Book Review: Ramses the Damned 2, Rice

Anne Rice’s Long Awaited Ramses the Damned 2 Delivers

By Sumiko Saulson

I was only 21 years old when Anne Rice released The Mummy: Ramses the Damned back in 1989. Like a lot of other enthusiastic fans of the book, I for years awaited the day when the author would keep her end-of-the-book promise that it would not be the end of Ramses’ literary world. 28 years later, the promise was finally fulfilled, with the November 21, 2017 release of Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra.

It was worth the wait.

The second Ramses the Damned installment was written with her son Christopher Rice. As a fan of both authors, there was an added element of guessing when Anne was writing an when Christopher was writing throughout the course of the book. Anne tends to use flowery, romantic and descriptive language evocative of the gothic horror genre and Victorian era literature, whereas Christopher veers more towards action, having a background in thrillers, and uses the more concise language of suspense. They did a wonderful job of blending their voices, making it difficult to tell.

The Passion of Cleopatra is character-driven. Colorful, compelling characters like Ramses the Damned, his love interest Julie Stratford, and his angry old flame, Queen Cleopatra make a comeback from the first book, along with increased roles for minor characters from the first book as well as new characters. Like the first book, it is rife with dark skinned, dark haired, supernaturally blue eyed Egyptians. If anything, there are more of these, in the form of attendants to Queen Cleopatra and the mysterious Saqnos.

Sibyl Parker, an American romance writer sets her popular adventures in Egypt is beginning to experience disturbing visions. She has dreamed of Egypt all of her life; dreams where she is Cleopatra. But recently, there has been a new, ominous tone to these visions. She occupies the life of another in these hallucinations. At first, they seem like dreams, fantasies. Then, she recognizes someone she knows to be a real person these visions: a certain Mr. Reginald Ramsey. He’s been in the news due to his proximity to the discovery of a mysterious mummy, and several strange occurrences soon afterward.

Meanwhile, an angry Cleopatra, having been awakened by Ramses in the early book, is on her own journey. Unlike most of the other immortal and long-lived Egyptians who companions who drank the elixir while living, she had the draught poured on her flesh by an impulsive and guilt-ridden Ramses. Her behavior, as a result, has a certain wild or primal element to it, which seems to be connected to the period of time she was dead.

What, then, is Sibyl’s connection to her? If both are living at once, then it doesn’t seem like it could be reincarnation. And if it is reincarnation and Sibyl possesses Cleopatra’s soul, then what is the soul, spirit, or impulse that animates the hot-headed Cleopatra?

A certain group of Egyptians, Jeneva, Callum, and Matthias among them have been given a weakened version of the drought that only keeps them alive for 200 years. Saqnos, their maker, told them not to awaken them unless something occurred to make them believe that the original elixir existed. He was too depressed by watching his spawn die in what seemed to him, the briefest of times.

All of these interesting characters are hot on the trail of Ramses the Damned, who himself, is engaged to Julie Rutherford. She, newly immortal, along with her uncle, the dashing and reticent Elliot, Earl of Rutherford, are gallivanting around the globe while Elliot avoids seeing his wife and his son, Julie’s former fiancé, in person. Elliot seems primarily interested in male romantic and sexual companionship, which may be part of why he has no desire to see his wife. He’s also afraid she’ll notice the changes immortality brings.

This is the set-up for a globe-trotting adventure that switches back and forth between its interesting primary characters before heading towards its powerful conclusion. Combining the suspense timing of Christopher Rice with the eloquent language of Anne Rice, it is fast-paced, lush, and engaging. If you enjoyed The Mummy or Tale of the Body Thief, I recommend you pick up this book.


 About the Author: Sumiko Saulson is Sumiko Saulson is a horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy writer, winner of the StokerCon Scholarship from Hell and 2nd Place Carry the Light Sci-Fi Short Story Award. Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area. She ranked 6th place in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest.

