Deadly Ever After

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Welcome Back to Life, Dracula! MY LIFE BEYOND THE GRAVE by Kai Kiriyama

TODAY’S BREW: Godiva Pumpkin Spice like a fancy queen of things.

By Julie

Perfect timing for a juicy vampire book, our darling friend Kai Kiriyama has released an amazing novel into the wild and had this to say about it:

MY LIFE BEYOND THE GRAVE is a project dear to my heart, a pet project that combines my love of vampire mythology and my love of macabre history. Dracula has always held me in thrall, ever since I was first introduced to him when I was 10 or so. (And it was, I must admit, through Dracula Dead and Loving It that I really fell in love with him.) This book represents a love affair that I’ve had with Dracula ever since. I’ve taken history and given it a new life in this book. This is my coming of age Dracula story, a look at the history and an examination of a man who must forever live with the sins he committed as a human. I hope that this book will rekindle your love for Dracula, and for vampires. Thank you for checking me out.

And of course, a HUGE thank you to my lovely, gracious, wonderful hosts here. I couldn’t do this without your support. Thank you. xx

-Kai Kiriyama

MyLifeBeyondtheGrave

HERE, HAVE AN EXCERPT:

MORTAL DEATH

 

As with all men, even I had to die.

According to the history books, and yes, I am narcissistic enough that I went back and checked the facts to see what people have been led to believe about me, I was killed in a skirmish somewhere that no one is quite certain of, and that the exact date of my death is up for debate.

They also say that the men who killed me took my head back to Constantinople. Obviously that is a damn lie. Immortal though I am, removing my head will kill me permanently. That was one of the first things that I was taught when I awoke as a vampire for the first time. Furthermore, I didn’t die by the road in a skirmish when they say that I did. There’s a reason that the history books have no accurate date for my death. Did you ever think to question why?

The scholars believe in part that it was to keep morale up, that the men fighting with me during my short third reign didn’t want to admit that I was dead, and that they fought hard to keep my death a secret, and to keep my remains from being taken to Constantinople.

That was not true. Well, it was partly true, but my head was not removed from my body.

The person who was killed and thought to be me was one of my doubles. I had hired three men to pretend to be me. They were given explicit instructions and were made up to resemble me ever more closely than they already did.

My wife was not aware of this fact, however, and I made sure that she believed me to be dead when the reports reached her ears. As soon as that part of the ruse was completed, I never saw my wife again.

It pains me to this day that I was never able to live a life with her, and I don’t know if I was ever a father, or if she remarried. I chose to leave that part of me behind when I became the thing that I am now, and I have never even considered the thought of finding a woman to bring into this new life of mine. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone who I cared about. It isn’t as glamorous as the movies make it seem.

My death as a mortal happened at the end of October. It was when my contract was set to expire, and when my reign as Prince Dracul would end forever. I made the deal when I was in prison and feverish and I don’t remember what the terms were, I was convinced that I was talking to myself the whole time, but here I am.

The only regret that I have is that I was not given more time.

I suppose that, looking back on it, I would have been killed sooner than I would have liked had I not been given over to the unlife I live now.

I was just beginning to enjoy being Prince again. The old bloodlust returned, the fierce pride in my kingdom, the desire to make it better. I am, after all, my father’s son.

I was not ready to go, and two months into my final reign and I was forced to give it all up, instead of using my powers to rule as an immortal Prince and put and end to the fighting once and for all. Alas, I was unwelcome in my homeland once the deed was completed.

So I allowed my death to be exaggerated and my doubles were killed in different skirmishes. My “head” was brought to Constantinople when my third and final double was killed and it solidified the end of Vlad Dracul.

I was, however, already dead by the time this was happening. I died on the night of October 31 and was reborn in the early hours of November 1 in the year of 1476.

My mortal death was one that was not greeted by a funeral. Neither deaths that I suffered through were particularly peaceful or celebrated in the way that you would want it to be. The men who were my doubles were treated poorly, hastily buried when it was realized that they were not truly me, and spit upon and cursed for their treachery and lies. My first two doubles were left in shallow, unmarked graves where they fell. My men in both skirmishes were beaten back as the Ottoman forces grew more determined to take the body of Vlad Dracul back to their leaders.

When it was discovered that I had tricked them, the Ottoman forces were in such a rage that stories of their anger spread across the country like wildfire. I had tricked them, twice, and sent them into a howling fit. I had made them a laughingstock across the country and word of their stupidity passed the lips of everyone who had once feared them. This would be the quiet legacy of mine that would colour the stories of my brutality. Vlad Tepes was as clever as he was brutal, and not even the Turks were safe from my trickery.

