Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Interview and Giveaway Killer on the Road (The Newfoundland Vampire #2) by Charles O'Keefe


Joseph O’Reily is still adjusting to the lifestyle and the dangers that come with being a new vampire. He and Cassandra recently fought to the death with Cassandra’s estranged husband John Snow, and now Joseph has experienced his first ménage a trios, as only a vampire can. As if all of this was not complicated enough, he and Cassandra have been tasked with hunting down and killing a rogue vampire, Donald Rathmore.

Another of John Snow’s creations, Donald is an evil misogynistic killer in his own right. Donald has no interest in avenging his creator’s death, but killing Cassandra is at the top of his list.

While Donald continues his murderous spree, Joseph and Cassandra always seem to be one step behind him. The chase is further complicated as they encounter other vampires and learn more about the mysterious nature of the Vampire Council and the coming war between good and evil.

Joseph is only now beginning to trust Cassandra, and this trust will be shaken when he discovers she has even more secrets than he imagined. Her idea of justice and morality is at complete odds with his own. Despite all his powers and growing skill, Joseph is tested physically as a vampire and emotionally by Cassandra. This time the answers and challenges may be too much for the young vampire to handle.

Hi Cremona, thanks for being part of my blog tour.

What is your opinion on how the vampire evolved in literature and how hard is, in our days, to write a book about vampires?
I think vampire literature has changed a lot over the years, the biggest change being how the vampire has changed from a mostly mindless killer to a sexy, romantic and often very desirable figure. This hasn’t always been a good thing, while I never read the books I was dragged to the first “Twilight” movie. Having a vampire continually in high school so he can prey on teenage girls is a terrible idea but it’s just one example. Some of the early books by Anne Rice are very good and I’ve come to also enjoy vampire books by an indie author named Jamie Wasserman. I think that the key is to find a balance; vampires shouldn’t be so civilized that they can easily go to high school (or sparkle) but I don’t see much appeal in writing them as mindless killers who leap on people tearing their throats out either.

For me I didn’t find it that overly difficult to write a vampire book, I just always loved them and tried to put my own unique spin on their powers and give each one a distinct personality. While my books have been compared to Twilight (I do have the idea of a vegetarian vampire) I think they are really not the same. I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of vampires would be in my world, what powers they would have, what weaknesses, how they would blend in to human society and other issues. I worked out what I hoped was both an original origin story for vampires and an explanation for their weaknesses. I think that now when you write a vampire book you need to be aware of what else that is out there (as much as possible) and either make a decision to do something similar or something unique.

How “traditional” are your heroes?
I hope that neither of my heroes are traditional. Joseph O’Reily is a geeky, 23 year old man who secretly wanted to become a vampire but of course never thought it would actually happen. As far as I know there isn’t another geeky, friendly, soft-hearted and yet strong young male vampire who is both scared of what he has become and yet finds it pretty cool. He has strong morals and tries to make the right decisions but he faces temptation and difficult situations. Sometimes Joseph makes decisions he regrets.

Cassandra Snow is a 220-year-old vampire who is not very traditional. She cares for Joseph and protects him but has a rather low opinion of humans. She mostly sees them as a nuisance and food source. While she never wants to be discovered, she has no problem killing humans who pose a threat to her or who she deems not worthy of life. Cassandra has an extreme view of justice; she considers herself a vigilante and certainly believes the ends justify the ends. With that said, she does have a kindness about her and a great capacity for love, her twist is that her capacity for violence and death is also vast.

I saw that you live in Newfoundland. There are local traditions, superstition about vampires?
 I wish! That would be a great thing to put in my books. There aren’t any local stories or traditions here in Newfoundland that I know of. I did make a point to weave some Newfoundland history (and real historical people) into my books though. In fact one of the main characters is based on Catherine Mandeville Snow, the last woman hanged in here in 1834.

The book’s description says that a war between good and evil will come. Where your heroes stand? Or it’s all about shadows of gray?
 While I do believe in characters who are shades of gray (Cassandra is certainly one of them) the war will be such an important event that both of them will fight on the side of good. Not to give too much away but basically even Cassandra would not want to see someone like Count Dracula rule the world and ultimately they both know that they could not live with the actions they would be forced to take under his rule. I also don’t mind saying that this is such a major event in my books that it certainly won’t happen until book 4 and afterwards things will never be the same.

