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: The Throne of Blood Series — Nancy Kilpatrick | #Vampires #Adult #DarkFantasy #ParanormalRomance

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GUEST POST

Vampires. Now you see ‘em, now you don’t. They’ve been around at least since the first written records of humanity’s history, and likely since the first mortals ventured out of caves and decided they enjoyed being bipeds. As we’ve evolved, so have the Undead. After all, we imagined them, so we have creators’ rights to bring them up to our speed.

Being one of those insane types who becomes obsessed about certain things, I’ve ended up with a library of vampire novels totaling over 2,500 volumes, which will be hard to move if I ever need to. I also own a hundred or so movie posters, games, dolls, toys, pamphlets, PhD dissertations, small press non-fiction offerings, movies, vinyl and CD music, poetry, jewelry, clothing, toys and much other memorabilia related to Bloodsuckers (and their less physical cousins who don’t want to sip our blood but do want to imbibe our energy, our dreams, our souls, or whatever else they desire which we possess).

I’ve also written quite a bit on vampires. Currently, my 22nd novel has just been released in a vampire series for adults called “Thrones of Blood.” Vol 4: Savagery of the Rebel King follows the bite trail of Vol 1: Revenge of the Vampir King; Vol 2:  Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess; Vol 3: Abduction of Two Rulers.

Being awash in this crimson milieu has resulted in a bit of knowledge about these supernatural creatures, especially in terms of what’s been written, and what hasn’t. Which is why the great hoopla about the Twilight books and movies and others of that ilk has astounded me. Both the pro and anti positions are strong still and within those are factions like: Camp Edward (vampire) or Camp Joseph (werewolf)—pick your own fantasy guy.

Twilight has been viewed as teen fodder, but it was not only young adults and not only females that adored the material. Rumor has it that moms also jumped on the coffin wagon. This sanitized vampire world spoke to budding hormones, since the human protagonist didn’t have sex until marriage, which came at the end of the series. Edward Cullen (approximate age 117 years), aka The Good Boyfriend, was always there for his still-in-high school human sweetheart Bella Swan. Attentive. Kind. Not pushy. Self-effacing to a fault; he would rather harm himself than harm her, abandon her instead of inflicting his questionable true self on his true love. Much tease, little payoff.

But vampires have always had problems being accepted. Derived from legends and mythology with a few “true” accounts, in the past this creature was portrayed as horrific, violent, a fearsome, murderous, blood-drinking resuscitated corpse.

The review in the Manchester Guardian on the 1897 release of Bram Stoker’s book is so scathing. Bela Lugosi played Dracula on stage and in 1931 on screen. While the movie was well received by the public, some of the female persuasion reputedly fainted en masse in the theater, The New Yorker’s negative review included, “there is no real illusion in the picture” and, “This whole vampire business falls pretty flat.” The Chicago Tribune did not think the film as scary as its stage version, calling it “too obvious” and “its attempts to frighten too evident.” Despite that, The Tribune deigned to conclude it was “quite a satisfactory thriller.”

All this to say that the vampire has floated side by side over millennia with us and that each incarnation has met with acceptance and rejection. Ultimately, the vampire, IMHO, is composed of many facets, which is why its popularity ebbs and then flows again at a re-envisioning, and why it likely will always remain the most popular supernatural. This monster is recognizable as us. Vampires were human and can still take human form.

We’ve cleaned up the vampire to meet our exacting germ-obsessed 21st century standards. And that’s fine because it’s what the public demands. Each generation finds a new facet to engage with. Generation X had the most recent crack at redefining the vampire as a being that sparkles. A backlash resulted to return to the more terrifying Undead. We will have to wait to see what Gens Y or Z concoct. But if history means anything, it tells us that the vampire will not be staked into oblivion. If that was going to happen it would have already occurred. This dark archetype resonates in its myriad forms. Twilight is already part of the comprehensive history of the most intriguing of supernaturals.

THE BOOKS

Thrones of Blood Series

Nancy Kilpatrick

Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Revenge of the Vampir King

Thrones of Blood Book 1

FINAL COVER - 1 RVK_400x600Vampires and humans are at war!

Moarte, King of the Vampirii, is a prisoner of his Sapiens enemy. The beautiful Sapiens Princess Valada, believing that Moarte killed her mother, tortures him, even to the point of breaking the bones in his wings so he cannot escape. She intends to incinerate him to ash in sunlight, but Moarte escapes.

Moarte hungers for revenge. When, through an act of betrayal, Valada is captured by the vampirii, his first instinct is to drain her blood and annihilate her. But he realizes he can get revenge in other ways, using her as a tool to gain the upper hand in this conflict. But who is manipulating whom? Both want revenge, and control of the other, and Moarte wants to drink Valada’s blood. Dark desires lead down a path neither had envisioned, a threatening spiral that can destroy empires.

Hunter and hunted change places again and again in this novel of twisted, violent passions. Seeds of deception are sown amidst love and hate, loyalty and betrayal, obsession and indifference, in an erotic tale of warring races, foes since the beginning of time, and two unlikely adversaries aligning to battle a common enemy.