I watched these things happen from a distance, unable to help, unable to interfere lest I truly be caught and killed. I was already living on borrowed time, and I had so much to do to set my affairs in order before I was to be whisked away from my mortal life and taken into the clutches of the dark of night as a vampire.

I certainly did not get everything done that I had wanted to and the creature who had offered me immortality came to collect his due right on schedule.

I fought against him for a week.

“Mortal one, it is time,” he said the first night he found me. I was going over military strategies for the next leg of the fighting that I was about to lead.

“I cannot come with you right now,” I argued. “We are winning for the first time in weeks, and I am desperate to take this next leg of the journey. What is one more night without me when there are hundreds of men, my own and Ottoman alike, upon whom you may feed?”

“You drive a hard bargain, little Mortal, but I will allow it.”

I argued with him this way for a week. Always one last thing to do. One last leg of the battle, one last conquest, one last woman. One more night, master, please, I beg you.

I was taken in the night, without warning. I had no time to argue with him when he had made up his mind that I had to be stopped. At this time, my “head” was just arriving in Constantinople, and I hadn’t seen my men that day. As far as they knew, I had been killed on the battlefield, when really I had been in a small hovel, hiding and trying not to let my men know that I had not been killed. My master came upon me that night as soon as there was no one around. I was reading by candlelight, waiting for my men to arrive with reports. I had two men I trusted with the plan of my doubles, and they had been keeping me abreast of all the happenings of the war in my absence. My master arrived and startled me.

“You are not who I was expecting,” I told him, brusquely.

“Your men believe you dead.”

“Not all,” I snapped. “I have men who know the truth.”

“And I have stepped in and bent their minds. They now know you are dead, there is no more time to stall.”

Whatever he did to me, I could not argue. He was upon me in a flash. I could not scream, I could not fight back, I had lost control of my body and my mind and I fell into stunned silence as he fell upon me with the swiftness of a wolf. I sat there, reeling from the wounds inflicted upon me that would grant me my immortality; I felt that I had not accomplished enough. I was forty-five years old when I died. I was alone, in a hovel, left to die as my blood seeped out from two delicate holes in my neck. I was left to suffer through the slowing of my heart; with nothing to keep me company except the memories of life only half lived. I hoped that I would see my brothers soon, that I would join them in death to be welcomed into their embrace in the afterlife, but that was not true. I forgot that, as my life drained away and my breathing became shallow and laboured, that I would not be joining them. Not yet.

I still had a contract that needed to be fulfilled.

Read another excerpt on Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/25029410-my-life-beyond-the-grave-the-untold-story-of-vlad

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

kai

Kai Kiriyama is a Canadian Asgardian geek with an affinity for Pokemon and Shakespeare.  Accomplished at divination through crystals, pendulum, tea leaf reading and palmistry, Kai oftentimes frightens herself (and her clients!) with the accuracy of what she predicts. Convinced that both her to-read and to-write piles will never be completed, Kai tries not to worry too much about it. Oftentimes, you can find her hanging around on twitter and dispensing dubious advice through her blog.

WEBSITE: http://www.theraggedyauthor.com

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/raggedyauthor

TUMBLR: http://www.theraggedyauthor.tumblr.com

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/thekiriyamaheir

ADD ON GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23303143-my-life-beyond-the-grave

Buy on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/483291

Buy for Kindle on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OC2X93M

Buy on kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/my-life-beyond-the-grave-the-untold-story-of-vlad-dracula

 

 

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Guest Post: Kai Kiriyama’s Blaze Tuesday and The Case of The Knight Surgeon

Today’s Brew:  Coconut creme!

by Kristen

We have a book birthday to report!  Kai Kyriama released her crime drama, Blaze Tuesday and The Case of the The Knight Surgeon, on August 5. If you’re into steampunk and dark humor, check this book out.  Kai will tell you the rest:

knight surgeon COLOURED VERSION

 

Hi, I’m Kai Kiriyama, known on twitter as RaggedyAuthor, and I’m here today to talk to you about my upcoming release BLAZE TUESDAY AND THE CASE OF THE KNIGHT SURGEON.

I’m really excited about this book, it’s been something that I have been very proud of for a long time. I took it the semi-traditional way once, with a small press, but decided that it wasn’t for me, so I had it pulled. I did a bunch of editing added 10,000 new words to the story and polished it up until it shone like a dying star, only to explode into a black hole of noir crime and dark humour, and I’m now self-publishing the book in several different formats and editions. The official release date for the book is August 5, 2014 and oh my God, that’s a month away.

