(originally posted on the MVMedia blog)

Kai Leakes
Kai Leakes

1). Tell us a bit about yourself?

-Well, hello! I am St. Louis, native, Midwest born, Romance and Speculative Fiction writer, Kai Leakes. I am a hopeless romantic and vampire lover whose obsession with all things fantasy, romance, and the dark began as a kid and expanded through adolescence. I am a movie/TV fan, neo-soul lover, a Blerd with a love for dark anime, comics, and foodie. I am also the creator of the popular dark fantasy/horror series ‘Sin Eaters: Devotion Books, Sin Eater Chronicles’ novella & steamy romance: Love, Trust & Pleasure: BOK series. My unique passion for romance with a touch of darkness has allowed me to be featured in the HWA award-nominated horror anthology ‘Sycorax’s Daughters’, and sci-fi anthology ‘The City’.

2). Who is your favorite vampire author?

My readers would automatically know the answer to this and I’m glad to continue to share it. My favorite vampire author is the incredible L.A. Banks, may she rest in peace. She was a force of awe for me. She gave me a sista who was loved, and whose love was fought for. L.A. Banks brought wisdom and bad-ass Blackness to the vampire genre. She made sure we as a community saw ourselves in her stories. She did the same with her other inclusive characters. She was an amazing force and literary icon that many copy but can never duplicate.

3). If you had the choice, would you be a vampire?

I love my vamps but it would depend. I’d probably want to be a daywalker or like my own vampires, for me to say a definite yes. I mean unless my maker is Idris Elba. LOL Then whatever type of vampire he is, I’d be.

4). Who is your favorite vampire?

I might surprise some, but it’s a tie. My favorite in the classical form of a vampire was Louis from Interview with a Vampire (but the movie version). He was a brooder, but he was valid in his upset in being made. My next is of course Akasha, mix it with the flair that Aaliyah gave the character with the correct badassness in the book, yup, she’s my fave. I would have loved her fate to have changed but, villains have to learn. Then Blade. He needs no explanation.

5). What do you like the most about Slay?

Slay’s concept of bringing African vampires, Black vampire stories forward to share and shake up the old genre is what makes me excited. Its beyond time that Black vampire stories are told in abundance. We have vibrancy. We have allure, and in some cases, we were the first.

6). What inspired you to write Di Conjuring Nectar of Di Blood?

My inspiration came from some research into what type of vampire entities were in Africa. The next was the fact that I already write West African based and Black American based vampires as is, so I wanted to show a different linage of Black African vampires. I lucked up and found some that also brought in some magic with it. As I was working on my story, Watchmen on HBO came through and it helped me find a moment in time and experience that my lead vampires experienced in order to start their legacy. I’m excited and it’s a story I may expand on in the future.

7). Tell us a bit about your story.

-My story ‘Di Conjuring Nectar of Di Blood’ is a Black vamp love story and generational family story that spans from West Africa to St. Louis, Missouri. Here is the synopsis:

There’s a delectable conjuring sweetness in the blood. An ancient legacy that spans a generation. This is the story of the early beginnings of a unique cursed breed of African vampires that predate their popular European counterparts. Comfort and Easy’s love began in Abomey, West Africa. The deplorable destruction of their kingdom and kidnapping of their people changes the pair into a curse designed to reap vengeance on the hunters who erased their world, continue to hunt them, and aim to bring destruction to others.

For the next generation to carry on the legacy, Crimson must connect to her parents’ painful memories to understand Sankofa: looking to the past while staying present, for education about a reemerging sect of dangerous vampyre hungry for the power of day walking, magic, and rebirth that runs through her blood. She must shake her fears and embrace the rooted nectar of her blood to protect the innocent and herself.

8). What do you hope accomplish with your story?

I mainly hope to entertain and give readers a little Black Vampire love with that of a warrior story featuring strong Black female leads, that the readers connect with and remember.

9). Will there be more stories based on your main character?

-I really like the bases of my story, since it’s different from my precious vampires and more rooted in some of the classical sense of a vampire. So, I hope to expand on their world, their magic, their blood lust, lethalness, and family unity/generational love. Besides, I really love Comfort and Easy, they are quite an interesting and sensual pair in my mind.

10). How do we keep up with all things Kai Leakes?

-Interested readers can find more information about my other works at my website (www.kaileakes.com) or find me on social media at Facebook and twitter (@kaileakes)

11). What advice would you give to Slay readers about this anthology?

-If you feel the literary bloodlust inside you for vampires, write it. Let their stories live. Practice self-care and work at your own pace and wellness. Don’t rush but enjoy the experience.

To enjoy Di Conjuring Nectar of Di Blood and other Slay stories, preorder your book today!

Slay: Stories of Vampire Noire

The publishers of Black Magic Women are set to release another groundbreaking compendium – SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire. The eagerly anticipated anthology will be the first of its kind: a compilation of vampire tales celebrating vampires of the African diaspora. 