“Nancy Kilpatrick infuses her vampires with the hot blood of life and erotic passion. Vampires have never had it so good.”
F. Paul Wilson
Author of the Repairman Jack series, The Keep, Midnight Mass

“Kilpatrick knows that great secret of horror stories: that they are intensely personal!”
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Author of The Saint Germain series

“Nancy Kilpatrick’s writing is both eloquent and erotic her stories seduce the reader through the mutual attraction of dread and desire.”
Stephen Jones
Editor: Dark Terrors; Best New Horror series

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Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess

Thrones of Blood Book 2

FINAL COVER - 2 SHP_400x600Part human, part vampir, the beautiful, stubborn, angry young Princess Serene is a tormented hybrid, her days and nights controlled by her overprotective parents. When they suddenly insist on an arranged marriage, visions of a grim future in a loveless pairing with the cold and dominating Wolfsbane drive Princess Serene into a desperate escape.

But instead of freedom, the young naive Princess rushes headlong into the clutches of a human demon whose cruelty and violence threaten to destroy her and her world. The entire vampirii nation is helpless to rescue her, and war becomes a certainty. Rebellion will lead to many deaths, including those she loves. But to endure brutality until she can escape might be beyond her abilities.

Ultimately, Wolfsbane, her detested bridegroom, is the one holding the key to save her, if he can. And more, can she be saved?

“Nancy Kilpatrick inhabits that shadow land of sensuality between terror and pleasure; she can be creepy, seductive, bleak, exquisite and terrifying—often all at once. She knows the intricacies of human minds and bodies at war with themselves, and her stories bring you into those battles in ways that make you think you’ve actually been there because maybe you have.”
Thomas Roche
Author of The Panama Laugh and editor of the Noirotica series

“Nancy Kilpatrick’s vampires have a distinctive bite all their own.”
Nancy A. Collins
Author of Sunglasses After Dark and In the Blood

“Kilpatrick is the pony express of horror. She’s fast and furious and she always delivers.”
Brian Lumley
Author of the Necroscope series

“I loved Book 1 but I will admit that I loved Book 2 even more. The characters were comfortably familiar but the threat level has been escalated to nail-biting proportions. I devoured the book quickly; it was difficult to put down, but I am used to this when in the hands of a skilled author like Kilpatrick. She truly is a “vampire queen”: a real specialist at telling vampire tales in new and engaging ways.”
Elaine Pascale
The Horror Review

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Abduction of Two Rulers

Thrones of Blood Book 3

FINAL COVER - 3 ATR_400x600A conference between two species ends in disaster when Sapiens Queen Blanka and the Vampir King Thanatos are treacherously seized and imprisoned in a dungeon. War erupts as their jailers—an ancient vampir and a traitorous Sapiens usurper—each plot to reign over all of their own species. Desperate to end the conflict, the two prisoners escape. En route to his stronghold, Thanatos disappears. His vampir allies want to find him, but attack is imminent, making defense the priority. Blanka knows the odds are against her surviving an all-powerful, ancient being whose goal is destruction yet she is determined to rescue Thanatos. The question that tortures her is: does he still exist?

“Nancy Kilpatrick is an audacious and insane writer of vampire fiction. I wish a vamp would bite me so I could read her work forever!”
Nancy Holder
NYT Bestselling Author, Mary Shelley Presents; Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels

“Sit back and let Nancy Kilpatrick guide you through this tortured world of sex and passion, hunger and blood, damned souls and velvet nights.”
Karen E. Taylor
Author The Vampire Legacy series

“Horror has never been so poetically exquisite before: move over Anne Rice for Nancy Kilpatrick.”
Robert W. Walker
Author of Instinct series books

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Savagery of the Rebel King

Thrones of Blood Book 4

FINAL COVER - 4 SRK_400x600Necros, the most rebellious of the vampir kings, has carried a burning hatred for the one who forced him into this undead existence centuries ago. Abused, betrayed, cheated, he trusts none of any species, especially Guin, a dethroned mortal queen who appears out of nowhere and feeds his paranoia, and his darkest fantasies. At best she attempts to control him, at worst she tries to kill him. For some reason he does not understand, Necros is compelled to let her live. But he believes she is manipulative, and a liar; Guin sees him as brutal, stubborn, impossible! Encounters turn ugly as violence, bitterness and haunting memories drive both of them. Guin has her own agendas, and the more she struggles to actualize them, the further away her goals recede. A few vampirii endeavor to build a bridge between the two combatants, but others with sinister plans are bent on hindering a truce. This downward-spiralling dynamic reels towards a dire conclusion that neither Necros nor Guin seem able to halt.

Savagery of the Rebel King—Vol 4 in the exciting Thrones of Blood series—is a fast-paced rollercoaster ride in a plot that twists and turns and threatens to spin out of control. Readers will be glued to their seats!

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nancybg_400x300About the Author: Nancy Kilpatrick is an award-winning author. Her publishing credits include 22 novels, over 220 short stories, 6 collections of her stories, 1 graphic novel, 1 non-fiction book and, as well, she has edited 15 anthologies.  She lives in Montreal and her work is published in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and has been translated into 8 languages.  These are the genres in which she has published: dark fantasy, horror, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, erotica. Details can be found on her website below.