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An Interview With Loren Rhoads

Our featured author for episode 134 of the Horror Addicts Podcast is Loren Rhoads. Loren had an article in Horror Addicts Guide To Life and has written guest blogs for our blog in the past. Recently we asked Loren a few questions about her writing:

What is your story for episode 134 about?

29741039It comes from my book Lost Angels, which came out earlier this year. The succubus Lorelei sees an angel in her boss’s dance club.  She pursues Azaziel, who inflicts a mortal girl’s soul on her.  Lorelei has to survive Hell’s attacks long enough to find a fallen priest who can exorcise the mortal soul from her infernal body.  The scene I’m reading for the podcast takes place after Lorelei is possessed, when she’s trying to make an alliance with a fiend to protect her until the exorcism.

When did you start writing?

I started writing stories down in junior high, after I discovered the work of Edgar Allan Poe.  My family visited the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia – and Poe’s dorm room at the University of Virginia – and I realized that he was a real person who wrote real stories.  I’m not sure what I thought created books before that, except that they seemed fully formed objects without humans attached.  Once I figured out that people wrote stories, I wanted to do it too.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

That’s a hard question.  Last year I wrote a space opera trilogy.  This year, I’m completing a series about2148570 angels and devils in the real world.  Next, I’m going to finish a book about a witch doing everything she can to prevent the death of someone she loves.  I’ve written a lot of stories about Alondra’s adventures, which have appeared recently in the books Fright Mare: Women Write Horror and nEvermore!: Tales of Murder, Mystery, and the Macabre.  One of my Alondra stories will appear in Best New Horror in 2017.

I guess my favorite topics are women, because I find the ways they think and interact with the world fascinating.  I’m also interested in love, what it is and how it is used. And I’m interested in traveling, how being out of your familiar space shows you who you really are.

Who or what inspires you?

6355365Strangely enough, I find a lot of inspiration on Facebook.  I’m curious every morning to see what we will be angry about each day. All kidding aside, I’m glad to see the discussions of racism and sexism and how people grapple with those issues.  We’re in a place now where people feel they can speak out, which I think is amazing.  Of course there is a lot of turmoil, but it’s leading to growth.  I find it all riveting: challenging, but ultimately positive.  My stories are my attempts to add to those conversations.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

I’m glad to see so many women bringing their stories to the genre now.  When I was growing up, it was all King, Straub, Streiber, then Clive Barker.  The only well-known woman at the time was Anne Rice, but her vampire books weren’t considered “real” horror.  Now we have Gemma Files and Caitlin Kiernan and Dana Fredsti, Maria Alexander and Lisa Lane and Eden Royce … more women than I can name in a paragraph. No one can deny that they are writing real horror, whatever that means.  And they are all writing such different stories.  I can’t wait to discover more of it.

Could you tell us about the As Above, So Below series?

23130135Originally Lost Angels and Angelus Rose were one massive novel. No one would publish it at that length, so I split it into two books. Black Bed Sheet Books originally published the first book in 2013 as As Above, So Below.  When the rights came back, Brian and I decided that it was time to publish the second – more apocalyptic – half of the story.  Angelus Rose will be coming out on Automatism Press in November 2016.

Could you tell us about your nonfiction writing?

In my not-so-secret other life, I write about visiting graveyards.  As I travel, I always stop into local cemeteries to see how they reflect the cultures that surround them, what’s different and what is similar from place to place. I always like to grab a little peace when I travel, so a graveyard is the perfect place.

In August, my parents took me to the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario to see a couple of plays.  I snuck off one morning to see St. Mark’s Churchyard, which predates the War of 1812.  One of the large flat grave markers is all gouged up.  Apparently, when the church served as a hospital during the War, that gravestone was where the surgeons performed amputations. The marks of their cleavers striking off limbs is still visible, two centuries later.  Great story, right?