As new vampire, does Joseph believe “that continuing educations is the key to success”?
 Joseph wants to learn as much as he can about vampire powers, behavior and society. He literally has an eternity to improve himself. He is forever curious about the world and his new existence and while he has some serious issues with Cassandra (and other vampires) ultimately he does come to accept that only through contact and experiences with other vampires that he can truly understand the meaning to vampire life.

Great questions, thanks so much for having me!
Thank you, Charles

My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean

Anne Bonny sat on the beach of Green Island, Hawaii, sipping a mai tai as she admired the view of the sunset. The sky began to turn crimson red, which helped dull the intense headache she suffered as a vampire up before dark.
She resided near what was thought to be an abandoned Coast Guard station, which secretly harbored her mansion underground and several paid servants and guards. Underneath a run-down airstrip lay a subterranean waterway where a submarine was docked. The submarine was used primarily for the human servants that needed to leave the island to fetch supplies or take vacations. The runway itself could still handle flight landings if a friend popped in for a visit.
Anne, like many vampires, was quite wealthy. Wise investments over enough time provided financial comfort that most well-to-do humans accumulated only through inheritance, corporate sharking, or a serendipitous blend of ideas, timing, and networking. The simple truth was, the duration of a human life was usually too short to build the financial stability to which most vampires were accustomed. Like most vampires, Anne chose not to flaunt her wealth. Going unnoticed made it easier to hide from humans. Peace and quiet was easy to obtain on a deserted island.
She had always loved tropical locations, and the Hawaiian Islands were so near the equator that the temperature almost never changed. She also loved sunsets so much that it was worth the suffering and slight risk of being out in the open before full dark. Green Island was primarily a bird sanctuary now, with the occasional monk seals that showed up on the beaches. Anne didn’t hate animals, but she killed a few birds that had the audacity to crap on her head one afternoon. At night, her vampire presence kept them away. In case something happened to her human servants, she could call out to a seal for assistance.
She sang to herself, “My bonny lies over the ocean; my bonny lies over the sea...” She liked that song, even though it wasn’t about her. As she sang and took another sip from her drink, she closed her eyes and grimaced in pain. This was a different kind of pain from that of a vampire out in the day. She knew that her estranged youngling John was in terrible danger and perhaps faced death. Despite the pain, she smiled and reclined easily on her lounger. “Serves the bastard right,” she whispered to herself. “He was my biggest regret in life. His charms fooled me, and I made him one of us. It’s time his life was brought to an end.”
Anne sighed, feeling better as the sun dipped near the horizon. She thought of that spring day in 1834 Newfoundland. John was a handsome man who exuded charisma and confidence. A hundred and thirty years didn’t seem so long ago. Time was relative when one was immortal. Still, she should have vetted John Snow and read his thoughts before turning him. But she was horny, hungry, and foolish. She not only bit him but kissed him afterwards with blood still on her lips. She didn’t see the harm in turning a wealthy fisherman. She realized too late that he was married, and she vowed not to cause the destruction of his marriage. When she saw him shot and dropped into the ocean, she thought that was the end of him, but she was wrong once more. Fish, it seemed, didn’t like the taste of vampires, and she learned that even a shot to the head and an injury to the brain would heal. Many years later, she heard of his rash actions, but didn’t want to admit to the Council that she had caused the mess. Best let them deal with it in their own way.
Newfoundland had seemed like a good place for a pirate to go – Peter Easton, Black Bart, and George Fielding all had frequented the area in years gone by. She enjoyed her life as a pirate. She loved to capture booty, but didn’t delight in slaughter.
Then she thought back to October, 1720, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. She had been imprisoned there and convicted of piracy. Luckily she had dreamt of her own capture and had grown her belly in the two weeks prior, so as to appear pregnant. It was a simple matter then to ‘plead the belly,’ as it was known at the time, and receive a stay of execution. This stay gave her a chance to escape and resume her pirate career disguised as a man. By 1860, with Albert Hicks hung for piracy in the US, she knew it was time to stop. The world had changed, and she had to change with it. Riverboat gambling was easy money. She did enjoy being on the water and the attention men paid her.
Anne took another sip of her drink and concentrated. John was fortunate that the sun was about to set, and her powers were activated in time. A man in a white shirt and shorts came over to her. “Excuse me, mistress. May I get you another drink?”
Anne opened her eyes. “No, Charles, I’d like to be alone for a few minutes. Take away the glass and bring me my cell phone in a bit.”
