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IN THE BLOOD
(Blood Royal Saga Book One)
by Delia Remington
2018 Silver Stake Award Winner – International Vampire Film and Arts Festival
2018 Midwest Book Award Finalist for Fiction – Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/
Art Student Sybill Lysander had an ordinary life, working in a coffee shop in the Central West End of St. Louis, with every day much like the one before. Then a vampire named Fin walked in the door, and her whole world changed.
Fin and his maker, former Queen Marie Antoinette had hidden for years in the nearby gated community of Westmoreland Place. But when pieces of her past came up on the auction block, Marie was filled with nostalgic longing, wanting to collect those items for herself.
Old enemies were patiently watching, and both Fin and Sybill become caught up in Marie’s unfinished business.
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Excerpt From In The Blood:
My shoulders relaxed, and I reached back to pull my prize from its hiding place. Turning it over in my hand, running my fingers over the embroidered pattern, I whispered to it softly, “I found you, my lovely. You’re back where you belong at last.” With a smile, I rubbed the fabric against
my cheek, closing my eyes. It was so long ago, and yet with this treasure in my hand, I could still feel the stays of my confining dress, and the warmth of the sun on my skin that last day before everything changed. For those memories, the ones that made me smile, I was willing to risk everything.
Strange how we forget the details of our lives. A mother should remember what her children look like. But over the years, their features had softened in my mind. I had no photographs to remind me, and so my memory lost the crispness of reality, fading until they resembled their portraits, though no painter could ever capture the true likeness of my little ones.
As I held this swatch of fabric from my past, my children’s faces swam before me, suddenly fresh once more, borne to the surface from the depths of my long memory. I staggered on my feet and dropped the handkerchief with a gasp, leaning heavily on the desk to steady myself. I hadn’t expected or even hoped for such a thing. Yet as I stood there, the images receded back
into the shadows of the past. I closed my eyes and tried to call them back, but the moment was over, and they were gone. It cut me to the core.
When I finally had collected myself, I bent down to retrieve the handkerchief, gingerly lifting it as though it might burn me. Where moments before I had felt warm and happy, it suddenly made me feel cold and brittle. Not for the first time, I cursed those responsible for what’s happened to me, renewing my vow to be avenged one day, but the words rang hollow on my tongue, and I opened the safe and tossed the handkerchief inside, locking it away with a desperate sadness.
Fin does not, cannot, understand my obsession for buying such small souvenirs from my previous life. I have tried to explain, but he does not comprehend my aching need. He is so young. He does not understand the sort of loss I have experienced. His eyes only see the surface, the physical aspect of each item I’ve collected. “They’re just trinkets. And you lock them away and never look at them. If you’re not going to use these things or at least display them somehow, what is the point of hunting for them?”
I could never be satisfied with this single purchase. I resolved one day to find an item to bring the memory of my children’s faces back to me for good.
Not surprisingly, therefore, though I had only just returned from my brush with danger, I spent the rest of the evening online looking for other items for sale. When nothing else appeared, I returned home deflated, Pom Pom in tow. Fin was out. I did not know where he went in the evenings. Perhaps it was just as well. Certainly, I was in no mood to talk.
I walked up the stairs to my bedroom with a heavy heart, changed into my bedclothes, and slipped under the covers. Pom Pom curled up on my feet, and I drifted off at last to dark dreams. They almost always were.
Meet Author Delia Remington
Delia Remington is the author of The Blood Royal Saga vampire series: In The Blood (2017), Out For Blood (2017), and Trial By Blood (2018). As Editor-in-Chief of Eagle Heights Press, she published Dark Conjurings: A Short Fiction Horror Anthology (2019) with a collection of writers and Soar: Indie Author Business Planner (2019). Winner of the 2018 Silver Stake Award from the International Vampire Film and Arts Festival, a 2018 Midwest Book Awards Finalist, and a 2020 Ben Franklin Award Finalist (IBPA Book Awards) in Fiction: Horror, Delia’s stories combine her love of history with her interest in all things dark. She’s a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Midwest Independent Publishing Association, and the Professional Editors Network. You can find her at deliaremington.com
Interview with Delia Remington:
Q: Hi Delia! Tell us about yourself and your publishing journey. Did you always want to be an author?
DR: I’m Delia Remington. I live in a little town near the Missouri River with my Scottish terrier, Layla. I write dark fantasy, paranormal romance, horror, scifi. I’m addicted to coffee, obsessed with fantasy shows like The Witcher, Outlander, and The Vampire Diaries, and love gardening and knitting in my downtime.
When I was five years old, I told my teacher I wanted to write and tell stories when I grew up, and that dream has never changed. I taught English literature and writing for about fifteen years, but at night I’d go home and create my own stories. In 2017, I decided the time had come to make that publishing dream a reality, and I opened Eagle Heights Press. So far, I’ve published the first three books in The Blood Royal Saga vampire series. In 2018, the first book, In the Blood, won the Silver Stake Award at the International Vampire Film and Arts Festival, and I got to fulfill a lifelong dream to travel to Transylvania to speak at the festival in Dracula’s hometown. Since then, I’ve published the sequels, Out for Blood and Trial by Blood, and I plan on at least nine books in the series by the time I’m finished. Last year, I published Dark Conjurings, a short fiction horror anthology which is a 2020 Ben Franklin Award Finalist, and Soar, which is an Indie Author Business Planner. I’m currently in the middle of writing Flesh and Blood which is Book 4 of The Blood Royal Saga, as well as a werewolf romance and a Young Adult paranormal romance book which I hope to publish in the next year or so. As Editor in Chief of Eagle Heights Press, I also have plans to publish books by several other authors in the near future. Though some of my events and appearances have had to be cancelled this spring and summer, as long as the fates allow, I’ll be appearing at Penned Con in St. Louis, Missouri and at the Multiverse Sci-Fi and Fantasy Convention in Atlanta later this year.
Q: Why paranormal? What drew you to the genre?
DR: I write about all sorts of creatures, but vampires are definitely my favorite. There’s something very primal about them. They’re mysterious, alluring, deadly, eternally beautiful, and yet there’s also a tragic side of their mystique. Their stories are always ones of longing and loss. They long for companionship. They remember what it was to love, even if they’re no longer capable of feeling it anymore. They have to be given permission to enter people’s homes, and so without that they’re forever on the outside. They’re always cold, yearning for warmth. Always hungry and never satisfied. They can live forever, but at what cost. And there is a great wealth of history you can draw on to tell their stories. I think that’s why the genre never truly goes out of fashion. People have been telling vampire stories for hundreds and even thousands of years. There are Greek and Roman legends with elements of vampire legends in them. They’re literally immortal, and I think they always will be.
I’ve been fascinated with vampires since I was about eight or nine years old. My neighbor was in a local community theatre production of Dracula, and we went to see the performance on opening night. I remember sitting on the front row center of the balcony, leaning on the railing, completely captivated by the story. During the scene after intermission where Dracula climbs through the bedroom window, the fog machines were roiling great clouds of it out into the orchestra pit, and the lighting was just right, and just as my neighbor was creeping up to the on stage bed where his victim was sleeping, the bats who lived in the old theatre up above the stage must have gotten hot from the lights, and they chose that exact moment to make an escape. They flew out into the audience, making people scream and duck, and I was convinced for at least a year that he must really be a vampire. I’ve been hooked on them ever since.
Q: For those who are new to your books, what is the story about?
DR: My main character is Marie Antoinette. In the Blood, Book One of The Blood Royal Saga, is set in modern day St. Louis. She’s been hiding since the French Revolution, and since St. Louis used to be a French territory, it was a natural place for her to make her home. Nestled in one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Marie owns an antique shop called It’s All In The Past. One day, she sees some of her old possessions go up for sale in an auction, and she can’t resist trying to get her things back. In doing so, her enemies are tipped off that she’s not dead, and they begin a pursuit. There are several other famous figures who appear as characters in the series, and there is a great deal of historical fiction woven into the story as well as elements of mystery, horror, and romance.
I chose Marie Antoinette as my main character because she was such an iconic figure. Political cartoons from the time period before and during the French Revolution literally depicted her as a vampire, sucking the life out of the French people and draining money from the government in order to pay for lavish clothes, jewels, etc. She was controversial and both loved and despised, which seemed perfect for a vampire story.
Q: Name a few of your favorite authors or books.
DR: Like many vampire writers, I adore the iconic vampire books of Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris. I admire Neil Gaiman’s dark fantasy stories and his Sandman comics. Karen Moning has fantastic world building and powerful female characters. And the humor in Jim Butcher’s books is hard to beat. I think it’s important to balance serious and scary moments in a story with some lighthearted beats to keep the reader guessing and to keep the book from becoming too heavy or monotonous.
Q: Where can our readers find you? (Social media, website, etc.)
DR: My website is DeliaRemington.com where you can find my blog as well as all the links to my Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. I’m also on Twitter as @therealdelia. You can also sign up for my quarterly newsletter on my website and read some sample chapters of the first two books in the series.
Thanks for hanging out with us, Delia!