Monday, August 5, 2013

"Blood of the Lamb"

Sam Cabot is the pseudonym of Carlos Dews and S.J. Rozan.

Carlos Dews is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature at John Cabot University where he directs the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation. He lives in Rome, Italy.

S.J. Rozan is author of many critically acclaimed novels and short stories which have won crime fiction's greatest honors, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero awards. Born and raised in the Bronx, Rozan now lives in lower Manhattan.

Rozan applied the Page 69 Test to Sam Cabot's Blood of the Lamb, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Blood of the Lamb  introduces the character of Anna Jageillon, a Noantri (vampire) with an objective that puts her in league with some of the people in the novel and at odds with many others. It's typical of the book in this sense: Blood of the Lamb has two main POV characters, seven secondary ones, and a few minor ones thrown in. Any given chapter will be close third person, in the head of whoever's chapter it is. Anna has her own idiosyncratic take on the action of the book, and her own ideas about whether what's going on is good or bad, right or wrong. So does everyone else. Will Anna prevail? Is she even on the side of good? Is there, objectively, a side of good? You'll have to read up to p. 69, and then on past it, to find the answers to these and oh so many other questions, such as: Is there really a document dangerous enough that its revelation would bring down the Catholic Church? If there is, who will control its fate? What do the vampires know about the Church, and what does the Cardinal Librarian know about the vampires? And how can you stand not knowing any of these things?
Under the glorious blue Rome sky the buildings of La Sapienza positively glowed with learning. Anna Jageillon flopped down against the trunk of a wide-branching platano across from the science center. The morning was fresh and clear and she had an hour before her next class: 20th century Russian poetry, a miraculous trifecta of a fascinating subject, presented in a creatively-organized curriculum, taught by, for once, a professor who, though Mortal, wasn't an idiot. Not only not an idiot, the man was hot: a grinning swarthy Serb. She'd caught the way he looked at her as she studiously took her notes, seen the corners of his mouth tug up when she swept her long blond hair back from her forehead. She'd have taken a run at him already, but her current life was a comfortable one that she wasn't prepared to complicate for a few rolls in the hay. Especially now, with her goal suddenly, after so long, within sight. If she was able to accomplish her objective, she and the Serb could take it up then. At that point they'd be fair game for each other.

Not that there was anything fair going on when a Noantri made a play for one of the Unchanged. The Noantri body was so intensely and elusively irresistible to Mortal senses that Noantri custom declared seducing the Unchanged unacceptable. Amazing, Anna thought, how her people had the same wide streak of pious hypocrisy as Mortals, who outlawed double-dealing, drunkenness, and debauchery and then feverishly committed every sin they had time for. In her Community, it was the same. If every Noantri who took a Mortal lover were punished the Conclave would have time for little else. And, Anna suspected, would be missing a few of its own members.
Follow Sam Cabot on Facebook, and learn more about Blood of the Lamb at the publisher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue