After completing my first book, Vigilare, in the Vigilare trilogy, I thought I had written a detective mystery with a paranormal spin. Lo and behold, my surprise, when I kept reading reviews referring to my novel as a THRILLER. I had no idea I was that exciting!
Gabino Iglesias of the Austin Post said, “Vigilare walks the line between a thriller and a supernatural adventure while safely anchored in a scientific discourse around blood that James put together so well that it's reminiscent of a Douglas Preston or Michael Crichton novel. With action, romance, a strong female hero and a likeable group of characters, Vigilare reads like a good action movie.”
After reading his review, followed by a round of celebratory fist-pumps and Elaine-esque dancing while partaking of my morning Joe, I call up my Editor, and I say, “How would you classify Vigilare?”
She says, “With all of that action, twist and turns, and a cliffhanger-ending, you have a Thriller on your hands, my dear.”
With the release of the second book in the series, Vigilare: Hell Hound, it seems as though I may have found my sweet spot among the thriller genre. I get questions from readers about my “dark side,” as Vigilare has been tapped dark and intense. Guess I didn’t realize I was that dark either, although I have been accused of being partially bionic, juggling a plethora of handles, author/singer/songwriter/nurse/novice mechanic/novice martial artist/fitness fanatic/artificial insemination technician(beef cattle)/among other things. You could say I have an interest in most everything, and am willing to try anything, at least once. It must be the extremist in me. And I figure everyone has an alter ego, some darker than others, maybe. If you’re going to go for something, really go for it, right?
In my interview with the Austin Post, Iglesias said, “Looking at James, a stunning belle with a perpetual smile on her face, it's hard to picture what would drive her to write a novel where sexual abuse and death are two crucial and ever-present elements. However, the author explained that her writing persona and her everyday self are separate entities. "I'm a glass-half-full kind of girl," James said. "But when I write, I get into a dark girl frame of mind. That has always been part of my writing process and I really don't know why." And truthfully, I’m not that stunning.
Vigilare is set in the town of Vanguard, where Detectives Gina DeLuca and Tony Gronkowski investigate a string of murders among the city’s most loathsome population, rapists and pedophiles, of which the Vigilare is most likely responsible. Problem is, the identity of the Vigilare is unknown, even to the Vigilare. The detectives, the reader and the Vigilare find out its identity together. Vigilare, an Italian term, meaning to watch over, to look out, to protect—is a play on vigilantism. The Vigilare is the divine avenger. Her fate assigned, not chosen. I was inspired by comic books and movies, such as Batman and The Punisher. How I love me some Boondock Saints. The premise of pitting evil against good, and how good can turn bad, even with the most pure of intentions, gets me excited. Truly titillating! One of my favorite reviews from an Amazon reader briefed, “Gotham has Batman. Vanguard has Vigilare!”
My Vigilare’s superpower is grounded in blood, Rh-negative factor, to be exact. What more formidable opponent than someone whose super human ability engages with the exposure of her blood to external oxygen? With a background in Intensive Care Nursing, I knew a bit about blood. After researching, I knew a lot about blood. The theories I found about Rh-negative blood and its potential link to the ancient astronauts, or the blood of the gods was intriguing, mind-blowing even. Basically, with a little research, my simple premise manifested into a building block of scientific discourse, delivered to the reader by my sometimes manic, white lab coat-wearing, spectacle-clad Hematologist, Dr. Godfrey. Makes me wish I had Rh-negative blood!
Of course, the Vigilare came to be in the form of her past. As we all do, right? Experiences, whether good, bad or horrifyingly traumatic, shape us into the people we become. Combine that with a corrupt, power-hungry government agency, such as ETNA in my book…the equivalent to Sector 5, they deal in the supernatural…and a fed-up community tending toward the side of the Vigilare, and you have a city on the verge of a vigilante uprising. It’s a race to the finish to find out who the Vigilare is, and why she exists. Where one system fails, another never gives up!
