Once again it seems I have gotten ahead of myself and had a lightning-fire set of releases come back to back. Credit given to the team at XoXo Publishing™ - their Art Director, Kayden McLeod is nothing short of genius in her ability to take a vague idea and make it come to life within hours of acceptance from the editorial director at the publishing house. I’ve had books come out quickly before, but this was a record, even for me – within a day of submitting, the book was accepted, contracted, and put through the process… it’s been sent for upload and will be available in a day or so… yes, it’s a short book, but even at that… wow!
So, what happens when a book goes through this quickly? Especially on the heels of a novel that is my first in over a year? Well, once the shell-shocked confusion wears off, the work begins. This publishing house stands apart in one sense because they have such a wonderful family feel in many ways, they have a full-time promotions wizard who works wonders when new titles come out. I’m used to doing this solo, the fact that there’s someone willing to help with posts and spreading the word about new books is a rare joy!
Last week, OUT OF THE PAST came out, and as I said, this is my first novel in a very long time. I’ve got jitters about it. It’s a layered book, three interwoven stories that come together in unexpected ways. The hero is a vampire trying to escape his past, but it’s always with him in spite of his efforts. There is a werewolf on the hunt, and a psychic who’s falling in love with him. There is murder aplenty, and romance to keep it moving. If you’re looking for a good, settle in for the night kind of book, I hope you’ll consider this new one!
The very day Out Of The Past went live for readers, I submitted a story I’d written awhile back – something that is a bit risqué, but not in a sexual way. The PRELUDE TO ETERNITY goes into the murky possibilities of how Christianity cursed the vampire. I know there will be people who are not remotely accepting of this short, historical story. Others will look at it for the creative speculation it’s meant to be.
All in all, a busy week that exploded into a flurry of promotional activity over the weekend. Now, I have a deadline looming on a vampire ménage piece, so watch for that coming at the end of the month, too! Just in time for All Hallow’s…
This book was released a few days ago, and it's my first full-length novel in some time. A paranormal thriller that is part historical and part modern day. The first reviewer stated: "Out of the Past is a crime-mystery, a thriller, a romance—intensely sensual, interweaving 1880's
I hope you'll have a look, and enjoy it if you decide it's to your reading taste!
OUT OF THE PAST
A new paranormal romance/mystery novel
Publisher: XOXO Publishing
Cover by: Kayden McLeod
BUY IT HERE:
eBook Page count: 260 - Price: $5.95
A series of killings has the Toronto Police Department in turmoil. The press has labelled the killer a “werewolf” and hysteria is on the rise in the heat of the summer… Detective Damien Knightley is the lead investigator, but he’s got secrets of his own that need guarding in this very public investigation. Knightley is a vampire, and as the case gets more complex, what he discovers has him both baffled and worried.
In the Northern Ontario town of
As Damien recalls a love from a century ago, the threads of time are being pulled together, joining the past and the present. The beautiful woman he is falling in love with is bringing back memories he’d rather forget, and when the killer is finally revealed, there are more questions than answers in the identity…
The flames rose, blindingly intense, searing away the last vestiges of reality. Somewhere inside her, Shanna Blackthorne felt a scream of terror begin. Her hands moved, sluggishly, as though through mud, until they reached her face. She wanted to obliterate the inferno that raged before her, but it refused to be extinguished so easily. She gulped air into desperate, struggling lungs, but only the hot, dry fire poured into her body.
The scream escaped.
There was no one to hear it.
Pain exploded within her, but in its wake was clarity. She writhed, whimpered weakly, and shook her head in denial of what unfolded before objecting eyes...
Fog shrouded the night, curling, mist-like tentacles that floated above the street in search of human warmth. Despite the relative earliness of the hour, the normally busy roads were eerily quiet. Only the occasional burst of noise from an opening door gave evidence to the teeming life of the vast city. Outside the noisy pubs, a lone figure prowled the streets.
He watched, and waited. Patience was a familiar imposition, but it ended well, usually.
Tonight would be no different.
He picked one of the oldest dives in the vicinity, a place he knew well. He also knew most of the women who frequented the establishment. He had long ago decided he preferred the sweetness of feminine flesh to males. There was one lady in particular that he had wanted to get close to, but she had always eluded him. It was the eve of a new year tonight, and he decided it would begin with her company.
He didn't have to wait long, but she emerged from the tavern with another man in tow. Furious, he followed.
He hesitated as he watched the couple from the mouth of a darkened alley. They were less than a block from the Britannia, a public house located at the North corner of
The scents of sex and sweat teased his senses and he felt another, stronger pang of hunger deep within him.
He stepped into the alley and approached the couple in complete silence. She knew he was there, he realized a moment later when her liquor-brightened eyes pierced the shadows and found him in the darkness. His heartbeat quickened, he heard his own sharp intake of breath, felt the rapid pulse he'd learned to associate with fear and excitement. Her customer quickly pulled himself together and stumbled off without a backward glance. The passage of time held hunter and prey motionless, clear blue eyes locked with glassy hazel. When she held out her hand to him, he stepped toward her.
"You're not like the others, are you?" she questioned in a slurred voice.
There was still enough awareness to make him pause. He took her chin in his hand and tilted her head so he could look more closely at her. She was very young, especially for life in Whitechapel. She was not overly pretty. Before long she would be like so many of the women who populated this area, aged by the harshness of a life that meant little to any of them.
"What's your name?" He pretended not to know as he kept his tone a gentle, compassionate whisper.
"They call me Emma, my lord," she grinned, the expression exposed rotting teeth and foul breath. He might have been wrong about her age, he realized distantly. She straightened her clothes and inched closer to him. Here was a handsome young lord, and if she played this right, she might be rewarded richly for her trouble.
"Do they?" He smiled, imagined he could hear the shift of her thoughts as she contemplated her chances of successfully robbing him. Still smiling, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold coin. Her eyes fastened on the proffered money, greed easily read past the haze of alcohol. When she snatched the coin from his hand, he pressed her back against the cold brick of the building.
Emma's spurt of laughter was abruptly silenced when her head was yanked to one side. The snap of bones was audible, followed by a groan of pain. Then the only murmur that could be heard in the blackness was the soft maddened laughter of pleasure as his teeth tore her flesh from her bones...
"No... Dear God! Enough... please?"
Shanna wept bitterly, disoriented and horrified by the latest dream/vision. The savage inner conflagration had receded, replaced by the reality of the tiny blaze in the ancient stone fireplace that dominated her small living room. There was little comfort in the awareness that what she had seen was very old. The agony of the killer still twisted around her heart, chilled her despite the heat that emanated from the hearth. This was simply the latest in a long line of dreams that had brought unbearable terror into her life. She'd heard about the others, those that were not ancient deaths, but happening now, and with each murder came the fear that she might have stopped it. The reasonable part of her mind knew better, of course, she never saw a death before it occurred, but that did not make it easier to witness people being destroyed. She cringed, tried to escape the rest of the thought, failed. She could still feel the flesh being torn from fragile bones, muscle and sinew shredding like paper in the hands of a killer that was more monster than man.
She forced herself to her feet, and walked into the lovely, old-fashioned kitchen. As she went through the ritual of making tea, she made herself recall every detail of the murder she had been forced to witness and feel. Within the heart of the killer was a conflict as old as the latest vision itself.
Pain, coupled with deeply repressed fears. The mind of this killer was not mayhem and madness, despite the obvious appearances. She sensed agony, and loneliness, and confusion. Like an empath, she absorbed the emotions, made them part of herself, and cried softly without truly being conscious she did so. Shanna had known isolation and ridicule in her own life, knew what the scorn and contempt of others could drive someone to, if they didn't learn to draw on inner strengths.
She pulled her lacy shawl closer to her, huddled against its illusory warmth. Long waves of auburn hair fell to her waist, and she swept the heavy fall back in a gesture as natural as breathing. The whistle of the kettle drew her wandering attention back to mundane tasks, and she finished her chore automatically.
A short while later, curled before the fire once again, Shanna shivered. Her gaze flew to the door of her cottage- style home, and the sound of a low, anguished howl wrenched at her soul. Pure, raw agony flooded her body, and with it came a terror stronger than anything she had ever before known.
PRELUDE TO ETERNITY
Publisher: XOXO Publishing
Genre: Historical paranormal
Ever wonder why a vampire cannot walk in the light of the sun... why he was cursed to nocturnal existence.... reviled by all... a symbol of evil? I have a theory... the Prelude to Eternity....
The man was dying. Alexander had a keen sense of encroaching death. He was often the cause of it. Angelo della morte – Angel of Death.
He wasn’t sure if the words inside his head were his own, or a whisper from the man who was near death before him. It was an appropriate name to give him, the most honest of the many he’d taken over the past several centuries.
A chill touched his spine.
The shadows were growing longer, yet the sun blazed infinitely brighter behind the
figure who commanded the former priest’s enraptured attention.
‘You have damned your kind to a darkness greater than any you have known before.’
Again the words whispered softly, sadly, into his barren consciousness.
As Alexander watched, the sun passed behind the prisoner. He stood, immobile, and felt the shadow of the cross settle over him. Pain, a searing, fiery force that drove him to his knees burned into his dead flesh. He was being torn apart from within, and was helpless to move. Ice flooded through him in the fire’s wake. Again, he was paralyzed by the onslaught of terror and anguish.
For endless, eternal minutes, Alexander writhed before the cross. His mind screamed in a steady litany of agonized horror and emerging understanding. The darkness grew absolute around him and his pain eclipsed all other awarenesses…