Noree Cosper is on tour with her dark fantasy novel, A Prescription for Delirium. My first thoughts when I saw this book – fabulous cover. Today, Noree talks about the history, myths and legends surrounding vampire hunters in her guest post and shares an excerpt from her novel.
A Prescription for Delirium
(Van Helsing Organization #1)
Ninety years ago, Gabriella di Luca promised to protect the family of her dying lover. She failed to keep that promise. She was too far away to stop the devil that murdered the eldest Van Helsing son. Years later, Gabby learns the devil has resurfaced. She arrives in Hampton, TX, determined to stop the devil before it can lay a bloody hand on the remaining three brothers.
However, madness is spreading through Hampton. She suspects the devil is using this madness to test a drug which has a side effect of demonic possession. Gabby rushes to end the source of the madness only to fall victim to it. For a woman cursed with eternal life, dying is no threat. However, Gabby must stop the devil’s plot or risk losing her most precious possession: her mind.
We all know of Van Helsing and his cadre of vampire hunters. I loved them so much that I’ve created Van Helsing’s descendants in A Prescription for Delirium. Buffy was “the chosen girl in all the world to fight the vampires.” The Winchester brothers didn’t do a bad job when they faced off with the leeches as well. But these came from the myths and beliefs of the existence of vampires. Where people believed, there were hunters.
So several cultures, especially those in the Balkans had specialized vampire hunters for destroying the hellish creatures. The most famous were dhampirs, the sons of vampires and usually gypsies. If you like anime, think Vampire Hunter D, or if you like video games, think the Castlevania series. The dhampir was believed to have special powers in detecting and destroying vampires.
Usually a dhampir would start out in a village claiming he could smell something foul. He would attempt to locate the invisible vampire, perhaps by using the sleeve of his shirt as a telescope. Once he found the vampire he would engage and dramatic hand-to-hand fight or shoot it. When it was killed it usually smelled worse and sometimes there was a bloodstain. Yes, this sounds a bit spoony. (Oh, spoony means suspicious.)
The vampirdzhija or djadadjii of Bulgaria operated on a more traditional fashion. They would locate the grave that held the vampire’s body by using an icon or holy picture. Then they would impale the body or burn the body.
Now, Eastern Europe wasn’t the only region to be overtaken by the vampire craze. In the late 1800’s vampire kits were sold to superstitious travelers for their safety as they traveled through Europe. They contained bibles, crosses, stakes, silver bullets, and glass vials that contained concoctions that supposedly warded off vampires. One such was used in 1890, by a man named Andrew A. Kaufman. He used his kit to kill a vampire that had slain the woman he was betrothed to. He then wrote her mother, telling her he had vanquished the creature.
This wasn’t just at the beginning of the century. The Highgate vampire incident happened in London between 1967 and 1983. Sightings of a phantomlike entity were reported in the Cemetery of St. James in the Highgate area of London. This culminated with a girl claiming to be attacked in her room. These sightings caught the attention of Sean Manchester of the Vampire Research Society. Manchester claimed to come across a vampire who he sealed away. He continued his investigation for years until encountered the same vampire again. This time he performed an exorcism and staked the body. He then burned the remains, a slimy, foul substance, along with the coffin.
Know that even if the vampires have hidden in fiction, a few still know they are real. They are out there protecting you so you sleep at night.
Excerpt – CHAPTER ONE
Hampton, TX, Present Day
Not five minutes in this backwater town and I had a demon sniffing my trail. He scanned the room with the nostrils of his wide nose flaring. His hair lay plastered against his forehead in greasy brown locks. He towered over everyone, even the people standing, as he squeezed between the large round tables and the gathering at the bar. The frayed threads of his jeans and his leather vest matched the dress of the rest of the roadhouse.
I lifted my drink to my mouth and shifted to my second sight. Most people say the
eyes are the windows to the soul. Those people can’t see auras. The lights on the walls
dimmed, and the air took on a gray haze, like seeing things under water. Colors
bloomed out from each human in the building, blending together in a rainbow. The
demon was another matter.
The shaggy black dog the size of a pony stood semi-imposed on all fours over
the form of the man. Flames blazed from its eyes as it scanned the room. Was there
really a dog walking through a busy Texas bar? No. Demons had no corporeal form and
had to possess physical bodies. This one chose a werewolf. Dio, I had a hellhound on
Talk about bad timing. Ose already had some of his minions patrolling. If it found
me, it would go running to its master to let him know I was in town. My hunt was in
danger of ending before it even started.
I leaned forward and let my black curtain of hair obscure my face. The lid of the
salt shaker twisted off in my empty hand and I knocked it over, allowing the grains to
spill on the floor. The salt should cover my scent. I slid closer to the group at the next
table until I looked like I belonged with them.
One of the men grinned at me, his aura a happy yellow orange. “Hey babe.”
