The Other Scarlet Order

About a year ago, I posted that I’d discovered another Scarlet Order title about vampires. At this point, all four volumes of Dance in the Vampire Bund II: Scarlet Order have been released in English and I’ve just finished reading the set. Here we see them pictured with my two Scarlet Order novels.

Scarlet Order Books

As it turns out, there are some interesting ways Nozomu Tamaki’s Scarlet Order manga are similar to my novels. In his story, the queen of the vampires, Mina Tepes, starts finding clues to the origins of vampire kind. In much the same way, the origins of vampires plays an important role in my Vampires of the Scarlet Order. In the manga series, nanotechnology is used to attack Mina’s headquarters. In Vampires of the Scarlet Order, nanotechnology also plays an important role, but it’s more directly related to the origin of the vampires. Likewise, both series involve mysteries that span the ages.

In my series, the Scarlet Order refers to the team of vampire mercenaries led by Desmond Drake. I think I can say without spoiling anything that Nozomu Tamaki’s Scarlet Order refers to a new direction for vampire kind as a whole.

It’s worth noting that in the manga, although Mina Tepes is several hundred years old, she maintains the form of a young girl. Since she’s romantically interested in the werewolf Akira Regendorf, this creates more than a few scenes that I found uncomfortable to read and see in drawn form. That said, my Scarlet Order vampire Mercy Rodriguez was turned as an older teen—albeit one who had already borne two children—and retains that form. After all, the Scarlet Order vampires remain as they were when they become vampires. I could imagine some readers might be just as uncomfortable reading about Mercy as I was about Mina at some points.

Despite this one issue, I would recommend Dance in the Vampire Bund II: Scarlet Order to mature vampire fans. What’s more, it would be interesting to see a crossover between the two series. I think a meeting between Mina and Desmond could prove quite interesting!

You can find out more about my Scarlet Order novels at:

Finally, I’ll wrap up with some news. I just completed reviewing my editor’s second pass of The Astronomer’s Crypt. The book should be moving on to copy edits soon. I hope I’ll have a release and a cover reveal before long. Be sure to stay tuned!

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Vampire Novella Giveaway

Back in 2009, my publisher approached me with a proposal to write a series of five interconnected novellas, which would be released as ebooks, featuring my Scarlet Order vampires. Once all five novellas were released, a print edition with all five novellas would be published. The series was called Dragon’s Fall and the first two novellas were released as planned. When the third novella was in production, the publishing company changed owners and the new owner decided to forego the remaining novellas and went straight to the final combined edition, which is the novel Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order.

Cover of Dragon's Fall: Bondage

As it turns out, those first two novellas are still available and it occurs to me this is a great opportunity to give readers who haven’t sampled my world a taste of the Scarlet Order vampires. I’m giving away five copies of the first novella, “Bondage.” Set in Hellenistic Athens, “Bondage” is the story of the slave Alexandra. Sold to Theron, a mysterious banker, she wonders about her new master who is never seen during the day. As time goes on, she notices that slaves called upon to serve Theron in his chamber in the night do not return the next morning.

When Alexandra’s turn comes she learns Theron is a vampire who binds his slaves, takes his pleasure with them, then drinks their blood. She refuses to be a victim, but as she fights his embrace, Alexandra ingests some of Theron’s blood. Now a vampire herself, she becomes Theron’s concubine. Yet even as she learns the ways of the vampire, Alexandra yearns for freedom…

I’m giving away five copies of the Kindle edition of the novella at Amazon. Follow the link below for details. You’ll find out instantly whether or not you won.

Click here for a chance to win an ebook copy of “Bondage.”

Please note, this book is recommended only for readers eighteen years or older. If you already have read Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order, you’ll recognize this as the first part of the novel, which now goes by its original title, “A Gorgon in Bondage.” If you’re a new reader and you win the novella and enjoy it, be sure to write a review on Amazon and then pick up a copy of Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order so you can read the rest of the story!

Rich Vampires

A common vampire trope I’ve touched on in some of my reviews is the notion of “rich vampires.” Count Dracula is typically portrayed as quite wealthy despite the fact his castle is in near ruins in the novel Dracula. The vampires of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles are all fabulously wealthy. Jean-Claude in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake novels is a savvy entrepreneur. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Count Saint-Germain is rich. The list goes on.

Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee

Generally speaking, the idea is that the vampire either starts out wealthy or finds ways to invest what money they have and just through the act of not dying accumulates vast amounts of wealth. Now, I’ve often questioned this, because on a long timescale, banks aren’t that stable. Also, the idea of governments backing banks is a fairly recent one. Even then, on long timescales, governments rise and fall limiting their ability to guarantee anyone’s investment.

What’s more, if you actually adjust the markets for inflation, the growth may be less than you might expect. For example, if you invested $1.00 in 1950, you would have $7.00 in 2010 once you adjusted for inflation. Not bad, but hard to say that you’d get rich unless you started with a large investment. Also, the only reason there’s been that much growth is a period of rapid market rise in the 1950s and again in the 1980s.

