||June 3, 2014
A band of blood-thirsty Templar knights refuse to stay dead.
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Brandy Petracus, touring a ruined castle in the south of France, is led to the unhallowed graveyard of 14th century Templar knights executed for practicing Black Magic. The occupants of this ancient cemetery, known to the locals as the Devil's Bed, do not rest in peace.
In this fast-paced clash of Good vs Evil, Brandy soon finds herself the ad hoc leader of an eclectic group besieged by resurrected Templar knights - craving their blood. Vampirism, madness, dark humor, and flashbacks to 14th century Paris tell Brandy's very human story of commitment, trust and sacrifice.
Before the appearance of these resurrected horrors, Brandy is feeling trapped by life. Her best friend, Vicki, is murdered (with three others) near the Templars' graveyard. Angry and overwhelmed by guilt, she finds little comfort in her emotionally detached fiance (Vicki's brother). She fights to come to grips with her loss, her failing relationship, and the local authorities suspicions she is involved in the murders. Then Brandy's nightmare really begins. The Templars, keeping a seven centuries old covenant, rise from their graves to avenge their executions. Vicki, and the rest of their victims, return from the dead. Brandy and company are forced to hole up in an ancient chapel and fight for survival.
Even then, the Devil's Bed has yet to surrender all of its secrets.
Now armed, the reporter and priest passed the alcove and found Brandy checking the lone window in the second room off the ambulatory. It was an office, empty, save for stray clutter in the corners, eerily lit by her candle on the floor by the door.
“Do you need a hand?” Aimee asked.
She shook her head. “I think I've got it.”
The shutter slats exploded inward and Brandy screamed as the razor sharp tip of a halberd punched through the window - missing her head by a fraction of an inch.
Aimee and Trevelyan fell back, alarmed, then were startled again as Ray ran into the room behind them. Hearing Brandy's scream, and with no time to search, he'd grabbed the nearest 'weapon' he could find, a heavy iron candelabrum, and hefted it now as he charged. He saw the priest and the reporter back on their heels and followed their gaze to Brandy.
His fiancé was hunched beside a shattered window – with glass at her feet and a spear rammed through the broken shutters. The tip bounced, the shutters splintered, as the weapon was maneuvered from outside. “Look out!” Ray yelled.
A skeletal hand shot through the opening. It grabbed Brandy at her shoulder; clutched her blouse. She shouted, in surprise and disgust, and tried to pull away.
“Hold still!” Ray barked. He stormed forward and, drawing the candelabrum up and over his shoulder like an axe, chopped at the Templar's wrist. The parchment skin tore, the radial and ulna bones snapped like twigs and the disembodied hand fell to the floor.
Outside the window a hellish shriek erupted.
It was a fair guess this situation had never arisen before. It's also a fair guess that most, freed from such a menace, would run like hell. Not Brandy. She looked down. Searching, and calmly asked, “Where is it?”
They followed her eyes to the floor. The hand was gone.
Brandy scanned the shadows searching for the boney claw. Splintered wood, glass shards, shoe prints in the layers of dust and dirt... Aimee joined her in looking.
Ray shook his disbelieving head and stepped back with Trevelyan. Together they watched the women.
Aimee gasped. She tugged at Brandy's sleeve and excitedly whispered, “There! In the corner.”
The gray tips of the fore and middle fingers were barely touched by a ray of moonlight through the window's smashed wood slats. Straining her eyes, Aimee could just make out the lifeless silhouette of the boney claw and a thin rivulet of liquid whatever trailing from the severed wrist. As she drew near, to better see the horrid thing, the hand hopped onto its fingertips and 'ran' at her.
Aimee screamed, jumped up and backward, all but bowling over Brandy who'd grabbed her candle and was returning. Still the reporter kept her eye on the damnable thing moving along the floor. She tried to stomp it as it passed, but missed, and like a grotesque spider from the eighth level of Hell, the hand scurried away. It skittered across the hardwood on ticking phalanges and shot between the priest and Ray at the door. Trevelyan screamed, “Dear God!” Ray simply screamed. The hand vanished into the ambulatory and the dark chapel beyond.