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Giveaway

$20 Amazon Gift Card (1 winner)

Choice of ebook from the series (2 winners)

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/thrones-of-blood-book-tour-and-giveaway

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BOOK TOUR: Dusk’s Warrior by Emerian Rich @emzbox | #Vampires #Horror

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41c2I1adCiL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

Dusk’s Warrior is now available on Amazon

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emz1smallABOUT THE AUTHOR — Emerian Rich is an artist, horror host, and author of the vampire series, Night’s Knights. She is the hostess of the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net. Under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal, she writes the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and she’s the Editorial Director for the Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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A REVIEW FROM MY COMMUTE: Fangland by John Marks | #Vampires #TelevisionJournalism

It was the cover that drew me into this audiobook at first. That and the title. Fangland

Fangland.jpgAn acclaimed novelist and former 60 Minutes producer grandly reinvents the Dracula epic in the halls of a certain television newsmagazine In the annals of business trips gone horribly wrong, Evangeline Harker’s journey to Romania on behalf of her employer, the popular television newsmagazine The Hour, deserves pride of place. Sent to Transylvania to scout out a possible story on a notorious Eastern European crime boss named Ion Torgu, she has found the true nature of Torgu’s activities to be far more monstrous than anything her young journalist’s mind could have imagined. The fact that her employer clearly won’t get the segment it was hoping for is soon the very least of her concerns. Back in New York, Evangeline’s disappearance causes an uproar at the office and a wave of guilt and recrimination. Then suddenly, several months later, she’s heard from: miraculously, she’s convalescing in a Transylvania monastery, her memory seemingly scrubbed. But then who was sending e-mails through her account to The Hour employees? And what are those great coffin-like boxes of objects delivered to the office in her name from the Old Country? And why does the show’s sound system appear to be infected with some strange virus, an aural bug that coats all recordings in a faint background hiss that sounds like the chanting of…place-names? And what about the rumors that a correspondent has scored an interview with Torgu, here in New York, after all? As a very dark Old World atmosphere deepens in the halls of one of America’s most trusted television programs, its employees are forced to confront a threat beyond their wildest imaginings, a threat that makes gossip about an impending corporate shakeup seem very quaint indeed. Written in the form of diary entries, e-mails, therapy journals, and other artifacts of early-twenty-first-century American professional-class life, compiled as an informal inquest by a very interested party, Fangland manages both to be a genuinely-in fact triumphantly-frightening vampire novel in the grand tradition and a, yes, biting commentary on the way we live and work now.

The story itself was riveting and I found myself not wanting to stop driving. That’s one of the problems with audiobooks, you get so enthralled with what you’re listening to that one more chapter ends up as one more spin around the block.

While it’s heralded as a re-imagining of Stoker’s Dracula set in present day times against the backdrop of post 9/11 New York, it’s truly something standalone and complete. If you like Vampires or are looking for a different read that will entertain you, I totally recommend picking this one up.

Rating: 5 Stars

The Coven Blog Tour: Guest Post from Angie Gallow

Angie Gallow is currently touring the internet in support of her vampiric horror debut novel, The Coven. I wanted to learn a little more about Angie’s process and in that, to learn just who her favourite character is. Luckily, she told me the answer and I’m sharing that with you all. But before we get to that, let’s learn a little bit more about Angie…

The author known as Angie Gallow enjoys all things weird and creepy. A great lover of books and words, words, words as Hamlet would so eloquently put it. Even though this is the first novel published, the author has been writing for years, honing her craft through the fine professors at Columbia College in Chicago.

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So let’s hop in and learn just who Angie’s favourite is…

Do Writers Have a Favorite Character?

Angie Gallow

Many would equate a writer having a favorite character is similar to asking a mother if she has a favorite child, but yes, I do. I spent a great deal of time coming with up with diverse and interesting characters for my novel and in that development time, I became very attached to the character Grace LeVine. Many have said she favors my personality but the reason I enjoyed writing her was because I purposely made her mysterious.

It is believed that writers know their characters inside and out; what they would do in certain situations, when and where they were born and how they became the character we know them to be. Some writers enjoy showing their characters off in the sense they’re showing off what an awesome personality they’ve created. But Grace was like my little secret. With every other character, we can draw a line and figure out what makes them tick, but Grace is a bit harder to figure out.

I wanted Grace to be this mysterious little creature who has an ear for language, who becomes fluent in a language simply by hearing it for the first time. She is notoriously cool, calm and collected to the point where even being kidnapped by the band of rogue vampires doesn’t ruffle her. This is because I know all that Grace has been through in her mortal and immortal lives; she’s a runaway from a Baton Rouge orphanage who had to figure out a way to survive on the harsh streets of Victorian London. I loved knowing everything that went through Grace’s mind without showing it; I loved veiling her behind her even-tempered, Devil-may-care demeanor and expert gambling skills, which no one seems to know how she acquired.