This is the reason the Scarlet Order vampires are mercenaries. They needed to find a way to survive in the world of humans and fighting for human causes allowed them to do just that. Desmond Lord Draco is rich, though not fabulously so, just because he’s been good at stashing gold in out of the way places and keeping it from falling into his enemies’ hands. Other members of the Scarlet Order aren’t so financially adept.

Visiting the website TV Tropes, I discovered a new spin on this idea that I hadn’t really considered before. paperbackbookstanding_849x1126 (1) They suggest that vampires not earning an income can be a metaphor for the drain vampires would place on society. Not only do they drain blood from people, but they drain those resources people would use to survive. The Scarlet Order vampires would be offended by the idea.

If you’d like to discover more about the Scarlet Order vampires, visit my website to read the first chapters, see some reviews, and discover more about Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order and Vampires of the Scarlet Order.

Villains as Heroes

This last week saw the launch of a new trailer for Suicide Squad based on the DC Comic. For those not familiar with the comic, it imagines many of the worst villains working as a deniable covert operations team for the U.S. Government in exchange for a chance to get out of prison. I haven’t read many issues of the comic, but the trailer looks interesting and I’ll likely go see the movie.

I think the appeal of a movie and a comic book like Suicide Squad comes from the fact that none of us are entirely good or entirely bad. We all have done things we regret, but we also don’t want to be remembered as villains. Stories about villains becoming heroes reminds us that we’re all capable of great things and of being heroic.

Scarlet Order

In many ways, that’s exactly the premise of the Scarlet Order novels. The protagonists may be vampires but they have to live in the world, so they become mercenaries as a way to do good. Now, you may question whether mercenaries are capable of doing good since they, in principal, fight for the highest bidders. However, the Scarlet Order fights for causes the believe in. They are mercenaries because, as vampires, governments are typically less permanent than they are. So, while they may not have loyalty to a country, they do have loyalty to ideals.

I also explore the idea of redemption in the forthcoming The Astronomer’s Crypt. Early in the novel, we meet several unsavory characters ranging from villains to just plain jerks. Through the course of the novel, some of them have opportunities to show their better nature. One of the things that excites me about that novel is finding out which ones choose to be helpful and which ones choose to remain villains.

While you’re waiting for The Astronomer’s Crypt, you can follow the adventures of the Scarlet Order vampires and find out what causes they will fight for in Vampires of the Scarlet Order, Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order, and even in the anthology These Vampires Don’t Sparkle. Who are some of your favorite villains who have found opportunities to show a heroic side?

Dracula Untold

While in New Orleans, the movie Dracula Untold was recommended to me. Unfortunately, between family business and my book signing, we didn’t have time to watch there, but my wife and I picked up a copy when we returned home and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Dracula Untold is an origin story for Dracula. It imagines Vlad the Impaler facing the choice of handing over 1000 boys to be trained as Ottoman Jannissaries or go to war with the Turks. Facing insurmountable odds, Vlad seeks out a master vampire and asks for help. The scene where Vlad and the master vampire confront each other in the cave gave me chills. It’s effective in its own right, but it also reminded me of the scene in Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order where Desmond wakes up in a cave and meets the ancient vampire, Wolf.

In many ways, Dracula Untold tells the same story as Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order but with a slightly different premise. In Dracula Untold we learn how Vlad became the vampire Dracula. In Dragon’s Fall we learn the story of how the British vampire Draco became a mercenary for Vlad, giving rise to the Dracula legend. Many of the same historical events are used as backdrops, though the overall story takes many different turns.

Another element I found particularly interesting in Dracula Untold was the vampire Dracula could turn into a swarm of bats. The CGI was neat to watch and really makes me want to see someone visualize Drake and his ability to turn into a swarm of flies.

The movie itself has some issues. In particular, I found the enforced three-day time limit for the movie’s main story strained my ability to believe the large troop movements. Also, I found it a bit difficult to believe that even one strong vampire could decimate an entire army as much as Dracula did, though I could certainly imagine battle scenes like those in Dracula Untold appearing in a Scarlet Order vampire movie. The short run time also kept us from getting very much character depth—an unfortunately common trait in many modern movies. Despite those issues, I’d still have no problem recommending the film to someone who likes an action-oriented vampire film.

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Not only do I like vampire action, but I like supernatural myths. One of the deleted scenes showed Dracula having an encounter with the witch Baba Yaga. I saw why they felt they had to cut that scene, but I wish they had found a way to make it work within the context of the movie.

For those who would like to see my vision of vampire mercenaries and the history of the Turkish invasion of Transylvania, be sure to find a copy of Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet order. You can order signed copies at Boutique du Vampyre. Of course, you can always get the ebook at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Vampire Titles 25% Off Today – #AReBlast

All my vampire titles at OmniLit and All Romance eBooks are 25% off today to celebrate the first day of summer!

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This post will give you links to those books they have available. I hope you’ll add one or more of my books to your summer reading list.

Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order

Dragon's Fall Three vampires—a warrior, a thief, and an assassin—adapt to their life of darkness by forming a team of mercenaries that fight for the crowned heads of Europe. Get the book at: https://www.omnilit.com/product-dragonsfallriseofthescarletorder-970117-235.html

Vampires of the Scarlet Order

Vampires of the Scarlet Order Governments tamper with powers they don’t understand to create a new breed of super soldiers. Only the Scarlet Order vampire mercenaries stand in their way. Get it at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-vampiresofthescarletorder-184717-348.html


If you’re on a budget and just want to sample my vampire stories, this is still a great opportunity! The original Dragon’s Fall novellas are only 74 cents each today!

Dragon’s Fall: Bondage

Cover of Dragon's Fall: Bondage In Hellenistic Athens, the slave Alexandra finds herself in a new house with a mysterious owner who offers the promise of freedom. Get the ebook at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-bondage-500121-348.html

Dragon’s Fall: The Dragon’s Quest

Dragons-Quest-200x300 Desmond stood to inherit the throne of Britain until he fell in battle. A vampire resurrected him and now he seeks redemption. Can he entice his friend Arthur to seek the cup of Christ? Get it at: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dragon039squest-514278-139.html



My science fiction titles are also on sale! Visit the post at David Lee Summers’ Web Journal for a list of titles and links to them.

The Scarlet Order Series

Right after I completed Vampires of the Scarlet Order, I wrote synopses for four more novels of a proposed series. Dragons Fall The first was Scarlet Order: Dragon’s Fall which told the Scarlet Order’s origin story. Scarlet Order: New World would have told the story of Rudolfo joining Don Juan de Oñate as he marched into New Mexico, and his romance with a young Spanish bride named Mercedes Rodriguez. The third novel was Scarlet Order: Revolution which would have told the story of Draco, Roquelaure, and Alexandra during the French Revolution. Finally, I imagined a sequel to Vampires of the Scarlet Order called Scarlet Order: Nosferatu.

I started on the first of these novels soon after Vampires of the Scarlet Order was released. I set out to write Dragon’s Fall during NaNoWriMo in 2005. I actually did write 50,000 words as planned, but it was still far short of a finished novel. What’s more, I felt like I had written myself into a corner. As with any project like that, often the best thing to do is to set the project aside, while I worked on other things. I returned to my Old Star/New Earth series and wrote the final volume, Heirs of the New Earth, and a prequel to the series called The Solar Sea.

In 2007, LBF Books which published Vampires of the Scarlet Order, was sold to a new owner. The new owner proposed that I write a series of five novellas based on the Scarlet Order Vampires. Dragon’s Fall was intended to be told in four distinct parts, and really, each of those parts was a novella in its own right. After NaNoWriMo, I essentially had two and a half of the novellas done. What’s more, I knew I wanted to give one of the characters more back story, and that provided another novella’s worth of material, so I agreed.

Cover of Dragon's Fall: Bondage

The first of these novellas was published in 2010. Set in Hellenistic Athens, Bondage tells the story of the slave Alexandra. Sold to Theron, a mysterious banker, she wonders about her new master who is never seen during the day. As time goes on, she notices that slaves called upon to serve Theron in his chamber in the night do not return the next morning.

When Alexandra’s turn comes, she learns Theron is a vampire who binds his slaves, takes his pleasure with them, then drinks their blood. She refuses to be a victim, but as she fights his embrace, Alexandra ingests some of Theron’s blood. Now a vampire herself, she becomes Theron’s concubine. Yet even as she learns the ways of the vampire, Alexandra yearns for freedom.

Dragons-Quest-200x300

The second novel in the series was The Dragon’s Quest. In this novella, Aonghas Deas-Mhumhan — called Desmond — is a dragon lord in the service of King Ambrosius. He longs for the king’s daughter, the beautiful Guinevere. However, her heart belongs to the king’s young ally, L’ancelot.

When Desmond and his friend Arthur are sent to battle Saxon invaders, Desmond is mortally wounded. He is saved by Wolf, a vampire who is seeks the Holy Grail in hopes that it might bring salvation to their kind. Desmond knows he and Wolf cannot find the Grail alone. He returns to court where he finds that Guinevere is pledged to Arthur but still longs for L’ancelot. Now king, Arthur is anxious to remove L’ancelot from court for a time, so he agrees to Desmond’s request for aid in the search for the Grail cup.

After these two novellas were released, my publisher changed owners once again. This time, the new owners decided that rather than release five novellas, they’d simply combine all of them into one book as originally intended. So, you can find both of the novellas above along with three more in Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order. In the complete novel, you discover how Desmond and Alexandra meet and form a band of vampire mercenaries. All three of these volumes are still available. The Dragon’s Fall novellas are still a great way to check out the world of the Scarlet Order on a budget.

Thanks to everyone who has joined me on this ten-year anniversary retrospective of the creation of Vampires of the Scarlet Order. There are still just a few days left to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for one of my vampire books. See the first post in this series for more details or just click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway