Author Guest Post: Bernard Lee DeLeo
Throwback Thursday! We revisit a author post from 2016.
Today’s Guest Author offers up an exciting Fantasy set in a knightly realm, and it includes vampires & werewloves.
Lancelot entombs his King after the final battle at Camlann. He returns Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake, Vivian, his mentor and lover. Given a mission to live on until Arthur returns in the future, Lancelot battles his way through the centuries in many guises. Finally drawn together with a familiar cast, Lancelot faces the dawning of a new Camelot he vows will have a different outcome.
Vivian curses all when Merlin restores her memories a thousand years in the future. Born again and having made what she now considers an idiotic bargain in rejoining Lancelot at the cost of heaven , Vivian reluctantly bows to her fate. Lancelot gives her ardent solace while fighting to rewrite legend in order to regain a friend in Arthur. In rejecting the Arthurian script, Lancelot renews old friendships and faces an ancient demon, hell bent on capturing Excalibur while plunging the earth into chaos. Lancelot wins Vivian’s trust and love again, changing her from an inconsolable burden into a fearsome ally for his final quest.
For his part, the now reborn Arthur in an eight-year-old boy’s body has this to say about his role in a thousand year old legend: “You three need to lighten up. I have a genius IQ, and now I’m teamed up with an Alzheimer patient, a troll, and a beat-up hooker, all of whom screwed me a thousand years ago. Cut me some slack!”
Author’s Note on his story:
The Knights of the Round Table fascinated me as a child and adult. Lancelot, my favorite warrior knight of all time, doomed by legend and love of Guinevere, battled his way to Camelot’s ignominious demise. I hated the legend’s end. I decided to rewrite the legend with an ending of my own choosing. I wrote my novel Lancelot with a horror, paranormal, and romance flavor, blended to change the legend’s outcome. The character cast brought into present day with shape shifters, vampires, witches, and mages surrounding the immortal Lancelot, make up my new Camelot. Lancelot, challenged to spend a millennia awaiting the rebirth of Arthur, wars his way through the centuries doing what he does best. Faced with the old Merlin, Vivian, and an eight year old smartass Arthur, Lancelot enlists past entities both good and bad as he vows a new path for Camelot.
Romance plays a heavy and slightly erotic part in Lancelot’s reunion with Vivian, the Lady of the Lake from legend. He learns exactly why he could not resist betraying his loyalty to Arthur with Guinevere. With old comrades, Lancelot forges a solid alliance to protect Arthur and defeat an evil from the dawn of time. The humor, horror, violence, and romance made Lancelot an intriguing writing experience. Changing the legend of Excalibur – priceless. Thanks for this great opportunity, Myra.
If you are looking for a traditional knights of the round table book then this novel is not for you. This author spins a unique tale of love, loss, time, battles, death and life throughout the entirety of this book. I so very much enjoyed the characters and flow of the words and the interactions of each and every character that comes to light within the chapters sometimes made me forget they are fictional.
The story of Camelot starts off the old world just as you would expect that that is where this novel in the traditional novels meet their end. What I found after that point was a story of honor and loneliness as Lancelot carries his life’s burden alone until his time to once again serve his king is at hand.
As Lancelot stood in the living room, he saw the house security panel red light go to green. The front door opened. Two wraiths rushed through the entrance, and the door closed silently. All in black, the creatures immediately looked at Lancelot, who had begun laughing. He did not lose sight of his new guests.
“I would know that laugh anywhere,” a hissing dry whisper of a voice stated in astonishment. “It mimics a baboon with rocks in its throat.”
“Serge Balkovitch,” Lancelot said, chuckling.
“You know this human?” Serge’s companion growled.
“Yes, for a very long time. Where did you go after Vienna?”
“To England, after Sobieski’s death,” Lancelot answered.
“Sorry I had to leave camp. I would have been thrilled to ride back in triumph, but alliances were falling apart, and my companions feared we would be turned on.”
“Not while I lived,” Lancelot said simply, remembering the many otherworldly allies which had allowed a vastly outnumbered Polish army to defeat the Ottoman Turks.
“I see you dressed for the reunion,” Serge remarked, smiling. His fangs glinted in what little light shone through from the streetlamps outside.
Lancelot glanced down at his nakedness, nodded, and opened his arms jokingly.
“What, no hug?”
“Enough!” Serge’s companion flew at Lancelot, his foot in a sidekick of such force that Lancelot should have been catapulted into a broken heap on the floor.
Instead, at the last possible instant, Lancelot slipped to the side, caught the creature’s neck in his left hand, and slammed it to the floor. The creature, its ethereal beauty spoiled by the extended fangs and now by the contorted choking features, thrashed around helplessly on the floor. Vivian had awakened and hurried down the stairs, holding a bedroom lamp like a baseball bat in her hand. She reached the landing in time to see the naked Lancelot pinning a black, shrouded figure to the floor. Lancelot looked questioningly at Serge.
“Friend of yours?”
“All my friends are dead, except for you, apparently,” Serge shrugged, waving at Vivian.
“Dust or blood?” Lancelot asked, kneeling on the creature’s chest while increasing the tension on its neck, causing the floorboards under it to creak in protest.
“Dust,” Serge answered, folding his arms over his chest as he watched. “He’s a bloody arrogant prick who’s been around since the 1700s.”
Lancelot grabbed the creature’s head with his free hand, and tore upward with the hand pinning its neck. A split second later, clothes and grayish brown dust lay where only a moment ago the creature had twisted helplessly on the floor. Lancelot stood up, clapping the dust remnant from his hands.
“Vampires,” Vivian sighed, lowering the lamp. “I thought Merlin said the fallen and all their offspring were gone.”
“Not all of us,” Serge replied, surprised at the woman’s matter-of-fact attitude toward his kind. “There are many of us left in the old country. This Merlin you refer to is the old mage I have heard of, from before my turning?”
“One and the same,” Vivian answered, moving to the stairs with slow deliberation. “Dust this one too, Lancelot. They are abominations who aren’t to be trusted.”
“Not true,” Serge protested. “Tell her, Lancelot.”
“Serge Balkovitch,” Lancelot said instead, “this is the Lady Vivian from the tale I told you long ago. Vivian, this is an old comrade of mine, and I trust him implicitly.”
“The Lady of the Lake?” Serge questioned, awe plain in his voice. “I thought she was a mythical character you invented around the campfire. All you told me then of a Nephilim regaining heaven in return for screwing you over was really true?”
“What!” Vivian gasped, peering through the darkness at a laughing Lancelot. “Well…okay…yeah… I guess our initial relationship could be shortened crudely like that. I’m going back to bed, and let you two catch up.”
Born and raised in Warren, Ohio, I write adventure fiction in many genres. I have thirty-two novels on Amazon. I served aboard the USS Ranger (CVA61) 1969 until November of 1972. I earned an Auto Technology AA degree and English BA degree. My hobbies are basketball, backpacking, and scuba diving.