A guarded playboy struggling to suppress the dark power stirring inside him becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races.
Cooper Causey spent a lifetime eluding the demons of his youth and suppressing the destructive power inside him. But a disconcerting voicemail lures Cooper back home to the coast of South Carolina and to Warfield—the deserted plantation where his darkness first awakened. While searching for his missing grandmother, Cooper uncovers the truth about his peculiar ancestry and becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races. In order to protect the only man he’s ever loved, Cooper must embrace the dark power threatening to consume him and choose sides in a deadly war between the righteous and the fallen.
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Release date: 24 August 2016
Sub -Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal, Romantic
Number of words: 88,208
Blood Divine Character Teasers
Meet Cooper Causey, a playboy graduate student running from his past and the destruction left in his wake. Though Cooper doesn’t understand and can’t control the dark power that stirs inside him, he’s forced to face his demons when his grandmother goes missing. Meanwhile a mysterious immortal will stop at nothing to claim Cooper for himself.
Meet Randy Collins, former Navy Seal and deputy chief of police in a sleepy harbor town on the coast of South Carolina. Randy’s quiet existence is upended by the return of childhood friend, Cooper Causey. As Randy helps Cooper uncover the secrets of his anomalous ancestry, long-buried desires resurface, forcing Randy to re-examine his life.
Meet Alexander Montgomery, Prince of the Anakim race of bloodthirsty immortals. He’s determined to save them from extinction by securing a special strain of Divinum blood with only one carrier. Alexander will create a new race of Anakim in his image, but in order to succeed he must possess Cooper Causey mind, body, and soul. And he will destroy anyone who stands in his way.
20 Years Ago
They stood side by side, straddling their bicycles between two vine-choked, stone columns that guarded the entrance to Warfield. The manor house teased them in the distance, the front door a mere speck framed by a cathedral of live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. The deserted plantation was still and quiet, daring them to continue. It was a standoff. Whoever made the first move would lose.
Cooper drew in the thick scent of jasmine and held it in his throat. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead and trickled down his neck. He wiped his brow with the back of his hand and slowly exhaled the nervous energy clogging his lungs. They’d never gotten this far before, and it was nothing like he’d expected. Part ghost town, part sanctuary, Warfield was both creepy and beautiful all at the same time. Like he’d journeyed to hell and felt right at home once he arrived. But being here was wrong. He knew that now.
Kevin rolled his bike forward, calling to them over his shoulder with his trademark sneer. “Let’s go, chicken shits.”
Cooper glared at the back of his older brother’s head and frowned. Lillie Mae had warned them many times to stay away from Warfield, her eyes cloudy and distant at the mention of the place. The ghost stories and nightmares weren’t enough for Kevin and RJ, though. They wanted to see the real thing up close. So there they were, riding right up into Blue’s lair. If not for the chance to hang around RJ, Cooper would’ve stayed behind in the cool of his bedroom, hunkered down under a pile of books and his summer reading list.
RJ glanced over and shot Cooper a smile. “You okay there, Red?”
Cooper’s cheeks grew hot, and the butterflies in his stomach were back. RJ always had that effect on him. Cooper looked down, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose with the knuckle of his index finger, and nodded. Easing his bike forward, he cleared the stone gates with Tony riding beside him in silence. A cluster of sagging structures lay ahead, sheltered from the blazing low-country sun by a row of sprawling oaks.
Tony squinted his eyes. “So this is where it happened?”
RJ glanced over his shoulder, one hand resting on the handlebars and the other moving dirty blond locks out of his eyes. “Yep. This is it. This is where it all went to hell.”
Everyone knew the legend of Blue. Stories of a murderous slave ghost who roamed the woods around Warfield were standard campfire lore in Georgetown, and the subject of most of Cooper’s nightmares.
“Blue got the slaves all riled up one night and they revolted,” RJ said, guiding his bike in a circle around the younger boys. “Set the manor house on fire and nearly burned the place down. Killed the planter and his whole family.” RJ steered his bike forward, stood on the pedals, and caught up with Kevin in three forceful down-strides.
Cooper studied the sad remains of the slave village. A handful of small cabins lined each side of the road, limp and leaning under the weight of neglect. At the end, on the right, another structure bore a wooden cross over the door. A modest bell tower stood guard next to it. Cooper guessed it was some kind of church, though it looked nothing like the shiny, new Pentecostal one his family attended.
“I don’t like it here,” Tony said, his voice cracking.
Cooper smiled over at his best friend. “It’ll be okay.” But he wasn’t so sure. Cooper pedaled forward, his insides churning like the drag of his bicycle tires in the soft ruts of the road. Kevin came to a sudden stop and planted both feet on the ground, the bike resting between his legs. He pointed over to one of the cabins.
They all stopped pedaling and looked to their right. Cooper’s heartbeat quickened, and sweat slicked his hands, making it hard to grip the handlebars. On the porch of the cabin, a rocking chair, rickety and broken, sat empty yet swaying back and forth, the faint creak of rotted wood sounding as it moved. It rocked for a few seconds, then stopped.
Cooper stared at the chair, holding his breath and waiting for it to move again. It didn’t.
“It’s just the wind,” RJ said, dismissing the chair with the wave of his hand. “Let’s keep going.”
