What’s New Wednesday

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Hey Gang,

This What’s New Wednesday is packing a punch. Just released today and already Number 1 on the LGBT Sci-Fi bestseller list at Amazon. “Impact” is a collection of flash fiction stories all revolving around the theme of Impact. My entry made it into the book, so now you have two good reasons to get your copy today.

Book Blurb:

IM * PACT (noun)

1) One object colliding with another

2) An impinging of something upon something else

3) An influence or effect on something or someone

4) The force of a new idea, concept, technology or ideology

Four definitions to inspire writers around the world, and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell, but only 110 made the final cut.

A difficult choice to be made. An object hurtling recklessly through space. A new invention that will change the world. So many things can impact a life, a society, or a planet.

Impact features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets from across the queer spectrum from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Welcome to Impact.

Series Blurb:

It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. Each year we ask writers to take the challenge, turning in stories across the queer spectrum. The rules are simple. Write a complete sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal or horror story, include LGBTQIA characters, and do it all with just 300 carefully chosen words.

Excerpt:

Since this book is composed of stories of no more than 300 words, we can’t really do a standard excerpt, so we’re offering you the teaser first lines from some stories.

“She’d needed new oil. She felt her joints grow stiff, her muscles grow tight, her follicles thickening. If she didn’t get fresh quarts soon, people she passed would start calling her sir, asking, Where’s your gun?” —Crossville Station, by Nathan Alling Long

“The mallet’s impact on the hard, bright disk shattered the silence in the talking chamber. The resulting deep tone reverberated through the vault, through Saskia, as she fidgeted beside her lover.” —Settled, by Aidee Ladnier

“This is how the world ends, or so they say. From where I’m standing, it simply looks like a rolling darkness as distant lights flicker and die.” —Visitors, by LJ Phillips

“’What have you done?’ The mechanical eyes came to rest on his face, the droning beep sounding loud in the small room.” —Identity and Change, by Jo Tannah

“’Once upon a world, we were the same,’ he said, lifting my hand to his lips; the ground shaking beneath us.” —Impact, by Jack Ladd

“I been a tinker and soothsayer long enough to know this country’s at the cusp of war. They stir up hate easy as breath. And, oh, it pains my soul to see it. “ —Impact of Intervention, by Patricia Scott

“All lives begin with a messy impact of some kind. The crash of zygotes and gametes. Splats of silica gel between cybernetic synapses. Two women slam into each other carrying full cups of coffee.” —Quintessence, by E.M. Hammill

“If I venture far enough into the house, I’ll find my closet.” —The Closet, by K.S. Trenten

“It touched Ligaya when she was a child. Or she touched it. A half-glimpsed shape under her bed.” Mas Mabuti An Answang, by Foster Bridget Cassidy

“Jam zipped down the neon track, feather-light in low gravity. She rocketed forward, a glowing haze in her starred helmet, and shot past the pack. “Space Jammer!” echoed as she neared the line. Time to rack up the points.” —First Bout: Andromedolls Vs. Crotch Rockets, by Ginger Streusel

COVER - Impact

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FC91HH2

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/impact-j-scott-coatsworth/1129055097

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/impact/id1409688669

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/impact-84

Angus & Robertson: https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/x/p/9781732307537

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40779373-impact

Giveaway:

Queer Sci Fi is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4721/?

About Queer Sci Fi:

At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of sci fi, fantasy, paranormal and horror writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We run a great discussion group on Facebook, a twitter feed, and have a website full of useful materials, news, and announcements for readers and writers of queer speculative fiction.

Website: https://www.queerscifi.com

Facebook Discussion Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/qsfdiscussions/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/queerscifi/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QueerSciFi

Waking the Villian of “The Curse”

Hey fans,

I thought I’d give everyone a sneak peek at the villain of my upcoming novel “The Curse: Origin of the Vampires, Book One”, the Primordial – Bellabarisruk.

Entry from the Glossary of Vampires:

Bellabarisruk: (3rd Generation Vampire) a former Chaldean nobleman and Chief of the Magi, who usurped the Babylonian throne. His usurpation brought him to the attention of Sharru-Kino the second-generation vampire king of El-Abel. Bellabarisruk was given the Gift of Cain and transformed into the first vampire of the third generation. He founded the princely Bel-Kino Clan.

Bel-Kino, Clan: (Vampire Clan) Founded by Bellabarisruk sometime after the great flood. This clan of vampires chooses only those who have proven political leadership skills. They rule over the various clans of vampires in a given city, county, province, or country depending on their age, skills, and power. Regardless of how much territory they control the leader is given the title Grand Duke or Grand Duchess and is addressed as Your Grace.

Primordials: A term used by vampires and hunters a like to identify the most ancient of vampires, primarily Cain, the lost vampires of the second generation Bel-Sarra, Sharru-Kino, Nina-Ishtar, and the original members of the third generation of vampires. All of these vampires existed before the great flood destroyed El-Abel and have powers understood by very few outside their generation. While Izcacus has the powers of a primordial, he is not counted among their numbers because he is many millennia younger than the rest of the third generation.

This ancient vampire, one of the few to have actually lived in El-Abel, considers himself the heir to the throne of Cain and his followers keep watch for those who seek the lost city. He considers Richard St. Martin a usurper and a child and does not fear the man known as both Lord Hunter and Lord Slayer. His clan control the politics of most vampire courts and in many cases the mortal cities where those courts are based. Dr. Jeremiah Banks and Professor Juan Di Vargas, have made Bellabarisruk’s target list because of their quest to discover the city of Cain be it called Enoch or El-Abel. He will use any means at his disposal to prevent anyone from reaching the ruins of the ancient city before he can.

Here’s an unedited glance at his followers waking this ancient horror.

Vampire Interlude: Primordial Rising

Torches flickered and hissed as the procession moved down the rough-hewn corridor towards the great chamber at the end. The members of the procession split as they entered the chamber as those carrying torches used them to light the great braziers before racking them in holders around the outer wall. Three struggling naked young men were pushed to the center of the room and forced to their knees. Their chains rattled against the stone floor. In the center of the room stood a bier carved from the finest marble and resting on top was the desiccated body of a man in blood red robes and heavy gold jewelry. The members of the procession knelt facing the bier with the exception of those guarding the three naked young men. When all were kneeling, they began to chant in a strange and ancient language only the repetition of what must be a name caught on the ears of the chained youths. Bellabarisruk was the only word any of them could make out. The chant had hypnotic effect, lulling the youths out of their terror, until the guard on the youth in the center whipped a vicious knife across the throat of his captive. Blood sprayed over the other youths as the guard lifted his victim up and over the figure on the bier letting the blood flow down and into the mouth of the corpse. By the time, the youth’s heart shuddered to a stop from blood loss the figure on the bier was reviving.

The creature sat up on the bier and surveyed those gathered in his resting place. His eyes fell on the two remaining captives and he gestured for the youth on the right to be brought to him. The guard behind the youth lifted him to his feet and half dragged the young man to his doom. The living corpse on the bier reached out and gripped the chains holding the youth bound and dragged him in tight. The creature’s canines extended into wicked fangs, which it sank into the youth’s throat. The boy struggled for a few minutes before euphoria and blood loss overwhelmed him. He sank against the creature, as he grew weaker, until the monster feeding on him withdrew and cast him aside. The young man was dead before he hit the floor. The ancient vampire descended from the bier and made his way to a great stone throne carved in the wall beyond the bier. The group moved to kneel before the throne, while the guard brought the final youth forward and forced him to his knees beside the throne. Terror and shock were all that registered on the youth’s face. He whimpered and cowered as the monster rested a hand on his head and stroked his hair absently.

“Why has my rest been disturbed?” asked the monster.

“Master Bellabarisruk, in your instructions before you entered languor you requested to awoken should any word of ancient El-Abel be found.” one of the minions said.

“I gather that some mention of El-Abel has come to your ears.” Bellabarisruk said.

“More than word, Master Bellabarisruk. There is news of an archaeological expedition being sent to locate the city based on information discovered in a journal believed to have come from the collection of the Lord Slayer.”

“IS that upstart hunter still around after all these years. He must be drinking from his victims to remain alive for over a hundred years.” Bellabarisruk sneered. “What information on El-Abel do this journal contain?”

“Information gleaned from the Barghest clan, indicates the pages contain information about the city’s exact location written by Cain himself.” the minion said.

“There is no way for a mortal hunter to have access to Cain’s journals. How did Lord Slayer get his hands on them?” Bellabarisruk demanded. “If you don’t have an answer, then find out!”

“According to a source who has seen some of the pages, Master Bellabarisruk, Lord Slayer truly earned his title by slaying Lord Cain. I brought a copy of one of the pages where he admits as much.” the minion said handing the page over to his master. “If this is truth, then the Lord Slayer isn’t a mortal but one of us.”

“December 10, 2001

There are no words to sufficiently curse my own stupidity. I can hardly believe everything I’ve read in this ancient journal. Yet, I felt the curse take hold of me at the very moment my silver blade cleaved Cain’s head from his shoulders. My prayers for salvation were only partly heard by the blessed Goddess and her consort. I’ve chased down these monsters learning every way possible to kill vampires even though they were never my natural target. I’ve been a hunter of shifters since I was a boy of ten. I’ve doomed myself and I still have no answer as to why, my dearest Sarah was chosen. I’ve read and re-read this journal hundreds of times over the last two years trying to take all of Cain’s warnings and lessons to heart.

My powers are greater than Cain’s were. I need only fear the sunlight in its purest form at dawn even pure running water doesn’t hamper my powers. Only the most pure of faith can prevent my passing a threshold. I do not cast reflections on mirrors backed with silver, but now at least technology has caught up to the point where I can still be photographed and video taped. Thanks to this journal, I know searching for a way to remove this curse is a waste of my time. Since I am now Lord of all Vampires, I must build up my own court to control the scattered vampire lords around the world.        

