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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Is This the End?

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. How is summer treating you? Do you enjoy summer? Here in central California the teachers only teach three seasons... *laughs* We have plenty of sun and no water to spare. Between November and February the skies get grey and we can get some fog, but that's about the extent of it. From June to October it is very hot here, reaching 108 degrees at its worst. *sigh* Can you tell I'm not a fan?

At long last, my latest chapter in the Dance on Fire series is about ready. If you are new to the series, I call it crossover vampire horror. The series explores whether a vampire can actually be used for good or not. Let me catch you up:

In Dance on Fire, the vampire Nathaniel saves Barbara Lopez and her infant children from another vampire. Knowing the Bible front to back, he is aware there is no place in God's kingdom for undead flesh. Barbara is not so sure. Their chance meeting causes them all to band together against the second vampire, provides him with a family once again, and leads him on a journey that causes him to question everything. Follow the link and get the e-book for 99 cents.

In Dance on Fire: Flash Point, five vampires descend upon Nathaniel and his extended family, enacting some twisted revenge upon them all for actions taken in book one. Does what happens cause Nathaniel to lose what he has gained? Will another family be taken from him? Who is the mystery figure that is ultimately shown to be pulling these strings that make him dance?

This summer in Dance on Fire: Infernal, the Devil himself and an army of vampires converge upon Nathaniel and the extended family he has left - because undead flesh that seeks God must not be allowed to live.

The series is a crossover, so there are Christian themes at work here, but it is also definitely horror as you will see. I hope you will give it a chance...

“Marie?” Josef asked.
“Hello, brother,” she said as she followed Satan’s outstretched hand and entered the room. She didn’t take it, but it seemed to lead her just the same. “Meet Lucifer.”
“I really must insist that you refrain from calling me that,” Satan instructed. If he was displeased that Marie refused to take his hand, he made no show of it. “In spite of what you may have read, Lucifer is no more. I prefer Satan. Scratch. The Devil, if you must. Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name,” he sang and giggled.
Satan marched into the room. “Sit,” he said to the vampires who lurked closest to him. When they didn’t, he paused and stared back at them. “Sit or I shall remove your legs. Trust me when I say that I can do this in a great many ways. You no doubt have heard I am not a man of my word, but you will be alive to endure it. I promise you.”
The four turned and glanced at Josef who nodded silently. All in the room sat except Josef. Marie stood her ground. Her body language read that being present there was not her choice.
“We’re supposed to believe that you’re the Devil?” Josef asked.
“Yes, Josef,” he said, nonplussed. “I am he.”
The elder-general gritted his teeth. “I’m having a difficult time believing this,” he added.
