Kinship, Book Two: The Unpredictable Life of a Vampire Hunter
Title: Kinship One and Two
Author: Caroline A.Gill
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Expected Release Date: Oct. 28th, 2016
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Valen Kildrake has a problem:
Vampires are real,
and they are very, very hungry.
Armed with ancient spells, weapons of pure silver, holy water, and deep-dish pizza,
Valen hunts down the monsters who feed on humans,
confronting death in battle after battle.
But he is only one man against a horde.
Worse, his enemies are getting smarter and bolder.
What will he do when a new force of unknown power appears?
Who can he trust when other hunters hide secrets of their own?
Clever and greedy, vampires are slowly winning the ancient war against
the razor-sharp blades of the trained warriors of Mars Alator.
One by one, skilled Hunters are being torn to shreds by fangs and claws.
Valen fights on, determined to honor his father’s memory,
vowing to destroy as many leeches as he can before the inevitable end.
Soon, no one will be left to stop the overwhelming tide of leeches.
Something has to change.
Who will defend humanity if the last vampire hunters fall?
When a mysterious woman crosses his path of destruction,
Valen must decide between honor and hope, between life and death.
And so must she.
And what they choose will change the war.
Kinship 2: The Unpredictable Life of A Vampire Hunter
Vampires are here.
Hungry, they strike from the shadows…
Only human blood will feed the monsters, stealing away lives, emptying the cities.
Very few men and women are left to stop the massing horde: the Hunters of Mars Alator.
If it takes his very last breath, Valen Kildrake will track down every last monster, destroy every nest, rescue any survivors, fight, slash, and burn anything in his path.
Valen refuses to fail even as other Hunters die in the centuries-old conflict.
Trained since childhood to fight the leeches, Valen Kildrake hunted alone
until he met the mysterious Adelinde.
Together, on the run, the two vampire hunters must learn to work together.
Secrets define them both.
Secrets that can destroy everything.
When faced with the choice, will Valen’s pride let Adelinde in?
Together, can they find a pathway to save humanity
from the bloodlust of the growing vampire horde?
Caroline A. Gill loves eight things in this world: Five oddball children, One husband, and chocolate. A graduate of UCLA, BFA, and Northern Illinois University, MFA, MA, in Fine Art and Art History, Caroline realized that knowledge is personal and so are dreams. And it is the dreams of extraordinary people that enchant her. A story is only worth telling if the ending is new and the journey is an exploration. Find your own voice. Tell the story you have, the one you know best, as only you can. In the words of Firefly: Be SHINY.
41902 Fruit Heights Lane:
One hand held seething silver daggers.
Cautiously, he used the other to clutch the loose railing. The wooden stairs creaked, like in one of those B movies Hollywood cranked out. Each plank protested the hunter’s weight like a mewling kitten, insistent and sharp.
It was a little past high noon, pleasantly warm in Illinois, well on its way to another day of humid hell.
With every step, Valen searched the plastered ceiling. Counter-attacks often happened. As old as the wood in this wobbly Victorian was, Valen counted it lucky the planks bore his weight at all.
Forty pounds of Kevlar fabric overcoat made each stair step a symphony. Thirteen more. Creak. Twelve, twelve more. They know I am here. They know someone is coming. That’s alright, I guess. So instead of continuing in stealth, Valen started whistling loudly.
Tromping up the remaining stairs, he launched into a rendition of the ballad of Clementine. “Oh, my darling, Oh, my darling, Oh my–” There was a lot of enthusiasm in his bellow, much more than necessary. Grabbing the rope pull, the Hunter pushed open the attic door. As it swung upward, Valen was struck by the warmth of the insulated room. Heat got in, nothing got out. It perfectly explained the missing tenants.
Popping his head up through the attic opening, Valen continued to sing. “Darlin’, Clementine. You were gone and–” Something stirred in the corner. Just out of the edge of his eyesight, the movement was so slight, no normal human would have noticed it. And they would have attributed it to cockroaches and rats if they did. ‘Would have been a big mistake, a fat one. Valen was human enough, but trained to watch the tiny movements in the corners.
He acted the fool, but noticed everything.
“Oh, hell, what’s the rest of that song? Johnny?” he called down the stairwell as if there was another person in the house. ‘Cause how foolish it would be to go hunting vampires without backup? I mean, no one half-sane would do that. Right? Valen laughed at his own stupid pride. “Oh, yeah,” he mumbled to himself, climbing a quarter way up the narrow entry point, “I remember it now: ‘You were lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry Clemen–tiiiiii-ne.” And that last note, he held out there like a poor man begging.
Dying cats sounded better.
Another movement to his right. He made a show of scratching his head and then pulling up his jeans.
His voice stayed low and calm, by every sign another tradesman come to repair a leaking roof or a downed wire. Launching into the second verse wasn’t very nice. If you were fixin’ to kill someone, there’s noble, great or scary music to send them onto the great beyond. A repairman yodeling off-key some old ballad? Well, it just wasn’t a kindness. Luckily, Valen wasn’t interested in kindness. Not for leeches.
A rotting smell filled the space, more obvious with every breath he took. The stench mixed with the peculiar sweetness that only leeches gave off. Again, confirmation of the missing tenants’ desiccated corpses stuffed in some wall cavity in these cramped rooms.
Reaching down for his flashlight, Valen knew their moves before they did.
Fangs flew at his face. Scary close, more teeth than a shark and twice as hungry, the vampire launched straight at his throat. Valen’s voice did not falter in the slightest as his wrist pulled up from below the floor level, daggers in hand.
An explosion of dust and teeth hit his face, the vampire dissolving moments before Valen was consumed. Eerie quiet fell over the sauna-like attic, except for the repairman’s horrid rendition of a hundred-year-old ballad. “Ruby lips above the water, blowing bubbles, soft and fine; But alas, I was no swimmer– ” The floor boards didn’t even creak, the vampires weighed that little. No, it was the movement of the air across his cheek that warned Valen of the next monster.
Almost too late, Valen sat at the opening of the attic, spinning in a half-circle, his aim as pure as his singing voice was rotten. Silver daggers flew. Vampires exploded, teeth rattled to the dust-covered wooden beams like a hard rain on the window, like tears from angels.
For a few minutes, Valen sat there, listening to the muggy dark.
Satisfied, he covered his face with a handkerchief so the stale dust of destroyed leeches didn’t choke him. With his flashlight out in earnest, the Hunter checked the crawlspaces, searching for one, two, three, five and…seven missing bodies. They were all there, down to the golden retriever.
A long time ago, when he was new to the life, when he was young and the terrors that thumped in the night were exciting, Valen used to make necklaces with the fallen teeth. Now though…now he couldn’t do that. Not since Dad. Not since–then. A snarl lifted the corner of his mouth as the light of the torch set off a sparkle in the damn things. He could barely look at them, rows of tiny tombstones. Death had formed each one. They cost too much to play with lightly.
An image of his dad laughing flashed across his imagination, as Valen turned and stomped down the rickety ladder.
As he went, Valen sang along with the melody, “In my dreams she still doth haunt me, robed in garments, soaked in brine. Though in life I used to hug her, now she’s dead, I’ll draw the line.” By the time the Hunter made the broken front door, his energetic voice echoed across the neighborhood.
Valen sang a song no one even remembered. Only the three kids out skateboarding turned their heads to stare as he walked past. People just didn’t care much anymore. In fact, the neighborhood had grown accustomed to the unexplained screeching and screams that came from the creaky architectural gem at 41902 Fruit Heights Lane.
Silence moved in, on gossamer wings.