About your Book:
Aecia has enjoyed her freedom as a human for only a few short months when her uncle Kasen goes missing! Fearing the worst, she embarks on yet another dangerous quest with her family and friends, and they are hurtled into a vicious conflict which will become as historic as The Great War, in which the bloodthirsty vamps were the absolute victors.
These are the first battles of The Blood Wars, and the secrets they uncover will terrify Aecia’s soul, and plunge her into an age of confusion, life-threatening danger, and quivering doubts about the one truth she holds as sacred inside her heart; the fact that she is Only Human!
Targeted Age Group: Young Adult/Teen Fantasy
Genre: Fantasy (vampire)
The Book Excerpt:
Excerpt from Ch 2 Crystal Girl
What would they say if they knew I was the human child of the Original? That would have them quaking in their boots! They think the Original is a recluse, a silent, cruel and powerful demon vampire; more evil and with more strength than all of the Elders abilities combined. They have no idea that he is the founder and leader of the Rebellion. They still don’t know that he is also Dr Rauul, so Kasen must have shielded that truth from them somehow. That is why I now believe that he hasn’t been turned.
Oh, somebody come, even if it is to torment me, at least I will know what’s happening. This waiting is killing me. I want to fight, I’m ready to battle with them now, so come on, open that door.
Someone is coming. They have unlocked the door, and they are two servant vamps. The female has a huge jangle of keys tied around her waist, and the male is bending down to untie the rope from my legs.
“Wait, wait, who are you? Please help me escape. You don’t understand; we are not bad people! We just want the world to be shared by…”
“You shut up! Look at you; a grown man and woman, yet you are puppets doing your master’s bidding. Shame on you for beating up a child.”
Let’s see if the innocent fledgling approach will work on them Amica.
“You are no child!”
“Of course I’m a child. Your master has made a mistake. I don’t really understand what is going on. I…”
(I’m going to cry now) sob, sob..
“I’m only 15, and I don’t know why….I’m, sob, here..”
I can see from the corner of my misted eyes that the female is looking at the male.
“If you could just, sob, get me a drink of water – please – at least that would be something.”
The female is more trusting than the male but I think she has persuaded him to let her go and fetch some water for me. I am almost sorry for what I am about to do next. I have stood up so sharply and elbowed the man in his face, while sweeping his legs from under him. The duct tape from my own mouth is now on his, and I am swiftly tying him to the chair I have just been released from. Thanks God for our training! Now to wait for the woman’s return.
Here she is, and all I can say is “sorry,” as I grab her from behind the door, quickly tape her mouth, and tie her to the back of the chair holding her fellow servant. Foolish of the vamps to leave the tools of their restraint carelessly slung into the corner of the room. Another layer of duct tape and a second length of rope around my captives, and I can rest assured that they are not going anywhere. One huge gulp of the half spilt pitcher of water the female dropped during my attack; another hurried apology to this sympathetic servant, and I’m off.
Please God, let it be daylight, so that if I manage to sneak out of the Ordinatio I will have the sun as another deterrent for them to follow me. I know I don’t have much time until the two servants are discovered and the alarm is raised. If Kasen were here he would know a secret way out or something. I miss him so much. There must be something he has told me about the layout of this mansion that can help me now. We have all discussed an attack on the Ordinatio as our final attack, after we have emptied all the clone farms, and are a strong enough army to overpower the Elders. It just seemed so far away in our plans. So much to be done before then.
Now what did Kasen say about the layout? Think Aecia, think! The dungeons, the ancient dungeons from when the Kings of old lived here; there is a passage that runs from them, under the castle, and leads directly out into the square, where they used to march their prisoners on the way to be executed. Kasen told me about it when I asked him how he could escape should his ruse be discovered. True, it obviously didn’t work as well as he hoped it would, given that he was obviously captured, but I have no choice but to try it. It is the only answer my ragged and weary brain is giving me.
Right, I just need to get to the kitchens, go through the side door to the basement, then down the stairs into the dungeon passageway. Thank God I had the foresight to grab the servant’s keys because I’m sure the Iron Gate at both ends of the dungeon hall will be padlocked. Now I have to work out where I am in relation to the kitchens. Not an easy task in this half-light. The fidgeting shadows are disorientating me. I must be on the first floor Amica, because the rooms I am passing look like the larger court, and boardrooms used by the administration. If I remember correctly from the school visit, there is a lift on this floor that leads directly to the kitchens.
I can hear a cocktail of voices beneath me on the ground floor, so hopefully there is some kind of vamp Elders counsel meeting going on down there. They are probably concocting new and cruel ways of torturing me or something. Ha! Bite me! I’m not where you think I am! Actually, ‘bite me’ is not the right term to use when taunting vampires! Sometimes I wish my head would just shut up, so I could concentrate on what I’m doing.
The lift is in the treasurer’s office, which I remember thinking, was a little bit odd. I mean, why would the treasurer need direct access to the kitchens? He is just a numbers geek, with a talent for ripping off the people with ridiculous taxes and penalties. Come to think of it, a kitchen in a vampire palace? It’s not like they prepare exotic human meals for the Elders. The clone farms provide ample nutrition for them.
As I’m rambling on to distract myself from the absolute terror I’m trying not to feel, I’m still tiptoeing towards the Treasurer’s office like a cat burglar, and it has worked. Four sentences ago I was just outside my prison room, and now I am unlocking the door of the office. All is deathly quiet and dark, and my nose protests at the smell of stale blood from the dregs at the bottom of a pitcher on the office desk. The lift is on the back wall of the office, directly in front of me, and I can only hope it is sleek and soundless unlike our own lifts on Home Island. I need it to silently descend to the kitchens two floors below. I am barely breathing as I gently depress the button, and my eyes are closed tight with anxiety. An earnest prayer to a God I only acknowledge when I want something, and I am descending down slowly to the basement kitchens.
As the doors slide open an overwhelming aroma of blood, disinfectant, and liquidised food drags an unwanted memory from the back of my conscious thought into full view of my mind’s eye. It stinks like a clone farm. As my eyes adjust to the light, a fresh horror reveals itself to me, and I’m consumed with anger, disbelief, and pity. There are about 14 clones in a large cage; five of which are children, and all are chained to each other, and the bars of the cage. They are practically naked except for a steel collar around their throat, and the young ones are silently crying as they lie trapped on the floor. I daren’t speak in fear of screaming my rage within earshot of the diabolical murderers above me, and I have not time for vengeful thoughts now. I have to get them out; they must come with me.
The keys friend, surely one out of the jangle will fit this cage. My hands are sweating as I push key after key into the lock with no success. My eyes are wet with silent tears, and the smudged outline of the clones tells me that they are slowly turning towards me, but the bleached whites of their eyes reveal their fear. I don’t know if they understand me but I’m whispering “it’s okay, I will get you out, don’t be afraid” even while I’m not sure if I can. The children are the most responsive and are straining as close to me as their chains will allow. Two keys left, and I tremble as I insert one into the lock. The muffled click is a joyous relief, and I can see a smile break out of the faces of the younger ones.
I’m in, and it’s difficult to get the last key into the smaller locks on the prisoners collars and wrists. The kids are grabbing at me wildly, so desperate are they to get out of their cage. They are grunting indecipherable noises of anguish as I try to the key into each lock, and now I’m afraid that the vamps above will surely hear them. With no language, I’ll have to communicate the danger by putting my finger to my lips, in the hope they will understand. Thank God that worked, and I can finally release them all one by one.
All but one of them are gingerly following me out of the cage, and there is a tiny glint of hopeful light in their eyes that wasn’t there before.
“Come, follow me. You don’t understand me, but I’ll keep jabbering with soothing gentle sounds, so that you will trust me.”
