Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Where Do Vampires Reside in Sydney? Let Me Show You!

In celebration of the release of BLOODGIFTED, on Amazon next week (end of September), I decided that my next few posts will concentrate on the beautiful Sydney locations highlighted in my book - the old Gothic buildings which dot the centre of the city, our stunning harbour setting, the river walks alongside the giant fig trees (and their resident fruit bats), and of course, the magnificent neo-gothic mansion which served as my inspiration for the home of Lucien Lebrettan, Prime Elder of the Vampiric Brethren. 
Sydneysiders will immediately recognise these places, and for those who have not visited yet, consider this a foretaste.
As a tasty accompaniment, I'll include excerpts from my book which describe these places, and which will hopefully, create an appetite to find out more. 
I'm calling these, Tasty Teasers. And since this is my blog, it's the best place to both promote my new book as well as showcase my city to the world.
So, without more ado, here's -

Tasty Teaser #1 is where our heroine, Laura, is sent to St Andrews Cathedral to meet Alec Munro - Princeps or Chief Elder - of the Brethren. 

I pushed open the heavy glass doors and stepped into the cool, dark recess. The scent of old polished wood rose from the rows of pews stretching the length of the nave. To my left, a well-worn stone-paved path led past them and through the length of the interior, while a shallow ramp on my right disappeared into a semi-concealed alcove ringed with high-backed wooden chairs.
Which way? If in doubt, follow the yellow-brick road, I thought. Turning left I followed the stone-path down the aisle. What on earth am I doing here? I asked myself. Meeting a vampire, came the daft answer.
‘He will find you,’ my aunt had said. Right now, I didn’t know if I wanted to be found! The truth is, I was nervous and even a little afraid searching for an unnatural creature in a gothic building.
How appropriate. All I need is for the cathedral organ to start playing creepy music!
At least I wasn’t totally alone. Here and there a few people milled around, even though most were outside grabbing that last minute Christmas bargain as shopping hours had been extended. It was only about nine p.m. In the balcony at the end of the nave a choir was rehearsing The Messiah. I’m sure they’d hear me scream if this Alec Munro proved less benign than the impression my aunt gave. Why didn’t I bring Matt? I should have simply ignored her warning and dragged him along anyway.
I followed the stone-path to the back entrance, around the massive sandstone baptismal font and up the other side. Every now and then the Choir Master stopped the singers mid-note for a correction before continuing their rehearsal. Three Christmas trees, bedecked with massive gold bows, had been positioned on either side of the communion table, while an impressive green wreath hung from the edge of the elevated pulpit.
I realized that the stone path I’d followed led to the small chair-lined alcove I’d originally noticed on entering. It was separated from the aisle by an ornately carved wooden partition, and there, leaning nonchalantly against the narrow opening, arms crossed over his chest stood a tall, broad-shouldered, impossibly good-looking man with hair the colour of a raven’s wing.
My feet stopped mid-stride as my eyes drank in this strikingly imposing figure who so dominated the space around him, that I wondered how I could not have seen him earlier? Nor the way his piercing lavender eyes gazed back at me, demanding my attention.
I sucked in a breath, not just for the affect he had on me, but that he was the visual confirmation of my aunt’s words even if he didn’t fit my image of a vampire. But then I really didn’t know what to expect – black cape, nasty protruding fangs, glowing red eyes and as pale as death perhaps? The man before me belied those preconceptions, and no vampire I saw in the movies ever looked that good in cream silk business shirt and slate grey trousers, which hung seductively low on his lean hips. His sleeves were rolled up at the elbows and the top button of his shirt left undone allowing his tie to hang loose.
I swallowed. Was this the blood-sucking creature whose bite left those marks on my aunt’s wrist? No wonder she’d said I wouldn’t mind!
He smiled and softly called my name. ‘Laura.’

If you'd like to see a pic of Alec and Laura, click onto "Home."
Did this whet your appetite?
Next week - Lucien Lebrettan's mansion (Location of the Ritual Laura must undergo).


lindsayjpryor said...

Terrific blog post, Tima. This is exactly how I envisioned the location where Alec and Laura first met to look. I was right there with them, so now it feels really strange actually seeing it! But I already love your descriptive voice, as you know. :-)

Tima Maria said...

Thanks, Linds. I enjoyed writing it, as St Andrew's is one of my favourite spots in the city. I just had to include it in my book. You would laugh if you saw the expressions on peoples' faces when I walked around taking photos, scribbling notes and muttering to myself,"This is where Alec will stand. And this is the aisle Laura will wander down...!"
I tried to capture as much of the visual as I could, so thank you for saying that's exactly how you envisioned it. It means I succeeded!