Rosemary A Johns
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Fantasy Rebel Limited
Date of Publication: 14th August 2016
Large Print Edition:
Number of pages: 294
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: JD Smith
There are three people in this affair – and two of them aren’t human…
A hidden paranormal London lies beneath our own. Escape into the supernatural world of the Blood Lifers – where vampires are both predator and prey.
1960s London. Light is a rebel Rocker Blood Lifer with a photographic memory. And a Triton motorbike. Since Victorian times he’s hidden in the shadows. Both predator and prey. His venom is deadly. He feeds on blood. Human, of course. But when he discovers his ruthless family’s horrifying secret experiments, he questions whether he should be slaying or saving the humans he’s always feared.
Ruby is a sexy but savage Elizabethan Blood Lifer. She burns with a destructive love for Light. But he’s keeping something from her. Something that breaks every rule in Blood Life. When she discovers the truth, things take a terrifying turn.
Kathy is a seductive singer. But she’s also human. Light knows his passionate love for her is reckless but he’s enchanted. Yet such a romance is forbidden. When the two worlds collide, it could mean the end. For both species.
What dark revelations will Light reveal at the heart of the experiments? Will he be able to stop them in time? The consequences of failure are unimaginable. Unless Light plays the part of hero, he risks losing everything. Including the two women he loves.
A rebel, a red-haired devil and a Moon Girl battle to save the world – or tear it apart.
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JULY 1866 FLORENCE, ITALY
One night we slipped into La Specola, a museum next to the Pitti Palace, which stank of something sweet but rotten. When Ruby gripped my hand tight, I realised I’d never felt this radiating from her before: it was something alike to fear but not. It was revulsion.
‘The First Lifers are proud of this…museum of death,’ Ruby breathed. ‘They call it science.’
‘We can go. Let’s find some piazza with music, drinking and dancing. The land of the living for once? Then we can…’
Ruby held her finger to my lips. ‘You need to see.’
Ruby’s hand curled tighter around mine. I glanced up. The walls of the museum were pinned with dead butterflies: every type, colour and size. They were neatly ordered, categorized and labelled. As my pulse quickened, Ruby caught my eye. She nodded.
Room after room was the same: display cases lining the walls, standing from floor to ceiling, or lying open, like glass coffins. Snow White in some twisted rendition of the tale. Rooms of stuffed birds, stilled forever on their perches, with predator next to natural prey: herbivores, carnivores, a huge hippo and a gallery of primates staring back blankly from their boxes.
We paced in silence, until we reached the primates. Then I rested my forehead on the glass, holding my palm up to touch the grasp of the chimpanzee on the other side.
Death was so close it throttled me. I’d lived close with it, intimate-like, as a Blood Lifer.
I’d known science in my First Life or reckoned I had. Yet somehow I’d failed to see the darkness underneath.
‘All that’s missing is one of us,’ Ruby’s fingers were stroking the back of my nut. ‘Then they’d have the full collection. We’re the Lost species. Why do you think we hide?’ I twisted to Ruby, shocked. She raised her eyebrow. ‘Are we not superior? Evolution’s advancement? Yet we’re adapted for masking our true face, whilst relying on humans for sustenance. Just as we do the night for protection from the sun. Prithee tell me how beggarly is a divided world, in which half does not fathom the truth? And for it to be danger akin to heresy to reveal it? Consider what these First Lifers pay to see.’
With disgust Ruby led me around the exhibits. For a moment, I thought there were mutilated cadavers laid out in the glass cases (which gave me the willies I can tell you), but then I saw they were anatomical wax models, copied from real corpses.
All right then, so that wasn’t much better because on every side were these torture victims, with their guts out, their chests ripped back and lungs offered up, as if we were about to dig in, whilst twins curled around each other bonded in uterus. The skinned man was laid on his side, arching in agony.
When I paused at a man reduced to one large circulatory system, I felt Ruby’s arms snake around my waist. She rested her chin on my shoulder. Blue and red coils circled the corpse: First Lifer reduced to food and all it’d needed was a little flaying.
Here, laid bare, was the proof that man was created for our needs.
‘They want to be feasted upon, even if they do not know it. A First Lifer is our prey. We grant the death he seeks, so he no longer needs to fear it.’
About the Author:
ROSEMARY A JOHNS is a traditionally published author of short stories under the name R. A. Johns. Blood Dragons is Rosemary A Johns’ debut novel.
Rosemary A Johns wrote her first fantasy novel at the age of ten, when she discovered the weird worlds inside her head were more exciting than double swimming. Since then she’s studied history at Oxford University, run a theatre company (her critically acclaimed plays have been described as "uncomfortable, unsettling and uneasily true to life"), and worked with disability charities. When Rosemary’s not falling in love with the rebels fighting their way onto the page, she heads the Oxford writing group Dreaming Spires
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