When young Danny Crawford’s father and a priest conspire to subject him to conversion therapy, Danny only sees one way out. But little does Danny know he’ll soon have a sentinel watching from the darkness, a guardian angel in the most unlikely form imaginable.
Damien, a vampire, is inexplicably moved by Danny’s plight. He takes it upon himself to make sure Danny’s father and the priest can never hurt him again, giving Danny a chance at a normal life. As Danny grows up, Damien struggles to keep the boy—and later the young man—from harm. He does not dare go any further, no matter how much he wants to. To do so would ruin everything he’s tried to do for Danny. He doesn’t realize that as Danny embarks on a successful modeling career and begins dating, Danny feels empty, longing for something—or someone—just beyond his reach: a shadow, a presence he despairingly believes forever lost to him.
When brutality and violence threaten Danny again, Damien must make a decision—risk revealing himself to Danny, or leave Danny to his fate.
Cat gives this one 4 Meows with a 3 Purr heat index...
Damien has been a Vampire for 20 years, and he was in his early twenties when he was turned. He has been alone all that time and had to learn how to feed, what he could and couldn't do and, most importantly, how to fend for himself. He never met the vampire that turned him or any other vampires, he was alone. He fed on the rich and got his money that way. He also fed on poor or other victims. He liked to change up his feeding habits as not to set a pattern to lead anyone to try and figure out who or what he is. One night in the hospital posing as a priest he came looking for a dying victim. The only one that night had family with him, but there was a young boy in the room that no one had come to visit. When he saw Danny something in him wouldn't take his life. Instead, he became friends with Danny and protected him.
More Things In Heaven and Earth is an excellent vampire story. I loved the romanticism and how Damien quoted Shakespeare a lot. I loved Danny's take on Dracula when he starred in a play trying to allure Damien to him. I loved the romance between Danny and Damien and how it grows as Danny ages. I also applaud the author for having Damien wait to move on his feelings for Danny until he was a grown man.
I will say that the story jumps around a lot. Particularly in the beginning. When a character is introduced we meet them; then it goes back into their past then back to the present. It was a bit jarring, and that happens with several characters. Having said that, I absolutely loved the story.
There is violence as Damien is a vampire and he doesn't sparkle. He takes his love for Danny very seriously and protects him fiercely, sometimes violently. If you like vampires, Shakespeare, sweet romance and off-page sex, this is for you.
Guest post with Author Paul Comeau...
Greetings, one and all and Happy New Year! Paul Comeau here, writing to you from beautiful New Westminster, one of the oldest cities in British Columbia. There’s snow on the ground and one of our heritage buildings, the Queens Park Arenex, has just collapsed under the weight of the heavy white stuff. Naturally, I’m hoping that’s not an omen of some sort, a metaphor for reader response to More Things in Heaven and Earth.
I’m sure the last thing you expected to read was a vampire romance, which is perfectly reasonable, because a vampire romance is the last thing I expected to write. When I first started out, I knew only that I wanted to write a story about a vampire, and More Things happens to be the end product of that wanting. Where the story came from, I have no idea, just as I had no idea where it was headed much of the time while I was writing it.
Love is of course central to any romance, so the main question for me was how a vampire, who by virtue of being a blood drinker is not so much inhuman as unhuman, could grow to love. The key seemed to be that, despite the change, there is still a human element in Damien’s nature. He can still vividly recall what it was to be human and the emotions involved, though he chooses not to tap into them. Nevertheless, although his human side has been perverted to some extent by the change, it ineluctably asserts itself when he meets Danny. And we see that as happens in the old fairy tale, beauty ultimately tames the beast.
The transition for Damien, from being a macho, egocentric killer—compelled by the very nature of what he is to live off the lifeblood of others—to being a loving, caring partner, is not an easy one. His macho instinct initially rebels against what loving Danny would say about him as a man, until he faces the obvious fact that he’s no longer human, so the terms “gay” and “straight” have ceased to apply. Couple that with the fact that for Damien there is something compelling about being needed for the first time in his life, as human or vampire, and wanted in a way he has never been wanted before, and love becomes a welcome anodyne to his bleak, solitary existence.
Perhaps a brief excerpt will serve to highlight something of Damien’s dilemma:
“He gasped at the notion that now presented itself, like a hesitant actor creeping reluctantly onto the stage. He jumped up and began pacing the room. Every fiber of his vampire being screamed Danger! Danger! like that arm-waving robot he’d once found so hilarious on the classic sci-fi TV show Lost in Space. But this was no laughing matter.
He stumbled distractedly from room to room, as though subconsciously attempting to convince himself of the lack of space that would make the idea untenable. But there was obviously more than enough: a bedroom for himself and one for Danny, a kitchen, a living room, and a bathroom (complete with tub and shower). In addition, there was every piece of modern technology money could buy, so Danny need never be bored.
He stepped out into the familiar night air, though he couldn’t for the life of him explain the impulse. He looked up at the moon and wondered at his lunatic notion. He was a creature of the night, a lone wolf, a ferocious killer, and all that that implied bespoke the sheer madness of the proposition which, despite these sensible, strong misgivings, was already shaping itself into a definite plan—a plan more outrageous and potentially hazardous than his current masquerade as a Roman Catholic priest.
Just suppose, for the sake of argument, he invited the boy to stay with him. The obstacles were enormous. Would he be able to control his thirst with a wellspring of fresh blood within easy reach, tormenting him daily, hourly? And even if he managed that, how long before Danny caught on to what he was? The boy was naïve, the product of a sheltered upbringing, but he wasn’t stupid. Perhaps he could become a Black Ribboner, like Terry Pratchett’s cartoon vampires who’ve sworn off blood, replacing that innate craving with coffee, chocolate, or some other humorous addiction. In a fictional world, maybe, but his world was deadly real. There was no substitute for blood.
Damien returned to his cozy living room where the flickering fire now seemed less comforting. How much was he willing to risk to help Danny? That was the bottom line. But even as he deliberated, he knew deep down the answer was everything.”
Inviting Danny to stay with him is only the beginning of Damien’s dilemma, however, because when all is said and done, he knows he cannot offer Danny what he believes Danny deserves: a chance to lead a “normal” life. What Damien doesn’t realize is that a “normal” life without Damien is precisely what Danny doesn’t want.
Paul is a proud Canadian, who has recently retired from teaching high school English and is relieved to have finally traded the drudgery of lesson prep and essay marking for the pure joy of writing fiction. He is addicted to paranormal investigator shows, horror movies, all things vampire, mystery novels, long morning walks, and jigsaw puzzles. He is blessed with a loving and supportive wife, who keeps him grounded in reality while helping him navigate the intimidating world of technology, and a daughter who understands the highs and lows of the enigmatic writing process, being herself an accomplished writer and poet. When he is not compulsively tapping the keys of his laptop, he can be found at the dining room table matching the shapes and patterns of his latest jigsaw puzzle or in the kitchen roasting, stewing, grilling, and baking. He views cooking as a creative activity, like writing fiction, with the outcome often as interesting and unexpected. He imagines his characters, plots, and dialogues in the process of doing any or all of these things.
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