Grace was my favorite because as much as I wanted to give her colorful past the spotlight, I refrained believing there should always be a character lurking in the story that only the writer truly knows. Although I know everything about all of my characters, Grace is really nothing like me. Although we share the same go-with-the-flow demeanor, Grace can stand in the face adversity and take it without flinching. Grace is simply one of those people who saves her emotions for the serious situations that call for her to be angry, sad, happy, or fearful; she doesn’t waste them. And when she makes up her mind, she’s made it, except when it comes to Lauren, he’s her only soft spot.

Thank you Angie! Now let’s take a look at The Coven and get to an excerpt from the book!

TheCoven_Final_cover_frontAfter a gruesome betrayal, vampire Sebastien Vilmont is flung into a whirlwind cat and mouse game when his traveling party is ambushed by an opposing group of bloodthirsty vampires. Maurice, the leader of Sebastien’s coven, makes the decision to not only wage war against the opposing vampire clan, but a clerical organization known as The Diocese Club who wishes to exterminate all vampire-kind.

Trying desperately to protect the secrecy of their coven’s location below the streets of Whitechapel, London, Sebastien finds himself at odds with Maurice in his desire to not engage in all-out war with the renegade Catholic faction. At the same time, he must also battle the other vampire coven to guard their anonymity from humans. In doing so, Sebastien is forced into choices and alliances he might not otherwise have made.

Set in the tone of Victorian England, The Coven is a thrilling and horrific journey through the seedier workings of the vampire underworld, and pious ideology of The Diocese Club.

Purchase Links:

Amazon:

US | Canada | UK | Australia | Germany | France | Italy | Spain | Brazil | India | Mexico | Japan

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And there’s a giveaway!! 

Win 1 of 5 copies of The Coven by Angie Gallow

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An Excerpt from The Coven by Angie Gallow…

Two

“You in or out, then?” Lauren Granger said tossing a coin onto the table as his Cockney accent honeyed the room. A marathon Poker game in the cellar had been in session the majority of the night. Lauren peered over his hand of cards with a toothy, mischievous grin at Sebastien.

“Surely, if you have enough money to cover your loss,” Sebastien retorted, raising one eyebrow. Lauren rolled his eyes and let a sigh pass from between his teeth.

The large round table they sat at was filled with empty glasses that held red residue, cards, coins and banknotes. Sebastien snuffed out his cigarette in a smoking tray, ending the wafting ballet of red smoke only to replace it with a fresh one. It dangled idly from his lips as he lit it and studied his cards as though they were a complex mathematic equation and one misplaced step would ruin his answer. Another coin fell on top of the pile.

“In.” Grace LeVine’s southern accent echoed. She sat beside Lauren at the table. Sebastien glanced up at the small beauty who wore a look of calm indifference as she rearranged the cards in her hand. Grace’s eyes seemed to hold every star in the sky within them and carried a complexion of the finest bowl of butterscotch money could buy.

Lauren leapt up from sitting on one of his loose suspender straps then rearranged himself back in his chair.

“Nervous, comrade?” Octavio Perez grinned sheepishly as he fingered a banknote in his white hands before letting it fall onto the table. His eyes were sharp as knives and he grinned like a plotting villain.

“He never wins, he’s got nothing to be nervous about,” Octavio’s twin sister, LaStacia passed a wink across the table at Sebastien, who chuckled silently behind his cards.

“Bugger off, the lot of you,” Lauren sighed, relieved at the fact he was incapable of turning red.

“Not our fault you play like a dog,” Lee Green’s deaf-accented voice sounded at Lauren. Lauren twisted his nose a bit and looked at Lee with a grimace.

“You just call me a doll, then?”

“He’s said, ‘dog’, love,” Grace looked at her sweetheart then back to Lee, signing what he said back to him. Lee nodded with a light giggle, “Dog,” Grace made the sign for the word, sliding her fingers together as one does to snap them. Grace had learned Lee’s mode of communication in the same fashion she had learned Spanish. Grace would become fluent by hearing any language only once and she was the only person in the entire coven who could communicate effectively with Lee.

Sebastien glanced over his cards once more before a small hand reached passed him for a waiting glass. Calvin Bell was only a head taller than the table. He carried a round tray in his small arms that he would place empty glasses.  The little boy circled the table with his tray. No one sitting asked him for much of anything and did their best to ignore the fact that a mortal child was acting as their servant.

Calvin passed Grace, who would carefully slip a series of coins from her own pocket into the lad’s as he moved past her. Calvin smiled lightly and eased past Lauren, who merely took his glass back before Calvin could lift it.

“I got it, lad, no worries,” Lauren would often say whenever Calvin attempted his duties. Finally, as the child finished his rounds, Sebastien lifted the tray from his hands. Calvin looked at Sebastien with sapphire eyes that twinkled innocently.

“Have a seat,” he moved an empty chair closer to the table for Calvin, who did so reluctantly. Sebastien placed a hand fondly on the boy’s head.

Everyone sitting at the table was considered an outcast within the coven. Lauren and Grace’s poverty was apparent the moment they arrived. The only possession of value between them was a pocket watch Lauren inherited after the death of his father at the age of six. Having only been in their twenties when they were transformed and used to living in squalor, Maurice had assigned them quarters near the coven house’s cellars.

