DESTINY IS IN THE BLOOD
GAILENE’S VOW is the delicious, but tormenting tale of two women as they become vampires. Gailene must rise from devastation, rage, and vengeance in 1790s rural England, leaving her human family to become a powerful vampire matriarch in fledgling America. Two centuries later, college coed, Zondra, discovers she’s the leader of her grandmother’s empire when she begins turning, though never bitten. Gailene’s story unfolds to Zondra through their familial blood, revealing the tragic destiny, but poignant love both women have for Jeremiah. He lives in anguish while preparing Zondra to protect her new family against the retribution of Gailene’s creator.
My scream choked off as if frozen in the air along with the white puffs of my breath. Terror forced my ice skates out across the frozen pond, blood pounding in my ears with each thrust of my legs. When I chanced a glance back, he was impossibly gone from the wide-open ice. The Washington Monument, sleek and barren of emotion, loomed ominously above the trees in the distant grey dusk. Despair engulfed me as I jerked my eyes forward, flooding my mind with prayers that went immediately unanswered: his horrid, insipid gaze was just inches from my face.
He glided backwards on the ice as fast as I skated forward, though he wore no skates and his body showed no motion. His voice entered my mind: I’m going to taste you, Zondra. I tried desperately to stop, but slid into his outstretched arms and legs that wrapped about me like a lover, drawing me to him. I arched away, pushing against his chest as he bent toward my neck, mouth opening horridly wide as slender fangs seemed to materialize with a sound as soft as a breath.
His pallid face passed my vision when his cold hand angled my head to the sideand that’s when I saw him, just a blur of color, nothing really to focus on. In an instant, he was across the pond and upon us. The one who held me yelped, almost bird-like, when something snapped by my ear. Cold viscous liquid blasted the side of my face, my eyes then the ice broke.
As I slid into the black water, I saw two others, lips curled back, talon-like teeth bared, collide with the one who had come to aid me. For that frozen moment his face turned toward me and I knew what should be unknowable: that I was, and always had been, his.
After Gailene breaks his heart by decided to play loyal wife to her husband and his best friend, Fenton is approached by a mysterious but slightly familiar stranger, with an unbelieveable offer. An offer to become one to never age, to have companionship and most tempting of all, to forget all about Gailene and the sorrow of losing her.
Fenton quickly accepts, needing to end his pain. But four years later he returns home, consumed still by the love he has for Gailene. Desperate not to let her leave him again, Fenton breaks the one law he must not; Do not create another vampire without their consent.
Gailene has a need for revenge, when she realises what Fenton has done to her and what it has caused her to lose. She hunts for him in London and then in the new colony of America where she is determined to help shape the nation. She is assisted in her quest, by visions of the future from her future descendant Zondra.
Zondra has been aware of "the others" since she was a child. There was something about them that stood out to her, a blurriness to their movements, the pallor of their skin. It also doesn't help that they seem interested in her and the birthmark on her hand.
Things intensify after Zondra falls through a frozen over lake and, after being released from hospital, starts having some profound visions of the past about a vampire called Gailene.
Stuart Land's Gailene's Vow, is told from two people's perspectives. The transitions between the two narrators are seamless and brilliantly done with some talented writing skills differentiating between modern language use and more traditional english dialogue. The story is well told with some historical references giving the story credibility.
Stuart Land's vampires borrow from both traditional stories and more modern vampire books in a way that is acceptable and pleasing. You still get the fangs and blood, but there is the modern twist of them living in families in the city and driving cars.
The story is infused with romance but it is subtle and doesn't steal the story's telling. The characters are well developed, especially the blending of the two personalities of the main characters as the book progresses. Minor characters spur the story on and gives Gailene's Vow a well balanced completeness.
You do need to concentrate on the story as many plot points and reveals are intricate. The story is good but the writing technique is fantastic and richly deserving of high praise.
About the Author
Stuart is a novelist, screenwriter, and sculptor. His story ideas come from his vivid imagination, but hisinspiration draws from extensive world travel and fascinating careers: from US military medic to hairstylist, then Washington D.C. Police officer to NYC photographer.
Later, Stuart converted a chicken coop in the woods into a live-in studio and taught himself metal sculpture. That rudimentary craft expanded into the fine arts. Sculptures in bronze and fiberglass led to shows in the US, England and Thailand.
My passion for all arts segued into: costume design (top 100 designers in the book, Fashion: 2001); modeling agency art director; fashion show designer; water feature designer, computer illustrator, and a top sculptor for special effects, sets and props in the entertainment industry with work in over thirty major films, hotels and theme parks worldwide.
During Stuart’s film career, he learned screenwriting firsthand by pestering the many actors, directors, and producers whose films he worked on, as well as attending many writing and directing workshops. To explore character and environment more, he took up narrative fiction. Stuart Land has published 8 novels, and written 18 screenplays.
He continues on the journey.
Coming Soon to Amazon :
Szejna’s Revenge, Original Blood #2
FOLLOW THE BLOOD
In SZEJNA’S REVENGE, the astounding conclusion that played out in GAILENE'S VOW threatens to tear apart the vampire nation, and start a global war with humans. Only Szejna, a vampire who looks 18, but is so old she's lost her memory, has the solution to the coming Armageddon. But to find it, she must share her blood with her nascent protégé, Zondra, and together, journey back thousands of years to ancient Rome. In the present, while Szejna teaches Zondra how to use her unique abilities, they unintentionally resurrect dreadful vampires from beyond death, bent on retribution and world domination.