I’m M.L. Guida and I’m so excited to be on the Hot Mojave Knights’s blog. Can you believe it? The conference is only a couple weeks away.
Do you like things that go bump into the night? Or drawn to scary movies? Or even campy Syfy movies? Yes, Sharknado is one of my favorites. Have any of you seen it?
Alpha men rule my family. I’m Italian. So, it’s no wonder I write about them. Supernatural’s Dean and Sam Winchester are the epitomny of alphas. I’m a Sam girl. And you?
I love the supernatural and grew up reading mysteries and horror. Alfred Hitchcock used to write a children series called Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators and I read everyone of them. The Mystery of the Green Ghost was a big hit in the third grade.
I write paranormal romance and it leans toward the dark side. I like to torture my characters before they reach their final goal.
Recently, I released a new series called Legends of the Soaring Phoenix. The first one is called A Pirate’s Curse and I will be bringing copies to Hot Mojave Knights.
Here’s an excerpt from A Pirate’s Curse:
Captain Kane O’Brien peered through his spyglass aboard the deck of the Soaring Phoenix. “Bloody hell.”
The waxing moon and blazing firelight lit up the black ocean. The cursed Fiery Damsel loomed over a burning, half submerged flute ship, slowly circling its broken mast. Water spilled into cannonball-size holes. Fire licked the white sails, and wood crackled and snapped.
He gritted his teeth. A red-headed giant towered over the terrified sailors. His beard hid his face and his eyes burned red. Quinton Palmer. The sailors had the same look of horror when he met Palmer. ’Twas during the Irish Confederate War. He’d have been sixteen years old, a whelp, when Quinton Palmer forced him to become a man.
Kane’s hero had always been his father, Finn O’Brien, an honorable and courageous man. And Finn O’Brien relished freedom. When the British approached their home town of Wexford, burning their fields and homes, taking their livestock and raping their women, Finn rallied the men in the village to fight.
Kane and his father had hid behind an overturned wagon. Shells exploded around them. Kane shrank. Smoke stung his eyes.
He peered around a spinning wagon wheel. An Irish setter limped out onto the road. A beast of a British soldier, Palmer, held a bayonet in his hand and a sick smile crossed his face. Ten years old, Michael O’Shay, ran over to the dog, screaming. He wrapped his arms around the dying dog’s neck.
Palmer stabbed little Michael in the shoulder. Michael yelped, releasing the dog. Blood streamed down his chest. The dog snapped and growled. Palmer flicked the bayonet, slicing the dog’s throat and the animal collapsed onto the road, blood pooling around him.
Palmer’s cruelty had sickened Kane and bile rose up his throat. He gripped his sword, but his legs refused to move. His heart pounded and sweat drenched his back.
“Kane,” his father ordered. “I want you to remain here. Do you hear me, lad?” He gripped Kane’s shoulder and shook him. Kane nodded as shells exploded around them, ringing his ears.
Kane had swallowed his fright. “Aye, Pa.”
Raising a cutlass over his head, Finn O’Brien charged Palmer.
Palmer took a step back, but whipped out his pistol and fired. His father staggered, but regained his step. Palmer was almost a head taller than his father, but Finn O’Brien never shied away from a fight.
Palmer fired again, but this time, Finn spun around and fell on his knees.
Palmer raised his bayonet.
Kane had forgotten his fear. He screamed a war cry, running with his sword high over his head. But his legs failed to move fast enough. The blasts of cannons blocked out his yells. Sweat dripped in his eyes and bile burned in his gut.
Palmer stabbed his father in the heart. Eyes wide open, Finn collapsed onto his back. Palmer smiled and threw his bayonet onto Finn O’Brien’s lifeless body.
He jerked out the embedded sword and lunged at Kane, knocking Kane’s sword out of his hand. Kane clenched his fist and swung, but Palmer grabbed him and threw him down next to his dead father. He raised the bloody sword. Kane sucked in his breath. He was dead.
“Something to remember me by boy,” Palmer promised. He slashed Kane’s face. Pain slid over him. He’d never forgotten Palmer’s promise, or his cruelty, or his smile.
Kane fingered his bumpy scar on his left cheek. Hate boiled inside him as Palmer spoke to a man. The terrified lad shook his head. Angered, Palmer slammed the man into the nearest mast. The poor fellow slapped at Palmer’s hands, but Palmer crooked the man’s head to the side and sank his bloodstained teeth into his throat.