In a flush of anger and embarrassment, Aimee got around the bewildered Brandy and took chase. Brandy recovered, and raced from the room on her heels, calling for the others to help as she passed. “Not a chance!” Ray shouted, as another of Grandma's ghosts went through him. “I don't touch small living things... especially when they're dead!”
Trevelyan, unable to secure the window, ushered Ray from the room and secured the door instead.
Horror at its finest... mixed with humor.
Brandy takes a vacation to France with her fiancé, Ray, and her best friend/soon-to-be sister-in-law, Vicki, to finish her project on burial practices. It inevitably takes them to the tombs of the Templar Knights. Terrible things happen at the graves, and all hell (literally) breaks loose. Yet, through it all, the characters seem to keep a morbid sense of humor.
The mummified Templars are resurrected with help of their personal idol, Satan, and with it they bring forth a new kind of horror. They reanimate the dead as vampires, building an army of undead minions. Stop! I know what you are thinking, and you are wrong. These vampires have a thirst for human blood, and the human soul.
My creeptacular meter was dinging on high this time. What a great and creepy story filled with blood, guts, holy water, fire, and ceiling crawling undead. I have to give the writer props on the Evil Dead-like chase through the church that had me laughing out loud.
- C.V. Hunt, author of Endlessly
The Devil's Bed makes for one hell of a thrill ride!
Doug Lamoreux's novel, The Devil's Bed, is a bloody, spooky mix of horror and the historical. Mixing together a high octane brew of legend, Crusader history, black magic and vampirism, Lamoreux spins a rewarding tale of action and creepy thrills.
Touring an ancient castle in France, two American women learn of a dark chapter in the history of the Templar knights, heroes of the crusades. Buried outside of the church on unhallowed ground lie the tombs of a heretical sect of the Templar knights, burned at the stake for witchcraft. One of the young American women is assaulted by a local thug and when her blood trickles down into the sarcophagus of a long dead knight, it awakens an ancient evil that plunges the American tourists, the local police force and a priest into a night of hell.
Lamoreux's prose sings when describes these undead knights rising from their tombs and attacking the hapless heroes. His keen attention to detail, specifically the period armour and weapons, the castle and its surroundings, bring this tale to shimmering life. You can almost hear the clang of the swords or the thud of the mailed fists.
Spliced between the fantastic visuals of mummified knights tearing across the landscape on undead mounts or resurrected victim scuttling up a wall are some nice moments of humour. Between the bickering American couple questioning their relationship and their clash with French culture and the frustrations of a minor crime boss dealing with his cronies, the comic relief plays well against the horror and action of the main plot.
There's a lot to like here, and Lamoreux keeps his foot on the pedal as the action ramps up to a blazing, nigh apocalyptic climax. Keep your eye on this author, I think he's going places.
Tim McGregor, author of Bad Wolf
The Devil’s Bed by Doug Lamoreux
In a 14th century cemetery surrounded by the folklore of the persecuted Templar Knights, Ray Kramer and his fiance Brandy Petracus, listen to a tour guide as she takes mental notes for her Master’s thesis. Accompanying them is Viki, Ray’s sister. Brandy had sold her on an exciting and adventurous vacation that so far, has turned out to be a bore. Feeling like a third wheel, Vicki takes a chance on making a new friend, Loup.
When Vicki is raped, she unknowingly raises the Templar Knights from their several hundred years sleep. The knights continue a rein of murder and destruction on an insatiable quest for vengeance. Searching for answers, Ray and Brandy find themselves trapped in the cemetery. Now along with some friends, they must fight the darkness, the Knights , and the local police (gendarme) until dawn .
The Devil’s Bed aptly named, was a very good book. It combined French folklore about Templar Knights with suspenseful situations starting with a missing family member in a foreign country. With the addition of the Gendarme who are attempting to arrest Ray and his fiance for murder, the plot thickens.
The Devil’s Bed also uses just the right amount of French dialogue keeping the reader on track without losing them.( I picked up some new phrases!)
The characters developed well throughout the story, and when the time called for it, their true colors shone through.
Overall, the story moved at a good pace, and as I stated above, created a good amount of suspense. If your interested in Knights, French folklore or just want a story that puts good graphic images of horror in your head, then this is a must read!
This was his first novel and I look forward to his future endeavors.
- John Farris, Dead buried and back.com
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