Sunday, August 18, 2013

They invited me to do WHAT? Writers Teaching Writers the Right Way

"They invited me to do WHAT?"

Being that my first novel rode the #1 Top-Rated spot on Customer ratings for Amazon.com for 16 weeks, and after making myself available as a mentor for any writer worldwide with a question, I've been welcomed into teaching keys of good writing and aspects of traditional and self-publishing all over the South. Most recently, Boot Camp for Christian Writers invited me to teach two seminars on Fiction/Character and Plot Development. The first was in April this year and the crowd seemed genuinely edified by my 2 1/2 hour interactive presentation. For the second one, the organizers asked me if I could put my teaching into a workbook to hand out at the October Boot Camp. Wow. I've done this already with my previous two popular seminars, You CAN Self-Publish and You CAN Self-Promote, both of which grew out of my power point presentations at writer's conferences. Both workbooks can be given to participants and can also be sold via Amazon.com to writers all over the globe. So couldn't I do the same thing with my Fiction seminar?

Well, maybe. If I have the time.

So that is what I am up to the next few weeks, mixed in with my eleven hundred other projects, I shall try to collect all of my seminar data into a comprehensive workbook for the Boot Campers and the world.

Wish me luck, and I shall wish you a wonderful week!

HUGS and blessings,
Ellen

Ellen's WIPS (works in progress)
  1. RABBIT REDEMPTION (Book 3 of Rabbit Trilogy)
  2. TREE OF LIFE (Book 3 of the Corescu Chronicles)
  3. THE INDWELLING OF TORI BLESSING (stand alone paranormal novel)
  4. YOU CAN WRITE GOOD FICTION, MAKE YOUR PLOT RESONATE AND YOUR CHARACTERS BREATHE
GOD BLESS YOU'SE!!
Ellen C. Maze married June 14, 2013!! My books will remain under Ellen C. Maze, but I am now ELLEN SALLAS and loving every minute of it!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

LOVE LETTERS to My Readers

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1) You encourage me to keep at it. You have no idea how much it means to me that you took the time out of your busy day to tell me to GET GOING ON THE NEXT NOVEL!! Thank you, and I promise to get busy!




2) You send me emails when you're moved by the characters. Thank you! I love hearing how they come alive for you!!




3) You share my books with others because they meant so much to you. Thank you! I love your enthusiasm for my "babies"!



 4) When my books move you spiritually, you take the time to write and let me know. I've written thrillers that can frighten some people to pieces, but the spiritual undercurrent is always there to feed and move your soul.




5) You "liked" and visited my Facebook pages so often that I feel loved and supported even when my next book is a long time coming. Thank you, Facebook friends!! (If you haven't, please click HERE to come over and "like" my page! I have a new novel coming out this summer and will have tons of giveaways!)



6) You take the time to post reviews for me on Amazon. You may never realize how important this is. These reviews really push sales because of the customer-oriented algorithms exclusive to Amazon.com. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! (Click here to see or buy on Amazon!)




There are so many more that this blog could go on forever.  The bottom line is that without you, I'm only a writer. You make me an author because you read what I wrote. I am sending you a zillion cyber hugs and when our arms are tired of hugging, let's collapse in a pile of books together. I love books as much as you do!


HUGS and blessings,


Ellen C Maze
http://www.ellencmaze.com
ellenmaze@aol.com

Friday, November 2, 2012

CALLING ALL CHRISTIAN WRITERS!!




 We all love writers conferences, but too often the timing of them either conflict with our schedules, are too far away, or are priced way out of our budgets. Boot Camp for Christian Writers has been running seminars and writers conferences out of Beeson Divinity School based inside Birmingham, Alabama’s Samford University for years, and recently begun to publish their curriculum for outsiders as well!

To date, five volumes have been published in paperback with two more coming out in November. The workbooks are excellently written and presented in a learning-friendly way, with plenty of space for notes above and beyond the exercises and study questions.

Who wrote these books? Two extremely prolific and successful authors have teamed up to help anyone who will come succeed in publishing. 

Denise George is the author of more than 27 traditionally-published books, and more than 1500 magazine articles. 






Carolyn Tomlin is the author of more than 4000 magazine articles and numerous books. Both ladies share their knowledge and expertise in each workbook to give us the writers conference experience right in our homes.







I think it would be fun to get some writer-friends together and purchase these books and run your own seminar. This is great when you can’t get to Alabama or Tennessee for the conference!
Find the workbooks on Amazon at this link.


Get back to writing!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

GOLDEN REVIEW Book! "Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider" by Ellen C. Maze

GOLDEN REVIEW Book! "Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider" by Ellen C. Maze

“Maze’s storytelling is fast and fun, overflowing with ideas and spiritual insight.” –NYT Bestselling Author Eric Wilson
“Nonstop thrills, totally original mythos, and a lightning-paced plot make this the most unique vampire novel ever written.” –The Book Pedler
“A fast-paced, action-packed, and exciting vampire thriller!” –Marcia Freespirit, CEO JimSam Inc Publishing
Download "Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider" NOW!

What if your novel attracts the wrong kind of attention?

Author Beth Rider’s vampire novel has hit number one, but her fictitious plot puts her in the crosshairs of an ancient race of vampiric beings known as the Rakum. Spreading evil among mankind for thousands of years, the leadership of this bloodthirsty race now has a singular focus: catch Beth Rider—her very life in mortal jeopardy as she goes on the run, a rabbit desperate to escape the worst of predators.

Facing the most terrifying trial of her life against creatures known only in fables, one simple woman will unintentionally threaten the very existence of a powerful and accursed people. In the climactic mêlée, it is a race to the death—or if Beth has her way, a race to the life—of every Rakum who makes the choice.

THIS NOVEL INCLUDES A BONUS: In the back, “Loose Rabbits of the Rabbit Trilogy.” 20 short stories featuring the characters of this amazing series. Also sold separately.

One of the MANY five star reviews!

Finally, an author has hit upon a really new idea which intrigues the “vampire” enthusiast and challenges the adequacy of the faith of the religious crowd. Within the 340 pages of Ellen Maze’s book: Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider we are given a believable beginning for the vampire race and exposed to the contortions of that evil society without soiling one’s sensibilities in the standards of the trade; lust, porn, and gore. Mrs. Maze’s thesis of faith-based battling of evil challenged my views of my own theological adequacy. I tackled this novel with the intent to find fault with it’s theology but came away seeing “the plank” in my own eye.
The depth of the characters, the solid theology, a this-could-really-happen storyline, and the self-examination brought about by this reading left me wanting to meet these people, help their efforts, and encounter their God. I truly admonish all to join the chase and seek the Rabbit.
Yes, Rabbit wlll shake your world. There is only one bit of advice to be given: READ THIS ONE!  - Robert L. Boatner
Download from Amazon

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A LOOK AT CHRISTIAN HORROR by Nike Chillemi



During this often humorous, sometimes ghoulish season, let's take a look at the many times misunderstood genre of Christian horror.


RABBIT, Chasing Beth Rider by Ellen C. Maze

Beth Rider is the first of the RABBIT Trilogy and was a finalist in the Grace Awards 2010 Speculative Fiction category. The other two novels in the trilogy are THE RABBIT LEGACY and LOSE RABBITS of the Rabbit Trilogy. A recovering vampire/horror fanatic, the author uses her knowledge and experience in that subculture to bring the Light into the vampire genre. Addicting and delicious, her brand of story-telling is rife with deep character study, and honest emotion. Other works by the author include: A VAMPIRE'S VICTORY, EMMA'S DRAGON, A Fairly Horrible Love Story, and the Corescu Chronicles.
Barnes & Noble. http://is.gd/KzoWXB


NIGHT SEA JOURNEY, a Tale of the Supernatural by Paula Cappa

Everybody dreams—some dream of being lost in eerie darkness, of being abducted, of being abandoned. When artist Kip Livingston dreams inside Abasteron House on Horn Island, mysterious forces invade her mind. She dreams of a shadowy firehawk that drags her to the sea and transports her beneath the snaking waves. Here, grey figures in sea-masks haunt. Kip awakes, but she brings back with her pieces from each nightmare, including a blue-black serpent that slides across the sheets in her bed. These supernatural elements are fully alive and so threatening, they drive her into the arms of the sensual Father Raymond Kera. Raymond, a thoughtful but conflicted priest struggling with his own hauntings, is exiled by the church to Horn Island. He leaves Chicago and his friend, Garcia the Prophet, who is not only Raymond’s mentor but also a visionary who knows firsthand the alternate consciousness of dream power—and the all-consuming human desires that compel a man to deceit and murder. Are these dreams a passage to a land of ghosts? A psychic destiny? Or a cosmic path to a truth that no one, not Ray or Garcia the Prophet, want to believe? And what is this firehawk? Demon or angel? One thing is certain: Kip is compelled to travel these dark nights beneath the ghost-grey sea to reach her journey’s end.

