A dynamic, enthralling tale of love, jealousy, rage, and the Supernatural!.
Story: When a self-loathing Gay man—Jack, meets an elegant yet incredibly mysterious Laurent Richelieu, he thinks his stroke of bad luck with men and women has come to an end. Or is it the beginning of a nightmare?
As the two begin their courtship—Jack encounters horrifying experiences involving paranormal experiences, vampirism, and possible reincarnation, making him question his sanity. The more time Jack spends with his mysterious European love interest, the more revealed about the dark secret awaiting Jack. Are they destined to be together? —does Laurent honestly care for Jack? Or is there a much more sinister plot involved?
Meet Len Handeland
I’ve always enjoyed writing and drawn to being creative—as far back as I can remember. Back in middle school, when my classmates and I were assigned a book report, and the others groaned, I cheered—not only being given an exciting novel to read but also to compose the essay assignment as well. Everything had to be perfect, the spelling, grammar, and accuracy regarding the subject matter. Later on—in my late teens, I attended FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in Manhattan studying illustration; years later, I decided to pursue a career in the hair industry using my artistic training at FIT and creativity to excel in hair owning three hair salons, one in San Francisco’s Union Square and two in the town of Sonoma; I am now retired from my former profession and have decided to pursue writing full time which has always been a life-long passion of mine.
My first novel, “The Darkest Gift,” is being well received and was written with my affinity and passion for the vampire genre. Its a Vampire story of my own, in my own words. This Vampire story is different then others—where love is the only thing that matters. My second novel that I recently started writing, is a crime, drama, murder, mystery, which is quite a stark departure from the genre of vampires but deals with many of the same issues and feelings as in my first novel, which is love, rage, jealousy, deception, and a character who returns from my first novel.
Len Handeland wrote “The Darkest Gift” as he felt no other author had written an enthralling vampire romance novel since Anne Rice, which was a breakthrough in featuring two vampires of the same gender as a couple. Being a life-long fan of vampires starting when he was a small child and into his adult years, Len wanted to write a compelling and enthralling book where the characters are complicated (both humans and vampires) and where the same-sex couples are far less ambiguous about their sexual orientation than in vampire books of the last century. Where the emphasis is on love, whether human and vampire or two vampires (of the same gender), it was vital for the author to avoid anything graphically sexual, but instead, the focus is on the sensual aspect of two men together. Also noteworthy was addressing stereotypes regarding vampires and some of the gay men in Len’s book. That all vampires are evil and unfeeling creatures, that all gay men are effeminate, couldn’t be further from the truth. He utilized the classic tale of good versus evil (in this case, vampire against vampire) and how one of the human characters, Jack, despite his struggles with sexual orientation, finally learns to accept and embrace who he truly is. The message the author is delivering is: do what is right and be true to yourself. In his novel, that applies not only to humans but vampires alike.
The locations in my book are places the author has an affinity for, having spent time in each over the years. Rich in history and culture, and each with an exquisite beauty of their own. The settings include Paris, Haiti, and New Orleans, which all share a French connection.
Len Handeland feels his work stands out from other “Gay vampire books” which may be too graphic sexually and reduced to being dismissed by most by being just that. At the same time, writing about the same-sex couple, whether that be two vampires or a human and a vampire, he wanted the focus to be on each character, feeling as if they had met their soul mate and were meant to be together forever.