I do not know what my future holds for me. I only know the vows I’ve made to myself. I will not feed from a human and I will not create another vampire. I don’t even know why I’m making these notes, as this journal will be locked away along with my own journals of my life to his point. The shock value of this journal on those of faith will be staggering. I pity whoever reads these words beside me.

Richard St. Martin,

Lord Hunter”

“He doesn’t use the title Lord Slayer in this entry but I recall several of my line issuing edicts to leave this Lord Hunter alone. I do not know how he managed to find Cain let alone kill him but I’ll tear this child vampire to shreds if he gets in the way of my claiming El-Abel.” Bellabarisruk said.

The ancient vampire rose to his feet and seized the chain around the chest of the last mortal in the room. He lifted the youth as if the boy weighed nothing. Fear filled eyes locked on the calm eyes of the monster. Bellabarisruk laughed at the boy’s expression and dragged him in for a kiss tinged with the blood of his fallen friends. The youth sagged as the kiss broke only to feel the vampire sink his fangs into his neck. A scream tore its way out of his throat before the euphoric effect of being bitten took complete hold of him and he pulled himself tighter to his killer. The ancient vampire discarded the lifeless husk when he’d finished.

“We must prepare to travel to Mesopotamia to await our intrepid archaeologist and his team. Who is currently prince in the region?” Bellabarisruk asked.

“Hassam el-Mohammed was the last reported prince of area, My Lord,” replied the minion.

“Contact him and have him prepare his vassals to assist us. They are to keep an eye on this archaeologist but not to interfere unless another vampire faction interferes.”

“It will take some time to make arrangements, My Lord. Much has changed since you entered languor.”

Bellabarisruk waved the concern off and touching a hidden stud on his throne’s arm vanished backwards into the wall.

The Order of St. Hubert

In the future of the world of the Silver Hunter trilogy, things aren’t as peaceful as they were in Kieran and Cory’s time. The future is ruled by conservative factions who have turned back the clock on many of the great social and political gains made during the early 21st Century. Europe’s clock has been dialed back to the Middle Ages by a pair of very powerful popes who took advantage of the turmoil brought on by The Great Upheaval in 2084. Pope Pius XIII, using his great oratory skills persuaded the citizens of first Rome and then the rest of Italy to follow his lead. Legions of priests, monks, nuns, and laity organized relief efforts across Italy and into the rest much of continental Europe. Aiding the effort and keeping a sudden upswing in shifter activity in check was the Order of St. Hubert of Liège, a militant order reporting directly to the pope. Shortly after unifying most of Europe under the control of the Church, Pius XIII died under mysterious circumstances. Knowing that the new age would need a dynamic and energetic pope, the College of Cardinals turned away from their own membership and chose the young Grand Master of the Order of St. Hubert as the next Holy Father in Rome. The former Grand Master ascended the Throne of St. Peter as Innocent XIV at the age of 45 in 2093. One of his first acts as Pope was to bring the leaders of the new nations together to sign The Holy Accord in 2094, in which it was agreed that they would all ban the redevelopment of flight and missile technology in and effort to prevent anyone from launching a new Great Upheaval.

St. Hubert of Liège in the World of the Silver Hunter:

Saint Hubert (c. 656-727 CE) became Bishop of Liège in 708 CE. Saint Hubertus was born in Toulouse around the year 656. He was the eldest son of Bertrand, Duke of Aquitaine, and spent his youth at the court of Theodoric III, King of the Franks, at Paris. Like many nobles of the time, Hubert was addicted to the chase. Around 682, Hubert joined many other Frankish nobles in departing the palace in Paris for the royal household at Heristal in the Austrasia region of the Frankish kingdom. Here he married Floribanne, daughter of Dagobert, Count of Leuven. His wife died giving birth to their son, and Hubert retreated from the court, withdrew into the forested Ardennes, and gave himself up entirely to hunting. However, a great spiritual revolution was imminent. On Good Friday evening while the faithful were crowding the churches, Hubert sallied forth to the chase. As he was pursuing a magnificent stag, the animal was smashed to the ground by a giant black wolf. As the stag was torn to shreds, Hubert heard a voice saying: “Hubert, unless thou turnest to the Lord, and leadest an holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell.” Sensing a great evil about the wolf, Hubert dismounted, drew his sword, and drove the silver chased blade deep into the wolf’s side and through the beast’s heart. He was startled when the monster transformed back into a man. Hubert prostrated himself, and said, “Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?” He received the answer, “Go and seek Lambert, and he will instruct you.”

He set out immediately for Maastricht, of which place St. Lambert was then bishop. The latter received Hubert kindly, and became his spiritual director. Hubert, losing his wife shortly after this, renounced all his honors and his military rank, and gave up his birthright the Duchy of Aquitaine to his younger brother Eudon, whom he made guardian of his infant son, Floribert. Having distributed all his personal wealth among the poor, he entered upon his studies for the priesthood, was soon ordained, and shortly afterwards became one of St. Lambert’s chief associates in the administration of his diocese. By the advice of St. Lambert, Hubert made a pilgrimage to Rome and during his absence, the saint was assassinated a pack of shifters. At the same hour, this was revealed to the pope in a vision, together with an injunction to appoint Hubert bishop, as being a worthy successor to the see. Hubert was so much possessed with the idea of himself winning the martyr’s crown that he sought it on many occasions, often hunting shifters alone, but his quest to die a martyr was unsuccessful. He distributed his episcopal revenues among the poor, was diligent in fasting and prayer, and became famous for his eloquence in the pulpit. In 720, in obedience to a vision, Hubert translated St. Lambert’s remains from Maastricht to Liège with great pomp and ceremonial, several neighboring bishops assisting. A church for the relics was built upon the site of the martyrdom, and was made a cathedral the following year, the see being removed from Maastricht to Liège, then only a small village. This laid the foundation of the future greatness of Liège, of which Lambert is honored as patron, and St. Hubert as founder and first bishop. Liège offered a better base of operations because of its size. The Hunter-Bishop trained several young men in the ways of detecting shifters, before his death by natural causes.

The Order of St. Hubert in the World of the Silver Hunter:

Pope Honorius III founded the Order of St. Hubert of Liege in 1225 in order to gain the support of the powerful House of Beauty in his battle against a powerful shifter clan near Rome. The Order’s foundational commandery is located in Liège near the cathedral. Pope Gregory IX expanded the Order of St. Hubert into a full martial/religious order in 1229 after the discovery of vampires during examinations under the Inquisition. The training given by the House of Beauty was expanded to take in dealing with vampires as well as shifters. The members of the Order of St. Hubert developed methods for detecting vampires and in rare cases adopted the use of mages they rescued from their more zealous Dominican brothers. Distinct divisions developed within the Order to cope with the various supernatural and natural threats. When the Order was established its Grand Master was an abbot. Over the centuries, the clerical rank of the Grand Master has risen with the Order’s fortunes. Today the current Grand Master is Cardinal Valentine Ketcherside. The Vicar-General oversees the running of the military and hunter arms of the Order. The current Vicar-General of the Order is Bishop Fabrizio Fabbri. A Master and Commander, most often an archbishop, but sometimes a bishop oversee the regional commanderies. The local commanderies are lead by a Master and Commander, who is either a bishop or a monsignor, sometimes an abbot if the location is mostly religious members.

The divisions of the Order of St. Hubert are:

Religious Division: Some members of the Order are strictly religious members; monks, priests, and a small order of nuns. They very rarely leave the confines of the Commanderies unless a powerful vampire or shifter is encountered and someone of powerful faith is required to drive the monster out of its lair or protect the base of operations being used by a team of hunters.

Military Division: Knights, squires, and militant brothers make up the majority of the armed forces of the Order of St. Hubert. The Hunters of the Order are also part of this division.

Law Enforcement Division: By order of the Holy Father in Rome, the Order of St. Hubert took over the duties of Interpol. The Knights and priests of the law enforcement division may cross provincial boundaries as needed and command the assistance of any level of regional law enforcement with in the Holy Roman Empire.

Hunter now available for pre-order

If you haven’t discovered it yet here’s the link to pre-order Hunter, book three of the Legend of the Silver Hunter: http://www.amazon.com/Hunter-Legend-Silver-Book-ebook/dp/B01AEFS8BI/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1ie=UTF8&refRID=1NQ8F0JY9CVB1N5647WA

For now this is it for Kieran and Cory, but not for the World of the Silver Hunter. I’m almost done drafting the short story The Curse: Origin of the Vampires, which is a prequel to the Richard St. Martin books Lord Hunter and Lord Slayer. I also have note going on a twist to Little Red Riding Hood going.

The Curse will also contain a glossary for the entire vampire series. I hope you enjoy the conclusion of Kieran and Cory’s romance.

Kethric Wilcox

Welcome to the Vampire Court

While I work on finishing the first draft of Hunter, Legend of the Silver Hunter book three, other evil and nefarious plot bunnies are bouncing around in my brain. One of those is the short story, The Curse: Origin of the Vampires, which will detail the back story of where vampires in the world of the Silver Hunter come from, the on and off battles with shifters, the origin of vampire and shifter hunters, and the basis for the hierarchy among the vampire courts. I do want to give you a little bit of a sneak peek into the main vampire court of the up coming novels Lord Hunter and Lord Slayer. This is the court of the Lord of all Vampires, Cain, father of all vampires, and his successor Richard St. Martin, former hunter of both shifters and vampires.

