Three years ago the word vampire popped into my head, launching my latest completed work, trilogy BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN, the life chronicle of an 800 year old vampire.
In a market abounding with vampires, I want BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN to flourish. For this to happen, I need a literary agent to sell it to a publisher. Few publishers accept unsolicited submssions direct from authors. If literary agents didn't do the 'pre-screening', publishers' submissions editors would be up to their keesters in unsolicited submissions, all qualities good and bad, in all states of presentation.
AUTHOR SEEKING LITERARY AGENT OR PUBLISHER
Literary agents weed out the unpresentable, and will only take on a work they think they can sell. More and more agents are accepting authOr submissions via email, and I have already submitted BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN to over 70 agents in the UK and USA. I've received about 25 'thanks but no thanks', which is more a reflection of me submitting to agents who don't handle this genre than the quality of the work. I believe in my work. With three publishing contracts already, I know my unique writing style and storytelling skills are good.
'Why don't you submit it to your existing publisher?' I hear you ask. My existing publisher has already offered BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN a contract. However, I want this work in book stores, in people's hands, worldwide. In Australia, ebooks are neither common yet, nor popular. This isn't to say Aussies won't embrace ebooks eventually. It does say people of my generation still want a book in their hand, pages to turn, the feel and smell of paper and print, a corner to fold down to mark the last reading spot. Plus, ebook publishers leave much of the promotion up to the writer. Because I run my own business and must cope with physical disability and its attendent discomforts, I haven't the energy to sit up til 3am chatting online with prospective readers. I believe this is the publisher's job. Is it not why they take commission from sales?
AUTHOR SEEKING LITERARY AGENT OR PUBLISHER
I'm serious about wanting to make a living with my writing. At 57 years of age, I'm a tad over doing people's nails for a living. It's hard and exhausting, and not too stimulating, brain-wise. I'm disciplined, dedicated to writing and continuous improvement, and worked very well with my eXtasy Books editor. What more can I say? I have asked the Universe to send me an agent or a publisher, preferably both. Now, through this blog, I'm asking you out there in the world wide web for the same things.
Taking me three and a half years to write, edit, edit and edit, BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN is a ripping yarn pitched at the adult market. It deserves to be lauded in the public forum. Please, dear reader, help me get it there.
Here's a brief summary of BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN, and a reading sample to whet your appetite:
Secretly retaining his conscience and memory at his enforced Awakening, vampire Euan Frost, handsome, ageless, man of many names, is torn between what he is born to do and what he believes is right. At the rise of every full moon, when the Hunger compels him to feed, he chooses beautiful women, his Brides, to whom gives unparalleled physical pleasure before taking enough blood to ensure his survival. Encountering historical and legendary figures and beasts in a variety of settings, his eight hundred year life is fraught with excitement and danger as, through necessity, he discovers his various capabilities. Feared and despised as the ‘undead’, he breaks every rule he vowed to uphold, enraging both his Kindred and Mentor, Lycoan, who endeavours to kill him before he reveals himself to mortal Athalie, his only true love. In marrying Athalie, the vampire defies the Kindred’s foremost law. While he is prepared for the ultimate retribution, his death at the Kindred’s command, he is shattered when they take Athalie instead, leaving him to ponder his insubordination for all eternity.
In two works to follow, the main protagonist is reunited with his vampire daughter, and another female vampire character from book one of the trilogy.
BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN - READING SAMPLE
Mid-winter, 1087 – A Vampire’s Conception
“What strange creature do I behold?” During Wallachia’s merciless winter, Siire, a young woman, hunted. “Never before have I seen such an animal in the Carpati.” It had no tail, a barrel chest, broad shoulders, pointed ears, coarse coat and extended mandible.
Although the beast is man-like, she thought, it squats on all fours. From such a distance it more resembles a wolf, yet it is neither man nor wolf. Perhaps this bitter season drove it from some foreign range questing for food.
Regardless of its genus or purpose, to Siire’s clan, its well muscled limbs and ample body would be a meal at a time of inadequate sustenance.
Downwind of its carrion stench, Siire stalked the chameleon-like creature, which vanished for minutes at a time, as though it assumed its surrounds’ characteristics to render itself undetectable. At these occasions, its snow spoor, which appeared humanoid here and wolfish there, provided the sole clue to its presence.
One moment it is in clear sight, the next it is gone. Siire screwed her eyes shut, then looked again. I must be tired, or blinded by the snow’s glittering starkness. But see, now it re-emerges a distance further on. This must be light’s deception, for no earth beast can disappear, unless it is charmed. Superstition forced a surge of heat through her bowel. But what magical beast would leave odour, dung and foot images?
As she neared it, Siire moved when it moved, stood still when it stopped, timed her steps with its pace. When she had closed the distance to a spear’s throw, the beast, as though suspicious, stopped and swivelled its ears. With its nose held high in the breeze, it flared its nostrils, as if testing for scent.
Crouched behind a tree, Siire shuddered as it pawed the ground with its claws, scouring through the snow to the frosted earth beneath. With each gouge, it flung ice and soil clods over its broad withers, tossing its great head as if challenging the rare animals whose minute scent traces lingered in the air. When its threat elicited no response, the beast stood rock still, attentive to the mountains’ oppressive silence.
