Sometimes, you just have to show your serious side. That might sound easy for most people. If you've read any of my books, you know that's harder than you think, especially if your name is J. Morgan. Which my name just so happens to be. Funny how that always seems to happen when I'm talking about myself in the third person. Then again, I am the self professed king of romantic comedy. If that is indeed the case, how could a king of comedy come up with a book with the unlikely title, Immortally Damned? Because, if you would be so kind as to reference the above opening sentence, you'll have your answer.
As a writer, any writer, I think you need to grow in your craft. Evolve, if you will. My evolution started nearly four years ago, when I started working on the first book in the Amor Immorati series, Immortally Yours. After writing a couple comedies, I found I wanted to write a modern fairy tale, but with a twist. Gotta love those twists. The result was a book about a Greek Warrior cursed to live forever. So what do you do when you're immortal and have done everything? You open a detective agency with your best friend, who just so happens to be a half-vampire. Chase's story revolved around him first hunting down a fairy princess then protecting her. Falling in love with her came as a nice bonus. I know that's a pretty vague synopsis, but this blog isn't about Immortally Yours.
Immortally Damned took two years before I finally sat down and began writing. Why? Because, I knew Caern's story would put me through the ringer, and more importantly, I needed to grow in my craft to do it justice. Believe me, it's hard to make a comedian tap his serious side. Comedians write comedy to avoid our dark places, not jump headfirst into them. Immortally Damned took me right into the deep end, and took me nine months to climb back out of it. After nearly one hundred and fifty thousand words, you can understand my trepidation on moving on to the third book in the trilogy.
But, what is Immortally Damned about? Redemption. Every character in this book has fallen as far as they can go. For different reasons, they're lost. Caern most of all.
Caern is half vampire, an oddity among the Blood. Lured away from the priesthood by Katyarina, a full Blood and queen of the New Orleans vampires, Caern throws away his safe existence in the name of love. You can probably guess what happens. Their romance ends in tragedy. When she reveals that she is pregnant with his child, her half-brother Augustine, the Zombie King of New Orleans, orders his death. Caern is driven from New Orleans on pain of death if he ever returns. You know. That would make a great book all by itself, but that's just the back story.
Scroll ahead a hundred years or so, and the real story opens. Katyarina sends him a message that she needs him. Dragged back into the world he swore to never return to, Caern must track down a murderer out to kill the great grand-daughter he thought he'd never meet. You know how these things go. He hooks up with Elisa Marrone, a detective with the New Orleans police department, who has lost her faith in just about everything. Together they search for the killer before he can strike again.
From that you get the idea. Love is about to hit the fan. Well, that's better than the other thing hitting the fan. But, why not just write the first story? Because, sometimes, it's not the story of how a character got to where he's going that makes the more interesting read. It's how they overcome who they've become that is worth telling. George Lucas taught me that. But, you have my word, no prequels.
Love is a fight, even without vampires and zombies muddying the waters. You fight to find it. You fight to keep it. Most of all, you fight to make it work in spite of the world doing its best to derail it every chance it gets. Truly great Romance gives you that struggle. Makes you feel every agonizing second of it, and if it is really great, makes you fall in love for the first time all over again. That is the true gift of Romance, and I hope in some small way to give my readers a taste of the first kiss they ever experienced, or that first racing heartbeat from seeing their first love for the first time. It's invoking those emotions that make authors do what we do. Because, with every book, we relive those experiences ourselves. So, when you get right down to it, love is the one redeeming quality we all share, and strive to recapture every chance we get.
As you read my excerpt from Immortally Damned, I hope you relive the love that taught you magic was truly alive and only a first kiss away. This is a bit of that back story I went on and on about. It might not be that first kiss that lasts forever, but it is a moment that forever changes. Maybe not as good as a first kiss, but still something that never goes away.
From: Deserting Breeze Publishing
Caern swore to never return to New Orleans, his death warrant making the choice easy. Well, easy until his past returns to smack him around. Now, he has to return to the one place where death isn't a possibility, it's a guarantee. And only a matter of time. Searching to find a murderer out to kill the grandchild he never thought to meet, he finds himself falling into a hell he just might not be able to crawl free of. His only hope lies in Detective Eliza Marrone. Falling for her isn't in the cards, but his heart tells him it might be the only thing he can't escape. Zombies, old lovers and psychopathic vampire clergy, yeah those are things he can deal with. True love on the other hand is the one thing he's always avoided. This time there's no way out. It might get him killed, or end up saving his wretched soul.
His fingers shook as he flipped the ancient paper of the Gospel before him. Caern knew the page was much too brittle to take the rough handling his current state of mind put him in. If he could, he would have set the manuscript aside and returned to it in the morning. Darkness had fallen over an hour ago. Any minute now, she would return, as she had every night for the last month. The Holy Scriptures had become his only futile grasp at salvation. As long as he kept them close, he could defend himself against the emotions she awoke within him. Caern knew her to be a servant of Satan. Perhaps that fact alone was why he found it harder and harder to resist her. In vespers just the day before last, her name had come from his lips instead of the litany that should have been coming from him.
Father Blaque had not been amused when he had admitted the aberration during confession. His knees still bore the wounds from his acts of contrition. As did his throat from all the Our Fathers he uttered until the early morning hours. His brother had been suitably alarmed that an agent of the Morningstar had invaded their retreat. Caern thanked God above the sanctity of the confessional prevented Father Blaque from divulging the matter to the other monks. He had left it to Caern's conscience to decide to inform the rest of the brothers. As of yet, his conscience had remained silent on the matter. A sin of omission to be sure, but a sin nonetheless. It did not matter God had forgiven him under the sacrament of confession.
Closing the manuscript, Caern watched the flickering light of his candle. It offered no more comfort than had the scriptures he found harder to cling to for some semblance of hope. He must admit she had surely bedeviled him. His soul was forfeit to the damnation she offered. In truth, he wanted her. Wanted her as he had wanted nothing else in this life. Instead of God, he now worshiped the thought of her. His soul prayed for her nightly visits. Even now, it cried out, afraid tonight would be the night she decided to stop playing this wicked game with him. That she would see him for what he was, a pitiful priest unworthy of her attentions.
His gaze wandered to the window. Its clear view of the landscape beyond only confirmed his fears. If she had been coming, she would have been here by now. It was already past her usual time to torture him with her presence. His body shook with his need to see her. His mind conjured her scent and tantalized him with the ghost of it in his nose. He closed his eyes so he could imagine her as he had last seen her. She had been clothed in fabric so sheer he drank in her nudity barely hidden beneath it. His lips went dry picturing her perfect breasts straining against the cloth. He shivered as his imagination took him further down her body to the glimpse of her womanhood that still made him hard, even in his fevered thoughts.
"Oh, sweet Jesus. Do not desert your humble servant to his sin. Deliver me from these thoughts that overwhelm me and take me from You." He dropped his head. "Save me, dear Lord. Save me from myself."
"Why so ever would He do that, my love?" And, she appeared.
Available December 11th
From: Desert Breeze Publishing
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