The Blood and the Cauldron – Part 1

Karen Soutar, is an awesome writer. Her vampires are smexy to the extreme. This installment is tame, but just keep coming back. Tomorrow’s installment is as hot as an Arizona summer.

The Blood and the Cauldron – Part 1

The heavy door swung inwards without a sound. That was good; he had half-expected it to creak. He stepped inside, hugging the wall and scanning the hallway for any movement. There was none. He left the door open, hoping that a little light would follow him. It was risky being here this late. The sun was almost down. Then they would rise, and he had no way of knowing how many there were. He had only ever seen the two, but he couldn’t save Cara if there were many more. He would be too outnumbered.

He had asked Mark to go with him, but his friend had refused.
‘It’s a trap,’ Mark had stated, ‘And we’re not going. They’ve been after you since they got your sister. Now you’ve given them bait.’
‘I can’t just leave Cara!’ Ewan had protested.
‘You know why we don’t get involved in relationships. Innocent people get hurt.’ At the expression on his friend’s face, Mark softened a little. ‘Look…why don’t you ask the Witch to help you?’
‘And be beholden to her? No thanks.’

So he found himself alone, back at the house where Cara had been dragged away. The memory of her cries made him shiver. She had wanted him to explore with her, saying it would be an adventure. In vain he had tried to tell her what lived there. She hadn’t believed him. Not being brought up in the town, she scoffed at the idea that there were any such things as – vampires.
There was an ornate staircase at the far end of the wide hallway, rising to the upper floor. The doors on either side opened onto reception rooms, except for one which led to the basement stairway. This much he knew from the plans. Would they be in the basement? Heavy drapes covered all the windows, so not necessarily. The undead would be safe from the light in any part of the house, except where he now stood in the fading dusk.
He had to start somewhere. He edged towards the basement door, leaving his refuge of light. He tested the doorknob. It wouldn’t budge. Crouching, he peered at the slim gap between the door and the frame. Locked! He could see right through the keyhole. He straightened, groping in his pocket for his lock pick.
A crawling sensation down his spine made him turn, and his worse imaginings were confirmed. Two vampires, the females who had dragged Cara off. They descended the stairs, arms outstretched to clasp him in a deathly embrace. He backed away, reaching inside his jacket for the holy water. If he distracted them with that, he might be able to stake both before they knew what was happening. No, wait – they would know where Cara was. If he killed one and captured the other… They were closer now, gliding down the last few steps. Their movements were noiseless, which was unsettling. God, but they were beautiful. He tried to watch them without meeting their eyes. He removed the stopper from the bottle with trembling hands.
‘Ewan,’ they whispered, reaching out to him with slender white arms. ‘Eeewannn…’ Distracted, he met the gaze of the nearest – and was hit with a wave of desire so strong he cried out. A rush of heat throbbed in his groin. He ached to step into that welcoming embrace. He slammed his hand against the wall, scraping his palm down the peeling paintwork. The pain broke the spell. He scrambled back towards the main door, realising too late that the sun had sunk below the horizon. There was no refuge that way.
‘Where’s Cara?’ He kept his voice steady. If he found her, there would be two of them against the vampires. Cara was feisty; she would fight alongside him. He refused to consider that she might already be dead, or so drained that she would be too weak to move.
Sibilant laughter was his answer.
They had come from the upper floor. He let his body sag as if in defeat, then, when they were mere inches away, he threw the holy water. He darted past the writhing, screaming vampires and mounted the stairs two at a time. Damn, which room to try first? Then he spotted the door ajar at the end of the landing. He raced towards it, knowing the two downstairs wouldn’t be distracted for long.
He took in his surroundings: a faded but ornate bedroom, with a canopied bed against the right hand wall. The drapes at the window would once have been the colour of fine wine, but were now like watery blood. They still blocked out the light; a single candle burning on the dresser threw a faint, eerie glow across the room.
There was a figure in the bed, covered by a gossamer sheet that accentuated womanly curves. He rushed over and threw the cover back – to reveal Cara, deathly white and asleep – or unconscious.
She wore a gown of some floaty fabric, not the jeans and shirt she had on earlier. He feared that they had fed on her – she was so pale – but there were no marks on her neck, or anywhere else, as far as he could see. He shook her shoulder, trying to be gentle so that if she were injured, he wouldn’t make things worse. No response. He knew she wasn’t dead, as her chest rose and fell. Maybe she was so drained, she wouldn’t wake? Could he carry her out of there – and deal with the vamps? A hiss from the doorway told him he was about to find out. Glancing from under his lashes so as not to meet their eyes, he saw the two females in the doorway.
They weren’t looking at him, but past him.
There was a gossamer movement of air behind him. Icy fingers brushed his neck, and he jumped from the bed. Cara sat up; baring her teeth in what was once a beautiful smile – except now her elongated canines were clearly visible. Ewan choked back a sob.
He didn’t care that the other two had moved to stand beside him – until they curtsied low to the figure on the bed.
‘Mistress.’ They spoke in unison.
Cara inclined her head, as though granting a boon.
All the air left Ewan’s body, as though he’d been punched in the stomach. The acolytes acknowledging Cara that way – that could only mean – how – how?
She was vampire. Not turned by them – she was their creator. She had been vampire all along. How had she fooled him?
‘Ewan.’
Her voice was honey. How could she sound so sweet when she was a monster? Revulsion warred with desire in his gut. He had been deceived – lured here – trapped.
‘Ewan, look at me.’
He was lost, anyway. Three of them, against him.
He gritted his teeth, and raised his head to meet her gaze.

