On the quest for his missing lover Maurice Fitzpons, Seth Keane becomes a pawn in a proxy war between Ravenshaw and Lord Meath. But Seth has learned an important piece of knowledge from the apothecary Joseph Phillips, a lesson which he hopes will allow him to escape his present slavery. Nonetheless, everyone he holds dear is in danger as he struggles to regain his freedom.
The lives of two men–Seth and Maurice–now hang in the balance as the vampires head for their final showdown.
My patient gave a polite, humorous smile. “But obviously alive. Do you have an explanation? A conjecture? A wild guess?”
I stared. Every thought was running through my mind at once, rising on waves of logic, sinking into troughs of panic, wild, unstable. I began to sweat. He should be dead, utterly dead. I’d seen him lying horribly wounded outside Lichburg Manor, death hovering only minutes away. I’d hauled his body to the graveyard myself. I tried to mask my nervousness. A monster was sitting on my metal examination table with his shirt off. His bare chest looked all too normal. I knew more about this horror than any living being, but my knowledge was still so slight.
He was still, waiting for my diagnosis, except for a very fine, almost undetectable motion of his eyes.
I should have been frightened out of my wits, yet–
Maurice Fitzpons wanted an answer. He’d hunted me down to find one.
“What do you know about your condition? What happened to you? I need to construct a case history before I can draw any conclusions.” It was difficult to concentrate. The eyes of my patient were grey, never a warm color, and they were unnerving in the eyes of a vampire, more like that of some insensate animal. “How did you become a vampire?”
The vampire looked closely at me with a hint of suspicion in his eyes. I kept my mind blank and stopped taking notes for fear of making him fall silent.
“I don’t remember.” The vampire smiled slightly, obviously enjoying the perturbation this caused.
“Nothing at all?” I exclaimed. I could not hide my disappointment. Yet I was also relieved.
“I was dead at the time,” he replied with a touch of mockery.
“But did anything happen before you–died–that you can recall?” This was the most ticklish question, and I knew I was risking my life to ask it.
“I tried to kill your uncle. Wasn’t certain if it worked, either. Seen him around lately?”
Now the bright-eyed mockery was on full display. I could not imagine how Keane had been able to bear him as a flatmate.
“I have not seen my uncle,” I replied with fraying patience, “in two years.”
“It must have worked, then.”
I struggled to control my temper.
“Did you retain any of your human personality?” I’d only seen one other brief instance of vampiric madness (which I had no urge to witness again–even today the horror still clung to me), and I knew almost nothing about this condition.
The vampire hesitated. “No. My human mind only returned after I was burned in a fire.”
“Fire,” I said, thinking hard. “Do you mean the fire at Lichburg?” I asked urgently. “You were there?”
“Yes.” His manner was innocent. “Woke up on the lawn. I might have burned the manor down, but I’m not certain. You just can’t remember all these little details when you’re insane. Sorry for the hit to your inheritance, old boy.”
I reddened with a fury I could not suppress.
“I say my mind returned,” continued the vampire, “except for one little difference. I’m far more–,” he leaned towards me with an alarming smile, “–predatory and ruthless.”
Seth Keane has made a mistake. He mocks a vampire, and just when he thinks he has managed to evade the monster–he knocks on the door of another. Even Maurice Fitzpons, that master of turning a situation to his own advantage, finds that his lover’s peril is just one crisis too many.
Yet there are horrors worse than death. Insanity can dine on human flesh as hungrily as any vampire.
Fever Nights is the second volume in the Wound of the Rose Trilogy, a gay romance and paranormal adventure series.
A man was bending over a flowerbed. I raised my pistol, but I couldn’t identify the man from this angle. I blinked several times at him through the shimmering of fever.
He straightened and looked at me as if I had said his name aloud. Long grey hair, a tall hat with a wide brim. Jacket off, shirt sleeves rolled up. Next to him was a wheelbarrow filled with clumps of dirt and greenery.
Ravenshaw had been weeding his garden. For a moment, I was too shocked to move at the sight of this monster performing such a mundane chore. “Where’s Maurice?” I shouted.
“Follow the buzzing of the flies,” Ravenshaw replied with cold mockery.
My hand came up like a spring, and I fired straight at his chest. The report nearly deafened me. My second shot struck his head. I could have ripped him apart with my hands for those words.
A spatter of blood flew out of his head and Ravenshaw spun around, landing on his face in the flowerbed.
“So what were you planting?” I yelled. “If it’s roses, I suggest fishmeal and lime.”
–Your flesh will feed my garden after feeding me–
I nearly flew into the air. That had not been a sound to the ears, but a voice sent directly to my mind. What?!
Slowly, Ravenshaw lifted himself into a sitting position. He stood, then turned to face me. I could see the wound right where the bridge of the nose meets the brow, just above the eye socket. The bullet must have passed into his brain. Another messy wound was in his chest. Blood was flowing down his face in a stream, and it covered Ravenshaw’s eyeball. He drew out his handkerchief and daubed at the injury while his other eye gave me a look of glaucous hate. “You can’t kill a vampire with a pistol,” he said evenly. “Your friend discovered that.”
