A mother and son are part of an ancient cult of “love-lovers” who are despised, hunted, and tortured to death on a dystopic planet of reptilians in which love is outlawed.

Blood for Love is a riveting tale set in a dystopian world where love is not just taboo but a criminal offense. The story follows Martha, a member of a secret organization called LERN, who is a “love-lover” in a society governed by the NOV, an organization that enforces the criminalization of love. Martha's struggle is twofold: she has to navigate the complexities of loving her son Jan while preparing for the inevitable “Love-Deprogramming” school, a harrowing experience that could lead to their permanent separation. The stakes are high, and the emotional tension is palpable as Martha grapples with the draconian laws designed to break even the most resilient of “love-lovers”.

The narrative also delves into the collective aspirations of LERN members, who dream of escaping to form their own colony. However, the harsh realities of their world—ranging from NOV hunters to the unforgiving wilderness—pose significant challenges. The author masterfully creates a three-dimensional world that is both relatable and foreign, capturing the essence of a society where love is a radical act. The story is not just a critique of authoritarian regimes but also an exploration of the human condition, examining what it means to love and be loved in a world that has criminalized the very essence of human connection.

What sets Blood for Love apart is its balanced storytelling. It's not just a series of action sequences or a heavy-handed moral tale; it's a well-rounded narrative with depth and nuance. The inclusion of reptilian characters adds an intriguing layer to the story, appealing to fans of fantasy and science fiction. While the book does touch upon themes that could be interpreted as religious or moralistic, it does so in a way that complements rather than overshadows the main plot. Whether you're a fan of dystopian fiction, complex characters, or even reptilians, Blood for Love offers something for everyone. It's a compelling read that will leave you eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series.

Dystopian fantasy books will come and go, but Blood For Love has already been called a classic by the creator of the Harry Potter Fanclub website.


Excerpt from Blood For Love © Copyright 2023 Chris M. Finkelstein

Jan turned his attention back to his mother. “Can you play music?” he asked her.

Martha sighed, and put down her knife. “What do you want to hear?”

She’s going to do it! “Stahs at Night,” Jan responded excitedly. He loved that tune. It made him feel happy.

“Well, at least it will keep you busy until I'm done cooking breakfast.” She gave his crest a rub.

Jan had a singularly unusual crest. Whereas Aletians had crests with shades that were a bit darker than their natural gray scale coloring, Jan’s crest was very different. It had irregular yellow-gold stripes, running vertically on a rather white crest. The crest coloring stopped at the base of his skull and faded into the usual gray as the crest became minimal along the spine, and into the tail. When he was first born, the entire crest, from head to tail tip, was yellow-gold on white. While out in public, people would stare at him, but those who were familiar eventually got used to it.

Martha went and fetched the music player from a drawer, and placed it on the kitchen table. She took the case that came with it, picked out a spool, and inserted it in the player. Then she threaded the metallic string through the guides to the receiving empty spool. She turned it on and the empty spool started turning, pulling the string through the guides. The music started.

Jan jumped up and down, clapping his hands. “I love you, Mama!” he yelled loudly.

Jan's outburst startled Martha. By reflex, fear shot through her, and she ducked. “No!” She quickly spun around, turned the music off, and squatted down to Jan’s eye level.

Jan had no doubt something was wrong. “What Mama?”

Martha grabbed both of Jan’s shoulders and said “Jan, please listen to me. The bad police will come and get you, and take me away forever if they catch you say the word “love”. Do you understand?” she asked with extraordinary intensity.

Jan just looked at her with his big, wide eyes, and said, “No, I don’t.”

Martha sighed and looked up, as if an answer were up there. She looked directly at Jan again and said, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand why. They are bad police, and they hate the word ‘love'. They will hurt you! They will kill Mama. You don’t want that do you?” she asked, shaking her head “no” so as to lead him in the same head motion. It worked.

Jan was now shaking his head “no”. He said, “I won’t say that bad word again!”

Martha responded, saying, “Baby, ‘love’ isn’t a bad word, except to bad people. If you want to tell me you love me, you have to whisper it in my ear, OK? And I have told you many times never to say ‘love’ in front of Daddy, because he works with the bad soldiers.”

“Daddy is bad!” Jan said, with attitude.

“No, dear, Daddy is not bad. You just don’t understand. He loves you too, but he cannot say it, even to himself.” She sighed. How do I explain this nonsense to a three year old? Another sigh. “Here, give me a hug, you little blog!” He jumped into her arms with a big smile.

She whispered in his ear, “I love you.”

He giggled, “That makes my ear itchy!” He whispered back into her ear “I love you,” and now she giggled. She gave him a quick tickle, and went back to finish cooking breakfast.

A little later, she called Jan to come eat. Jan had a good appetite, and cleaned his plate. He wanted her to be happy with him, and she always was when he would finish it all. After they finished up, she sat with Jan in the living room and read to him for a while. It’s so nice when Mama can stay at home with me, he thought.

There came a light knocking at the door.

“Rebecca!” yelled Jan, as he jumped out of his mother’s lap. He ran into the kitchen and up the stairs to the entry door. He opened it, and there was Rebecca, his favorite friend in the world. “Hi Rebecca!” he said, come in and let’s play! I have a game out for us.” Jan then said, unexpectedly serious.

Rebecca, suddenly distracted, ignored his remark for the moment.

“Look!” she said, as she pointed to a large six-contiss bus passing by on their street.

They both looked at it. It was unusual to see a bus that big on this street.

She jubilantly exclaimed, “Aren’t they beautiful?” Rebecca had some toy contiss figures in her house, and she cherished them.

Jan readily agreed. The fact that such a large animal was not dangerous was intriguing. He knew what was coming next.

“I can’t believe they can fly,” Rebecca said. “I’d love to see it.”

A contiss was about twelve feet tall at the head, and ten feet tall at the shoulders and rear. They were a dirty brown color for the most part, but what was unique was that they had a shroud of loose leathery hide that fell between the front and back legs, enabling them to leap from almost any height, and glide to a landing, It would land by balling up and rolling out of it, unfortunate rider or not. Along with the shrouds, which looked like a skirt, they had vertical, (from the side,) bands of thick-scaled hide that looked like armour running over their shoulders and torso. The bands ran from one side of the contiss to the other, and each band was about a foot or less in width. The bands closest to the neck or tail became narrower.

After the bus passed, Rebecca mused, “I wish I had one,” but with the entertainment over, they turned and went inside. Rebecca passed Jan on the way downstairs, sniffing the breakfast aroma that still lingered.

Featured on Joelbooks