After a difficult deliberation, the final stories have been chosen and contracts sent to authors. The list of authors whose works will appear in SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire is as follows:

Authors (in order of appearance):
Sheree Renee Thomas
Craig L. Gidney
Danielle Little
Milton Davis
Jessica Cage
Michele Tracy Berger
Alicia McCalla
Jeff Carroll 
Steven Van Patten
Penelope Flynn
Lynette Hoag
Steve Van Samson
Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald
Balogun Ojetade
Valjeanne Jeffers
Samantha Bryant
Vonnie Winslow Crist
Miranda J. Riley
K.R.S. McEntire
Alledria Hurt
Kai Leakes
John Linwood Grant
Sumiko Saulson
Dicey Grenor
Lisa Woods
LH Moore
Delizhia D. Jenkins
Colin Cloud Dance
V.G. Harrision

The anthology will be available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. eBook copies are available for pre-order at: https://amzn.to/2XMTsJF

For more information pertaining to this and other future releases, sign up for the Mocha Memoirs Press newsletter at http://www.mochamemoirspress.com/newsletter

Horror Fiction Podcast Nightlight — known for their captivatingly creepy audio dramas written by Black authors and performed by Black actors — recently produced and aired two episodes featuring stories from Black Magic Women by Valjeanne Jeffers and Sumiko Saulson.

Episode 301 Features The Lost Ones: a chilling account of werewolves, sorcerers, and demons by Valjeanne Jeffers.

Episode 302 Features Sumiko Saulson’s Tango of a Telltale Heart: a terrifying tale of hellhounds and conflicting ancestry.

If you enjoy reading spine-tingling stories, you can find both of these and more in our best-selling anthology, Black Magic Women.

Press Release

March 16, 2020 — Rock Hill, SC.

From the publishers of Black Magic Women, An Improbable Truth, and The Grotesquerie comes yet another groundbreaking anthology. Committed to amplifying marginalized voices in speculative fiction, Mocha Memoirs Press is on a mission to publish diverse and inclusive stories featuring protagonists not often found in mainstream publishing. In that vein, Mocha Memoirs Press is proud to present SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire — a revolutionary anthology celebrating vampires of the African Diaspora. Featuring anchor stories by award winning authors Sheree Renee Thomas, Craig L. Gidney, Teri Clark, Jessica Cage, Michele Tracy Berger, and Steven Van Patten, SLAY aims to be the first anthology of its kind.

To provide professional Horror Writers of America rates, Mocha Memoirs has launched a crowdfunding campaign. The Indiegogo campaign will run until March 31, 2020. Interested parties can pledge at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/slay-stories-of-the-vampire-noire#/

Contact:

Publisher

Nicole Givens Kurtz

mochamemoirspress@gmail.com

www.mochamemoirspress.com

Since 2010, Mocha Memoirs Press’s mission is to amplify marginalized voices in the areas of speculative fiction (science fiction, horror, and fantasy).

SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire will follow the steps of our previously published bestseller anthologies: An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Black Magic Women: Terrifying Tales by Scary Sisters.

What we are looking for: Vampires have been around in the horror genre for centuries. We are looking to tell a different vampire story. Ones where they may sparkle, but it is a dark one. This call is seeking unpublished short stories that tell stories of the vampire noire, the black vampire. We want stories of vampire hunters, of anti-vampiric heroes/heroines, and more. If you can take the story out of westernized culture, we’d love to see those, too! We want stories that speak of inclusivity. So, if your vampire is disabled or suffers from an alignment, send those stories too. LGBTQ+ stories are also encouraged. To point, we want stories from the African diaspora.

If you do not follow the guidelines, your submission will be deleted unread. Read the guidelines. Follow them.

Upon results of a successful crowdfunding campaign, we will pay HWA pro-rate of .05 per word for publication for First World Rights.

GUIDELINES:
• Stories for this anthology must be original (no reprints or previously published material), no more than 5,000 words in length, and must satisfy the theme of the anthology, meaning the protagonist must from the African Diaspora. Remember, this entire anthology is dedicated to stories of the black vampire. They can be in space, superheroes, but they must be from the African Diaspora.
• Manuscripts should be in Shunn manuscript format, meaning double-spaced, 12pt font, standard margins on the top, bottom and sides, and pages numbered. Please use Times New Roman font. The first page should include the Title of the story, Author’s name, address, and email, and Pseudonym if different from the author’s real name. Italics and bold should be in italics and bold.
• Attach the story in either .docx, .doc, and send it to mochamemoirspress AT gmail.com
• Subject: SLAY Submission: Title of Short story-Author Name
• Save your File as STORY TITLE-AUTHOR NAME

DON’Ts:
• No revenge stories.
• No erotica.
• No bestiality.
• No underage sex with minors.
• No racist rants/racist storylines.

DEADLINE and TIMELINE:
• The deadline for submissions is March 31st, 2020.
• Decisions on stories should be completed by the end of July 2020.

