So hey, what’s this “Talon” thing about?

Long ago, before Underworld, before the blasphemy of Twilight, I started a Vampire novel. It wasn’t really meant to be a novel, but let’s not split hairs. I started writing Talon, which had (and still does) have a much deeper meaning to me than first appearances. I took the Vampire trope and rewrote it to be the way *I* wanted it to be.

Crosses? Ha. Only if properly blessed, so that little trinket you bought at Wal-mart won’t help you. Bibles. Again, only if properly blessed. Garlic? Best served on bread and served with spaghetti. Need an invitation to your house? Hardly. Vamps will walk right on in. Daylight? Yea, it weakens them a bit so they try to limit their time out in it, but explode? Naw. That’s Hollywood bullshit. Stakes through the heart? Hurts but won’t kill. Going to high school and sparkling? Get the fuck out of here.

Vampires aren’t soulless Demons. They also don’t tend to be broody melancholic creatures who would fit in at an emo gathering. They can run the full gambit of emotions, but the blood that gave them immortality has corrupted them. It brings out the worst in each of them. So yes, they tend to be brutal, even sadistic monsters–all the worst of mankind’s emotions walking around with an insatiable thirst. But, under the right circumstances, they can be much more than that. And that’s where I found Nicky.

Nicky is definitely an Alpha-predator. He’s not only been trained to be sadistic and cruel, part of him takes great pleasure in it. He never wanted to be a hero. He never asked to be saved. He knows what he’s done is wrong. He knows a lot of the thing he *continues* to do is wrong. He sees himself as unworthy, already damned, case closed, shut the book, game over, man–game over. I think this is where Nicky and my souls overlap just a little bit.

As a person who has done some bad things in his life (nothing like Nicky mind you), I have felt that “I’m already damned.” feeling. I never asked for redemption. I never felt I was worthy of it, but through chance, or destiny, I ended up on a better road than I was one. Like Nicky, I was given the chance to atone for my sins. Nicky’s story, while brutal, vulgar, full of violence and foul language–in the end this saga is truly about being redeemed and God using the worst of us for good if we’ll just take that chance.

The Talon series, despite being so many things that would turn most Christians off, actually has a strong Christian undertone that comes out over the course of many books. You see Angels, Devils, Demons, Lucifer, and even God himself hiding in plain sight in this series. It’s an action/adventure full of blood, gore, and violence. But there’s also a love story and the question of “How far would you go to protect someone you loved?” I can’t classify this series as any one thing. Is it dark fantasy? Yes. Is it action/adventure? Yes. Is there a touch of paranormal romance in there? Yes. It is blood and gore and violence and beauty and ecstasy and chaos. It’s a beautiful chaos. There’s something for everyone in this series. It’s my great symphony, my Bohemian Rhapsody, my attempt to leave a mark on the world.

So, what is Talon about? It’s about everything and everyone. It’s the Alpha and the Omega. It’s the hope that even washed up, battered, broken and twisted people can find some peace in the world. Now bring on the Demons. Nicky has some ass to kick.

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What’s going on? LOTS!

Been a minute since I updated, so forgive me. Let’s do some news reveals!

APRIL SECOND: A release party will be held for Alabama: Nightmares & Urban Legends on Facebook. The party starts at 2pm – 7 pm Central Standard Time. We have some free goodies and e copies in books up for grabs so come spend the day with me. You can find the event HERE.

April 9th: My first book signing! If you happen to be in the Walker County area, come to the Jasper public library between 2-4 pm Central Standard Time. I will have autographed copies of The Rise of UMBRA and Alabama: Nightmares & Urban Legends for sale. I will also have 11 x 17 framed posters of the book covers for sale at $25. UMBRA will be $15, Alabama: Nightmares & Urban Legends will be $20. You can find the library’s facebook page HERE.

July 22: Talon: The Spider’s Web is finally coming out! Everyone’s favorite fanged Alabama resident makes his formal debut. Five Points South, Smith Lake, Homewood–a whole bunch of local places get featured as this Vampire tears a bloody path through the state. You don’t have to be an Alabama resident to enjoy this dark fantasy adventure. Get ready…it’s almost time!

I am openly working on The Rise of UMBRA sequel while waiting on Talon’s edits. I have tons going on. Keep coming back. I promise to be more active.

The Rise of UMBRA: Get it HERE.

Alabama: Nightmares & Urban Legends: Get it HERE FOR KINDLE and HERE IN PAPERBACK.

Burning Willow Press: Find their awesomeness RIGHT HERE.

NEW ANTHOLOGY RELEASE THIS MARCH: Death & Pestilence featuring my story “The Board.” Find it HERE.

A message from Nicholas “Talon” Watson

So yea, life was peachy-fucking-keen. Sure, I was alone…and a murderer. Yea, guess I shouldn’t leave that part out, huh? Well, what the fuck do you expect? I’m a fucking Vampire. I drink blood. It’s what I fucking do. Everything was just fine, until I saw her.

If my heart still beat, it would have stopped. If I still breathed, it would have taken my breath away. It was like staring at a ghost. No, it was worse than that. This girl was real. She was right there in front of me. The strawberry blonde curls, the line of freckles running across the bridge of her nose, the same sad brown eyes—in every way imaginable, this girl looked just like my dead sister.

It wasn’t enough that she was dead. Oh, no. She had been murdered right in front of me along with my mother. I was seventeen at the time, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The Colony of Roanoke had itself a good ole fashioned fucking witch hunt, and my family was the victim.

I should have died that night. Shit, sometimes I wish I had died that night. But no, God and his sick fucking sense of humor had me live through it long enough to catch the attention of a Vampire named Tessa. She was beautiful—red hair and emerald green eyes. She looked like an Angel. Man, was I ever wrong about that.

As beautiful as she was, she was twice as ruthless. She taught me to kill. She taught me to relish in the suffering of others—and I did. I became the very hate that I despised. One by one, we killed them all. Well, all but Molly Hale. She was the daughter of the bastard who murdered my family, and I had loved her as a mortal. Tessa thought it fitting that I turn her. So I did. She became my Dark Bride. Together we slaughtered all who crossed our paths, and tortured for our own amusement. Others’ suffering became my bliss. Their agony became my release. Some flee from the darkness. I ran into it and let it consume me.

Four hundred years. Four hundred fucking years of death and mayhem, all ruined in a moment by the eyes of a stranger. I trembled. I remembered my humanity and I hated myself for it. I thought of my sister, frozen in the woods, tied to a fucking tree like some discarded piece of trash left to rot. The soul that I was sure had died oh so long ago twisted up in my belly until the agony of it set my mind on fire. Worse than any pain I had ever felt, it was like dying all over again—and I wept. Tears fell from my eyes, something that hadn’t happened in centuries. Suddenly, I wasn’t the monster I had become. I was that scared seventeen year old boy watching his sister die all over again.

And I shouted in my mind, “No! Fuck you, God! Not again! Not like this! Not here and not today! Not on my watch, old man. You’ve already taken everything from me. Would you really torture me like this again?”

Of course, there was no fucking answer—there never is, but I knew what I had to do. I could right the wrong. The monster could be the hero. Where I had failed, I could succeed. This poor girl, whoever she was, I would save her and atone for my sins. I would do this, for my sister Lizzie’s sake.

How could I have known that plucking this thread would unravel my entire world. Everything I knew, everything I was, everything I was meant to be would be turned on its head. The road it set me upon, there would be no turning back. There would be no stopping the avalanche once it started pouring down the mountain. No more cares. No more regrets. This is the path I’m on and I will ride it all the way either to the gates of Heaven or the pit of Hell. I care not which.

So, come for me, dark ones. I can hear you hiding in the shadows, whispering your foul threats and lies in my direction. If it’s my head you want, come and fucking take it. You say I’ve broken your rules. Fuck your rules. Fuck your petty aristocracy with your noses turned up in the fucking air. Fuck being bound by an authority I no longer recognize as my superior. I am my own man. I make my own rules. I am the Vampire Talon, and I will fucking destroy you.

–Nicholas “Talon” Watson

Talon: The Spider’s Web: 7/22/17 from Burning Willow Press

Author/Artist Spotlight: L Bachman

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Today, I’m with L Bachman, author of The Blasphemer series. I think one of the first things that pop to mind is how does someone in the heart of the Bible belt come up with something called “The Blasphemer” series?

My writing of it isn’t because I live in the heart of the Bible belt as much as I’m aware of what many living here will consider my works of fiction. I’ve given many reasons to the title of the series, they’re all correct because they all fit perfectly to the title of the series, key characters, and how I know I’ll be seen by those that won’t take the time to read the good vs evil storylines.

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You may purchase this HERE.

Who were some of your early writing influences?

I’ve always been a fan of the classics. I’ve also been a fan of Anne Rice since I was younger, as well as Mary Shelly, Edgar Allen Poe, and Bram Stoker.

Okay, 80s slasher movies, or modern paranormal horror?

80’s slasher movies, but if not that I’ve always enjoyed a good black and white horror flick as well.

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Jason approved of her answer.

What projects do you have in the works? What can you tell us about them?

I’ve been working on a story called Mercy based on unexplainable paranormal events that are real. I’ve also been working on a story called Necessary Evil that I hope readers will enjoy but also get them thinking about how events occur in the real world, how historically all it takes is one thing to shift the tide of awareness one way or another. Along with these two, I’m working on the third installment of The Blasphemer Series: Ghosts and a trilogy I recently cover revealed on Facebook called The Burning Man that begins in the time of the witch trials here in America 1692, but for the main character being burned for being a witch when he isn’t in the way of how witches were burned in Europe during their witch trials brings him back, time and time again. For now, this is a trilogy, but it may be something that I pop out time to time after the three books depending.

Favorite Indy author that maybe people aren’t aware of yet?

I think most people I know of are already known by someone, I’m always sharing and promoting my fellow self-pubs, hybrids, and independently published. Hard to narrow down just a single favorite and with that all I can do is recommend people check out my feeds for mentioning of other authors.

I know you work on staff at Burning Willow Press. Without breaching any contracts or getting you into trouble, could you tell us what all you do? I’ve seen some of your work and I have to say, I think it’s bloody gorgeous.

I am staffed in the graphics department of Burning Willow Press, you’re correct. I also work independently from them for my own clients that have been loyal since I first began. For Burning Willow Press, LLC, I do all of the promotional marketing for the authors that are being published. I prep their release materials so that the company and the author can then market the books to the best that they can. Time to time, I also help Loraine Van Tonder do cover work so that she is not overloaded and I help out the webmaster S.L. Perrine by making the images displayed for books released so that everyone can see what is under the BWP umbrella and currently out. I also do editing of images, do any random images that may be handed down to me from Edd Sowder or Kindra Sowder they may be needed, for example flyers or ribbons for awards.

Best version of Dracula ever and/or best actor to play Dracula?

You can never go wrong with the Bram Stoker original, but of course the movie adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola. For me, Dracula, is only best played by Gary Oldman.

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Have to say, it’s hard to argue with her.

Mark Twain once said he’d prefer Heaven for the climate but Hell for the company. Do you agree?

I would hope that I’m not heading to hell, for the company or any other reason. I am sure many believe I’m heading there and I’ve even been told as much by a brave few, but that is between me and a higher power after I’m gone. Matthew 7:1-3 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

 

L Bachman’s Amazon author page can be found HERE.

Her Facebook fan page, full of info on her latest works can be found HERE.

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The Alabama Horror Collection: Volume One

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This collection contains FOUR best-selling horror shorts available for the first time in one place! The award winning author is proud to present in their entirety:

The Initiation: Hell House–Carissa is a college student with a secret. As a child she was tormented by a shadow person. The fear lingered with her and she decided the best way to deal with it was to face her fears head on. She joins her Junior College’s paranormal investigative team, but there’s one catch: she has to pass an initiation first–a night alone in “Hell House,” an old mansion in Cordova, Alabama with a long history of tragedies. Is Hell House just a collection of rumors? Or do the dead still walk the halls? Will she make it out alive?

Where Old Acquaintances Be Forgot–A New Year’s Eve party that will never be forgotten–well, that’s what it was supposed to be. For Mike, it turned into a waking nightmare. Old family secrets reveal themselves inside the abandoned Bryce Mental Hospital. The patients still haunt the floors and a crazed nurse seems hell-bent to administer her own special brand of “medicine.” It’s a nonstop frantic run through Hell with an ending that comes out of nowhere.

The Hotel Alabama: Room 23–Some places you just don’t want to go. The Hotel Alabama is a mythical hotel that only appears certain nights of the year. Some say it’s a gateway into Hell, and for Cassie, that’s exactly what it becomes. Will she make it through the night? Or does the Hotel Alabama have a new permanent resident?

The Bangor Cave Witch: Origins–Bangor Cave, infamous underground nightclub has been a subject of urban legend and lore for decades. Stories of witches, Satanic rituals, and other odd happenings plague the area. This story takes you back to the beginning. Every Urban Legend has a starting point, and every nightmare has a grain of truth in it. BASED ON THE REAL ALABAMA URBAN LEGEND.

Crossroads in the Dark 2: Urban Legends

Like Urban Legends? This book will give you MORE THAN ENOUGH bang for your buck! I promise you that.

But it here.

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More Talon Sequel Goodness. “The bond between two Demons.”

Remember the first day we went to the book shop and met Esmerelda?”

Well, yea. Of course I do. Why?”

Esmerelda knew something about your powers. She knows where they come from.”

Sadie playfully slapped me on the arm. “And you didn’t tell me? The fuck, Nicky?”

Sadie, calm down. This isn’t easy to say and it probably won’t be easy to hear. Those black and blue flames of yours…it’s Hell-fire.”

Hell-fire?” she shrieked. “Why in the Fuck would I be able to summon Hell-fire?”

I paused. I didn’t want to say it, but her eyes pleaded for an answer. “Esmerelda said that means…”

I couldn’t spit the words out. So Sadie forced my hand. “Say it, Nicky! Say it!”

This means that you must be part Demon.” There. I said it, and I regretted it immediately.

Sadie hopped out of her chair. She was obviously upset and shaking. “Bullshit!” she screamed. “I am not part Demon! That’s impossible!”

I stepped towards her, wanting to comfort her, but she backed away. “Sadie…”

Don’t ‘Sadie’ me!” She fell down on her knees and started crying. “It’s not true…it can’t be.”

You said you never knew who your father was. The powers, the flames, it all makes sense of you think about it, baby.”

She screamed, “It doesn’t make sense! Nothing makes sense!” She looked up at me and her eyes were rolled over and glowing black again.

I took a step backwards. “Sadie, baby…”

What?” she hollered angrily.

Your eyes…they’re black.”

What?” she said in a softer tone. She stood up and stepped in front of the mirror on the wall. She took one look at herself and she slouched down and withered up into almost nothing. “Oh my God.” she whispered.

The same thing happened right before you kicked ass and took names at Marcus’ old office.”

She turned to me, with tears pouring down her cheeks. “This is what I looked like?”

I carefully nodded my head, afraid to upset her any more. “Yes. This is what your eyes looked like.”

She fell to her knees again and cried even harder. “I’m hideous! I’m a Demon! Why me, Nicky? Why did this have to happen to me?”

I knelt beside her and carefully lifted her chin so she was looking at me. “I’m a Demon, too. And you still love me don’t you?”

Sadie wiped her eyes and turned away. “Don’t ask such silly questions!”

I turned her head back until our eyes met. “You still love me don’t you?”

She placed her hand on top of mine. “Now and always.”

I caressed her tear-stained cheek. “And that is the same way I love you. I don’t care about what you are. I care about who you are. I don’t know where life is taking us, but it’s taking us there together.”

We sat there in the floor for hours without saying a word. We just clutched to each other, unsure of what to say. Maybe we didn’t have to say anything. The force holding us together was stronger than any words we could have spoken.