Calvin sat quietly at the table, watching the card game. The child was the only mortal within the coven’s walls. He was bound to the place after a group of vampires invaded his home and killed his family; he was found hiding from the slaughter in his bedroom closet. He was carted back to the coven and given to Alaric, under the coven’s strict rules that children were never to be killed. The child was made to earn his keep as the coven’s servant boy and would forever remain.

LaStacia and Octavio were often never trusted; their clairvoyance kept others away. They would often take turns mystifying and otherwise, terrifying coven members with their sight, finding members of the coven and telling them information without warning. It was such a random occurrence that members would be fearful of what they could be told; the intense and thorough insight had forced them out of the coven’s acceptance.

Lee was unknown and deaf. His inability to communicate properly was viewed as something distasteful, like an illness that was contagious should one get too close. Maurice shunned him by appointing him as a personal secretary. He was given an office and enough work to seal him away for as long as needed. It was unknown how he arrived or found out about the coven but despite being locked away, nothing about their home was a mystery to him.

Sebastien had been unable to blend into the well-kept coven. He continued to live the life he was accustomed to; alone and private with few friends. He was never fond of a wealthy lifestyle nor could he comprehend the need for extravagance. The coven house was bathed in dazzling colors, rich ornaments and glossy furnishings. Members were proud to match their new home with decadence, refined etiquette and holier than thou behaviors. Sebastien was often revolted whenever he was made to participate.

He took a swallow from his glass and looked over at Lauren.

“I will see your five shillings,” Sebastien threw coins onto the table, “and raise you… ten more.”

Lauren’s eyes widen at the sight of the money on the table. Calvin giggled at the sight of his twisted expression as Grace placed her hand on his elbow.

“Breathe.”

Sebastien eyed his competitor with a smirk and Lauren could only blink. Lauren looked down at his cards, holding an incomplete pair and felt his stomach lurch. He threw his head back against the head of the chair and threw down his cards.

“Bloody hell!”

Octavio finally revealed his hand; an ace, a king, an eight of clubs and four of hearts. His sister looked at him with contempt, having bet their last banknote. She slapped the back of his head as Octavio cradled his face in his hands. Lee looked around and shrugged, his hand was no better, if not worse than Octavio and Lauren’s. He laid the cards out and took his loss.

Grace and Sebastien eyed one another with competitive glares. Grace had made a career playing every game that one could bet on before her life as a vampire and Sebastien tried to think of new ways to outplay and outthink her.

“Ladies, first,” Sebastien graciously motioned towards Grace.

“Yeah, too bad you called me a ragamuffin earlier,” she countered.

“That was before money was on the table.”

Grace looked down at her cards with a somber gaze for what felt like an eternity. Her nimble fingers teased the edge of the cards as she made the few subtle adjustments to their order. Octavio looked over at her, his elbows still resting on the table in defeat and his sister leaning over as she watched Grace’s unraveled expression. Grace leaned forward as she plucked a card from her hand and raised it just before it hit the tabletop.

A royal flush presented itself on the table and Sebastien’s face fell to the floor. Lauren and Lee let out hearty laughter as Grace’s hand swiped the money from the table. She smiled warmly as Sebastien wiped his face free of tension before letting out a hard sigh. Grace put her money in the front pocket of her trousers. “Maybe now we can buy our way out of the cellars?” she looked at Lauren.

“Good luck with that bargain,” Lauren laughed.

The game ended and the friends went their separate ways. Calvin trailed behind Sebastien like a faithful pup as they climbed the stairs from the parlor. They emerged in the main corridor, greeted with a glowing chandelier that bounced light from whatever surface it touched.  Sebastien began down the hall, towards his chambers when Alaric approached him coming from the opposite direction. Calvin was waved along as Alaric stopped short in front of Sebastien.

“I’ve been looking for you all evening.” Alaric placed his arm slightly around Sebastien, turning him in the opposite direction. He spoke in a cagey whisper as he led them down the hall, “Father has an idea that I think we should consider.”

“We?” Sebastien inquired. His suspicions mounted as he recalled the volatile reaction from Maurice months prior, after Sebastien recounted his tale of how he had arrived. He had buried the account in the back of his mind, giving no real thoughts to it as he carried on with his existence. Alaric shushed his friend, telling him to keep his voice low.

“Yes, we,” Alaric affirmed.

They finally stopped and Alaric opened a door and ushered his friend inside. He shut the door behind him and motioned for Sebastien to sit. The room was dim as the two sat across from each other and Sebastien pulled out another cigarette, striking a match.

“Since you’re one of the few survivors who has seen the vampires that have been employed by the Diocese Club, Father wants you to assist with his plans,” Alaric explained.

“What are his plans?” Sebastien’s tone was matter of fact as he eyed his friend intently. Sebastien’s cigarette hissed as he inhaled. Alaric explained that Maurice was drawing plans to capture one of the vampires who had been trained to work for the Diocese Club, saying that Maurice would extract information from the vampire by any means to use against the Diocese. Sebastien closed his eyes and removed the cigarette from between his lips.

“And how does he intend to do this?” the sarcasm in Sebastien’s tone was not missed and Alaric leaned forward.

“That’s where you come in.”

“Excuse me?” Sebastien raised an eyebrow and looked closely at his friend. Contempt grew in his eyes and Sebastien unfolded his legs and leaned forward, “Does it look like I want to be involved with something as insanely dangerous as that? I understand your father’s motives and means to exact revenge but for the love of God! Even with one, two or all of those vampires, we will never have enough information to take down that organization! The attempt at a war is a suicidal plot that I will not be a part of!”

Alaric looked at Sebastien and silently weighed out his friend’s convictions. Alaric continued to stress that the plan would help end the savage attacks on their kind. He continued to say that the plan could assist in finding the other vampires in the hunting group. Yet, the more he talked, the more Sebastien stubbornly shook his head.

“I will not be a part of a campaign that has the strongest potential for our downfall. Tell your father that regardless of any amount of information he extracts, the Diocese Club is too elusive. Hell, where would you even begin to search for one of those vampires?”

Alaric’s face darkened as Sebastien stood from the chair and made his way towards the door.

“We know ourselves well enough to know where to look for them.”

Thank you Angie!

Sunday Spotlight: Wrapped in Red

Wrapped in Red from Sekhmet Press

WrappedInRed13 Authors.

13 Stories.

Unlimited Vampire Nightmares.

Thirteen crimson concoctions sure to tempt your teeth, from the ancient to the modern, from the Carpathian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean to the Wild West, you are sure to find your… type – Wrapped In Red.

***

Click on the cover to be taken to Amazon!

RELEASE: Glimpses of the Undead

Glimpses of the Undead
Julianne Snow

Glimpses_FrontCover

From the mind of Julianne Snow comes an undead collection of stories that feature the gamut of emotions and situations. Presented in flash fiction and short stories, the tales are sure to leave you wanting more and checking over your shoulder.

How would a group of children handle an uprising of the undead? What would you do to save a loved one only to find out that you’re facing a different threat altogether? How would a country react to a timely warning at the end of a war? What happens when a vampiric Romeo hits on an unsuspecting human? In a world where the undead are common place and protected, what happens when speed dating produces a love match?

Featuring:

The Treehouse

Kamikaze

Vanier’s Blueprint: A Zombie Tale

Must Love Zombies

Flash Fiction Duo: Fight and Hunger

EXIT

BITE

FLICKER

HORSE

BELOW

AGONY

BLOAT

ELBOW

Love Bites: A Valentine’s Day Misadventure

An Excerpt from Days with the Undead: Book One

Purchase Links:

Amazon: US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, India

Smashwords

Book Tour: Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9 am – Rhys by Dan O’Brien

Welcome to the second day of the Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9am – Rhys blog tour. It will run until August 9th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

Abraham Rogers has an unusual psychotherapy practice: monsters. This first installment is a session with Rhys, the IT vampire who can’t quite connect with the modern world the way he would like.

A few questions for the author:

When have you been most satisfied in your life?

Right this moment. I have been moving toward writing full-time and consulting for publishing and writing. I married my best friend and I am publishing on a consistent basis. I couldn’t be happier. 

Who is your role model, and why?

From a writing perspective, I really respect Neil Gaiman. He knew what he wanted out of writing and life and pursued it. I think that kind of commitment is important no matter what you want out of life. Go out and get it. 

What things do you not like to do?

I like everything to be planned out and organized, at least a sketch of what is going on. Even if there is a single constant, I am a happy guy. Whenever I attend completely unplanned events, I find that I do not have a good time. As I get older, I find that I like well-defined goals and only certain activities. 

Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

As he took the seat across from the couch, Abe gestured with his hand. There was something to the necessity of pleasantries in his particular profession. 

“How are you doing this morning, Rhys?”

The leaner man seemed not to acknowledge Abe’s presence in the room; instead, he seemed keen on a sliver of light that emerged through the thick drapes behind Rogers’ desk. “Can we do something about that light?”

Abe nodded and attended to the drapery, tugging and moving it until the shaft of luminance was expunged from the room. “Is that better?”

“Quite,” came the terse reply.

With a huff, Abe was seated once more. He crossed one leg over the other and placed a tattered notepad on his knee. “Where would you like to start today?”

“Must you use such a raggedy journal, my good doctor?”

“Abe.”

Rhys waved a dismissive hand, his pale fingers tracing the air irritably. “Of course, we must maintain a conversational tone here.”

“Would you prefer to call me Dr. Rogers?”

Rhys exhaled and adjusted one of his legs underneath his body. “I would prefer to accomplish something during this session, Abe.”

Abe knew that Rhys grew impatient with a surprising quickness, though the vexation passed after a moment if allowed to marinate in the darkness.

“Have you given any further thought to the treatment we discussed?”

If Rhys had wanted to speak about a course of treatment, it was not revealed in the pursing of his pink lips. “I understand your propensity to use the flavor of the day, Abe, but I fear my affliction cannot be overcome with simple exposure.” He paused for effect. “It is that precise contact that causes me harm.”

“Do you feel like you are afflicted, Rhys?”

Rhys took off his sunglasses, revealing equally pale eyes that swam in shadow. “Do I not appear afflicted to you?”

