Before the Sun Rises Series: a Look into the Creation of My Vampire World


The Story Behind the Story:

 Back in 2005 I began jotting down ideas for a supernatural world where vampires and werewolves not only existed, but humans knew about the monsters that went bump in the night.  I created the rules for this world, had a few ideas for some of the characters along with their histories.  Soon the mid-sized town of Shadow Cove, LA and a few key players had been created along with an ever-increasing storyline that was spreading out like the roots of a tree.  After mulling the ideas for at least three different storylines over in my head for nearly three years, I decided the storyline was just too good to not put into writing.  So in late 2007 I began penning the first novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series, a novel called The Red Fang.

The Series:

When I realized that I had enough ideas to write a few decent-length novels and a couple of spin-off storylines to boot, I decided to call the entire series BEFORE THE SUN RISES.  While only one book has been written and two short-stories are being penned even as I write this, the series, once completed, will include three novels and two short stories.  And that is, of course, if I fail to think of anything new to add to the ever-growing storyline.

While I have often been known as an “erotic” fantasy writer, I must give warning that I do not consider this series to be strictly “erotic.”  There is a lot of action, a lot of adventure, some romance and, in the case of the short story called “Into the Darkness,” there is going to be some blood and gore to boot.  I think the stories are worth reading, even if you are not really into vampires and lycans.  Yes, the whole “vampire” and “werewolf” storylines have been done to death.  Read it any way.  You may discover a few new twists to an old tale.  Sorry, Twilight fans, you won’t get sparkling vampires or teenaged google-eyed bimbos sprouting poetry in a meadow while trying to win the heart of the brooding ‘bad boy.’  What you will get just might surprise you.

            The Red Fang – this is the first novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series.  A half-fey named Ethereal and two vampires, Stealth and Requiem, must unite the supernatural creatures of Shadow Cove to battle a secretive agency known only as SHiELD.  The agency seems hell-bent on wiping them all out.  To add insult to injury, the organization has also been experimenting on the vampires and lycans, using their anatomy to create numerous human/vampire and human/lycan hybrids with short life spans and a thirst for blood.  Will they be successful, or is this the beginning of the end for all the supernatural creatures across the globe?

             Immortal Sins – This book contains 2 short stories: “Into the Darkness” and “A Kiss at Midnight.”  Both stories continue the action previously set up in The Red Fang.  “Into the Darkness” recounts the story of a minor character mentioned in The Red Fang, a human serial killer named Ashton. 

            Ashton was a serial killer who was obsessed with a cop named Altania.  When he finally captured Altania and her twin sister Altoya, he thought he could purge himself of the unnatural obsession for the woman.  But when Altania escapes, he is so enraged that he beats her twin sister to death.  When Altania returns with reinforcements, she finds the bloodied remains of her twin still shackled to the basement floor.  Altania is determined to bring Ashton to justice at any cost.  But when her obsession puts her entire squad in jeopardy, she is reassigned to the High Council as a new vampire assassin.  She is horrified to discover her new partner is the man whom she vowed to destroyed at all costs.  Now both Ashton and Altania are protected by the High Council, forced to work together to bring in a common enemy.  Can they put their hatred of each other aside to battle one of SHiELD’s former projects, or will their obsession for the other’s death mean their downfall?

            “A Kiss at Midnight”* recounts the story of one of the main characters going after another rogue SHiELD creation, a creature known as the Neko Project.  Can the project be contained, or will the leader of the agency use his newly discovered information to create a creature more powerful than any of them imagined?

            *sorry, folks, but if I tell too much of this particular storyline then I will have given away key points in the storyline of The Red Fang.  There is plenty of action, adventure, and some sex to go around.

             Blood’s Embrace – The third novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series recounts the story of Stealth’s embrace.

