Feast of the Epiphany by Kathryn M. Hearst

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Feast of the Epiphany

Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 323
Series: Sinistra Dei Series #1
Publisher: Hot Ink Press
Published on: June 17, 2016
Feast of the Epiphany by Kathryn M. Hearst

Immortal and a member of the Sinistra Dei, a secret order designed to eliminate threats to the Vatican, Giovanna was created to do the dirty work of the Church. This requires creative thinking and the ability to tap dance on the line between right and wrong.

As the commander she loves slowly sinks into insanity, she learns that dark immortals—the Execrati dedicated to destroying her kind— have snuck into New Orlean’s legendary French Quarter to hunt her friends. With the further discovery that one of Rome’s own has faked his death, and the unexpected evolution of her supernatural powers, Gia is no longer able to play by the rules.

How can she defy the man she loves, break the trust of a close friend, and explain the new set of wings on her back?

The answer is simple… she can’t.

 
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I really really liked this book. It was fast paced and exciting, and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down.

 

Feast of the Epiphany gives a different spin to the vampire myth, with only the weak needing blood and the others feeding off the life of the victim. The Sinistra Dei hunts and kills members of the Execrati, who are a threat to everything Gia holds dear. I thought this was a fairly unique idea that hasn’t been overplayed.

 

The characters in this book are extremely loyal to their organization and friends. We are given many examples of just how loyal they are. They are loyal even when they really shouldn’t be. I’d have been pretty pissed to find out some of what is revealed later in the book. They seemed to take it in stride though.

 

Gia is the main character and she has a whole world of craziness going on. Between her leader acting suspiciously, to crazy new unheard of powers, to dealing with her friends being hunted and murdered by Execrati, this girl is just headed for a nervous breakdown. I have no idea how she kept it together. She’s one strong chickie, that’s for sure.

 

Feast of the Epiphany is a creative and exciting book that is full of action. There are no lulls in the story and the hits just keep on coming. It is an overall enjoyable book that I would recommend to anyone looking for a vampire story that hasn’t been played out.

5 fangs

 

Purchase Link

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Excerpt

 

Giovanna stalked her prey through the narrow alley of the French Quarter.

Nightfall brought music and drunken laughter. She followed the man, waiting for the opportunity to judge and, perhaps, to kill. Above her Torben crouched on the rooftop waiting.

“Where are you?” she whispered.

“I’m right here.” A man stepped into the dim light. Shadows deepened his gaunt features, accentuating the hollows of his cheeks.

“You selling?” She feigned a nervous catch in her voice.

“Naw, but I’m buying.”

Gia caught the gleam of metal in his hand. Even from six feet away she detected the sour scent of chemicals mingled with sweat, liquor, and stale cigarettes. The man before her was dangerous by human standards.

Gia took a step in the addict’s direction, and he lunged for her. She sidestepped his advance and shoved him against the wall. The scent of human blood assaulted her senses, made her stomach turn.

Torben leapt from the roof, landing a foot to her right. He looked every bit the part of a tenth century Norseman—dark blond hair, blue eyes, well-muscled, and a scruffy pointed beard. He could have stepped off the cover of some cheesy Viking romance novel. Even his name was a cliché. Torben, “the Bear of Thor”.

He hoisted the man up and held him at arm’s length while the little bastard flailed in mid-air. The man struggled, kicking and stabbing to no avail. Torben’s height gave him the advantage.

“Drop it.” Gia laced her words with compulsion.

The knife clattered to the ground.

The addict renewed his effort to break free. Torben wrapped an arm around the man’s midsection. “Be still.”

He stopped moving. “I got money. You want money? Take it. Got drugs too.”

Gia frowned. “I miss the old days when we had wars to fight. Hell, I wouldn’t even mind an assassination order. At least I could have some fun, get creative, you know?”

“Peace never lasts.” Torben adjusted his grip on the human.

She rolled her eyes. “Ever the optimist.”

“Do you want to read him or shall I?”

“I will.” Gia stepped in front of her would-be assailant. She pressed her fingertips on the exposed flesh of his wrist and closed her eyes.

Her mind exploded with images of the human’s life, memories, emotions, regrets, evidence of past sins laid out for her judgment. He preferred the intimacy of killing with knives and took trophies from the bodies—a finger from one, a pretty blue eye from another. She counted four women in total.

She detected no remorse. If he regretted his sins she could choose to release him unharmed, or perhaps release him with the knowledge of the pain he had brought to others in hopes that he would choose a different path for the future. The monster in Torben’s arms laughed as he relived the worst of his sins. There would be no mercy.

“Verdict?”

“Death. He had only pride in his skill. He was nostalgic for his kills.”

Torben nodded and pressed his hand to the junkie’s face. “I’m not surprised.”

Without a word Gia rose to her tiptoes and wrapped her hand around the man’s neck. She opened a link between herself and the human, feeding from his energy, his prana. As she fed, her pale skin illuminated and she dipped her chin to allow her dark hair to hide the light.

“I love it when you glow.” Torben chuckled and began to feed.

“It’s fun in private but it draws too much attention on the streets.”

“I remember how fun it was in private.”

Gia narrowed her eyes. “What has gotten into you? Are you flirting with me? Again?”

“What if I am?”

“It’s been a couple of centuries since you have.”

“Have I told you lately how beautiful your eyes are? Like icy-blue jewels.” He grinned.

“Have I told you lately that you are a class-A pain in the ass?” She cut off the energy flow from the human but maintained the mental connection.

“What are you doing?”

“I want to read his thoughts as he dies.”

Torben’s eyes widened. “That’s rather morbid.”

“It’s fascinating. Sometimes I can see a light. It reminds me there’s more to this world than we can see.”

“You need to read a human to believe there’s more than the physical world?”

Gia shrugged. The connection between herself and the dying man flared to life. She shared his terror as ghosts of the women he murdered crowded the alley. Some cried for justice while others laughed. Even his mother came—not to comfort, but to condemn. They crowded around and pulled at him with cold dead hands. He struggled to escape, but his heart convulsed, and he clutched his chest. He died in the alley while his victims called for his soul.

Gia broke the link, dazed. No longer in his head she couldn’t see the spirits. “I wonder if the ghosts are still here.”

“They are manifestations of his mind. There are no such things as ghosts.” Torben eased the body to the ground.

 

About Kathryn M. Hearst

Kathryn M. Hearst is a southern girl with a love of the dark and strange. She has been a story teller her entire life, as a child she took people watching to new heights by creating back stories of complete strangers. Besides writing, she has a passion for shoes, vintage clothing, antique British cars, music, musicians and all things musical (including theatre). Kate lives in central Florida with her chocolate lab, Jolene; and two rescue pups, Jagger and Roxanne.

 

Her short stories have been published in various anthologies. She is currently working on her fifth novel.

 

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