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On the Soul of a Vampire (On the Soul series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Krisi Keley

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Book Description

For some it takes a lifetime to discover their raison d'être. Imagine searching for eight centuries. In 1997 Philadelphia, 800 year old vampire Valéry Castellane comes face to face with his reason to be, in the person of Angelina Lacroix, a young mortal woman whose understanding of immortality is about to change all he's known as truth and which will take him, and his readers, on a journey into the human soul. Discovering a mortal who not only senses his presence, but also somehow knows his name, Valéry becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of how this might be. Confronting the girl, after learning she has knowledge of his entire existence, he is stunned and frustrated when Angelina seems more intent on convincing him that he's not the soulless monster of myth than she is with providing an explanation. Unable to take her life or give her immortality, Valéry embarks on a journey with Angelina that doesn't only take them from Philadelphia to his childhood home in the Provençal Alps, but on a journey into his greatest hopes and dreams, fears and disappointments, and into the strange and frightening past that shaped him. A novel about faltering faith and never-ending hope, On the Soul of a Vampire will not only alter everything you think you know about vampires, it will change the way you see your very soul.

Product Description

About the Author

Krisi Keley is a writer and artist with a degree in theology, who has also studied foreign and classical languages. She's the author of the paranormal speculative fiction novels, On the Soul of a Vampire and Pro Luce Habere and of English translations of three 19th century French stories. She currently works as an editor and translator while writing Genesis, the third book in her On the Soul series. She was born in Philadelphia and now lives in Chester County, PA with her family and seven dogs.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1324 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Krisi Keley; 2 edition (16 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006D23TGQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #853,269 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Krisi Keley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and now lives in Chester County with her family and seven dogs. Pro Luce Habere is the sequel to her debut novel, On the Soul of a Vampire. A writer and artist with a degree in theology and education in foreign and classical languages, she has always been intrigued with supernatural, paranormal and horror fiction and how these myths try to answer humankind's questions about the spiritual, good vs. evil and the nature of man. She currently works as a freelance editor while finishing Genesis, Book III of the On the Soul series, in which she plans to share more new theories about both vampires and angels and their relationship to the human soul.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique vampire experience! Brilliant writer! 22 Sept. 2010
By Betty L. Dravis - Published on
On the Soul of a Vampire is an impressive debut novel for such a young author; one can almost believe that she was born in her main characters' time period and knows them and their surroundings intimately. That's the depth of writing and characterization that author Krisi Keley manages to convey in this intriguing work.

In Keley's Amazon description, she says: "For some it takes a lifetime to discover their raison d'être. Imagine searching for eight centuries. In 1997 Philadelphia, 800-year-old vampire Valéry Castellane comes face to face with his reason to be, in the person of Angelina Lacroix, a young mortal woman whose understanding of immortality is about to change all he's known as truth and which will take him and his readers on a journey into the human soul..."

This book gripped me from the beginning as Keley describes in a unique, archaic prose how Valery discovers Angelina, stalks her and finally confronts her...and Keley does it in the Vampire Valery's voice, never faltering with her word choices throughout. What a lilting, poetic accomplishment!

I have read many vampire books--from teens lusting after vamps to the original "vamp in bat form visiting the lovely damsel in the dark of night"--but none has impressed me like this one. Those others were rather "campy" and read for entertainment, while this one is unique and definitely food for thought.

In On the Soul of a Vampire, Valery is stunned that a mortal girl knows all about him and he becomes obsessed with learning more about her and how she acquired her knowledge of centuries-old happenings. Through a series of guarded questions and even more guarded answers that continue throughout the book, the reader learns some of the secrets at the same time Valery does.

From their first meeting, Valery desires Angelina more than he's ever desired anyone or anything, and it's obvious she has "loved" him all her life. At first he thinks he'll turn her into a vampire and/or kill her as he has so many others, but soon learns he can't harm her in any way. Valery is frustrated by sensing that he will never be able to...

Angelina does not fear him at all, which further mystifies this complex vampire. She makes it clear that Valery is her life purpose and her trust in him is boundless.

Angelina is such a mystery to him that he has to confide in someone, so goes to his long-time friend, a vampire that he had "turned" and lived to regret it. Valery has "good" and "bad" vampire friends and foes who plan to destroy Angelina for various reasons.

What follows are theological discussions and visions that delve into the souls of the vampires and the humans, their relationship with God and their deepest desires.

Just who is Angelina? What's her connection to Valery and why is she focused on him? How does she know all about vampires and their ancient history? Why can't any of them harm her? And who is the lovely lady (an apparition?) in a corner of Valery's childhood bedroom as his mother ministers to him when he's deathly ill? How does the lady help him then? And does she figure in his current situation?

But most important, what is the internal battle waging inside all these mortals and vampires?

Author Keley answers most of those questions brilliantly in the first book of this series and is currently working on books two and three. She's always been intrigued with supernatural, paranormal and horror fiction and how these myths try to answer humankind's questions about the spiritual, good vs. evil and the nature of man. So expect more new theories about both vampires and the human soul from this well-educated writer and artist who has a degree in Theology and education in foreign and classical languages.

I eagerly anticipate learning more about vampires from Keley's next books. I heartily recommend this intriguing book, even if it did make me think deeper than I normally wish to. In fact, if there's one shortcoming in the book, it's that Angelina and Valery tend to dance around each other when answering questions, taking longer than I think necessary before giving a satisfactory answer...but that's their polite, cautious way and fits the characters' backgrounds and intentions... The fault is mine, not the author's.

Reviewed by Betty Dravis, September 21, 2010
Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The deep-thinking vampire! 15 Aug. 2010
By P. B. Sharp - Published on
Vampires have a large hold on our collective imagination. The teeth, the haunted eyes, the seeming melancholy, the erudition, the charisma, the sophistication (Vampires all went to a university somewhere). Vampires all seem to belong to an archaic upper class- the formal language, the formal courtesy. No vampire worth his salt would talk like a slangy American so our vampire hero, the wealthy Valery from Philadelphia, dresses suavely, speaks in cadences, and long, long ago he was an aristocrat who lived in a castle. We like our vampires in the Balkans somewhere. Our hero comes from provincial France, good enough. He's beautiful, too, but is a vampire little more than a serial killer and can a vampire have a soul?

There are two principal players among many others on this stage: Valery, the Vampire, and Angelina, the clairvoyant girl who somehow sensed the presence of Valery from the day of her birth, are the protagonists. And they share the same birthday. She's a total enigma, but perhaps she could be said to be Valery's alter ego and represents all that is good in humanity. She represents goodness and light, light wrapped around darkness. Does Valery, then represent evil? He represents, rather, human fraility, darkness wrapped around light. Even though he is no longer human, but immortal, he has retained very human doubts and emotions. For 800 years he has been struggling to discover his raison d'etre but until he meets Angelina and together they journey into his past, he is as clueless as any human as to why he exists at all.

At the beginning of her book, author Keley quotes from G.K. Chesterton, and to understand the complicated vampire personalities in this novel this quotation has to be kept in mind because we are dealing here with creatures who are killers. Can we love them? Or perhaps even more importantly, can we forgive them?

Love means to love that which is unlovable
Or it is no virtue at all

Forgiving means to pardon that which is unpardonable
Or it is no virtue at all

This is the difficulty of this charming book. Can we look on Valery as a sort of Byronic hero, narcissistic, introspective, wounded by fate, extremely self-absorbed? Or is he simply a not very appealing anti-hero who kills without repentance? I think we have to favor the Byronic hero similarity otherwise Valery comes across rather like a serial killer. He has a certain nobility, a certain specialness, a certain flair but he is the darkness wrapped around light. He is rather like the introspective Heathcliff, perhaps, but Heathcliff was seldom charming,and Valery often is. But let us get back to the story.

"On the soul of a vampire" isn't really a story of redemption because Valery continues to kill without provocation. You could say once a vampire always a vampire and that vampire is going to act like a villain because he is programmed that way, programmed to kill. And it may be because he is programmed to kill that Valery can't help himself.

I asked author Keley for her take on the subject of Valery's murders and she made this reply:

"I thought the flashbacks and how many times he says and shows he's disgusted by being a killer would make it apparent that he is sorry for what he does, but he keeps doing it anyway, the same way many human beings keep doing something they know is wrong because they are getting something out of it too pleasurable or too addictive or too something to give it up. And of course, in Valery's case, his choice is to continue with this ultimate in experiences or basically commit a long and slow suicide by starvation of sorts..."

All of the characters in the book are extremely deep thinkers and philosophical and theological discussions will wrench you in one direction then another. Flashbacks into the past (Valery was the only child to survive the Children's Crusade of 1212) are interesting and well done but always, whether in the present or in the past, passions run very deep. You can almost say the characters are mowed down by them, and you the reader are mowed down, too.

Can a vampire have a soul? You bet!

Love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable... this novel has the distinct and original voice of a fine new writer. Keep your eye on Krisi Keley as you will be hearing from her again- her first novel is the first of a trilogy and paves the way for some great writing in the future.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A romantic vampire novel but not a "vampire romance" 22 July 2010
By Wulfstan - Published on
Although I am not a big reader of the "Vampire Romance" genre, several of my friends are. In the words of one of them- "Oh, they're like eating cotton candy- light, sweet, and just plain fun!". Nothing wrong with that, I enjoy some books just for fun, not everything can be or should be great literature.

This book is more like fine French cuisine than cotton candy, however. There are deep philosophical and even theological underpinnings and meanings here.

Not that there's not romance- there is. Valery (our 800yo French Vampire) is passionate about Angelina, and passions burn hot and deep throughout this book. There are some pretty steamy "love scenes" too, but this is not a "bodice ripper romance". The feelings of the characters in this book are well portrayed.

Not that there's not Vampires- there are. Besides Valery, there are also two other vampires heavily involved here. I like the author's take on vampires in this book- they are neither sparkly superhumans, nor foul undead beasts. Valery is the only survivor of the tragedy known as the "Children's Crusade" and some interesting historical flashbacks are thrown in.

Our heroine is Angelina, a young enigma, and the love interest here. She- alone of all the mortals- can sense Valery and his kin. The relationship between her and Valery is intense, passionate, and surprising. Who is she? Why does she have this connection to Valery? The answers (most of them, anyway) await you.

All the main protagonists speak in an interesting and well done cadence, as if they are speaking English as a Second Language... and a 800 yo dialect of French as their primary. I loved the way they talked- the rhythm, the lilt of their almost poetical speech.

Have you ever wondered if a vampire can truly love, has a conscience, or most importantly- a soul? Can such a monster, such a killer, be redeemed? This book explores those subjects, and perhaps you'll find the answers within. I think you should explore the pages, and think about the meanings and ideas- while enjoying the passions and prose.

I think this is a very well done book for a first time author. Yes, it lacks the polish one would expect from a established author. Also, clearly- "to know Valery is to love him", and the author knows him the best. However, we can't know him as the author can, and sometimes he comes across as rather unsympathetic at times. But it's an interesting take, and it's hard to categorize. Look at my tags- "Christian Fiction" and "Vampire Romance"- not too many books fit both. I am looking forward to her next book, if she improves as she should it will be a great read.

This is Krisi Keley's first book. She has a degree in Theology from DeSales University and has studied French for eleven years. Both show here. The book is liberally sprinkled with French phrases (all nicely translated) and has some scholarly notes on the language.

Note that I rcvd a copy for review.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars... 10 Nov. 2010
By Paranormal Kiss - Published on
On the Soul of a Vampire by Krisi Keley, is an intense, deep and intriguing book. It delves into the life of an 800 year old vampire called Valery. The story is told from his point of view. It reads like his telling from a journal perspective. We get a very in depth description of his thought and feelings; perhaps a little too descriptive for my tastes but it works with this book.

In this book Valery comes across a young woman who is very strongly drawn to. The woman is Angelina. She has dreamed about Valery all her life and knows all about him. She senses when he is near her and eventually that meet face to face. Valery's initial intent is to kill her but he finds that he can't bring himself to do it. It follows him as he tries to discover why she knows so much about him and what she is trying tell him. She answers many of Valery's questions in a way that doesn't make sense to him and seems to circle around and around without giving a direct answer. The riddle talk that so frustrated Valery frustrated me at times as well.

This book kept my attention because I wanted to find out what everything meant. I wanted to know more about Angelina, what she knew and what it meant in relation to Valery. I also wanted to find out what would happen between Angelina and Valery. Would they find happiness together? Would he take her life?

This is not a light hearted story by any means. It is a thought provoking look into the psyche of a vampire and all the moral dilemmas that comes with being one. The author brings to light several points questioning whether or not a vampire killing to survive is evil or wrong. It talks about God and forgiveness.

