Author: Dan Klefstad
Due to be Published: October 2nd by Burton Mayers Books
Category: Vampire, Urban Fantasy, Book Review
When a vampire seduces you, death is minutes away. When she hires you, you’ll soon wish you were dead.
It’s a truth known to every guardian who worked for Fiona, including Daniel. Aside from managing the day to day chores and keeping her protected, he manages an investment portfolio to buy stolen blood from hospital workers.
After 35 years, what keeps him loyal? And will he ever be allowed to leave?
Fiona’s Guardians is a vampire story with a difference. Daniel has served as Fiona’s guardian for more years than he cares to remember, supplying her with the ten pints of her preferred O negative which she requires each day. He achieves this by means of canny investing and a network he has perfected over time, with people in hospitals and blood banks in several cities.
Initially unbeknownst to either of them, an ancient Vatican order of monks named Mors Strigae are gathering as many members together as possible to help with the hunt and elimination of vampires and their guardians.
After all his years of service Daniel is about to retire and enjoy the high life in the sun, but not before he’s recruited and trained another guardian.
This is your final warning: Turn back if you’d rather not devote every day of your prime years to one employer who demands utter secrecy and loyalty. Take a moment to reflect on which is more important — a career that allows for family and vacations, or a mogul’s retirement.
Fiona’s Guardian is told from several perspectives and timelines, moving between first and third points of view and does need concentration to keep up with the storyline. Fiona, beautiful, manipulative and sometimes showing a sensitive side, is the main focus regardless of whose point of view is at the forefront. Her health and survival is paramount on one hand, and her demise on the other. Despite this, the monks are not immune to Fiona’s fatal attraction and the implications are not lost on her as she uses it to her own advantage. A war has begun. But who will be victorious?
Although this isn’t a genre I normally choose, I did enjoy the short story, The Caretaker, that sparked this novel, and Fiona’s Guardians was much more enjoyable as a full novel. The characters are quite compelling, most dark in their own ways and all very well drawn. Expressive, vivid writing and battles to the death, while being set in the modern world, make for a very satisfying and suspenseful read.
I chose to read and review Fiona’s Guardians based on a copy of the book kindly supplied by the author.
Fiona’s Guardians is available to pre-order from Amazon UK and Amazon US
Message from Fiona
Hello mortal. I’m touched by your interest in those who work for me and those who used to. A handful truly deserve to be remembered in a book that never goes out of print. Their loyalty and talent are the reason I’ve existed for two and a half centuries. A few, however, earned the painful and premature deaths detailed in these pages. For me, loyalty comes first and must be constant. That’s not to say a partnership with me can’t end in mutual agreement. It just never happened before. Still, I may allow my current guardian to retire. After serving longer than any other, he might well live his remaining years in a manner of his choosing. This would create an opportunity for another to earn his substantial salary and benefits. But a warning is in order: The work is as relentless and unsparing as my hunger, and everyone I employed has murdered at least once on my behalf. Not that this is the preferred option. There are other, less extreme ways to obtain blood for me, and Daniel built a robust network that can be handed off to a successor. He’s in the car now, looking at his watch, wondering when we can get home to his decanter of scotch. From what I see, nothing in your cabinet would satisfy him so, rest assured, I won’t leave with any of your bottles.
I see you’ve been reading the job postings. Do not ask if I offer a retirement plan. In truth, I’ve never understood the concept. Each evening I awake knowing I’m the chief executive for extending my life, so ceasing work would amount to suicide. But this is what Daniel wants, and I owe him for that time he saved me from dying. It’s in the book.
My favourite chapters feature Agripina, the one who created me. Driven by hunger, she brought me to the edge of death but changed her mind when I started turning blue. She claimed she saw something worth preserving: a simple, unselfish nature that disappeared when she opened a vein for me. Since that moment, the only feeling I’ve known, besides adoration for her, is a craving that never ceases. That is, until the instant I tasted regret — the perpetual pain of guilt — at not being with her when our enemies reappeared. They’re in here, too. And so is my revenge.
Go ahead, indulge your curiosity. When you finish reading, I’ll visit again and make myself visible. You’ll find me sitting in that chair over there, and we can talk about your future.
Until then, F.
About the Author
My latest novel, Fiona’s Guardians, is about humans who work for a beautiful manipulative vampire. It’s available for pre-order ahead of its October release. My latest short story, “Who Killed Publishing?” has almost nothing to do with the undead. You’ll find it in the Summer, 2020, edition of Literary Heist. I’m currently looking for a home for another short story, “Cowboy Load.” I write in DeKalb, Illinois, and Williams Bay, Wisconsin.