So you like dark, gritty novels with disillusioned and world-weary characters? What about vampires? What about a combination of the two, in the form of a young man desperate for revenge, a vampire with zero fucks left to give, and copious eyeliner and cigarettes?
Sounds good, right? Then let me tell you about this series:
Channeling Morpheus/Sweet Oblivion, by Jordan Castillo Price
First Published: 2008
Number of Books: 10 (plus several in-between shorts)
First Book: Payback
Things you’ll find in Channeling Morpheus:
– leather jackets
– a van of dubious origin (and more dubious cleanliness)
– a lot of sex
– two characters searching for humanity
(* Warning: there are date rape drugs used with the intent to kidnap, but no intention or reference to rape.)
Michael is a waif in eyeliner who’s determined to wipe vampires off the face of the earth. Wild Bill’s got the hots for Michael, and will stop at nothing to go home with him. Forget about moonlit castles and windswept moors. These bad boys haunt all-night diners and cheap motels, cut-rate department stores and long, lonely stretches of the Interstate. Ride along with Wild Bill and Michael as the twists and turns of Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary unfold in America’s Heartland.
Why check it out?
The Channeling Morpheus (Sweet Oblivion) series is a set of novellas following two very different characters, who alternate between apathy and passion. They come together under unlikely circumstances, and somewhere between the sex, the hunting, and the… um… more sex, they end up becoming something more to each other.
Each story is fairly short, but they’re all consecutive, showing glimpses into the lives and journeys of Michael and Wild Bill.
And while the series sounds dark, it’s really more Addams Family than horror movie, I promise!
What I love about this series is Michael. I mean, Wild Bill is fun and mysterious, but Michael just seems so real. He’s not a hero. He has no powers, no special abilities. He looks fantastic in eyeliner and he’s pretty smart, but he’s just human. And he’s on this one-man mission to eliminate vampires, because yeah, apparently those exist and one of them killed his best friend.
How about an excerpt….
I picked up my bag, or satchel, or whatever you want to call it, and checked it again—even though I knew everything was still there. It had to be, because it’d been pressed against my foot, and if anyone had been rifling through it, I would have felt them doing it. Mallet? Check. Wooden stake—hickory, of course? Check. Crucifix? Well, yeah. Like five of those. Rohypnol? Check. Holy water? Check. Eyeliner? Check.
Yeah, eyeliner. It looks good on me. Scary Mary used to say that. She’d sworn up and down that I was one of those guys who could pull it off.
My hand sank deep into the bag and brushed against the eyeliner. Or maybe it was a pen. I inched my fingers down the length of it and felt the tip. Damn. It was a pen. Maybe I could use it for touchup anyway if I sweated off all the eyeliner.
Or else I’d have to find the vampire and lure him out of the club before it came to that.
“Got a light?”
I jumped. I wasn’t scared, though. Just startled. It was way too early for vampires, barely an hour past sunset. But I hadn’t realized there was anyone standing practically on top of me while I was digging through my bag. Or whatever you want to call it.
“I don’t….” He was so hot he was incandescent. “I don’t smoke.”
The guy who’d wanted the light was smiling. Still standing practically on top of me, too. Staring me right in the eye.
You’d think that would be all. He asked for a light. I didn’t have one. And then he would move on. But maybe it was more than that. Maybe he’d just been looking for an excuse to talk.
He slid himself onto the barstool beside mine. I did my best to look nonchalant. He was…amazing. Tall and lean, with ripped up jeans and spiked blond hair, earrings and a snake tattoo on his neck and chipped black nail polish. And he wanted to talk to me.
Couldn’t I have run into him any other night? Like, a night that I didn’t already have a date with a vampire?
“Got a name, Mister Lung Association?” he asked me.
“Michael, Michael, Motorcycle.” He tucked his cigarette behind his ear and shook my hand. Well, more like he jammed his hand toward me, and I either had to shake it or be knocked off the barstool. “Wild Bill.”
A hot guy who had the balls to call himself Wild Bill, straightfaced no less, was hitting on me in a mostly-empty bar. My mind reeled. I hadn’t been putting on my approachable vibe. I saved that for the vampires. I’d been going through my bag, minding my own business. And here he was, with a cigarette tucked behind his ear, chatting me up.
About the Author
Author and artist Jordan Castillo Price writes paranormal sci-fi thrillers colored by her time in the midwest, from inner city Chicago, to rural small town Wisconsin, to liberal Madison. Her influences include Ouija boards, Return of the Living Dead, “light as a feather, stiff as a board,” and boys in eyeliner.
Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who’s plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her new series, Mnevermind, where memories are made…one client at a time.