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Blood Embrace

Anthology

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Vampires have become the ultimate erotic figure in paranormal literature, but the creatures in Blood Embrace are more than just pretty immortals who suck the blood from their victims or companions. This anthology showcases M/M short stories that have unique ideas in the vampire genre, taking them beyond their traditional settings and extravagance. No angst-ridden "sparklepires" or caped Transylvanians who "never drink... wine" here! These tales show off the new and wonderful things that can be done with this tried and true erotic theme.

Bryan is living a normal, suburban life, worried about his cholesterol and whether eating shredded cardboard cereal for breakfast is worth the trouble. Then came the visions. Horrific, bloody scenes pound his mind, and Bryan's life begins to crumble around him as he loses his grip on reality. Only when he has sunk nearly as low as a man can go does the demon, Jonathan, appear to him to tell Bryan that he has been the source of his ruined life, all in preparation for this moment. Now he must Choose, become Jonathan's loyal sex slave and blood slut, or be sunk forever into the madness. Then, when the vampires rose to ascendancy, some humans fled into the wild, called Freemen among their communities and Feral by the vampires and those who stayed to serve them. Mouse is a feral, and when he breaks into house in the woods, he thinks he's getting nothing more than food to keep him going. What he finds instead is Orrin, a vampire whose seductive grace and unexpected kindness make Mouse want to be caught.

Mike is a starving artist whose popular fantasy art keeps him alive while he strives for his true goal: placement in a prominent gallery. And when he uses red lamps to create his Red Filter series, he knows he's more inspired than he's ever been. Unfortunately, he's also suffering, and as his art comes together, his health falls apart. It's all the fault of the creature who stalks his dreams and haunts the edges of his vision while he paints, and once Mike realizes it, he finds a way to pull David, a psychic vampire, into his own reality... and under his power. Finally, for years, Hyde has had one unassailable mission: find the demon that lured his twin and fellow Catholic priest, Samuel, away from God. But when the monster is finally within his grasp, even the power of God and His holy symbols may not be enough to save Hyde from the vampire's wicked words and seductive secrets Of The Flesh.

The first time he saw the vision of warriors and kings, Bryan Norris was in the cereal aisle at the Whole Foods grocery store. The place was full of narrow aisles, brands he'd never heard of, and bad indie rock getting pumped through the sound system. Bryan never shopped at the place. Not only was it overpriced, it was also pretentious. But last week he'd turned thirty, and the day after, he'd gone to the doctor for a checkup. It hadn't been his idea, and he'd thought he could get through the lecture on cholesterol and blood pressure without it affecting him. As long as he could run his five miles three mornings out of seven and get it up whenever he wanted, what was the big deal?

As it turned out, though, Bryan couldn't get the statistics about heart disease off his mind. Why, oh why, had he read that stupid brochure? He'd always been a little paranoid and just a touch of a health freak. He knew the doc was likely full of shit and scare tactics, but changing a few things about his diet probably couldn't hurt anything, other than maybe Bryan's taste buds.

So there Bryan stood, staring at rows upon rows of boxes screaming their organic, nutritional content and trying to read a label over the wailing of a baby on the other end of the aisle. The Nutty Health Crunch had raisins and cranberries, and Bryan liked fruit well enough, he guessed. The other option seemed to be made mostly of shredded cardboard. He held the bag of horse feed masquerading as granola in one hand, and the other hand rested on the shopping cart's disinfected handle bar. Later, he'd remember his last normal thought was about cutting down a tree and gnawing on the bark and whether that'd be about the same thing as eating the cereal.

And then, like someone dropped him into a surround-sound, three-hundred-sixty virtual reality theater, Bryan stood on a battlefield. Gone were the mother, the infant, and the female vocalist crooning about love and loss over the PA speakers, and every other indicator that Bryan was safe and sane. He couldn't feel the cart's handle, but he could feel a heavy-as-hell hilt in his hand. He didn't have granola; he had a bloody, tattered banner from the fallen enemy. Each step was exhausting. It was hard to move, and Bryan looked down. He wore armor, but it wasn't like armor in his Xbox games or like in pictures of King Arthur and the Round Table. This was dull, blackened metal accented with dyed leather, rough hide, and white fur. It smelled like rotted meat, and it was gashed, torn, and stained. The bitter wind struck him, and Bryan didn't think he'd ever felt such cold. It was so real, so visceral, and then the body he was in began to move without his conscious permission.

Bryan panicked. He was trapped inside this body that was not his body, but that of a... warrior? Prince? Someone important and old and hungry. He could hear thoughts that were not his thoughts, and he could feel emotions that were not his own.

Bryan yelled to be let out, to be let go, but the warrior in the fur and the armor kept walking, right through piles of mud and nauseating, steaming muck. Moans and yells of men rose up from the hillside. A thick fog obscured the landscape, so Bryan could only see a few hundred yards in any direction, but all he saw through the stranger's eyes were the slain.

-- from "Choose" by Kelly Wyre

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Length

48,000 words
114 pages

Release Date

June 13, 2014

Book Type

Anthology

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-62757-104-3

Cover Art

Lou Harper

Keywords

M/M, paranormal, vampires

Contributors

D.K. Jernigan
K. Piet
Katya Harris
Kelly Wyre
S.L. Armstrong