Monday, December 1, 2014
Spotlight: Snow Blood (Season 1) By Carol McKibben
Snow Blood Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Troll River Publications
Date of Publication: February 14, 2014
Print ISBN: 978-1939564368
eBook ISBN: B00JOWG05O
Number of pages: 240 pages
Word Count: 56,025
Cover Artist: Truenot Dreams
Snow Blood Season 1 by Carol McKibben is the first in a series of short novels retelling the modern day adventures of the first vampire.
When Brogio must turn Snow, a beautiful white husky, in order to save the dog, a series of events is unleashed that reveal a sinister plot against the father of all vampires.
As life and true death experiences bond the master vampire and his newly transformed vampire canine together, they unravel a conspiracy that when resolved may return Selene, the love of Brogio’s life, back to him and set him free from the lonely existence that has plagued him for thousands of years! From the author of Luke’s Tale, follow Snow Blood, an epic story of the first vampire as told through the eyes of his kindred dog.
Episode One - reveals how Snow first meets Brogio, the original vampire, and follows the white husky through his transformation to the Kindred world.
Episode Two - uncovers a sinister plot to destroy the father of all vampires, and we meet Kane, Brogio’s first blood child. This episode traces Snow’s efforts to discover Brogio’s history.
Episode Three - introduces Selene, a nurse who is identical to the love of Brogio’s existence. Is she merely a doppelganger or his love returned to him? Is she part of the threat to his destruction? More threats are made not just against the lives of Brogio and Snow but against Selene, forcing them to reveal their true identities to her. Struggling with her acceptance of Brogio, Snow and Kane, Selene is brought into their fold for her protection.
Episode Four and Five - let the reader know more about Brogio and the original Selene’s past while Brogio attempts to protect those he loves from inevitable destruction by leading the threatening dark forces away from them. Snow intercedes after Selene’s plea for help to reunite her to Brogio. United again, destruction follows the four of them wherever they go. Hounded by ancient gods and goddesses, monsters, werewolves and a number of disasters, they battle to protect each other. In his effort to protect his master and those he loves, Snow must make a promise that will end his life as he knows it. The true source bent on destroying Brogio is finally revealed and culminates in an epic battle where Snow offers up his life to save Brogio, Selene and Kane.
Episode Six – Snow prepares to keep the promise that he made, but Kane intervenes for his “blood brother,” leaving us to wonder about both their fates. Tension grows between Brogio and Selene as he attempts to make her his wife for eternity and defy the gods. The reader discovers if Selene is his love returned to him.
Snow Blood video trailer: HYPERLINK "http://youtu.be/Jkr2Qgcwwr0" http://youtu.be/Jkr2Qgcwwr0
Available at HYPERLINK "http://amzn.to/Tktk4C" Amazon HYPERLINK "http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Snow-Blood-Season-1?keyword=Snow+Blood+Season+1&store=ebook" BN HYPERLINK "http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/snow-blood-season-1/EeHKs0AYiUaf7ARtp5Nvrw?MixID=EeHKs0AYiUaf7ARtp5Nvrw&PageNumber=1" Kobo HYPERLINK "https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Snow+Blood+Season+1" Smashwords
The pain sliced into my ribs like steel on bone. Then, nothingness.
Searing pain, and the sight of two snarling, rabid beasts locked in battle, interrupted the safety of my void. The scent of their blood-filled rage made my nose twitch. My brain screamed "move" but my legs disobeyed. Paralyzed on the ground, I watched as two giant beasts circled each other, lumbering dangerously close. One, an unknown, unnatural brother who could stand on hind legs. The other ... a demon, perhaps? That was the best way I could describe this otherworldly creature.
My eyes began to focus. I could see blood-covered fangs and claws, a demon strangely glowing in the lunar light. It looked "moon-kissed”. Light from the night-time sun caressed this deformed creature. Perhaps I'm imagining this? Maybe it's my love of the moon. I've always felt its protection at night on my forays into the woods near my home.