PRESS RELEASE: MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS RELEASES SHORT STORY COLLECTION COLLABORATION WITH ARTIST JULIA LACQUEMENT

Collected: A Cybil Lewis SF Mystery Collection

November 14, 2019—Rock Hill, South Carolina    Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC released a short story collection of Nicole Givens Kurtz’s popular Cybil Lewis private inspector futuristic noir series. This collection of stories contain illustrations from former DC Comics’ illustrator and renowned artist, Julia Lacquement. The title is available in ebook and paperback. A hardcover limited edition will be available later this month.

Early reviews are buzzing with Cybil Lewis’s voice and character as being engaging and one to follow.

Julie Dismukes writes in her 5-Star Amazon review, “I’m nominating Cybil Lewis as a new favorite detective to keep up with. The world of Cybil Lewis is mysterious: there has been some extreme disaster, humanity has had to pull itself together and remake society. Cybil works in a futuristic Washington, DC that is falling apart even as it is being rebuilt. Cybil is a war veteran, as are most of her surviving cohorts…The stories get more interesting as they go along. Each novella is worth buying by itself—this collection of novellas is a wonderful deal. I could not put the book down as soon as I picked it up.”

Here’s the blurb from the collection: Before the Change, before Jane, and before she became a PI badass, Cybil Lewis cut her teeth in the District as a solo, brand new private inspector. At last, those stories of her early years are collected into this volume of short stories and novellas. Offering beautiful illustrations by comic book and brilliant artist, Julia Lacquement (DC Comics), Collected: A Cybil Lewis SF Mystery Collection provides action-packed, mystery stories set in the futuristic territory of D.C. (the District).

Whether this is your first time meeting Cybil or are a long-time fan, this collection should be a part of yours.


You won’t be disappointed.

COLLECTED: A CYBIL LEWIS SF MYSTERY COLLECTION is available at the Mocha Memoirs Press website, Amazon, and other fine online retailers. You can also order the paperback from brick and mortar bookstores.

Contact:

Publisher

Nicole Givens Kurtz

mochamemoirspress@gmail.com

www.mochamemoirspress.com

October 13, 2019-Rock Hill, SC-Rock Hill, SC- In celebration of Black Speculative Fiction Month, Mocha Memoirs Press has released Blood, Sweat, and Blaster Bolts: Adrenaline Charged Tales of Speculative Fiction, a collection of high octane science fiction short stories written by Ronald T. Jones. Renowned for his thrilling, military science fiction novels, Jones’ new collection promises more blood, sweat, and blaster bolts!  This is Jones’s third release from Mocha Memoirs Press.

Blurbs: Come explore the outer reaches of the universe. Charge up your adrenaline and strap on your courage for action adventure among the stars!

  • Outpost: An embittered solitary commander of an isolated space station faces the grave threat of an invading enemy armada along the ruinous frontier of a fallen galactic empire.
  • Freebooter: A smuggler crash lands on an uncharted planet. Her only way off-world is to ally with the planet’s inhabitants in their struggle against a malignant horde of blood sucking monsters.
  • Safeguard: Earth is a wasteland, except for a domed utopia populated by a segment of humanity that has managed to remain at peace for centuries. But that peace is threatened by starfarring zealots bent on spreading a harshly rigid ideology through force if necessary.
  • Mission on Gined: An officer, transferred to an embattled planet, must tackle the mystery of human deaths that may or may not have been the result of enemy action. All he has to do is survive the war zone long enough to get the answer he needs.
  • Approaching a Day of Reckoning: In the far future, humanity languishes at the bottom of a hierarchy of advanced races. It falls on the shoulders of one man to over turn the status quo…no matter what it takes to achieve that end.
  • Tyler’s Goddess: A Special Forces operator suddenly finds himself in a strange realm that is most certainly not Earth. Now, he must use his deadly skill set to save a dwindling human population from extinction at the hands of bloodthirsty non-human savages.
  • Mist Lord: A newly posted ambassador to a lesser world riven by violence and corruption strikes up a relationship with the ruthless leader of a powerful criminal organization. But all is not as it appears. The criminal’s actions and the ambassador’s dealings will have galaxy wide ramifications.
  • The Formula: In an alternate, steam driven world, two agents serving a once great West African state are sent on a mission to obtain a secret that could radically impact the international order. But this is no easy venture. Other nations are after this prize. The agents must face an onslaught of ruthless enemies with enhanced capabilities in a battle for the future.

Owner, Nicole Givens Kurtz states, “Blood, Sweat, and Blaster Bolts: Adrenaline Charged Tales of Speculative Fiction is an thrilling and diverse science fiction collection. This is Afrofuturism, military science fiction at its absolute best.”

You can get a copy of Blood, Sweat, and Blaster Bolts: Adrenaline Charged Tales of Speculative Fiction at the Mocha Memoirs Press website, Amazon, and other fine online retailers. You can also order the paperback from brick and mortar bookstores.

Contact:

Publisher

Nicole Givens Kurtz

mochamemoirspress@gmail.com

www.mochamemoirspress.com