The reason I didn't give this book a higher rating is because I felt it was lacking emotion. I didn't feel a connection with the characters. I wanted to find out what was going to happen to them but I didn't truly care one way or the other. Feeling a connection to the characters that I read about is important to me. I want to care about them and what will happen to them. As another reviewer stated, this book doesn't make you feel so much as it makes you think.

While there were some things I didn't like about this book there were others that I did. It was interesting and intriguing. It was very intelligently written. I really liked the French dialog with the translations at the bottom of the page. It impressed me that this was the author's first novel. I wasn't surprised to learn that she has a degree in Theology. Her theological discussions showcased that. It was a refreshing change of pace from the usual vampire novels. The innocent deaths didn't bother me because I felt it fit in with the character of Valery and what he was trying to accomplish. He's a Vampire, he has to kill to survive and he has been doing so for 800 years. He is far from perfect however he has made an effort in all that time to try and not take innocent lives. I like that his character was flawed and tormented. It fit the story. He had a temper and was a bit unstable but I think many would be that way had they lived in his shoes. His character was very interesting while Angelina's was very intriguing.

The explanation of things at the end was fantastical; it took me outside the box so to speak. I applaud the author for writing a book that is so different from the norm. Overall I thought this book was well done and I liked it. I think this author shows a lot of promise. I look forward to reading the sequel and finding out what happens next.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Life is a voice of its own and the one who remembers awakens to heed its call..." 6 Nov. 2010
By Gigi Marie - Published on
It takes moxie for a writer to shake up EVERYTHING we thought we knew about vampires, and challenge the way we see our very souls. In Ms. Keley's fantastical debut novel, an 800-year old vampire learns through the help of a young mortal woman that faith and hope are more powerful than imagined, and forgiveness and love is possible no matter how horrible the mistake.

The tale begins with the dashing vampire Valerien (Valery) walking past the university library taking notice of a lovely mortal, Angelina. He instantly desires her more than anyone or anything and is put off at the same time. Why? This question is one of many yet to come. I immediately got the impression there was something very different about young Angelina, and as Valery worked to sort through his feelings, the anticipation was torture as I waited for the two to come face to face!

Valery discovers Angelina can sense his presence and knows everything about him. He becomes obsessed with her and yearns to find out how she acquired this knowledge of his centuries-old past. Valery shares his discovery with Michel, a friend "turned" by him years ago. Michel warns him to stay away from her and leave well enough alone. However, Valery cannot stay away and longs to be around Angelina again.

When the two finally meet by accident, we learn that the lovely mortal has an intriguing past to say the least. She seems to recollect people she could not have known and historical destinations that were never visited by her. This of course points to a much grander picture. A situation presents itself and they embark on a journey to France and his childhood home in the Provencal Alps.

Throughout the story their conversations go round and round as Valery desperately tries to understand how Angelina possesses such knowledge of his childhood language, immortality, theological and philosophical issues. He is absolutely enraged at times, struggling not to take her life giving blood and find that he cannot, only to once again become captivated by her. Valery has many flashbacks of his past where we learned of his greatest dreams and hopes, the soul of a vampire, a human, and their relationship to God - Wow! We also learned how he survived The Children's Crusade of 1212.

Throughout this fascinating tale, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat dying to know what the mysterious and very real connection between Valery and Angelina was all about! So just who is Angelina? How did she acquire such knowledge? What is her purpose in Valery's life? These answers and more are delivered beautifully by Ms. Keley.

This intriguing tale is told in Valery's voice. Both he and Angelina are complex characters. Valery is intelligent, is known to have a temper and demonstrate sensitivity. There is a kind of nobility about him that you can't help but admire. My heart felt for him as he struggled to understand Angelina's purpose in his life and all the perplexing questions about the past events, decisions made and childhood memories. Angelina is very compassionate and loving with Valery, she never fears him or Michel.

"On the Soul of a Vampire" is not a story about the vampire Valery's redemption, but also a breathtaking human story. I found this wonderful novel to be very comforting and inspirational as well. I'm happy to hear there are more stories to come in what promises to be an exciting trilogy. I wholeheartly recommend this thought provoking book that had me thinking deeply about issues I normally don't encounter in a paranormal novel.

So take this journey of revelation and do some "soul" searching of your own. It will be worth the trip! Great job!

Gina (Gigi) Lupo
Reviewer and Member of The Paranormal Romance Guild
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