In the immortal words of the equally immortal Granny Weatherwax - I aten't dead!
Though you could be excused for thinking as much, given the time lapse between this and my last posting. In the interim we have moved house, seen our son get married and believe it or not I have been working on the last installment of the Beckett trilogy, Sanctuary.
Your friend and mine, Mike Travis, makes his presence known in this latest offering and I am excited to introduce some new characters. Although this is the final part of the trilogy, you will see them again from time to time in the Mike Travis books; one in particular will take a starring role in the next one in that series - working title Voodoo Queen. Please welcome Jean-Baptiste Vincent, ancient vampire currently 'living' in New Orleans.
Those of you that have begun to know me a little, understand how important research is to me, so I will be visiting the Crescent City of New Orleans early next year if only to get my bearings. Well, it would be rude not too! Please don't be fooled into thinking it's a holiday, erhum.
In the meantime, here is a snippet from Sanctuary, hopefully to whet your appetite, no pun intended (oh, okay then, pun intended).
The seedy side of Newport’s night-life was teeming with night-clubbers in varying degrees of intoxication – from drunk, to loud and obnoxious, leaning towards being arrested. This cities darkest haunts were like any other – except that this city had been the haunt of a ruthless and powerful vampire. That much Beckett had already hinted at.
Mike was alert as Beckett drove towards the docks, away from the dark streets and the neon-lit, new town-centre. He parked in front of an Indian restaurant half-way between the town and the docks.
“We’re here,” Becket said.
Mike looked around. “Either we’re hungry or that’s a front for something else.”
“Take a credit. I hope it isn’t that obvious to anyone else.”
Mike shook his head. “Na. I’m looking for something else, and I’ve learned not to accept anything on appearance. Suspicion is my friend. Sadly. So, what is it? Curry or something else?”
“Definitely something else. Before we go in, I’ll give you a summary. I told you that we have codes of conduct and ethics designed to protect both humans and vampires alike. There are other ways to gain our nourishment without killing, maiming … or worse … turning. Centuries ago there was a war between the Born – the name speaks for itself – and the Created – those turned into a vampire. It was then that the Vampire High Council was formed; to police our own, so that vampires could live among the humans without causing, or being, hurt. As with all society, there is the elite and, vampires are no different; there is a growing element of the Born that reject our ethics and see humans only as a food source to be disposed of after use. The Created also have their bad guys who also reject the Council and our laws.
“Most often, the victims are left to die, discarded as so much packaging, but, sometimes a victim is turned and, when that happens, the sire has a responsibility to the fledgling vampire, just as any parent to a child. Those who reject the Council and the vampire codes are beginning to turn their victims and abandon them to their fate. The turning is an exquisite agony that cannot be described, and then comes the thirst and the hunger – the desperate need to feed that overtakes every other instinct, even the killer instinct.”