Kane shoved the spy glass back into his breeches. “What the devil are you up to Palmer?”
“Och, may the devil take Palmer, but I don’t have to tell you that Capt’n.” Kane’s best friend and boatswain, Sean Mallory, slapped the railing. He’d been with Kane through the Irish Confederate War. Despite his angelic face and long blond hair, his towering stature intimidated Sassenachs, like an avenging archangel.
“He wants something.”
“How do you know?”
Kane gritted his teeth. “Because Palmer never asks his victims anything before he kills them. Prepare to board ‘er. Ready the guns.”
“Aye, aye, Capt’n,” Sean called over his shoulders. “Ready the guns. Prepare to board ’er.”
Footsteps pounded on the deck as Kane’s crew rushed to their stations. Kane gripped the bow railing. Acid pitted in his gut. “Revenge is mine, Palmer.”
The Soaring Phoenix sailed steadfast and true, the crew ready to board the Fiery Damsel. Kane pulled out his sword and pistol. “Fire!” Kane shouted as the Soaring Phoenix closed in on the Fiery Damsel. Cannons thundered and hit the hull of the Damsel’s starboard side. The circling bats sped toward the Phoenix, but then landed on the Damsel, changing back into men.
“Ahoy, Capt’n, off the starboard bow. ’Tis a lad and a man!” Amadi shouted. Kane glanced up at the crow’s nest where Amadi pointed. Night or day, he swore Amadi possessed eagle eyes whether man or vampire. Amadi pointed at some broken wood, but Kane peered closer. Two figures clutched two pieces of drift wood. Palmer must be losing his touch.
Palmer ran to the side of the sinking ship. He jumped into the air and dove toward the man and the lad. Without thinking, Kane called upon his vampire powers, leaped into the air and the condensing sensation of his body shrinking, his muscles contracting and his bones shortening, shot through him. Kane’s arms transformed into wings, his vision grew keener, and his body shifted into a large bat.
Lucky he was able to transform. Sometimes the waxing moon allowed him to use his vampire powers. If it had been a crescent moon or a half moon, he’d never been able to call forth his powers and the victims would be good as dead. Although he was immortal, he didn’t have the ability to fight Palmer when Palmer was at full strength.
“Capt’n,” Amadi yelled. “No.”
More crewmen joined in the protest, but Kane ignored them. He wanted to foil Palmer’s bloodlust.
He sped toward Palmer. The lad ducked under water, but the larger, swag-bellied man remained slumped over a piece of wood. Inches away from the man, Palmer skimmed the water and soared into the sky. As he whirled around, Kane collide with him, wrapping his wings around Palmer’s body, trapping Palmer’s wings. Kane bit the back of Palmer’s neck. Palmer screeched and arched his back, but Kane held on. The ocean, night sky and ships swirled around as they plunged into the warm water the way sea eagles clash over prey. Palmer arched again and broke free. He whirled around and bit Kane’s wing, tearing his flesh. Pain seized Kane and he sucked in sea water.
Palmer soared out of the water. Ignoring the blinding pain, Kane darted into the air and pursued him. Cannons thundered. A cannonball whisked toward him. Kane darted to the left, narrowly missing the shell.
“Captain,” Amadi shouted.
“What the blazes are you doing?” Sean cried.
Others joined Amadi and Sean into yelling at him to return to the Soaring Phoenix.
Palmer glided toward the Fiery Damsel. Blood dripped onto the ocean. Damn! If Kane chased him onto his ship, Palmer’s men would not hesitate to sever his head and he’d join the floating corpses.
A movement in the water caught his eyes. Damn sharks.
The pain throbbed in his wing. He turned around and headed back to the Soaring Phoenix. Kane spread his wings wide, landed on the deck, and transformed back into a man. He half smiled at the holes marring the hull of the Fiery Damsel as she turned and headed back out to sea.
Sean stood there with his arms crossed over his chest. “Capt’n, what the devil were you thinking?”
Kane rubbed his throbbing shoulder. “Denying Palmer his pleasure.”
Yes, Kane is my version of an alpha male and hope you liked the excerpt. I look forward to meeting all of you at the conference.
About ML Guida:
You can contact me at my website: http://www.mlguida.com.