I am joining the blog tour for The Lazarus Child by Jay Raven today. Many thanks to Jay for allowing me to share an extract from the book, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.
To save his missing daughter a distraught slayer must venture deep into the heart of darkness
Legendary vampire hunter Anton Yoska is on the edge, tormented by the rumour that the precious child he once thought dead is still alive and lost in a world of monsters.
One creature alone knows for sure what happened to Gretchen, but Terek Modjeski won’t divulge his secret – revelling in the twisted power over his long-time foe.
Despairing and drinking heavily, Anton stumbles from near disaster to near disaster as he puts his team in jeopardy, testing their friendship and loyalty to snapping point.
Only one diabolical solution is possible – to confront Terek in his maximum security cell and force the bloodsucker to end his game of cat and mouse. But making the cunning infernal talk will mean employing brutal methods that go against every code Anton has ever lived by, forcing him to become as much of a demon as the leeches he hunts.
Face to face with the evil, taunting vampire, the desperate slayer takes a decision that will change his destiny forever – sending him hurtling into danger to confront a terrifying truth about his lost child that risks not only his sanity but the future of mankind.
In this extract, slayer Anton Yoska and his sidekick Quintz arrive at a chilling location, led there by captive vampire Terek Modjeski
No-one knew for sure when The Sorcerer’s Circle had been constructed. The mysterious ring of granite monoliths was rumoured to date back long before the Roman occupation of Transylvania. Some believed it had been the court of a Dacian monarch, or the remnants of a fortification, others argued that it was a vast calendar hewn from rock where ancient priests worshipped, tracking the changing stars, cataloguing their seasonal movements across the heavens.
All Anton Yoska knew was that, in the mid evening darkness, the massive bleached standing stones gave him a deep sense of foreboding, as though evil dwelt in the 50-metre central void; the wind that howled through the gaps in the structure swirling around the interior, creating disturbing banshee moans.
From up close, he couldn’t help picturing the weather-beaten pillars as a council of elders, meeting in a huddle to devise laws and to dish out judgements on those who had transgressed.
And what a fitting place to be judged and found wanting, he thought, grimly. But guilty of what?
Turning to Terek Modjeski, he demanded: “Okay, bloodsucker, we’re here. It’s time to start talking, if you hope to live a minute longer. Why have you brought us to this God-forsaken spot?”
Although his legs were still shackled, hands bound closely together, the vampire managed to stretch as languorously as any lazy cat.
“To set the scene,” he replied, “so that you can imagine what it was like to be here five years ago. As I was, when I witnessed what took place that wondrous night.” He paused a half second for effect. “When your darling daughter Gretchen was auctioned off to the highest bidder.”
Anton couldn’t help himself, he staggered back, drawing in huge lungfuls of air, dizziness hitting him as surely as any blow.
“You’re lying,” Quintz spat, spinning to tell the slayer: “Don’t listen to him. It’s another of his sick fantasies.”
“Is it?” Terek challenged smoothly. “Why should I lie? What would I gain from it?”
He reached out to touch the nearest stone, fingers caressing the roughness of its surface, and its coldness; feeling a strange kinship with its unyielding, emotionless solidity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.
Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour to find out more about The Lazarus Child.