Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Revenant: Blood Justice by Leslie J Linder

Blood Justice
J Linder

Genre: Horror

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Date of Publication: May 26, 2017

ISBN:  1612968759

Number of pages:  283
Word Count: about 93,000

Cover Artist: Layton Washburn

Tagline:  Justice is always on the menu.

Book Description:

You have probably heard a lot
about vampires. The bloodthirsty prowling, the rapacious sex—the bats, mist,
and mind control. Enid has heard it all too. And since she is an actual
vampire, she could tell you which rumors are true. But the first thing that
Enid would want you to know is that you humans really have it all wrong. To
her, being a Chosen One is all about the distribution of justice. And right
now, trouble is brewing.

Any vamp who has been undead for
longer than a heartbeat can tell you, when Countess Erzsabet Bathory is in
town, things are going to get messy. Enid knows what she would do to a human
predator, but has never fought another vampire before.

It is against the old laws. But
when the blood starts to boil and their feud breaks wide open, there may literally
be hell to pay.

     BN     Black Rose



It was a dark
and stormy night. That’s how these things are supposed to start, right? Well,
you can forget that shit. This isn’t your average monster story.
Humans use
monsters to help them understand what is monstrous within them. For instance,
they clutch crosses and run home at sunset, in fear of vampires. They say vamps
are former humans who traded their souls for the immortal power to become
rapists, killers and child-stealers. But the real rapists, killers and
child-stealers are usually waiting for them around their kitchen tables.     
They tell
themselves disturbing tales about normal, innocent humans who are bitten by
infected animals and cursed to become nocturnal, amnesiac killers. Then in real
life whatever or whoever they do when they get black-out drunk seems vanilla by
Sometimes bad
things happen to good people, is how it goes. Sometimes those good people turn
into something even worse than anything lurking in the shadows. This can’t be
helped. Evil is something that happens to humans, not something that humans do.
Talk about a fairy tale.
The roster of
monsters, as humans understand them, goes on and on. It scintillates as well as
terrifies. It’s a cabinet of curiosities in which to keep those predatory
desires. Human vices become something outside the human realm, as well as
outside the individual ability to control. Convenient, right?
This is how
humans see monsters. But how do monsters see humans? How do monsters see
These are
foolish questions, you may say. Monsters aren’t real. They are a human
invention; an entertainment, a release. You wish.
Listen, how
humans understand things is not necessarily the truth. The planet Earth isn’t a
rec-room. Trees aren’t fences. Pigs aren’t bacon. Rats aren’t a Petri dish
meant for studying infections, or testing shampoo. Similarly, monsters are not
archetypes for humans to use as sexual and predatory catharsis.
Pay attention to
this bit—especially if you are human. What I’m telling you is that monsters are
You knew it when
you were a child. You still know it when the lights go off, the moon waxes
full, or someone you fear moves into the house next door.
Like a deer that
catches the scent of a lion, you know it in your bones. Your technology, your
bombs, your medicine don’t matter. You still aren’t the top of the food chain.
There is no top, because life and death are a circle. Ashes, ashes, we all fall
I know this shit
may scare you. That’s a good thing. That fear is the birthplace of stories, and
you need stories. They were meant to protect you. Even if most stories are
But hey, even a
broken clock is right twice a day. Your stories have their place.
The boogie man
teaches children to obey their parents. The werewolf teaches parents to keep
those children close and protected. The vampire teaches men and women to keep
on the paths of righteousness, and to always safeguard their souls.
Knowledge is
power. This is how a species endures. Understanding the beasts of the world can
be the key to survival.
But there’s an
important detail to remember. Stories tend to be diluted over time. True
monsters may be missed while you focus on mere prejudice. What was once encoded
with arcane information may now be nothing but soft porn. Especially if you’ve
seen it on cable.
Pay attention to
this part. It’s important. It’s the moral of the story you are about to read.
the true nature of vampires can mean the difference between life and death.
Knowledge is power, because no one is off the menu.

the Author:

Leslie Joan Linder, M.Div. lives
and works in Downeast Maine. Her nonfiction work has appeared in Circle
Sanctuary Magazine, SageWoman Magazine, and the Project Intersect Journal. Her
poetry has appeared in publications like Wicked Banshee, Forage Poetry, and
Rat’s Ass Review.

