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, November 11, 2015

a dark reimagining of the fountain of youth - The Killing Cure: Drink by C.S. Kendall

Childhood friendship turns to love in this dark reimagining of the fountain of youth. In 1919, Charlie returns from WWI and gives his heart to Julia. As their love story begins, tragedy strikes when Julia contracts a deadly illness. 


Published: September 24th, 2015
Cover Artist: Shari Ryan

Childhood friendship turns to love in this dark reimagining of the fountain of youth. In 1919, Charlie returns from WWI and gives his heart to Julia. As their love story begins, tragedy strikes when Julia contracts a deadly illness. 

On her deathbed, dreams of a future together shatter, but Charlie refuses to give up, convincing Julia to drink from a vial of “healing waters” his war buddy swore would bring spontaneous healing. Julia's miraculous recovery brings hope, but the water's murderous side effects snuff out the couple’s short-lived joy. 

Can Charlie help Julia fight the water's call to kill? All their efforts may be in vain when Julia has to choose between running from the curse or embracing it in order to save Charlie. 

Journey with Julia and Charlie through a love story that spans a hundred years and an age-old curse that spans more and worse, puts Charlie’s life and Julia’s soul at risk.

The Power of a Curse

Have you ever felt cursed? I have. Here’s a scenario we can all relate to: the day is going terribly. I have a frustrating battle of wills in the morning with children, spill coffee on my shirt on the way to work, hit traffic because of an accident, have a conflict with someone I care about, stub my toe as I unlock the door to my office just as a piercing migraine comes on, and nothing seems like it can turn the day around.

I’m cursed!

Or at least that particular day seems to be. 

But in reality it’s simply a bad day. As doomed as it feels, I have the choice whether it defines the course of the day or if I turn it around. Whether the universe is truly against me or not, if I take a step back, I know at some point, the tide will turn. 

But does the same ring true with real curses? That impenetrable binding thing--whether it’s a spoken word or an ancient entity one stumbles upon. Curses take on different forms depending on the world within which they exist. Sometimes curses masquerade as something desirable, enticing. 

Such is the case in my book, The Killing Cure: Drink. The curse within those pages gravitates around the fountain of youth, which has generally been considered a desirable thing--something people throughout history have actually searched high and low for. 

But the universe (even fictional ones) has a way of balancing itself out, doesn’t they? There is a cost. In the case of the cursed waters of the fountain of youth, they grant one who drinks from them immortality, health, vibrancy, and youth. But don’t forget to read the fine print. Alongside the promise of all of those comes some pretty serious side effects. Namely, a murderous appetite. The water has to get the life-giving power it gives from somewhere, so it demands lives from those who take a drink, turning them into killers. They are controlled by the water’s need to replenish its stores, and, for my main character Julia, she considers herself cursed when she takes a drink and the water comes calling.

But are the cursed at the mercy of the thing that curses them, or does the true determination of the curse’s power lie within? Just as I can choose whether or not to allow my “cursed” morning to rule my day, those cursed by the supernatural can often figure a way around their curse, even if it seems undesirable at first glance. And in those cases, curses are only as powerful as someone’s willingness to submit to them. For those who choose to rise above, like Julia in my book, who determine not to be defined by that which curses them, they prove the will is stronger than any age-old curse, even one rooted in the supernatural.

So, whether you’re cursed by the universe or cursed by the side of the bed you woke up on, the true power is in your hands. Will you overcome or will you submit to that which curses you?


She wheeled me to our meeting place. Charlie was not sitting on the lumpy couch like he usually was; instead, he stood, his feet almost bouncing as they met the ground. His eyes were bright, his smile bigger than I’d ever seen.

As soon as we were alone, I asked, "What are you so happy about?"

"First," he said and then kissed me. "Second, I’m happy because today you’re going to get well."

I hardly had the energy to lift my gaze to his face. "Can you sit, please?"

"Oh sure, of course. See, I knew you’d beat this thing. It only became clear to me today how it would happen. I took the next train as soon as I knew."

"What are you talking about?"

"Sorry. Okay." He took a deep breath and tried again. "Do you remember my war buddy Arnold I told you about?"

"Was he the one who wanted to be the horse doctor or the one with the bizarre obsession with water?"

"The water." Charlie’s eyes lit, and he pulled a chain from his pocket. On the end of it was a small vial with a clear liquid in it. "All I’ve thought about since I left you last was how I couldn’t lose you. I racked my brain all week long, prayed to God for you when I should've been sleeping, until the answer came this morning. I remembered I had it. You should've heard how he carried on and on about this water, how it would heal, how he went through hell to get it but it was worth it should he ever need it. And I thought, ‘Why let it go to waste?’ Especially now that you need it so badly. Obviously there was a reason I held on to the water. It wasn’t clear until now."

"Oh, I love you. But there's no such thing as healing waters. You said yourself he was superstitious."

"I know I did, but what if there's more to it than I thought? I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before."

"Look at me, Charlie. I am skin and bones. My entire body hurts, and I can barely eat. I am being consumed right before your eyes, and you’ve got your sights set on some silly potion."

And then I saw it. Behind the fire in Charlie’s eyes lived desperation. All his hope hinged on this sip of water. Insane as it was, he was willing to embrace any farfetched possibility if it meant he didn’t have to face the reality of living without me.

His face fell a little at my words, but he wouldn't be discouraged. "What will it hurt? Drink it, please. For me." He held the vial out, and I studied him. Hopelessness threatened to burst through the expectation in his eyes, and I felt sad for him. I, with a body full of consumption, pitied Charlie.

The pity came on the heels of my love for him. His plea warmed my heart, desperate as it was, because somewhere, deep down, despite all his optimism and prayers, he knew I was going to die. I took it from him, opened it up, and tipped it back. What harm could one small sip of water do?

About the author:
C.S. Kendall spent her formative years growing up in the small town of McPherson, KS. As such, there was not much to do, so her imagination, which always lagged behind her age, had free reign. From playing dress up into her teens, recording radio shows with various voices and storylines with her friends, to dappling with the art of crafting a novel, there were few dull moments for her. Enter adulthood, a day job, and the backburner. But story came calling, and finally, her imagination woke up and answered. Though she loves and is fulfilled by her job as a social work therapist, she equally enjoys running away in her mind to imaginary lands with made up people. She lives happily with her husband and their two amazing children in southwest Michigan. 

Tour Giveaway 


fee roberts said...

I love new spins on familiar old tales. This sounds exciting.

Betty Woodrum said...

I enjoyed the guest post, thank you!

Richard Brandt said...

Youth isn't all it's cracked up to be, anyway.

Jan Lee said...

Oh what an excerpt :) Now I HAVE to read this to find out what happens!! I think I would drink it too, if it didn't smell funny lol :)

treehill30 said...

thanks for the chance

Angie D said...

Thanks for the intro to a new author for myself!

Stephanie LaPlante said...

This book sounds wickedly interesting!

Bridgett wilbur said...

This book sounds great and I would love to read it. ty

Dan Denman said...

I like the cover and description of the book. I hope that it is a big success!