Tired of being told—by straight and gay alike—that he loves “incorrectly,” vampire Ehrichto Salvatolle gave up on the idea of having romantic love long ago. When a member of the created family he’s focused on instead comes under threat from a mysterious illness, Ehrichto strikes a deal with his own sire, to return to the sire’s bed in exchange for his help. But when he meets the great-grandson of the first man to break his heart, Ehrichto spies a chance to have the one thing he’s always wanted: true love. Paperback, 328 pages
“N. S. Beranek’s Angels Fall infuses the gay vampire trope with Twenty-First Century sensibilities that ooze with sensuality and drip with sexuality. Beranek paints her complex characters with blood, sweat, and tears, resulting in a juicy storyline that will make your mouth water.” – Michael Kearns, Theatre Artist
“I’ve long admired N.S Beranek’s short fiction, and now she’s given us her first novel. It’s a riveting, elegant, and complex read. Beranek effortlessly weaves together Guatemalan villagers, Louisville teenagers, and a clan of deathless vampires, leaving us amazed at the diversity of her characters and settings.” – Jeff Mann, author of Devour & Desire and Country
Here is the cover of my debut novel Angels Fall, which will be released by Lethe Press later this year. I think it’s stunning. My thanks to designer Matt Cresswell of Inkspiral Book & Cover Design, and to my editor, Steve Berman.
After decades away, vampire Ehrichto Salvatolle has agreed to return, for good, to the polyfidelitous household of his sire, Kabil Dorjan, in exchange for help dealing with his only progeny, Nick. Nick’s penchant for shooting the world’s deadliest neurotoxins into his veins seems to finally be catching up to him. He may be immortal, but he’s wasting away.
Ehrichto is willing to make the sacrifice to save his friend, in part because he’s given up on having the thing he wants most: the kind of lasting romance his parents enjoyed. As a child he was told he wasn’t allowed to have that kind of relationship with another man, while the men with whom he became involved told him he was crazy to want it. Men, everyone else agreed, do not fall in love with other men.
When Ehrichto meets Michael Conway Ferguson he spies a chance to finally be loved by someone with whom he is in love. But does his deal with Dorjan mean it’s too late for that? And even if it isn’t, after internalizing everyone else’s opinions about what he should or shouldn’t desire, can Ehrichto manage to believe that he deserves to be happy?
“Well, this is not how the city normally is,” Dr. Reilly explains. “Don’t get me wrong, I like Thunder and all the rest of the Derby events, but… Let’s just say we collectively lose our minds at this time of year. My fear is you’re going to get an erroneous first impression of Louisville.”
Ehrichto had been surprised to find the downtown area being set up for a crowd, city workers re-arranging sawhorses to block off certain lanes to traffic, and police milling about on foot, their cruisers parked haphazardly across otherwise deserted intersections. From signs posted in shop windows he’d figured out that “Thunder Over Louisville” began with an air show at 2pm and culminated after dark with a sizeable display of fireworks.
“Oh, don’t worry, this isn’t the first time I’ve been to Louisville,” he assures the doctor. “My family is from here, actually. But, now, it is the first I’ve been in town for this ‘Thunder’. I gather it’s quite a big deal?”
The doctor chuckles. “It’s only the biggest annual fireworks show in North America. Is that a big enough deal for you?”
Angels Fall by N. S. Beranek, forthcoming from Lethe Press.
The Thunder Over Louisville hype is not what brought Ehrichto to the hotel. He’d been stopped in his tracks by the sight that greeted him at Fifth and Main. For a moment he’d wondered if he was somehow on the wrong block, or if maybe they’d re-numbered the streets, any explanation at all besides the obvious and unthinkable, that they’d torn down the Conway Distillery building. But they had. All the buildings on that block were gone, replaced by an angular structure of light brown brick and soaring green glass capped by a rounded, corrugated steel roof. The building looked for all the world like a giant soup can laid on its side.
He was standing, staring at it in horror when a voice to his left said, “I know, right? It’s the only decent block in the whole damned city. I so cannot wait to get to Man-hattan.”
Bardo by N. S. Beranek, forthcoming from Lethe Press.
When Ehrichto turns the corner at Fourth a double row of flowering pear trees makes him almost gasp aloud. He immediately forgets to take note of the new buildings among the old or the absence of businesses he once knew. All he sees are the trees, their fat white flower clusters nearly obscuring dark branches. He is overwhelmed by a sense of being home.
Ehrichto has not called Louisville that in a very long while.
By the time he reaches Broadway, he is trembling.
Bardo, by N.S. Beranek, forthcoming from Lethe Press.