It's time for an excerpt today. If you like what you read, click the picture to find the book.
I barely know anything about vampires, even after I got turned into one. Yeah, I know. That makes me sound like a walking stereotype. At least it didn't happen in High School or before I quit my job at Cranston PD to hang out my own shingle as a PI. But now everything's different in new and special ways. In other words, it sucks.
Pizza and beer are right out of my diet plan. So are long walks on the beach at sunrise. I can't tell anyone I'm a vamp, so it gives me no extra cool factor with friends or game in the dating department, either. Which is bad enough anyway for a twenty-seven-year-old dude like me.
Sunday dinner with the folks isn’t the same as it used to be, either. And that’s where I am, in my parent's downstairs bathroom glaring at an empty mirror while I try to figure out a fourth excuse about why I'm not at Mass every Sunday morning. Forgive me, Father for I have been vamped. It's been a whole month since my last confession because I can't set foot inside Church. I used to be an altar boy, too.
“Tino?” Dad’s knocking at the door. I've got to answer him. He’s my father and we’re Italian Catholics. Honoring our parents is just what we do. It's the same way for my best friend, Maury even though he's Jewish.
“Yeah, okay.” I run the water and rinse my hands so Dad doesn't get grossed out. It's not like I need to because I don't actually use the john anymore. All the blood we drink goes to fuel spiffy vampiric powers I haven't learned yet.
It's been two years since I released A Change In Crime, so it's about time the cover and description got updated. To celebrate, the ebook is also on sale. Scroll down to see the new shinies!
Change comes with the strike of a match.
Leo Riley loses his whole family when mobsters burn his home to the ground. His only ally now is Oguina, a vengeful woman-turned-monster. If Leo walks her path, at least they're not alone.
As Leo plots his demise, Giacomo Bianco gazes into an abyss that stares back. His fall to madness is a one-way trip Leo aims to stop at all costs before Bianco orders another hit.
Monster and Mafioso fight for dominance over Fall River's streets. But powers change everything. Can Leo roll with the punches or will it all go up in flames?
Read this 2017 Dragon Award shortlisted book today!
I'm so excited! Book three in the Supernatural Vigilante Society is uploading today. When it's available on Amazon, I'll post on Facebook and to my mailing list. It's called Counting Costs. Have a look at the cover and description below.
There’s no fortune in favors owed.
After saving a king but losing a kingdom, Tino’s up to his fangs in debt. But he doesn’t owe money. A vampire’s word is his bond. When a rival, a witch, and a hunter all call in their markers at the same time, Tino’s suddenly got a metric ton promises to keep.
To keep his vows, Providence’s newest vampire must find missing memories, adopt an orphan, and cure a comatose fiance. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. The Mafia’s standing in his way at every turn. And the holes in his own recall are a total roadblock.
Meeting obligations is impossible if they’re forgotten. Can Tino pay his debts without cashing in his unlife?
I'm starting some fun posts to run at the end of the week. Here's the first, with a holiday theme.
Ah, Black Friday, the Capitalist's tantamount holiday. Some of its trappings lead to unexpected inspiration, like this:
Excuse me, sir?"
"Yes, what is it?"
"It's just that, uh, you've got, um something."
"Right there. And there. And--"
"Oh bother. Faeries in my beard? Again?"
"Yes, sir. I didn't want to say anything but, well, they're er--"
"The buggers are lighting up, aren't they?"
This is a writing prompt a friend posted from The Ugly Side of Tumblr on Facebook. I ran with it below the image.
Of course I bring the girl home. I’ve only got one last soft spot in my heart. This job already takes so much from me and I’m determined not to let it have my soul. And it goes well at first. The girl is smart, recognizes danger when she sees it and has good reflexes. And that’s no surprise. She survived long enough to try and hire me after all. But in a few weeks, I discover the unforeseen consequence of my kindness.
Because this girl I’ve adopted is far from the only abused kid trying to escape. And these small survivors are observant. They’re also desperate and bold enough to approach someone like me. Each of them look up, gaze into my soul with their wide, haunted eyes. And from a practical standpoint, I ought to refuse. But how can I?
I don’t. I can’t. I slay their demons, literally, and take them in. Every one.