The Devil ran the fingers of his left hand over his goatee and scratched the bottom of his chin. Then he flipped his hat onto the large table. It slid across the surface and stopped dead in the center of it. “Said a vampire,” he said sarcastically. “I could show you my true nature, but it isn’t pretty. I could kill every living thing in this board room with my will alone; however, I have need of you, so I won’t. I actually live for these moments—relish them even. Yet, I find myself strangely disinterested. I have much to do, you see. Much to do.” His voice trailed off momentarily, but he quickly snapped out of it. “I like you guys. We’re brothers in a way. All of us outside the so-called Kingdom of God. My disdain for mankind is legendary because of this.”
Josef and the Devil held eye contact.
“Are you familiar with a vampire named Nathaniel?”
“I am familiar with many vampires by that name,” Josef replied. “Felipe?”
Immediately, Felipe clicked open a database and began typing away. There were a great many references with that name. Some deceased. The data went all the way back to before the printed word. This was the cyber version of original material, which had been researched and compiled well before computers.
Satan waited.
“I have a Nathaniel who was involved in the deaths of several other vampires?” Felipe offered.
“Bingo,” Satan said. He rubbed his face and tapped his forehead. “It is curious you know of this, yet allowed him to live. I thought killing vampires was an offense punishable by death? Perhaps I have been misled.”
“Hmm,” Josef remarked. “I believe I recall this one. Our investigation concluded that he was not the only one at fault. In fact, was it not discovered that others were to blame?”
“Yes,” Felipe replied. “A vampire named Vincent is referenced, as well as another. A newborn. Tiffany.”
“That’s correct,” Josef said.
Satan thrust his hands into his perfectly pressed pants and glared at Josef. “No, this is not correct, and I am here to finally get you to do something about this egregious oversight.”
“Hmm.” Josef put on a thoughtful face. “Let me take a wild guess at this. You had something to do with these vampires attacking this Nathaniel. They failed and you’re coming here to get more vampires to do your dirty work for you. How am I doing?”
Satan said nothing.
“Bingo,” Marie said.
“Just what has he done to you exactly?” Josef inquired.
“And why can’t you simply take care of this yourself?” Marie asked. “Surely you don’t need our permission?”
“I like you, Marie. You have spunk,” Satan replied.
“Forgive me, my brother,” Marie said, leaning into Josef. “But perhaps as the evidence suggests, the great Satan has already failed twice in this personal vendetta of his.”
“Until the sky rolls back like a scroll, I have failed nothing,” Satan said, and it was clear to all that he was trying very hard not to lose his temper. His countenance softened as he quickly seemed to regain his composure.
The vampires waited him out, until Josef broke the silence. “Satan,” he began. “Forgive us for making sport of you…”
“You confuse me with another, Josef.” Satan glared back at him, crossing his arms at his chest. “I am no good at forgiving.”
“Very well then,” Josef said. “You do well to say that it is a crime in our community to kill another vampire. It is rare that such an act is sanctioned by the board, much less its elder-general. But I ask you – if I may – just what has he done?”
“It really doesn’t matter what he’s done, Josef,” Satan said, approaching. “What matters is I want him destroyed. He has no love for the vampire community or its elder-general. He seeks to change his nature, to become a Christian, and to follow God.”
“Satan?” Josef asked. “What will you do if we respectfully decline to intervene in this matter?”
All eyes quickly moved from their elder-general to Satan. Satan glanced about the room and thrust his hands back inside his pants pockets.
“I would be very disappointed.”

