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INVITED: Initium – Book Trailer

In 1631 Sebastian Barbaneagra and Bianca Lupei were in love and planning their wedding day. That is until an Emperor Vampire named Lord Lucian Dascălu appeared one night and informed Bianca that she was his heir. To ensure that his bloodline would continue, Lucian bites Bianca, thus transferring the curse to her. But Sebastian refuses to go through life without Bianca and voluntarily chooses to be damned with her. The lovers find a witch’s book that holds the key to ending the curse, but they must run from an army of Jesuit Priests who are bent on sending them to hell.

Open To The Anguish Of Mortals

S. Faxon Author Interview

Origins: The Blue Dragon Society follows a shape-shifting boy who has to decide if he will fulfill his destiny or let his hate exile him. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I studied international human rights throughout my collegiate career and had several opportunities to see children and teens from countries and ethnic groups that did not get along. And from a very young age they were taught to hate each other, but there was one moment I saw, which will stay with me for the rest of my days. I was working and living in the single building Manhattan Campus of St. John’s University; it was late night and I was working on reports and I kept hearing children laughing and screaming on the floors below me. There were summer programs happening where students from various countries, countries that did not get along, were learning English. Initially, I thought the students were bullying each other, so I looked over the railing of the terrace where I was working and I was just about to get after at them, when I realized what they were doing – they were playing hide and seek. Hardly any of them could openly communicate with each other because they didn’t share languages, but they were laughing and playing together. They ranged in ages from eight to fourteen and they were just having the time of their lives. It’s been ten years since that happened and I’m getting emotional typing about it now because of how powerful that was to see. With Owen, I wanted to write something that showed if you just take a moment to get to know someone from another culture or ethnic group, you’ll see that we have far more in common than not. Those children bonded over playtime and as Owen grows, he will see that there are far more reasons for us to work together than against one another. This theme will continue into the sequel as well.

Owen faces many moral challenges and experiences of growth in this novel. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

When I initially wrote this story, I knew I wanted a troubled teen as the main character as I wanted to introduce my readers to this world, which will very much continue to grow, through the lenses of someone narrow minded. That way, as his perspective grew through his experiences, my readers would be able to grow into the world with him. I knew I wanted him to be in mourning, but when I initially wrote the first draft, it was his father who had passed, not his mother. Then I had a conversation with fantasy author David Green who mentioned how in fantasy stories, so many characters have a daddy complex in our genre. So I flipped the table; I wanted a young man who was closer with his mother and who lost her. I lost my grandmother who raised me when I was sixteen, and while I genuinely don’t remember much of the year that followed, what I do remember was anguish – feeling lost and feeling angry. The feeling of having my world ripped away from me, so I wanted to put those emotions in Owen and then put him in situations where he’d have to create his own conclusions and make his own choices based on his loss at an early age. While the Blue Dragons are noble in their missions, they are blinded by their intent to pursue the greater good which Owen realizes may lead to more trouble than good. Even though he initially hated humans, through his recent loss Owen’s eyes are far more open to the anguish of mortals than his fellow dragons.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I didn’t want a “simple” good vs evil story. I’ve studied enough international conflicts to know it’s not usually that simple, which is why the story starts with the antagonist. There is no doubt that Anton is the “bad guy,” and while his parents are neglectful and abusive, he is given a choice and his choice has many affects, some of which we haven’t even seen yet.

At its simplest, Origins is a coming of age story where young individuals are finding their place in a world that is bigger than them and deciding if they want to serve others or themselves. This theme of choice will continue into the next installments of the Blue Dragon Society as well.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a couple of books in the pipeline right now; my business partner and I have a guide for authors entitled, How to Become A Successful Author and Not Loose Your Mind, which is launching mid to late July of 2022. The sequel to Origins, The Road to Dova, will be launching in October of 2022. And I’m currently publishing two episodes a week of an urban fantasy entitled Blood Lords via Kindle’s Vella, which is about a young woman who is being hunted by a corrupted vampire lord.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | TikTok | Website | Instagram

In the Lands of Baradesh, some people make deals with the damned, others choose to fight back. What will Owen choose?