To be continued…

Embrace the Passion

Today I’d like to introduce you all to an amazing vampire author. Caris lives in Arizona, she knows a thing or two about heat. Her stories can prove it. She’s here to talk about “Embrace the Passion”. I could go on and on but my goblet has run dry, I’ll go get a refill while Caris takes over.
*Turning to Caris* Thank you so much for coming over tonight.

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Hi, Everyone! I’m so happy to be here today sharing with you about my beloved vampires. In the Blood Rose Series, I pose the question: what if only one woman could meet the blood-needs of a mastyr vampire? What would that look like and would the woman even want the job?!?

In EMBRACE THE PASSION, the fourth book in the Blood Rose Series, our beleaguered and very isolated mastyr vampire, Seth, meets his match in the form of a beautiful bodyguard assigned to him against his will. He doesn’t want a distraction in his life, especially not one as beautiful and as wild as the shifter, Lorelei….

Seth has lived a solitary life and needs no one…

Mastyr Vampire Seth craves Lorelei, his new bodyguard, but he has a hands-off policy with those under his command. However, the sexy glint in her eye, as well as her wolf-shifter ways, keeps him in a fevered state. He’s lived a life of enforced solitude as Mastyr of Walvashorr Realm, but when the enemy arrives, ready to invade his land, he must rely on his bodyguard more than he ever dreamed possible. So much proximity breaks through his resistance and he takes the woman, marking her in a shocking shifter way that overturns his careful, analytical world. But when her connection to the enemy puts his realm in danger, how can he embrace a serious relationship with her?

She’s loved him from the first moment she saw him…

Lorelei guards Seth night after night, her heart on fire. She’s loved him from the time she snuck into his workout room and watched him go through his rigid exercise routine. Now serving as his bodyguard, she wants to take her relationship with the Mastyr of Walvashorr to the next level, but Seth holds back. That he desires her comes through in his wicked mossy scent, which in turn ignites her inner wolf. When he finally gives in to his own cravings and makes his move, she shows him how hot shifter-love can be. But will she ever be more than just his bodyguard?
Blood Rose - Deepest Needs 1

Excerpt from Chapter One:

Chapter One

As the snowy December evening gave way to full-dark, Lorelei took up her bodyguard position outside Mastyr Seth’s backdoor. She was about as qualified to guard the mastyr of Walvashorr Realm as a rabbit taking on a hawk, but she was here by Queen Rosamunde’s orders, so here she’d stay.
Her real problem, however, went way beyond her lack of any real battle skills, since she’d done the unthinkable and actually fallen in love with the man. Seth had a long history of keeping his distance from anything that smacked of a relationship and he had absolutely no reason to be interested in a realm-person of questionable parentage.
Lorelei’s mother was the present scourge of the Nine Realms and the power behind the recent, deadly Invictus insurgence. No self-respecting mastyr could ever involve himself with the daughter of the ancient fae, Margetta, the one responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of realm-folk.
Yet hope, as always, refused to die.
She trembled now as she waited for him, standing in the snow, her heart thumping heavily in her chest. She savored this first moment of the night, anticipating the long hours ahead in Seth’s company, traversing the realm beside him, hunting the enemy of the Nine Realms, the dreaded Invictus wraith-pairs.
She heard him moving through the house, heading in her direction. He knew by now to expect her the moment the sun set fully in the west.
His wonderful mossy scent reached her first, an erotic musk that rippled along the air and teased her shifter vibration first, then her overworked fae mating vibration. From the first time she’d seen him at the queen’s castle two months ago, she’d had the worst crush on the vampire.
A moment later, he came into view through the glass door.
He arrived at the kitchen threshold and paused to buckle the belt that angled across his long leather Guardsman coat. Meeting her gaze though the glass door, he frowned, his expression, as usual, disapproving.
He lifted his chin. “You might as well come in. I have a call to make and you’re shivering.”
She couldn’t tell him the truth, that she wasn’t cold at all, that she shook because of him and not because of the below freezing mountain temps.

0 ETP - Embrace the Passion

EMBRACE THE PASSION BUY LINKS:
AMZ: http://amzn.to/1oIw5az

B&N: http://bit.ly/1jyhuyu

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1nzUxgU

Kobo: http://bit.ly/STmSm1

Info: http://bit.ly/1jSnlhv

You can find
​ Caris Roane​ at:
Website: http://www.carisroane.com/
Blog: http://www.carisroane.com/journal/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caris-Roane/150858114985050
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carisroane
Newsletter: http://www.carisroane.com/contact-2/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/carisroane/

Author of:
Guardians of Ascension Series – Warriors of the Blood crave the breh-hedden
Dawn of Ascension Series – Militia Warriors battle to save Second Earth
Blood Rose Series – Only a ​B​lood ​R​ose can fulfill a ​M​astyr ​V​ampire’s deepest needs
Blood Rose Tales – Mastyr V​ampires who hunger to be satisfied
Men in Chains Series – Vampires struggling to get free of their chains and save the world

About the Author
Caris Roane is the New York Times Bestselling author of over 70 books. Currently she writes paranormal romance, both as a self-published author and for St. Martin’s Press. She began her career writing Regency romance for Kensington publishing and was awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in Regency Romance in 2005. Caris currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her two cats, Sebastien and Gizzy and she really doesn’t like
​​scorpions ​! ​​! For more information, visit Caris at http://www.carisroane.com
000 Caris Roane - Author Photo 2

Caris Roane
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Available Now…
EMBRACE THE PASSION, Blood Rose Series #4
DARK AND DEADLY: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romances: Boxed Set $.99
And Available for Pre-Order…
SAVAGE CHAINS, Men in Chains Serial in Three Parts – May 27th!

GIVEAWAY
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Bhuta

The “bad natured spirit” from India is called a Bhuta. It’s a vampire spirit that looks like a flickering light or a shadow, but it can possess a corpse.

Bhutas are created when a person with a physical deformity dies or when someone dies before they should murder, suicide or accident.
Once it has a body, it spreads disease and it now is able to shape-shift into an owl or bat.

scary-bat

The Bhuta is one of the vampires that don’t drink blood. It feeds on corpses sometimes it desires milk. In this case, it will attack a baby that’s recently fed.
Since it mostly feeds from corpses it’s usually habitat is cemeteries, but because it possess the dead, it can be pulled to the corpse’s favorite places while alive. Like alcoholics at bars, book-philes at libraries, etc.

If you start to feel very uncomfortable, and animals start leaving the area, it means a Bhuta is nearby.
To keep it from attacking Mecaru Ceremonies are preformed every 15 days to honor and show respect to the Bhuta. Only then, will the Bhuta search for ways to stay at peace with the community.
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It’s believed the Bhuta is a companion of Shiva (the Hindu Great God) it can’t stand on the ground and doesn’t cast a shadow. It hates the smell of burning Turmeric, if it smells it for too long it will disappear.

masks on a shrine

masks on a shrine

Small shrines –for worship, sacrifices and to keep them pleased, are called Bhandara they are found throughout India, but especially where Bhuta are revered. Cradles the only requirement for these shires. Bhuta rests in them, because the Earth is considered sacred and the Bhuta can’t touch it.

My Writing Process Blog Tour

mari wells:

I’ve been nominated for My writing process blog tour. Head over and read Nina’s post first, she’s an amazing woman, and role model.

Originally posted on The Road to Nowhere...:

My Writing Process

JosephAPinto_HeadShot_LargeI was nominated for the ‘My Writing Process Blog Tour’ by Joseph Pinto. First, thank you Joe for nominating me and offering the world a peek into the damaged organ I call a brain. Joe is a wonderful writer that is a partner in the writing group I belong to, Pen of the Damned, as well as an extremely talented and sundried writer in his own right. I’ve been working with Joe for the better part of two years now, and I’ve yet to see him try to tackle a voice or topic that he couldn’t adapt to and crush! His primary writing passion is horror, and he cranks out some wickedly awesome pieces that I have to say make me grin from ear to ear with joy! I love great horror, and even more so, I love great horror that is off…

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Dead of Winter

I recently met Brian Moreland on Twitter (Twitter tag at the bottom of post). I’ve started reading his books and I have to say wow! Thank you Mr. Moreland for being a part of Vampire month. We have a giveaway at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, DEAD OF WINTER.

Dead of Winter

DeadofWinter150 for FB page

Brian Moreland

My novel, DEAD OF WINTER, is a historical horror thriller set in Canada during the blizzard season of 1870. The story is based partly on true events and an old Algonquin Indian legend that still haunts the Great Lakes tribes to this day. It’s also a detective mystery that takes place near the end of the 19th Century at an isolated fur-trading fort deep in the Ontario wilderness. Inspector Tom Hatcher, a troubled detective from Montreal, recently captured a deranged serial killer known as the Cannery Cannibal. Gustav Meraux is Jack-the-the-Ripper meets Hannibal Lecter. Even though the cannibal has been locked away in an asylum, the case still haunts Tom, so he has moved out to the wilderness, bringing his rebellious teenage son with him. At the beginning of the story, Tom has taken a job at Fort Pendleton to solve a case of strange murders by a cannibal more savage than Gustav Meraux. Some predator in the woods surrounding the fort is attacking colonists and spreading a gruesome plague—the victims turn into ravenous cannibals with an unending hunger for human flesh. In Tom’s search for answers, he discovers that the Jesuits know something about this plague. My second main character is Father Xavier, an exorcist from Montreal. The Vatican sends the priest to Ontario to help Tom battle the Devil’s Plague. Below is an excerpt of the first chapter.

“Dead of Winter by Brian Moreland is an exceptionally well crafted horror novel that tells a gripping story of dark religious doings, a horrific serial killer, and a sympathetic Inspector, in a dark and fascinating historical setting of 19th century Canada. The atmospherics are outstanding and the story offers plenty of surprises right up to its shocking and violent conclusion. Highly recommended.”
– Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence and Cold Vengeance.
“Dead of Winter is a thrilling, wholly-engrossing read that masterfully crosses multiple genres and leaves the reader breathless. Moreland weaves one hell of a history lesson, rich with brilliant characters and incredible plot twists. Highly recommended!”

– Brian Keene, best-selling author of The Last Zombie and Ghoul
________________________________________

Part One
Predators and Prey

1

December 15, 1870
Manitou Outpost
Ontario, Canada
It was the endless snowstorms that ushered in their doom. Each day and night the white tempests whirled around the fort, harrowing the log houses with winter lashings. At the center of the compound, the three-story lodge house creaked and moaned. Father Jacques Baptiste chanted in Latin and threw holy water on the barricaded front door. Above the threshold, a crucifix hung upside down. No matter how much the Jesuit priest prayed, the Devil would not release its grip on this godforsaken fort.
Something scraped against the wood outside. Father Jacques peered through the slats of a boarded window. Tree branches clawed violently at the stockade walls. The front gate stood open, exposing them to the savage wilderness. It also provided the only path of escape. If by chance they made it out the gate, which way would they go?
The priest considered their options. Beyond the fort’s perimeter, the dark waters of Makade Lake knocked plates of ice against the shore. Crossing the frozen lake would be a dead man’s walk. Last week, two of the trappers fell through the ice. The only way out was through the woods.
Father Jacques shuddered at the thought of leaving the fort. The trappers had fortified the outpost to keep the evil out. They hadn’t counted on the savagery attacking them from within. He prayed for the souls of the men, women, and children lost in the past few weeks. Last autumn, the French-speaking colony had been twenty strong. Now, in midwinter, they were down to four survivors and not a crumb of food to split among them. How much longer before the beasts within completely took them over?
“Forgive us, oh Lord, for our fall from grace.” Father Jacques sipped the holy water. It burned his throat and stomach like whiskey. “Cast out these evils that prey upon us.”
Behind him, the sound of boots approached from the darkness. The priest spun with his lantern, lighting up the gaunt face of a bearded man. Master Pierre Lamothe, the fort’s chief factor, wore a deerskin parka with a bushy fur hood. His eyes were bloodshot. He wheezed.
The priest took a step back. “Are you still with us, Pierre?”
The sick man nodded. “Just dizzy, Father. I’m so damned hungry.”
Father Jacques knew the pains of hunger. Each passing day it pulled his flesh tighter against his ribcage. “We’ll find something to eat soon, I promise. Here, take another sip.” He offered the bottle of holy water.
Pierre took a swig and winced. Seconds later he stumbled back, rubbing his eyes.
“The burning will pass.” Father Jacques grabbed his wrist. “Remember our plan?”
“Yes… check on the horses.”
“We must hurry. Now may be our only chance.” They removed the barricade from the door. A long staircase led down from the second floor to the snow-covered ground. “Bless me, Father.” Pierre raised his shotgun and stepped out into the blizzard. He all but disappeared in the white squall. The only parts visible were his hood and the outline of his shoulders. Father Jacques nervously watched the fort grounds. At the surrounding cabins, wind howled through shattered windows and broken doors. When Pierre reappeared at the stables, the priest released his breath.
Please let the horses still be alive.
The chief factor pulled a horse out. The poor animal was so thin its hide sunk into its ribs. As Pierre threw a saddle on its back, he raised two fingers, signaling that a second horse was still inside the stable.
Father Jacques closed the door and clasped his hands. “Thank you, oh Lord.”
Someone tugged at his cassock. He looked down to see a small, French-Indian girl. Pierre’s daughter Zoé had tousled black hair and large brown eyes that had kept their innocence despite the horrors they’d witnessed these past few weeks. The girl held a tattered Indian doll to her chest. “I’m afraid, Père.”
Father Jacques touched her head and gave the most comforting smile he could conjure. “Don’t worry, Zoé, the angels will protect us. Here, you need to bundle up.” He fastened her fur parka, pulled the hood over her head.