The man nodded. “As you wish.” He took the glass and left.
Anne resumed her concentration, and John entered her mind fully. He thought to her, Anne. my dear, my own youngling Catherine and this motherfucker Joseph are about to kill me. If you ever cared for me, avenge my death. I am in Newfoundland, and I will give you my last images so you will know their faces.
Anne snorted and thought back, Go fuck yourself, John. I just wish you had died in 1834 instead of living this long. Anne received no reply, but did see through John’s eyes at his moment of death. She saw a statue of Peter Pan, animals at his feet, and a lot of blood. She saw a woman with beautiful long, red curly hair who looked terribly wounded in her chest, and man who seemed to have been shot as he stabbed John with a sharpened wooden stick.
Anne gasped as her own chest hurt terribly for a second. And then she received one final thought from John. They are watching us.
Anne waited for the pain to fade and rubbed her chest right above her heart. She snorted again and grumbled to herself, “Tell me something I don’t know.”
With the sun gone down, she sat up and smiled, absently admiring her slim, athletic figure in her gold bikini. She tossed back her fiery red hair, kept straight at shoulder length. “My dear John,” she said aloud, “your death, and these other vampires in Newfoundland, are enough to pique my interest.”
The last remnants of the sun disappeared below the horizon, and Anne felt her senses fully come to life. She heard Charles’ heartbeat and smelled the sweetness of his blood. As he approached, she stood and held out her hand for the phone. Charles said in his accustomed manner, “Are you hungry, mistress?” He passed her the phone and stretched his neck to one side.
Anne smiled. “Yes, Charles, you’ll have the next few days off, as I will drain you deeply. Remember, until you pass out, that I liked to be fondled. I’ll make certain Michael carries you to sickbay.”
Charles nodded. “Of course, mistress. Thank you for choosing me tonight.”
Anne took the phone and clipped in on the back of her bikini bottom. She took off Charles’ shirt and sunk her teeth into his neck. He tasted lovely, with not a hint of drugs or alcohol, and had a pleasant taste of cinnamon in his blood. She also enjoyed his ministrations, but she became more excited at the thought of sex with another vampire. It had been too long since she’d enjoyed the company of others of her kind. Any vampire capable of destroying John must be worth my interest.
She drained Charles until his heartbeat started to slow and he drifted into unconsciousness. Anne cared for her servants, the way a pet owner cared for her animals, and she laid him gently on the sand. She took the cell phone out and punched in the mansion number. She didn’t allow time for a greeting but simply stated, “Have a boat waiting on the southeastern end of Midway Island. I’ll whistle loudly. Also, prepare the sub and head off for Honolulu. I’ll be there in a few days. Make sure it has my weapons on board. Oh, and send Michael down to take Charles to sickbay. He’ll need a few days off.”
The reply came instantly. “Of course, mistress, right away.”
Anne tucked the cell phone into Charles’ right front pocket and, after a brief glance at the first stars that came into view, dived into the ocean. The water was warm against her cool skin. She could easily swim in the Arctic and break through ice if necessary, but this was much more pleasant. Fish, dolphins, sharks and the occasional whale all moved out of her way as she cut through the water like a knife. She had been an excellent swimmer as a human, and when she was turned, her swimming speed and skill reached legendary levels. She could easily swim thirty kilometers an hour at night and go for eight to ten hours with a belly full of blood. Like all vampires, she had an uncanny sense of direction and knew she was headed for Midway Island. She planned to reach it just before sunrise. Perhaps, when she got to Newfoundland, she would find a new companion or at least some friends. John had created Catherine, after all, and she did at least owe her an apology. She wondered if this Joseph had experienced a blood embrace. In any case, he had not done it with her.

It would take her weeks to get there this way, but she was in no rush. Anticipation was a wonderful thing, and time was certainly on her side.

Like every other geek alive, Newfoundland native Joseph O'Reily secretly wants to be a superhero. At thirteen he fantasized about being a vampire, and ten years later he's still fantasizing - but mostly about a beautiful redheaded woman who has eyes only for him. The one thing different about Joseph's adult fantasy is that, amazingly, it comes true one night when he goes to a local university pub. Cassandra Snow, literally the woman of his dreams, invites him to her place for an evening of personal pleasure. Of course he's not going to say no. But when strange things start happening afterward, Joseph quickly learns that not all dreams should come true.

About the author:
Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Esther. 

He works in IT support and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, Pilates, and of course fantasizing about vampires.

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Andreea Ilie said...

I want to read this book!! :)

Unknown said...

Sweet giveaway..and so look forward to the book

Unknown said...

SUper giveaway.. thanks for the chance.