zaterdag 8 februari 2014
He looked off to the west, where the last traces of the sun fell below the horizon, leaving just a trace of orange lining the edge of the sky where it met the land. The light was dim and a slight mist gathered, warning of the fog that would coat the city in grey and shadow under what he knew would be a full moon tonight. He could hear the music from Bourbon Street drifting down the alley where he was walking, the alley commonly called Pirate’s Alley. The alley where the girl had been found earlier in the week. Found bound and gagged, her dead eyes wide open in fear and her throat cut from ear to ear. The work of some madman that Vincent Adcock was sure would kill again.
It always happened that way it seemed. One girl would turn up dead and then another and another. Some strangled, some tortured in other ways, almost always they would have been violated in some unimaginable way. Even after close to two hundred years, Vincent still didn’t understand the mentality, the mental defect, the warped mind behind the madmen’s eyes. So he did what he could, he hunted. He hunted until he found the madman and then he wreaked his own type of punishment upon those perpetrators of horrid crimes against helpless women. Vincent loved to hunt, he loved to chase his prey and toy with them just as they toyed with the women that they hunted. It was his one redemption for being what he was. A soulless man in a body that would not grow old. A vampire.
He stopped in front of the Faulkner house, once home to the author William Faulkner, now a bookstore with living quarters above. He remembered the days when the author was in residence and how he and his artist accomplice played havoc on visitors to the Quarter. Now, the bright yellow exterior held his shadow as he stood there in the growing dimness. The fog filled the night air, and he lifted his head. Inhaling deeply, his sense of smell was much more effective than that of a bloodhound. He smelled the leftover scent of food, something that he only ate in public to keep questions about his nature to a minimum, as he really had no need for anything other than the blood he thirsted. A slight breeze slipped through the alleyway and upon it he smelled the odor of excrement and urine, probably that of some dog or cat who had come through this way recently.
Generally, Vincent would take the time to enjoy the city at night. He loved New Orleans; he had loved it at the turn of three centuries now. He had been a young, virile man when the city got its first group of refugees from Haiti. Quite a mixture of people he remembered. Whites, free blacks, and slaves. With them came the French language and voodoo. Then there had been the War of 1812 when he saw the British defeated by the troops led by Andrew Jackson, among those troops were the privateers that were recruited by the pirate, Jean Lafitte. Not long after the defeat of the British at Chalmette, his life as he knew it was forever changed by the loss of his lovely wife and the arrival of the woman who had made him into the monster he was. He never should have seen the turn of the next century or the one after that.
He saw the coming and going of the Civil War, the city being occupied and claimed early in the battle by Union troops. He watched as slaves were freed and political changes came to the area during the Reconstruction. He saw hurricanes come and go, flooding, the building of levees, more hurricanes and flooding yet somehow the city always survived and held onto to the rich history that seemed to live there. Only during the last hurricane, the one named Katrina, Vincent became aware and appalled of what humankind was willing to do, that people were sometimes less human than himself.
Finally he smelled the scent he was seeking, something on the air that was unlike anything that a normal human could detect. Sickeningly sweet and verging on decay, the odor of madness. He recognized it, the distinct smell that he wished he had noticed that night in 1815 when the woman who had made him showed up at the doorstep of his plantation house outside of the city. She had been mad, sick with the need for blood and tortured with the lust for male companionship. She had pretended to be destitute, running from a husband that had abused her in his drunken rages. He had invited her in, something one must never do to a vampire. For once they are invited in and cross the threshold to your home; you become their prey, their victim. And now, Vincent was doomed to live for the rest of the years that the earth existed and maybe even longer. Nobody really knew.
He followed the trail of the scent out into the street, walked across the lawn of St. Louis Cathedral, stopping for a moment to envy those who could enter. He had been in the Cathedral several times as a child and remembered the peaceful look that passed over his mother’s face each time they had entered. To him, it had just been a place where a young, active boy had to be quiet for much too long, and now he regretted not being able to enter the building as an adult. Vincent could not enter a place of worship; he was banned forever from going to one of the places where others could go for solace and an infusion of faith. He shook his head and got back to the task at hand, hunting.
