NEW RELEASE – BLOOD FAMILY, QUEST FOR THE VAMPIRE KEY BY MARK KNIGHT
BLOOD FAMILY BY MARK KNIGHT
New England, present day. Daniel Dark is the laid-back seventeen year old son of Baptist pastor, Nathan Dark and his wife Annie. Everything changes the day a mysterious parcel arrives at Dark residence. The parcel detonates, baptising Daniel in blood. A vision ensues of a terrifying shadow-figure that claims to be his true father. Pastor Dark, horrified by the sight of blood covering his son’s bedroom, accuses the boy of murder.
That night, Daniel is finally able to obtain the truth from his Mom. Daniel’s birth mother was his Mom’s sister, Celeste. A vampire hunter, Celeste had been spirited away by an interdimensional being called Dominus – a vampire. Vampires, he’s told, are not as they are portrayed in books and movies. They are spirits that possess willing hosts and, most alarmingly, cannot be destroyed. Daniel is a ‘dhampir’, half human, half vampire. A letter from Celeste tells Daniel to seek out a shaman in Mexico who will help him to hone his powers so that he can enter the vampire dimension, rescue her, and destroy Dominus.
Xochil instructs Daniel, pitting him against a vampire known as the camazotz, a beast of Mayan legend and all too terrifyingly real. The clash between them sees Daniel’s powers growing exponentially, but also shows him just how much he has yet to learn.
Travelling to England, Daniel tracks down vampire hunter, Logan DuPris, a young woman whose father had been killed by Dominus. Daniel must keep the truth about himself from Logan, despite their growing feelings for each other. Teaming up, they traverse the ghostly moors of Devon to the highly mysterious Silverwood Manor – the home of Dominus. Inside they find a bizarre ritual chamber where the link to the vampire dimension is made. But Pastor Nathan Dark, obsessed with destroying his adopted son, has been following him…
Daniel must rescue his real mother, and to do this he must do the impossible – he must defeat Dominus. But how can one defeat a being that cannot be killed?
Blood Family is the first of a trilogy of novels about the half vampire, Daniel Dark and his spirited vampire hunter girlfriend, Logan DuPris. The young protagonists will encounter supernatural horrors of every description, whilst being pursued by a dangerous cult known as The One Family. Daniel’s powers will grow, as will his devotion for Logan.
Vampire tales have been popular for centuries. Every country – from Romania to Japan – has its own vampire lore. Whether the reader is old or young, male or female, religious or agnostic, and of whatever race, vampire stories remain hugely popular – year after year. Blood Family has given the vampire myth a new twist, whilst retaining all that makes the genre exciting.
Excerpt from Blood Family:
As evening painted the sky a deep purple, Daniel stepped through his front door and looked around. As his life had changed, so too had all that surrounded him. He was sensing something. Daniel had never been one for deep thinking, but now his perceptions stretched themselves out over the landscape, over time, feeling out new possibilities and new horizons. He exhaled a big, purging breath, scratching the back of his head. Was he really going to do it? Leave home?
The ‘incident’ with Daelin had left him confused. Part of him had wanted to take advantage of her in the most gruesome and bloodiest of ways. Part of him wanted to protect her forever. Would it be best for her—and for him—to stay, or to leave? This wasn’t exactly something he could talk over with the town’s youth counselor. For the first time in his life, he had no one to fall back on. Future decisions would be down to him and him alone.
No more of this soul-searching crap. I want my bed.
Entering, he kicked off his sneakers and thudded up the stairs. As he grabbed the door handle to his room he halted. Mom stood there, down the hall, looking…defenseless.
“Just a minute, Mom.” He wanted to change his shirt a.s.a.p.—his unbidden hallucination had made him very sweaty, not to mention the sex play with Daelin.
He entered his room.
That was his first mistake.
Dad was waiting for him—he and six other pastors. Not one appeared to be in a forgiving mood.
It was a shock to Daniel—he hadn’t even seen any cars parked out front, not even Dad’s.
He then made his second mistake. He didn’t move quickly enough.
Another pastor, who had been waiting next to the door, kicked it shut. Then, the tallest of the ministers facing him shot him with what looked to be a crossbow. The arrow tore into the boy’s left shoulder, pinning him to his bedroom door. He roared in pain. Before the roar was over, an arrow pierced his other shoulder.
“I know you hate me for this, Daniel,” said Nathan Dark. “But I’m doing this to help you.”
“Help me?” spat Daniel. “You want to kill me!”
“It’s taken me years to put together this Deliverance Team, Daniel,” Pastor Dark told him. “And unlike even my own church denomination, our newly founded division knows about the existence of creatures like you.”
“Creatures like me?”
“Yes,” said Nathan coldly. “Demons—like you.”
The pastors rushed at Daniel as he grasped the arrow shafts, trying to pull himself free. The seven men began shouting out religious passages at him, fear knocking their phrases out of unison. Five of them restrained Daniel while two others (including his father) performed the laying on of hands, placing palms on his head and chest. Enraged, Daniel bellowed back at them, irises turning blood red as his would-be deliverers watched in increasing terror.
And something else was happening: the arrows that impaled Daniel were dissolving, actually turning to ash and smoke before their eyes. Through the tears in his son’s shirt Nathan Dark could see the arrow wounds healing before his eyes—flesh growing and knitting, liberated blood retreating back inside the boy’s body before the holes closed.
Revivified, Daniel flung his arms outward in a mighty push, hurling the men to the floor. The deliverers howled in pain.
Nathan Dark regained his senses. His son was nowhere in sight. Then, hearing a sound like the panting of a wounded wolf, he looked up. Daniel clung there, defying gravity, hugging the ceiling like a bat. Nathan barked through gritted teeth to the crossbow-wielder, who hastily reloaded his weapon of choice. He was good—very good—and had no trouble in unleashing another duo of deadly carbon shafts into the boy’s body—one in the leg, and the other in his shoulder. The idea was to get so many of them stuck in the youth that he would weaken long enough for the team to overpower him. In this case, ‘overpower’ would mean one of two things—either to free him of his curse, or to free him of his life.
Detaching from the ceiling, Daniel landed in the center of the pastors, now on their feet in a rough circle. He spun, elongated nails gashing each face in rapid succession. Blood sprayed in all directions. The deliverers reeled back in pain. But Nathan avoided injury, stepping back just long enough to retrieve from his jacket the object that he had secreted there as a last resort.
There had been accounts of wooden stakes actually working against demonics and undead entities, but Nathan had never verified any of these accounts. Sure, maybe it was just movie nonsense. But this, right here, right now, was real. He was going to put right this terrible wrong—this boy’s abominable existence—in God’s name. He would succeed no matter what, even if –
Daniel had locked his gaze on to his father. The stake dropped from his hand. Pastor Nathan Dark grabbed his head as though trying to keep it from falling off. The look of sheer terror in his face was proof enough that the hypnotic assault was working. The other members of the deliverance team watched, transfixed.
“No!” Nathan was screaming. “Don’t leave me in this place! Get me out! Take me out of here!” He was no longer in this world, not consciously. Daniel had succeeded in making this devout Christian man believe that he was in Hell.
It had not been difficult for Daniel to target his father’s greatest fear. But he didn’t know how long he could keep up the illusion. This ability was new to him, powered by raw instinct.
Sensing the approach of the other ministers, Daniel whirled to confront them.
“Keep back!” he warned. “Unless you want me to invade your little minds as well!” His own words frightened him. Never before had he spoken words like that, nor with such rage. What had he become?
Pastor Nathan Dark screamed even louder. Even Daniel had no idea as to what his Dad was seeing within his mind’s eye.
“Daniel! Stop it, now!”
Daniel was shocked to see that she’d entered. He released his father.
Jerking his head toward the window across the room, he barked at it as though giving an order. The windowpane shot up with a bang.
Daniel’s exit was a blur—a dark streak that could have been the boy taking flight. No one in the room would ever know.
He was gone.
About the Author:
Mark Knight grew up in Massachusetts, USA. Settling in the UK, Mark continued to write novels of differing genres, including horror and television scripts. Mark has worked on scripts for Hollywood’s Little Slices of Death production company and one for Illusion Studios, for which he has recently signed an Option Acquisition Agreement. He also won several short story competitions, and has had his work featured in published anthologies. Mark concentrates now on Young Adult urban fantasy novels.
I fell in love with books and movies very early on. Roald Dahl, Planet of the Apes, Tolkien, Star Wars…they were all part of my journey. From age sixteen I was compelled to write my own. I have always been fascinated by amazingly ‘out there’ type stories – be it fantasy, horror, or science fiction – that have an element of reality in them. You know, where you can say ‘Oh yeah, I can relate to that’ or ‘I know someone who has that problem’. To me, the more real your characters, their emotions, problems, etc, then the more thrilling it becomes when the fantastic comes knocking at their door.
For instance, Daniel Dark, the seventeen-year-old protagonist of Blood Family, has family problems that have led him to smoke weed and chug beer with his equally indolent friend. But then he discovers that he is a half-vampire with incredible powers. Finally, his dull going-nowhere life is supercharged.
Fifteen-year-old Solomon, hero of Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls, comes from a broken home and suffers from hypoglycaemic attacks his diabetes. It screws up his life—until a gypsy curse renders him undead. Diabetes is the least of his problems now.
Dealing with the death of a parent was bad enough for Gunner Robinson. He has a sixth-sense, the ability to know when evil is near. Other powers are manifesting themselves as well, and they are getting him into trouble, at home and at school. Which is why he wound up in therapy. Telling the doc that he is a warrior angel reborn would definitely make things worse…
Interview with Mark Knight:
Tell us about your book. What makes it worth reading?