We'll talk soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Devil Returns with an Infernal Plot

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. It has taken longer than I thought, but the next chapter in my crossover vampire series is nearly ready. As of this writing, I have completed the edits that my wonderful editor had for me. All that is left is for me to do is to venture back into Writer's Cave and work through the painstakingly slow process of reading the book aloud - to make sure that every paragraph, every sentence and every word is just right. Today I have a teaser for you, hopefully to whet your appetite or capture your curiosity...

Nathaniel felt sudden remorse. “I apologize,” he said, but didn’t elaborate exactly what he might be sorry for.
“I don’t believe you,” she said quietly. “You don’t want me here. I am not welcome.” She leapt to her feet. “I don’t know why I bother.”
With that, she marched off into the woods and was gone. Nathaniel felt torn, but merely sat on the chair and waited for his clashing thoughts to clear, curious to see which side of the argument would emerge victorious. He didn’t know why she bothered, either, but tried not to worry about it. At least, that was what he told himself. After all, he had much larger concerns. Whether he would see Marie ever again wasn’t one of them.
What he could not afford to do was have her presence distract him from his mission, which was to seek God’s face and protect those under his charge. He had allowed himself to be unfocused too many times before when it had had mattered most.
Unfortunately, she had proved to be a distraction after all. The smell of sulfur hit him when it was far too late to do anything about it.
The chair beside him was no longer empty.
Satan sat there, in far finer clothing than even Marie had adorned herself with. He stared back at the vampire with the vilest grin Nathaniel thought he had ever seen.
“Greetings,” he said as he fingered the fedora in his lap. “You really have a way with the ladies, don’t you?”
Nathaniel bristled, but wasn’t afraid. It was far too late for that anyway. Satan had caught him unawares. And with an army of vampires well on their way, he never once considered the Devil doing anything but taunting him with that fact.
“Apparently so.”
“She is a fine woman, you know?” Satan chided. “There’s an opportunity there. Her perverted brother keeps her chained up inside that estate of theirs, while he does what he pleases like Caligula. Not really in chains, of course, but she may as well be. She just sits in that garden of hers.”
“So, she wasn’t lying about that?” Nathaniel asked.
“And of course I can trust you to tell me the truth.”
Satan shrugged. “Believe what you want.”
“Why did you bring her here?” Nathaniel asked.
“Who says I did that?” Satan laughed before he could get the words out. “I’m sorry. It’s too much of a lie even for one as accomplished in the skill as me. She’s a gift.”
Nathaniel shook his head. “The level of your contempt knows no limits, does it? She is a person and not a thing to be given or thrown out with the trash.”
“She’s a vampire, but I won’t split hairs with you,” Satan countered. “So you do like her then. Good.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Yes, you did. Of course you did. She is my gift to you. Take her and do as you please.”
“Forget it.”
“And why not?” Satan asked. “You’re both alone. Why not be companions? Besides, I brought her here, but your God routinely turns things around for good, does he not? Romans eight; twenty-eight, I believe. Why don’t you ask God about it?” He leaned close. “Still not talking to you?” When Nathaniel didn’t take the bait, he sat back. “I see,” he said.
Eventually, Satan slid down in his chair in his expensive Italian suit and kicked one leg over the other. The moonlight leapt onto his polished leather shoes and held them far stronger than it had with Marie’s blouse. Nathaniel wasn’t surprised at the unearthly glow.
“Great shoes, huh?” Satan remarked, following his gaze. “It’s amazing how quickly they wear out. They last days at best.”
“It must be all the ground you have to cover,” Nathaniel said.
Satan nodded. “You would be correct.”
“Couldn’t you retire and see the world?”
“Ha!” Satan laughed loudly and some birds flew off the trees, making a loud ruckus. “Oh, I couldn’t do that. I have only my work. Seeing the world is not all it’s cracked up to be anyway. In any event, seeing it is a part of the job description.”
“Are there not wars being waged that you need to attend to? Famines? Mankind being woefully unprepared for the next hurricane, earthquake, drought, tsunami?”
“Yes,” he replied. “And infinitely more. However, I have everything covered, thank you so much. I have more than enough time for all of that, to handle what goes on here as well as what transpires in the central valley of the State to our south.”
Nathaniel blinked, but said nothing. He crossed his arms and did his best to fight the urge to take his sword off of his lap and run the Devil through with it. If only it were that easy.
“What’s the matter?” Satan asked. “Don’t you worry about Barbara and her children? Especially with Michael being here with you?”
He said nothing.
“No, of course you worry.” Satan nodded. He took his hat and set it back on his head. “You shouldn’t bother. Soon there’ll be nothing to worry about.”
Nathaniel began to pray in his mind, but showed no outward appearance of it.
“Stop that!” Satan ordered as he climbed to his feet. He threw an arm out as if tossing something away. “I was afraid you were going to start praying!” He spun around and faced him.
If Satan became riled and decided to kill him, there was really very little he could do about it, he knew.
“Look around,” he spat. “What has God done for you? I mean, really? What has he gained you?”
Nathaniel stared up at the Devil. This was perhaps his defining moment and he knew it. His chance to stand in the face of the greatest threat to God and man, and declare his allegiance. Satan leveled his cold, dark eyes at him, as if he fully anticipated what was coming.
“I am nothing without the Lord.”
Satan sighed and merely smiled. “Soon, you will be only nothing.”

If this is the first you have ever heard of my series, I hope you'll take a look at the first book, Dance on Fire. The e-book can be had for 99 cents at any of the major e-book stores. Here's the Amazon link. The series is definitely crossover or edgy, if you will. I don't label it Christian, though the themes are obviously present. You're going to find some language and a whole lot of blood being shed. Sometimes you will find your nose in the stuff. On the other hand the horror isn't so gratuitous that it turns all except the die-hards away.

Anyway, I hope you'll like it.

We'll talk soon.