So you can read my books

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for DEMETER_Breathtaking Passage


The cursed transatlantic steamer where, in 1853, Samuel McCord first met the love of his life, Lady Meilori Shinseen and his Moriarty, DayStar.

Here is a scene that describes its fabled saloon:

I hushed in a breath.

Meilori chuckled soft. "Indeed, Demeter's saloon is one of a kind, Samuel."

Lady Inari, the fox woman, purred, "Yes, it has been said it is the most beautiful room yet seen on an Atlantic liner."

I had no words.

The place seemed fit for Queen Victoria. White marble vaulted ceiling, a marble dome pierced with scarlet stained-glass, and polished oak walls, adorned with gold-trimed runes and patterns from Assyrian myth.

Long, white clothed tables, lined with plush, thick cushioned chairs. Mirrors, ornate and glittering from the spinning chandeliers, gleamed from the freshly varnished walls. Shelves of liquors, wines, and other beverages dotted the spaces where paintings from old masters left them room.

The room was enormous, at least 50 feet wide and a 100 feet long. The walls I would have guessed to be ten feet high. Their dark, polished wood were lightened by windows, mirrors, and vertical nicello panels.

The white marble ceiling soared up into a long, rectangular vaulting arch, peaking at what seemed about 25 feet. I studied the Renaissance-styled stained-glass windows which curled up and down across the arch.

They depicted much too graphic scenes of the war in Heaven, Lucifer being cast down, and fallen angels having rather a good time at the expense of mortals. Gas lights between the inner and protective outer windows gave them a nightmarish life of their own.

I felt a chill in the marrow of my bones.

At the half-moon of gabled space between the lower walls and the top of the arch was an enclove where a small group of musicians held court with classical melodies.

The sprawling saloon was dotted with clustered groups of the aristocracy of Europe and Britain and the elite of America. I recognized a few from my travels and reading.

Being what I was, I could see the fires of life kindle in hues of vanity, greed, and cruelty around their bodies. I barely gave them a moment of my attention.

My gaze was riveted on the other half of the occupants. The half whose bodies were without one flicker of life-fires.

The undead half.

Meilori saw the look on my face and misunderstood, smiling, "Breathtaking is it not?"

I nodded, not having the proper words.

Breathtaking was certainly the word for how I felt about the view. It made me fit right on in with the flat-eyed predators I was watching. They had stopped taking breaths long, long ago.

Elu had tried to warn me.

This wasn't a pleasure cruise. It was a stocked pond. And I had paid $2000 to jump into the middle of it. Kind of put a whole new meaning to the words : Let The Buyer Beware.


  1. I love this flashback to Demeter and Rites of Passage. Excellent Roland. Alex gave you a shout out today.


  2. And I've got our friend Michael up in a couple hours.


  3. ...I very much enjoyed Rites of Passage, just one of Samuel's otherworldly adventures ;)

    Enjoy your Easter Weekend, Roland.


  4. He won't be served dinner as much as be served AS dinner!

  5. Great post! Loved it! Now I want to know more :D

    Have a wonderful Wednesday and enjoy the challenge!


  6. Denise:
    Isn't Alex a great friend? I'm on my way to see Michael on your blog!

    Yes, Sam has strange luck! Thanks for visiting, Roland

    You know me. As a blood courier, I will be working all Easter weekend. No rest for the wicked! I'm glad you enjoyed RITES OF PASSAGE!

    Thanks for the shout-out! And Sam intends on giving any would-be eater some indigestion!

    Thanks for visiting! Being a rare blood courier affords me so little time to visit you as often as I would! Darn it. You enjoy this challenge, too, Roland

  7. Once more, i am amazed by your prose Mr. Yeomans.

  8. One must read the invitation more closely and check off the correct box...will you be a diner or dinner?

  9. What an awesome setting!!! Especially since the players can't exactly run off if they feel threatened!
    I'm over from A to Z at #1146 should you want to come say hi. Catherine

  10. loved the story. And the setting was described so lyrically.
    Great A-Z post!

  11. I'm pretty sure this is the book where I first fell in love with Sam :-)

  12. Braine:
    Your words made a weary evening so much easier! Thanks, Roland

    LOL. Love your sense of humor.

    Creepy certainly fits the voyage of the Demeter!!

    Yes, that was exactly the feel I was going for: caged in with the undead and no way out. Of course, they find out sometimes the hunter can become the hunted -- especially with a determined Texas Ranger!

    Thanks, nutshell:
    Samuel is Jesuit educated so his thoughts allow me to be poetical and reflective.

    This was basically my first Samuel McCord adventure. Sam blushed when he read your words. He's a shy Texas Ranger! :-) Thanks for visiting and staying to chat!! Roland

  13. How do you manage to write SO well all the time? :D
    Look forward to your challenge run…
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  14. You are amazing, Roland. I watched all of the trailers and was mesmerized. You have so much talent. I love how the story, settings and characters were portrayed. The eerie streets of the quarter at midnight were breathtaking. I loved the term, Vampire Nazis (do I have that backwards)? How do you manage to do all of this creative work. It is so impressive.

  15. Damyanti:
    Your words mean a lot to me right at this time. Thanks.

    Wendy Tyler Ryan has done an amazing job with my book trailers, hasn't she?

    That you watched all of them makes me very happy. Sometimes I feel as if I am playing my heart out to an empty house.

    And it is vampire nazis as you believe. Actually in the novels themselves, I use the term "revenants" to set away from the current vampire craze.

    I have always been caught up with the allure and mystery of the French Quarter, night or day. It seemed to me to be the perfect setting for eerie, supernatural stories.

    Your gracious praise fills my slack sails of the moment. Being a rare blood courier affords me so little free time that it is an effort to write my novels. But, as Victor says, "impossible" just gives birth to legends.

    Thanks again, Roland