The last clone still won’t budge, and is standing with his back to me. He’s putting us all under great risk, so if I have to physically drag him out I will do just that.
“Come on, we must hurry!”
He’s pointing to the door behind the cage. Is he trying to tell me someone is in there? It just looks like your average pantry door. Strewth, we’re losing valuable time but I can’t refuse the beseeching look in the eyes of this man. Back to the keys, and another desperate hunt to find the right one for this door. Thank goodness it clicks open with only the second choice. I didn’t expect to see any of the usual pantry food and paraphernalia, but I also didn’t expect to see what I am now.
There is a night light which creates an eerie red glow about the tiny cupboard like room, and on the floor, beside each other, there are two glass coffins. They are upright and filling almost all the space in the pantry. The larger coffin holds a woman with her eyes closed. Her skin is so white it is almost transparent, and her deep red rosebud lips contrast sharply with her skin. Blue-black hair flows down her back onto an hourglass figure. She is beautiful, astoundingly so, and her absolute petrified state adds to her magnetism.
The smaller coffin contains a girl; she is adorned with tiny white crystals covering her rosebud lips and a small wreath of white, budded and shaped circular crystals on her head. Her eyelashes are pure white, and she wears a corsage of crystal winter flowers on her left shoulder. Her hair tied back could be brown or could be blonde, and she is so magnificent my heart aches when I look at her. Whoever or whatever she is, must be absolutely adored to be decorated in the expensive jewels that she wears on her flawless face. I suddenly feel something I can’t describe; is it despair? Do I feel what is being felt in this room? I’m stopped in my tracks as I realise somewhere, somehow, I have seen these people before.
“Who are they Amica?”
“Get out! They are coming.”
In the split second before I turn to leave, the girl stretches her eyes wide open, and reveals one striking cornflower blue eye, and one dark walnut eye. Without a word I can work out that she is telling me to leave.
The poor bruised, starved, and skinny clones are cowering bewildered in the centre of the room. I must go. I have to leave these two for another time. I can hear the commotion above me as the vamps are obviously now aware of my escape.
“Quick, hurry, this way! Down the stairs!”
There is no time to check they are all following me. I can hear the lift beginning to descend down to the kitchen. Grabbing the hands of two of the younger ones, I can only hope that the rest are following my lead. The halls of the dungeons are dark, damp and foreboding, as I keep running as fast as I can. I hope the huge steel gate at the exit, and up to the square, has a lock built for another of the keys I carry. The tiny hands gripping mine, belong to the children, who are almost hovering beside me because of the speed I am traveling. I want to stop and make sure that everyone I released is with us, but if I do that, I put all of us at risk. The echo of the fanged demon’s threats ring out behind us, and the clone’s laboured breathing is bouncing off the walls as we run. There’s just not enough time, and I can see the gate in front of me.
My next prayer is for the first key I choose to be the right one, and someone is smiling down upon us because, this time, it is. If the hour is nearing dawn, and will give us another blanket of daylight protection when we emerge into the square , then we are truly blessed from above. There is not time to lock the gate behind me as they are too close, so we have no choice but to zoom up the concrete stairs and up to the square.
The dewdrop smell of the approaching dawn is confirmed by a spattering of birds, eager to commence the dawn chorus. If we can just get as far away from the Ordinatio as possible; the light will hinder their hunt for us even more. I know they have the vumes, who can tolerate the sun, but they don’t strike me as an intelligent bunch. Good at taking orders, yes, but independently searching for us requires a certain amount of reasoning.
Think Aecia, think! Where is the nearest safe-house from here? What on earth is wrong with me? I know where they all are, but I can’t remember! I can’t seem to think straight. We are still running but I can’t focus, I’m dizzy. I’m nauseus, and I think I’m going to faint. God no! Not now! I need to get us all under cover; we’re not safe….. In the open………