NEWLY RELEASED ON 3/23/16 BY SOLSTICE PUBLISHING:
Adventures in Death & Romance: Vrykolakas Tales
By Monette Bebow-Reinhard
cover by Adam Reinhard and Michelle Crocker
Order link is at the bottom of this page
Vrykolakas – the word is a mouthful and seems to get caught in the throat, doesn’t it? But that’s as it should be. Let Arabus Drake, Greek vampire, grab you by the throat and pull you around the historical world in his tales. Kicking and screaming and saying no more please, and yet unable to stop turning pages, unable to walk away, because his world is your world, after all, and you’ve known he was out there all along. Give him a chance to get under your skin and you will find you’d rather go a day and a half without breathing than to turn your back on Arabus Drake.
Experience vampirism by following Arabus's adventures in a numbed corpse with hungry veins and an exposed consciousness.
Arabus tells his tales of seeking acceptance in a living world since the day he emerged from the grave in 1503. Included are tales that give readers insights into how it feels to be undead. Along the journey his search evolves from seeking the soul of the woman that he was murdered with to finding a more unusual way of loving and acceptance, along the way fighting the Turk army, pirates, Tories, a vindictive lawman and a wily ghost who stands between him and a woman he thinks can finally accept him.
Greece during Ottoman Rule, 1503:
An unmarked grave stirred, as unmarked graves were rumored to do when not properly weighted with stone. This grave had been hurriedly and callously dug. As clouds swept the moon in overhead and a woman’s pleas to fight this evil drifted away, hands burst up through the ground, seeking freedom and vengeance for murder.
Three Bashi-bazouk soldiers, with hands dirtied from killings and a grave-digging, returned their friend Calab’s body to the encampment for disposal. They weren’t ready to sleep for the night, so they wandered to the shore where the sea sat lightly rippling to break the silence, the moon a sliver in the distance. The mellow fragrance of the night air swept around them in the wind.
“Such a lovely whore,” murmured Beck as he stopped to watch the sea’s ripples in the moonlight.
Toros nodded, feeling a similar stir in his loins. “I wonder what Dimitri did with her body. Do you suppose she still lived and Dimitri found her ripe for his thrust?”
“No matter, alive or dead, as long as she was limp. Most women act as though dead.” Beck swallowed hard at a sudden wet thickness in his throat.
“Oh-ho, for you maybe, for me they come alive!” Toros laughed with a thrust of his hip.
Beular paid no attention to their foreplay. “The foreboding has not left me.”
“Enough of your whining!” Beck punched Beular to the ground. “Call yourself Bashi-bazouk? Not by any proud reckoning of the word! We are fearless! We do not whine as women.”
Beular landed on his stomach in shocked surprise and sputtered with the dirt in his mouth before turning back, hands up in submission. “It is not womanly to fear a gypsy’s curse. What protection have we against air breathed with evil?”
“That was no curse.”
“She was a gypsy!” Beular stood and wiped off. “That means---.”
“That meant nothing.” Beck walked across the rocks to the water’s edge. “One gypsy’s curse made one gypsy die. Now her sex, that meant something.” He walked into the sea and splashed some cool water over his sweat. “Such a body that one had! Walk on, both of you. We were promised a romp and were robbed by her unwillingness. I must quench this lingering desire.” He tossed his weapons to the shore and walked deeper into the water. “Unless one of you volunteers to service me.”
Toros laughed. “Oh no, you have never appealed to me. Come, Beular, let him have his fill of himself.”
They walked on, laughing.
Alone, Beck submerged himself in the warm water and his thoughts heated his groin with pleasure, stimulated by memories of two lovers with blood mingling as they pressed their lips together. Someone was sure to write a ballad about this day and make him the hero. Heroes are well cared for, with women to feed their every desire.
Once satisfied, he swam out into deeper water, on his back first and then with easy strokes on his front. He often boasted that he learned to swim with the dolphins. No one knew that his father, in disgust over the boy’s perversions, threw him overboard to kill him. But Beck refused to die.
He ignored the winged movement over him, still tingling with the ripe loosening of desire. But then it returned, a shadow too big for even an albatross. So, with caution as his natural state, Beck swam back to shore and crawled onto the rocks toward his saber.
Before he could reach it, icy cold hands grabbed his neck from behind. Beck slammed his fists against his back, but was lifted straight up off the rocks until he dangled in the air. He was flung backward but, with reflexive bazouk training, he rolled into the rocky shoreline without injury, still gripping his saber.
Beck leaped to his feet and slashed out at the darkness with the confidence of a man never having been bested. He gave a laugh and a snort took a stance ready to do battle. The shadow with the long arms and claws for fingers only faded as if a coward into darkness.
Puzzled, Beck backed away. “Maybe the witches are out tonight.” He turned to head back to camp, but tripped, cutting open his chest with the saber. “Aaah!” He clutched at his chest wound. “A Bashi-bazouk does not trip.” He searched the rocks for some track of lobster or perhaps a slippery otter had wrapped around his feet.
When he looked up again, Beck saw red eyes glaring at the blood on his chest and then the face of the shadowy creature leaned toward him. “No! It cannot be you! We killed you! I saw your death!”
“You saw death? See it now.”
AUTHORS NOTE: Show of hands - how many know how to pronounce Vrykolakas? It's Greek, and pronounced "vre-KO-le-kus" but boy, you should have seen me slaughter it when I first pronounced it. This may sound cliché, but Arabus Drake, Greek vampire, was born in a dream, an erotic dream and I became obsessed with him. I wouldn't call his novels erotica but he is sensual and there are sex scenes. Instead he is imbued with conflict, the kind that can be found in all mortals, and he demonstrates how this continues in a much more powerful way, with his expanded consciousness and demons controlling his abnormal abilities and thirst. I don't know why I became obsessed - or maybe I do. The inability to die fascinates me. What better way to explore life and death through history than with someone who never dies? Creating Arabus subconsciously encouraged me to begin the conscious dive into various time periods, leading to my eventual master's in history.
READY TO ORDER? http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DAIPVH0 - also available at Barnes and Noble, and in print.