Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Learn about the world Erin Fulmer created for her CAMBION series. + Giveaway

Cambion’s Blood (Cambion, #2)
by: Erin Fulmer
Series: Cambion
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Release Date: June 7, 2022
Publisher: City Owl Press
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Half-succubus attorney Lily Knight has blood on her hands.

Haunted by guilt, behind on her rent, and facing professional disgrace, Lily must figure out how to survive in the wreckage of her former life. To make ends meet, she accepts a contract job she never wanted but can’t seem to avoid—hunting another demon murderer. This time, the victims are human, and a shadowy government agency will reward Lily with a way out of her dire financial straits.

If Lily doesn’t solve the case before the news gets out, fear and hatred will put all demonkind at risk from the proverbial torch-carrying mob. But when a young succubus on the run from the authorities begs for her help, Lily faces a new conflict of interest—especially after the suspect, Eve, reveals her father is Lily’s old frenemy.

Now Lily must juggle the pressures of a high-stakes murder case, her complicated relationship with her “not-boyfriend” Sebastian, and responsibility for a wayward teenager as she races to find the real killer. Worse, the culprit isn’t just a demon, but a self-proclaimed goddess who will stop at nothing to carry out her bloody quest for justice. To stop the killings, Lily must confront that which she most fears: the truth about what went down with Eve’s father in the desert—and its consequences.

That is, if the goddess doesn’t get to her first…

The world of the Cambion series is much like ours—except demons are real, along with other types of magical and mythic beings that will be introduced as the series goes on.

The books mostly take place in 21st century San Francisco. However, in Cambion’s Law, we find out that there are a few differences in the known history and geography of the West Coast. For instance, western Nevada is scarred by a radioactive wasteland, due to an incident that happened there during the late 20th century, after World War II. Humans made the mistake of trying to imprison demons in a military facility there, experimenting on them and seeking to control them. When the imprisoned demons rebelled, the facility holding them was bombed into oblivion—though at least two escaped.

So, what are these demons, or “cubines” as they call themselves? I made up the term “cubine” because it made sense to me that there would be a non-gendered term for incubi and succubi (and, as a note, non-binary cubines can definitely exist!) These supernatural beings feed off human energy that they call “kether”, specifically a type of life force generated by pleasure and joy (with some exceptions), which is absorbed through skin-to-skin contact. If a cubine is careless with their energy drain, they can potentially harm or kill their partners, though this probably happens rarely. Cubines often prefer to return to the same partner repeatedly, which deepens the psychic bond over time.

Life force regenerates quickly in humans—even if drained to unconsciousness, most recover within 24 hours—and is sometimes referred to as equivalent to a “soul.” Full cubines can’t self-generate kether and must get it from a human source. They can hold energy in reserve, but using their more active abilities or healing injuries will expend this energy. Cambions like my MC, who is half-human, have some ability to generate their own energy, though they recover much more slowly than full humans.

When cubines feed, it creates a psychic and spiritual bond with their human partner. Once a cubine establishes a bond with a human, this protects the human from the influences of other cubines. Some question whether demons can feel human emotions like love, though they certainly don’t act as though they’re wholly emotionless.

Cubine powers relate to their energetic needs: they have intense charisma, and they can read human emotions and desires, sensing them as an aura-like signature called a “desiderata.” They can also manipulate the emotions of humans or even groups of humans, and they can shape perceptions as well. For instance, through their charismatic Presence, they can draw human attention to themselves or evade notice.

Their more advanced abilities let them move through physical barriers at will (something my MC struggles to master) and manifest wings for flight. They can interbreed with humans, though cubines have more conscious control of their reproduction than humans do. For instance, a succubus will not become pregnant unless she chooses to do so.

Cubines can also gift their energy to humans and others of their own kind. This lesser-known ability can be used to heal wounds even in humans near death. It can also severely incapacitate the cubine until they are able to access another energetic source. If a cubine gifts enough energy back to the human they took it from, they can free the human from the bond of influence they have over them. Of course, this makes that human vulnerable to other demons as well.

You could argue that cubines are a kind of emotional vampire, though they would take exception to the term and assert that there is no such thing as a vampire. They do share several attributes with traditional vamps, though: they are functionally immortal as well as immune to poison, disease, and aging. Their only true weakness is silver, which can severely wound, sicken, and kill them with sufficient exposure.

It’s not fully understood why silver affects cubines in this way, but it seems that it breaks the link between their material form and the kether that sustains them. Once that link is fully severed, their bodies fall to dust and any psychic bonds also dissolve, “freeing” any humans claimed by them and opening those humans to bonds with other demons. Silver can also protect humans from demon influences if worn against the skin.

It's implied, though never outright stated, that demons are similar to the Nephilim, the fallen angels or giants of Judeo-Christian folklore who were said to live on earth and breed with humans. My demons have feathered wings, not bat wings, which suggests they might resemble traditional angels. However, the cubine characters in the books are agnostic as to their own nature and to the existence of any divine power. They do not have any special metaphysical or spiritual knowledge beyond the practical knowledge of their abilities and their perception of human energy.

In book 2, we find out that supernatural beings with related if not identical powers exist outside of this particular cultural context. One could extrapolate that those different cultures might have different understandings and explanations for their origins, and those supernatural beings might have varying cultures of their own. We also learn that the U.S. government has a secret agency engaged in the study of supernatural entities, monitoring potential threats and occasionally recruiting less dangerous ones as assets. This raises a lot of questions which I hope to explore in future books.

I hope you found this little world-building summary interesting and if you did, I hope you’ll check out my series!

Purchase Cambion’s Blood from:

The Cambion Series:

Erin Fulmer (she/her) is a public benefits attorney by day, author of urban fantasy and science fiction by night. She lives in sunny Northern California with her husband and two spoiled cats. When she’s not writing or working, she enjoys yoga, taking pictures of the sky, playing board games with friends, and napping like it’s an Olympic sport.

CAMBION’S BLOOD, the second book in her Cambion series and sequel to her debut urban fantasy CAMBION’S LAW, is out June 7 from City Owl Books.

Places to find Erin Fulmer:

You can follow the Cambion’s Blood Blog Tour here.

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  1. I love the cover and he excerpt!

  2. Thanks for hosting today, Kim!

  3. What a great series!
    A must read soon for me.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  4. The cover looks great. Sounds like a really good book.


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