The Dimidiums Book One – Bound by Love

The Dimidiums Book One – Bound by Love by DM Yates is an engaging vampire romance that features an interesting vampire mythology. Bound by Love The Dimidiums of the title are vampire/human hybrids who rely on some blood to survive, usually taken in the form of a concoction they call nectar. They aren’t immortal, but they do have extended lifespans. They have the strength of vampires and many of them work as bounty hunters. The true vampires are known as the Accursed and don’t range out during the day and simply see humans as food.

The story starts off when one of the Dimidiums—or Halblings as they also call themselves—is hired to track down a woman accused of murdering her husband. As the Halbling Trevor investigates the woman Janna, he becomes less convinced she committed the murder. He makes himself known to her and the two find a mutual attraction for each other. However, Trevor is afraid he will scare Janna away if he reveals his Halbling nature to her. A romance ensues, but before either is prepared, Trevor’s father calls both before him. When Janna admits her love for Trevor, she’s forced into the world of Halblings whether she’s ready or not.

I’ll admit, it took me a little bit to warm up to Trevor and Janna as characters. At some level, Trevor’s stubborn reluctance to admit his Halbling nature seemed almost wishy washy. Also, it was unclear why Janna was so attracted to Trevor. Setting that aside, the story propelled me along. I enjoyed getting to know more about the Dimidium/Halbling culture. I fell in love with some of the Halbling and human characters right from the outset such as Trevor’s co-worker Lainie, a Halbling raised among humans, and Fran, the no-nonsense diner owner in Worthless, Nevada.

Lurking in the background is an Accursed named Milosh, who killed Trevor’s first wife and has become Trevor’s nemesis. Milosh engineers an elaborate and ingenious plot to trap and kill both Trevor and Janna. Once he unleashed his plot, I had a hard time putting the book down, anxious to see whether or not Trevor, Janna, and the other Halblings would make it through.

I think it would be great fun to see a story where the Bounty Hunter Halblings team up with the Scarlet Order Mercenary vampires. Even if that story never happens, I still look forward to the adventures that await in The Dimidiums Book Two. You can find The Dimidiums Book One – Bound by Love at Amazon and Smashwords.

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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!

SummerBlastbanner

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.

Charmeine

I have been following Emily Guido’s blog for some time and I’ve enjoyed the snippets she’s shared from her novels as well as her thoughts about her personal life journey and the writing process. So, I decided it was about time I read the first novel in her Light-Bearer series, Charmeine.

Charmeine

Charmeine opens in heaven, where we learn about two angels who are deeply in love. One is Tabbruis, Angel of Self-Determination. The other is Charmeine, Angel of Harmony. In chapter two, something has happened. Tabbruis and Charmeine have been separated by time and space. Tabbruis wakes up in the land of Canaan and befriends a shepherd boy named Joseph, wearing a colorful coat. When marauders break into the camp, Tabbruis tries to stop them. In the process, he discovers that he’s a fanged creature with a craving for blood. The centuries pass and Tabbruis doesn’t age. Eventually he meets another immortal named Dmitri, who tells him he’s a Blood-Hunter and the mortal enemy of the Blood-Hunters are the Light-Bearers, who can shoot lightning from their hands. After witnessing the ritual execution of a Light-Bearer, Tabbruis finds he has little taste for his own kind or the indiscriminate killing of the Light-Bearers. He becomes a loner.

The story progresses rapidly to the modern day, where Tabbruis feels drawn to New York City. On Long Island, a substitute teacher named Charleen is getting ready to attend a Billy Joel concert. Circumstances bring Tabbruis and Charleen together at the concert. There, Charleen is attacked by a Blood-Hunter who plans to take her to Athens for execution. It turns out Charleen is a Light-Bearer, who didn’t know about her powers until the attack. Tabbruis stops the attack and finds himself strangely attracted to Charleen. He takes her in to keep her safe from the Blood-Hunters, but he soon learns they have an even stronger connection.

On its surface, Charmeine is a sweet romance story and I felt Emily did a fine job with those aspects of the tale. If you like sweet romance, this will certainly fit the bill. Much as I’m happy to read the occasional well done romance novel, what really captured my attention here were the action elements, plus the sprinkling of Biblical history and angel lore. Those elements helped to take this well beyond the usual contemporary romance and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. Although Emily never calls the “Blood-Hunters” vampires, that’s clearly what they are and many of them are deliciously chilling, while others such as Tabbruis and Dmitri have clearly eschewed the more violent aspects of Blood-Hunter life. The Light-Bearers add an interesting element to this vampire lore. Unlike other vampire hunter stories, we don’t really have a lone, mortal crusader, but a whole race well equipped to keep the vampires at bay. It’ll be interesting to see where Emily goes with the series.

Charmeine is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

The Proposal, Part 2

Last week, we heard about Ken and Melissa’s trip to Guatemala to deliver a food aid package to a remote village. They were waylaid by a band of mysterious strangers lobbing grenades. What’s more, one of them is a jaguar who can apparently transform into a woman. Here’s the conclusion to “The Proposal.”


“Marcella,” called the man. “Check out the package in the back of this jeep.”

Marcella Montage

A second woman with spiked hair, dressed all in leather seemed to float out of the jungle. With sharp, talon-like fingers, she slit the package open. Melissa’s eyes widened when she saw several bricks of cocaine.

“What the…?” She looked at Ken and at the strangers surrounding them. “We’re supposed to be delivering a food package to the village up the road.”

The tall man looked from Ken to Melissa. After a moment, he gave a curt nod. “I believe you.”

“But they have the cocaine,” protested the woman who had been a jaguar.

The tall male vampire tapped his forehead. “Read his mind. He’s telling the truth.”

“They must have given us the wrong package at the United Parcel office in Guatemala City,” said Ken.

“If that’s the case,” said the woman with the spiked hair, “then there may be someone else coming along this way soon.”

The young, Latino woman put her hand on her hip. “All right, we’ll wait and see who comes along.”

“We need to get this jeep out of sight,” said the tall man.
The three surrounded the jeep and almost faster than Ken and Melissa could follow, they changed out the flat tire. When they were finished, they pulled the jeep off the road, into the shadows of the jungle. The two women filled in the crater, so it looked like no more than a pot hole.

“Who are you?” asked Ken.

“I am Desmond Drake,” said the tall man. He held his hand out to the woman with the spiked hair. “This is Marcella DuBois.” He then pointed to the other woman. “My other acquaintance is Mercedes Rodriguez.”

The woman who had once been a jaguar smiled, revealing her long fangs again. “Mercy smiles upon you tonight.”

“We’re known as the Scarlet Order,” continued the man. “We were hired by the Guatemalan government to stop a shipment of drugs.”

“Which we’ve done,” said Mercy. “I say it’s time to feed and get out of here.”

Melissa trembled, but faced the danger head on. “How in the world did you transform from being a jaguar into being a woman?”

“It’s easy when you’re a vampire.” Mercy winked at her.
Just then, Marcella’s head jerked around. She listened. “There’s another car coming.”

Melissa and Ken looked at each other. Neither of them could hear anything besides the jungle noises. Drake hustled them into the woods and the three people who called themselves vampires faded into the shadows.

Five minutes later, another jeep rattled along the road. Drake swore when he realized his supply of grenades were across the road. The car zoomed past. Mercy transformed into a jaguar again and gave chase. She jumped in and knocked the driver from his seat. The man in the passenger seat leaped out before she could attack him. Mercy resumed her human form and took control of the jeep. Meanwhile, the man who had jumped rose to his feet and saw Drake and Marcella running toward him. He drew a pistol from a holster at his hip and began firing.

Draco Montage

The two vampires jumped off to the side of the road. Ken thought they vanished, but soon a swarm of flies engulfed the man with the gun. He swatted wildly, but with no effect. A moment later, the swarm coalesced into the form of a man. The writhing jumble of insects soon became Desmond Drake. The vampire grabbed the man and sank his fangs into the man’s neck.

“Don’t kill him,” called Melissa.

Drake looked up and wiped blood from his chin. He let the man slump to the ground. “I rarely drink to kill. He shall face justice with the proper authorities.”

Marcella emerged from her hiding place and ran to the drug dealer’s jeep. She opened the box they carried and held up a can of food. “I think this is the package the villagers expected you to deliver.”

Ken and Melissa ran forward and checked the package. Sure enough, it was the one they were supposed to have picked up in Guatemala City. As Melissa gathered up the box and took it to their jeep, Marcella put her hand on Ken’s shoulder. “I saw the way she was prepared to help you.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small box. “This is something I’ve had for a while. You should give it to her.”

Ken opened the box and swallowed when he saw what was inside.

“What’s keeping you?” called Melissa. “We need to get to that village!”

“Thank you,” said Ken.

“Don’t mention it,” said Marcella.

“Just be more careful about what boxes you accept next time.” Drake folded his arms across his chest.

Ken and Melissa continued on to the village and delivered the goods. They spent the night and then returned to Guatemala City the next day. Along the road, they saw no signs of the strange encounter the night before.

They flew on to St. Lucia, shaken and a little troubled by this group of vampires in the middle of the jungle working to stop drug cartels. Nevertheless, they checked into the hotel. They both changed out of their grungy clothes and Melissa ordered a drink. She really needed it by that point. The view was perfect. Ken persuaded Melissa to put down the drink and he took her hand. He reached into his pocket and for one horrible moment, he thought everything that happened the night before had just been a strange dream. Then he felt the ring and pulled it out. He dropped to one knee and told her what she meant to him. Told her that although he had planned to talk about marriage, after their adventure in Guatemala, he’d just cut to the chase. “Will you marry me?”

The world seemed to stop spinning and Ken couldn’t breathe for a long time, but Melissa couldn’t stop smiling. Tears gently spilled down her cheek, and she said, “Yes!”


Congratulations to Ken and Melissa on your wedding. The Scarlet Order smiles on you and you know they’ve got your back. For the rest of you, you can learn more about the Scarlet Order by visiting the book links on the upper right!

The Proposal, Part 1

Last week, I told you about a story I wrote for my friends Ken and Melissa as a wedding present. They’ve kindly given me permission to share the story with you. Fittingly, this post also comes on the occasion of my own wedding anniversary. Without further ado, here is part 1.


About a year ago, my one-time college roommate and dear friend Ken got engaged to a lovely woman named Melissa. This is the story of Ken’s proposal. You should know that Ken and Melissa both believe in social justice and volunteering their time to help others in need. In fact, they met volunteering at a food repackaging facility.

About a year ago, Ken got a call from a group he’d worked with that sends aid packages down to Central America. They asked if he would be willing to deliver a package of food and medical supplies to a small village up the Rio de la Pasión, a short ways from Sayaxché in Guatemala. Given Ken’s feelings for Melissa and given their mutual interests, he thought it was time for a trip down the Passion River of Guatemala. Afterwards, they’d go out to St. Lucia in the Caribbean for a little relaxation and Ken thought they might discuss the possibility of marriage.

Well, the day of the trip to Guatemala came along and Ken and Melissa went to Sea-Tac to catch their flight. Each of them had had difficult weeks at work, but they were looking forward to a journey where they wouldn’t just relax, they’d have the opportunity to help others. The problem is, they were on a tight timetable and the plane was delayed for about two hours.

Finally they took off and nine hours later, they arrived in Guatemala City. They caught a cab and went to the aid agency’s office. The aid worker told them to hurry over to the United Parcel office. “Be careful, though,” said Ken’s friend Jose. “Sometimes people pay bribes and take the food packages for themselves.”

Jose loaned them a jeep and a map to the village and they set out.

When they arrived, they discovered the man behind the counter didn’t speak English, and although Melissa’s Spanish was pretty good, it wasn’t up to the local dialect. They paid him a generous tip and finally he brought out an unlabeled package.

“What happened to the label?” asked Ken.

“Sometimes they fall off in the heat and the humidity,” said the man behind the counter.

Melissa narrowed her gaze. “This package seems a little small.”

“You know what they say, it’s not the size that matters…”

Ken thought that was a pretty good joke for a guy who didn’t seem well versed in English, but wisely chose to take a different tack. “Jose says it’s a small village. I’m sure this is fine.”

With that, they loaded the package into the jeep and set out. As it turns out, it takes about six and a half hours to drive from Guatemala to Sayaxché. By the time they got there, it was getting rather late. Melissa looked at Ken. “Do you think we ought to find some place to stay?”

“They’re supposed to give us housing in the village when we get there,” said Ken.

Melissa looked at her watch and yawned. “If they’re still awake. It’s going to be like two in the morning by the time we get there!” They proceeded up along a dirt road into the jungle.

Another hour went by, when Melissa sat up alert. “Do you hear that?” she asked.

Ken shook his head. “I don’t hear anything.”

“That’s exactly what I mean. All the jungle noises. They’ve stopped!”

Just as she said that, the road in front of them exploded in a shower of pebbles and debris. Ken swerved the wheel to avoid the crater. As he did, he went over a sharp rock and the jeep made a thump-thump-thump sound. The tire had gone flat.

As the jeep came to a stop, Ken and Melissa dove out and took cover, looking to see who was lobbing grenades at them. All was quiet in the jungle. Slowly, the drone of cicadas and the chirpings of night birds returned. The sky was clear and the stars shone brightly overhead. “I think we need to risk fixing the tire so we can move on,” said Ken.

Melissa nodded.

As Ken emerged from behind the jeep, a jaguar sprang out of the jungle and pinned Ken to the ground. The cat opened its jaws wide, ready to tear out Ken’s throat. Heedless of the danger, Melissa grabbed a crowbar from the back of the jeep and swung it at the jungle cat, sending it flying.

The cat shook its head, dazed, then rose to its feet, growling dangerously.

“Stop!” A deep voice sounded from the edge of the road.

Mercy Montage

The jaguar, Melissa, and Ken looked over at the source of the sound, which proved to be a tall man dressed in black. He wore short hair, slicked back, revealing a pale, almost translucent face. Ken looked over at the jaguar. It lay down. Its paws became hands and feet. Its sleek, feline body became that of a lithe, Latino woman, dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans. The cat’s yellow eyes grew dark brown. As all of her teeth retracted, except for two canine fangs, she gave a husky growl. “What do you mean, stop! These people are clearly the couriers we were sent to stop!”

“Now, now,” said the tall man dressed in black. “These people don’t look like members of the Equis Cartel.”

“Yeah, but I smell the cocaine.” The woman rose to her feet. A bruise on her forehead soon disappeared.


Who have Ken and Melissa stumbled upon? Do they really have cocaine rather than an aid package? How did they survive this encounter in order to get married? Be sure to come back next week to read the exciting conclusion to “The Proposal”!

Horror and Romance

David and Kumie

This weekend started off with Valentine’s Day. Although the day is past and the chocolate is on sale, I still find myself reflecting on love and romance. For some, that might seem at odds with a blog focused on horror topics, but I submit they can go hand in hand. Horror is an intense feeling of fear and dread. In real life, I’ve experienced this less with myself than with those I love. A case in point being the day when my wife told me about her cancer diagnosis. After that were the days and weeks of doctor’s appointments, surgery and chemotherapy. I felt intense fear through that period, but I’m relieved to report that this story had a happy ending. She battled the cancer monster and won. I look forward to the day when that will be true of everyone who has to fight the cancer monster.

Arguably the worst kind of personal horror is to be trapped in a terrible reality with no escape. Fictional examples include the Vampire Louis in Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire and David Drayton in Stephen King’s The Mist. I picked these two because they are characters who did their best to find some sanity through companionship. Louis has Lestat and Claudia. Dreyton finds Amanda Dumfries. Romance as an anchor to stay sane in horrible circumstances is a powerful metaphor. As such, I’m not surprised that it’s been explored so thoroughly in vampire stories. I’ve used it in my novels Vampires of the Scarlet Order and Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order.

The photo at the top of this post is one I took with my wife at the Arizona Renaissance Festival a couple of years after we were married. It was a chance to play two people who joined together to use arcane powers against the world. I like the photo because it suggests any number of stories. Are we vampires? Are we dark wizards? Whose skull is that we’re holding and why? It also reminds me that as writers we should draw from all our life experiences no matter what genre we’re writing. After all, the whole point of the exercise is to explore facets of the human experience.

Vampires of the Scarlet Order

In reality, the only arcane powers I hope to enrapture you with are my words. If you’d like to join me for a frightening story and do something to help people battle the monster of cancer, you can buy a copy of Vampires of the Scarlet Order from the Writer’s Unite to Fight Cancer Bookstore at Amazon.com: http://astore.amazon.com/writersunitetofightcancer-20/detail/097545336X

Interview: David Lee Summers, American Fantasy Author

This has been a busy week at my observatory day job and at my writing desk. I’m making good progress on my new steampunk novel Lightning Wolves and I’m about ready to send the second special steampunk issue of Tales of the Talisman to press. In the meantime, Australian author Stephen Ormsby conducted a fantastic interview that I post here for your enjoyment. Among other things he discusses Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order and he asks me about my thoughts on romance novels. Enjoy!

Interview: David Lee Summers, American Fantasy Author.