The scent wafted throughout the lawn around the cathedral, growing stronger at times then fading away to just a hint on the breeze. He continued to follow it back out to Chartres Street and across the street from the cathedral. He stopped briefly, listening with ears that heard things that sometimes he didn’t care to hear, and looked to the right then the left. Then he heard it. The distinct sound of a frightened heartbeat, fluttering in terror of what was to come. In a flash, so quickly that the human eye could not detect his movement but might feel a trace of chill as he passed, he was upon the sound at the rear of a house that still had plywood covering the windows, evidence of the wrath that Hurricane Katrina had brought to the city a few years back. There, by a haphazardly placed dumpster, the animal had his hands on a young woman.
Title: Blood Vengeance
Author: Teresa Keefer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Abigail Cooper has a gift. A gift that allows her to ‘see’ things that are only visible to those who understand just how thin the veil between the human world and the spirit world really is. When Reilly, the teenaged sister in her charge, goes missing Abigail’s gift takes her to the steamy southern city of New Orleans.
Vincent Adcock has a secret. A centuries old secret that has the potential to destroy him and his small group of colleagues if ever discovered. Quite content with his wealth and the immortal life he leads in a penthouse high over the city of New Orleans, his very existence is put in danger when Abigail turns up at his door.
Abigail knows what he and his colleagues are. Vampires who scour the streets of the south for human predators and turn them into prey before they unleash their cruelties on innocent victims. Her communications with the spirit world have convinced her that Vincent and his group of vigilantes are the only ones that can help her find and rescue her sister from the danger she has been lured to. What she wasn’t prepared for was her own seduction by the wealthy vampire’s raw sexuality combined with his ingrained southern gentleman ways.
Follow Abigail and Vincent and the band of vigilantes as they enter a world of cults, drugs, prostitution and murder in a race to find and rescue teenaged Reilly before it is too late. Will they succeed and what sacrifices will be made as time runs out…
Teresa Keefer is a self-published author by night and a human resource professional during the day. Her primary interest is romantic fiction; however, she has been known to dabble in other genres when the mood strikes her. Being an avid reader of everything from non-fiction to horror to romance and erotica since she was young, her dream of becoming a published author herself became a reality in 2013 when she published a contemporary romance she completed in 2007. She is a current member of Romance Writers of America as well as the Indiana Chapter of RWA.
Coming Home was released in February 2013 through Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle Direct Publishing. Blood Vengeance-Book 1 Vengeance Trilogy was completed and released by the same platforms in July 2013 with the subsequent books due to release in 2014. She also has written several short stories and essays as well as poetry which may be found on www.fanstory.com.
First-hand experience breathes life into her stories because they are set in places that she has visited. Coming Home is set in the beautiful, peaceful Smoky Mountain area of East Tennessee, which is her favorite place to relax. Blood Vengeance is set in the steamy, seductive New Orleans, a place where she and her daughters visited and to which she hopes to return. We should also watch for locations such as Las Vegas, New York City, Washington D.C. as well as some fictional locations that she has created in her own mind. She says that if she is able to start working on her bucket list soon, there will also be a visit to Ireland and hopefully a story from there too. Her favorite author saying is ‘be careful what you say or do…you might end up in my next novel’. Not to say that her fictional characters bear any resemblance to actual people, living or deceased. Readers have said things like ‘she pulls at the heartstrings’ and ‘she makes you feel like you are right there’ when reviewing her books. She says between book ideas that are fed to her by friends, her own imagination is continually coming up with new book ideas and she has no less than three works in process at a time.
Teresa is a lifelong Indiana resident living in a rural community in the east central portion of the state. As a single mother of three daughters, she returned to college as an adult and earned an MBA from Indiana Institute of Technology. Teresa has spent over 25 years in the human resource profession and has often threatened to write a humorous depiction of life in the human resource profession. Oh, the stories she could tell! She has been known to debate political and social issues with passion and generally does not back down, sometimes resorting to dry sarcasm to prove a point. In addition to spending time with her daughters and grandchildren she has a lot of other interests that compete for her time such as cooking, sewing, gardening, crafting, studying spiritualism, and traveling.
Links to Teresa Keefer-Author-
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