We vampires do not make easy prey. Our weaknesses are few, our strengths many. Fear is something we do not know, and death but a distant memory. So tread softly, pray to your god, and gird yourself with silver when the moons arise and night’s dark prince awakens. We fear not the wizard, nor the warrior, neither rogue, nor priest; our strength is timeless, drawn from darkness and we know no master save the hot lust of our unending hunger. We long for blood, your blood and no blade, nor spell, nor clever artifice, can keep us long from our prize. Feel our teeth at your throat, your life ebb from you, and know as darkness comes to claim you that the price of your folly is your everlasting soul.
In Drisdak, the city on the Sea of Sorrows, the citizens have much to dread. Unease and foreboding has always been associated with the local wizards guild; peasants have an innate distrust of magic and those who use it. But now, something else is on the rise. A mysterious fire at the guild has left two men dead and a third missing. A small matter, you say? Well, one of those men was the guild master, and his successor wants to know what happened to him. Enter Coragan of Esperia, the renowned bounty hunter. If anyone can unravel this mess he can. But is even he prepared to challenge the horrible evil that lurks at the heart of the mystery? An ancient vampire by the name of Lucian val Drasmyr.
There’s a woman in chain mail standing across the room from me; her sword is leveled at my chest. I can smell the enchantment on the blade, it’s a strong one; maybe even strong enough to cause me harm. Still, I’m not too concerned; it’s at least a ten foot lunge and I know I move faster than she does. Indeed, she’s the one who is looking worried. My display of strength and the death of her comrade have shaken her resolve.
She’s got a pretty face, flushed with excitement but strong and in control. It is her neck that really draws me, though, so soft and inviting, filled with the warm blood I desire. The curve of her flesh glistens, waiting for a well-placed gentle kiss.
She’s breathing rapidly now, her breath coming in shallow gasps. Her trek up through the castle has sapped much of her strength. And the fear she feels is naked in her eyes. Now, she’s getting ready to pounce, just a little too much tension in her stance, her eyes just a little too focused. She couldn’t give me more warning if she were to ask my permission first.
She moves in with remarkable speed, her blade striking out like a serpent’s tongue. Even winded, she still manages to cut my cape, then prances away with her back toward the wall, ready for anything. Anything, except me.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He also has a black belt in the martial arts and studies yoga. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once and he has a cat named Confucius.
Author’s Smashwords Page: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/matthewdryan
Author’s Book Page: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131156
Author’s Blog: http://www.atoasttodragons.com
Author’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000038781652
Author’s Twitter Handle: @MatthewDRyan1
Author’s Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/579148.Matthew_D_Ryan
Author’s Shelfari Page: http://www.shelfari.com/matthewdryan/shelf
The book is available on Smashwords, Amazon, BN and elsewhere for free.
Matthew will be awarding a set of metal miniatures: 3 Nosferatu Vampires (US only) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
The tour dates can be found here: