Friday, February 5, 2016

I, Vladimir by Daniel Kaye Reviews and an Excerpt.

It's been a fantastic start to the year - I, Vladimir went on sale in early December and the fantastic reviews have been rolling in since. Thank you to everyone who purchased the e-book and for those waiting for the print edition I have spoken to the publisher and we are aiming for late February to set a release date.

Here are a few review snippets to whet your appetites...

"I, Vladimir is compelling and enthralling reading."
"I couldn't put it down."
 "one of the most enjoyable vampire books I've come across in a very long while."
"compelling and wonderful"
 "Absolutely brilliant book. I was hooked from the first word ..."

Snippets are taken from 
Amazon UK   and   Amazon US  

For those of you that haven't had the chance to read I, Vladimir yet, here is the blurb and an excerpt for you. Hope you enjoy it.

My memory is different from yours. Over time you lose sight of people and places, dates are like the frayed edges of a painting that you will never see again. The faces and events still haunt me as if they happened yesterday. I remember every life I have taken for almost two thousand years.
For a long time, with our numbers growing, we had known safety. Throughout history, there had always been stories about us. Many believed them to be old wives’ tales. Never once did I believe our numbers could lead to our downfall.
 I have lived many lives and in all of that time, this was to become my darkest moment. The year was 1941 and war raged across Europe. Humans now traveled great distances to wage war on one another. The latest conflict had taken on a new face, a face of evil. One man had taken a sign of peace and placed it on a blood-red colored flag, which his troops followed into battle. Like locusts, they consumed everything in their path and invaded far off lands with little resistance. 
As the war spread further, our clans divided into smaller groups to evade capture. We were forced farther east into colder, more hostile territory. Safe hiding places to sleep had become harder to find. I knew the day would come when we would be trapped, but never in my wildest dreams would have imagined it happening as it did.


