Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Out now - Lord Draco: The Witch’s Knight by Raquel Taylor

In order to save her brother from the curse of the Moldovan werewolves, Ileana Caragea—shunned and a witch—must call upon Lord Draco Constantinescu, King of the Romanian vampires, and his bevy of vampiric beauties. Draco is irresistibly drawn to the lovely human witch. He agrees to help her, but in return he demands a night of passion. Pleasure and pain intermingle as Ileana surrenders to the domineering seduction of the vampire Lord as he wipes away her loneliness with his hot, all-consuming caresses. Together, this wickedly sensual couple battle overwhelming supernatural odds.


Romania, 1817

Ileana Caragea stared into the crimson glow emanating from the black cauldron and listened carefully to the rising madmen whispers from the skull within its depths. Many spirits talked, each fighting to be one voice that overrode the others and gained her attention. Ileana imagined that the dead were bored. At least that is what she could discern from how they tended to act when she dared to call upon them. The voices of the dead thing took practice to hear and those who were not skilled in such magic would only perceive the faint whisper of the wind, the language lost to their living mind. That very wind had almost driven her insane when she was a young girl. Sometimes the castle ghosts of her old home had called to her, and she had been frightened out of her wits time and again before she had painstakingly learned how to listen. And then not to listen.

Behind Ileana and her dark cauldron the half-man half-beast creature that her brother had become strained on a thick length of iron chain. Alexandru Caragea slavered and tried to reach her. His newborn monster’s voice made the resonance of the dead in the cauldron a sweet symphony to hear in comparison. The vile lechery of his words and the sheer, unadulterated evil in them caused the inky black hairs on the nape of her neck to stand up. Alexandru wanted out. The demon within him demanded freedom. It longed to stalk the moonlit night, to hunt the forest deer and stray peasants, to drink a fountain of blood from the spouting throat of whatever crossed its path. Or so it said, over and over, until her skin crawled with the incestuous touch of its words borne on her brother’s lips.

She kept her back to the thing. For what she could not look at were Alexandru’s eyes, so eerily human in a face that was distinctly not human anymore and would not be human again until the coming of the merciful dawn. The memory of the monster’s face haunted her—clear as if she was still gazing upon the horror snuffling and cursing behind her. Silky sable fur had sprouted from Alexandru’s once handsome visage. His lower jaw had distended into a dangerous and snapping maw. She could still hear the bones stretching and popping as they sought to become the full-blown chops of the werewolf. Alexandru was naked; save for the tattered shreds of inky black trousers. She had watched that happen, rippling muscles growing, thickening, and replacing those of his own well-muscled form. His bones snapped, as he grew impossibly taller, considerably more massive, before her eyes. His legs had bent backward at the knee and his scream of agony in the face of it had left a black mark upon her soul. Ileana listened to the fetters that held him howl in metallic resistance of the preternatural strength of their captive.

The rounded walls of Ileana’s cavern, her sanctuary, her peace, crawled with the maniac laugher and bestial insanity of the demon-thing she had contained. Beneath those hideous ravings and the quiet whisper of the awakening skull, Ileana could hear the soft and gentle weeping of her brother’s beloved, Nadia. She spared a glance to the platinum haired young woman in time to see Nadia’s powder blue-eyes filled with horrified fear, desperation and hope. The witch can save us, that look said, and Ileana prayed that it was true.

Nadia’s pale blue gown stood in dire testimony to the horrors of the night. Its ruffled white-silk bodice lay in tatters about the perfect moon roundness of pale breasts, which the girl covered with her arms. Her whole body shook with terror. A scratch marred the doll-like beauty of her right cheek. She was covered in dirt and forest brambles. Where there was no dirt, there was blood…Alexandru’s blood.

“I-It was the wolves,” Nadia whispered. “All this time…all…all those poor people. It was the wolves. They’ve broken…they’ve broken…the treaty.” Her words were a nightmare of disbelief. Ileana fought a brief but desperate battle within herself to keep from surrendering to the easy panic of Nadia’s words. Her mind took a leisurely terror-trip back to the time before the luxury of the treaty with the savage clan of Moldovan. She shuddered. She had only been a child but the nights had been frantic desperate times then, and the days hadn’t been much better. Humanity’s grasp on their little piece of the world had been tenuous at best. The castle had been relatively safe. Relatively. But the villages had been hunting grounds—bloody smorgasbords—for wolf…and vampire.

Price: $2.50

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Happy Reading

1 comment:

Albany said...

Interesting to know.