Siire pressed a hand to her breast. Calm yourself, frightened heart, for you thud with such force and speed, I fear my quarry will hear you. As if it had caught the hurried sound of the anxious breath Siire could not contain, the creature looked behind. Her heart pounded harder. By its frozen stance, I believe it has seen me.
With a whirlwind’s dexterity, it spun its bulk around to face her. Tensing its shoulders, it squatted low on its haunches, and arched its spine. With slitted eyes, the snarling beast curled back its lips, and launched its might at the huntress.
Stiff with terror, Siire had one chance to save herself. I must hold courage until the last possible moment, when the beast leaps at me. Then, when it looms overhead...
As it closed on her with its gaping mouth issuing strings of froth, its massive strides shook the ground, and thunderous roar stung her ears.
In an instant, the earth no longer shook. Smothered by the airborne creature’s shadow, Siire screamed. With all her strength, she hurled her spear at its chest.
* * * *
Howling at a wound inflicted by such an insignificant wisp, the beast tumbled through the snow, then lay motionless except for its jaw, which it ground with rage. By my stillness, it thought, I will tempt her closer, for curious beyond their own peril are these mortal weaklings. With my handsomest guise, I will mesmerise her. Never will she have seen such a sight, and will likely believe I am a god.
As Siire crept up on the creature, it transformed to an exquisite man. Knelt beside him, she dusted snow off his head, turning his handsome face toward her. “Oh, how can I have committed such a wicked act to one as remarkable? How could my perception of you as a beast be so misguided?” She fingered his forelock. “Beautiful man, I fear I behold your death face, for my spear plunged deep, and profuse is your blood loss. Although this is an unforgivable error, I plead your pardon.”
Despite the intense cold, his hard, naked body glistened with sweat. His penis swelled. The feminine sweetness of her scent sizzled on his tongue. When he opened his eyes, she gasped in shock, near falling backward.
As she recovered her voice, she whispered, “I cannot believe you survive with my spear piercing your heart. You must be immortal, and as such, merit my worship. Please do not wreak revenge with my life, for I am my family’s best hunter. Whatever you request of me, I will commit as penance, if it saves my family and village.”
He plucked the spear from his chest and smiled. Within seconds the gash closed.
* * * *
In reverence and fear, Siire dared touch the slight concave scar. “Does enchantment give you the power of immediate healing? Is it why you come to the mountains without clothes, or a weapon to protect you?” When he did not respond beyond an intense stare, a flush of fear heated Siire’s cheeks. Her tiny voice quivered the question, “What is your name?” The man united his gaze with hers, in a magnetic exchange from which Siire could not disentangle herself. “Will you not answer?” The unease of his silence compounded her fear. “Perhaps you do not understand, but I speak only one tongue. Can we make signs?” She touched her breast. “I am Siire—”
“I am Lycoan, commanding you say no more.” Combined with his magnetic glare and powerful presence, Lycoan spoke with a master’s authority. “In a woman, youth, brawn and intelligence are favourable traits. As providence dictated your presence this day, to track me and bury your lance in my chest, I embrace the pain of your crime against me. And crime it is, for even erroneous recognition, ending a man’s existence is indeed murder. In the way of all life, as creatures do what they must for survival, each unrepented offence provokes potential reprisal. Your atonement is simple, the union of bodies, and feeding he who will deliver you extraordinary pleasure. This you will permit, without quarrel or struggle. In return, I will be satisfied and do you no lasting harm.”
With one side buried in soft snow, the beautiful man did not appear imposing, but as he rose, he towered above Siire two feet more than her father. His unusual breadth exceeded any man’s, as did his knotted muscles. She tried not to gape at his erection. Frightened by the thought of it inside her, Siire lowered her gaze.
“As it should be, girl. Do not baulk at reparation. At my hand, you will plead for release, as past generations have begged. Should you not obey my command, the event will occur regardless, and you endure it with more discomfort than the pathetic injury you caused me. Through our union, you will fall with my seed, and in time deliver a son. Even before his conception, I ordain this boy to prominence. With riches beyond measure, my son will inherit foreign territories, consort with kings and nobility. As common harlots, women will seek his attention, lavishing reward for their pleasures. For all time, his mother’s name will be recorded in the Kindred’s chronicles. But for one letter, it already approximates your status from this day forth. You will today become Sire of the most notable one of his kind. I take you now to a traditional conception place of my Kindred, not distant from here.”
Lycoan pulled Siire to her feet, took her head between his hands and subjected the young virgin’s mouth to a hard, passionless kiss. Held tight to his hard-as-stone chest, Siire had no choice but submission.
He gave her scant time to collect her spear before taking her wrist and leading her further up the mountain.
Want to read more? When BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN gets an agent, who sells it to a publisher, you can. The trilogy may even make it to the 'silver screen'. Help spread this blog around the planet. Send it to everyone in your address book, ask them to do the same, and so on. When BRIDES OF THE WHITE SWAN reaches the print book world, you can say you gave it a leg up.
Thanks for the time you took reading this. Here are links to my current releases, plus my email address.
Sincerely - Helen Chilcott
NAILS IN THE PINQUE
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Morning Glory (erotic romance)
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