Cain’s vampire court started off very tightly controlled under the first vampire. He ruled with an iron fist and powerful Ebony magic. His three children ruled with him when he chose to exercise power over mortals by founding the great city-state of El-Abel in the delta of the Phrat and Hidékel Rivers (Euphrates and Tigres Rivers). Eventually he left rule of the mortals to his children and allowed each of them to create three children of their own. From these nine grandchildren of Cain come the basis of the rule for each of the vampire courts. Cain’s three children were destroyed in a mage war that sparked a civilization destroying flood. After Cain found all of his grandchildren, he gave them each permission to create two children of their own but to spread themselves across the world. He also ordered them not to openly exercise their rule over mortals in their chosen territories. The nine each claimed a territory far from their original homeland and founded a clan. Every one hundred years they would gather to meet with each other and occasionally their grandfather Cain. Gradually as the members of the nine grew more ancient they took to sleeping away the centuries leaving their affairs in the hands of their children. As time passed, the fourth generation of vampires began to chafe under the rules of their sires and the now mythical Cain. They began to create children and armies of their own. They ruled as princes in the names of their creators, some openly among mortals and others in secret.

After the development of mortal vampire hunters the great courts dissolved and smaller courts became the norm. A Grand Duke, as the leaders of the courts became known as, might rule a single city, a county, a state or province, rarely will a single vampire control an entire country.

The court of Richard St. Martin is very different, a loose structure where Grand Dukes come to play out games of political power under the watchful eyes of those who directly serve the Lord of all Vampires. Very little escapes the watchful eyes of Database of the Barghest clan, spymaster of the court and those who seek to undermine the power of Richard’s court find themselves opposed by his vizier, Armand of the Bel-Kino clan. Of course even the most powerful of Grand Dukes must make their way past the most influential of Richard’s advisors, Adam FitzCaine the owner of Dante’s Inferno, the neutral ground nightclub where all may meet.

The Curse cover copy

Watch for The Curse: Origin of the Vampires coming in 2016.

A rough Who’s Who for my vampire novels

Abel: (Multi-color Mage) According to biblical legend the second-born son of Adam and Eve, murdered by his brother Cain. In Vampire legend Abel is one of the two mages who cast the curse, which transformed Cain into the original vampire. A multi-colored mage noted as being strongest in Silver magic. Abel’s death was revenge for his murder of Cain.

Adam: (Multi-color Mage) According to biblical legend the first man. In reality this occasional Gold magic wielder, was the first disciple of the minor Sumerian deity, Yahweh. He is the father of Cain, Abel, Seth, and their three sisters.

Aluka: (Hebrew – Leech) Slang term used by ancient vampires for the hangers-on at a vampire court.

Astryiah: An Ancient Jewish female vampire. There is conflicting information as to whether she is of the third or fourth generation from Cain. Fragmentary evidence discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls places her in the third generation as a daughter of Nina-Ishtar.

Barghest: (Vampire Clan) A twisted and deformed vampire clan. Legends and rumors say that they were once a clan of beautiful vampires until their third generation sire offended Cain. According to legend, Cain cursed the bloodline to be as twisted and deformed on the outside as they are on the inside. Members of this clan are chosen from amongst the most beautiful, vain, and arrogant mortals. Surprisingly the few mortals who were twisted and deformed of body but good of soul suffer a reverse of the curse and become beautiful. They have an extensive information network and are legendary in their abilities to keep and collect secrets.

Beauty, House of: (Mortal Hunters) the descendants of Belle better know as Beauty from the story Beauty and the Beast. The House of Beauty are renowned shifter hunters. This family is dominated by the women of the family lead by the Huntress of the House. In the 15th century, a son of the line became the Hunter of the House but died in battle after only a few years as Hunter. In the 21st century, Kieran Samuel Belle-Cooper became the Hunter of the House of Beauty and began a new era in the family history.

Bellabarisruk: (3rd Generation Vampire) a former Chaldean nobleman and Chief of the Magi, who usurped the Babylonian throne. His usurpation brought him to the attention of Sharru-Kino the second-generation vampire king of El-Abel. Bellabarisruk was given the Gift of Cain and transformed into the first vampire of the third generation. He founded the princely Bel-Kino Clan.

Bel-Kino, Clan: (Vampire Clan) Founded by Bellabarisruk sometime after the great flood. This clan of vampires chooses only those who have proven political leadership skills. They rule over the various clans of vampires in a given city, county, province, or country depending on their age, skills, and power. Regardless of how much territory they control the leader is given the title Grand Duke or Grand Duchess and is addressed as Your Grace.

 

cainCain: (Multi-colored Mage, First Vampire) According to biblical legend the first-born son of Adam and Eve, murderer of his brother Abel. In vampire legend and lore Cain is the first vampire. Cain was a multi-colored mage strongest on Emerald magic and a gifted healer. In trying to stop a mage duel between his younger brothers, Cain was caught between two terrible killing spells of opposing magic. Cain’s Emerald magic tried to heal him but because of the conflicting Silver and Ebony magic tearing him apart and binding him together, his own magic killed him and then brought him back in a half living state. Only the energy of the living (strongest in blood) sustains this half-life.

opacaCain, Cult of: An early medieval sect of heretical monks who worship Cain as the first savior of mankind. They serve as mortal eyes and ears within the most sacred of Mother Church’s sites. Members of the Cult of Cain wear a cross with a secret compartment in which is hidden a vial with a single drop of blood in it. The blood according to the sect’s traditions is the mingled blood of Cain and his brother Abel, drawn from Cain after he fed from his brother. Those who serve in the Cult of Cain wear the habits of many different monastic orders Cistercian, Dominican, Franciscan, Hospitaller, Jesuit, and some say the Templars. When the members of the cult gather for conclaves they wear, blood-red robe tied with a black, silver, and emerald rope belt, go bare-foot, and wear a cross of red stone usually garnet for the lower rank and file members and ruby for the leadership of the order.

Curse, The: The ancient magic, which transformed Cain from human to vampire. The Curse is a tragic combination of Silver, Ebony, and Emerald magic, which can only be undone by a multi-colored mage strongest in Gold magic. The Curse is tied to Cain directly and can be “gifted” to others by bringing them close to the point of death and then letting them drink the blood of one carrying the curse. Legend has it that if one were to kill Cain, they would inherit The Curse sevenfold.

Dante’s Inferno: A nightclub in the city of Boston opened in 2318 by Adam FitzCaine as neutral territory where inter-clan or inter-species business dealings can be negotiated. The nightclub takes up the top ten floors of the old Prudential building. Guest enter the first circle on the very top floor and work their way down by upgrading their membership or earning an invitation to the next level. The inferno is a sex club that caters to all tastes depending on membership and level access. The ninth circle is reserved for Grand Dukes, Pack Alphas, and mortal leaders. The tenth floor is Mr. FitzCaine’s private domain.

Dyta, Celina: (4th Generation Vampire, Barghest Clan) this ancient vampire is one of the most dangerous and powerful of her generation. A warrior queen of a proto-polish tribe, she the gift forced on her by Parthalán the 3rd generation founder of the clan. Her physical beauty was destroyed as the darkness within her soul was unleashed by the curse on Parthalán’s bloodline took full effect. The once mighty warrior queen became a twisted and horrifying hag. She began a true reign of terror earning the appellation The Crone of the North. Some believe she is the fact behind the stories of Baba Yaga and other ancient evil crones. Sometime in the late medieval period, Celina Dyta slipped into dormancy and her reign of terror ended. Rumors about her return sprang up in the mid-twentieth century when the Soviet block collapsed. It wasn’t until the late twenty-first century when the second Russian Empire rose to power in Eastern Europe that her return was confirmed. The new Czar of All the Russias, ordered her hunted down and destroyed. Her destruction is unconfirmed even though both Einar Frost and Richard St. Martin were rumored to be hunting her.

El-Abel: According to vampire legends the City of Cain located south of Ur along the coast of the Persian Gulf. Cain alone ruled the city for many mortal generations until he became lonely and granted his gift onto five of his ministers. While Cain was away visiting a vassal king, two of the five chosen tried to seize the rule of El-Abel for themselves. Cain returned and reclaimed his rule, destroyed his rebellious children and then passed the rule of El-Abel on to his three remaining children.

FitzCaine, Adam: (Suspected 3rd Generation Vampire) the owner of the infamous nightclub Dante’s Inferno in the city of Boston. Adam FitzCaine is known to be a vampire of incredible power but his generation is unknown. He does not seem to be affiliated with any of the clans and his nightclub is considered neutral territory. Vampires of almost all clans are welcome as long as they play by the rules and can afford the membership fees.

Fernando-4-700x1050Frost, Einar: (Mortal Hunter, created by Phetra H. Novak) Einar Frost is a hunter, just like his father and his grandfather had been before him, it is in his blood. Born and raised in Sweden, Einar grew up in in the frozen wilderness hunting shifters from the time he was old enough to walk and carry a gun. The walking corpses, vampires are rare but both his father and grandfather learned the methods of sending these monsters to their final death and passed this knowledge on to Einar. Nothing else matters to Frost but the hunt. In the Scandinavian region the Frosts rivals the fame of the ancient House of Beauty in kills of shifters. The many changes over the last decades of the 21st Century have brought Frost many opportunities to expand his hunting territory, which has brought him to the attention of the ancient 5th Generation Bel-Kino Grand Duke of St. Petersburg. Frost resents the intrusion of the famous hunter Richard St. Martin into what he sees as his territory, even though the man was invited by the Czar of Russia to help remove the ancient Barghest vampire, Celina Dyta, known as The Crone of the North. Frost is human and proud of it. He has a legacy to live up to and he has no plans of fucking that up.

Gift of Cain, The: Term used by vampires to describe the transformation from mortal life to the undead life of a vampire.

Grand Duke/Duchess: Vampire ruler of a given territory be it a city, county, state, or nation. These rulers are mostly of the Bel-Kino clan, but some are from other clans. The Grand Duchess of Hollywood is a member of the Lorelei Clan.

Hubert of Liege, Saint: (Mortal Catholic Priest and Hunter) this 8th century bishop was canonized as the Patron Saint of Hunters because of his ability to detect vampires and shifters. His profound holiness kept vampires at bay and could force a shifter back into human form even in the height of their frenzy. His relics are said to cure rabies and the diseases brought by the bite of wild animals. His feast day is November 3rd.