In Victorian England, two young men cross paths in a public house. Maurice Fitzpons, disgraced army officer and semi-professional rake, is in between careers. Seth Keane is sick of his life as a shoemaker’s apprentice and at war with a malignant stepfather. Both men are on the prowl. A chance meeting becomes a carnal night, and then a love.
But a stealthy horror glides along London’s somber streets, a fiend that wants fresh blood. A single bite can cause an ecstasy so great it will reduce a man’s soul to ashes, yet make him cry for more.
This is a tale of three vampires. One lusts for men. The second desires knowledge. The third demands power–and slaves. Maurice and Seth find themselves targets, and to outwit these monsters, they must learn the shocking and unwholesome lore of the supernatural.
When we woke the next morning, Maurice gazed at my unshaven face and bloodshot eyes and said with a grin, “I’ve never seen anyone appear so debauched before, not even myself in a mirror, and I’m stalwart competition for that award.” He smiled fondly at me.
I became aware of an iron bedstead and stiff horsehair mattress, and of a room decorated with riding gear and hunting rifles, plus a few stray books from Maurice’s college days.
His comment was not the sort I cared to hear in my delicate condition. “I feel like a corpse,” I replied numbly, “if they have headaches.” My stomach was still queasy. The walls were hung with a masculine red tartan, bright and blaring to my tender, blinking eyes.
We crept around each other painfully, our bare feet whispering on the wooden floor, washing our faces and hands in the basin and bumping into each other and groaning. I had to borrow a hairbrush and straight razor from Maurice. While I was shaving, I said, “Do you remember if we had sex last night?”
Maurice was changing his shirt for something less slept-in, and he wrinkled his brow. “With whom?” he asked.
My razor paused against my soapy throat, just under the chin. For an instant, I was tempted to use it for another purpose. “With,” I hesitated, “each other.”
Maurice frowned. “Did I ask you?”
This was awkward. Awkward beyond awkward. He didn’t remember? I was glad I was hungover. It helped dull the emotional blow. “I was under the impression you had. I lost a bet with you at pocket billiards.”
“Oh. I don’t recall that we did anything.” Maurice worked his buttons. “Of course, the only evidence I have is the fact that we woke up with our clothes on.” He came over, and after taking the razor from my hand, he wiped the soap from my face with a rag and regarded me for a moment. “Now I remember. You glided into that room of vultures like a swan. Finish your shave, Mr. Keane.”
Description from the blurb: Paris, the late 19th-century. Revolutionaries and Monarchists fight in the streets, and the painter Martin Grandjean joins the ranks of those hoping to re-establish the Old Republic. He meets a mysterious young man called Ari and falls in love, only to see Ari taken prisoner. Everyone turns against Grandjean; his friends, his family, and even the government. But Grandjean is determined to find Ari, win his love, and make a life with him. Available from Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, Itunes, All Romance and Oyster.
Martin Grandjean longs to show his love for Arivan Tremonde, but life for two painters infin de siècle France can be chaotic for artists, and a whimsical fate keeps intervening. Comedy and gay romance.
Love, Interrupted is an alternative universe side-story to the novel Lantern Slides From Old Bohemia, but it is a stand-alone work that can be read without any knowledge of that book.
Dustin Rafferty has a quest. He’s chasing the girl of his dreams. A new friend, Mark Horowitz, decides to help Dustin along by playing matchmaker, but Mark’s tactics yield an unexpected outcome. Dustin begins to develop feelings for another person–someone who isn’t female, and who wasn’t planning on falling in love.
The rumble of a bureau drawer came from the bedroom, and Jason could see Rafe vividly in his mind’s eye. Putting away the wedding clothes, jade cufflinks placed gently in a padded lacquer box, a daylily boutonniere unpinned and set on top of the bureau in a water glass, a red silk tie rehung on the rack in the closet, and the suit sliding off shoulders and hips to be draped carefully on its heavy wooden hangers.
And then–the explosion. Hooking a pair of crumpled jeans out of a corner by a belt-loop, shooting one leg in, then the other, stopping, still unzipped, for an emergency cigarette because smoking was not allowed during the ceremony. Then he would remember his plastered-down hair, and thoroughly ruffle the morning’s wet comb job into a mess while stepping into a pair of ankle boots, and at the last second, he’d stick his arms through a random sleeveless undershirt plucked from a pile of dirty laundry.
The bedroom door swung open. There was nothing special about Rafe’s appearance, as fashion magazines would have it. His black jeans and white undershirt were ordinary, his hair finger-tousled, his cheeks sucking on his cigarette with a junkie’s desperate urgency. Except that he was glamorous, with no effort at all.
Life sucks, thought Jason. Maybe it’s the boots. Hell, I can’t figure out how he does it. Why do some people have glamour and others not? The goddamn public thinks my job is a fashion show with background music. They don’t give a shit about my guitar playing.
One satisfied exhalation later and a narrow-eyed stare at nothing, and Rafe was ten times more glamourous.
Life REALLY sucks, thought Jason. Rafe’s undershirt was too small, as if it belonged to Alexis instead. The taut material outlined every muscle and ridge of bone beneath it.