The shape-shifting members of the Blue Dragon Kingdom have long intervened when chaos befalls mortals. While he knows this tradition is an integral part of his community, Owen hates humans for killing his mother. But the only way to take his place in his dragon society is to help mortals against a new threat; vampires. If Owen refuses the mission, he will be exiled.

In this dark fantasy tale, will Owen overcome his hatred to help the humans fight vampires, or will he choose exile and the destruction of all humankind?

Blood Thinners 

Blood Thinners starts with a great first line that immediately hooks readers and throws them right into the storyline. Detective Mina Summers, the daughter of the leader of the organization known as SHAP (Supernatural Human Accountability Partnership), is just one assignment away from becoming Regional Director for the agency. Should she obtain this position, she will be the youngest one in the agency’s history. There is nothing and no one that will stand in her way. That is at least until she receives her one last assignment.

Detective Summers’s final assignment is to look into a celebrity-endorsed retreat that guarantees weight loss permanently. SHAP finds this claim suspicious, especially in light of the increased number of cases involving rogue vampires randomly making attacks. Mina and her partner Jake are anxious to wrap up this case and move on. However, the Vice President and daughter of Thinner CEO, Carma, might have other ideas.

Mina is the leading lady in this story, and even though she is a bit standoffish, you cannot help but love her character and the character she becomes. Novak does an excellent job of character development, not just with Mina but with all the characters in the book. Sebastian is Mina’s ghost roommate who is obsessed with the movie Titanic. Jake is Mina’s SHAP partner and best friend. He is the level-headed one of the two and tries to keep Mina grounded.

While reading Blood Thinners, I was reminded of the writing style of Lauren Weisberger, i.e., The Devil Wears Prada, and shortly into the book, there is a comparison of the CEO to Miranda. This familiar writing style is engaging, draws readers into the action, and builds attachment to the characters.

Blood Thinners is a fast-paced romantic mystery with LGBTIA+ characters. With excellent and robust world-building, readers will be able to escape into the world created and experience a love story that is heartwarming and heartbreaking.

Pages: 303 | ASIN : B09CK8GHTH

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There is More to Dracula Than People Think

Author Interview
Author Interview A—e

Powers of Darkness is more than just a translation of Dracula, it includes sections originally published in the paper but not the novel, as well as historical information. Why was this an important book for you to write?

The simplest explanation is that the translator was given wide latitude to be creative, as long as the story helped sell newspapers. Although a few scenes were left out, including the zookeeper interview and the death of Renfield, this is an adaptation of Dracula with some new characters and plotlines. We know from Dracula that Harker has a hard time maintaining his composure when he’s trapped like an extremely tasty small rodent, but when the madhouse doctor’s thoughts start to race, he is less able to hold himself together.

When I saw that the Icelandic Powers of Darkness was an abbreviated version of the more elaborate Swedish original, I wanted to see how it ended. When it became clear that the story was unique and entertaining on its own, I felt like I had to publish it before the Count’s sympathizers had it suppressed at the publishing houses.

Did you find anything in your research of this story that surprised you?

My editors started prodding me about how the text was dripping with racism and misogyny, initially with suggestions to soften the sharp edges and occasionally with comments in the margins indicating their level of cringe. I was surprised at how it managed to come in with even more racism than Dracula.

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?