The Spanish moss hanging down over RJ’s head was as still as icicles. No wind.
RJ pointed his handlebars back toward the manor house. “Come on. There ain’t nobody here. This place has been deserted for years.”
Kevin rolled his bike forward, glaring back at the younger boys. “Yeah. Come on, you babies. Or you can go back home by yourselves.”
Tony glanced over at Cooper, his brow cocked with anticipation. “Wanna go back?”
Cooper considered the option for a moment, then shook his head and pushed forward. He didn’t much like the idea of traveling two miles back down a dimly lit dirt road without the older boys. Besides, his momma wouldn’t be waiting for him at home this time with kisses, hugs, and cookies she made special for him. She’d promised she’d never leave him, but she did.
They were halfway down Oak Alley when a foreign sound cracked the silent, crystal blue sky—a desperate clanging that echoed over the grounds. A bell. A big bell. Cooper dropped his feet to the ground. They all looked over their shoulders, searching for the source of the noise, their gazes landing on the bell tower of the chapel. Still, there was no wind—certainly not one strong enough to cause the bell to swing unattended.
Review by Elaine White
Book – Blood Divine
Author – Greg Howard
Star rating – ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 271
Cover – Love it!!
POV – 3rd person, 1 character
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Mystery, Paranormal, Deep South, Slavery, Friends-to-Lovers, Biblical
Wow! This was so epic.
Say Paranormal Mystery to me and I’ll say “Gimme!” That’s when I knew I wanted to read this book. Add on the gorgeous cover, the hint of Old South plantation/slavery themes and the promise of a juicy potential romance and I’m there. No questions asked. First in the queue.
First off, we get hit with a massively intense, captivating prologue that made me desperate to read more. Learning all about Blue and Warfield was exciting and made me eager to learn more.
Then, we end up 20 years later and I’m still completely engrossed in the story. Cooper is a fantastic main character – he’s cheeky, feisty and a little slutty at first, but the more you learn about him, the more you understand him. At first, I thought his easy-osey quick fix sex life was due to the secret he’d been harbouring for twenty years, then I learned that it’s actually so much deeper and more profound than that.
To be honest, I liked Miguel. He was feisty and fun and I wished he could have stuck around, but I get why that wasn’t a great idea. The mystery – and then eventually big reveal of Trevor – had me hooked from that first slip of the tongue, with only a mention of his name. From then on, I needed to know what the big secret was concerning Trevor and when I found out – God, that scene had me in tears!
Another one who took me by surprise was Stephen. From the moment he first met Cooper, my comment was “very interesting. Like him. Want to see more”. And, I do. I can’t wait for the next book so that we can see more of Stephen and watch him find who he really is.
Throughout, there are a lot of themes going on, but it never feels overwhelming. We have the natural Deep South plantation owner, slaves and all the history that comes with that. Layered on top is the biblical origin of Anakim and Divinum, alongside the paranormal aspect of – if you tilt your head and squint real hard – vampires and their half-breed doggies.
The concept of the Anakim and Divinum, along with the Jericho team was so original and brilliantly done. The writing alone, considering background, history, biblical references and the paranormal slant on the topics, was amazing. But the way they were so well weaved together with the stuff that seemed relatively normal was genius.
So, cons? Yeah, one or two really minor things that I don’t care about. Once or twice there was a missing word that caught me by surprise and there was a non-recurring, sporadic (like, twice!) instance of the font being a slightly bigger size, which was noticeable. Other than that? No complaints whatsoever.
Overall, there’s not much I can say without giving things away and I don’t want to do that. I loved it. That’s the crux of it. I loved every minute, couldn’t stop myself from reading and am absolutely desperate for the next book.
From now on, I’ll be unquestioningly picking up anything Greg Howard writers, eager to explore familiar characters or a new world. Whatever he decides.
“Part ghost town, part sanctuary, Warfield was both creepy and beautiful all at the same time. Like he’d journeyed to hell and felt right at home once he arrived.”
“Cooper’s heart responded to the physical contact with a heavy thump, which he inwardly cursed. He’d spent his life riffling through a Rolodex of men in search of just one that measured up to this man. Gorgeous, sweet, straight Randy.”
Meet Greg Howard
Greg Howard grew up near the coast of South Carolina, or as he fondly refers to it, “the armpit of the American South.” By the time he could afford professional therapy and medication, the damage had already been done. His hometown of Georgetown, South Carolina is known as the “Ghost Capital of the South,” (seriously…there’s a sign), and was always a great source of material for his overactive imagination.
Raised in a staunchly religious home, Greg escaped into the arts: singing, playing piano, acting, writing songs, and making up stories. After running away to the bright lights and big city of Nashville, Tennessee with stars in his eyes and dreams of being the Dianne Warren of Music City, he took a job peddling CDs and has been a cog in the music business machine ever since.
Now an adult with a brain, Greg finds the South Carolina coast to be a perfectly magical place where he vacations yearly and dreams of the day when he can return to write full time in the most tastefully decorated beach house on Pawleys Island. Currently, Greg resides in Nashville, TN with his husband, Steve, and their three rescued fur babies. Molly, Toby, and Riley.
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers acquired Greg’s debut young adult novel, SOCIAL INTERCOURSE, which will be released in Spring 2018.