“Who has burdened you with this affliction, Rhys? Who do you hold responsible for this suffering?”

Rhys’ long throat did not pulse, nor did his heart beat faster. One would have to have the appropriate equipment to have elevated blood pressure. 

Vampires lacked the requisite parts.

Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com. He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/.

Bitten (US) 

End of the World Playlist (US)

Cerulean Dreams (US)

The Journey (US)

The Path of the Fallen (US)

The Twins of Devonshire (US)

Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9 am – Rhys (US)

Publish Your Dreams (US)

The End of the World Playlist (UK)

Bitten (UK)

Cerulean Dreams (UK)

The Journey (UK)

The Path of the Fallen (UK)

Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9 am – Rhys (UK)

Publish Your Dreams (UK)

Follow My Blog

Follow Me On Twitter

Like Me On Facebook

All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!

Download Mondays with Mephistopheles for free on Kindle from 8/21 until 8/25!

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Visit http://thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com/ and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

Nine Questions with… Lydia Peever

Today my guest is Lydia Peever, an Ottawa (Canada) native and writer of things dark and horror related. Let’s take a quick moment and delve into who Lydia is…

me-april-tiggy (2)Lydia Peever is a journalist and horror author living in Ottawa. With articles in some newspapers and a few magazines, she is currently working on the sequel to her violent vampire novel, Nightface.

With too many hobbies and diverse interests, you may find her researching genealogy in a dusty library, profiling artists for OttawaHorror.com, or taking photos at a punk show. By day, she haunts trendy cafés, tends poison flowerbeds, and photographs roadkill.

After writing a novel and a dozen short stories as a hobby during college in the mid 90s, She began a professional writing career upon enrolling in college for the second time in 2010. By April 2011, she had sold Nightface and within the next year, sold her first short story. Thicker Than, which appears in the West Pigeon Press anthology, For When the Veil Drops.

After graduating an intense Journalism course, she returned to her Alma Mater as a teaching assistant. When not at her separate full-time job she is a regular contributor to Xalt Magazine. When not writing, she does what she can at Hora Morior Productions – a horror collective based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. From script-writing for the screen and radio, to layout and pre-press she fairly revels in anything with a horror-media edge.

Welcome Lydia, tell us about your writing process?

It evolves. Two years ago, I would have answered that I write mainly in the morning for a few hours, then edit in the evening. At that time, I was in school so that suited my schedule. It was good to have a regular time, place and space for writing even if it was my bedroom. Since then, my schedule has become far more schizophrenic though I do have an office. I can write nearly anytime and anywhere but do tend to continue the trend of editing in the evening. Lately I have been writing after midnight, which I used to do as a teenager and in my early twenties.

Ideas strike anytime. Most of my favorite stories I tend to mull over in my mind for a few weeks or longer. It takes a long time for the characters and paranormal to entwine just so. Then, I tell someone – usually with little warning! Before I know it, the story just spills out and I have to write it. Not that it will get away on me. Luckily, I don’t forget my lines. I just want to get it out while the thread is fresh. My memory is very good when I like an idea I tend to replay it over and over so if I don’t have a chance to write immediately, I don’t stress over it.

That’s a useful skill. There are times that my memory behaves like a sieve and ideas trickle out before I can get them on paper; it’s frustrating but I’ve learned to live with it. Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

Not a genre, per-se, as I am pretty much betrothed to horror. I would certainly like to branch into other media. I have had the opportunity through college to work at CBC Radio in 2011 and help produce a music video recently. I love audiovisual technology and hope to do more of that sort of work. I am slowly working on a screenplay as well. It is non-fiction and maybe not horror but does have horrific elements.

From time to time, people ask if I could write something nice. Perhaps I should try romance, they say. Try some literary erotica maybe. The answer is no. I have a few dark weird tales and a story with a science fiction element but at the end of the day, it all comes out of me as horror. No other genre relates to me, and I can’t produce something I don’t honestly adore. That said, Nightface does have a dark mystery element as well as a warped romantic glow at one point. That happens when you write long-form fiction with substance.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

Starting with the most recent, Goth by Otsuichi is a phenomenal book. The plot is so deceptively simple and the writing style so clear. His words are so comfortable and prose so familiar that I felt I had read him forever after the first chapter. I collect his work now. Kathe Koja gave the same feeling when I first read Kink and Skin. There is something to be said for the simple style and relying on the reader to paint a picture in their mind. Otsuichi does a beautiful job of this.

Faust by Robert Nye was an oddball book I picked up at a used market. Haunting used bookstores is an addiction of mine, and with a satanic looking cover, a title like Faust and the fact that I had never heard of it made it an easy sell. Once I read it, I felt I had found a precious gem. So dark, so terrible and so well written. The main character is so vile, creepy and rude you get shivers just thinking of his horrid stench, greasy flesh and rotting clothing. Ugh! Every page has some point of disgust or profanity that my mind was reeling within a few pages. This is not an easy task for an author, so I fell in love with the book. Also, my cat was named Mephisto, so there’s that.

