Please join me in welcoming Maria Lima here today to Dark Faerie Tales as she gives us more thrills and chills for the Spooky Legends Event. The fourth book in her The Blood Line series, Blood Heat, hits shelves today.
You can read an excerpt from Matters of the Blood, Blood Bargain, and Blood Kin. This Springheel Jack urban legend story is told from the viewpoint of Tucker Kelly, the protagonist Keira Kelly’s elder brother, a 1200 yr. old Viking Berserker. Maria is also giving away an autographed copy of BLOOD HEAT or one of her other books (winner’s choice). As always, details are listed below.
**Visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Spooky Legends Guest blog with Allyson James and a chance to win FIREWALKER**
Sometime before the Revolution, Maria Lima was born in Matanzas, Cuba, to a family of voracious readers and would-be writers. After her family emigrated to the United States, Maria discovered the magic of books. She started writing her own stories and has been at it ever since. Her writing turned corporate as she used her journalism degree and cranked out marketing copy, feature stories and book reviews. The fiction muse kept calling and in the spring of 2005, was finally fed as Maria’s first published short story, “The Butler Didn’t Do It” was published in Chesapeake Crimes I and garnered an Agatha Award nomination for Best Short Story. Maria spends most of her days working as a Senior Web Project Manager in the DC area. Her evenings and weekends are spent writing.
by Tucker Kelly
Sometime back in the late 19th century, I was still living in London with the main branch of my clan. Hadn’t decided to make the leap to Texas yet. It wasn’t a very nice place then. Still growing, too raw. Funny thing that, me having been a Viking marauder. Guess the easy life grows on you. I was playing at being a private investigator, stupid, I know. It’s not like I’m hard to spot at six four and bright red hair. Oh well, it was a thought. Helped bring in a few miscreants, nothing major. It wasn’t until sometime in 1837 that things changed…and not for the better.
Heard tales of the Devil himself attacking people, mostly women. Descriptions varied, but most of them described him as tall, thin, diabolical appearance, but with a gentleman’s dress and deportment. He’d attack, then spring away like some sort of creature of the night. Cold hands and a pale, deathlike face? Oh yeah, I figured I had a vampire on my hands. (Sorry, cariad). I decided to find the hell fiend and take care of him myself. Anyone who’d assault poor serving girls deserved everything I could visit on him and then some.
I started taking notes, interviewing the victims of the attacks. Too easy, as all the news reports printed too many details about who these women were and where they resided. Today, a total violation of privacy. Then, pretty typical. I figured if I could narrow down some sort of area, some pattern, I’d find the bastard and then slam-dunk, dig his murderous ass up and toss him out in the sun. Voila! Dead bloodsucker. Okay, yeah, now I know that’s a not totally effective, but then, I only knew some of the legends. My people and vampires didn’t much mix. Hell, Bram Stoker wasn’t bloody born yet! All I was going on was legend and folklore of my time.
Most of the victims of this man, by this time called Springheel Jack, swore the man sprung away, leaping to the top of buildings, spitting blue hellfire, and had red reflective eyes. More and more, he sounded like a vampire with some special effects added. I hunted everywhere, Kensington, Hammersmith, Ealing, Brixton, Vauxhall. Hell, even so far as Prague after one report placed him there. The fellow was too damned fast for me. I’d always get there after he’d gone. I can’t tell you how much money and time I spent chasing the bastard down to no avail.
It wasn’t until more than a decade later that I finally ran down a lead. Henry Beresford, 3rd Marquess of Waterford–not a vampire, but a prankster in his cups–just think frat boy with a title. Too bad he died before I got to him. I’ll never know if it really was him, or just his buddies pinning these so-called tricks on him.
It was at that point I took down my shingle and decided that this investigations business outside of clan wasn’t for me. I moved on. Left the clan estate and joined my great-great grandmother in Texas. In hindsight, I should’ve stayed in London. The later events in Whitechapel didn’t reach our ears until they were long over. I didn’t think they were the same attacker, nonetheless, I still can’t help but think I could’ve done something to stop him–both of them.
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3. Entries for all Spooky Legends giveaways must be received by Midnight EST on November 6th. All the giveaways winners will be announced on November 7th.
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