Friday, July 13, 2012

Dates to Remember with Guest Blogger: Tom Olbert

Welcome Eternal Press author 
Tom Olbert to the Book Boost!

He's here to chat about how dates in July tie in to his current novel and here's what he had to say...

Thank you, Kerri, for allowing me to guest post on the Book Boost.  Desert Flower is my second novella published through Eternal Press and I’m happy to say I’ve had the privilege of learning from some very talented authors during my association with Eternal Press.

And here we are in July, the hottest month of the year.  Perhaps not the month that springs to mind when promoting a story about vampires.  Vampires, after all, are cold.  Cold as the grave.  Hence, they make one think of the colder months of the year, when the ground is hard and covered with frost, and all is dead or dying.  Then again…vampires are all about heat and passion, too. That’s what makes them so deliciously paradoxical.

Fitting then, that Desert Flower is set in Afghanistan, which, as any desert land, is searing hot in daylight when the vampire sleeps, and icy cold at night, when the vampire prowls.  A land rich in heat and passion to be sure.  But, also, tragically, with an ancient history steeped in blood and cold death.

What dates stand out in July for me?

July 21st, 1969:  The first human footfall on the surface of the moon.  The moon has always held a special place, both in the heart of the romantic, and in the heart of the devotee of supernatural horror.  Desert Flower deals with both, so the moon is a constant presence throughout, offering both comfort and menace to the protagonists.

She stood at the cave entrance, her eyes blazing up at the moon.  It hung there mocking her in its vain beauty and despicable divine light.

Batal stared off into the night, his eyes fixed on the cold, beautiful light of the moon.  God’s fearsome beauty, cold as death, chaste and untouchable, it reminded him of the Jihad.  But the soft mantle of heavenly luminance surrounding it reminded him of her.

July 1901:  Fingerprints are first used for identification.  A milestone in the annals of criminal investigation and mystery.  Desert Flower deals with that, too, as vampire hunters stalk their undead prey, trying to discern her trail of dead bodies in a land where death and violence are commonplace, where the vampire blends into a landscape of carnage and unnatural death.

Finally, July is the month of heat and anger.  From the fires of war and hate to the blazing desert heat to the sultry nights of war-torn Africa where the story concludes, Desert Flower is a tragic tale of lost innocence, in which those whose dreams were crushed in the flower of their youth are left to rage at heaven, and at the cruelties of men.  Cruelties inflicted upon child brides who pray for liberation from their merciless captors.  Prayers that seem as futile as those of the damned and the undead.

Desert Flower is a story of revenge that erupts like fire and summer heat, hot blood like fiery copper on the tongue, giving birth to love, then in turn to tragedy and then to love again.  An endless cycle, like the phases of the moon.

A Note from the Book Boost:  How interesting that your story ties in with so many significant events in the month of July.  Glad you could join us this month to chat about your story and I, too, have enjoyed my time at Eternal Press.  Please tell us more about your book. 


A young girl's innocence is ripped from her when she is turned against her will into a vampire. Hunted and alone, Fleurette longs for escape from her hellish existence of eternal night,blood-letting and carnage.

In war-torn Afghanistan, another young girl, Ruhee has been cast into another kind of dark bondage as a child bride. Raped, tormented and suffering, she longs for escape. These two lost souls find a strange but pure form of sisterly love together as they survive side-by-side in a world gone mad. Ruhee must grow up amid war and turmoil.

As if American predator drones and the deadly raids of the Taliban were not bad enough, she must keep her "sister"'s dark secret, while merciless vampire hunters lurk in the shadows.

When Ruhee comes of age and finds an unlikely but pure love with a brave but deeply troubled, young Taliban soldier named Batal, Ruhee finds herself trapped between light and darkness. Her heart is torn in two, and she must make an impossible choice between love and immortality, as her young life teeters on the brink of hell.


Fleurette started, her head snapping up from the throat of the mountain bandit she’d just killed, his blood still warm as it dripped from her lips. She sensed something riding on the cold desert wind. A lonely spirit, reaching out in pain and longing. Not like a roaming ghost, but alive. And, close. An innocence that touched her heart, pure as a flower growing alone in the desert. The moonlight washed silver across the sand and the rocks. The shadow of the lonely soul in pain reached out, beckoning from the village nearby. Inviting her. She spread herself upon the night wind and followed…

Want More Tom?

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Linda Hays-Gibbs said...

I love this story! How is it a man can write such good stuff about how us women feel. I was always told by men that they did not understand a woman's heart but Tom does. Great interview and good luck.
Linda Hays- Gibbs
My Angel, My Light As Darkness Falls
Angel in My Heart, Devil in My Soul

Patricia J. Esposito said...

I'm completely intrigued by your descriptions of the story, from its setting to the conflicts the characters face. It sounds like you get to the heart of life and how we survive it and possibly what we find good in it through the bad. I definitely need to read more of your work (I knew that I wanted to!).