I slid my tongue over his and caught it on his fang, and the taste of my blood mixed with the taste of Bill’s mouth. He made a small sound that could have been pleasure or pain.
He flicked his half-smoked cigarette out the window with stunning accuracy. His fingertips brushed my face, gentle touches I could hardly feel. I slipped my arms around him and pulled him closer. I was tough. He didn’t have to worry about breaking me.
He pressed his body against mine, and he kissed me. He threaded his fingers through my wet hair and explored my coppery mouth. My tongue bled.
We both gasped for air when he finally broke the kiss.
“Just a little taste,” he said. “That’s what I keep telling myself. I can stop any time.” He pressed his forehead into mine and breathed carefully. “Any time.”
“Drink,” I said. “I can spare it. She didn’t take much.”
He smiled, I think. He was hard to read in the near-dark, and so close. “I’m not talking about blood.”
Visit the official Channeling Morpheus website at channelingmorpheus.com
Did you know Channeling Morpheus is available in box sets?
Check out MtSnow and Bethany’s Due Review of ‘Channeling Morpheus for Bloody Mary’, my review of ‘Magic Mansion’ (with local giveaway that ends on February 7th, 2016), MtSnow’s review of ‘Body Art’, MtSnow’s review of GhosTV and Dana and Eloreen’s Duo Review of the Charmed & Dangerous Anthology.
Payback, Channeling Morpheus Book 1 is on Sale for $.99 from February 1 – 5, 2016 -> HERE
While I consider myself more of a SF/Fantasy writer than a Romance-genre writer, it doesn’t mean the happily ever after (HEA) isn’t important to me. There are a lot of elements that make the end of a story or a series satisfying. Character growth is important. The feeling that a character has earned something rather than having it handed to them is important. And, just like the expression says, ideally the ending will leave them in a happier place than where they started.
But the same things that make an ending satisfying are the very things that make it difficult to go revisit a series that has wrapped, because the main element that makes a story compelling is the conflict. Either the character can’t get what they want, or perhaps they are in active danger. Conflict is that edge-of-the-seat discomfort that readers seek to alleviate by turning pages to see how it all turns out. And when you go revisit characters who are settled into their happy endings, either you need to create a new conflict, which can easily feel contrived, or you’re just touching base and treating the reader to a heartwarming glimpse of the characters’ new normal.
An interesting thing about Channeling Morpheus is that there’s just so damn much discomfort in the whole series that I am able to get back into the timestream of wild Bill and Michael and discover new moments of uncomfortable conflict. Yes, they have ridden off into the sunrise, but I somehow doubt they could ever be completely content and still be true to themselves.
Even small conflicts can be interesting. The short story Canine finds the two heroes resettled in their new locale, but just because they’re together and playing house doesn’t mean they can’t contemplate issues of life and death and happiness. In this case, an incident with a neighbor’s dog picks at the scabs of old issues that may never truly heal.
Maybe the HEA isn’t very realistic after all. Wouldn’t life be boring if new surprises and challenges never occurred?
The hunt is on.
Pretty young men and women like Michael’s best friend, Scary Mary, are disappearing from underground goth clubs all over Detroit. For over two years, Michael has been scouring the midwest for buried newspaper articles and obscure medical reports, and now he’s finally pinpointed the source of the problem. Too bad he can’t exactly go to the cops and tell them his friend was murdered by vampires. Since it’s his duty to start wiping out the scourge, he’s posing as bait—and he’s got a bag of sharpened hickory stakes to do the job.
Everything should go smoothly, given the amount of preparation that Michael has put into the hunt. He’s got a practiced repertoire of come-hither eyeliner looks and a full blister-pack of the date rape drug Rohypnol. But he didn’t count on Wild Bill showing up.
Wild Bill is a vision in spiked hair and scuffed black leather—exactly the type of guy Michael would have fallen for…if he’d ever had the chance. Unfortunately, with a vampire in his sights, Michael has no time for an actual date. Despite his best efforts, it seems there’s nothing Michael can do to shake Bill loose. Looks like they’re in for a wild, wild ride.