Scanenger hunt image

Immertun: (3rd Generation Vampire) A gentle scholar-priest of the sect of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, Immertun’s teaching and kind nature attracted the attention of Nina-Ishtar, the second-generation vampire vizier and consort to Shanu-Kino of El-Abel. He is thought to be the either the second or third vampire of the third generation. He is the first vampire known to have discovered a method of controlling the beastly nature of vampirism. He founded the scholarly clan Kalumtum few of whom survive today.

Izcacus: (3rd Generation Vampire originally 4th Generation) was born in Hungary shortly after the Magyar invasions of the late 9th century to a Frankish mother and a Magyar warrior. He grew up to become a fierce warrior and a mighty pagan priest. His prowess as both warrior and priest drew the attention of Bellabarisruk who gave him the Gift of Cain in the early 10th century. Izcacus chaffed under the yoke of Bellabarisruk’s rule and sought his freedom. Using his magic and the magic of his fellow shamans, Izcacus broke the controlling bond created by the drinking of his sire’s blood. Seeking a way to make himself his sire’s equal, Izcacus discovered the resting place of the third generation scholar vampire Immertun and traveled there. He drank Immertun dry, destroying the ancient vampire and taking his place and power among the third generation. Returning to his native Hungary, Izcacus gave the Gift of Cain to many of his fellow priests founding the clan that preserves the ancient shamanistic traditions and carries his name.

Izcacus: (Vampire Clan) This clan is ruled by a council of warrior-shamans of the fourth generation who choose the strongest warriors or the holiest of shaman as candidates for membership in the clan. Shamantic traditional magic is highly prized and preserved by this clan. This clan fiercely opposes the scholarly traditions of the Kalumtum clan whose founder their own clan founder destroyed to gain his power and position. They will go out of their way to destroy a member of the Kalumtum clan regardless of the sanctions, which will fall on them if the Grand Duke of the territory learns of what they’ve done. Members of the Izcacus clan take on the role of a guardian spirit to a shaman and guide him and his tribe. When a shaman comes close to the end of his days, his guardian spirit will offer him the Gift of Cain so that he might join the ancestors and take over guiding the tribe.

Kalumtum: (Vampire Clan) this clan founded by Immertun as a council of scholar-priest to act as advisors to the Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses of the vampire world has all but disappeared following the destruction of their founder. Most of the survivors have hidden themselves in the ranks of the Bel-Kino clan. There are no known elders above the sixth generation of this clan.

Lamasthu: (3rd Generation Vampire) from ancient Babylon where she was worshipped as a demon-goddess. Her name means Daughter of Heaven. Adulteress women found to be pregnant with a child not their husbands were brought to her temple and the bastard child was sacrificed to her, often by cutting it from the womb. Lamasthu’s six fourth generation handmaidens are women whose children were sacrificed to her. The demon-goddess was chosen by the second-generation vampire general, Bel-Sharra to be his consort. Her all female clan bares her name.

Lamasthu, Clan: Since ancient Babylon this clan has been all female, beginning their founder and her six handmaidens. Each new member is a woman, whose child was considered illegitimate under patriarchal laws and force aborted or sacrificed after birth. Many of the members “died” of blood loss due to the procedure or during childbirth. Members of this clan can be found posing as midwives, nurses, doctors, paramedics, nannies, or other positions that will bring them into contact with their chosen prey or a possible convert.

Lorelei: (4th Generation Vampire, Clan Lamasthu origin) was an eighth century Germanic tribal chieftain’s daughter with a golden voice. She was known as the Siren of the Rhine because her beauty and her voice lured suitors to her father’s territory from as far way as Rome. Sadly, for Lorelei, one of her suitors refused to be rejected and raped her on the shore of the Rhine. Distressed and disgraced, Lorelei sought to drown herself in the river but was rescued by the third generation vampire Lamasthu and given the Gift of Cain. Now a vampire, Lorelei sought revenge against the man who had destroyed her mortal life. The dark magic of the change made her golden voice a deadly weapon. She sang by the shore as her rapist’s ship sailed past and her voice drew the attention of the crew away from their duties at a critical moment and the ship struck the rocks and sank. Her gift allowed her to break the bond between her and Lamasthu and the two female vampires parted ways. Lorelei traveled and eventually found a young musician whose music blended well with her voice and offered him the Gift of Cain. Together they founded a clan of vampire artists of all types. Those who saw beauty in the world should be preserved. The clan they founded took Lorelei’s name as their own.

Lorelei: (Vampire Clan) Members of this clan are gifted in the arts. They are singers, actors, musicians, painters, sculptors, or anyone of the many arts. While many are physically beautiful, not all are. The prime requirement for members of this clan is the ability to see and produce beauty in the arts. Some of those recruited into the clan have turned out to be frauds in the arts, mere posers who make up some of the most vile art critics in the business.

