Updated: Apr 1
The Lazarus Child: An action-packed Gothic vampire thriller (Blood Riders Book 3)by Jay Raven
To save his missing daughter a distraught slayer must venture deep into the heart of darkness.Legendary vampire hunter Anton Yoska is on the edge, tormented by the rumour that the precious child he once thought dead is still alive and lost in a world of monsters.One creature alone knows for sure what happened to Gretchen, but Terek Modjeski won’t divulge his secret - revelling in the twisted power over his long-time enemy.
Despairing and drinking heavily, Anton stumbles from near disaster to near disaster as he puts his team in jeopardy, testing their friendship and loyalty to snapping point.
Only the most desperate solution seems possible - to confront Terek in his maximum security cell and force the bloodsucker to end his game of cat and mouse.
But making the cunning infernal talk will mean employing brutal methods that break every code Anton has ever lived by, making him as much of a demon as the leeches he hunts.
Face to face with the taunting hate-filled vampire, the anguished slayer takes a decision that will change his destiny forever - sending him hurtling into danger to confront a terrifying truth about his lost child that risks not only his sanity but the future of mankind.
About the author
Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the old TV reruns of classic horror movies he watched as a teenager but living in a creepy old house beside a 500-acre bat-filled forest may have something to do with it. If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy bonus short stories and access exclusive giveaways and competitions, simply join the Jay Raven VIP Readers Club. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time. For more details, visit: www.jayraven.co.uk
Introduction written by the author:
“New Readers Start Here”,
since this book is the third book in the series, but it works perfectly as a solid standalone:
WELCOME TO THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON THE PLANET
Hi, I’m thrilled that you’re about to read The Lazarus Child, third instalment in the Blood Riders vampire hunter series. The novel works well as a standalone, but I thought you might find it helpful if I did a sort of “New Readers Start Here” introduction to the world of the main characters and conflicts -and the inspiration behind the action-packed Gothic adventures. So let’s dive straight in...
The series follows the heart-stopping exploits of Anton Yoska, 19th century Transylvania’s most celebrated and reluctant vampire slayer, and his team of Quintz -an expert knifeman and dwarf, their apprentice 16-year-old Tomas and a rather fierce brown bear Samson, who loves the taste of vampire flesh. They operate in a world where nosferatu are commonplace, living alongside humanity in a tense and volatile stalemate - where both sides dream of eliminating the other, but dare not take the first irrevocable step.
It has been 15 years since the deadly foes clashed in a brutal war that humans narrowly and unexpectedly won. Since then the nocternus have been banished to reservations, where they are safe from attack and retribution - but any venturing from these safe zones are fair game for a legion of bounty hunters. Anton is a man with a mysterious past. The only thing known for sure about him is that after being captured during the Vampire War, an attempt to turn him into a nosferatu warrior went wrong part way through the transformation. It has left him with the strength and speed of vampires, plus a few of their supernatural powers - but also the fear that one day the conversion will complete and he will become one of the very creatures he most dreads. He hates the life of a slayer, almost as much as he loathes Crown Prince Leopold, the megalomaniac ruler of Transylvania. The Prince is ruthless with ambitions that risk plunging the entire continent into a final blood-soaked confrontation. Even those closest to him admit that they never know what’s going on in his scheming Machiavellian brain.
It’s a world of plots, twists and hidden enemies and I hope one that will keep readers glued through the many episodes and adventures ahead.
So what’s the inspiration for Blood Riders? Well, it’s two-fold.
Firstly, I was intrigued by the idea - what if the storylines and classic conflicts of western dramas could transpose to a Gothic horror setting. Vampire tribes corralled on to reservations, outnumbered lawmen risking their lives to keep the peace, bounty hunters just as dangerous as the creatures they targeted - sudden death and heroism, betrayal and nobility at a time when life - both mortal and nosferatu - was cheap.
The second factor behind the series was I wanted to make vampires truly frightening again. I wanted to get away from the trend to have sparkly, lovelorn, misunderstood would-be Victorian poets wanting nothing more than to be pitied for their affliction. Vampires, in my humble opinion, have always been brutal, cunning and remorseless predators who’d rip your throat out without a moment’s hesitation or regret. They view themselves as gods, entitled to treat humanity as their food supply and playthings. I wanted to remind the world of this fact. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether I’ve succeeded in those two aims.
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