Deep in the bowels of Rhuddlan Castle, the ancient vampire Lilly waits, reflecting on the bizarre twists of fate that have brought her there. Leaving behind her lover and maker Gabriele, Lilly treads a path between instinct and survival: always living in fear of paradox. Through a series of mysterious time portals, she samples as many ages as she does victims, railing against the forces of destiny to fight her way back to her own time. From a veritable Garden of Eden, through Viking rape, pillage and massacre, via the Machiavellian salons of 16th Century Rome and violent 20th Century Stockholm nightclubs, she has learned the hard way what being a vampire really means. Can Lilly now reconcile her love of Gabriele with the freedom she has enjoyed to love elsewhere?
294 pp. B-format paperback novel.
Published 18 September 2015
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dark Fantasy author Sam Stone began writing aged 11 after reading her first adult fiction book, The Collector by John Fowles. ‘I’d never read anything like it. It was terrifying – but so exciting…that’s when I realised I liked to be scared,’ she admits. Her love of horror fiction began soon afterwards when she stayed up late one night with her sister to watch Christopher Lee in the classic Hammer film Dracula. Since then she’s been a huge fan of vampire movies and novels old and new. The youngest of seven children, Sam struggled to find her own space and is a self-confessed bookworm. ‘I always have a book on the go,’ says Sam. ‘It’s my time. Life wouldn’t be the same if I couldn’t chill sometimes with a good book. It’s where I learnt about life, long before I lived it.’ Sam’s writing has appeared in seven anthologies for poetry and prose. Her first novel was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Like all good authors she drew on her own knowledge and passions to write it. The novel won the Silver Award for Best Horror Novel in ForeWord magazine’s book of the year awards in 2007. In September 2008 the novel was re-edited and republished by The House of Murky Depths as Killing Kiss. The sequel, Futile Flame, went on to become a finalist in the same awards for 2009. Futile Flame was later shortlisted for The British Fantasy Society Award for Best Novel 2010. An eclectic and skilled prose writer Sam also has a BA (Hons) in English and Writing for Performance and an MA in Creative Writing, which means that she is frequently invited to talk about writing in schools, colleges and universities in the UK. She is said to be an ‘inspirational’ speaker.
Praise for Sam Stone:
‘Sam Stone without doubt is a mistress of the grisly and the glutinous. She is one of the few horror writers who makes you feel when you have finished her stories that you need to wash your hands. Twice. I believe that we can look forward to seeing Sam Stone develop into a major influence in the realm of blood and shadows and things that wake you up, wide-eyed, in the middle of the night.’ – Graham Masterton
‘A deceptively readable date with darkness watch your step! This book is lit for the much more discerning chick (and cock) who likes to walk in the shadows. Relax with it, but be prepared for sudden jewels and little masterpieces and the rug to be pulled from under your feet.’ – Tanith Lee on Killing Kiss
‘I was floored by Sam’s work. Really flat-out delighted to see such a level of style combined with narrative drive. I suppose one could use those terms in an overly technical sense, but Sam is at a level that simply shines. Soaking in her story even while seeing her powerful ability to make me feel and see what the narrator is experiencing – she’s not only got a gift, she clearly knows how to employ it to powerful effect.’ – Gard Goldsmith on Killing Kiss
‘With all the style and charisma of Anne Rice, but less indulgence and crazy, Futile Flame is a sensual, deadly tale of immortals, sins and the unknown wrapped up in a vivid take on the past. Rich, enticing and utterly charming, Stone’s vampires are ambrosia to horror fans hungry for the good old monstrous vampires who look, walk and sound like us, but hold our deaths in their gaze.’ Michele Lee – Booklove
‘Enticing, shocking and delightful … A fast-moving story that’s spell-binding, as thrilling as it is intelligent and thought-provoking … Sam Stone writes with stylish panache.’ – Simon Clark on Demon Dance
‘Sam Stone has done it again, her immersion into the vampire world is so extraordinarily well-crafted that I am wondering if she is really Lilly, the protagonist vampire with a heart. And Lilly is more than a vampire, she has learnt witchcraft and – rare in vampire literature – can manipulate ley lines, using them as a power. Unusual too in that this vampiric feast travels the corridors of time, quite literally and in both directions … If Futile Flame was a flambé of vampiric lust, Demon Dance is its force majeure.’ – Geoff Nelder