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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Vampires for Christmas!



Shadowkings: The Inspiration

What are shadowkings, you ask?

They are purportedly mythical vampiric mages, akin to gods in the vampire cultures of the world. Only a few exist now, and Velian--court mage to Lorik--is one of them, though no one but Lorik knows the truth.

When the Moretti family is murdered, the twin brothers, Lucca and Gabriele, flee for their lives. Their family were allies of Lorik, and the vampire lord takes the twins in for safety. But Velian has another purpose for Lucca.

Lucca Moretti was born with magic flowing through his veins. Even as a mortal, he is incredibly attuned to nature and the elements, but Velian sees the signs of something much stronger in the young nobleman.

Gabriele is Lucca's twin, younger only by a few minutes. Unlike Lucca, however, Gabriele clings to his Christian upbringing like a lifeline. To make matters worse, the illicit desire simmering between Gabriele and his twin is becoming a lot harder to ignore.

***

I wrote my beloved vampire twins years ago, and they've been through various little snippets, teasers, and aborted stories. Shadowkings 1: The Beginning is their novel--the story of how they became lovers, and how they became vampires. It's also the story of Lucca's rise to power.

The title for the series came about from a song, actually -- though that shouldn't be much of a surprise to those who know me. Music inspires everything I write in one way or another. The song is 'Shadowkings' and is by the gothic heavy metal band Paradise Lost. You can hear the song on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqDgZ-rTK6E

I originally meant for this book to be a single title, just the story of how they got to the point of lovers (and Master/sub). I should have known these two wouldn't settle for one book. Hell, they wanted an entire series of their own. Thus, Shadowkings was born. At the start, I had no clue what or who the shadowkings were anymore than the then-mortal twins did. This novel was very much a matter of stream-of-consciousness writing for me. I basically channeled them both and wrote what they told me to write.

Book two will begin where this one leaves off, but where this one focuses on Lucca's powers, book two (Harbinger) will be more for Gabriele's latent abilities. He isn't just a skilled archer, as he demonstrates in The Beginning. There's far more to him than that, and he will become a harbinger of destruction for the enemies they all must face. To give you a hint: Gabriele will meet someone closely acquainted with his namesake.

***

Today I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate for Torquere Press, the publisher that started me down this unbelievably awesome career. Here are the details:

Deadline: January 1, 2014, midnight (Eastern)

How to Enter: Comment here and tell me the title of a song that YOU find inspirational, for whatever reason. Be sure to include your name and email address!

On January 2nd, I'll draw one name from ALL commenters and the winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to http://www.torquerebooks.com/

***

An excerpt from Shadowkings 1: The Beginning...

Lucca watched the young man from the village leave quietly and discretely. Alone once more, Lucca glanced up at the sitting room window. He'd spotted his twin up there not long before the villager's arrival, but then carnal pleasure drove away all but the need to climax. Of course, Lucca hadn't even thought about the young man beneath him. With every single thrust, he'd imagined it was Gabriele.

He picked up his shirt and slipped it back on. His pants, dusty from his sword practice, bore little evidence of the tryst. Not that he cared. If someone were to charge him with sodomy, it would certainly be the least of the crimes of which he knew he was guilty.

Witchcraft.

He'd heard one of the servants muttering about it to another, his name falling into the hushed conversation. While he didn't do anything to openly prove such accusations true, Lucca knew they held a modicum of truth. He'd found out early in life that he could hear others' thoughts. He understood and communed with creatures of the wild, though not in front of anyone else. He knew more about plants and their varied uses than the village healers. Then there was his other... addiction. Seeking pleasure with men had been something he'd done for years, but the urge to inflict pain came later. Only a few men let him bind their arms or legs, and fewer still enjoyed the sensation of leather snapping against their bare skin.

Lucca shivered and forced such images away. It was growing dark, which meant dinner would be soon. As the eldest, though only by a few minutes, he was expected at the head of the table with their father. The pomp annoyed him, but he endured it for his siblings' sakes. Alessandra was the picture of nobility, even if she did possess an unnatural wild streak at times. Gabriele was simply the quiet one, ever daydreaming about fantastical worlds beyond their manor and its village. As for himself, Lucca had no inclinations toward following in his father's lordly footsteps. His calling lay elsewhere, though he had no idea where that elusive place was right now.

He sheathed his sword and went through a servant's door, stepping into the chaos of dinner preparation in the kitchen. The bustle of servants stopped the moment he shut the door behind him. The women watched him, some with a hint of lust in their eyes, others with something far more like fear. At least this time, no one marked themselves with the sign of the Cross in his presence. That had happened once, and Lucca found it highly amusing. If they knew where his name originated from, they might have outright expired on the spot.

Ignoring the servants, he continued through the kitchen and out into the hall. A flash of golden hair topping a body more slender than his own crossed from one room to another farther down. Lucca followed. He waited in the doorway, blocking his twin from leaving. Gabriele turned, only to bump right into him. Those mesmerizing eyes gazed into his and Lucca swore he glimpsed pure need within their depths.

"I'm sorry," Gabriele said. "I didn't know you were back inside already."

"If I'm late to dinner, I'm sure the rumors will only become more colorful."

Gabriele blinked, his expression one of disbelief. "Lucca!"

Lucca grinned. Gabriele looked utterly delicious when the man's moral sensibilities became offended. "I doubt any of them can accuse me of something new. I think I'm currently guilty of every crime and sin known to mankind."

Gabriele scowled, making Lucca want him even more. "You are a very wicked man."

"Perhaps." Lucca leaned closer and whispered, "but at least I know who I am, Gabriele."

"We are expected at dinner," Gabriele muttered.

Lucca stepped aside and let his brother pass. "After you, mio angelo."

***

About Mychael…

Call me Katherine or Mychael--I'll answer to both. I'm a mother, partner, student, author by trade, and editor by compulsion. I've been in the publishing business for several years, namely as a writer but also as an editor on occasion. It never fails, though. I always end up editing eventually.

I'm a proud bibliophile, to which my poor sagging bookcases can attest. I read all the time, namely fantasy and romance.

When not writing or reading or editing, I...eat. Maybe sleep. Or watch Spongebob. Yes. I am a self-proclaimed, thirty-something year old Spongebob Squarepants addict. Much to my partner's dismay. It's fun.

If you're curious about what I write (and who wouldn't be?!), then you can find me below:

website:    blog:     facebook:     twitter:

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