Memories and Growth

Hello Tracker Friends and Fans,

Today Facebook posted a memory from a year ago when I was getting ready to publish the very first version of Tracker on Smashwords. It’s hard to believe how much I’ve developed as a writer since I first released this original version of Tracker. Everything about this version of Tracker was a disaster, from the randomly grabbed pre-made base cover art to doing my own editing (There was a reason I wasn’t an English major), to not having beta-readers. All of these things were sharply pointed out to me in the very first review I received. The saving grace of the review was that the reviewer muddled through and enjoyed my twist on Beauty and the Beast, my world building and magical elements. I got 3.5 out of 5 stars and what I choose to take as constructive criticism. I was adopted by a seasoned author, Elizabeth Llewellyn​ (The Suicide Ride​ series) and her fan base The Riders. Who all helped me improve my knowledge of what was needed in the publishing world. I hired my first editor and had Tracker professionally edited or so I thought, and republished my debut novel with a new cover designed by a close friend. Still the next couple of reviews came in with great story but it needs an editor. By that time I was well into writing book two of the series, Witch, so I just let things be until I’d finished the draft for Witch. I took a look at what people were saying about the revised version of Tracker and realized I’d gotten a raw deal on the editing that had cost me a lot of money. So I researched how to find an editor and what to ask of them, something I should have done for Tracker rather than just going with the first one to reply to my e-mail request for cost of editing the manuscript. On my second foray into the game of find an editor I found three who had good references from seasoned authors. I emailed each one and asked about rates and turn around times and if they would do a free sample of a chapter so that I could see if their editing style worked with my writing style. Only one of the three responded with a yes to doing the free sample edit. (If an editor won’t do this for you cross them off of your list at once.) So I sent my sample chapter of Witch to this nice young lady and waited to see what I would get back. The first thing she sent back was a question did I want just a proofread for grammatical and punctuation errors as I’d requested or would I like a content edit with suggestions  on flow and character development or would I like both. Wow, this was a surprise, an editor who was willing to more that what I’d actually requested. I asked her to do the combined content and proofreading edits. A week later, I had my sample edit back along with notes about when I was ready she could do my edits either as a content edit, a proofreading edit, or a combo edit and fought idea of how her pricing for each variation worked depending on my final word count. I also signed up a couple of beta-readers for Witch who were familiar with the story because they’d read Tracker and loved the story. So Witch went off to content editing and beta-reading at the same time. When I got both beta-readers comments and the content edit back I worked hard taking in both comments from people familiar with the story and the questions raised by my editor who came into book two with no knowledge of what had come before.

You’ve seen my posts on some of my struggles to get Witch written in the first place. If not you can find them here on this blog. My editor’s questions were at times frustrating because she didn’t know the story and at other times so dead on I had to ask myself why didn’t I think of that. The big thing was that all of her questions and comments were constructive and suggestions I could use or not depending on how I felt about them. I used a lot of her suggestions and I read every one of her comments several times to see if I really agreed with them or not.

Finally, I sent Witch back to her for the dreaded fix my grammar and punctuation proofread. I’m a comma fiend. I grew up under the old rule of “If you paused for breath while reading it out loud it needs a comma where you paused.” I’m also terrible at keeping my verb tenses the same. So after she returned the proofed copy back to me so I could correct all the places where Mr. Art Major ruined the English language, I made all those changes and sent Witch back to a beta-reader.

The response I got from my beta-reader was I’d hit perfection and that I needed to send Tracker to this same editor and let her fix the mess the first editor had made out of it. So I went back and re-read Tracker and yes it was cringe worthy. I paid to have this done to my book? So I re-wrote some of the scenes because I’d realized how much I’d crammed into a short space of time story-wise. packed it up and sent it to my wonderful new editor and said please fix. Edit me for content, match all the formats we established in Witch for capitalizations and grammar. Hammer my old school New England usage of British spellings back in to American spellings. Give Tracker the works. And she did. Again we did two rounds, one content and one proofreading. My friend redesigned the cover once again to a newer darker version, and did the same for Witch’s cover before its release. I put the new files on Amazon, played the here’s a ton of changes I’ve made to my book game please update my readers’ copies or at least let them know an update is available. Tracker is now the story I wanted to tell when I first released the original version back on November 21, 2014.

So my advice to any writer out there wondering if all the things seasoned writers tell you is worth doing, take it from someone who graduated from the school of hard-knocks, YES IT IS WORTH IT!

Get an editor you can work with and trust!

Get beta-readers!

Get a good cover artist!

Find an author willing to mentor you!

WRITE THE STORY YOU WANT TO TELL!

Original Tracker cover The stock art background from selfpublishbookcovers.com, this is so not what Kieran looks like. The only thing I retained from this mess was the title font and the font for my name. Below is the second version of my cover. The dark-haird model had the body type I envisioned for Kieran but his hair is much to short. Both he and the blond are stock images and are very popular with romance writers and cover artists. The final cover revision below finally nails my vision of Kieran and the blond stock model (Brian, last name unknown) who became the inspiration for Cory. This has been quite the journey and I hope that all of you will finish it out with me when I release book three, Hunter.

Cover of Book One of the Legend of the Silver Hunter series.

Tracker Print Cover