Night falls. Passions are released. Yet human desire isn't the only thing the darkness brings with it.
When the moon is high and the land is sleeping, gods descend and transform into men of such beauty, they are irresistible to mere mortals. Vampires hunt, not just for blood but for men worthy enough to join their ranks. And the Devil himself is free to roam and take what he wants from those who don't know any better.
Other creatures tread bolder paths. They walk amongst us during daylight hours -- creatures like an ancient demon from the sea, ghosts of pirates long since dead, and a beast of blackbirds whose hunger is not for love or lust, but revenge.
Even other worlds are not safe from creatures of the night. Many centuries into the future, man-love is illegal. Men caught coupling with other men are exiled to a verdant planet in whose breathtaking jungles lurks the last of an ancient race.
And finally there are the creatures within ourselves. Borne from the desire for youth and beauty, a man can be driven to extreme lengths. He can become a beast as wicked and evil as anything hell can expel. Some men have no control over the beast within, while others endure the wickedness of a curse.
One way or another, this book will keep you up until The Stroke of Midnight. Do you dare?
EXCERPT FROM "Stranger on a Stormy Night"
Darkness fell like a length of black silk over the countryside. All the day’s work had been done and any activity was hidden behind the solid stone walls of the poky, lamp-lit cottages which lay dotted throughout the grassy hills like scattered pebbles.
Outside one cottage, a chill wind blew through the leaves of an ancient oak tree that stood on guard to one side of the sitting room window. Its leaf-laden branches swept against the shingles of the roof it had towered over for decades. Tall hollyhocks and fragrant stocks with spikes of delicate flowers waved wildly outside the window as they peeked inside. Elsewhere in the blackness a wide-eyed bird set free a haunting cry before taking to the wing and disappearing into the night.
Inside the cottage, Tobias, a single man in his late thirties, sat enjoying the toasty comfort of a well-stoked fire. In his hands was a newspaper, two days old, but the latest one he could buy in the village market. He read it slowly, mulling over the news from London and from the new colonies. As he read about the settlers in Botany Bay, a small frown appeared on his face. Life must be hard for those few who had made it to such distant shores. There was a slight shake of the head when he read about the wild savages that roamed the vast plains of North America.
An age of miracles, he thought.
On a wooden table to one side of his armchair sat a half-empty glass of port. It was just the thing for a cold, stormy night such as that night was, though it had the unfortunate effect of making him drowsy and he’d not yet finished half the paper.
It could have been minutes or hours, but Tobias was wrenched from his boozy dreams by a loud knocking. He cocked his head slightly to one side. Had he dreamt it or could it have been a trick of the wind? But there it was again, a series of five sharp, quite deliberate raps on the front door.
Even through the closed windows and through the wild wind whipping around the white-washed walls of his cottage he could hear the heavens open up. The torrential rain was deafening, soon drowning out the sound of the wind.
Again he heard the knocking, much fainter this time but desperate to be acknowledged. Pushing the newspaper from his lap to the floor, he got up from his armchair and took hold of the lamp he’d been using to read by. As he hurried to greet his late-night caller he adjusted the wick, making the lamplight brighter, and without any thought for the dangers that may await him on the other side he turned the key in the lock, lifted the latch and pulled the door open.
“Good evening, sir,” shouted the stranger shivering on his front porch. “I seem to have lost my way.”
In the lamplight Tobias could clearly see the features of a man he estimated to be in his early-forties and well-dressed, as far as he could make out, beneath the black riding cloak. His dark hair, pasted to his scalp by the rain, formed tiny snakes over his pale, chiselled face and over his dazzling golden eyes. Dark lips parted into a smile revealing a set of teeth so brilliantly white that they seemed dazzlingly unnatural.
“I was wondering if I could trouble you for a hot drink and some directions. I hate to impose ...”
Tobias looked the stranger up and down once more. He could tell from the stranger’s diction that he was well-educated and that his clothes and manner were those of a gentleman. Through the wet fabric of the man’s shirt he could see the definition in the man’s chest and where the rain had soaked his breeches there was the outline of a sizeable cock that all at once caused a sharp intake of air and a stirring in his own loins.
It’s been such a long time since ...
Seeing the stranger shiver, Tobias immediately stepped aside and bid the stranger to come in out of the weather. As the stranger swept past Tobias he brought with him a chill that made Tobias shudder. The friendly smile he’d been wearing wavered for the chill was not one of Mother Nature’s, but of something else.
“You’re soaked through, man,” said Tobias as he pushed the door shut against the storm. “Go and stand by the fire while I find you something to dry yourself with.”
Tobias left the stranger standing by the hearth. When he returned with a towel, he was surprised to find the stranger completely naked.
“Oh,” he exclaimed. “I wasn’t expecting ...”
The stranger smiled.
“It occurred to me that my clothing would dry faster if I wasn’t wearing them. I don’t want to burden you any longer than I have to. Please, forgive me. If my nakedness offends you ...”