To Touch the Sun is the first novel in my vampire series set in Chicago
1916: France, World War I
Narain Khan was 25 when he left his native India to fight in the trenches of the Western Front during WWI. It was his hope that he could stay on after the war to pursue his dream of studying the culinary arts and becoming a world class chef. Instead, he fell to shrapnel amidst the carnage of that bitter war. Carnage which, when darkness fell, attracted something terrifying: A roaming pack of feral vampires–mindless feeders–who fell upon the soldiers left wounded and dying in No Man’s Land. Attacked by the ferals, Narain was transformed into the other type of vampire: A sentient capable of moving about in society with only a few restrictions and able to feed without killing the host. While in the fugue state of his conversion, he was found by Alphonse Reno, a man who had lost his own son to feral vampirism and who is sure the condition is biological, not metaphysical. Working to find a cure in hopes of bringing back his son, Alphonse convinces Narain that, unlike ferals, he could lead a relatively normal life.
Present Day: Chicago, U.S.
Narain has reached a crossroads. Helping him adjust to his condition through the decades was his beloved Sophie who was not only his wife, but his food source once they realized she wasn’t susceptible to the condition. Her sacrifice enabled him to lead as normal a life as possible, making hunting for food unnecessary. Cancer had taken Sophie the previous year and after the stock of blood she had saved up has been depleted, Narain is faced with again having to hunt for his food, something he is both morally opposed to, but also causes him to fear passing on the condition to unwitting, perhaps dangerous hosts. If left too long, however, hunger can bring out the deadly feral nature even in a sentient vampire. As a well-respected chef and owner of a successful Chicago restaurant, Narain has worked hard to promote a veneer of normality. The last thing he and his business partner and friend Dom Amato needs is for Narain’s hunger to get the better of him.
Events conspire, however, to drag Narain away from the safe life he has cultivated back into one of madness and danger: The attraction he feels for microbiologist Cassie Lambert, who has a link to his past Narain is unaware of, and the re-emergence of a ghost from the Great War. Captain Reginald Jameson was a sadistic predator when Narain had challenged him during their service in the trenches of France. The vampire Jameson of 90 years later is infinitely more dangerous, his sadism backed by the bizarre abilities of their condition. The discovery that Cassie Lambert has made about the cause of vampirism is one that Jameson is willing to kill to obtain.
Jameson has brought back another ghost from their shared history in his search to find immunity to sunlight. The experiments of his researchers, however, have resulted in the creation of a third, more terrifying breed of vampire: Boris, a psychopathic monster who will stop at nothing to destroy all in his path.
In trying to protect Cassie from Jameson and Boris, Narain will have to rely on skills that he’s allowed to atrophy over the decades. In a climatic struggle, Narain will have to learn that to defeat the real monsters, he has to embrace what he is and awaken the beast within. And to touch the sun, he will have to risk being burned up in its fury.
To Touch the Sun is available in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon