Hello everyone! I am Edenmary Black and I’m very pleased to be here today. Chatting about writing is always fun. When I have the opportunity to do so, a topic that always comes up is where authors find inspiration. The short answer is, “Everywhere!” One of the longer answers is through personal experience.
Although I am not supernatural, my debut e-novel, Sanctum Angels: Shadow Havens Book 1, opens with a scene in the heart of the Demesne, a powerful supernatural haven, where a young, male vampire named Saan, is fighting a mysterious illness. Of course, traditional literature often shows us that vampires are impervious to disease, which is why I wanted to create something different.
As a reader, I find villains, whose hearts are completely dark, to be less interesting than a those with a few redeeming qualities. Heroes who are purely good have always seemed less intriguing than those with a few dark secrets. When I began to create characters for Sanctum Angels and the e-books that follow in the series, I was fascinated with the physical imperfections a supernatural character might cope with. It was a departure from the norm that I really wanted to explore. While a number of possibilities came to mind, a personal experience hung in my memory.
On a bright morning in 2009, I rose early, dressed and took my dog walking, as I did most days. By the time I returned to my home, I was feeling warm. Aching a little, but unconcerned, I went on with the day and soon found myself coughing. Hacking, really, with a steadily climbing temperature. By around three in the afternoon, I was seated on an exam table, staring at my doctor. My joints were on fire and my eyes literally throbbed. A couple of hours later, I was armed with antiviral medications, antibiotics and orders to get into bed and stay there.
The diagnosis was influenza and I did not emerge from my home for another fourteen days for fear of infecting anyone else. During that time, I avoided my family, ate little and slept a lot. Influenza brings new meaning to the word, ‘uncomfortable,’ but one of the worst symptoms I experienced was the soaring fever that was far less responsive to medication than I’d hoped. At the fever’s heights, I was sure I glowed. When my temperature was on a downhill swing, I shook with chills. In my imagination, the fever became like wails from my besieged immune system. It was a battle for physical balance that I’m thankful to have won.
Months later, as I considered Saan, for Sanctum Angels, fever became one of his hallmark symptoms. I was writing what I knew, yet he would grapple with far more, shivering beneath his duvet. His symptoms would ultimately send his mother, Ilea, flying through the halls of her haven to confront her Mate, Sebastien, with a demand that he call for the help of his enemies, the fallen angels of the Sanctum.
I would not consider influenza a gift, yet, I could never dismiss the experience it gave me. My works are completely fictitious, but it’s my hope that anyone who has ever fought an illness or watched a loved one struggle in this way will relate to this part of my writing. It’s the beginning of the story, yet what these characters undergo influences the plot and many other characters as the tale unfolds. By the time I sat down at my computer to write Sanctum Angels, with Saan, Ilea and Sebastien at my shoulder, my imagination and a powerful memory had taken me to the young vampire’s rooms in the Demesne.
Thank you for having me on today, David. Hope everyone enjoys the excerpt from the Prologue of Sanctum Angels: Shadow Havens Book 1. At my website – www.edenmaryblack.com – interested readers can find the entire Prologue and first chapter of Sanctum Angels: Shadow Havens Book 1, as well as passages from Sanctum Warriors: Shadow Havens Book 2 and Sanctum Retribution: Shadow Havens Book 3. Just click the ‘Excerpts,’ tab.
Excerpt from Prologue of Sanctum Angels: Shadow Havens Book 1 by Edenmary Black.
For The Indie Ebook Review Site.
Ilea Galaurus pulled her skirts up, tucking her legs into the overstuffed brocade chair. Dragging it closer to the carved bed had been a struggle, but she’d been watching her son in the candlelit bedroom for hours, needing to be close. His pale features and occasional soft whimpers frightened her, demanding her vigilance, yet she was unable to do anything to help him.
Saan shivered despite the thick, ebony duvet covering his limbs. He rubbed his inflamed eyelids but remained unconscious. Although he’d only fallen ill three days ago, the fever had struck him like a hurricane. It seemed like something that could fell a human even though there was no possibility that Saan, the child of a daemon and a pureblood vampire, could be infected by any of the diseases a human would carry. The young male had grown hot and delirious, despite the efforts of the best daemon healers of the Demesne, who hadn’t seen anything like this illness. Although used to healing injuries, large and small, they’d never met fever. One had heard of an illness like this that could take a supernatural quickly, but nothing was known of a cure.
