I'm thrilled to be a part of the Children of Shadows Blog Tour. Children of Shadows is the sixth book in the Amaranthine series by Joleene Naylor, and if you've read any of my previous reviews, you'll know I'm a huge fan. Today, we've got an excerpt from the book and an opportunity for you to enter a giveaway. Thanks for stopping by, everyone! Let's have a look at the blurb for Children of Shadows...
The sixth installment of the Amaranthine series pulsates with the dark blood of vampire lore.
The Children of Shadows, a vampire cult not seen for hundreds of years, resurfaces to wage war on the vampire guilds. Led by a familiar face, the cult wreaks havoc while Katelina and Jorick are trapped in Munich. Ume, a mysterious vampiress, claims to know Verchiel and offers the help of her secret organization. But can they trust her?
As mysteries are solved, new ones appear. Why have the Children of Shadows returned, and is it really a former ally that leads them, or a look-alike?
Legends rise and secrets are revealed in a world where vampires walk, drenched in blood and shadows.
Excerpt from Children of Shadows:
It was nearly three when Jorick and Katelina went to the restaurant. Wolfe and Sadihra sat at a table in one of the smaller rooms. A handful of tables were scattered around them, but most were empty. Though Katelina couldn’t say why, she got the impression it was some kind of VIP room.
Sadihra greeted them, and Wolfe gave them stony nods. A waiter took their order; blood for the vampires and a pasta dish for Katelina. Once he’d gone, Wolfe turned to Jorick. “The Höher Rat spoke to the prisoners we brought with us.”
“And?” Jorick asked.
“Their evidence held true. They would give very little information about their so-called order, except to say its function is to destroy the Children of Shadows, which they claim is not defunct as we all believe, but instead has been secretly thriving.”
“The last of that cult died when I was still a fledgling,” Jorick said. “Malick helped hunt Memnon himself. I watched him burn, and I watched his followers burn.” He paused a moment then added with no emotion, “I helped to light the fires for some.”
Wolfe nodded. “I was there, too, if you’ll remember. They weren’t all they were rumored to be, just a squabbling bunch of immortals scrabbling for power.”
“There was a lot of that back then,” Jorick said.
“Yes, before the Kugsankal stamped out the last of it and organized the new system. With the recent upheavals, I worry those times may come again. If the group really has resurfaced then it’s no wonder. Malick may have set a dangerous precedent.”
The waiter interrupted with the food, and it was only after the glasses of blood were poured from a large crystal decanter that the conversation resumed.
“As I was saying, the research department found mention of The Black Vigil in a collection of letters from the ancient materials department. They were a group from Moldavia, led by a Dumitru, who organized them in the fourteenth century, initially to fight another ‘evil’ master. Eventually they evolved as enemies of The Children of Shadow, though it doesn’t say why. There was some hint that they had a change of leadership, but no specific name is given. They disappeared from records in the sixteenth century, presumably wiped out by the Children, and no one has seen or heard of them since.”
“I see.” Jorick sipped from his glass. “So they are both dead orders, so to speak.”
“Or un-dead,” Katelina muttered to herself.
“It doesn’t say exactly when they disappeared, does it?” Jorick asked thoughtfully. “If they were enemies of the Children of Shadows I feel we should’ve run across them.”
“The last mention is some time before Memnon was destroyed, so there’s a chance they were gone before we were involved. We were both young then.”
Jorick nodded. “Did they manage to trace either of the prisoners? Their masters, covens, and such?”
“No. They both swear allegience to a Fethillen. They claim she’s the leader of the Black Vigil, and at least six hundred years old, but there are no records of her. Of course, that doesn’t disprove her existence, since even The Sodalitas’ records are very incomplete. It isn’t easy to keep track of every vampire in the world.”
Katelina tested her dinner and found it tasty. “So what are they going to do with them?”
“Who?” Wolfe asked coldly.
“Ume and Qu-what’s-her-name.”
Wolfe looked uncomfortable. “They were initially charged with attacking Scharfrichter and Executioners, but since it was determined we weren’t on official business, and they didn’t actually attack us first—in fact it was your companion, Micah, I believe, who threw the first blow.” The sneer in his voice said Jorick was somehow to blame.
“He’s hardly my companion,” Jorick replied coldly. “Look to Oren.”
“And is not Oren one of yours?” Wolfe asked.
Sadihra cut in. “It doesn’t matter. What Wolfe was trying to say is that they are to be released.”
“And what of the Children of Shadows?” Jorick asked. “Are there any other rumors of their resurrection?”
Wolfe gulped the last of his blood and leaned back in the chair. “None.”
“Then who attacked us and killed everyone in the marina?” Katelina asked
Wolfe made a low noise. Katelina wasn’t sure what he was aggravated about in particular. Maybe everything. She knew she was.
Katelina wanted dessert, but Wolfe and Sadihra excused themselves. Sadihra said they would have to eat together again, “Should your stay become prolonged.” Katelina hoped it wouldn’t be necessary.
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About the Author:
Joleene Naylor grew up in southwest Iowa surrounded by soybeans, corn and very little entertainment – so she made her own. She has been writing and drawing since she was a small child, with a particular leaning towards fantasy, horror and paranormal. It is this love of all that goes bump in the night that led her to write the Amaranthine series.
In her spare time she is a freelance artist, book cover designer and photographer. Joleene maintains blogs full of odd ramblings and hopes to win the lottery. Until she does, she and her husband live near Bolivar Missouri with their miniature zoo. However, unless she starts buying tickets she won’t win anything.
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