Jaws snapping. The upright wolf-being lunged. The demon creature moved faster, almost a blur. It hastily side-stepped the wolf's bite as easily as a mongoose avoids a cobra. The wolf snarled its frustration. It circled the moon-kissed demon that appeared to be taunting its opponent. I tried to move to observe better, but pain savagely raked through me. A dark circle of wetness surrounded me. The air reeked with the smell of ... blood. My blood.
Why had I recklessly left the comfort of my home? The fireplace in the den warmed us against the outside of fall's cold weather. Perhaps I needed adventure. Prey lurked in the outside darkness, and instinctively, I had wanted to give chase. My little human tried to tackle me just as I dashed to the kitchen and nosed aside the flap from the back door to the freedom of the night that beckoned me.
"Snow! Don't go out there. It's dark!" He squirmed, trying to hold me. He weighed less than any little subaltern laying his body across my shaggy mass. Embarrassing, I thought, since I outranked him in the pack. But, I never snapped at him. My little human needed my protection.
"Let him go, Tommy. He's just doing his job; keeping the coyotes away." Tommy's father, our Alpha, had spoken, and we must all obey.
The little human stood upright and slowly released his grip on my back. Moments later, I was chasing coyotes across the front lawn and out into the street, doing what I did best – protecting my pack. Now, as the sound of gnashing teeth brought me back into the present, I wished for the chance to better safeguard them. Who would warn my humans of this danger if I didn't make it home?
The two creatures battled on. The wolf leaped over its combatant's head, narrowly avoiding a crushing blow to its leg. The glowing demon blurred, quickly avoiding an attack from the rear. It spun just in time to avoid its throat from being taken. Suddenly, fall leaves were flying into the air. They hit the grass under the trees that lined the abandoned road and tumbled, arms and heads over legs.
My paws quivered as the fight drew closer to me. Inexplicitly, I remained unable to move from where I had landed after the pain hit me. My energy had already seeped from my body. Running away appeared no longer an option.
I watched as the fierce beasts arose quickly from their tumble. The wolf gained an advantage, lunging forward and extending its claws as the demon stumbled over a broken tree trunk. Its opportune fall to the ground enabled the demon to duck the razor-sharp claws. Just missing the demon, the wolf landed and rolled behind its enemy. Quickly, it spun up to go after its prey now sprawled out on the grass.
Just as the wolf leaped, BOOM. A loud explosion ... and then the wolf crumpled to the ground with a pained yelp and a heavy thud. His lifeless body sprawled awkwardly on the dirt.
A strange voice pierced through my head. "Silver bullets work well on panweres, too." A malicious chuckle followed.
Was that the demon's voice? I wondered. Surely I did not see his lips moving.
The demon creature knelt over its victim and poked the wolf's body. No sign of life. Triumphantly, it threw back its head and let out a victory scream that made the hairs on my neck bristle. It then rose to cast its appraising gaze in my direction. I struggled to get my feet under me, fearing that if I didn't, the demon would kill me on this spot, just as he had taken the life of the wolf. As it approached me, I felt my life slowly drain away; the darkness enveloped me again. The sadness of never seeing my family again lingered ...
Darkness closed over me ... drifting into ... an overwhelming itchy sensation? My nerve endings were on fire, consuming me with a new-found rush. The thin line of life spread throughout me. Every fiber of my body stood on end as the blood-filled eyes of the demon pierced mine. A thin drop of blood clung to one of its fangs before descending onto my face in slow motion. I tried to move but the creature held me in place with one giant claw-covered hand. Other than the weight of its massive body, I felt no trace of the initial pain that had sent me into darkness.
I watched transfixed as the creature transformed into a human. First claws became large hands. It shrunk only slightly. Its deformed body took the shape of a strong, muscular athlete. Its distorted visage faded into a handsome face with a strong nose, cheek bones and jaw. It was only seconds until it became a naked man. It spoke. "Hold still, dog. Let your body absorb my venom and heal."