(Novelette – 11,300 words, 38 PDF pages)
Long, dark hair. Dewy, khol-rimmed eyes. Ripe young lips just made for kissing. Guys like that are dime a dozen.
Wild Bill likes a little edge on his playmates, and Michael’s got the whole package going on—plus a loaded gun in his leather jacket, and an unquenchable obsession with vampires.
Michael’s managed to follow a breadcrumb trail Bill didn’t even know he was leaving, and the kid’s got a few new tricks up his sleeve. Hopefully the latest addition to his arsenal doesn’t include a wooden stake with Wild Bill’s name on it. But anything can happen in the dark.
(Novelette – 12,650 words, 42 PDF pages)
Marushka loves pretty things: lace and velvet, porcelain and pearls. She sews elaborate costumes for all of her dolls, and she spends hours arranging their hair just so. Her collection is growing; she’s added a very pretty trinket, and his name is Michael. She can’t wait to dress him up.
Michael always suspected mentally ill vampires grew worse and worse as the years went by. He’d never realized how unhinged they could get.
Now Michael is in way over his head. Will Wild Bill save him? Or was it only wishful thinking on Michael’s part that their connection ran deeper than sex… or blood?
(Novelette length – 57 PDF pages)
Vampires agree that vampirism must be spread through sex, because if a bite on the neck could turn someone, the world would be overrun with legions of bloodsuckers by now. So Wild Bill’s been careful. The last thing he’d want is to turn anyone. Especially his boytoy.
Despite Wild Bill’s caution, Michael’s looking pale and thin…more so than usual. He wears it well, just like the leather jacket, the black-dyed hair and the eyeliner. But for someone as starved as he is, food should hold more of an appeal. And is that a preternatural grace Bill detects in Michael’s movements?
(Novelette – 12,000 words)
Michael never put much stock in clichés, but there’s one he probably should have listened to: You can never go home again.
His family assures him that plenty of young people take a few semesters off between high school and college, that a year of travel is practically a prerequisite nowadays. His father can pull a few strings, and he’ll be a freshman at ISU by September.
Michael has neglected to tell them that he’s not just driving around aimlessly, stopping only to have sex with his chain-smoking boyfriend—that, in fact, he’s hunting vampires.
After a disastrous family reunion, Michael unearths a vampire commune where he and Wild Bill can settle down. But Michael is the only human in residence, and the other vampires can’t stop themselves from sniffing around him.
In the words of Wild Bill, “This can’t be good.”
(Novelette – 59 Pages)
It’s a sultry July night, and Wild Bill is content. It’s deliciously warm outside, the fireworks are about to start, a whole pint of freshly-tapped blood is on the menu, and his boyfriend hasn’t murdered anyone in months.
Too bad Bill’s contentment isn’t shared by Michael, who’s grown tired of his own lack of experience. He hints that a new lover in their bed might broaden his horizons. Their first encounter might have been a threesome, but it certainly didn’t end well for the third participant.
Even now, Bill can’t seem to shake the memory of the hickory stake protruding from the chest of his old nemesis. Lust wars with guilt as Wild Bill tries to figure out how to bury his past, once and for all.
(Novelette – 20, 000 words, 62 PDF Pages)
With summer ending and temperatures dipping low at night, Michael is eager to get his leather jacket back, and although Wild Bill could easily vamp any sales clerk into giving Michael some new duds, it wouldn’t be quite the same as the jacket he left at his parents’ house. Not unless the malls have begun selling clothing with rohypnol and ketamine sewn into the seams.
The return of the jacket comes with a price: a new cell phone from Michael’s parents. Surprisingly, Wild Bill encourages Michael to keep the phone. After all, Michael wouldn’t want to be the only twenty-one-year-old in the world without one. Seems innocent enough… right?
