Series: The Cedric Series
Author: Valerie Willis
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Cedric the Demonic Knight
Known for hunting the supernatural, no mortal man realizes Lord Cedric is one of Sorceress Morrighan’s abominations. After competing in a tournament, he is wed to a Lady of the Court, Angeline. Cedric’s senses begin to overwhelm him and he struggles to decipher his feelings; Are they a creation of his incubine bloodline or truly heartfelt emotions for the girl who has lost it all to him? He finds himself forced to choose between falling in love or continuing his suicidal quest to kill his creator. Epic battles against all manners of beasts and demons fill this story with memorable antagonists such as Morrighan and her two sisters; Romasanta the Father of Werewolves; Succubus Queen Lillith and many more. Find yourself engulfed in lores and history long forgotten from the 12th Century and beyond.
“Let me tell you a story about the girl I lost. Then, perhaps we can be friends? I do miss having someone to talk to since my best friend left me behind.”
“I don’t know, Cedric. You’re a little out of my league at this rate.” Praying he had not offended him, Tony topped off Cedric’s glass, eyeing the missing finger once more. “You can call me Tony.”
“Well, Tony, I’ll make it a Thursday ritual to tell you my story. I have nothing else to do while I wait. It’s been far too long since I last indulged in another’s companionship.” There was a burdensome sigh from his fanged mouth and his eyes dulled. “I lost my best friend not too long ago. The old dog lived far too long for his kind, but I was glad to have someone like that to help me during those hard times. Good friends are hard to come by, especially in my case.”
“So sorry to hear that,” Tony watched as the vacant stare of Cedric’s green eyes seemed far off for several minutes. The weight of pain and sorrow was unmistakable in his gaze. “It’s never good to lose a close friend.”
“Where to start?” The shine had returned to Cedric’s eyes as he finished another glass of vodka and nodded for his refill. “How about the first night I saw her? It’s only appropriate. Like the poet said so many years ago; whoever loved that loved not at first sight…”
“Yes, tell me about this girl of yours.” Tony eagerly refilled the glass waiting to hear what kind of story this was going to be.
Romasanta: Father of Werewolves
Romasanta finds himself a cursed man and struggles with his internal demon, literally. All his troubles start with a stone and after that he will be losing everything he’s ever loved. Faced with clinging on to what little humanity he has, he will lose it many times before reaching the end of his journey. His life’s tale will take you through time to see how every lore, every moment in history tied in with wolves all come back to him. They call him the Ancient One, others simply refer to him as the Father of Werewolves, but we know him by his name, Romasanta. Many battles will be fought before he gets closer to his goals, but will he be ready to finish what was asked of him at the very beginning of his horrible fate. Will he be able to return the Eye of Gaea and free the love of his life from the laurel tree in the Black Forest?
An alcove held a glimmering gem about the size of a man’s fist. As he approached, its light became brighter, as if encouraging him to free it from the stone. Gripping it tight with both hands, he steadied a foot on the rocks, putting his full weight into pulling it out. Jerking his weight into it, it broke from the rock face sending him tumbling up against the far wall. As he leaned there, the sunlight hitting his hands, he opened his fist to see what it was that he had claimed for himself.
The gemstone’s light dissipated and within it, a liquid bubbled and swirled.
He had heard rumors of bloodstones found in the area, but this was the first time he had encountered one. The powerful vibrations the gem gave off told him this could be something more. It was of the deepest red he had ever witnessed as it mesmerized him. Heat flowed from it, making the summer temperature feel cool by comparison. Focusing on a sound that tickled his ears it seemed as if a humming sound was coming from it. A curious sound called his attention deeper into it, almost as if a whisper on the wind.
Growling broke him away from the stone. His gaze stopped at two large golden eyes that glowered down at him. Fenrir had found him. Romasanta shivered as the demon wolf took another step closer, baring his enormous fangs.
Staring in awe, one canine was the size of Romasanta’s forearm, if not larger.
Another step forward allowed him to smell the blood of his bull upon Fenrir’s breath as he growled louder. The sound coming from the beast’s chest and muzzle shook the air from Romasanta’s lungs. He had overstepped his boundaries. Fenrir was enraged. The black wolf had planned to lure him out this far the whole time. Pain pounded against Romasanta’s chest, his heart screaming to be set loose as fear washed over him. Fenrir had him; he was to be the next kill. As the monstrous wolf lunged, Romasanta could only raise his arms in defense. The action would do him no good against the demon wolf.
Fangs dug deep into his arms. He screamed from the twisting pain as muscles popped in half, bones rattled as the impact greeted them. Blinding red light stopped the horrendous bite from breaking his bones. Fenrir’s eyes grew wide. The stone pulsed and burned in Romasanta’s hand as a red glow engulfed the demon wolf. Both of them were startled as the massive monster swirled in the air like fog. Horrified, Romasanta watched as the stone absorbed the demon into it.
Released Sept 1st!
With Angeline back in Cedric’s arms and the Eye of Gaea in Romasanta’s grip, the next step in their journey begins. All eyes are set on Mt. Parnassus where the Oracle is protected by Delphyne, the mother of all dragons and beasts. Assembling a group of willing patrons, Romasanta leads them to Delphi, Greece where they will cross into a realm void of technology. Only brute strength and magic reign in a place where packs of Mimick dogs, Wyverns and Jaculus still run wild. Meanwhile, back home Lillith takes on a mysterious curse cast on Tony who will have to make a life changing choice. The question weighing on all their minds is if two werewolves, the Incubus King, and a demonized sorceress will live to fight their way into Gaea’s Gate to enter the Otherworld?
It wasn’t her first time there in Tony’s bar with its neon sign out front blinking The Lion’s Den through the dark tinted windows. Still, like the last visit here, the smell of smoke overwhelmed her. She had grown sensitive to smell, touch and even her sight looked into dark corners as if lit by an unseen torch. Most of the bar was dark with nothing more than yellow-toned bulbs, her ears hearing them buzzing as they casted shadows on the patrons who loitered under them. It wasn’t very busy, but they had come long before the main rush.
This was her way, Cedric’s way, of slowly helping her grow more comfortable with this new world she knew nothing about.
Everyone had told her their own version of what had happened the day they found the entrance into Avalon. The bar had been destroyed when the portal opened and they leapt in, magic lashing out in angry swipes like a wild animal.
Tony insists Badbh the Battle Goddess had been the front runner in wiping out most of the place. She had destroyed the bar top with the pool table and then the rest of the furniture afterwards impatiently waiting for Avalon to return to its former state, eager to join the battle. None of that damage could be seen. The bar top was glossy black with her reflection staring up at her doe-eyed. The long countertop came off the wall in a large ‘L’ shape from the entrance to where it protected the office door. A new pool table lay under a long fluorescent light and spiraling out from there were several tables and chairs until your eyes hit the walls adorned with booths hugging around them.
The Lion’s Den had become a meeting place for creatures and demons alike.
It was a much needed hub for the rebuilding of a community where they no longer fought for the top of the pyramid of power in this new age. Many hadn’t a clue they were weighed on these imaginary scales, but there was no mistaking they were frightened by those who dominated the top: Lillith, Cedric and Romasanta. Merlin had taken down some of the strongest nonhumans in the world. With the Eye of Gaea keeping him safe from recoils and even curses, he had dwindled their numbers to the point where humanity was choking out the remaining populations to near extinction. All that remained were half-breeds or those who rarely left the many sanctuaries keeping them hidden from modern man.
signed paperback copy of Oracle with some signed bookmarks followed by 5-10 ebook copies (Their choice from Cedric Series) for runner-ups.
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
About the Author:
Valerie Willis is a sixth generation Floridian who loves crafting novels with elements inspired by Mythology, Superstitions, Legends, Folklore, Fairy Tales and even history. She braved the Independent Publish route at the end of 2012 and has devoted herself to being a pillar of “Self-Publishing How-to” from formatting of both print and digital versions to book cover designs.
Her fantasy romance novels within The Cedric Series is a wonderful blend of genres that appeal to a wide-range of readers whether they like paranormal, fantasy, romance or action adventure. The characters are flawed in mental and emotional ways while being amazing powerful creatures, demons, witches and Gods. Many of the monsters presented in battle derive from Medieval Bestiaries and adds a fun flavor of new yet deeply rooted assortment of creatures such as Coin Iotair, Shag Foal, Cynocephali, and many more.
For Young Adult readers looking for a Dark Fantasy and coming-of-age lessons, Tattooed Angels Trilogy is an ode to her teenage life for those teenagers getting ready to step out in the world on their own. Hotan is a failed reincarnation and is becoming immortal against his will. Life is complicated and often we withdraw within ourselves, shut others out, when life becomes hard. As the story unfolds we learn the importance of opening up and asking for support in all its forms to the people in our lives even beyond friends and family. Each immortal controls amazing powers of Nature, like fire, or elements of Humanity, such as fear.
You can often find this Author hosting workshops about writing and self-publishing in the Orlando, Florida area or working on the next novel. She loves to inspire other writers and creative minds. Be sure to visit her blog for some of the advice she has to offer from a perspective that has influences from Game Development and Graphic Design.
Guest Post by Valerie Willis:
It was brought to my attention that I should take a moment to talk to the readers and fans of The Cedric Series.
I wish to share my inspirations for writing this story. This will explain a lot on how I came about creating these amazing ideas, characters, creatures, and events as a fictional work with heavy fantasy and romance elements in the mix. If one really wanted to drag out all its genres, I could label this a historical fiction, mythology, or even occult and paranormal. So far, Fantasy Romance has done this work the most justice for my readers’ expectations.