The daemon healers had looked to the Internet for answers but found few. Three deaths had been reported in Europe from an illness that could be the same. None of the stricken supernaturals had survived. Calls had crossed the Atlantic, from southwestern Pennsylvania to the capitals of Europe. Promises to share any information were exchanged, but time was trickling through an hourglass in Ilea’s heart. She knew her son might never regain consciousness. Death could take him this very night. The thought propelled her to his bedside for perhaps the hundredth time. Leaning over, moving the voluminous amber skirts of her long gown, she whispered his name and ran a fingertip across his blond eyebrows. Even so ill, he was handsome.
Perhaps you should lie down with him, my lady,” the only healer left in the bedroom suggested from behind her. “It might still his shivering.”
Ilea whirled on the young female. “Get out,” she said, but her words lacked fury. Instantly, she regretted the dismissal. The daemon healers had done as much as they were able. “Forgive me. Your name is Lily?”
The healer nodded shyly.
“Saan is….my only son and …”
…he’s dying in front of me…
“I understand, my lady,” the daemon healer named Lily replied. “I will go now. One of my sisters will return later.” After bobbing her head of light curls, she left quietly.
“Thank you,” Ilea said, turning back to Saan, searching his face for any sign of improvement. She sat on the bed’s edge to take his face in her hands. Just for a moment, Ilea saw the pupils of his beautiful, dark eyes. The whites had gone crimson, as if he were bleeding from some injury behind the bones of his face. His pale skin was hot and moist to her palms. Carefully, she dropped her hands and found to her shock that tiny bruises had formed on his pale cheeks exactly where her fingertips had been, leaving discolorations from the lightest touch.
Pulling the duvet gently back from Saan’s pallid chest, Ilea found bruises. Tiny smears of blood had formed over some. “Dear God,” she breathed. Looking at her own hands, she saw blood on her fingertips. Wiping them against her skirts, she flew to the door. Two huge vampiric warriors stood guard on either side of the doorway, a measure that Saan’s father, Sebastien Galaurus, the Demesne’s leader, had commanded. No one but Ilea, the healers and Saan’s sister, Iridea, would be permitted to cross the threshold. “Where is my Mate?” Ilea demanded.
“In his study, my lady,” the vampire answered instantly.
Ilea picked up the skirting of her gown and rushed through the richly carpeted halls of the elaborate underground Demesne haven she’d shared with her Mate for centuries. By the time she reached Sebastien’s study, her flaming hair had come undone from its tight chignon and her face had grown hot. Saan was dying and a tiny thought she’d kept buried for the past two nights would find Sebastien’s ear whether he wished to hear or not. Drawing breath, Ilea whipped the black double doors nearly from their hinges to stride to the dark, massive desk in front of her Mate. A small group of the Demesne’s vampire warriors were with him but they stepped swiftly from her path.
“Leave us,” she ordered.
The warriors of the Demesne were unused to taking orders from their leader’s Mate, whom they rarely saw, but left after Sebastien gave them a fast nod. Hearing his Mate’s pounding heart, Sebastien sat quickly, as if the air had been knocked from his lungs. “Has our son passed?” he asked quietly.
“He lives but he may well pass before the morning unless something is done,” Ilea gripped the edge of the desk and leaned over it, into her husband’s perfectly sculpted face.
“Call your brother at the Sanctum and seek his advice,” she commanded. “Ask him to send one of the angelic healers. It is the only thing that can save our son.”
Sebastien had thought this might be requested of him, but he had also expected Saan to recover, having his mother’s daemon blood and his own vampiric blood.
“Andrieu is not my brother. I cannot contact anyone at the Sanctum,” he said.
Ilea pulled her hand back and brought it forward in a mind-numbingly fast arc to connect with Sebastien’s jaw. Her Mate’s head bounced backward against the high back of his carved chair, yet he didn’t lift a hand. “You could not have heard what I asked,” Ilea said. “Call Andrieu and ask…no, Sebastien …beg him to send an angelic healer. Tonight.” Ilea’s eyes were changing to the silver swirls associated with strong emotion among daemons. “Do it,” she hissed.
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Edenmary Black has been writing since she could clutch a pencil. She has always been fascinated with the mysteries of the paranormal and loves the question all writers answer when they pen fiction. For her, it's all about that magical, "What if?” When not working her keyboard, she enjoys long walks with her golden retriever, reading and spending time with her family, all of whom are male. She spends far too much on lingerie and is very, very weak for chocolate.
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