I nodded and raised my glass, but kept my gaze on the hellhound. He paused at
a man at the bar who had caught my attention, or more his aura did. A ghostly image of
a woman leaned over him, whispering in his ear. My hand tightened around the beer
mug, but the mutt moved on. I relaxed. The colors around the people in the bar faded,
as did the ghost woman when my sight returned to normal. The haze remained, more
from cigarette smoke. I turned my head to the front of the bar. One window and one
door were not much of an escape route. Fifty feet of inebriated patrons stood between
me and freedom.
Two of the three men I had been waiting for walked through the door. A familiar
tingle ran down my spine. For a moment, I flashed back to a dressing room, staring
down another Romanian hunter. We’d come across the same prey, though he thought it
was a vampire. I inhaled, bringing myself back to the present. This wasn’t the twenties, I
wasn’t in Paris, and these brothers weren’t Dimitri.
Both had his chiseled features and his straight nose, though their hair was more
of a burnt sienna. The one in front wore his cut short and had a tuft on his chin. He
towered over his brother, which meant he would be a mountain compared to my small
height. The other kept his hair tucked behind his ears. He stood with his arms crossed,
wearing a smirk to let the world know he knew everything.
They cast their eyes over the room. The tall one adjusted the glasses on his face
and approached the man sitting at the bar. Several women watched them as they
passed. A smile touched my lips. The boys knew how to dress to make an impression.
Their leather coats and slacks spoke of sophistication yet still provided enough flexibility
to move if needed.
I stood and nodded at the boys who’d been trying to talk to me. Rude, but it was
time to work. Besides, they were too young for me. I straightened my red tank top and
brushed any wrinkles from my jeans. I couldn’t approach them looking like a
guttersnipe. A stool opened up on the other side of them. I took the seat and tried to
look casual while listening in on the brothers’ conversation. The bartender stood in front
of me, waiting for an order.
I pointed to a beer and leaned back to get a better look at the third man. His back
remained mostly to me, giving me a glimpse of his bearded cheek and a ponytail a
shade darker in color than the other two. Brother number three. I inched forward to hear
better over someone’s bad rendition of “Bad Moon Rising.”
“Ader.” The tall man spoke in Romanian. “Your prison sentence hasn’t ended
“I got out for being brilliant,” the man at the bar said without turning around.
“Does the warden know that?” the third one asked.
If I remembered correctly, this generation of Van Helsings had four boys. Adam,
the oldest, had passed away ten years ago. So that left Esais, Adrian, and Tres. The
smirking boy had to be Tres he looked the youngest. Was Ader short for Adrian?
Ader chuckled. “The warden didn’t have much of a say.”
Esais, the tall one, pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. He shook
his head, letting out a long sigh as he looked at his brothers.
“Honestly,” he said. “First you end up in jail, and now you’re breaking out. You
“You expected me to?” Adrian asked.
“Why are you here?” Esais asked.
“Same reason as you. Revenge.”
Tres crossed his arms. “Why do you even care? You were never around when
we needed you.”
Adrian turned to face his brothers, causing both of them to gasp. A patch covered
his right eye while the other stared hard at Tres. Esais reached out to touch Adrian’s
arm, but he pulled away.
“What happened?” Esais asked.
“Not important.” Adrian turned back to the bar. “Who were you told to meet?”
“A woman named Gabriella Di Luca.”
“Any idea what this woman looks like?”
Esais glanced in my direction with hesitation and opened his mouth.
I cleared my throat, raising my hand in a small wave. “Buna seara.”
Adrian and Tres turned their heads with near identical expressions of distrust.
They didn’t expect someone to speak their native language here. I was a stranger
invading their family circle.
“Who are you?” Adrian asked.
“Convenient.” The word dripped with sarcasm.
We didn’t have time for this. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. My gaze
traveled to the table-filled area further in the room. The hellhound’s wiry form had
disappeared through a large door to the right. The atrocious singing wafted through
there. This would be a perfect time to exit.
“We need to speak, but not here,” I said.
“We’re not going anywhere with you.”
“Ader,” Esais said.
Adrian looked back at his brother. “We have no proof she is who she claims to
“He’s right. You could be a demon,” Tres said.
“Then you already revealed yourselves with your conversation,” I said. “Look,
how much do you know of demons?”
“I’ve read several books on the subject,” Esais said. “That question doesn’t
answer our doubts.”
“Do I fit the description you were given?”
Esais adjusted his glasses before nodding.
“Then, can we leave? I may not be one, but there is a demon here.”
Two turned their heads, their muscles tensing as they scanned the bar while
Adrian kept his eye on me. The hellhound stepped back into the room and turned his
head in my direction. His gaze locked on me, and he began shoving his way through the
crowded tables and chairs.
I stood. “Too late.”
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Thanks, Noree. It sounds great, and I was intrigued reading your guest post. Wishing you the best of luck with your book.