Historical fiction can be applied to several parts throughout the series, whether it’s a scene, event, or even a reflection of a character and their on-goings. What do I mean by this? Well a lot of you might get the Vladimir Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler references, but it dove deeper than that. King Frederic was the First King of Germans, the lepers in those times did indeed have to ring bells and seek refuge in colonies, Cerdanya was a real trade town, and so on. There are a ton of subtle hints here and there because I wanted to bring the unseen, untold side of the history during Medieval Times to a tangible state.
As far as the Mythology side of this series, I wanted to teach you all my version of forgotten lores, legends, and mythology. I did my best to not use anything that was newer than the 12th Century as I dug deep. Some of the concepts weaved in with my own perception was hard to obtain and justify. There was a lot of book buying, digging through a Medieval-age bestiary, and though I scoured the internet, it failed me often in my journey for research. As I created and developed each character, I did my best to tie them into one or more myths so that I may weave a wondrous story without limits. At the same time, I wanted some of you to get caught in a conversation or sitting in class and have that moment of, “Oh! I know how this myth goes!”
Let me enlighten you all on some of the tales, history, legends and myths stitched into some of these amazing characters you have experienced so far:
Cedric takes after a very forgotten and neglected epic legend from Medieval Times of the Russian Knight Hero, Ilya Muromets. Search him, check it out and feel free to compare what you unknowingly learned about this amazing legend. You’ll be excited to see a red haired knight on a black horse as one of the images in the mix.
Included in this was some really obscure Romanian beliefs involving early vampire-like stories. The off-shoots involving the strigoi showed less of fear towards these vampire creatures, but held a tone of sorrow and remorse. People who became these creatures had not finished living their lives (Including not ever getting married) and met the insane stipulations to come back as one of the undying. Truly interesting, and I can only hope to capture that same empathetic tone I had discovered in my digging.
Barushka combines a few tales as well, starting with his name drawn from the Russian Knight Hero tales. Other than that, I focused heavily on the Shag Foal lores. I was intrigued by the first few variants I stumbled on and found that the internet proved void of information. Amazingly, the hairy phantom horse tales started so long ago, there was o exact date as to when they began. The folklore was mysteriously always there. Adding to my wonder about this lore was the fact I stumbled on a 1927 Naturalist journal that devoted a section to them. Even this far forward, it was believed it may be an undiscovered species of horse! Despite that, the one thing I saw reflected in all the writing was that a shag foal approaches lone travelers and scares them so much that they run off to their deaths.
Never once did the research say the horse actively killed someone. Morrighan, Badbh, and Nemaine were derived from the tales involving the evil sorcerer Calatin. This was the older tale involving them that did not mix the three as one entity. There are no words to describe my frustration and disappointment at how many times that Badbh and Nemaine were labeled as alternative names for Morrighan.
Especially when the story of the Legendary Cuchulainn made it clear that they were three sisters each with unique powers. Seeing that Badbh and Morrighan had earned the title of Goddess at some point through the passing of time, I felt the need to give Nemaine her own placement as a Goddess as well.
Romasanta is the most complex of all my characters. His name is taken from a man in history that is not as common as it once was, Manuel Blanco Romasanta. He was the first serial killer to be trailed and as you read book two of the Cedric Series you will see a lot of that history drawn upon. Feeding off the tragic aura, I pulled in both werewolf and wolf-related myths and lores, wanting to show a more accurate flow through a single entity. It was my intentions to bring in familiar aspects and add in the historically forgotten complications that modern book culture has failed to take into account. Those wellversed in mythology will be able to pick out elements on their own, but the amount of lore here is wide. Tales of Apollo and Daphne, Pan and Pitip, Fenrir, versipellis, Romanian beliefs of vampires were caused by a werewolf, Wolf of the Cemetery from Haiti, Romulus and Remus, and so on. There are deep seeds that I only give you teasers to the mythology that is mentioned here.
As for the monsters, you can say thank you to the Medieval Bestiaries. There are so many wild and crazy creatures in these that are no longer touched that I wanted to bring them to life again. Orms, Jidra, and Aitvaras were a few of the frightening things that travelers spoke of and warned each other about in their explorations. I can only imagine what they may have been based on, but there is a great sense of pride I take in including such monsters into my story. Granted, I have not followed their descriptions exactly and have embellished them with my own imagination, but I hope they make my stories more memorable.
In the end, I encourage my thirsty readers to explore what you’ve read in my Cedric Series. Search the names, look deeper in the scenes, places, events and discover these in more detail. My goal is to introduce you to the forgotten lores and history while adding my own perspective and imagination into the mix. May this tale make its mark in your heart and open your world to the legacy our ancestors once talked about over the dinner table so long ago!
Happy reading and discovery!