“I want Mama to go with us.”
“I’m sorry, Zoé, but she’s too sick. She would die out there. You, your papa, and I are going to ride out to the nearest fort. Then we’ll send help back for your mother.”
The girl frowned. “Noël says you’re lying!”
Father Jacques glanced down at the Indian doll. One green eye stared back. The other eye was a ragged hole. Since Zoé had stopped eating two weeks ago, she suffered from dementia. She spent most of her days whispering to her doll. Father Jacques wanted to rip its head off. He squeezed his fist. “Noël is just afraid like the rest of us. Now, pray for forgiveness for speaking to me in that manner.”
“Sorry, Père.” Zoé crossed herself and bowed.
“Now, drink.” He gave the girl the last of the holy water. She drank it and winced as if it were castor oil.
Outside, the horses whinnied. A shotgun fired.
Father Jacques dashed to the window. He searched the fort grounds. A saddled horse ran in circles. Where was Pierre?
Behind the wall of whirling snow, more shots were fired. Then came a scream. Pierre stumbled out of the mist. Blood spouted from the stump of his shoulder. He was missing an arm.
Peering out the boarded window, Father Jacques screamed at the sight of blood gushing from Pierre’s shoulder. As the wounded man stumbled up the front steps to the lodge house, the white mist rolled in from behind and swallowed Pierre. His scream was cut short.
“Papa!” Zoé ran toward the barricaded door. “Let Papa in!”
“No, move away from the door.” Father Jacques grabbed her hand and backed away.
Outside, the storm wailed. Snow blew in through the cracks of the boarded windows. Footfalls charged up the staircase like thundering hooves. Something rammed against the front door. The hinges buckled.
Zoé shrieked.
“Back to the cellar!” The priest pulled the girl through the dark corridors of the lodge house. Behind them, the front door crashed open. Terror stabbed Father Jacques’ chest with icy pinpricks at the shattering of windows and splintering of wood. Growls echoed throughout the lodge.
They’re inside!
Zoé released a high-pitched shriek.
“Stay quiet, girl.” The priest led her down the cellar stairs. The swinging lantern slashed the darkness with a pendulum blade of light. Scratches and streaks of crystallized blood glistened on the steps and walls like a gallery of agonies marking the descent to hell.
They ran into the dark cellar. Father Jacques brought down an iron bar across the door and shoved crates against it. He took the child’s face in his hands. “Hide, quick.”
The girl crawled inside a nook stuffed with fur pelts. She hugged her doll to her chest. Father Jacques pulled a deerskin blanket down over the nook so Zoé was fully hidden. “Don’t come out no matter what you hear.”
A raspy voice whispered, “Father…”
The priest aimed his lantern at a row of beds. The storage cellar had been converted into a makeshift hospital. In three beds lay twisted corpses. In the closest bed, an Ojibwa woman was lying beneath the quilts. Wenonah Lamothe, Pierre’s native wife. She was too delirious to know that her husband was dead. Her skeletal head rolled back and forth on the pillow. Teeth chattering, she coughed clouds of frosty air. Her long, black hair now had streaks of white. Her skin, normally reddish brown, had turned fish-belly pale, with white scabs and ghastly blue veins. She looked to the priest, her bloodshot eyes pleading him. “Help me, Father.”
“I’m sorry, Wenonah.” God had failed her. Failed them all.
The Jesuit picked up a silver cross with a daggered tip. “I cast out all spirits of Satan.”
The woman tied to the bedposts growled like a wolfhound.
Father Jacques stood at the foot of Wenonah’s bed. Her thrashing body smacked the headboard against the wall. She laughed and moaned, blue tongue licking her lips. She kicked off her quilts, thrusting her hips upward, spreading her bony legs for him. Remaining steadfast in his prayers, the priest raised the holy dagger over the Ojibwa woman’s chest.
Wenonah glared with fiery eyes.
Zoé yelled, “Mama!”
“Stay hidden, child.” Father Jacques stumbled back as a wave of emotions coursed through him. Anger. Fury. Rage.
Hunger.
His stomach ached for something meaty. Raw and bloody. He sniffed the air, his keen sense homing in on the nook where the girl was hidden. Beyond the scent of animal furs, Father Jacques inhaled the salty aroma of blood pumping through a heart.
Eat the girl! growled a voice inside the Jesuit’s head. Eat the lamb’s sweet meat.
“No. No. No.” He slammed the cross-dagger into a post. “I am a disciple of God. He gives me strength! Lead me not into temptation, oh Lord.” The wave of hunger passed. He chanted faster.
Shrieks echoed from beyond the cellar door. Feet stomped down the stairs. The doorknob rattled. Nails scraped the door, clawing to get in.
Father Jacques backed away, praying the barricade would hold. Even if it did, without food and water they couldn’t last another day in the cellar. We have to escape.
He went to the back wall, climbed up a stack of crates. With a crowbar, he tore planks off a tiny window. Snow blew inward, stinging his face. The mist had cleared. He could see the stables and the open front gate. The square portal was too small for Father Jacques, but not the girl. Tears welled in the priest’s eyes as he realized his last hope had come down to the fate of a nine-year-old girl. “Come, child, now!”
She climbed out from her hiding place, hugging the doll to her chest.
The priest kneeled, taking Zoé’s hands. “There’s still a horse in the stables. I need you to ride out to Fort Pendleton.” He pulled a small diary from his coat pocket. “Give this to Brother Andre.” He stuffed the journal into a trapper’s fur-skinned pack along with her doll.
“No, I’m not leaving…” She started to cry.
“You must, Zoé! We won’t survive down here another day.” He pulled the pack onto her back, fastening the straps around her waist.
“But what about you, Père?”
“You’ll have to go on your own.”
From the bed Wenonah rasped, “Zoé, wait…” Her wrist stretched one of the ropes. “Come here, my child.”
“Mama.”
“No, Zoé!” Father Jacques grabbed the girl just short of her mother’s gnarled fingernails. “Don’t touch her.” He carried Zoé to the back wall. She sobbed and jerked in his arms, reaching for her mother.
He stood her on a crate and shook her. “Listen, child! We need you to be strong. Go now, or you’ll never see your mother again.”
“But I’m afraid to go out there.”
“Remember the story about the lost children who came upon an angel?”
She nodded, sniffling.
“There are angels in the woods, and they will protect you, but they are leaving now, so you must hurry.”
The beasts wailed inside the cellar’s stairwell. An axe blade chopped through the door, cracking it.
The girl screamed and ran up the crates.
Father Jacques helped her out the window. She dropped down to the snowy ground.
“Hurry, Zoé!” He watched her run across the snowfield.
The axe blade smashed through the door. Dozens of white fingers tore at the hole. The priest held up a cross. “God is my savior!”
Another growl issued, this one from inside the cellar. He circled, searching the shadows until he spotted broken ropes at Wenonah’s bed. She now moved in the darkness just beyond the lantern glow. Her bones made popping sounds. The last stage of the change.
The priest stepped toward the row of beds. He barely made out the woman’s spindly shape hunched over, feeding off the flesh of a dead man. The crunching and tearing sickened Father Jacques and at the same time beckoned him to join Wenonah in the feast.
No, stay righteous! The Jesuit coughed. He stumbled to his altar and opened his holy book. The words blurred. His vision spiraled. Inside his stomach, the hunger grew, cold and burning, clinging his flesh to bone, filling him with a hollow emptiness, then turning—Yes!—spreading through him with a sweet rapture known only to saints and angels. “I am a shepherd of death…”
The cellar door crashed open.
Father Jacques raised his arms and smiled as he turned to face the ravenous horde.
———