Within a month, I’ve got three children to train. Within six, a dozen. And they don’t stop coming to me and asking the essential question. Unluckily, the world is a cruel place so I still have plenty of paying adult clients. The fees I charge them feed mouths and clothe bodies.
I can’t go on like this, though. Not in the small flat I’ve rented in the city. So I set up a shell corporation and buy a rambling old house in the middle of nowhere. The children live and train in that yard and sleep under that roof. They work a small garden and feed the cats in the barn.
I leave the first girl, the oldest, in charge when I’m out on a job. Her name is Erin, but she hates it. She follows instructions like lesson plans and recipes she finds on the internet. Erin makes a chore chart and includes my name on it along with the others. I come to understand that I love teaching. The kids all call me Uncle Hart. And every time I return with another orphaned kid, the place feels like home.
One night I’m stalking a drug kingpin. The bastard’s holed up, hiding behind his lieutenants. But I’ve had jobs like this before. More of them than I can count because the children need me. So of course, I dispatch the kingpin’s help easily.
The kingpin’s laughing as I enter the closet-sized space. And I pause. This isn’t typical. The kingpin’s unarmed but that laugh is nastier than the actions of the abusive parents I rescue my children from. The kingpin lifts his foot, revealing an object. Small. Metallic. Deadly.
The explosion knocks me out of the room, into a world of immeasurable pain. I see his dead eyes in his grinning face. Fear grips my heart. My children are losing me. And I lose consciousness.
Vague echoes plague my psyche. Bustling doctors, beeping machines, antiseptic. When I regain all my senses, I’m surrounded by my children. They bring me the rest of the way back from life’s edge. But I’ve lost an arm and half a leg. I can’t continue the jobs that support us. I’m certain we’ll starve. The oldest child, the first one I rescued, changes her name. Eris goes out in my place.
And every week, she brings a new child back with her to join the family.
There's no creative talent who fits the above better than Stan Lee. So many of my friends and peers keep saying he saved their lives. My own experience was different.
I'm getting personal in this post to talk about the effect his work had on me. It's not what I expected when I started writing about it.
Stan Lee's work didn't save my life. I grew up in a community where "girls can't read comics" so his stories didn't reach me until I was an adult and had fled that swamp. I was taught to use everything and everyone to my own advantage, look for the next best person or thing and grab it, no matter who might get hurt. And I was starting to get worse.
I'd just gotten power over the direction of my own life. Where I'm from, you either stand up by stepping on people or take whatever you can grab and then run. I knew nothing at all of responsibility. And then I picked up a Marvel comic.
Stan Lee didn't save my life. He saved the people who walked into it. His work showed me another way to be. That there's always a choice, that people who grew up surrounded by cruelty, pain, and loss can choose to do good instead of harm.
Cycles can be broken. Anyone can be a hero. Kindness is a form of strength. We're stronger together. Keep going, even if the way seems impossible.
Those ideas come naturally to so many people. I wasn't one of them until I got help. That wouldn't have happened without Stan Lee's worlds and characters opening my mind to empathy. Even a kid raised to be cruel and indifferent can choose a different path later in life.
What impact did Marvel Comics have for you?
So I haven't been getting out as much as I'd like. It makes me a little batty. If only that looked as cute as the picture above. But it doesn't so I've got to do something. And that thing is for me to blog more, Blogdor.
Expect to see more posts here, probably every two weeks but possibly weekly instead. I'm aiming for Monday to get something up. You could see all sorts of posts, like pictures at past events, book recommendations, or bits of lore I've researched for works in progress.
I'll also be updating the site with more information on the worlds in my books. Like any good ex-DJ and recovering performance artist, I take requests. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas of what you'd like to see here. I'm happy to talk about, where ideas come from (not the stork), what a typical writing day is like, et cetera.
D.R. Perry's books on Goodreads
Bearly Awake (Providence Paranormal College, #1)
ratings: 117 (avg rating 4.16)
Fangs for the Memories (Providence Paranormal College, #2)
ratings: 41 (avg rating 4.20)
Of Wolf and Peace (Providence Paranormal College, #3)
ratings: 28 (avg rating 4.18)
Dragon My Heart Around (Providence Paranormal College, #4)
ratings: 25 (avg rating 4.16)
A Change In Crime: A Supernatural Depression-Era Thriller (La Famiglia di Mostri, #1)
ratings: 15 (avg rating 4.27)