            Lorian Emerald Leigh and her twin brother Dorian were born in 1671.  At the age of 18, Lorian aka LeeLee was already betrothed to her childhood friend Malkyn.  Two weeks before their wedding, Malkyn disappears.  A few nights later Malkyn appears at LeeLee’s bedroom window.  Overjoyed that he has not abandoned her, she bids him to her balcony.  She is horrified to learn that her beloved has become a demon of the night, an undead thing whose eternal soul has been damned for all eternity.  Malkyn begs her to allow him to embrace her as well so that they may be together for all time.  She refuses, the sound of their argument bringing Dorian out of his room.  Seeing an opportunity to force LeeLee’s compliance, Malkyn attacks Dorian, leaving him dying on the balcony.  He makes a deal with his betrothed:  allow me to embrace you or your brother dies.  Not wanting her brother to perish, LeeLee agrees, but once she has been embraced Malkyn leaves Dorian bleeding on the floor and LeeLee in desperation to save her brother’s life.  Not seeing any other option, she reluctantly embraces her own brother.  Disgusted with herself, thinking that she has now damned her brother to eternal hell, she flees the country.  She is so distraught over everything that has transpired that she goes on a killing spree that soon gains the attention of the High Council. 

The Council sends their best vampire assassin, the human known as Stealth, to dispatch of the rogue vampire.  What he finds is a vampire suffering from mental delusions based on superstition and old wives’ tales.  He tries to confront her, but soon finds himself fatally wounded at her hands.  Discovering that she is not the unholy thing she has been lead to believe, she decides to embrace Stealth.

Still unable to come to terms with the carnage she has left in her wake and the circumstances of her embracement, Stealth is forced to entomb the vampire and goes in search of her missing twin brother.  Will Stealth be able to find Dorian?  Will her brother’s reappearance in her life cure LeeLee of her personal demons or will she slide further into madness with the forced entombment?  What lies ahead for LeeLee, Stealth, and Dorian?

             The Ethereal Darkness – There is very little of the untold story behind Ethereal’s conception mentioned in The Red Fang.  The last novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series traces the history and forbidden love affair between Ethereal’s parents, a human woman who falls in love with a half-breed Elf who is already marked for death.  When they discover themselves about to become parents to a child who will never be accepted by any of the fey, they are determined to save their unborn child’s life, even if it means giving up their own.

This entire series is the compilation of over six years of notes and thought.  It is currently my main project and I hope to have all of the novels written and in print within the next 12 to 24 months.  It is my hope that, even though these are not necessarily “sex stories” that my fans have come to associate with my name, readers will take a chance on a done-to-death theme which promises action, adventure, romance, blood and gore, and some erotica to spice things up.  Will the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series deliver on those promises?  We shall see.

More of Nicola’s Work to Come to Kindle

I am currently in the process of making all of my work available for the Kindle through  This will include the erotic novel Temptation as well as the gothic romance novella Vindictus, The Dark Lord and the short erotic stories The Devil’s Slave and Master.  You can view my author’s page at by clicking here .

Stay tuned for more exciting and erotic adventures to come from yours truly, including the mid-June release of the much anticipated gothic action/adventure novel The Red Fang, the first novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series.

“Vindictus, The Dark Lord” Now Available for Kindle!

For those of you who have a Kindle, you will be excited to learn that my gothic romance novella Vindictus, The Dark Lord is now available for the Kindle through

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this book for your Kindle, you can look in the Kindle Store of by searching the title of the book.  Or you can click here to be taken directly to the product.

I also plan to make my previously published book Temptation available for the Kindle as well.  Also, once The Red Fang goes into print in July of 2011, it too will be available for the Kindle through


Because Brad Pitt was so HAWT!

Last night I watched Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt for what has to be like the 12th time.  I know I have read the book only once, but oddly enough, it is the movie I come back to time and again.  However, I have read The Vampire Lestat along with Queen of the Damned dozens of times each, but only watched the movie maybe six times.  It’s odd how I can love to read one book about the same characters but prefer watching a movie about them instead of reading the book, even though I know the books are almost always better than the movie.  The only reason I can think for this is because Brat Pitt was so damn hot playing Louis de Pointe du Lac.  Now as for my love of all things vampiric, there are other reasons.

Why does the public have such a lustful love of the vampire world?  Many have speculated over the years the vampires in movies were created as a synonym for the sexual act.  To be sure, in the real life vampire subculture around the United States, one has only to “bite” a woman to see her orgasm in bliss right before your very eyes.  And while the allure of the vampire is mostly rooted in sexual desire, I will explore the five reasons why I, and possibly the general public, find vampires so absolutely irresistible.