DEAD OF WINTER is now available in paperback and e-book.

Brian Moreland at Killer Con 2013

Author Bio: Brian Moreland writes novels and short stories of supernatural horror and dark suspense. His books include Dead of Winter, Shadows in the Mist, The Girl from the Blood Coven, The Witching House, and The Devil’s Woods, and The Vagrants. Brian lives in Dallas, Texas where he is diligently writing his next horror stories.

Website: http://www.brianmoreland.com/
Follow on Twitter: @BrianMoreland
Like Brian’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HorrorAuthorBrianMoreland
Brian’s blog: http://www.brianmoreland.blogspot.com
Find Brian’s books at Samhain Publishing: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/Brian-Moreland-pa-1662.html

Mr. Moreland has agreed to give a ebook copy of “Dead of Winter”
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Vampire Conspiracy

I met Daven almost two years ago. He’s first novel Vampire Syndrome is pretty awesome. You should read it. I’m confident the second novel is the same. He’s given us an excerpt. Thank you Daven for coming by. :D

Jack Wendell:

The good news: Zetania’s still alive.

The bad news: The Pures want to trade her for me.

I’ll do it. I can save Zetania and prevent a war between the
Human Vampires and the Pures. She can’t declare a war if the Pures keep their bargain. I wouldn’t let her. I might have to be a servant to those shark-toothed monsters for the rest of my life, but thousands of human Vampires will get to live in peace because of my choice. At least I will know in my heart that I am a hero. Sometimes heroes don’t get recognized for what they did, but a real hero doesn’t care about that.

Damien’s not gonna like this. He wants to go into the Pures’
hideout with me, to “keep me safe.” Hah. He wants to attack them. I saw how he looked at Gl’Ag on the video screen. I told Damien we’d be way outnumbered in the cave, but he didn’t seem to care. Problem is, he might not be planning to get out of the Pures’ hideout alive. I’m afraid he’s gonna hide a big bomb in his leather coat. Then we’d all be dead. Zetania told me about how she visited heaven and saw her family after the car crash. I’d want Coach Ron and Diane to be in heaven with me after I die. But that could take a long time, since they’re Vampires now.

Or maybe not. Coach Ron and Diane just told Damien they’d be
willing to go in the Pures’ hideout with us.

“No, don’t do it!” I yell. “Please, I beg you. Stay
outside and be safe.”

“Zetania would do it for you,” Diane says.

A tear slides down my cheek. Diane’s right. I know Zetania
would. Damn it all, we’re doomed.

BIO
Daven Anderson spends his nights modifying cars for the Council of Thirteen’s elite Venator law enforcers; because when you’re a Vampire, there’s no such thing as “too much horsepower.” Daven brings supercharged concept cars to life, so the Venators have the power they need to chase rabid vampires, chupacabras, cattle-mutilating aliens, vampire hunters, and whoever or whatever else the Council deems a threat to the security of the Vampire community.

The Venators love to have long conversations with Daven while he works on their cars. Unbeknownst to them, Daven has been secretly recording the Venators’ tales, using them as the basis for the Vampire Syndrome saga. After a long night’s work, Daven plays back the tapes, transcribes the best excerpts and sends them as “fiction writing” to the unsuspecting staff members at PDMI Publishing, LLC.

The normal people’s constant misrepresentations and misunderstandings of Vampires over the last three centuries, culminating in the most recent shimmering, over-emoting caricatures of “vampires”, finally motivated Daven to “hide the truth in plain sight” with the Vampire Syndrome saga. Thanks to Daven’s transcriptions, with the assistance of PDMI Publishing, LLC, the normal world can at long last read the tales of the Vampires’ elite law enforcers, without the sugar-coated glittering stardust that passes for modern “vampire fiction.”

Daven has just finished his second volume of transcriptions from the Venators’ tales, soon to be released as a “fiction novel” titled “Vampire Conspiracy” (coming soon from PDMI Publishing, LLC)

Available now: Vampire Syndrome (Kindle) http://viewbook.at/B00AMRGKZU
(Paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Syndrome-Saga-Book-Adult/dp/1940812135/

A Bloody Tribute

A mutual friend introduced Peter and I some time ago. I want to say a year, but it seems longer than that. I’ve enjoyed reading his work ever since. He gave us a poem this time around. :D

A Bloody Tribute by Peter Davis-Parker

They danced for him that night;
they danced the dance of the dead.

He flew atop the chimney stacks
the swells of warmth kept his flesh aloft,
their ‘charms’ warded against him.

He landed in the blackest of alleys,
the rain it nary touches his flesh nor cloth
knowing better than to incite the wrath of hell’s oldest son.

He walked softly through the backstreets
witnessed by many,
seen by not one.

He came upon the village limits,
upon a working girl did his blackest eyes spied.

Now chosen he came upon her with ungodly speed and
sucked her dry;
sucked of her as she no doubt had suckled countless others that very eve.

He shed not a drop and lay her on the village square,
a warning yet apology.
His thirst sated for now.

They knew the monster’s wrath and so tomorrow night they would draw straws
as they had now for as long as their memory stands.
The next night he’ll be given new tribute.

What will be has been and will be
again.
and shall ever be again

You can find Peter here:
@Highwulf
Peter Davis-Parker Facebook
Blog: peterparkerscuriousweb.tumblr.com