Blood Mercy – A Vampire Tale Staked in Profound Meaning

Blood Mercy:  A Vampire Tale Staked in Profound Meaning

Guest Post by Janeen Ippolito

When we created the world of Blood Mercy, Julia Busko and I wanted to shed light on hidden issues. Things that people normally keep to themselves, lest they face stigmatization from society. Conditions and life experiences that make people misfits.


One of these areas was mental disorders. Processing issues. Cognitive malfunctions.


Anyone can be afflicted with them without any obvious signs. Which can be a good thing—and a bad one. It’s convenient when you want to blend in with society. But it also means you can suffer from a sense of loneliness, afraid to tell others or gain support. It also means that people can take advantage of their disguise of normality to hide the monster inside. We thought that having these side effects would be an interesting downside to the usual vampire ‘perks’ of longevity, enhanced strength, etc. The idea of immortality is appealing to many—until you throw in paranoia or bipolar or extreme sensitivity to light, along with mandatory blood transfusions.


One thing we were quite careful about was showing both sides of any mental or physical condition. Having this kind of issue doesn’t make anyone more or less prone to darkness. It just means the temptations and difficulties are different.


In the case of the Blood Kind, the blood curse has side effects particular to each strain. But how those side effects manifest depends on the individual, through their upbringing, their treatment, and their life experiences.


For instance, one character named Zuri is of the Vectorix strain, so she is afflicted with sensory processing issues. However, she was given therapy and treatments at an early age, so it isn’t obvious that she has problems, especially since she doesn’t have a point-of-view scene in this novel. I’ve based her experiences on my own dealings with SPD. On the other hand, Jean-Claude (who is a main villain) started out with schizoid tendencies, including eccentric processing. However, his upbringing and traumatic life experiences have made him fully “embrace the crazy” and indulge his own warped perspective of the world.


Ultimately, one goal in the Blood Mercy books is to open the reader’s mind not just to a different take on vampirism, but an entire subculture of individuals who, for better or worse, are marked by their chronic conditions. Diversity of all kinds is a passion for Uncommon Universes Press. Julia and I hope that readers enjoy the plot and characters, and also come to a greater empathy for those around them who might be suffering in silence.

Houses of the Dead cover

Thirsty for More Insight on Blood Mercy?

Let the following summary whet your appetite:

What would you do if the one you loved was turned into a monster?

Melrose Durante brings order. As founder of the Houses of the Dead, he tirelessly opposes the vampires, and provides refuge for the Blood Kind, those like himself who fight against the blood curse that leads to vampirism. His medical breakthroughs have brought many back from the vampire path. After thousands of years, the Blood Kind finally has the upper hand.

Until a vampire attacks Melrose’s family, then begs for asylum. To his friends she’s Lucy, a disturbed young woman prone to incoherent rants, warning of an imminent attack by vampire leader, Conan. But to Melrose she’s something more.

His lost wife, Jane.

One thing is clear – time is running out. In five days Conan will attack Quebec City, killing or enslaving all in his way. If Melrose cannot unlock his wife’s tormented mind, even his immortal wisdom may not be enough to save Quebec City, the Blood Kind, and the Houses of the Dead.


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Blood Mercy Official Website:; Publisher: Uncommon Universes Press

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Get to know the authors!

2016janeenheadshotJaneen Ippolito

Author Bio: Janeen Ippolito is an idea-charged teacher, reader, writer, book reviewer, and the Fearless Leader of Uncommon Universes Press. She writes nonfiction writing help and speculative fiction laced with horror, humor, and cultural tension. Her co-written illustrated novella, Blood Mercy: Thicker Than Water, releases on October 29th.  In her nonexistent spare time she reads, cooks, and sword-fights. Two of her dreams are to eat a fried tarantula and to travel to Antarctica. Go to for world-building resources and off-the-wall insights from this sleep-deprived author.

Social Media Links 



Twitter: @TheQuietPen; Instagam: janeen_ippolito; Pinterest: Janeen Ippolito



Julia Busko


Author Bio: Julia Busko (like “bus” and “co.”) is an illustrator, designer, writer, and the Elusive Unicorn (art director) of Uncommon Universes Press.  In addition to co-writing with Janeen Ippolito, Julia has created book covers, made logos and t-shirt designs, and is planning a series of steampunk fairy tale picture books. In her spare time she dances with a local company and watches documentaries and horror movies. She strives for art filled with creative wonder and the beauty inherent in tragedy. Go to to dive into a world of remarkable visions and artistic musings.

Social Media Links


Instagram: juliabuskoillustration

Pinterest: Julia Busko



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