Later still, on another bookstore jaunt I found Ushers Passing by Robert R. McCammon. Those who have read it may see faint parallel in the Black River House to the House of Usher as imagined by McCammon. This is another author who can create stark characters with simple words. I was entranced by the secret dynasty going on in the house as I was by his style of describing the particularly fantastic with plain language.

On the other hand, my first foray into horror began with Stephen King. Long form dark fiction at its best and I was likely too young to be reading it! My teachers found Pet Semetary on my desk in grade four and that certainly raised a few eyebrows. From it, I learned a lot about dialogue at an early age. King’s The Shining followed in grade five. After re-reading these books later in life and again later still, I see that not a lot was lost on my tiny elementary school brain. Some may think it would warp me, but rest assured I was closely monitored by my parents and grandmother. They were on hand to answer the endless stream of questions raised by those novels and discuss anything particularly terrifying. During this time, I had also asked for a typewriter. So, in that most direct sense, The Shining had a massive influence that spurred me to write in earnest.

Great choices Lydia. If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

Well, I am sure that most authors think of this in the shower every day. Those that say they don’t are likely lying. My main character, Gunnar, is impossible to wrap around a living person. Other people would have to do that for me.  This is something I thought about while editing and it is just impossible for me to assign an existing face to this person I have known so long in my own head. He does look a lot like Dana Ashbrook who could certainly pull it off… he certainly has the right style. For Solomon, his counterpart, I have one clear option. Werner Daehn. Certainly, in the big black book of casting there are loads of actors who have the right look, sound and attitude, but this is who is in my mind. Sinthia is a tough one. She is a little Helena Bonham-Carter and a little Anna Paquin. It is tough to put her in a mold. When I discussed this with an artist friend who created concept art for each main character, I basically left it to him. I had reams of notes and discussion for all the others, but for her I wanted a ridiculously fuckable zombie. She has dark hair and scars all over. That is about all I got for Sinthia. Someday I will stumble across an actress who ‘is’ her but so far none have really fit perfectly.

We all know the best way to get our works produced into the major blockbuster we see playing endlessly in our heads is to get it onto one of those coveted bestsellers lists. So tell us, what is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Get a lawyer who doubles as a bookkeeper since I am thrifty that way. I would also take an immediate break and consult a stylist since skinny jeans and hermit hoodies are really not great eye candy. Then I would change my phone number.

Oh, and celebrate. Certainly.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

Music is not something most would think of as a vice, but that is the constant one. It creates ambiance or enhances moods. It can be a subtle sound in the background or a loud stark wall to throw words at. Writing keeps me from my vices! I enjoy beer and gin, as well as cigarettes, coffee and chocolate like anyone. Though, I tend to slip into a near coma and not snack, drink, smoke or talk while I am in the process of writing. If sex is a vice, then writing keeps me from that too. All of these I treat as just average things humans enjoy since I don’t have an addictive personality. I can go without, and survive. Imagination is the only vice that I turn to when writing. I am a daydreamer and a storyteller. I think and I talk and I write. Imagination is one thing I can’t go without. I would rather be sitting quietly and lost in that place I go with stories than be doing any of the unhealthy or fattening things listed above.

Well said Lydia, well said! What do you do when you’re not writing?

Typical things. Often I complain that I don’t have time to read or watch horror movies; both things I love to do. Working a nearly full-time job and acting as teaching assistant takes up a lot of my time. Blogging falls by the wayside when I am writing fiction as I write for Ottawa Horror and my own blogs as well. Journalism is another passion, so the world technically stops when I am on assignment. On top of all that, I am a bit of a neat-freak so cleaning fills up the rest of my time. Nothing clears the mind or helps a mangled passage like washing dishes or mopping hardwood!

Oddly, I just realized that most of the things I do when not writing are actually writing. So, I guess I could add that I rented a cello once for a month. Does that count?

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

It is a toss-up here as I have three works on the go. Nightface II, an untitled short about hair that is in first draft, and a half-written short about the zombie apocalypse are all on the slab. As these opening lines may change, here are the first nine lines of the upcoming novel.

Car headlights flicked across the end of the turnaround, splashing light across the massive house. The abandoned mansion looked even bigger in the dark.

Finch had driven up here with her before, but that time she had her period. It was a lot easier for him to keep his hands on his side of the gearshift that day. He was into Liz, for sure, but not into getting blood all over.

They had talked about her ex that time. Well, she had talked non-stop while he listened and feigned concern. It had been daylight that time too, before meeting with friends to swim nearby where the river swelled and the current relaxed.

This time, it was getting dark.

Awesome Lydia – thanks for sharing! If you would like to connect with Lydia, you can find her on Twitter, her website, or her blog. Now it’s time to take a quick peek into Lydia’s novel Nightface...

NIGHTFACE - Cover May 2012Vicious, gory, and not a love story. Nightface is vampire evolution. 

Gunnar could not remember a thing. Who he was or where he came from. Flashes come, like distant lightening. A song, an abandoned house of isolated opulence, visions of the undead… 

Then he meets Sinthia – the only person who recognizes him – her body marked with hundreds of scars.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Don’t forget that clicking on the title will take you straight to Amazon!

Don’t forget to join me next week for another exciting interview!