As much as I enjoy reading them, I’ve now gotten tired of those paranormal romances in which the vampire-hero anguishes over his Undead state. No matter how he got that way, whether through his own machinations or otherwise, he now decides he wishes to be human again because he’s—gasp! Yes!—finally fallen into true love. From that point on, the story revolves on how many times he can maneuver the heroine into bed rather than going about his Undead business. Don’t get me wrong, love is all right—and give me plenty of it, please!—at this point I feel like shouting, “For crying out loud! Man up and stop the whining! You’re a vampire, act like one!” Let’s have more flashing of fangs and rending of throats and flapping of great, black wings in the night…and less supernal angst.
After all, that’s how vampires should be. Right?
Following my own advice, I decided to write a novel which portrayed the vampire as he used to be…unrepentant, Undead, and loving every century of it. And thus, The Night Man Cometh was born. For a while now, Damian La Croix has walked alone. Then, Alixandra Pavlovna, of Blood will Freeze, joined him. And now, this month…things will begin to be a bit crowded…
On October 15, he’ll be joined by a third traveler in darkness. Like the Night Man, this vampire still retains a few human characteristics. Enough to allow him entry into the finer restaurants in a certain Southern city, as a matter of fact. He’s rolled with the punches and is in tune with the times, but he never sways from his purpose—in this case, freeing his fellow nosferatu from their leader’s tyranny—though he does stop off at a Taco Bell on the way.
Meet Vlad Chemare, a blast from the past who isn’t to be denied. He’s up-to-date, traveling by jet, and seeking revenge against the master who buried him alive in punishment for daring to lead a revolt back in the 15th century. Armed with a Chase Sapphire and a Kevlar vest, Vlad’s out for blood—specifically Baslo Rigla’s—and he isn’t about to let his feelings for mortal Meredith Swanson stand in his way. After all, a woman’s just a woman, but revenge is a dish best served cold, and six hundred years makes for some pretty chilly morsels.
And thus the South is once more invaded…this time by vampires, but it isn’t Louisiana, nor New Orleans. Instead, Savannah, Georgia, comes under the nosferatu spell. The Big Easy’s overflowing with supernaturals, and Rigla’s chosen some place a little less crowded, and with a much lower paranormal profile.
Being relatively young (he’s only six hundred and fifty) Vlad has some new ideas about how to fight, also. Rallying the vampires of Savannah around him, he relies on their American defiance of tyranny and that Southern love of a good brawl to make himself a new army. While his lieutenants enlist a Society of Creative Anachronisms blacksmith to fashion their armor, the local werewolf population volunteers to become his K-9 Corps.
It’s only when Vlad learns that Meredith wants to make him a father that his rush toward vengeance falters…but only for a moment. If he can survive being buried under six feet of frozen earth, Vlad figures he can handle killing Rigla, and fatherhood, too. And then the fight begins…with the city of Savannah as the battleground, and the rest of the world as the prize…after Vlad and Meredith leave Taco Bell, that is.
Naturally that last paragraph may raise some protests from the purists in the reader audience. A vampire siring a child? How can this be? Everyone knows vampires are sterile as mules. (We won’t go into the dhampir myth here. Nor bring up the birth of Blue Moon the mule and several other equine-donkey anomalies.) After all, immortality in and of itself makes producing offspring unnecessary. Let’s just say that, on this point, I haven’t strayed from the Undead mythos while enabling Vlad to achieve success in this endeavor. How? I’m not telling. Wait for the book and find out for yourself.
She was standing on the balcony, looking out over the park across the street. I could see cigarette smoke wafting upward, a pale mist between her and the darkness.
“Damn,” I said. “And I was going to be so suave and flick out my Bic and light that for you.”
The way she turned to face me had to have been rehearsed. It was perfect; silent, dramatic, just enough movement to make the folds of her dress ripple and her hair flow over her shoulders. Like one of those slow-motion effects cinematographers have so fallen in love with. If there had been violins singing in the background, it would’ve been a cinematic moment.
She was even more beautiful up close and personal.
“You’ve already lit my fire, baby.” She dropped the cigarette, crushing it with the toe of her strappy little shoe. Her eyes did the fastest inventory imaginable. They were green, the translucence of jade, and they paused for the briefest glance at my fly. Cool eyes, hot gaze. I could feel my cock heating up. “Nice Bic. But if there’s going to be any flicking, I’ll do it.” She held out her hand. “Valerie.”
“Vlad.” I took it in mine.
Then we were in each other’s arms, mouths crushed together, not even a molecule of air, cigarette smoke, or anything else between us. She pulled away first.
“Your place or mine?”
“Mine. It’s closer.”
“You don’t even know where I live.”
“I don’t care. We’re going to my place.”
And that was that.
The Last Vampire Standing is scheduled for an October 15th release (just in time for Halloween!) from Class Act Books, www.classactbooks.com