Leslie is a member of the Horror
Writer’s Association, Horror Writers of Maine, and New England Horror Writers.
Recent horror publications include the short story, “Catharine Hill,” in the
“Northern Frights” anthology at Grinning Skull Press. Leslie’s debut horror
novel, “Revenant: Blood Justice,” is available from Black Rose Writing.

Interview with Leslie J Linder
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
A lot of my inspiration when I write horror is the world around me. I work as a victim’s advocate at a domestic violence program and I consult on domestic violence cases at the government child welfare agency in my area. I unfortunately hear lots of sad an infuriating stories about the things human beings are capable of; specifically toward those they claim to love the most. I think that writing in the horror genre is a way for me to filter this negativity out of my system. Moving interpersonal violence, good versus evil, and similar types of issues into a fictional context also seems like a safer and more enjoyable way for both writers and readers to take a look at these very real struggles, but from a bit of a distance. Monster stories in particular seem to have started as morality tales. “Be good or the boogieman will get you.” As someone who thinks a lot about ethics and religion, the genre has always been of interest to me. It’s kind of a kickass way to have that conversation.

How did you do research for your book?
Some of it was deliberate and some was spontaneous. I had a couple of ideas about where vampires come from, and my research into the Sekhmet story (Sekhmet creating vampires) was done online as well as through books in the library of the Temple of the Feminine Divine in Bangor, Maine. I’m an ordained priestess there and get free range of the documents. Then, some things happen organically when you have your head in the world of a story. I was thinking about vampires while writing Revenant: Blood Justice (RBJ), so certain historical occurrences would get my attention and make me think, “what if this was incorporated into a vampire story?”  One example was the story of William Wallace’s great victory at Sterling. There was this extremely odd little nugget I heard somewhere about the English Lord High Treasurer, who the Scots deplored, being skinned alive at this battle. I researched it with books and DVD videos and wherever I could. Then I kind of crafted it into the story. Another example was in the Ripper case. I saw a program about it around the time of Halloween and someone referenced other female victims who may have been Ripper casualties, but had never officially been counted as such. One of them was an Irish immigrant the people in the tenements called “Fairy Fay.” Her body was found impaled with a wooden stake. She was in the time period right around the Ripper, but she wasn’t killed in the same way. Before the police were done collecting evidence, her body went missing from the morgue. Interesting, right? That’s before I added the vampires into the story. Whenever I do research nowadays, I usually start with the internet, and then try to get hold of some primary sources that are sited online. It’s great that so much is available on the web, but you have to at least attempt to verify it from some other sources, I think. It also helps that many old documents have been scanned right into computers and made available through libraries or on the web.

Do you have another profession besides writing?
Yes, I have worked at a domestic violence prevention program since 2001. I earned a Master’s Degree in Theology at Vanderbilt University prior to that. Having decided parish ministry wasn’t for me, I wound up working for the program I am still affiliated with now. Speaking of inspiration for my stories, the stuff I hear at work plays a big part. Writing horror has always been a way for me to vent my frustrations and also to try and be critical and thoughtful about interpersonal violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( ) estimates that in America, one woman is fatally shot by a current or former intimate partner every 14 hours. That’s the kind of horror I deal with forty hours a week (more on night shifts), so vampires and zombies and things really don’t seem so bad.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I would go a lot of places! My current release, RBJ, covers backstory in ancient Rome, William Wallace’s Scotland, the plague riddled streets of Medieval Vienna, Jack the Ripper’s London and the jazz fueled decadence of New York in the Roaring Twenties. I’d happily visit them all. That is, as long as I could get back home!

What is your next project?
I’m always working on numerous projects, and they aren’t always in the horror genre. I’m exploring publication of my collection of poems entitled, “Transmigration.” This body of work is about the great cycles of life, death and rebirth. It has a few horror elements in it but I’d call it predominantly “speculative.” One of the poems from that collection, called “Dark Mother (Separation Anxiety)” was published by the Wicked Banshee Press in the Fall 2016 Issue, if anyone likes that sort of thing. My short story, “Catharine Hill,” just came out in the Northern Frights Anthology edited by David Price, through Grinning Skull Press. I’m planning to do more with the storyline in Revenant: Blood Justice, as well.

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