Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Gal's 62 Days of Horror Day 9: Lily Luchesi

Lily Luchesi is a super talented author that I had the pleasure of interviewing last year at this time.  When it came to this year's 62 Days of Horror, I wanted to make sure that anyone who had already been showcased had the chance to do something fun.  I mean, hell - it's my blog and I can do what I want, right?  Hahaha.  Lily is full of awesome ideas, and I think y'all are going to like this...

Big thanks to The Gal for hosting me this Halloween season!  I'm Lily Luchesi, and I'm very happy to bring to you a special cut scene from my latest novel, Life Sentence, which is the third book in my Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing.
            I decided to cut this scene because I couldn't build anything around it to make it fit better into the book.  So rather than have it out of place, I cut the thing entirely, saving it for such an occasion as this.  If you're unfamiliar with the series, I hope this makes you want to pick it up.  If you have already read Life Sentence, I hope you enjoy this look into Angelica's mindset over Fiona.  Their rivalry was one of my favorite things to write.
            For those of you who are new to this series, here are the basics: Danny is a mortal who is dating Angelica, who is a vampire.  Fiona is a demonic witch who has violent history with them both, and the "PID" is a special branch of the FBI created by Angelica to track down paranormal criminals.

"What the Hell is this?" Danny cried, walking into the training room.  He was used to finding Angelica battling multiple PID agents of many species, including werecreatures and skin-changers (those who can make themselves look like other people).
            Angelica knew he had never walked into a scene that looked like this.  She was standing in the center of the training room, breathing hard, covered in blood.  Some was her own, most was the synthetic blood inside the bodies littered on the floor around her.
            "Brighton's creations.  He got the synthetic blood to animate bodies grown in a test lab we have in London," Angelica said.
            Danny stammered; he seemed unable to form sentences at the moment.
            Looking around, coming down from her rage-fueled adrenaline high, Angelica could see what this looked like, and she understood why he was stunned into silence.  She was in a room where fourteen versions of Fiona Guilfoyle lay dead on the floor below her.  Shot, stabbed, decapitated, and tortured, no two bodies died in the exact same way.
            "Angie... put the weapons down and I am begging you, tell me what on Earth is happening in this room.  I feel like I walked into a bad B-movie," Danny said, slowly backing out of the room.
            Angelica set her weapons down for cleaning and notified the ghouls that they could clean up the bodies and followed Danny out into the main hall.  She needed to change her clothes and shower immediately.  The synthetic blood was much stickier than real blood.  No wonder it wasn't fit for vampire consumption yet.
            "Okay, explain what you were just talking about, and please, slowly," Danny said.
            "The synthetic blood Brighton is making: he made it able to animate false bodies.  No vamp can drink it, and you definitely can't transfuse it into a human body, but this is a start.  As for the bodies, we had some skin-changers volunteer to have their DNA taken and fused with the artificial blood in a lab in London.  I modified it to look like Fiona.  Once the bodies were ready, I had them sent here and Brighton animated them with the blood and the help of the Grand Coven's spells.
            "They have no brains, no feelings, and no thoughts at all.  They are living puppets.  I figured they could be great training tools for us... until Brighton fixes the blood consistency and HG volume so it can be useful to vamps."
            Danny didn't say anything as she finished speaking.  He appeared to be processing that information.  "So... you didn't just slaughter a bunch of skin-changers, right?  That is all a new training technique?"
            She nodded.  "Yes.  You see, the bodies have the strength of a cursed werewolf, but no other abilities.  They can fight, but that is all.  Training tools.  They can look however you want them to look if you have a piece of hair or nail clipping - or blood - from the desired person."
            Danny nodded.  "Okay.  Yeah.  That makes sense.  What would have made more sense is you telling me about this prior to my walking in on a bloodbath.  I h ad no idea what was going on in there!"
            Angie chuckled.  "Calm down, love.  Now you know.  At least the bodies are fit for ghoul consumption, or else we'd have the incinerator working overtime!"
            They walked down the main hall in silence, Angie in her bloodstained workout clothes and Danny pristine in an Armani suit.  Two entirely different people, drawn together time and time again by a force stronger than they.
            "And Fiona?  You just thought they would... what?" Danny asked.
            "Target my rage, Danny.  I had no idea she would become what she has.  I knew she was evil with that whole 'witches will rule' bullshit.  I mean, talk about having a You-Know-Who complex.  But I had thought I put her in her place.  Then she came back and killed you... well, the other you.  She cursed you to death and I was forced to watch you suffer before you died.
            "And then, a century later, there she came!  And I thought I killed her.  And she came back again, and she escaped again.  The rage and desperation I get from knowing she has evaded me multiple times gets too hard to control.  The only other criminal who has ever escaped me was Vincent, you know.  So being able to kill her over and over helps calm me down," she explained.  "Of course, the real thing isn't as easy to kill."
            Danny went to touch her but stopped, seeing the blood on her arms.  "You know, a spa day is how most women calm down."
            She laughed.  "And since when am I 'most women.'  I'm hitting the showers.  Dinner tonight?  We haven't had a real date in a while."  
            "What can you--"
            She held up a hand.  "Don't worry.  Just be ready to go soon."  Turning down another hallway, Angelica went to the private shower room, stripped off her sticky clothes and tossed them down a chute that led to the incinerator before turning on the hot water.
            Waiting till it became steamy, she stepped under the nearly unbearably hot spray, letting the rough stream wash the blood from her skin and hair.  She watched the blood go down the drain, swirling and thinning with the water.
            She sighed, leaning her wet head against the stark white tiles.  Her hair and nail polish were a severe contrast from her skin and the walls around her.  She splayed her fingers against the tile, felt her nails cut into the linoleum as her body remembered tearing into the flesh of the fake Fionas.
            It was true she had thought that killing Fiona over and over again would help her feel better, but she found out now she was wrong.  If anything, the fake kills had only riled her up even more.  The real thing was still out there, still trying to kill her, take Danny, and take over not just the paranormal community, but the humans as well.
            In most pieces of fiction about witches, the human community rose up against them, Salem Witch Trial-esque, and banished them.  That was Fiona's great skill: to be able to blend in so well with humanity and with the white witches, no one doubted that she was anything but wonderful.  By now, anyone with such a checkered past as Fiona would have been haunted by more than Angelica, but there was one reason why Fiona had escaped persecution: she was a skilled actress.
            On the surface, talking to her, seeing her in a cafe or walking the streets, no one would ever say that what Angelica knew was true was actually fact.  Even the Grand Coven had expressed doubts about Angelica's story, not wanting to believe one of their own was really out for domination and blood.
            She banged her fist against the wall in frustration.  This was why evil people got away with evil deeds: no one wanted to believe badly of someone who had always put on such a saccharine facade.  But the world had been ready to persecute every vampire they came across, and still was, when the truth was, most vampires were not murderers.  It was all about perception.
            She was doubted because, while she was two hundred, she was too young to be taken seriously.  She was very honest about the body count behind her, and insisted on immediate execution for those the PID apprehended.  Angelica Cross was a name to be feared in the paranormal community, while Fiona Guilfoyle was known as the most famous witch who brought food and water to ailing Irish villages when the Tudors conquered the country.  Known for one good deed, few were prepared to think ill of her.
            However, Angelica knew that if she were to step one toe out of line, her own agents would trample each other in their haste to decapitate her, and instate Fiona as the new leader without even letting Angelica's body decompose.
            She felt frustrated tears fall from her eyes.  She could cry when she was sad, but to cry when angry like this, that meant she was nearing the end of her emotional range.
            Closing her eyes tighter, feeling the tiles continue to break beneath her nails, she thought about the gauging out of Fiona's green eyes, as she had done to one of the fakes this evening.  She felt the satisfying wet pop beneath her fingertips, only marred by the fact that, since the bodies could not feel pain, she did not get to hear her cry out as blood poured fro the empty sockets.
            In that room, she had put every ounce of her hate and her revulsion of Fiona into each kill, hoping to calm her anguished mind.  She had bitten, scratched, torn, punctured, shot, and stabbed.  Peeled skin, ripped muscle, broken bone, and spilled blood.  It had not been enough.  It had only made her feel more like a failure.
            She slunk to the floor, hands over her face as she tried to calm herself.  She would take twenty Vincents right now instead of this one terrifying witch.  Not terrifying just because of her power, or because she was a demon, but because she was so good at subterfuge.
            It was Oscar Wilde who once said, "I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects."  If that was true, she definitely did the latter.
            Her tears dried, and with them her resolve weakened.  Never before had she doubted herself so much, and never before had she faced an enemy so absolutely invincible, not because of what she was, but because of what she made herself to be.  The false persona, the savior of the ancient Irish culture, the misunderstood leader.
            Out of the five hundred employees she had just in Chicago, only four people truly believed Angelica's story, and one of them was because he had been killed by her once before.  That was all right.  Four people were four more than she had ever had believing in her before.
            Part of her hate for Fiona was personal.  The way the witch had always treated her in the late nineteenth century, like she was naught but a cockroach, had been so demeaning.  To be spoken to like a naughty child, just because she was a young vampire, was mortifying and condescending.  But killing Danny... that was unforgivable.
            The worst thing, the reason she really wanted Fiona dead, was that, if she was allowed to remain alive, Angelica had no problem believing that Fiona's plans would soon come to pass.  Not because she was honest, but because she had expertly pulled the wool over everyone's eyes, and when Angelica called her on it, everyone thought she was simply envious.
            She was not envious, she was the only one who had never been hoodwinked by blonde hair, rosy cheeks, and a faux persona.
            I swear, when I do kill you, what I did to those bodies tonight will seem like Mother Goose, you fucking bitch...

About the author:
Lily Luchesi is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Paranormal Detectives Series.  She grew up in Chicago and now resides in Los Angeles, where she writes horror and erotica stories in between going in concerts and comic book signings.  She loves vampires, classic horror, metal and rock music, anime, Supernatural, and the color black.
            She has also written short stories in the anthologies Naughty Bedtime Stories: In Three WordsDeath Love Lust, and Lurking in the Shadows.
            You can find her at the following links: Amazonher websiteTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

About the books:
Detective Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect.  When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn't even human: he's a 200 year old rogue vampire!
            The department doesn't believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.
            Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.
            But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny's strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.

The dead don't always rest easy...
            Retired detective Danny Mancini is haunted by nightmares after he found out that paranormal creatures exist.  All he wanted is to forget them... especially a certain half-vampire.  When cursed werewolves show up trying to kill him, he is forced to go back to the Paranormal Investigative Division for help against a powerful old enemy.  What he was not expecting was a dead ex showing back up after twenty-six years.

She can fight evil, but can she fight the darkness in her own blood?
            After the disastrous events with Miranda have subsided, Danny and Angelica have to adjust to a new kind of life at the Paranormal Investigative Division.
            Fiona is still on the loose, and she has all of Hell on her side.  Danny begins to enhance his psychic abilities with the help of a soul just like his.  Angelica is caught between a rock and a very dark place.  Can their love survive their new trials, or will the past tear them apart?

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