Amazon. http://is.gd/Uy5iOT


PRO LUCE HABRE (To Have Before the Light) Volumes I and II (On the Soul series) by Krisi Keley
For eight hundred years, Valéry Castellane has known only one kind of light - the light in those human beings he's had to kill so he might live. The last of these has been the most brilliant light of all, the light of the one sent to tell him that heaven was never really lost to him. But did he destroy all hope for it in attempting to make this angel a human love he could hold forever on earth, or is the mystery of this vampire's salvation yet to be fully revealed? Sometimes the key which unlocks the secret of what's to come is hidden in the past. Take another journey with a vampire, through eight centuries of dark human history which have, all along, been leading him to the light. The author has also written ON THE SOUL OF A VAMPIRE, THE LION HUNT, CLAUDE AND JULIETTE, and THE RED BRIDGE MURDER.
Barnes & Noble. http://is.gd/FJ6nqJ

FECKLESS, Tales of Supernatural, Paranormal, and Downright Presumptuous Ilk (an anthology, Ellen C. Maze, Teric Darken, Angela Dolbear, Kat Heckenbach, Elizabeth E. Little, Krisi Kelley, Stu Louden, Keven Maze, Pete Turner, )

These tales range from the extreme, the paranormal, the supernatural, the fantastic, the spooky, the creepy, the suspicious, the unpredictably psychopathic, and even the deliciously romantic. Expect to find vampires, werewolves, demons, monsters, psychopaths and plenty of feckless victims hankering to be taken advantage of in the worst way. Each tale features one or more feckless characters; someone who just can't seem to succeed, someone who never gets it quite right, or just can't catch a break no matter how hard they try. And yes, they are all horror stories.
 
 
Barnes & Noble. http://is.gd/1YYfDT
 
 

WICKFLICKER by Teric Darken
A unique allegorical tale. Terrifying excitement. College dudes Gat O'Malley and Caleb Jackson go on a wild ride at a college party where beer is flowing and the Ouija Board is the entertainment. Gat accepts an offer of power, sex, and money if he joins a prestigious Olde Order.  Although Caleb can see the lies and deceipt, they both get dragged into a frightful web of seduction and darkness. This is a morally relevant tale for this day and age. This is about college age boys and there is some language…all what you'd hear on any campus of higher learning.
Amazon. http://is.gd/jqcZkK



THE DEVIL'S CHOIR by Chris Morrow
In Chris Morrow’s debut novel, The Devil’s Choir, the veil is lifted and we are allowed to look into the shadows, to places where supernatural good and evil do battle – not for the hearts of men but for blood and bone – not in some world of imagination but in a very real rural town in Kansas.

Melanie Elarton is a college student with a unique ability that allows her to see the thoughts of others. Ari is a man of secrets and a member of an ancient order established to fight against the evil things of the spirit. They unite to find a campus serial killer, but in the process, an ancient demonic presence turns the investigators into the hunted.

Twists and turns abound in this shadowy place. Will Melanie’s psychic gifts or Ari’s depth of experience be enough to save them and help them unravel the mystery before more girls are killed? In these shadowy places where there are no coincidences and there is no such thing as luck, they will have to rely on courage and cunning if they are to find their way back to the light.


Amazon. http://is.gd/3wpyB0

Barnes & Noble. http://is.gd/mqqtrv

 

NEW BLOOD by H. G. Ferguson

A pake, cloaked and hooded immigrant with haunting, amber eyes, wanders into the backcountry of 1755 Pennsylvania. Her name is Rebecca. Her curse is a rare genetic disorder, responsible for all the world's legends of the Nosferatu, the Wampyr...the Vampire. Burned by sunlight, driven by a hellish need to drink human blood, possessing superhuman strength and sense, Rebecca must live in the shadows, but never in darkness, for she is a believer in Jesus Christ. Forced to flee her native Wales, to America, she has journeyed seeking Sanctuary and a new life where her secret is not known. This new life will bring her many friends, fiendish enemies and the love of a Mohawk husband when Rebecca accepts captivity to free a thirteen-year-old colonial girl. But as the French set La Guerre Sauvage astir in the backcountry with death and destruction in its wake, threatening everyone Rebecca love, only a Vampire can stop them, even if she must pay the ultimate price.

Amazon. http://is.gd/CzON0H

Barnes & Noble. http://is.gd/qML8Ji


Mishmash of Musings: Book Review: Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider by Ellen C...

Mishmash of Musings: Book Review: Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider by Ellen C...: Beth Rider has written a story. Unbeknownst to her, the novel is having a profound impact on an old race of beings known as the Rakum. S...

Monday, September 17, 2012

GIVEAWAY of a 5-Star Vampire Novel -- Odd and Curious



GOOD THINGS HAPPEN to those who...

Take something that thousands of readers have loved and make it better? 

 That’s what Little Roni Publishers wants to do with my first novel, Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider. On September 22, 2012 – three years after this curiously spiritual vampire novel first hit the shelf – Rabbit is breathed new life by this up-and-coming publishing house out of Byhalia, Mississippi.

