Title: A Time to Rise
Author Name & Publisher: Tal Bauer (NineStar Press)
Publication Date: May 2, 2016
History says the Knights Templar were destroyed in 1307.
History is wrong.
Vampires haunt the sewers beneath Rome, revenants desecrate graveyards, ghouls devour helpless passersby, and incubi stalk dark alleys and seedy nightclubs in Italy’s capital. Deep in the Vatican, a brotherhood exists, sworn protectors of the earth, and they stand firm against monsters from the dark depths. Operating in secret and silence, they protect our world from the sinister, the etheric, and from the evils that exist beyond the Veil.
But it’s a lonely life, and Alain Autenberg knows that more than most. His lover was ripped from him years ago and he vowed never to get close to another soul again. Even when the loneliness presses down on him, and his empty heart cries out for something more.
Something more comes in Cristoph Hasse, a new soldier arriving in Rome to serve in the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Young, brash, and fitting in a right angles everywhere he goes, Cris struggles in the murky, deceptive labyrinth of the Vatican. Propelled forward by a past he can’t understand, Cris collides with Alain, and both men crash headfirst into the darkest secret of the Vatican… and of the world.
Pressing back against the ancient stone-church walls, Alain palmed his pistol, his fingers curling around the heavy grip as he adjusted his hold. Cold ivy, wet with dew, flicked over the back of his neck, and midnight fog clung to his skin, the roughhewn stones, and the dreary courtyard. Across the cobblestone drive in front of the church, pebbles skittered wildly, an ill wind blowing through.
A streetlamp hummed down the road, but it was lost in the haze, and the entire night could have been a transplanted moment from so long ago. Antiquity drowned the air, heavy with every inhale. A fountain burbled, water falling from the mouths of fat marble cherubs beneath the light of a sickle moon.
Next to Alain, pressed against the rotten and crumbling walls of the Basilica di Sant’Aurea, Father Lotario Nicosia slipped his pistol under his suit jacket and into his shoulder holster. He was dressed in his usual Catholic priest’s attire—black suit and a Roman collar—but he packed heavier firepower than just a crucifix. Double shoulder holsters with modified twin 9mm pistols. Still, Father Lotario tucked the pistols away.
What they were hunting tonight wouldn’t fall to bullets. Not even silver or iron bullets.
Father Lotario coughed, breathing hard through the wet chill choking the nighttime air.
“You need to quit smoking,” Alain grunted.
Tal Bauer writes LGBT fiction and romance, bringing together a career in law enforcement, trauma medicine, and international humanitarian and disaster relief work to create dynamic, strong characters, intriguing plots, and unique, exotic locations. Tal’s stories weave together pulse-pounding adventure, cunning intrigue, and sweeping romance. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.