18010009At the moment, I’m publishing other people’s stories on my Cemetery Travel blog.  The goal is to gather a collection of them to be published as Death’s Garden Revisited.  I encourage anyone who has had something special happen to them in a graveyard – whether they took a date there or visited the grave of someone meaningful or stopped in while they were on vacation – to get in touch with me at cemetarytravel.com.  The call for submissions is here: https://cemeterytravel.com/deaths-garden-call-for-submissions/.

What are some of the other books you have available?

The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, my space opera trilogy, have been accused of bringing grimdark to outer space.  The books are about surviving in the galaxy after humanity started – and lost – an interstellar war.  They’re available in paperback, as ebooks, or as audiobooks.

My collection of cemetery travel essays, Wish You Were Here, collects my stories from Morbid Curiosity magazine, my cemetery column at Gothic.Net, and from various literary magazines.  The essays range from London to Paris to Prague to Rome and Tokyo, then across the US from Boston to Maui.  A new edition of the book will be coming out from Automatism Press early next year, but for now, the book is still available from Western Legends Press.

976431Back in the misty past, I edited a magazine called Morbid Curiosity.  It published confessional nonfiction essays about all kinds of things, from adventures in modern medicine to grim travel destinations to encounters with serial killers and much, much more.  A collection of my favorite pieces from the zine came out as Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual.  It’s available online as an ebook, but I still have some copies of it in paperback.

Where can we find you online?

My homepage: www.lorenrhoads.com

My blog: www.lorenrhoads.com/blog

The As Above page: http://lorenrhoads.com/writing/as-above-so-below/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loren.rhoads.5

Twitter: www.twitter.com/morbidloren

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/morbidloren/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/976431.Loren_Rhoads

Cemetery Travel: https://cemeterytravel.com/

HorrorAddicts.net 126, Writer’s Workshop Winner

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Horror Addicts Episode# 126
SEASON 11!

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich & Stacy Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

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writer workshop winner | valentine wolfe | tomb of liegia & an evening with poe

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

162 days till halloween

adam sandler, murder, halloween, costume, interview with the vampire, anne rice, lestat, tom cruise, brad pitt, queen of the damned, prince lestat, blood paradise, universal, akasha, vampire, chronicles, robert downey jr., rutger hauer, feast of all saints, pandora, david watson, the box jumper, lisa mannetti, free fiction, alex s. johnson, clowns, mcdonalds, creepy, japanese commercials, once upon a scream, dj tryer, shannon lawrence, facebook release party, the rose garden, wicked gardens, through dolls eyes, jesse orr, kids, horror parenting, r l stine, s e hinton, outsiders, rumblefish, that was then this is now, the bloody inn, chantal noordeloos, ghastly games, firefly games, monster high uno, morbid meals, dan shaurette, silence of the lambs, liver, beef kidney, nightmare fuel, d j pitsiladis, robert the doll, creepy doll, band pool, valentine wolfe, crystal connor, victorville massacre, a tricky treat, firghtening flix, kbatz, kristin battestella, tomb of liegia, and evening with poe, vincent price, the tell tale heart, dream within a dream, facebook, stacy rich, dead mail, jane, mimielle, elder goth, fashion, jeff, stephen king, dr. sleep, the shining, the good marriage, the stand, storm of the century, langoliers, artistic license, mice?, adam, the walking dead, dice, friday the 13th, ladder, bianca, anthologies, blog editor, what we are looking for, lynn mcsweeney,  writer’s workshop, j. malcolm stewart

 

 

Wicked Gardens
http://www.lulu.com/shop/rogue-planet-press/wicked-gardens/paperback/product-22628390.html

 

Once Upon a Scream

https://www.createspace.com/6137489

 

 

“Broken Pieces” by Valentine Wolfe

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s t a f f

David Watson, Stacy Rich, Dan Shaurette, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick, Mimi Williams, Lisa Vasquez, Alex S. Johnson

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Once Upon A Scream Author Spotlight: K.L. Wallis

Horroraddicts.net publishing has recently published our 4th anthology called Once Upon A ScreamRemember the Fairy tales that you grew up reading? Well they are back again with a horror twist. Once Upon A Scream includes 18 tales that are fantastic and frightful. One of the authors in this anthology is K.L. Wallis and recently talked to us about her writing:
What is your story in Once Upon A Scream called and what is it about?
 

OnceUponAScreamFrontMy story is called Briar. It is about a man who gets lost deep in the mythical Black Forest – largely due to his own curiosity – where he stumbles upon a fairy tale castle, and gets trapped. Despite first appearing vacant, the castle’s occupants turn out to be more the stuff of nightmares than of fairy tale.

What inspired the idea?


The idea came from an odd blend of things I had recently read. I am a huge Anne Rice fan, and was inspired by the idea in Interview With A Vampire of the mindless, hollow vampires of Eastern Europe. I also wanted to play on technique, so was opting for a minimalist style as demonstrated by Cormac McCarthy in The Road. I was fascinated by the nameless protagonist and wanted to emulate that. While opting for a minimalist approach, I used more descriptive language in the begging, when things are looking a bit brighter for our protagonist.
When did you start writing? 

I started writing Briar about a year ago for an assessment piece I was working on for university. It actually came together very quickly, and I had the first draft completed in the space of a couple of afternoons.
What are your favorite topics to write about? 

Much of what I write about comes back to mythology and legend. I can’t help myself! I tend to use very Gothic techniques in my prose, even when I am not writing ‘Gothic fiction’ per se.

What are some of your influences?

I am most often inspired by other literature. Sometimes by something as minor as a word I want to play with on the page, or a phrase which comes to mind. I like to explore things, particularly motives. I don’t like bad guys who are bad for the sake of it, I like to ‘justify’ and rationalize the irrational. Or, as I mentioned earlier, I am often influenced to write simply to experiment with technique. To quote Picasso, “learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,” – my favorite quote and personal motto as a writer.

 

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

In fear of suddenly becoming very unpopular, I wouldn’t say that I am particularly drawn to all horror, but I have always had a deep affinity for vampires and the spiritual. I just don’t like ugly bad guys! Zombies are definitely not my thing! Perhaps that’s my own vanity speaking, but there is something about a beautiful immortal villain which is so enticing. I think vampires represent the darker side of human nature, which in itself is fascinating. Also, as mentioned, I am a fan of Gothic techniques in literature, and so this genre is inadvertently very much my playground. My motivation to write horror isn’t so much about blood and gore, but more so about creating a sense of suspense and apprehension – to keep the reader hanging on what may be around the corner.

 
What are some of the works you have available?

Briar is my first publication, but it will not be my last! I am currently working on a couple of short stories in other genres which I am hoping to submit for publication soon – time permitting.

What are you currently working on?Pic

I have several things in the works at the moment. I am undergoing post-graduate study (Honours) in Creative Writing, so my exegesis and creative artifact for that are precedent at the moment. I am looking at bending the boundaries of perspective, so I am focusing on two pieces with non-living narrators. As is the nature of Honours, this is likely to change greatly within the next year and a half/two years. I am also re-writing one of the Greek myths, which is turning out to be one of my greatest challenges so far. Trying to re-create a world which has been and is no more, is an extreme challenge. Especially with the complexity of Greek mythology. I am also writing a short story about a girl with multiple personalities, a chic lit novel, and (when I finally get around to completing it) a vampire novel set in the days of Jack the Ripper.

Where can we find you online?