That said, LET’S GIVE SOMETHING AWAY!!

I want to give away a paperback copy of the new edition. The cover has been re-imagined, and the interior re-edited, content altered slightly, and the entire collection of “Loose Rabbits” has been included in the back, along with awesome little footnotes and hints to enhance your Rabbit-hole experience.

If you haven’t been down this vampire rabbit hole, I invite you now. Post your email here or on Facebook to have your name put in the hat. I will draw every morning this week until Saturday, so we’ll have five winners in all. You do not have to comment every day. I will sum up your entries and keep them in the hat if not drawn. I’m nice that way!



Let’s get ready to cover our necks and dive into the world of Beth Rider and the Rakum who love (and hate) her!!

HERE   WE   GOoooooo!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The BIG, BAD, GIANT CORPORATION is making me money! Is that wrong?

Who am I?
Ellen C. Maze is an author of Christian Thrillers with vampire and paranormal themes.
Ellen C. Maze is The Author's Mentor helping new writers publish faster.
Ellen C. Maze is Editor and Partner in a traditional publishing house called Little Roni Publishers.
Ellen C. Maze is a reader and a consumer of books.

Below is a post I added to my Facebook group for my company, The Author's Mentor. It has to do with should people boycott Amazon as they do all they can to have exclusive rights to the books they sell. My feeling is obvious in this post, but I'll add a little more. As an indie author and also the editor/partner in a small traditional house, I would never bite the hand that feeds me. Amazon is the largest retailer of books? Okay, that's where I want to be. All indie authors are trying to make a living writing, and in today's POD and internet-based markets, we can actually stay home and write-- mostly because of Amazon.com.

Amazon's large retail system has caused my book to be distributed around the world, selling thousands of copies, and touching thousands of lives. Hey, let's be honest, I wrote my books to touch people's lives -- as many as I possibly could. It's happening because of God's grace and Amazon.com!

As The Author's Mentor, I am honored to speak to writers groups as well as universities and churches. Folks ask me my opinion as someone in the literary field. I am not interested in changing anyone's opinion. I just wanted to state my position for those who ask me frequently what I think about Amazon's exclusivity endeavors. My Facebook post is below.

Enjoy! And try not to get your panties in a wad because I expressed an opinion!




EXCLUSIVITY? GOOD, BAD, OR INDIFFERENT?: Journey's new album, Eclipse, is only available at Wal-Mart. Why did they do that? There are lots of smaller, contractual reasons, but the big picture is that Wal-Mart is the largest market for their album. The sales they might miss by avoiding various music stores cannot possibly eclipse (pun intended) the massive sales they will see in the largest USA marketplace for their demographic. I think that's smart.

Recently, Amazon.com has been doing small and not-so-small things to encourage authors and publishers to use them exclusively.

So when Amazon.com wants to have exclusive rights to your book, think about Journey and Wal-Mart. I'm not suggesting that you should allow only Amazon to sell your book. I'm saying as your Mentor to think for yourself; don't follow a media diatribe (i.e. Amazon is cornering the bookstore market so watch out). Look at all facets of this problem and choose wisely.

If you want to boycott Amazon for the same reasons people boycott Wal-Mart, that's your decision. Just understand that the casualty could very well be your book(s). Either way you go, stand by your guns and what you believe. My suggestion? As one who loves your book, I say, "Pick your battles wisely and try not to kill your "baby" in the process." ~ TAM <3 Ellen

www.ellencmaze.com




MY LATEST BABY? Is an illustrated children's book entitled A is for Apple: A Horsey Alphabet. Please pick up your copy at Amazon.com in print and on Kindle (exclusively!) :)





Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Drowning David: A Vampire Serial by Ellen C Maze, Now on Kindle 99 cents!


DROWNING DAVID: A Vampire Serial
Wake Up/Part ONE
Available installments at Amazon.com

Summary of Part One:
David Potion and his powerful vampire father, Lucas, are rudely awakened from a self-imposed hibernation when their hiding place is being destroyed. Aided by amazing fortune, Lucas’ former lover’s daughter, Rachel, finds them in the sun and gets them to safety. As Lucas works to bring their lives up-to-date, David must decide how to best fulfill his father’s wishes: that he woo and pair up with Rachel. Lucas wants grandchildren, but a marriage between a vampire and a mortal is guaranteed to bring heartache and plenty of bloodshed…

Note from the Editor: Story Content Rated PG-13 for mild language, sexual situations, and violence.

Drowning David: A Vampire Serial
Wake Up/Part One
9527 Words/40 Novel Pages
Written by Ellen C. Maze
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2011 Ellen C. Maze

This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


WAKE UP!