I grew up reading a lot of great books, and many which I just could not get into. Early on, I developed my own style; a way that I hoped would draw the reader in. My stories are always action-packed, but with plenty of emotions and real characters who have realistic lives. What appeals to me most in stories – especially fantasy stories – is when it is wrapped around a very real-world setting with characters who have very down-to-earth lives and problems. In Blood Family, Daniel starts off as a lazy seventeen-year-old who smokes weed and has major father issues. In another one of my novels, the main character is a foster child who also has diabetes. All these things factor into the story and are great contrast to all the paranormal elements, as well as making the whole thing seem more ‘real’, like it could be happening. I think readers will relate to characters more when it is like that.
How long have you been writing and what inspired you to do it?
Been writing since early teens. In my 40s now so…gulp…quite a long time! Always knew I wanted to be published, but never knew what a circuitous journey it would be. But, over the years, I had things accepted. First, a comic strip. Then a short story. Then, more short stories. And also a couple of things which I scripted for British television.
As to what inspired me, I think it was my love of stories and my desire to make my own, to make my own world and characters. I grew up in America and in the 6th or 7th grade we were given a short story to read in class – about a vampire, as it happened! I thought, ‘I can do this; it can’t be much more difficult than figuring out a comic strip’. I drew a lot of comic strips in those days. I wrote my first short story but it was more like a mini novel, with chapters. It was Sci-Fi, about telepathy – only about 20 pages long, but it was so satisfying. I knew then what I wanted to do.
What do you think causes people’s enduring fascination with vampires?
I ask myself that quite a bit. People are drawn to things that they want to have a vicarious relationship with; that they can put themselves into. Vampires are strong, sexy, and immortal. Who doesn’t want that? And people fear you if you’re a vampire. I know when I read a vampire tale or watch a vampire movie, I’m thinking ‘if that were me, it would be so cool’. You tend to project yourself onto the vampire character.
What are you reading right now? Would you recommend it?
When I am writing fiction I tend to read non-fiction. Quite often books about religion, which fascinates me. But at the moment I am re-reading The Hobbit, which is one of my favorite books, if not the favorite. It had great influence on me. It is ostensibly for kids but anyone can enjoy it. It is a quest story, simply told, with great characters and superb detail. Tolkien made that world of his real, right down to the food they ate. I took much of that on board when starting out. In Blood Family, you find out about Daniel’s friends, his car, his favourite music. Of course, he has to give a lot of that up once he finds out he is a dhampir, or half-vampire.
The vampires are attacking! Grab the first thing you see to your right and hit them with it! What was it? And how do you think you did in the ensuing fight?
Luckily, I have a pair of scissors to the right of me as I type this! It would not kill a vampire, but it could perhaps halt his progress. If you got him in the eye it would be a while before his eyeball grew back – might buy me some time!
The aforementioned vampire attack didn’t go so well and you were bitten by the vampire…now what?
I count myself lucky! If I turn, I will get revenge on all those bullies who made my life hell at school! (Kidding. Or am I…?)
In the event of a zombie apocalypse what item would you make sure that you took with you to your underground safety bunker? (we will presume that your family are already safely in the bunker!)
An axe! You never know what might be hiding under your bed in that bunker!
You are planning an awesome dinner party. Which 3 celebrities/fictional characters/historical figures (past or present) would you add to your guest list?
Certainly not the exploding guy from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life! Well, there are many I would want to talk with, but the three who I think would provide the most stimulating conversation would be Socrates, Martin Luther King, and Samuel L Clemens (Mark Twain). I think between the three of them, they would sort the world out.
Can you give us three, scandalous facts about yourself you wouldn’t even want your own mother to know about 😉
Scandalous, eh? Well, I love peanut butter way too much. And coffee. And I really enjoy some very embarrassingly cutesy movies, like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Actually, my mother would find my novels quite scandalous, she hates horror! So I don’t tell her much about what I write!
Can you give us five random facts about yourself?
1. I have lived in three countries, America, Ireland, and the UK.
2. I now live very close to the famous Harry Potter studios in Leavesden.
3. An early scripting job I had was for new episodes of the British children’s series, The Wombles, which is a well-known show here; kind of like the UK version of Gumby!
4. While researching Blood Family, I had two very strange paranormal experiences, one in Mexico, and one in Devon here in England; I guess you could call them ghostly visitations.
5. My favourite random fact is that I went to college with an Ewok! She was in Return of the Jedi – fuzzy suit, the whole bit (and her dad was in all three of the original Star Wars films)
Where can readers find your books?
You will find many of my works on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Smashwords.com. I want to expand that as much as possible, and am looking into the possibility of an audiobook of Blood Family