My new novella, The Vampire Oracle: Sleep, is out now from Cobblestone Press. I had a lot of fun writing the story of a New Orleans vampire, captured and taken to Haiti in the 1800s to serve a witch doctor's need for power. Gabrielle and the hero Kai are two of my favorite characters ever. Kai is an ambitious agent with an organization dedicated to paranormals. When he finds out about Gabrielle, the first thing he thinks about is how rescuing her can propel his rise in the organization. But the search for Gabrielle turns into more, much more than he could have foreseen and changes his life forever. The following is an excerpt - the witch doctor has been captured by the organization but Gabrielle has fled from her rescuers.
“I can tell you where she is now, but if you’re down there and she breaks and runs we’ll be out of radio contact, and I won’t be able to help you,” Ivor broke in. “You’ll be on your own.”
“I’ll stay,” Kai said. “But, by myself. Nobody else.”
“What?” Devlin looked at him as if he was crazy.
“Why, Kai?” Ivor asked. “Devlin and his men are experienced in these situations.”
“Yes, but I know her.” Kai was desperate to make them understand. He had to do it alone. “I discovered her and I…I can’t explain it, but I know her.” He couldn’t tell them about the dreams. “I can do it. I can find her.”
“Devlin?” Ivor deferred to the commando’s judgment.
“We’ve captured Vixama, and the zombies who haven’t been eliminated are neutralized so there’s no danger on that front.” Devlin rubbed his chin. “As for the vampire, clearly, she is fearful of us. I think it might be a good idea to let him try on his own. One man is less threatening than several. She might respond better to him.”
“All right, then,” Ivor said, shouting to be heard over the noise of the helicopter’s descent. “That’s it, Kai. We’ll give you twenty-four hours, and then we’ll be back.”
“Thank you.” Kai shook Devlin’s hand, already impatient for them to be off.
“She’s cowering in a cell about twenty feet north from where you found her,” Ivor said as the helicopter rose back into the air. “Be careful, Kai. You’ve seen what she did to Jamal. Be very careful. Make no sudden movements. Avoid contact. Her long captivity could well have turned her mind. You don’t really know what you’re dealing with here. It may be fear or it may be worse.”
“She’s Gabrielle,” Kai replied, plunging back into the dark, chilliness of the citadel. “She was once a beautiful woman, who men desired and women envied.” He said the words aloud, as if repeating a mantra. “Jewels shone in her hair and on her fingers. She wore silks and satins from fabulous lands and ate only the choicest of meats.” Kai sensed Ivor’s worried puzzlement, but the other man remained quiet until a burst of static and then dead silence indicated he’d lost radio contact. “She was as beautiful and mysterious as a dark tropical moth. Her lips were designed for lovers’ kisses, her glances thrilled men’s hearts and stirred their longing.” It wasn’t the Song of Solomon, but it was the best he could do as he descended into the dungeon to look for the woman whose face and body had haunted his nights ever since he’d found out about her.