But you never know where an innocent gift will lead. Michael worries the phone may be some shiny bait, meant to lure him closer to his family, and then, college. Everyone seems so intent on getting Michael to enroll, but he’s busy looking to catch a vampire.
Note: this is a second-edition electronic release. Previously published as Sweet Oblivion: Snare in 2009.
(Novelette – 21,000 words – 65 Pages)
It’s been a couple of decades since Wild Bill has been able to savor the bite of an ice-cold, freshly tapped keg. Twenty-odd years since the shivery pucker of a cheap, boxed wine has assaulted his palate. But that doesn’t mean Bill’s forgotten how to party.
Wild Bill and Michael have holed up in a week-to-week hotel in an iffy Milwaukee neighborhood, and even though it’s been a year or two, the fringe art happenings are just as edgy as Bill remembers.
There’s a girl covered in frosting in the middle of the hors d’ouvres table, and she’s begging them to dip. And the host of the party wants to lure them into the range of his mechanical eye. It’s all fun and games, until a tryst turns deadly.
(Novelette – 63 Pages)
Enigmatic guys are hot. Michael is of the opinion, though, that Wild Bill manages to take it to an entirely new level.
For some time, Michael has suspected that Bill has done more than just dabble in art. As with every other piece of his personal history, Bill plays his cards close to his chest. But when he lets on that a mural he painted before his change might still exist, Michael is dying to see it—and Bill has never been good at saying no.
Only fragments of the building remain, but it’s possible Wild Bill’s painting is still there. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more in the ruins than Bill and Michael bargained for.
(Novelette – 58 Pages)
Wild Bill and Michael might have thought they made it out of the subterranean vampire nest unscathed, but in her anger, Silk left Michael a taste of her wrath that’s impossible to shake.
It’s a race against time to cure Michael of a bizarre affliction, and though the hunter and his favorite vamp have few enough friends, Bill can’t ash a cigarette without burning another bridge. Now Wild Bill must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice to save his lover.
His friends? His scruples? His pride?
(Novelette – 64 Pages)
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, which is why it’s safer to prey on tourists and leave the locals alone. While Wild Bill mingles, Michael scores dinner.
This 3500 word short takes place after Elixir and contains series spoilers. (Channeling Morpheus 10.1)
What’s the difference between a faithful companion and a feral animal? Wild Bill suspects the line separating the two is shaky at best. Supposedly, Michael has been tamed, and he swears he gave up hunting. But when he comes home covered in blood and reeking of adrenaline, Bill fears Michael has crossed paths with another bloodsucker, and the urge to exterminate the vamp was too powerful to resist.
Michael doesn’t need to hunt vampires to stir up trouble. His run-in with threatening neighbors has left him baffled, demoralized, and teetering on the brink of yet another episode of depression. It tears Bill up inside to see Michael suffer—unfortunately, the sorrow also trips his most primal vamp triggers. Before he knows it, his own inner beast rears up, ravenous, insatiable, and ready to tear into the next thing that crosses his path…making him wonder if it was wishful thinking to hope that either of them had been successfully domesticated.
Canine takes place after Elixir and contains series spoilers, 28 Pages. (Channeling Morpheus 10.2)
Peeling wallpaper, sagging floors, flaking plaster and a twin sized bed. What more could Michael and Wild Bill want in a love nest?
(Novelette, 6 Pages) (Channeling Morpheus 3.1)
Click HERE to enter Jordan Castillo Price’s awesome Giveaway for the chance to win one eBook from her extensive backlist. 🙂
Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price is the owner of JCP Books LLC. Her paranormal thrillers are colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to small town Wisconsin, to liberal Madison.
Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who’s plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her new series, Mnevermind, where memories are made…one client at a time.
With her education in fine arts and practical experience as a graphic designer, Jordan set out to create high quality ebooks with lavish cover art, quality editing and gripping content. The result is JCP Books, offering stories you’ll want to read again and again.