Cold Hillside cover    COLD HILLSIDE

“With them, there are no happy endings.”

In the remote city of Lushan, they know that the Fey are not fireside tales but a dangerous reality.

Generations ago, the last remnants of a dying empire bargained with the Faerie Queen for a place of safety in the mountains and each year the ruler of Lushan must travel to the high plateau to pay the city’s tribute.When an unexpected misfortune means that the traditional price is not met, the Queen demands the services of Teresine, once a refugee slave and now advisor to the Sidiana.Teresine must navigate the treacherous politics of the Faerie Court, where the Queen’s will determines reality and mortals are merely pawns in an eternal struggle for power.

Years later, another young woman faces an unexpected decision that forces her to discover the truth of what happened to Teresine in the Faerie Court, a truth that could threaten everything she loves.


Trade paperback and ebook editions from ChiZine Publications, 2014


Most of the reviews are online through Amazon, Goodreads or a search.  They were mostly positive and, in general, people seemed to like the book for the elements I tried very hard to express.  I was surprised and gratified that for some readers, the immersion in the world of Lushan was what they valued.  I struggled with the world-building for the novel, so those comments meant a lot to me.   If you liked the book – or even if you didn’t – please consider taking the time to review the book on any of the major sites.

Goodreads: rating 4.03, for what that’s worth.

READINGTRANCE: “It’s been a while since I encountered a book that I consciously found myself trying to read more slowly, because I didn’t want to find my time in the author’s world to be over …. but ‘Cold Hillside’ did this.”


The Night Inside
A Vampire Thriller

Ardeth Alexander’s life is the wholly predictable one of a graduate student. She lives by schedules – for papers due, classes to attend, small jobs of research to complete for extra income. Ardeth is the responsible one – steady, dependable, maybe even a little boring.
One day, when she is out for her customary early morning walk, all that changes. Ardeth is abducted by two men, blindfolded, gagged, and taken to a dirty, dank prison cell.
Even more terrifying than the abduction itself is the purpose for her presence there – to sustain with her blood the life of another prisoner. But as she observes the strange grey-haired man who is kept mad with torture and hunger, and the men who force her to do their will, she begins to fear and despise her captors even more than she does the man in the next cell. Slowly, tentatively, she talks to him and tries to reach behind the madness to the man she believes is hidden within. As her relationship with Rozokov develops, the nightly feedings become sensual celebrations. Then, filled with desire for the man, fuelled with a desperate urge for revenge, and lured by the promise of immortality, Ardeth takes the final step.
From the moment the vampire’s slumbering body pulsates to life until the shocking conclusion in a crumbling old mansion, The Night Inside is a thrilling and erotic tale of the thirst for blood and the lust for revenge.

Publication History | Reviews | Author Notes


Blood and Chrysanthemums
A Vampire Novel

Becoming a vampire was easier than she had ever dreamed …

Ardeth Alexander surrendered her mortal life in a night of despair and desire – initiated into a new existence by the five-hundred-year-old vampire, Dimitri Rozokov.

Living as a vampire was more complicated than she had ever expected …

Fleeing Toronto, Ardeth and Rozokov settle in the tourist town of Banff, Alberta.  While she tests her new strength against the mountains by climbing, Rozokov returns to astronomy, the science of his youth.  Together they hunt the dark reaches of the park, preying on the animals they find there, upholding an unspoken agreement not to taste human blood.

Yet all their activity cannot disguise their restlessness and soon their fragile happiness is shattered by bitter conflict and inevitable betrayal.  Angry and unhappy, Ardeth returns to Toronto to try to recatpure the life she believed she had left behind forever.

Understanding what it means to be a vampire would prove harder than she had ever imagined …

What Ardeth and Rozokov do not know is that they are being hunted.  A member of the yakuza, the Japanese underworld, is on their trail, seeking the fulfillment of his most secret ambition.

So is his employer, Sademori Fujiwara – a vampire whose extraordinary history is revealed to Rozokov through his diary.  From the seductive nights in the imperial court of the eleventh century to the horror and tragedy of the darkest days of the twentieth, Fujiwara’s story is a tale of poetry and violence, of delight and despair.  In his life, Ardeth and Rozokov see the promise of the answers to the questions of love, mortality and morality that have torn them apart.

Fujiwara’s power draws them back together to face those questions again – but the price that they all have to pay for the answers will be higher than any of them expected.

Blood and Chrysanthemums is a tantalizing tale of modern horror, with a twist of Japanese gothic, certain to leave an indelible mark on the imagination. — written by NB

NOTE: The Diary of Sadamori Fujiwara is also available as a special illustrated hard cover edition

Publication History | Reviews | Author Notes


A Terrible Beauty

“Will you give me your blood to drink, even though you die of it?”

A past betrayal returns to haunt Simon Donovan, a frail and dying scholar of antiquities, when the woman he wronged summons him to come to her secluded northern home. To spare his father, Matthew Donovan, a struggling painter, undertakes the journey, not knowing that it will take him into the remote reaches of the wilderness and the darkest regions of his heart.

In a fantastic mansion, Matthew meets the mysterious Sidonie Moreau, whose secrets run deeper than the ancient mountains that surround them. Simultaneously fascinated and disturbed by her, he tries to discover what she hides … and what she wants from him.

Then in one night of terrible revelation, he learns the answer — nothing less than his life’s blood, yielded willingly. She promises that he will not be harmed, that he is free to do as he pleases, but every night she will ask for his blood and he must answer. Trapped by the vast wilderness around them, Matthew has no choice but to submit to her terms. Every day, he struggles to exorcise the nightmares that haunt him, giving them form and colour on his canvas. Every night, he must once again face his immortal captor.

He vows that he will never surrender to her. But as the nights pass, he comes to realise that there are things more dangerous than her inhuman appearance and deadly need. There is the sorrow in her eyes, the strange curve of her smile, and her complex, compelling charm. There are the secrets submerged deep in his own heart. Soon he knows that the unthinkable is possible; that one night, tempted by desire and despair, he might say yes …

In an extraordinary reworking of one of the most beloved and popular fairy tales of all time, the acclaimed author of The Night Inside and Blood and Chrysanthemums creates a stunning new mythology, a heart-stopping tale of suspense, and an unforgettably beautiful love story.

“He did not know if he could hammer a stake into her heart. He did not want to find out for certain that he could not.” — written by NB

Publication History | Reviews | Author Notes