The cover I’ve revealed here is the special edition cover, and will be available in ebook and paperback format. I don’t have links for preorders available yet, but there will be direct links on my website as soon as I have those things available. It’s ‘special edition’ because it includes an exclusive short story that ties into the backdrop of Blaze’s world, and gives you a really good in-depth look at what’s going on behind the scenes when Blaze isn’t working a case. The short story features Kali Mason, the coroner at the Seventeenth Precinct, and Blaze’s would-be girlfriend (if he ever got around to asking her out!) and introduces a few characters and settings that will be introduced in later novels.

I’m really amazingly excited to be bringing this novel back to share with everyone because I think that Blaze is kind of an everyman, y’know? He’s a smart-Alec do-gooder former cop who gets really mad when bad things happen to good people and while he’s got the superhero vibe because he’s a private investigator, he’s still just a guy who loves hamburgers and a stiff drink to wind down, and has trouble talking to women. His mouth tends to get him in more trouble than it’s worth and he somehow manages to come out on top without too much effort.

In Knight Surgeon, we meet Blaze, and he’s hired to solve a murder of a charity worker, a doctor who specialized in helping kinds who were addicted to modification surgery and had nowhere else to go. As his investigation goes, Blaze discovers that there’s more at stake than just the health of a group of kids who have little hope, but a revolution in the clockwork implants that modify people’s bodies, and a conspiracy that snakes its way through the corporations that produce and market the robotics.

Think Repo! The Genetic Opera meets Agatha Christie set in a futuristic, semi-SteamPunk New York, but with less singing, and you get a good idea of what Blaze Tuesday is about.

Thank you SO MUCH, to the Undead Duo, for hosting me here and letting me ramble a bit about this book. And thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to have a look and give me a chance. I sincerely invite you to come over and say hello to me on Twitter, (I’m @RaggedyAuthor) or on my website – theraggedyauthor.com – where you’ll also find all the news about Blaze, the book release, the online and in-person events and everything else that’s going on in my crazy little corner of the world.

I hope to see you there!

GET IT:

 

CONNECT:
BLAZE TUESDAY AND THE CASE OF THE KNIGHT SURGEON is a pulpy noir set in a futuristic New York. The oil and technology market crashed in the mid-2000′s and the world has developed into a technologically advanced form of SteamPunk. Body modification has become commonplace with rebellious teenagers, but this time, it’s literal. Clockwork body parts are touted as a medical miracle by the companies who make them, and high fashion by the stars who sport them, and a lot of kids go through illegal surgeries. The sub-culture of Gearheads is full of kids with robotic body parts from poorly done surgery in less-than-sanitary conditions, and these are surgeries that don’t always take.

Blaze Tuesday is New York’s most accomplished private investigator. A former police officer with a bone to pick with the corruption in the city, he’s earned a name for himself as a guy who gets results, and who is willing to uphold the moral values so many others have forgotten, even if he has to break a few faces to do it.

Blaze is hired by Wayside Firms, one of the medical firms that produces the Clockwork, when a charity doctor who worked specifically with less-fortunate kids who have had botched illegal, is found murdered. As Blaze investigates the unfortunate death, he discovers a conspiracy that stretches from the lowest gutters in Hell’s Kitchen, to the highest corporate fat cats at the medical firms who create the Clockwork body parts.

Can Blaze get justice for the dead doctor, and bring some hope back to the kids in Hell’s Kitchen who were counting on the Doctor’s help? Or will he get caught up in the underworld of body modification and the big money it brings in?

 

A writer of many things and many genres, Kai is currently working on a novel (you can pretty much always assume that she’s writing something!) that involves murder, mayhem and probably a ghost or some other form of otherworldly creature. She is also working on some non-fiction but she’s not entirely sure why.

Kai has been writing for far too long and she’s convinced that both her “to be read” and “to be written” lists will never be completed before she dies. She has a diploma in palmistry and can read hands with an accuracy that scares even her sometimes. She is also accomplished at tea leaf reading and crystal divination, both of which she has also achieved a diploma for and scares herself with the accuracy of the things she has predicted.

A time-travelling, demon hunting, Asgardian geek, with an affinity for Pokemon and Shakespeare, you can be sure that there will be general insanity and dubious wisdom dispensed no matter where you chat with her. As always, she requests that you “be excellent to each other” while she’s away.

Kai currently lives in Canada, but if she told you where, you’d have about fifteen seconds to assume the party position before the special ops team arrives.

She can be reached by email at kai@theraggedyauthor.com

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