Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Publisher: BadBird Publications
Date of Publication: September 20, 2016
Word Count: 100k
Cover Artist: Pranav Lohani
Photo by Blackbird Photography
On 26 May 1897, Bram Stoker brought us the story of Dracula; an undead creature who terrorised the living by drinking their blood. He based his creature on the legends of Ireland and Eastern Europe, bringing it to life with all the pomp of Victorian literature. What if his concept was correct, but the execution was not? What if there was not one creature, but a band of twenty-four? Crusader knights who committed such a terrible act that the Pope of Rome and the Rabbis of Jerusalem joined together in petitioning God to bring a terrible curse upon them.Sentenced to eternal life as punishment for their crimes, yet hounded by both the clerical and the secular as they struggle to live them. The Jews called them Ga’ashekelah: the Raveners. To the Catholic Church, they are the Accursed Ones. Feasting on the bodies of the living to maintain their power.
What starts as a simple trip on the Eurostar to the buried trenches of World War One in Northern France is going to take Imperial War Museum expert Dr. Alexandra Horne on a journey she could never have conceived. From the bustling streets of Paris to the azure waters of Collioure and the very Vatican itself, Lexa will discover the Raveners and those who have sworn to hunt them down.
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She found herself going from map to map. This was sometime around the second phase of the battle, before Beaumont-Hamel was finally taken. Thiepval as well. “This must be from the middle of September 1916. Maybe October. It’s obvious from this that he was trying to bring men around to penetrate the Allied lines from the areas they couldn’t budge.” She found herself gnawing on a thumbnail. “Dear God! With a counteroffensive like this, he might have shifted them. It’s a bold plan. Whether or not he could have managed it, with the Germans bleeding to death at Verdun, would have been the question. But damn! This might have changed the battle. Maybe even the war.”
“I wondered about that.” Another voice behind her.
Lexa turned and coloured, realising that in her wonder she had completely ignored the stranger in the room. “Oh! I am Sorry! Dr. Lexa Horne of the Imperial War Museum.” She held her hand out.
“Dr. Jack Bennett. Pleased to meet you.” Bennett was a large, fit man in his mid fifties with close-cropped, iron grey hair and a face lined from years digging in the sun. He had a bit of the George Clooney about him and Lexa was sure that all the archeology undergrads wanted him as a prof. He was a trifle swoon worthy. “Call me Jack. It was great that you could come out here at such short notice. We will be wrapping all this up in the next week or two.”
About the Author:
LD Towers travels the world like a rootless vagabond! A military historian, she searches out places of conflict to find a deeper insight to the things she writes about. Presently enjoying the warm weather and azure seas of Central America, she has lived all over Western Europe, including 5.5 years in the incomparable Berlin.
Primarily working in Historical and Military Fiction, LD sometimes sneaks in the odd Dystopian or Modern Thriller piece. In fact, her new book is a complete redo on the vampire concept. Look for The Raveners; coming September 20, 2016.
-Thanks for hosting me! It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to tell you a bit about me and The Raveners.
Where are you from?
- I am from Victoria, BC, Canada. Just north of Seattle for those in the US. On the very left side of North America for everyone else. Just to confuse everyone, Victoria is on Vancouver Island, which has nothing to do with the city of Vancouver.
Tell us your latest news?
-Biggest news is The Raveners came out on September 20, and that’s been huge. It’s literally taken up the entire summer to bring this baby into the world. At the same time, it’s almost in the past now, and I’m already finishing another book and doing the research for the sequel to The Raveners, so… I think that’s about it at the moment.
When and why did you begin writing?
-When? Probably when I was about 10. A friend and I started writing plays and little stories at school. Why? Secretly, I wanted to be like my elder sister. She’s five years older and was writing super cool things in high school. I was trying to be cool too.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
-I will let you know when that happens. Maybe about the time my earnings buy me a car. I recently did a post on my blog about Post Completion Blistering Insecurity- when you think you are awesome, and then you decide you aren’t until someone else says you are. Three novels under my belt and I still don’t know if I qualify as a writer yet.
What inspired you to write your first book?
-The first one I completed was a Star Trek:TNG fanfic. I think I wrote it because I had THE BIGGEST crush on Mr. Worf. Michael Dorn’s voice still makes me a little breathless.
Do you have a specific writing style?
-Lots of description and dialogue. I try to make it cinematic. I want my readers to see what I saw in my head when I wrote it.
How did you come up with the title?
-That’s a good story! I did a lot of research into demons for the book, which is where the word Ga’ashekelah comes from. They are a demon in the Kabbalistic Tradition. Originally, I was going to call the book by that name, but the team gave it a resounding no. Rachel, my editor, is a librarian and she pointed out that no one would know how to spell the name to search for it. So it was going to be The Devourers, but someone else has used that name a few times. Then it was Curse of the Devourers. We nixed that one because in this world of Twitter, that’s a lot of characters in a tweet. (I learned that lesson with New Austrian Order) In the end, after I went through the thesaurus and didn’t find something relevant which the team and I liked, I remembered the name of these ghouls in a David Eddings book. To raven (pronounced RAH-ven) is an old fashioned term to eat voraciously and it worked really well with the entire concept. And the team approved! VERY important.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
-Redemption comes through selflessness, not in doing what you convince yourself is right. I think that’s the biggest one. Much of the book is about making amends and atonement.
How much of the book is realistic?
-I spent six months in Collioure ogling French Commandos, so that part is entirely realistic. :D All of the locations are real and all are places I’ve spent time. The events of the book? Not overly- though when they are excavating the trench at the beginning of the book? That happens quite a bit. They are still making big finds along the front lines of World War One.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
-Not particularly. Can I say- only in my dreams?
What books have most influenced your life most? /If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
-I’m combining these because bar none, David Eddings. His dialogue is amazing. I would say that his writing style in all his big series are a huge influence and I would love to have him as a mentor. It’s funny, considering I don’t write in the fantasy genre, but that’s ok!
What book are you reading now?/Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
-I feel terrible answering these because I rarely read fiction- unless someone asks me to. Last books I read were Kathy Reich’s Death de Jour (I’ve been rereading hers from the beginning) and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Before that was Sarah Morgan Dawson’s Diary of a Confederate Girl which is non fiction. I’m brewing an idea for my American Civil War epic. Usually if I do read fiction, it’s because I’m travelling or sick and just can’t handle the non.
What are your current projects?
-Murder Amid Slaughter which I’m hoping to release in January. It’s a murder mystery set against the trenches of WWI. No paranormal, no romance. It’s completely different from The Raveners. It’s about 20k words away from being done. Then I will boot it off to the team.
-Crash (working title) which is the sequel to The Raveners. What happens when a man who cannot be killed is on a plane blown up by terrorists. Right now I’m up to my eyeballs in aviation related terrorism- I’m even doing a course on it at the moment- and I’m planning to do the writing in November during NaNoWriMo. I think the team will be happy when this one is over. A few of them have already expressed some meef at my talking about plane crashes.
What would you like my readers to know?
-Read The Raveners and plan a trip to France. Actually, this book is deeply personal for me in that I love the country very much and the last 18 months of terrorist attacks in France hung up the completion a few times. It just hurt too much to write it. I work with many people across France and the company I work for has offices in Paris so it’s been a scary time.
At the same time, people need to go and see the country. Live in the country. Hopefully my love of France comes out in this book. I tried to stamp it on every page.
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