I need to increase my online presence, but currently you can find me mainly on Facebook at my business page Restricted Quill, or Restricted Quill’s website: Restrictedquill Official

HorrorAddicts.net 119, Jaq D. Hawkins

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Horror Addicts Episode# 119

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

jaq d. hawkins | more machine than man | slasher movies

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

68 days till halloween

la guns, over the edge, anne rice, vampires, glam metal, halloween shopping, scarela, richard carradine, ghoula.org, wickedlit.org, crossroadsescapegames.com, lisa lestrange, living dead, box of dread, bill rude, 7hells.com, horror art, krampus, terry m. west, turning face, wrestling, demon, andy alexander, grimwrether.com, queenie, pocket full of posez, brit austin, edward allen, haunted memories, holographic creepy pics, books, serena toxicat, ghost in bones, david, dance of the goblins, jaq d. hawkins, dreamweavers, kerry alan denney, morbid meals, haggis burgers, the world, tarot, wicked women writers, challengers: jaq d. hawkins, sharmica richardson, master of macabre, challengers: sean t. young, rish outfield, winners announced, judges, evo terra, willo clare hausman, dan shaurette, dario ciriello, lucy blue, sandra saidak, voter winner announced, more machine than man, rob zilla, tasha, music, dawn wood, jesse orr, grant me serenity, black jack, the herd, ed pope, dead kansas, aaron k. carter, slasher movies, kbatz, maniac, the hitcher, j. malcolm stewart, dead mail, swim cap, mimielle, karen, make fun of goths, marc vale, advice, jim, poison, mimi williams, join the staff, social media, jaq d. hawkins, chantal noordeloos

Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
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h o s t e s s

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s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick, Mimi Williams

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HorrorAddicts.net 118, Mercedes Yardley

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Horror Addicts Episode# 118

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

mercedes yardley | dark matter noise | stephen king movies

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

83 days till halloween

83 days till halloween

la guns, crystal eyes, anne rice, queen akasha, vampires, glam metal, heat, sunburn, seaworld, scarela, mike bennett, h.p. lovecraft, addict on the street: jean batt, live baycon, haunters, drag king,  guillermo del toro, strain books, donny marisue, goth dj neshamah, loren rhoads, the dangerous type, kindle books, wait for books, lasher, anne rice, books, matthew weber, a dark and winding road, d.j. pitsiladis, david watson, serial killers, highwayman, ink, glenn benest, dale pitman, morbid meals, dan shaurette, chicken a la king, dawn wood, dark matter noise, hell’s frozen, grant me serenity, jesse orr, black jack, dan shuarette, stephen king movies, it, storm of the century, stand by me, pet cemetary, the green mile, the shining, salem’s lot, christine, shawshank redemption, the mist, creepshow, misery, graveyard shift, firestarter, maximum overdrive, room 237, langoliers, bag of bones, dead mail, angela, halloween costumes, penny dreadful, the stig, top gear, birthday suit, ursula, mimielle, dyed hair in the pool, swimming cap, ask marc vale, vlad, blood stains, mercedes yardley

 

Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
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David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick

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HorrorAddicts.net 116, Kristin Battestella

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Horror Addicts Episode# 116

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

kristin battestella | new years day | only lovers left alive

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

111 days till halloween

jenn vix, andy anderson, cure, halloween costumes, baycon, san mateo county fair, facebook quizzes, addicts on the street, sumiko saulson, anne rice, christopher rice, supernatural, mad max, wicked women writers challenge, master of macabre contest, dungeon san francisco, where’s jack?, jack the ripper, matt gunter, spooky, entertainment, sam roberts, torture room, history of san francisco, gold miner, murder, terry west, turning face, horror addicts guide to life, james newman, pembroke sinclair, chantal boudreau, consumed, d.j pitsiladis, t.s.charles, david watson, shadylight, kimberley steele, suicide forest, jeremy bates, belfry network, cemetary confessions, the count, morbid meals, dan shaurette, blood black truffles, lovers tarot, sparky lee anderson, allure of horror, lovecraft, new years day, dawn wood, c.a. milson, defago, horror music, jesse orr, grant me serenity, paul, satan, black jack, sandra harris, kbatz, only lovers left alive, marc advice, sarah, ventriloquists, dummies, dolls, possessed, kristin battestella, fates and fangs, vampire, novella, series.

Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Addicts-Guide-Life-Emerian/dp/1508772525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428730091&sr=8-1&keywords=horror+addicts+guide+to+life

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE MMM / WWW contestant.

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s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick

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