ONE: Drowning David

David swam toward the surface as the moon shimmered through the water, the image refracting crazily as he neared the breakthrough point. As the moon grew larger in his vision, he realized it was not water he pushed his body through—but space, time; an indelible fabric that he only experienced in his dreams. As David broke the surface, he was wide awake—and the world had turned upside down.


“Davey—get up!”

Someone yanked his arm, tentative at first, then forcefully.

“Now! Before it’s too late!”

His eyes focusing slowly, David turned to the sound of his father’s voice. He worked to command his legs to stand as tight and angry muscles fought every attempt. He’d been asleep a long time and his body was reluctant to obey. Besides, his father seemed different—he looked insane.

Lucas’ cool grey eyes were rimmed red, his shoulder-length white hair dripping with moisture, and his mouth an angry grimace. Yet none of his venom was directed at his son. No, David’s father was upset about something else. What was it? What did he just say?

David mumbled inaudibly and managed to roll clumsily off the dusty pile of shavings he’d made his bed so long ago. He forced himself to stand, awkwardly at first, and then more balanced as the seconds ticked on. He slowly swiveled his head to the right, toward the sound of his father’s voice. How long had Lucas been up, and why was he shouting?

“Snap out of it, son. We have to make a break for the house.”

David acknowledged his father with a nod, his mental faculties a hazy mess. Still, his ears were working—he heard crashing wood, earth-moving machinery, muffled businesslike yelling, raucous laughing, and intermittent cursing. He smelled smoke and sweat, and above all, his father’s panic. Then, as the precious seconds ticked by, finally his eyes focused.

Dread chilled him to the bone; the light outside was white.

“Lucas, it’s Day!” His own voice sounded foreign to him as he barked his first words in decades. His father heard him, but didn’t turn. He stood at the escape door—the one they’d installed years ago for such an emergency. It led to a fifteen-foot tunnel and then out a door, a mere hatch in the earth. They’d thought to use the hatch at night; never in the harsh light of Day.

David shakily found his feet and stepped to stand behind his father. Miniscule slivers of light sneaked between the basement ceiling and the stone walls of the old shed. They were below ground, but twelve inches of cold stone stood above ground attached to the foundation. As David watched, Lucas put his shoulder to the heavy reinforced oak door. It was made to withstand uninvited human entry, but when held up to Lucas’ immeasurable might, it crashed in as if made of cardboard.

“We’ll make it, come on.” Lucas took two steps into the damp cavernous space and turned to wait for his son to join him. He must have read David’s reticent countenance for he attempted a smile and relaxed his shoulders a fraction. “Look, son. We’ve seen worse. Just stick close and make for the house.”

David nodded again. Apprehensive or not, he rarely disagreed with his father, and now was not time to start such a practice. Even though, running at high noon, no matter how close their end goal, would take unimaginable effort. Within a few seconds, they reached the outer hatch and Lucas put long fingers to the wooden handle.

“Davey, the house is one hundred yards south. You can do that in your sleep.”

David chuckled uneasily; he was still mostly asleep.

“I know you can do it. Make for the house. If I get there first, I’ll gain entrance. But if you outrun me, you must get in. Be prepared for it to be locked, bolted, barred—whatever. But get in, understand?”

David tipped his head and held his breath as his father’s fingers tensed on the hatch. The sun was hateful, a mean old man who sat on their shoulders like a thousand-pound demon. Its millions of ultra-violet rays would fall onto his skin like a blanket of lead. Could he run with that pimp on his back? Sure, he’d done it before, but a hundred yards? David wasn’t even sure he could command his legs to walk much less run for his life. If only they had more time to come fully awake. His lips parted to ask Lucas to wait, but the hatch was pushed open and the sky was a blinding light that astounded him.


David sprinted across the overgrown field.

His eyes were barely open, but he had the yard mapped out in his memory. He peeked for any new obstacles that may have been added since he went to sleep, but so far, the way was clear. Old Man Sun was truly sitting on his back by the time he’d run a quarter of the way. He concentrated on his legs and even spoke to them under his breath.

“Pump! Pump! Pump! Come on! Go!”

By the half-way mark, the demon of the Day was in his head. Sleep beckoned and spoke sweet words of comfort, peace, and everlasting paradise. He fought, he resisted, but when he opened his eyes a tiny fraction, he could see that the house was too far away. Had he stopped running? Was he moving backwards? The weight was becoming unbearable; his breathing slowed and his blood pressure dropped. The sun sapped his energy as sure as ever, and any remaining resolve melted along with his willpower.

No! No! Keep running! He shouted in his head, wishing he could call out to Lucas, but it was no use. Sleep was a beautiful siren and she ran with that Pimp the Sun. David heard her speaking to him again, promising him the world, if he’d only sleep.

