Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kiss of the Butterfly by James Lyon: Spotlight



 


 
 
 

James Lyon is an accidental Balkanologist, having spent the better part of 32 years studying and working with the lands of the former Yugoslavia. He has a Ph.D. in Modern Balkan History from UCLA and a B.A. in Russian from BYU.

He has lived in Germany, Russia, England, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, and California, and spent the better part of 18 years living in the lands of the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia, and has worked in Macedonia and Kosovo. He has traveled widely, from Africa to Latin America to the Middle East, and all over Europe. He currently works in Sarajevo and bounces back and forth to Belgrade.

In his spare time he likes sailing through the Dalmatian islands and eating Sachertorte in Vienna at the old Habsburg Imperial Court's Confectionary Bakery, Demel. He lost his cat in the forests of Bosnia and can't find it. If you see a black and white cat that ignores you when you call the name "Cile II", a reward is being offered...provided the cat hasn't turned into a vampire.



 
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 Synopsis:

“I sense it even now. People thirst for it; the entire country is mad with desire for it. And now we are going to war with our brothers because they look like us, and because we can smell our blood coursing through their veins...”  A dying man’s cryptic letter to an enigmatic professor launches grad student Steven Roberts on an unwitting quest, shrouded in mystery, into the war-torn labyrinth of a disintegrating Eastern European country. Steven plunges into the maelstrom to unearth long-forgotten documents holding clues to an ancient Emperor’s deeply buried secret, an inconceivable and long-forgotten evil that has slumbered for centuries. Steven’s perilous journey stretches from Southern California’s sunny beaches, to the exotically dystopian city-scapes of Budapest, Belgrade, and Bosnia, as it plays out against a backdrop of events that occurred centuries before in the Balkans.

Meticulously researched and set against the background of collapsing Yugoslavia, “Kiss of the Butterfly” weaves Balkan folklore together with intricate historical threads from the 15th, 18th and 20th centuries to create a rich phantasmagorical tapestry of allegory and reality. It is about passion and betrayal, obsession and desire, the thirst for life and the hunger for death. And vampires – which have formed an integral part of Balkan folklore for over a thousand years – are portrayed in their original folkloric form, which differs dramatically from today’s pop culture creations.

“Kiss of the Butterfly” is based on true historical events. In the year of his death, 1476, the Prince of Wallachia -- Vlad III (Dracula) -- committed atrocities under the cloak of medieval Bosnia’s forested mountains, culminating in a bloody massacre in the mining town of Srebrenica. A little over 500 years later, in July 1995, history repeated itself in Srebrenica, when nearly 8,000 people were killed, making it the worst massacre Europe had seen since the Second World War. For most people, the two events seemed unconnected...



 
PRAISE

 
Kirkus Reviews wrote: "In the glut of vampire-themed novels now on the market, Lyon’s debut stands out… skillful… authentic… fascinating… inspired… Lyon executes it perfectly... vivid... engaging... highly promising... sophisticated..." https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/unknown/kiss-of-the-butterfly/








 

2 comments:

Lizzy said...

Oh, I liked reading Kiss of the Butterfly. Info dumpy...but a unique story about the actual origin of vampires.

James Lyon said...

Thanks to Laurie for hosting "Kiss of the Butterfly". There are so many nice and wonderful people out there in the blogosphere, and speaking as an author, I am always grateful for their generosity with their time and their kindness.

And thanks to Lizzy for reading and reviewing it. I understand what Lizzy means about info dumpy, but I had to deconstruct the pop-culture vampire in order to take it back to its roots, and I was hard pressed to find a different way to undo over 100 years of bowdlerization of vampires.


James