5.  The sex appeal:  Perhaps one of the most popular reasons why vampires have been so iconic over the centuries are their universal sex appeal, especially in the past few decades.  Long gone are the days of Nosferatu when vampires were bug-eyed and saw-toothed with a face only a mother could love.  In all the books I have read which have been published in the last fifty odd years, the vampire is synonymous with sex.  They all have perfect hair, perfect bodies, and beautiful faces.  Even those who were less-than-aesthetically pleasing to the eyes while still alive are somehow transformed by the embrace of the vampire, leaving them suave, sultry, and seductive. Not only is their sultry voices and gorgeous bodies a main reason for one to want to be seduced by a vampire, but it’s also a very good reason why many have thought seriously about leaving this life of mortality behind for the dark gifts that await on the other side of the vampire’s embrace.

4.  The iconic bad boy:  Even men are drawn to the allure of the “bad girl.”  For women, we are always chasing after them, swooning into their arms and worshiping at their feet.  They are like the ultimate rock god with their brooding moods, perfectly messy hair, chiseled good looks, and mysterious demeanor.  They are dark, ethereal, untamed, always the perfect lover.  What woman could resist trying to domesticate such a wild and sexually deviant animal? He’s dangerous and gorgeous with a stare that cuts straight into your soul, causes your heart to skip a beat,  and sends your blood racing through your veins.

3.  The dominant figure:  Going along with the sex appeal and bad boy image, the vampire is usually a very dominant figure not only in his actions and tone, but also in the bedroom.  It could be argued that secretly some, if not most women, desire to be dominated in the bedroom, to be so absolutely caught up and swept off their feet they lose themselves completely in the moment. And if the vampire’s sultry voice and piercing gaze does not have you melting at the knees, then the vampire mind trickery will have you begging them to take you in every way imaginable. It’s almost like BDSM, only with pale skin and piercing eyes and that whole allergy to sunlight.

2.  The cool perks:  As if the perfectly chiseled body, the spark of danger, and the ideal lover were not reasons enough to want to date a vampire, all the cool super “powers” that come with being embraced is certainly enticing enough to cause even the most level-headed person to reconsider.  Say goodbye to wrinkles forever,  immortality, and never having to worry about the ‘flu along with the ability to control another’s thoughts and actions, the possibility of flying or foreseeing future events, and all the other little perks of becoming a vampire is certainly thrilling and tempting.  Unfortunately, if you are a sun worshipper, you may want to rethink your waltz on the dark side.  Beware those nasty sunburns as they can prove fatal.  And I hear that the daily cuisine could take some getting used to.

1.  And perhaps the number one reason why we are all so drawn to vampires? Because Brat Pitt was so damn HAWT.  Of course, Stewart Townsend wasn’t too shabby as Lestat either.

Featured Indie Author Michael C. Laney

Michael C. Laney is a Florida born independent writer of horror and erotica, and he has been writing and doing other creative things from a young age.  He began making home made comic books and comic strips when he was in elementary school to entertain his parents and grandparents.  Then in 1986, when he was in the sixth grade, he decided to write his first true short story.  Using an old typewriter that was given to him by his grandmother he banged out his first short story “Bleeders”, a horror story that took its inspiration from the Roger Corman Monsterpiece Attack Of The Giant Leeches.

Throughout his junior high and high school years he was known for churning out cringe-worthy short stories such as “The Rocking Chair”, “The Dinner Guest” and “The Street” as well as co-writing a Doctor Who fan-fiction spoof “The Daleks And The Ex-Lax Pit” with his friend Jerry Dooley because writing stories was a lot more fun than shop class.  Many of his classmates assured him that he was going to be a writer, and knowing it was his passion he began writing his first horror novel, Whispers Of Darkness, during his senior year.

 After high school he tried his hand at writing erotica with his first BDSM erotic short story “Older Is Bedder”, which 19 years later became the first story he had posted online.  His other early erotic stories were simple and somewhat experimental affairs such as “Trisexual” and “Ebony And Ivory”.   The bulk of his early erotic stories were first read by his best friend Scott Smith and by Shain Brown who is now a budding author in the YA field.

In 1994 Michael moved to Missouri, where he wrote he considered to be his definitive draft of Whispers Of Darkness.  For the next two years he shopped around for agents and publishers with no success.  Rather than deal with the politics of the writing world he shifted his writing into “hobby” mode, feeling it would be better to enjoy his writing on his own than feeling it was a burden.  Between 1994 and 1999 he wrote The Echoes Of Yesterday, a prequel to Whispers Of Darkness, as well as the bulk of its sequel The Reconstruction.  He also wrote the horror novel The Creeper, the erotic novella A Day In The Life Of Abagail King, a partial novel titled The History Of Dead End Junction, and several short stories including “Nookie Between Neighbors”, “The Corruption Of Jillian Tamm”, “High Rollers”, “Ye Olde Shit House Rat”, “Chihuahua Psychology 101”, “Sex After Death” and “Fungi”.

In 2000 Michael returned to Florida after the end of his first marriage, where his writing went further onto the back burner for several years.  Then in 2004 the writing bug bit harder than ever and he began working on a new horror novel Dweller In Darkness.  His wife Betsy was not a big horror fan, so he decided to write something for her a well, an erotic BDSM novel The Sound Of her MASTER’S VOICE.  In between chapters of the latter he wrote several erotic short stories including “Town Slut”, “Fuck Flowers, Fuck Candy…This Is A Gift You Can Really Use”, “Thank You, Ma’am And Sir”, “Halloweenie” and “Sound Of Bounce”.

Then in 2010 an idea occurred to Michael.  Surely there were websites that accepted stories for posting online.  A quick search revealed that there indeed were, and by the end of the week he had submitted “Older Is Bedder” and “Descent To Venus”.  Finally having his works in print so a broader audience could read them sent Michael into a new flurry of creative activity.  He began a new series about a hot wife who’s husband loves to observe her playing with other men without them knowing, Watching April.  He also churned out several erotic works such as the short stories “What If I…Played The Switch For You?” and “My Halloween Decorating Distraction”, a few dozen poems including ‘Graveyard Sunrise’, ‘M BBW SBBW’ and ‘Woman With Plumage’.  He also completed the  novel that became Heather’s Journey: The Sound Of her MASTER’S VOICE and submitted it for an abridged, chapter by chapter, publication.  He also updated his horror short story “Fungi” and submitted it for online publication in time for Halloween.

At the beginning of 2011 Michael learned that “Fungi” had been plagiarized and was being sold as part of a collection of similarly stolen stories available for e-Readers on Amazon and Lulu.  Once he had fought to have the “author” and “her works” removed from circulation he became curious to know how easy was it to publish an e-Book.  After a few hours of research he found that the political circle of publishers and agents did not control the digital domain, and that reformatting his works for publication was a simple matter.  So after doing another edit and restoring certain scenes to Heather’s Journey: The Sound Of her MASTER’S VOICE Michael published it within a month on both Amazon and Lulu, realizing a near life long dream after less than a year of submitting his first story online.

To date Michael has additionally published his erotic short stories “Bunny Holes” and “St. Patrick’s Day Scrumpin’ ” on Amazon, and intends to add more short stories in the  future.  He is currently working on the next novel in the Heather’s Journey series, a Fungi oriented short story and novella collection, constructing a new beginning for what is now known as the Shadows Of The Night series, which Whispers Of Darkness will actually be the third book of, and a revised version of his erotic novella A Day In The Life Abagail King and his horror novel The Creeper.

Michael has two children from his first marriage.  His youngest son, Quentin, lives with him, and his oldest son, Alex, attends school in Missouri.  He met his wife, Betsy, on 9/11, a week ahead of when they had actually planned to meet, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Michael is a huge fan of Kiss, The Doors, Prince, Doctor Who, One Piece, Kamen Rider, WWE and classic B to Z Grade science fiction and horror movies, many of which he watched on  Dr. Paul Bearer’s Creature Feature growing up.  His works often contain oddball references to all his favorite things.  He likes to write about average people who find themselves thrust into extraordinary circumstances.  He also writes stories involving scenarios outside what is considered average and tasteful, writing stories of substance and grit instead of fluff, or stories appropriate for “all ages”.  In his horror stories many of his characters have the horrors many people face in their every day lives tormenting them alongside the supernatural forces they run afoul of.  Michael is a sexual abuse and rape survivor and draws on the horror of his own experiences as inspiration and as a coping tool.

Michael’s goal within the next two years is to have finished and published the first novel in the Shadows Of The Night series, Comes The Dark Storm.  The series revolves around the lives of a group of high school friends living in the town of Ariana, Florida, who suddenly find their lives turned upside down by supernatural occurrences, as an inhuman creature, vampires and witches begin to take over the night.  He is also working on setting most of his stories into a consistent universe.  Time allowing there is much to come from Michael C. Laney, so keep lurking for more news.


Amazon Author Page:


article by Michael C. Laney

Don Henrie Inspired a Character in My Latest Novel

**This blog post was a featured post on Exile Asylum Network. Unfortunately, this website closed down several months back. This article is also linked from the official Don Henrie Biography. Many thanks to Don for being so kind as to give a link.

UPDATE: before you get into this blog post, I want to get a message out to Don Henrie. Like anyone with a lick of common sense who has hoards of fans, Don is smart enough to NOT put his contact information on any of his pages. This, of course, makes it incredibly hard for people like me to send him anything in private, so I am forced to air this in public. On 10.23.212 Don did me a huge kudos for me by linking to this article from his Facebook page. It inadvertently sparked a bit of a debate, and made me realize that I may have directly or indirectly offended Don in some way. I apparently pissed off at least one of his fans, and so I must apologize to Don if I have offended him in any way. It was never my attention to offend him or his fans. I have the deepest respect and admiration for him. I meant only to share with my readers some insight as to where I get my inspiration for my characters, as many of them are based on real people and personal friends. I am not fortunate enough to count Don as a personal friend, although I would very much like to get to know him better. With this said, I do hope that Don will accept my apologies if I have offended him in any way and will also accept my offer of friendship, no strings attached. In the very off chance that Don himself reads this and wishes to respond, please feel free to ping me via Facebook by searching for Nicola Chey Matthews. My Avatar is the cover of one of my novels called Vindictus, The Dark Lord.



I began jotting down notes for The Red Fang about five years ago. It all began when I joined a few on-line RP groups. One of the first ones I joined had a huge falling-out amongst the members, so I left with a fellow RPer to create a new group on our own. I ended up becoming co-owner of the group, tasked with writing a short “anatomy” book for what I thought made the perfect mythical vampire and werewolf.  In addition to about four different characters for that group, I created an entire town for us to play in, drawing up maps, naming streets and buildings and neighborhoods. And thus the town of Shadow Cove was born.

 Many of the characters in The Red Fang are twists on characters I had already created and had been using in my RP groups. Ethereal Oscurita originally started out as a vampire, created to play the on-line game “Vampires! The Dark Alleyway.” The friends that I made while playing this and other games sparked more and more ideas for events and characters for the mysterious, supernatural town of Shadow Cove. Soon, I had jotted down enough information in outlines, biographies, and notes to begin penning a short story that originally called “Stealth, Embraced.”  That story spiraled out of control, with each new character and adventure that was introduced inspiring more and more stories until, finally, The Red Fang had been written, more than four hundred pages of action, adventure, and supernatural sex.

When I began to think about one of my characters, a vampire named Stealth, I already knew what he was going to look like. It is no accident that the character in the first novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series was coined after our beloved Don Henrie. A muscular man of medium height, Stealth has silky black hair that reaches nearly to his waist, pale skin beyond compare, and eyes so dark as to be nearly black.

Stealth was born in 1739 in Japan, abandoned as an infant because his illegitimate birth was a source of shame to his family during that time period. Discovered by the vampire Requiem, Stealth was taken to the High Council where he was trained as an assassin. At the age of 26 he was sent to destroy a rogue vampire named LeeLee, the woman who was destined to become his sire.  Part of Stealth’s story unfolds during the novel called Blood’s Embrace, chronicling his embracement by Lorian Emerald Lee and his subsequent quest to save her from assassination.

While Stealth doesn’t look exactly like Don, and I am sure that with his extremely vicious and cruel demeanor he acts nothing like Don, I did use Don as my base model for the physical look of the character. As I created him, writing Stealth’s biography and envisioning his adventures, I could not imagine him looking like anyone else save for Don Henrie. So, dear Don, you are now not only seen as a hero of sorts to legions of fans and the official spokesperson for the former Exile Asylum Network, but you have also spawned a character that is even now trudging his way across the pages of at least three novels. Kudos to you, my dearest one. What tangled webs I do weave within my frenzied imagination. It is because of this that I am giving serious though to dedicating the next novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series, Immortal Sins, to our wonderfully erotic Don Henrie.  Now if only I could talk you into posing for photos for the cover art, my hard work would be absolutely perfect. Or at least the cover would be perfect, at any rate.