Rest easy, little man. Rest easy. I will hold you. I will rock you in my arms. Shhhhh…

She moaned in his ear and stroked his subconscious, and she was right. Sleep was a blissful place, a true place of nirvana and happiness. Isn’t that why they went to sleep this last time? They had been very tired. The world had sped up so quickly; the technology, the people; Lucas and David were old. Too old to be traipsing through such a violent and changeable place.

Rest easy, you needn’t worry about a thing, little man. Shhhhh…

David was not little; he’d grown into a man years ago. But Sleep had always been a woman to him, and she usually did rock him to sleep in his mind. David stopped running. He didn’t have to close his eyes—they hadn’t been open for almost a minute. He exhaled and sat down under the weight of the demon and slept.


TWO: Angel of Mercy


“Water, then. Bring him some water…”

Lucas’ voice, as if heard through a tunnel, and he sounded worried.

David opened his eyes, happily back in the dark; the blissful darkness that soothed and revived his tired, aching muscles, and acted as a balm on his pounding head. Even as the Sun sucked the life from him outdoors, in here, in the Dark, he found his strength. David focused on the ceiling. A single forty-watt bulb hung from an ancient wire and Lucas’ strong arms supported him. His father cradled him in his lap, seated on the rough cement floor. David laughed then, relieved more than anything.

“She missed, eh Lucas? Sleep—she missed.”

His father roughly fluffed his hair and pushed him out of his lap, the coddling passing along with the perceived danger. David recognized the room. They were in the root cellar of the house. Their house. And his father looked more like himself. The crazed panic had left his face and all that remained was the strained look of a man worrying after the well-being of his only son.

“I thought I was a goner for sure.” David tried to sit up and did with a helpful shove from his father. “You brought me in, then?”

“Well, I had help.” Lucas trained his eyes toward the stairs as someone descended into the cellar.
David followed his line of sight and watched a woman approach, carrying a bottle of clear liquid.

“This young lady, to be precise.” Lucas finished his sentence and the young woman managed a tiny but cautious smile.

“Linda?” David started, but his father held up his hand.

“David, thirty years have passed. Meet Rachel Forbes. She helped to get you indoors.”

Confused, David worked to simultaneously calculate the year and figure out who the new woman was. She met his eyes briefly, but cast her gaze down again, actively avoiding eye contact with them both. It occurred to him why: She understood something about them; something that frightened her.

So, why was she helping them?

“Rachel,” David offered softly, and accepted the water from her shaking hand, “thank you for helping us.”
“Linda was my mother,” the woman said almost inaudibly. “I recognized your father…” Rachel reached into her pocket and pulled out a creased and faded Polaroid. She held it out to them both and Lucas gingerly plucked it from her fingers.

“Hah,” he huffed softly and passed the picture to David. “Linda’s 30th birthday.”

David nodded and examined the photo, the memories flowing back to his still-sleepy brain like syrup. Linda looked radiant, as always, in her party dress. It was a strapless red number that went nearly to her ankles.
Standing against her, like a close friend who wished to be more, was Lucas in a suit and tie. David had snapped that photo, along with a dozen others during their tenure together. He handed it back to Rachel, but she didn’t meet his eye.

“How old are you, Rachel?” Lucas asked, and David could tell he was using his gentlest voice. Rachel was as timid as a rabbit and they needed her to keep her wits about her until they could figure out their next move. David purposed to sit very still and follow his father’s lead as he slowly sipped his water.

“You are less than thirty…”

Rachel nodded and stepped back from them to sit on a stool she had pulled up. “Yes, I’m 23. Mother…”

“Your mother…is she…?” Lucas stopped asking, apparently unwilling to hear the answer.

Rachel nodded with intuitive understanding. “Mother passed when I was 11.” There was a quiet pause and in the weighted silence. Rachel read the mood and offered an apology to her mother’s former lover. “I’m sorry.”
Lucas nodded, but David saw wetness in his eyes. Linda had chased them both away soon after her 40th birthday. Lucas had never been one to force himself upon anyone, especially upon a woman he truly adored, so when she made it abundantly clear that she never wanted to lay eyes on them again, they left her in peace. As David watched the embers of an old pain flicker in his father’s far-away gaze, he knew Linda had not been forgotten.


David was present the day Linda popped the question to his father.

