Rats, Romance and Other Humanizing Things
by S. M. Stelmack
Even as you read Midnight Everlasting, second book in The UnderCity Chronicles, we’re busy writing the third, Necropolis of Light. And it is only now that that we’ve realized that The Chronicles is really all about one big question: What makes us human?
We’re not talking about the simple physicality of a being bipedal with a superior mammalian brain, but how we use that brain to be more than animalistic. To be human is to go beyond instinct and to make choices. To know right from wrong. To imagine the world as it might be, and to work to make our visions come true.
Or is it? Perhaps humanity’s just a fairy tale. A lie we tell ourselves because we can’t bear to believe that free will is an illusion. That in the end we’re just soulless windup toys marching to the turn of Darwinian gears.
So how does this question play out in our new release, Midnight Everlasting?
Zephanie literally lives beneath the rest of the world and works in the family business of arranging deals among international crime lords, the circumstances of her birth placing her on the farthest margins of society. Knowing the rest of humanity sees her as criminal scum she’s more than a mite defensive, her opinions of those above her as dark as London’s undercity.
Then an act of violence against her clan brings her into contact with Tom Coyle. A man who’s dedicated his life to one irrational, impossible goal—to know the whereabouts of his son, a boy who’s been missing for a decade. A man who personifies love and loyalty even when all hope is gone. A man who, damaged as he might be, refuses to give up.
And it just so happens Zephanie might be able to help him.
As different as the two of them are their futures are tightly entwined, and together they must face the nightmares which stalk the city’s bowels, and solve a mystery involving the bizarre, ferocious and eccentric inhabitants of the underworld.
But even as they brave the darkness they learn more about themselves and each other, and come to realize that as polar opposite as they might seem they share virtues of wit, loyalty, courage and commitment. That each element is a building block of that most wondrous and complicated of human traits: love.
And as trite as some people might think it, perhaps it’s the alchemy of love which raises us above the beasts.
Perhaps it’s all that really makes us human.
Lindsay Sterling’s niece has gone missing in the New York underground and the cops do nothing except pass along a name. Jack Cole. Twenty years ago they were good buddies but horrors have changed them both. Lindsay lost her entire family except for her niece in a car accident, and Jack was held captive in New York’s underbelly for nearly two years by demented sub-humans. It was a soul-sucking experience that’s left him a shell of a man. He refuses to descend into that hell again, especially for a girl who’s probably dead anyway. But when Lindsay is nearly killed there after going it alone, Jack feels compelled to save her skin. Jack navigates Lindsay through a strange territory, populated with the eccentric, the insane and the desperate. Each encounter takes them closer to Lindsay’s niece but also closer into the clutches of the mad creatures that will enslave them.
About Midnight Everlasting
When a brutal massacre rocks London’s underworld, Zephanie Sweetly must uncover why the legendary Rawheads have suddenly reappeared, shattering the age old truce with her bloodline.
Ten years ago Thomas Coyle’s son disappeared, the trail leading beneath the city’s streets to a shadow world ruled by secret clans.
Now, bound by the prophesy of an ancient lineage, the two must fight their way through a web of lies to save those they love from the wrath of an unknown enemy. But sometimes the deadliest enemies are the ones closest to our hearts.
London’s Rat Queen arises, and it’s time to pay the piper.
Available at: Amazon
About S. M. Stelmack
S. M. Stelmack is our pen name, short for Serge & Moira Stelmack.
We aim to give what we like in a story— gutsy men and women, high stakes and LOL lines. Serge is the storymaster who blasts out the beginning, middle and end. Moira comes behind, clucking and hemming, as the story undergoes countless rewrites till it meets our vision. She’s also the media relations manager, senior editor, marketing VP, director of operations (domestic and foreign), comptroller and the one who makes sure that Serge has a steady supply of cola while he works.
We live with our two kids, and several other strange pets, in a land of wintertime sunshine and snow and summertime mud and mosquitoes. Actually, it’s not that bad. The snakes in the local lake aren’t venomous.
Serge & Moira have graciously offered up TWO copies of Undertow and Midnight Everlasting to TWO lucky winners!! Which means each winner will receive a copy of each novel! The giveaway starts now and ends September 13, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.
And keep in mind you can buy both novels on Amazon for only $0.99!