- Series: Ordo Lupus and the Blood Moon Prophecy (Book 2)
- Paperback: 260 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 13, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1453655638
- ISBN-13: 978-1453655634
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,925,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ordo Lupus and the Temple Gate: An Ex Secret Agent Paranormal Investigator Thriller (Ordo Lupus and the Blood Moon Prophecy) (Volume 2) Paperback – August 13, 2010
From the Author
- The paranormal
My previous novels had been largely reflections on aspects of my own life andcommentary on social structures today. Even Infinite Blue Heaven - AKing and A Queen was thus, because I had actually already married intothe social structure of Kyrgysztan; the real-life geographical location for thenovel.
My own family's roots, uncovered gradually over ten years of concerted researchhad led me to one Guillaume; a Chevalier (Knight) in 13th Century Languedoc,France. He was my earliest ancestor. Simultaneously, I had been pursuing atheological interest in the Cathars; first through reading a numberof books by Henry Lincoln and, later, an interest in Monségur and the Rennes-le-Château,near where the lost treasure of the Cathars is said to be hidden. The Catharswere an ancient sect who came to prominence and were ruthlessly persecuted bythe Catholics in the 1300s, mainly in and around the Languedoc Region ofFrance. Their beliefs were gradually imported from the Mediterranean via theBalkans and possibly originated in Paulian beliefs inpost-Roman Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). They believed that the Christiangod was really Rex Mundi, or 'God of Earth' and that he was anillusion created by dark forces, while the real God remains hidden somewhereoutside Earth. I quite possibly sympathise with the Cathars because my laterancestors probably escaped the Catholic persecution of Huguenots whenthey came to England in the 1500s.
These two areas of interest came together for me when I discovered that one ofmy ancestors was cast out by the Catholic Church andprosecuted for some unknown violation. It resulted in him having to pay thechurch an annual tithe of a man's weight in wheat. What his misdemeanour was, Icannot say but he was certainly very wealthy and his daughter married well soit must have been a personal crime against the Church. Was he a heretic orCathar, even though officially they had all been killed in Monségur 200 yearsbefore? I may never know but it started a train of thought which led to medeciding to write a book about heresy in France, and the political implicationsfor a country that was being slowly formed from part of the FrankishEmpire.
A year before I started this work, I read both The Da Vinci Codeand Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. These books were certainlyan influence on me. Like him, I have been fascinated for many years by therumour or myth that Mary went to France and that Jesus had a descendant. LikeBrown and many others, I speculate that the Cathars did in fact smuggle a greattreasure out of Monségur castle, under the noses of the Royalist besiegers. Ialso speculate on what that treasure might be and how it might affect our livesif it were discovered in the modern age.
Around the same time I was starting this work, my interest in the paranormal becamefocused around reincarnation and lycanthropy (werewolvesand vampires). I have always loved old Hammer Horror filmsand particularly the work of Christopher Lee and PeterCushing. I have also always been interested in luck, and the constantbattle between good and evil, light and dark, and yin and yang; who isn't? Myown luck seems to run in phases of waves; periods of days or even weeks of goodluck, followed by periods of very bad luck. I mused that some people have luckso bad that it kills them, whereas others seem to lead a charmed life. Idecided that my main character, as well as being physically imperfect, musthave some kind of rare interaction with luck and the forces of good and evil.
From there, I developed the idea that luck might have something to do with theeffect of the battle between good and evil: that in fact both Satan and Godmight both have one hand on the tiller of luck.
At this point, while researching werewolf history, and in particular itsorigins in the Balkans which is coincidental with Cathar origins, I stumbledupon the Wikipedia article about Peter Stumpp. Backtracking I found themain article about 'werewolf' and discovered that werewolves -- shape-shiftersand shape-changers -- were not always messengers of evil. Sometimes they couldbe benevolent. This came as a revelation to me. I wanted to write about it. Soone of the main themes of the book is the discovery in some characters of deep,powerful, even Biblica,l forces at work.
You can see how the various strands of a plot for my book were coming together:an imperfect man with an intense interest in history discovers in himself aconnection with deep, dark and powerful ancient forces. I started writing. Butthere, as usual, things took a different turn. Very often, when you write, assoon as a character starts to solidify in your mind, they start to orchestratetheir own affairs. My main character simply wouldn't do what I expected and he becamequickly rebellious. Then I stumbled into a scene in Highgate Cemetery whichreally forged the soul of the book. As a result, I had to rethink my directionand luck suddenly became a much more prominent them than I had anticipated.There were some strange synchronicities with my own life as I wrote: if thecharacter experienced bad luck, I too would seem to experience uncannily badluck. I began to believe I was on to something. I became quite excited; my bookreally would have some relevancy as well as being a good 'yarn.' Relevancy issomething I strive for. I don't like allegory very much but I like my storiesto have some applicability for the reader; something they can identify with andinteract with by consideration.
My main character's involvement with MI6 came about purely byaccident: I wanted to write a book about a character whose whole lifespan Icould document if I wished. That meant setting the book in the 1980s. Fromhere, it became obvious he would serve actively in World War II and, since hehad to be intelligent, he would find his way into of the secret departments ofWhitehall. His placement in the Balkans then became easy to arrange, as did hismeeting of the mysterious Rose, who later becomes his wife. The story openswith their marriage in trouble, which adds poignancy to the alreadyheart-rending start. Much of the material originally set in Sofia was feltunnecessary by some readers so were removed from the Second Edition.However if you wish, you can purchase the Extended Edition whichincludes this content - almost 15,000 words.
Yet another theme is Witchcraft. I have long been interested in the influenceof Gurdjieff and Mdm. Blavatsky on modernwestern ideas. I also make frequent references to the Malleus Maleficarum -the witch-hunter's bible and wicca - particularly Gardnerian wicca.You will also find references to some cult films such Eye of the Devil.
The final theme I wanted to get into my novel was the gothic. The themes ofblood, death, eroticism, sex and transcendence are all things that I desire ina good novel. My influences are Kate Bush, The Mission, LordByron, John Keats (The Eve of St. Agnes is aparticularly favourite poem of mine) and, to some extent, Tolkien's Lordof the Rings. Sex and death are the themes that everyone seems attractedto. As a consequence, I couldn't resist a climax to my novel that took place inone of the world's greatest Gothic masterpieces. But you will have to read thenovel to find out where ...
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About the Author
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While more bodies drop, including friends who help him solve the puzzle, our hero learns that a secret society protecting the serpents is trying to kill him. Since the police decide he is the killer, he has nowhere to turn for help. A beautiful woman volunteers to risk her own life to help him and he yields to temptation in her arms. She is his only ally, but does she have her own secret agenda? Surprising twists in the story lead to a dramatic confrontation, a battle that must be won to save his life and possibly his soul.
Told in the first person, the narrative describes current events then suddenly dives into pertinent memories. It can be jolting at times but each memory, each clue, leads our hero toward the supernatural enemy, while he discovers facts about himself and his family history. The weapon may be his salvation, but will he survive the ordeal?
Starting with an explosive opening I was hooked. Ferran had me intrigued. Afterwards during the informative chapter, he tended to be somewhat unclear. But the story had potential and I kept on reading. And I'm happy that I did for the novel unexpectedly turned into a wild chase against time, with the protagonist cornered from all sides, and it felt like hell itself was bent on bringing him down.
Now our protagonist isn't your standard hero type. He's a common man like you and I, perhaps he had a tougher life than many of us, but in his core he felt human and I easily felt a bond with him. Though his backstory was told in a somewhat unclear fashion, he was still a man you'd find interesting. And he was prone to making mistakes, especially where women were concerned, and I loved that about him. Our MI6 awesome protagonist found himself played at every turn by a charming smile.
Towards the 2nd half of the book, I couldn't stop reading and all the small writing flaws I found in the beginning were gone. I purchased the sequel as soon as I finished reading as the climax left me longing for more.
I know that I'm a perfectionist and a harsh reviewer, and every little thing bothers me. However this novel definitely passes as far as I'm concerned, and I'm aware it's an early work. I can't wait to see how Ferran improved in present writing.
That said, the errors in the book need to be fixed. Stars for this would be a minus. Saying 'of wine' has meaning where 'or wine' did not work in the context. This error showed up twice. There were numerous inexplicable capital letters in odd places. I can understand some for emphasis, but these were nonsensical. There were other errors of words used that should have been something else. I didn't let it get too much in the way of reading the book. I, unusually, did note them in the Kindle notes.