The Curse of Judas by Cynthia Brandel

I am excited and proud to announce the release of The Curse of Judas on Amazon.  It is the first novella of The Revenant City series.  The number of books in the series is yet to be determined.  The Curse of Judas is a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy intertwined with religious innuendo (nothing sacrilegious).  With 112 pages and right up under 46,000 words, this novella takes less than a day to read and is available as an ebook (free for KU subscribers).

My favorite character in the story would have to be Pappy.  He is a loveable old man who raised his granddaughter from infancy after the untimely death of his daughter.  In a Darwinism society where the strong survive, Pappy defies all odds and rears Phoebe in adulthood.  He is passionate about books and loves to reenact his favorite scene for Phoebe’s enjoyment.  One of my favorite scenes in The Curse of Judas is when he and Phoebe are going through books to pull out the ones he would like to trade at the local market.  Below is an excerpt taken straight from the book.

“Do you think we can trade in some of these old books at the marketplace during your two days off?” Pappy asked.  “It would be nice to find something new to read.”

“I don’t see why not,” I replied.  “Have you picked out some books that you want to use for trade?”

Pappy grabbed a few books from the stack next to his chair and brought them over to the table for me to inspect.  The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Pappy had charged through the house with a broom handle (a makeshift sword) in his hand as he reenacted a scene during a retelling of this story.   I had cried when he reenacted how the Witch had slain Aslan, and I had cheered when Edmund had been rescued.  “This book has many good memories, Pappy.  Are you sure you want to part with it?”

“It’s time, sweet pea,” he replied.  “All good things must come to an end, but their endings are merely the beginnings of a new adventure.  I have read these stories more times than I can count.”  Pappy picked up the next book in the stack—The Iliad of Homer.  “I have experienced the lives and trials of the characters written between these bindings.  I fought alongside Achilles during the Trojan war.  I felt his pain when Hector killed Patroclus.”

Pappy picked up the next book.  Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  “I had tea with Alice and sat beside the March Hare at Hatter’s table listening to the rantings of the Dormouse.”  He placed that book back on the table and grabbed another from the stack.

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare.  “I fell in love with a Capulet and sought revenge for Mercutio’s untimely death.”  Pappy set the book down on the table.  His eyes glistened with happiness as he scanned over the many adventures splayed in front of him.  “I have lived their lives many times and many times more.  It is time for me to let go so others can experience the joys of their adventures.”  Pappy smiled widely with a glint in his eye.  “Besides, the market might offer a new adventure for these old bones.  Maybe we can find a book about Paris or about pirates.  I have always wanted to travel the open seas with Blackbeard or experience the life of an aristocrat.  Who knows what we will find?”

“A new adventure, Pappy.  We will find a new adventure to go on.”

“Yes,” Pappy replied before opening the door for me.  “You are going to be late.  You should hurry along.”  Grabbing my lunch from the table, I kissed Pappy on the cheek and headed out the door toward the nursery.  It had been six weeks since my last relief time.  I was looking forward to spending my two days off with Pappy.  Shopping at the marketplace would be fun.  Who knew?  Maybe I would find something for myself alongside Pappy’s new books.

I enjoy vampire lore and wanted to intertwine it with biblical stories (without being sacrilegious).  My goal was to create a story I would allow my teen to read.  The product of my passion became The Curse of Judas.

The price of survival is blood.  The price of freedom is life.  All things will eventually meet their end…….including humanity.

After generations of advancement, the human race thought they were invincible. That was until the revenant made their presence known. In order to survive, humans had to pay a price.

The cost……their blood. The source of life for all living things.

Persephone Black (Phoebe) was an orphan. She and her Pappy made a living on the outskirts of the revenant city where the poor and desolate were numerous. Phoebe had kept her head low and remained unnoticed for her entire life. She was content working as a junior gardner at the nursery as long as it meant her and Pappy’s continued survival within the city walls.

As fate would have it, Phoebe wouldn’t be able to go unnoticed for much longer. She caught the attention of Cassius, a revenant, and was summoned by him to the tower.

Phoebe would learn more about the revenant than most other humans. Cast into a world that she was not yet ready for, Phoebe would do anything to survive.

But she would soon learn that sometimes the cost of survival is more than a person could bear.

The Curse of Judas is a post-apocalyptic adventure interlaced with biblical prophecy and religious innuendo centered around the story of Judas Iscariot.

Persephone Black would be cast into the fray when she meets a son of Judas. Her existence is both a blessing and a curse for the revenant. If the secret of her birth ever came to light, the world of the revenants would turn on end.

Note: There is a cliffhanger.

The Curse of Judas can be purchased on Amazon.  You can also find on Goodreads by clicking here.    I believe this novella stands out from the rest because of the mixture of biblical stories with vampire lore.  It is not something I have seen done before (but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t—just that I’ve never seen it).

Recently a review of The Curse of Judas was posted online by TM Blayte Unsilenced. I love how he described the novella as being a mixture of two other known authors.

“This kind of reminded me of the Blood of Eden series, by Julie Kagawa. This novella however had a Christian flavour reminiscent of James Rollins’s The Order of the Sanguines series. All in all, not bad titles to be associated with.” —TM Blayte

Other Tidbits of Interest:

  • The protagonist is a human female (Persephone Black or Phoebe for short). 
  • The romance level is a smolder.  There are intense situations but nothing I wouldn’t let my teen read.  There are NO sex scenes.
  • The intended audience is for adults (both young and old).
  • Three words that describe my book: Biblical Vampire Apocalypse

The Mind Behind The Story


Other than being an awesome mom and a devoted wife, Cynthia is an avid explorer traveling through the galaxy of her mind meeting new and interesting people along the way.  Her destination is unknown, but the fun is in the journey.

Cynthia’s first exploration took her to the world of Sanctoria, a place full of magic and mystery.  After falling in love and leading an army to war, Cynthia left Sanctoria and continued on her journey.

Currently, Cynthia resides in one of the Revenant cities on Earth.  What mysteries will the city hold and where will Cynthia end up?  Who knows?  But you can guarantee that Cynthia will tell us all about it!

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Website: https//cynthiabrandel.comhttps//

Published by Cynthia Brandel

Published author and founder of, Cynthia has captivated the world with her works of fiction including The Sanctorian Series and her latest work, The Revenant City Series. Lover of young adult reads and fantasy reads, Cynthia has transformed her passions into a full-time career.

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