I thought I was trying to clear up some misunderstandings about Count Draculitz. He wasn’t just some creepy, ravenous moral-panic-inspiring predator; he was greasing the palms of English politicians and founding a personality cult promoting fascism twenty years before it became popular.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I do not think I will come across a book from a past century that I have to publish again.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter

Powers of Darkness (Swedish: Mörkrets makter) is a translation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula published in the Stockholm newspaper Dagen in 1899–1900. It is longer than Dracula and features an expanded cast of characters, elaborate adventures in the Transylvanian castle, a lovers’ reunion in a Hungarian sanitorium, a mystical honey pot, and a showdown with the Count in London. The new content is rich in eroticism, xenophobia, spiritualism, and vague political conspiracies. This is the first time that the full Swedish text of Powers of Darkness has been translated into English; until now this story was only available in the much-abbreviated Icelandic version Makt Myrkranna. This edition contains a foreword by Hans Corneel de Roos, an expert on the Nordic Dracula variants and translator of the Icelandic text, and essays on xenophobia and racism in fin-de-siècle monster literature by Tyler Tichelaar and Sezin Koehler. It is illustrated with the original pen-and-ink drawings by Emil Åberg printed in the newspaper in 1899.

Powers of Darkness

Powers of Darkness by Bram Stoker, a Swedish adaptation by A—e, is a more detailed account of Tom Harker’s journey to Transylvania to meet with Count Draculitz. This variation on the original classic provides the reader with more detail with some slight deviations from the original text. The editor of this particular retelling, W Trimble, precedes the story with a vast collection of papers. These papers explore the similarities and differences between the original Dracula and the later versions published in Sweden like Mörkrets Makter, or  Makt Myrkranna (Powers Of Darkness), published in an Icelandic newspaper in the 1900s, as well as touching on numerous other variations.

Having so much information before the actual story allows the reader to understand why this retelling is different from the original. In addition, these papers touch on important and pertinent themes such as racism and assumptions about Romanians. This is evident from the offset when Tom Harker writes in his journal, “disturbed by the bat and the howling dogs, they stealthily exchanged glances and crossed themselves when they thought I was not looking.” This could be seen as a foreshadowing of the rest of the storyline, but it also assumes this is how people in these areas would behave. This is discussed in detail in the preceding papers.

The adaptation itself is still written in the same style as the original, littered throughout with the well-known imagery of the tale, such as “put her in the coffin” however, it contains some elements such as that of a beast which would have been slightly more shocking at the time it was originally published.

I am a big fan of the text published in England and enjoyed getting a more in-depth tale. This variation is perfect as a literary source, or for anyone looking to deepen their knowledge of gothic literature, especially due to the papers contained in the preface. With the change in times, the additions and this version of the story are as exciting as the first Dracula.

Powers of Darkness: the wild translation of Dracula from turn-of-the-century Sweden is a captivating take on the story of Dracula most people know. The added history included gives readers a new look at this classic story. This gothic horror novel will provide readers with more suspense and thrills than the original book.

Pages: 1049 | ASIN : B09RX3877X

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VAMPIRE’S DAY: EPICENTER

VAMPIRE’S DAY: EPICENTER: Epic horror full of vampire madness. Walking Dead meets Call of Duty. Vampire sun has risen (VAMPIRE'S DAY Book 1) by [YURI HAMAGANOV]

Book 1 of Yuri Hamaganov’s Vampire’s Day series is a tumultuous and chaotic exploration of a mass vampire attack on both the government and the military, but mostly on the city of Los Angeles. It is a violent, no-holds-barred thrill ride into all the different nuances of the attack, from all possible sides involved. The story begins on an otherwise typical morning in Los Angeles, where at the LAX airport Flight 263 lands, bringing with it violence, shootings, and what most believe to be an organized terrorist attack. The true horror that this attack unveils over the course of the narrative involves no terrorists, and instead the reader learns that this attack has been methodically planned for years as a way for the vampires to assert absolute control over the city.

The reader gets thrown into the action in this faced paced vampire thriller making this an intense read from start to finish. The reader gets to see  different perspectives of the characters in the story making them more relatable. At times I wasn’t sure what new perspective I was reading from because there are a lot of characters in the story but this didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story. In a post apocalyptic world fighting for survival you don’t have time to take a deep dive into someone’s life, but maybe book 2 will have more character development.

Hamaganov’s world building and descriptions are deep and detailed and serve to create an immersive atmosphere. The reader is able to clearly visualize what the character’s are doing and what their surroundings look like. I found the gun and armor talk to be interesting as I know nothing about weapons and Hamaganov’s extensive knowledge is impressive—at times it was almost as if I was reading a military artillery manual.