After nearly four years of pretending everything was normal, she finally mustered up the courage to ask for some straight answers. It was the housekeeper’s night off. The three of them were in the second living room—the one off the back door. The formal living room, which housed soft cream-colored velour arm chairs and easily-stained white suede sofas, was never used. But this room was where they spent most evenings, talking, laughing, playing games, and watching the occasional comedy on the television. So tonight had begun like so many others, but as David laughed at his father’s impression of some of the movie characters they named in their current game, Linda became suddenly serious and sat up between them.
They were all three on the plaid sofa, extra long and wide, with plenty of leg room for the two tall men, and comfortable enough for Linda’s shorter stature. Lucas sat on her right, thighs touching, but hands free for gesticulating the various impressions he was doing. David sat on her other side, inches away as felt appropriate, and turned slightly to the side to see around Linda to his father. Thus when Linda suddenly sat up, a look of dead seriousness crossing her lovely face, David was the first to notice.

“Lucas, I’m not happy like this,” she said and then she stopped, as if to word her concerns exactly. Lucas put an end to his bang-on impersonation of Jimmy Stewart and looked at her sideways, his expression open.

“Pardon?” he asked, and then looked at David.

“Something’s wrong. I think we need to talk.”

David read his father’s expression and stood to his feet. “I’ll just let you have some time alone.”
When Linda didn’t look up from her hands and Lucas gave him a very tiny nod, David shrugged and proceeded to leave the room. Of course, he could still hear them, and he knew Lucas would not mind if he eavesdropped—they had no secrets between them. In fact, his father had taught him early on that if they ever felt they had to hide anything from the other, they might as well kill themselves. If they couldn’t trust each other 100%, he said many times, they would be dead soon anyway. He had taught David that the only way their people survived the ages was through trust and dependability. Every relative of his father’s who had separated from the family had perished or gone insane. Since David and Lucas were both fond of living and of their sanity, they did everything they could to keep the cards in their favor.

So, David listened to them from the kitchen, two rooms away. He had excellent hearing, and would have been able to hear them from upstairs. But easier was better, and he lighted onto a stool and sat at the kitchen bar in the dim light provided by the moon, and listened in.

Linda was ready to hear the straight truth from her platonic lover, ready to either move the relationship forward and get married, or call it off, and get on with her life.

David was very interested in what Lucas would say. Lucas had been married in the moral sense before and David had been the product of that union, but he never knew his mother. She died soon after he was born and Lucas raised his son alone. But that was nearly two hundred years ago. Linda Forbes had somehow caught Lucas’ eye that crazy night four years previous, and he was in love again—for the first time in nearly two centuries.

David closed his eyes and concentrated on the conversation in the next room, imagining himself to be there, on the couch with them. He imagined Lucas’ face as he shared the deepest secrets of their world, their people, and their distinct unnatural and supernatural existence among Linda’s kind. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time and David imagined Lucas’ expression would have revealed the same state of mind. He was an old creature, that was for certain, but he had strong feelings for the woman Linda Forbes. And he would not be the one to let the relationship go.


After covering the basics of his odd inhuman attributes, filling in whatever the woman had not yet discovered, Lucas closed with a very straightforward statement of devotion.

“Linda, you’re everything to me. Aside from my son, David, whom I love more than life itself, you are all I have. There will never be another woman for me as long as you live. What do you want me to do?”

“I understand, really I do. But we’ve been together almost four years now and I’m not getting any younger. I’m twenty-five Lucas—twenty-five.” She stressed the words the second time.

“I know. Please, what do you want? Anything you ask, I will do.”

“I want a husband, children, a family. Is that something we could have together? Can we get married?”

From his listening post in the kitchen, David opened his eyes and studied his hands. Of course at a young age, Lucas had explained how the “birds and the bees” worked among their people. But being outside, Linda could not have any idea what she was asking to be part of. The only reason Lucas’ people lived so long was because they drank the blood of the living. In the blood is the life of man, and since his creation, Lucas had been consuming this food of the gods to cheat death. He’d lived centuries on this personal creed, an abhorrent practice no doubt to the humans they fed upon, but to their kind, it was the answer to their power and immortality.

Linda was aware of this doctrine, for the most part, but she had no idea what was involved if she wanted to bear children with Lucas. What she couldn’t know was that there was great difficulty in copulation among his kind. The rare conception occurred, certainly, but it was very rare and had the potential to be uniquely dangerous if one of the pair was mortal, as was the case with Linda Forbes. She wanted to venture into the world of creating a brood with a being like Lucas Potion?

David waited to hear what his father would say. It could go either way and David had no idea what the man might choose.

“Okay.”

Lucas’ voice, soft but clear. Then there was a long pause before Linda’s voice filtered to him two rooms away.

“Really? ‘Okay’? That’s all?”

“You wish is my command, my dearest.”

David looked blankly at the wall; Lucas couldn’t possibly be finished. After a few happy noises from Linda, his father continued.

“But I have a warning for you. Once you hear the risks involved, you will choose which is more important to you; my intimate companionship, or your safety. Okay?”

