Because David is such a fan of Markham in the Night’s Knights series, I’ve decided to share an excerpt from the new book, Dusk’s Warriors, where Markham is battling Hellhounds. It also involves Minidoo, a Canadian Ojibawe Indian who is a new character in this sequel.
Excerpt from Dusk’s Warriors:
A gust blew off Markham’s hat and he tripped over a tree root, pitching forward and landing face-first. Snow pushed up his nose and into his mouth. It was clean, but stung like the blazes.
Markham stood and brushed himself off. He covered his mouth and nose, breathing heavily to clear the coldness from his skin. Hearing a rustle in the woods, he pressed against a nearby tree, trying to blend in to the forest. The trees were dense and as he watched in the direction of the noise, a doe galloped past him about two yards away. After the doe, a woman dressed in furs, long black twin braids flying out behind her, sprinted past. Her head snapped in his direction, but she kept moving. Markham followed cautiously behind, watching the woman grab the doe and sink her canines into its neck. The doe made a yelp when caught, but then was still. The woman drank of her prey, concentrating on the animal. Markham kept his distance, knowing not to approach a vampire while feeding. The woman’s eyes flew open, her mouth still connected to the doe.
As Markham was about to step out and introduce himself, he heard Ridge approach. He could read his thoughts before he saw him.
Kill the girl, get free. Kill the girl, get the money. Never have to go to Hell again, Ridge thought.
“Whe nesh na baa?” the girl asked, and Markham thought she spoke to him, but she looked past him, to the right. Her eyes narrowed, a cold dark stare as if she would kill with a mere look. “Annish mampee enna kian sha ganosh?” She stood, blood trailing onto her white furs as she whipped her two long braids from her face.
“Listen,” Ridge said as he stepped into view, a gun trained on the girl. “I don’t understand your gobble-de-gook. If you’re gonna threaten me, do it in English.”
“Who are you to come on this land, in a forest of peace to dishonor the ancestors of the people?” she asked, clear and confident with only a slight accent.
“Glad you asked. My name’s Ridge. You are?”
“Minidoo. I belong here. You do not.”
“Look Mini, I really have nothing against you, but I made a deal and you are my way to freedom. So stand real still like…” He fired his gun. The shots missed and Minidoo had Ridge in a head lock before he could blink.
“Who sent you?” She lifted him off the ground, his neck still in the crook of her forearm as she floated upwards.
“Put…me…down…God damnit!” Ridge struggled against her, grunting and kicking back at her. “All right, no more Mr. Nice Guy.” Ridge took something from his pocket and put it too his mouth.
Minidoo dropped him, screeching and covering her ears. Markham didn’t hear anything, but it seemed to work on the poor girl.
“What is it?” she yelled.
Markham could stand by no longer, he stepped between them, his back to Minidoo.
“Ridge, your torture stops here.”
“Markham O’Leary! Two for the price of one. Imagine my luck!” Despite his cocky humor, Markham could see doubt in his mind. Can the Hell whistle defeat two strong immortals? Will I live to collect my money?
From the woods came a howl so horrific, it couldn’t be a normal wolf. A mangy set of dogs came out of the woods.
“Hmmm…in all my days, I ain’t never seen a hellhound so ugly. Glad he’s on my side. Go get ‘em killer.” Ridge smiled self-righteously.
The animals didn’t seem to be “hounds” exactly, but the Hell part Markham believed. They were giant wooly dogs, almost bear like. At first it looked like they were chained together by twos, but the closer they got, he realized they were attached in the middle like mutant Siamese twins, each having four legs and a separate head, but combined in a wide body. Brown in color, their fur seemed to undulate as if it was liquid. Their eyes were deep crevices where eyeballs should’ve been. When they snarled, deadly sharp teeth and skeletal jaws dripped with blood.
Have you encountered this sort of beast before? Minidoo asked Markham silently.
No, you? Markham asked.
Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich
Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.
Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.
Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?
Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:
“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith’s Love
“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.”
~David Watson, The All Night Library
Praise for Night’s Knights:
“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor
“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder
Emerian Rich was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1973, the only child of pastors. She lived in thirty-two different places by the time she graduated high school. With no siblings and no consistent peer relationships, the pen became an integral part of her life, granting her an inexpensive pastime that she could take with her anywhere. The characters in her stories became her friends and her journal, her only continuous confidant.
Emerian graduated The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, California with an A.A. in Visual Presentation and Space Design. She has been a consultant on window design, store merchandising, web design projects, company logos, event planning and decoration, newsletter production, and has been voice acting since 2008.
Emerian began her non-profit zine, Dark Lives, in 1997. Her goal was to give unpublished talent in the horror genre a place to have their work published and enjoyed. Originally began as a paper publication, Dark Lives became exclusively a webzine in 2002. darklives.com officially closed it’s doors at the end of 2007.
Emerian now serves as Horror Hostess for the internationally acclaimed podcast, HorrorAddicts.net.
HorrorAddicts.net has become not only a podcast but a widely read publisher of horror news, reviews, and fiction.
Emerian has been a part of many social and business groups including: The Katz (Supernatural Investigators), Wicked Women Writers, Mad Hatter Tea Society, Quillz Literary Group, and others. She is also an active volunteer for the following causes: Clean The Beach Days, Earth Day, Oil Clean Up Education, Service to Elders, Children’s Day Camp, Community Support for Abused Children, and Activities for the Developmentally Disabled.
She has also written under the names: Emerian Mordrige, E. Mordrige, Emmy Z. Madrigal and Emz.
Emerian lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. To meet Emerian, check out her events.