Vampire’s Day is a suspenseful horror with blood and action galore. Fans of fast paced and hard hitting action will have plenty to devour in this sensational apocalyptic adventure.

Pages: 311 | ASIN: B07X1G58PJ

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I Wanted My Vampires To Exist

David Gittlin
David Gittlin Author Interview

Scarlet Ambrosia follows a man who faces a life-altering choice after meeting a beautiful vampire and learning of a secret and dangerous underworld. How did you come up with the idea behind this novel?

Believe it or not, the story began with a question: How does a nice Jewish accountant tell his parents he’s been turned into a vampire? I’m from a conservative Jewish background, and I was very close with my parents while they were alive. I tried to imagine myself in the lead character’s shoes. How would he deal with this life-changing event in the context of his relationships with parents, siblings, brother-in-law, and a very close friend and business associate? The story grew from there. 

What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce into the vampire genre?

I wanted my vampires to exist during the day without the sun burning them up. They are living, breathing, human vampires. They are not “the undead.” They are not immortal. They can be killed if they are injured badly enough. I wanted to make these characters more human and relatable by changing the stereotypes. I took a close look at a vampire character who heads up the Vampire Council and the key role he plays in preparing the romantic couple (Devon and Mathilde) for their ultimate confrontation with the rogue villain. The villain (Egon Schiller) is up to some highly unusual evil in his bold flaunting of the Vampire Council’s rules.

What scene did you have the most fun writing?

In Chapter One, Devon meets a beautiful stranger (Mathilde de Roche) in a bar. I loved writing the subtle interplay of their dialogue in this scene. It came to me naturally and spontaneously. I did, however, extensively edit the first chapter.  

Do you plan on writing more supernatural romance stories?

I will most likely write a sequel to “Scarlet Ambrosia” when the time comes.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

A one night stand thrusts Devon Furst into the arms of a beautiful vampire lover, leaving him with a terrible choice: death or eternal life as a vampire.For a man aged twenty-eight and in perfect health, death is not an option. Mathilde’s alluring beauty makes the decision and her vampire blood easier to swallow. Devon must leave behind everyone and everything he holds dear to face a future full of uncertainty, and a five-hundred-year-old vampire with deadly preternatural powers and little regard for the laws of the legendary Vampire Council.

The Curse of the Cobalt Moon

The Curse of the Cobalt Moon by [Lou Hernández]

The Curse of The Cobalt Moon by Lou Hernadez follows the main character Cira Perez and her brother Raul as they learn that their mother is a vampire and along with that shocking revelation they discover that they too have the same path to follow as their mother. Cira and Raul still have to go to high school with all this happening. Their lives and those around them get more and more complex as they are taken down this vortex of the new world that they have been unceremoniously thrown into.

The Curse of the Cobalt Moon plays with the supernatural and has a moody atmosphere that permeates the entirety of this alluring novel. From the first page you are taken on a whirlwind of adventure and suspense as the characters try to navigate through their now changing world. I appreciated that the story takes off right from the first page and keeps up a steady pace. This helped to keep me engaged with the story because, while this is a unique take on the vampire genre, readers are left always wanting to know more or what is going on, and the quick pace ensures questions and answers come and go.

I enjoyed reading this book and I enjoyed all the leaps and surprise turns it took. This was a suspenseful dark fantasy novel mostly because the author knows how to build suspense and intrigue. While I enjoyed the story, I wanted to see more of the characters emotions and delve into their motivations a bit more. I hope this is the start of a series because the characters and backstory are interesting and I want to explore them further.

I would recommend this book to readers looking for an imaginative paranormal adventure and something out of the ordinary. Readers who likes young adult fiction centered on characters figuring out themselves and the world around them will enjoy this supernatural thriller which puts its own unique stamp on the vampire genre.

Pages: 266 | ASIN: B08WZBRD27

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