No reply. Lucas cleared his throat.

“My kind do not reproduce easily, and I know you’ve wondered why our relationship has been so bizarre up to now…so platonic…”

“Well…” she started, then stopped a moment, thinking. David could imagine Linda shrugging as she stumbled along. “I know we enjoy each other’s company. And I know you adore me. I know you’re a bit older than I am. Maybe you thought you were too old for me, but I’m not a child. I’m a woman and I’m ready to make a decision about my future.”

Lucas chuckled. “Our ages aside,” more nervous chuckling. “I never moved our relationship forward because it could be potentially dangerous for you. If we were to become physical...”


There was another pause and David looked at the wall again, as if he’d be able to see them through the plaster. But he did not have X-ray eyes…

Come on, Lucas…you have to tell her…he egged his father on silently by will alone.

“My physiology is quite different than that of a mortal man, Linda, dear. I’ll try to put this politely, but I’m, well, I’m physically unable to perform unless I am aroused by the blood lust.”

“I don’t know what you mean…” Linda’s voice, much softer and now shaking.

“You know that I use human blood to sustain my life. My wife would have to be very hardy and be able to donate blood in the marriage bed. That is the only way I put it without being more graphic. Do you understand?”

“You can’t make love unless you drink my blood?”

Linda was whispering now and David actually stood to cross the floor to be sure he did not miss a word. No one spoke for almost a minute and David imagined they were looking at each other, each one concentrating fiercely on what they wanted to say. When Linda picked up the conversation, her voice had nearly returned to normal.

“I don’t think I’d like that.”

Another long pause before Lucas answered, now his voice not as strong as David would like it to be.

“I respect that. What would you like me to do? I want you to be happy.”

David had to wait nearly two minutes before anyone spoke again as he stood stock-still in the center of the dark kitchen. For the first time in four years, he began to entertain moving on, changing their venue, their surroundings. Would they return to Europe? They had been in America for almost fifty years. It shouldn’t be any trouble to update their passports and hitch a ride on one of those fancy trans-Atlantic jets. Traveling by air was infinitely superior to travel by ship and David could not have been happier when the technology had caught up with the need. If they booked a flight an hour or so after sunset, they should be able to race the sun to the next continent and arrive when it was still night. Book a hotel in or next to the airport, sleep in away from the Day, and then begin the new life that first evening.

David began to choose a destination when he heard Linda crying. He stepped to the kitchen door and leaned against the jamb. The conversation was not over.

“I don’t want to live without you. I don’t think I can. If you can live without that physical stuff…so can I.”

Sounds of sobbing and David thought perhaps Lucas was shedding a few tears with her. He cleared any thoughts of jumping ship from his mind.

“Can you just forget I ever said anything? I don’t need anything—I have everything if I have you. I love you. I am so stupid! I should’ve just kept my mouth shut! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”

David stepped into the hall and stopped at the door of the living room. Lucas was holding Linda across his lap; her face buried into the fabric of his cotton shirt, her fists twisting the fabric into wads. David watched as his father kissed the top of her head and mumbled to her soft words of assurance. She continued to sob, but not quite as loudly, and Lucas looked up and saw his son in the doorway. He did not have to speak; David understood everything and he tried to smile at his father before he turned away and headed for the cellar.

Lucas did not come down to their basement room that night to sleep, and from then on, he slept away the Day in Linda’s bed. How it worked David never asked, but it did. Lucas never took blood from her, Linda never made love to his father as a wife would a husband, but they held each other. Even if that meant Linda becoming a night person, against her nature, that is what she did. For the next sixteen years, until she could no longer watch her own face and figure age as her partner’s never did, she held Lucas close day after day.
A platonic lover and best friend.

Until human vanity caused her to send them away.

♦♦♦ 

I ran out of space to post the remainder. The other half of this installment can be found here: LINK
Anyone who reads this blog and would like to see all of Part One for FREE* on Kindle, email me at ellenmaze@aol.com and I'll get it to you. 
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In Part Two/Love Hurts (now available at this LINK), Rachel gets too close to David when Lucas is away, and learns much more about the younger Potion’s bloodlust than she ever intended…

In Part Three/Repercussions (now available at this LINK), Two-hundred-year-old vampire David Potion has nearly murdered the woman his father Lucas wants him to wed. Using a daring reviving technique, David and his father watch and wait, hoping that when Rachel recovers, she is perfectly well and not insane from the experience of being brutally attacked by the man she loves. In the meantime, old friend Rabbi Lyman Cohen can’t get his mind off his former relationship with the younger Potion; God would not approve… but the temptation to revive their game of “soldier” is almost too much for the clergyman to bear.

♦♦♦

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