As the humans fought another one of their petty wars, I ordered the clan to take shelter in the cellars of an old bombed out castle high in the mountains. The nearby villages appeared deserted but as it is in all wars, they were surrounded by those that were of little interest to us, the sick and the dying. I believed we found a safe haven away from the fighting, but close enough to find those whose health would hold our interest.
It was to be our second night in the castle and, as dusk fell, a sickness like I had never suffered before, woke me. Pain stabbed through my heart and my body trembled uncontrollably. Sweat covered my skin and soaked my clothing. Lying in my casket, weakness prevented me from moving my limbs; it felt as if my immortality was ebbing away. I tried to scream out to the others, but could form no words. No matter how much I willed it, I was still unable to move. My blood pumped around my body with every heartbeat, burning every inch of my body. I was being burned alive from the inside.
 A coarse scraping noise startled me as my casket lid slid open. I tried to turn my head to keep the bright light from blinding me. My head spun as I fought to remain conscious. Strange and unfamiliar voices filled the room and invaded my mind.
 My heart pumped harder, faster. It was as if the pounding organ was going to burst from my chest. Through the pain and the torment, one thought was keeping me sane. My clan was nearby. They would save me, even if it meant them losing their lives if I ordered it.
When I tried to pull myself up, my strength failed me. This sickness drained me of every ounce of energy and I knew that if I did not get away, it would kill me. Lying on the floor like a wounded animal, I was trapped.
The room was full of soldiers staring silently in my direction.
I struggled to even move my eyes. When I finally did, I saw my clan’s caskets laid untouched except for old oilcloths on their lids. They too were trapped.
“You look hurt, Vladimir.”
My mind felt heavy and slow, it was like a dark cloud was suffocating it. I needed to look into the eyes of the man who had attacked me. If his mind could be controlled by compelling him, I would escape. But only flashes of light filled my vision. My mind screamed at me to focus. The pain raged through my body. It took me a moment to realize what the bright flashes were. They were the lights reflecting off the gold-rimmed spectacles he wore.
“Take the artifact out of the room. Let him clear his head,” the man in the black uniform stated. He slowly raised his head, looked down his nose at me, and sneered.
“Not too far. We do not want our friend here getting any ideas about escaping.”
My blood began to cool and my breathing started to return to normal.
“What have you done to me?” I tried to shout but my voice was barely strong enough to form a whisper.
There was not much time to plan an escape, but I needed to give myself a chance to recover. With my returning strength and speed the element of surprise would be on my side. Looking at the others trapped in their caskets, I knew freeing one or two of them would cause panic and allow me to escape.
“I now control you, Vladimir. Let me show you.”
 It was as if he knew that in my weakened state I was unable to attack him.
“Bring the artifact back for him to take a closer look at.”
The soldier at the door walked back into the room. The pain increased with each step. I pushed my body into the corner of the room trying to escape the agony. My strength failed me. I was unable to move. My blood started to burn. The scream I tried to release was trapped, echoing inside of me with no means of an escape.
The soldier in the black uniform crouched down in front of me.
The pressure in my head increased and the heat from my blood burned every part of me. My jaw quivered and slowly began to close as the pain began to win. I stared into his eyes and saw he knew this.
His mouth opened and then he quickly snapped his teeth together twice before turning away and laughing with the other soldiers.
“Take it back to the door,” he smirked.
The man obeyed and immediately relief seeped through my body.
Hate and anger consumed me. Relief spread throughout my body as the pain subsided. Weakened, I knew there was no other way of protecting myself from this. I remained on the floor slumped against the wall where the soldiers had thrown me. What was this thing that caused me so much pain? My body was shaking with anger and a need for revenge. I had to escape.
“How do you know my name?” I demanded.
“I know a lot about you. I know your history, and your clan, Vladimir. We have watched you for weeks learning all we needed to. You see we are the master race, and while you with your arrogance believed that you were superior, you knew nothing. The hunter became the hunted, and they did not even realize it.” He turned to the others and laughed before looking back at me. “I must admit though, close up, you are not as I imagined you would be. No, I thought you would be more of a monster. With your young looks ….” He stepped closer and bent down so he was level with my face. “You almost look human. The most important thing is we know how to control you.” His smile seemed too big for his face,. His teeth were bared at me in an almost animal manner for a brief moment, before slapping me across the face with an open hand.
Over the centuries as we traveled across Europe, I had never heard of anything which held such a power over me like this or of anything that would cause such painful sickness. It was as if this artifact contained the power of the sun.
“What is this thing that is capable of having such a hold over me?”
“As I said, we know much about you. We have studied your kind for years.”
“You with your mortal lives—mere children compared to someone like I. How could you know anything about me?” I spat back at him.
“I know with my artifact we control you.” He bent forward and looked me straight in the eyes. “Do you know your history, Vampyr?”
“I have lived through history and know more than you will ever imagine.”
I had learned of this man, the Son of God, the King of the Jews, who gave up his life for the sake of humanity. The man my maker once knew and later betrayed.
“When they crucified Jesus did you know his legs were not broken?”
I had heard the story of the crucifixion of Christ. It was common practice for the Romans to break the legs of those crucified to increase the weight on the wrists, which were nailed to the cross and bring a swifter death. However, Christ’s was different. His legs were not broken, but they pierced his side with a spear.
 “Have you heard of the Spear of Destiny? Do you know of its power?” he asked as he removed his small eyeglasses, pulled a cloth from his pocket and started to clean them. His eyes never left the glasses as he breathed on them and continued to slowly polish them.
He held the glasses up to the light and squinted at them as if inspecting his work. As he started to wipe the small lenses again my blood began to boil once more. This time it was not from the weapon they had used against me, it was because of my anger for how arrogant this human was. A mere human standing before me more worried about how clean his glasses were than my presence. Did he not fear what I am? Or how every fiber of my body was aching to rip his throat out? And when finished, I would tear his body open and leave his entrails decorating the walls as a warning to others. Sitting back a smile began to form on my lips at the thought of tearing this small man apart. My tongue touched my lip as I imagined tasting his blood, that coppery taste flowing into my mouth.
He walked over to the other caskets and placed his hand on one of the lids. I wondered then if I would be able to use them to aid my escape.
 “Oh, do not worry about them. They cannot get out. They are trapped in a sleep too deep for them to awaken from.” He laughed as he put his eyeglasses back on and finally looked at me again.
“It is said that possession of the spear would grant its owner the power to conquer the world. It is thought the spear would also have power over the dark forces, over creatures like you.”
He paused and looked me in the eyes. “I believe tonight we have proven it to be so. Would you not agree, Vampyr?”
I hated everything about this little man in uniform. I would have him bowing at my feet before ripping his throat out if it were not for the soldiers and that artifact. Who was he to have such powers over one as powerful as me? For now, I held no control over my own body, and everything I willed was now in the hands of this tyrant in a black uniform with SS written on his collar. I had heard stories of who they were and what they stood for. They were an evil force hell-bent on conquering the world. They invaded the lands of those around them, taking all that belonged to others and forcing our clans to hide in smaller groups to evade being discovered.
“What do you want of me?” I asked trying to move.
“Do not try to get up, Vladimir. I only have to order it and the spear will be brought back in here. Would you like another demonstration?”
Still weak, I shook my head. There was no way of knowing how much more my body could have taken. But as I watched him, his eyes moved briefly towards the entrance of the chamber then back again. For a brief moment hidden behind his arrogance, there was a sign of fear. It was my time to sneer.
“Do you see the power of the spear?” He turned and pointed at the other caskets. “The oilcloths that cover them are what the spear was wrapped in.”
 I did not take my eyes from his. I knew the power of this spear was unimaginable, even the cloths were enough to bring the same sickness to the others. I had to learn more about this artifact and of its powers if I were to escape, not let this man believe he could use their suffering to stop me.
“What do you want of me?” I whispered, on the hope he would come closer, and this time I was ready to tear his throat out. Knowing that the sight of having their so called leader ripped apart in front of them would no doubt cause the other soldiers to panic and flee. The spear may have taken my strength, but not my will to fight. I had sensed the fear he tried to hide behind his arrogance, which now was to become his downfall.
“All will become clear, Vladimir. Now we must prepare for travel. Return him to his casket,” he barked at the other soldiers.
As the soldiers approached I bared my teeth and snarled. I was a god among my people, and held the power to take or give life as I saw fit.
Now, a mere human thought to control me and believed me defeated.
I tried to resist, kicking out, and snapping my teeth at them. I overestimated my strength as the soldiers grabbed hold of me again and dropped me back into my place of rest. The lid to the casket was pushed back over me. I closed my eyes and for the first time in almost two thousand years, I had nightmares.

Available From
Amazon US   

 Thanks for reading, 
All the best,

Daniel Kaye x

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