It’s hard to believe that Citizens of Shadow will unfurl its way into the darkness in one month. This book has been quite the journey, to say the least…more on that below.

In case you haven’t read the synopsis of Citizens, here it is:

A chance to live life over, to correct one’s mistakes — is it a blessing or a curse? In Beguiled by Night, Vauquelin, an ancient, queer vampire living in present-day Los Angeles, finds his time unwinding like a spool of dirty thread until he is re-deposited into seventeenth century France: he seizes the chance for redemption. In Citizens of Shadow, he clings frightfully to his aim — until he learns the hidden costs of tampering with fate. Centuries of self-exile and isolation claim their due. What glory might unfold when you open your heart to what else is to come … and what rewards will you reap when you embrace your authentic self?

Lush, gothic horror unfolds in Citizens of Shadow, a queer dark fantasy of vampires, time travel, and sinister secrets threatening to unravel an eternal existence.

You can also order a signed hardback or paperback here. All orders from this link come directly from me with a free bookmark, a beautiful packaging experience, and most importantly, my gratitude — because books that come from my little writing cubby connect me directly to the reader, and nothing beats that. Truly.

As I mentioned, Citizens has been quite a journey, and an evolution. When I wrote Beguiled by Night, I thought it would very likely be my only book… but it turned out that Vauquelin had much more to say to me. Spoiler alert: he isn’t done yet!

After finishing Beguiled by Night, I took a loooong hiatus. I wasn’t sure if — or when — I would write again. But then came an opportunity for an interview with Beverley Lee, author of the devastatingly beautiful* Gabriel Davenport trilogy, for the Night Worms blog. I had already read the trilogy and Beverley had read Beguiled, but in truth, we did not know each other at all. We scheduled a Zoom to discuss our work before the interview, and a question came up: what would happen if our vampires met each other?

The result: a (spoilery) vampire novelette, Crimson is the Night, in which my French vampire, Vauquelin, travels to Britain to meet Beverley’s master vampire, Clove, and his Bloody Little Prophets. Why is it spoilery? It’s a mini-sequel to four books.

Turns out, our writing together was a match made in heaven (hell?). That little novelette changed everything. E-very-thing. But the most important outcome of our meeting was not Crimson: it was that we discovered that we are inextricably bonded: indelible, kindred spirits 🖤

Beyond a shadow of doubt, Crimson is the Night was the catalyst for Citizens of Shadow. My forthcoming books would not exist were it not for this tiny novelette. If that sounds dramatic, it isn’t: the events that happen in Citizens simply would not have happened had Vauquelin not made the journey to the UK. A snipper of Crimson is the Night is embedded in Citizens. It’s *that* important.

FUN FACT: Beverley loaned me a character for Citizens of Shadow. So when you read Citizens, you’ll meet a Beverley Lee character who has never been seen before!

Remember when I said I thought I might never write another book after Beguiled by Night? WELL. After I finished my first draft, and Beverley finished her first draft of her (chilling and outstanding) new release, The Sum of Your Flesh, we thought we could relax a little and have some fun. We decided to take Crimson is the Night a little further…we brought Clove and the boys to Paris. It was originally meant just for us, but the result was rather explosive. We wrote something HUGE together, and it takes Crimson to the power of 1000. We’ll both have much, much more to say about this. Stay tuned here for updates in the coming months. And if you haven’t yet, please subscribe to Beverley’s Substack.

Oh, dear. You’ve read this far, and I am so grateful. What kind of content can I bring you in the future? Would you like descriptions of Vauquelin’s ancient fashions… or to know more about life in seventeenth-century France? Historic Los Angeles? Would you like to know more about what Vauquelin’s Paris manor looks like, or what Vauquelin has on his modern Spotify playlist? Drop me a comment and I will gladly answer your questions.

I can’t wait for Vauquelin’s continuing story to come your way on 11 May, and I thank you for your support of a dark, indie writer.

À bientôt (until we meet again),
Nicole

*The Gabriel Davenport Trilogy lives in my heart pour toujours — forever. If you have not yet discovered Beverley’s vampire books, and you enjoyed Beguiled by Night, please read them. Hint: if you enjoy our vampire worlds, just know that there is much more coming: from both of us. Hint, hint 😏