Excerpt from Vigilare:
Her body goes limp momentarily as her blood is exposed to the air. She lies on her stomach, the man crouches over her, pushing his pants down around his ankles. He resorts to his same bit, stroking himself as he pulls at the back of her pants, fully intending to rape her from behind.
Her ears ring and the pulse in her head feels so strong, rhythmic like a drum as her senses heighten to a supernatural level. With each beat of her heart and every consecutive breath requiring more oxygen than the last, her body begins to awaken, feverishly hot, aching for release. In one fluid movement, she pushes off the floor, spinning herself around underneath the crouching man. Her foot connects swiftly and severely to his throbbing unit, kicking him off of her, catapulting his body across the room into the adjacent corner. He whimpers with the contact. With the speed of light, she covers him with her paranormal frame, winding the same piece of nylon rope he used on her around his neck, rapidly concocting a slipknot at the end for more efficient use.
She crouches over his debilitated body, surely in shock. “Do you know what happens to a woman when a filthy pig like you touches her? Do you!” She tightens the cord, smiling down at the fear in his eyes. “She loses her soul. It dies a little more each time she has to shower to wash your filth away...and every time she wakes from a nightmare with the image of your sweaty body leaning over her...until one day she can’t find it anymore.”
He closes his eyes, tears trickle down the sides of his face.
“Oh, you’re going to try the crying bit,” she bites sarcastically. “Did Aubrey’s tears stop you? How many souls have you taken?”
He remains quiet, his eyes squeezed shut.
“What’s the matter, cat got your tongue?” She roughly pats the side of his face. “That’s okay. You don’t have to answer. I’ll find out soon enough.” She pulls tightly on the cord. “Open your eyes.”
He shakes his head.
“It’s retribution time my friend. I’m here to take what’s left of your soul. Let’s see if you have one. Open your eyes. Open your eyes!”
Startled, he does as she commands. At first contact with hers, emerald green and sparkling, he’s locked in, physically unable to close his eyes or divert them in any way. Image after image, her mind and heart take a beating, reliving all the nauseating deeds he’s done. Bodies abused, souls left scarred and broken, he has left his mark. With each innocent face that flashes before her, she tightens the noose until the life leaves his body. His soul finally extinguished. Retribution delivered.
After readers figure out who the Vigilare with the sparkling emerald green eyes is in book one, we move onto the second book in the series, which is my newest release, Vigilare: Hell Hound.
Mind you, once the Vigilare figures out she is, in fact, the Vigilare, an internal tug-of-war ensues. She is not proud of the things she has done in the mind and body of her alter ego. Left with no choice, she is begrudgingly swayed into accepting her position, on one condition: She must avenge the deaths of her husband and her son.
Now accepting of her role, Vigilare is propelled into a twist on Greek Mythology's Cerberus―Hell Hound―a rival Vigilare with fire capabilities. ETNA harbored her blood. Have they created a monster they cannot control?
The action spurs from Vanguard to the Big Easy, where the city and its Gambini mafia family are under siege with Vigilare drones, thought to be created by ETNA, a diversion to attract and capture Vigilare for their own intent and purpose. When exposed by a power-hungry ally, Vigilare comes face to face with her past in the form of her arch nemesis—the hellish one. With references to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, the true Hell Hound is exposed, weaving a web of deception and suspense so disturbing, climaxing to a standoff between father and son. Will Vigilare surrender her role, sacrificing her immortality to stop Hell Hound? The second in a trilogy, Vigilare: Hell Hound―when power is given, the true testament of one's character will rise.
The thing I love about Vigilare: Hell Hound is that it toys with the idea of madness and how one arrives at such a juncture. You know, how much can a man tolerate before he crosses that hairline between sane and insane. And the addition of newcomer, Maxim Kiesel, the steel blue-eyed prodigy graced with icy powers may very well be the antidote, or the ultimate traitor. I had great fun playing with the notion of fire and ice. Do you quench fire with ice? Or do you fight fire with fire? And the trifecta of colors…emerald green, violent red and steel blue, provided a whole new set of research. Who knew colors had so much meaning!
“I love the science and the folklore entwined in this series. James has written an intriguing premise, with an ending reminiscent of Anne Rice's Taltos chronicle.” –Amazon Review
Excerpt from Vigilare: Hell Hound:
“Did you say Hell Hound?” Tony ignores his encouragement, questioning his previous reference to the red-eyed Manny Briggs.
Dr. Godfrey nods, his expression sincere. “Red…dark red symbolizes fire, anger, rage, malice, wrath,” he takes his time, fully enunciating each word, driving home its definition. “ETNA is sending a very clear message. Are you familiar with Greek mythology, Detective?”
Tony looks at him perturbed, as if he should already know the answer.
Dr. Godfrey holds his hand up, bowing his head, accepting his foul on the play. “In Greek mythology, Hades is the god of the underworld. The devil, one may conclude.” He scrunches up his nose hoisting his spectacles nearer to his eyes as he situates himself closer to the recliner’s edge. “A Hell Hound is a hound of Hades, or a dog of Hell in the literal translation. They are the guards to the underworld, relegating who is sucked in and who is declined access.”
Tony rolls his eyes, tiring of the extravagant explanation.
Dr. Godfrey nods, acknowledging he will orient toward a more direct point. “As described in legends, Hell Hounds have glowing red eyes and supernatural abilities. They’re rarely seen, very phantom-like. They may appear as if out of nowhere and vanish with the blink of an eye. An elusive creature. Hell Hounds are associated with fire and often have fire or heat-based abilities.”
A big THANK YOU to Bastard for hosting me! If you find yourself in the market for a paranormal thriller, I hope you will give my Vigilare series a look.
Vigilare: Hell Hound, Kindle release May 1. Print release June 1.
Find both Vigilare & Vigilare: Hell Hound on Amazon @ http://www.amazon.com/Brooklyn-James/e/B004RCCD7U
Finding Brooklyn James:
Brooklyn James is an author/singer/songwriter inspired by life in the Live Music Capital of Austin, Texas. Her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, has an original music soundtrack and was chosen as a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, and a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science. The Vigilare trilogy is an adaptation from a short narrative film. She is currently working on the last novel in the series, as well as another book and music soundtrack combination. All songs from the soundtracks are written/co-written and performed by the author. Listen free at www.brooklyn-james.com or www.facebook.com/BrooklynJamesSinger.
“Brooklyn James' soundtrack to her novel The Boots My Mother Gave Me does more than give a clever feminist twist to the title. Her songs serve as chapters themselves, underlining James' deft ability as a storyteller and songwriter” –Margaret Moser, The Austin Chronicle
Bastard Giveaway - Vigilare series by Brooklyn James
Thanks Brooklyn for stopping by and sharing your Vigilare series with us. For those interested in these kinds of things, this was supposed to be a post to come out back in May, but due to some circumstances I left the blog unattended for while, so glad to have Brooklyn James on the blog this time around. I've yet to read her books, but certainly plan to. Read the first couple of chapters of Vigilare and looks quite promising so make sure to check those books out. Well, on to the good stuff...the giveaway.
It'll be for one eBook copy from both Vigilare & Vigilare: Hell Hound.
Participants have to be 18 years of age or older to participate. Void where prohibited by law. Giveaway rules are subject to change.
The giveaway is open WORLDWIDE, and it will run from August 6, 2012 until 12:01am ET on August 15, 2012.
How to participate:
- Once logged in to the Rafflecopter, enter your email to officially enter the giveaway.
- One entry per person, or face disqualification.
- Entries accepted until 12:01am ET on August 15, 2012.
- One eBook copy of Vigilare & Vigilare: Hell Hound each for one winner total.
- Will have to confirm email to be considered a winner within 48 hours of August 15, 2012.
- Additional entries may be had by following the steps provided in the Rafflecopter instructions, and only by doing those steps.
- Winners will be chosen by random selection using the Rafflecopter.
Good luck everyone!a Rafflecopter giveaway