Venom? Heal me? Fire streaked through my veins, forcing every part of me to come alive. An unfamiliar strength enveloped me. I had been crippled only moments ago. Now, every part of me sprang to life. My eyes never left the demon/man.
Blonde and fair, a pale face framed large violet-colored eyes that transitioned back to red and again to violet. He towered over me; his long, muscular frame stretched over what must have been almost a half-head taller than James, my master. I once heard my master brag, "I'm six-foot-one in my stocking feet." I guess that was his way of stating how tall he is.
The demon/man wiped the blood from his face onto his hand. My blood, or his? I wasn't sure.
"All right," he commanded, "try to get up now."
I sprang to all fours, shook my heavy white coat and sat back on my haunches. How did I get on this deserted road in the middle of the woods? Prey. That's it. Chasing prey. The large black car with Oregon plates sitting sideways in the road next to us, lights on, motor running, looked as though it had swerved to avoid something. Had it collided with me?
The man knelt down and patted my head. "Confused are you? That's right, I hit you."
I cocked my head at him, feeling better than before. How could he have hit me? I got a whiff of his odor. A layer of perfume concealed the smell of death and something rotten that had emanated from the demon during its battle with the wolf. I stood and shook my whole body again, as if to expel the experience and the smell. Then I turned away to go back home.
"Wait!" He placed a firm grip on my back with his strong, human hands.
I whipped my head around, baring teeth in warning. Let me go! I had to go home to my loving family and the warm fire that awaited me.
He stared at me. "No, that's an insane thought."
Was he speaking to me? Was he reading my mind?
He paused for a long moment, staring at me as if he could see through me. I shivered from the menacing touch of his hand on my back.
He released his grip. His shoulders slumped, and he ran a bloody hand through his blonde hair. He took a long, deep breath, then shook his head. "Come with me."
I watched him move toward the car. I had to go home. My people must be worried.
He turned to me, and I felt drawn to him. No, I must go home.
"There is no choice, dog. Come with me."
No! The hackles on my back stood on end in warning. I will go home! I backed away, growling in defiance. I turned to run, but he blocked my path to freedom and caught me in a heartbeat.
He stopped me in my tracks. How could this human outrun me?
He grabbed my head with his bloody hands and twisted my face to meet his blood-red eyes. "You will come with me now! It is for your survival and that of your people." He let go and stood tall again. He took two long strides to the car. Over his shoulder he commanded, "Come!"
I resisted with everything that I had.
He opened a door to the large sedan and motioned for me to take the passenger seat. I tried to resist again but my legs disobeyed me, and I covered the short space and jumped in. He slammed the door behind me.
I growled as I watched him cross in front of the car and open the driver's door. A black turtleneck sweater and black pants hung on the back of the driver's seat. Black loafers and socks sat on the floor in front of the seat. He reached inside for them and hurriedly put them on, never taking his eyes from me. His gaze was creeping me out. Intense.
Sliding behind the wheel, he looked at me for a long minute. "You're my responsibility now. Let's go find you something to eat. You will need your strength."
I didn't like his toothy grin. What wasn't he telling me?
I found it odd that my ravenous cravings for something ... something very bloody outweighed all other reason.
The night air brought an aroma of the dark surrounding forest. Owls beckoned to me: "Catch me if you can." A squirrel scurried up a tree to dine on a tasty nut it had found on the earthen floor. A snake curled around a branch ready to devour a tree mouse. My sole amusement as I sat guard for what seemed eternity outside the wine tasting. The moon peaked high in the sky. I desperately wanted to howl at it as a diversion from the craving to feast upon the people who came and went. Laughter filled the tasting room, jammed packed with wine lovers in evening dress strolling from one tasting station to the next, stopping to "cleanse their pallets" with cheese and bread in-between. Brogio had advised me that this was "part of the business."
I once again looked to the full moon that appeared to shine more brightly than days past. My mind wandered. I imagined that Brogio must be circling some delicious female, ready to entice her into the wine cellar and quench his thirst for his preferred food: Human blood. I longed to taste it with him. I held on to my blood lust, remembering Brogio's constant coaching about control, so I wouldn't randomly attack a lone wine taster exiting the building. Every day seemed to make it easier to control my urges. Later, I planned to satisfy my hunger with the creatures in the forest. I shook my heavy coat and sat back to scratch each ear, but a shadow from the trees gave me pause.
She walked out of the forest, taking me by surprise. How had I not heard her footsteps, sensed her presence? She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. Dogs don't get hung up on human appearance, but even my dead veins pulsed a bit at the sight of her. She glowed like the moon. Was this . . . could it be the one the goddess told me to find?
Her slender body glided toward me. Her footsteps made no sound. She wore a steel-blue dress that matched her eyes. Her long blonde hair hung to her waist in a straight line around her. It shimmered like silver in the moonlight against her alabaster skin. I backed away as she drew near.
She stopped just in front of me. "Beautiful boy, why're you sitting here alone?"
I felt the caress of her hand. A sharp, electric thrill coursed through me. I gave her a quick “ruff.”
Her laughter tinkled like wind chimes in a breeze. She mesmerized me, and I followed her into the tasting room, not considering any consequences.
Carol McKibben graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Secondary Education and a minor in Journalism. She went on to earn a Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Rollins College. After teaching English and Journalism for a decade, she was offered the opportunity to join Miramar Communications, the 8th largest publishing house west of the Mississippi in Los Angeles.
Working her way up from editorial and then as Director of Market Development, she became the publisher of Special Events magazine (a trade publication for all those working in the events industry) that she helped launch in 1984. In addition, she created a companion trade show, The Special Event, for which she was also the director for a decade, planning every aspect – from exhibits to educational conferences and events.
During that time, she earned her Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation and helped found the International Special Events Society (ISES) of which she was international president from 1999-2000. She co-authored The Dictionary of Event Management for ISES and helped write the study guides for the CSEP exam.
She was a magazine publisher for both consumer and trade magazines for 20+ years. She has written numerous articles and conducted a myriad of seminars, often speaking to large audiences for both The Special Event and ISES. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the special events industry in 1999.
In 2007, she began a freelance writing and editing career, working with other authors to help them realize their dreams. She has published Luke’s Tale, Riding Through It and Snow Blood Season 1. Luke’s Tale and Snow Blood are targeted to a YA market. Luke’s Tale was included in the Summer Solstice Top 12 Book Pick List. Carol writes from the heart of a dog’s eyes. Her books help support her dog rescue efforts and focus on unconditional love.
Carol is married to Mark McKibben, a broadcast engineering sales professional and experienced airplane pilot, and they have two grown children, Rett and Stephanie, and three grandchildren, Lauren, Diesel and Slater. Their current “babies” are Neo, their 117-lb. Labradoodle, a trained therapy dog, and Binks, a black Labrador Retriever rescue. Together Mark and Carol work with the Los Angeles Animal Rescue and Wings of Rescue to save the precious lives of endangered dogs.
Carol is a firm believer in Maya Angelou’s quote:” I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” She believes that angels were her inspiration for Luke’s Tale – a Story of Unconditional Love and feels that even though the Snow Blood Series is about the original vampire and his kindred dog, that theme carries through. “There’s a method to my madness,” she states. “The world is waiting for love to overcome hate. I feel that my purpose is to show others how to love unconditionally, just as dogs love us we should love each other.”
Carol’s other favorite quote is one that her husband taught her. “I love myself more when I am with you.”
Carol ,Neo and Binks are currently working on Snow Blood Season 2.
To learn even more about Carol, go to HYPERLINK "http://www.carolmckibben.com" http://www.carolmckibben.com
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