25 Years of Blood, Sweat, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

 

Unfortunately, I missed seeing Bret Michaels this past Memorial Day weekend.  It’s also looking like I will be missing Poison and Motley Crue when they come down the weekend after the 4th of July.  Between time restraints, no money, and the fact that my husband would probably get arrested for punching some random dude that looked at me wrong, the Fates have decided that I shall miss out on all the great shows this year.

I suppose it’s not a complete loss.  While I had hoped to shove Bret’s own personal autographed copy of my latest novel The Red Fang right up under his nose since it is, after all, dedicated to him, I guess I will have to settle for mailing him his copy instead.  I’m just thankful that I finally finished writing the novel.

Thinking of Bret and his awesome gigs brings me back to last year’s show.  The Hardrock was Bret’s first concert after his harrowing health scares.  The place was sold out, fans were going crazy (myself included), women were crying and clawing at the stage, the room was electric with emotions and spirits were running high.  It was epic.  As the show progressed, I looked around to see women my age with their 8-year-old daughters beside them, both mom and daughter screaming and dancing and enjoying the pure energy that pulsed throughout the stadium.  I glanced over to my right to see a woman who had to be in her 60s with her fist thrust in the air, keeping beat with the music while she kept a death grip on the railing in front of the stage so she didn’t lose her place.

It was then that I had a sudden vision of my future.  I could see myself and Bret, 30 years from now.  Bret would be up on that stage in a wheelchair if need be, the air more electric than ever with emotions from thousands upon thousands of his loyal fans.  I saw myself there, my walker raised in the air screaming, “You rock, Bret!” as he thanked his audience for allowing him to continue to perform and God for granting him the strength and health to do what he loved.

It’s been 25 wild, wonderful years of ups and downs with some of the best music ever heard by mankind.  I hope that Poison and Bret see 25 more years of electrifying shows and screaming fans. I hope that I’m right there with them, screaming and dancing along with all the other rabid Poison and Bret Michaels fans, eager to announce to the heavens that I am a Bret Michaels fan.

And Bret?  You still rock!

XOXO

Nicola

The Red Fang: Prologue (A Sneak Peek)

 

 

The Red Fang

a BEFORE THE SUN RISES novel

by Nicola C. Matthews

Copyright 2007 N. C. Matthews

All Rights Reserved

Prologue:

Ashton Jones was a serial killer.  Until he was recruited by SHiELD, he had only had the pleasure of torturing humans.  Now he had been given the very unique opportunity to not only torture but hopefully kill a vampire.  He was finding the entire experience very much to his liking.

The young female vampire strapped to the table only looked young.  Or at least, she used to look young.  She had been starved of blood for nearly a month now.  Had she not been feeding on a regular basis, Ashton’s systematic starvation of the vampire would not have worked.  However, the vampire known as Jasmine might have been nearing eighty years a vampire, but she was still feeding off the blood of the living nearly every day.

The starvation made the vampire weaker both physically and mentally, but it also made them very dangerous.  Since her body was used to receiving fresh blood on a regular basis, the blood lust had taken hold of her mind about two weeks into Ashton’s “session” with her. 

Starvation was a great tool to use when interrogating a vampire, but one had to be careful.  Ashton was forced to crank up his torture of the vampire a few notches in order to drag her mind back from the frenzy it was staying in due to the starvation tactic.  Now the female’s bones had been broken so many times that they were no longer healing properly, thanks in part to the lack of fresh blood, and also simply because the bones had been broken so many times. 

This information in itself was useful to the agency, especially since Ashton had been hired specifically to extract as much information out of the vampire as possible. The agency had already conducted numerous experiments on the vampire and werewolf anatomy.  What they wanted now was the information that their experimentation could not tell them.

Jasmine’s sunken brown eyes followed Ashton as he moved towards the table that held the small bag of human blood.  She tried to lick her cracked lips, but her mouth had stopped producing saliva a few days ago.  The only thing that gave her any relief now was the few teaspoons of blood that Ashton gave her from time to time, either as a reward for giving him the information he wanted or as a way to keep the blood lust from taking over her mind so completely.

“Please, Ashton, I’m begging you.  Just end it! I’ve told you everything that I know. Please …. Please …. kill me already.  I simply cannot bear it any longer!”

Ashton smiled, although his back was turned to the vampire so she couldn’t see the cruelty stamped on his handsome face.  “I have no intentions of killing you, Jasmine,” he said quietly.

The vampire let out a high pitched wail.  “What more do you want from me?” she screamed, thrashing around on the table in another attempt to get loose of the restraints.  “I don’t know anything more than what I have already said!”

She began crying again, the sobs almost painful to Ashton’s ears.  The agency thought that the sound was some type of warning system that the vampires could use to alert each other of danger.  It was also a weapon of sorts, as the high-pitched frequency could really hurt the human ear if it were used just right.

“The werewolves don’t carry viruses.  The scientists have already told the world this.  They don’t become werewolves or any animal by being bitten.  That’s just in the movies.”  She continued to pull at the metal restraints, her frightened eyes darting around the room as she talked. 

“It’s just like the scientists say, it’s a gene that some of them carry that gets switched on at some point in their lives.  I don’t know how it works.  I just know that once the gene is activated the person is no longer susceptible to any type of disease.”

Jasmine looked up at Ashton, the terror growing in her eyes as she saw the bone saw he carried in his hand.  “The human scientists already know everything that I know about werewolves, and you people know more than the scientists do!”

Ashton pushed the button on the bone saw a few times, the high-pitched buzz filling the room.  Jasmine cringed at the sound and began whimpering.

“What about the vampires?” he asked.

She shook her head violently.  “I already told you!” she screamed.

Ashton turned the saw on again.  Jasmine began rattling off the same information she had already told him a few dozen times before.  “You don’t become a vampire by being bitten, either! We don’t know it works.”

The small female vampire pulled her arms against the restraints, the metal digging into her flesh so deep that the bones were close to breaking.  She was so desperate to escape that she was causing almost as much damage to her body as Ashton had.  Almost.

“If it’s not a virus, then how do you go about making new vampires?” He asked, playing with the button on the saw.

“Whoever is being embraced has to be drained of blood.  They have to be nearly dead for the transformation to work.  Once the human is almost dead, you have to feed them the sire’s blood.”  She kept pulling at the restraints, the bones beginning to fracture under the strain.  The vampire did not seem to notice.  “But they have to be almost dead! If they are not nearing death then it won’t work.”

“Tell me more about the blood, Jasmine,” he whispered softly, reaching down to grasp her right arm in his hand.  He yanked the arm upwards suddenly, snapping the bone.  “Be still, or you’ll break the other one.”

The vampire’s sunken eyes were huge in her pale face, the pupils dilated so much that there was barely any white visible in them at all.  She only groaned when the bone of her arm broke, her fear so great that she could concentrate on little else. 

Her breathing was heavy and erratic as she continued to tell Ashton the same things that had now been repeated a hundred times.  “I don’t know why our blood makes a regular human stronger when they drink it!”  She began shaking her head back and forth on the table as Ashton came closer with the saw, flicking the button on and off as the vampire began to shake uncontrollably on the table.

“I don’t know who discovered the properties of our blood.  I don’t know who began selling it as a designer drug. I don’t know Ashton, I swear I don’t!  If I knew I would tell you.  My sire abandoned me right after I was embraced.  He left me to fend for myself!  If I knew of an older vampire who knew these things I would tell you!  I swear it, Ashton!  PLEASE DON’T!”

Jasmine’s screams echoed off the white tiled walls as Ashton turned the saw on and placed it against her naked abdomen. 

“Last chance to tell me something useful,” he said happily.

“I don’t know anything else!” she shrieked.         

Ashton only smiled, the sound of the vampire’s screams eventually being drowned out by the droning of the saw blade as the bits of flesh and blood spattered Ashton’s face and hands.  God, how he loved his job.

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.