Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sanctuary by Donna Ball

Fleeing the violence and crime of life in the city, architect Laura Kane and her five year old daughter Christy move to an exclusive planned community deep in the untouched wilderness of the Smoky Mountains. Legend has it that their home is built on holy ground. Other legends tell of hideous beasts that roam the mountainside, Yeti-like creatures so terrifying that no one has ever dared disturb their sanctuary… until now.

First there are random acts of vandalism, then small pets begin to disappear, and then men go into the woods and don’t come back. When Christy’s nightmares begin to suggest that she can actually communicate with the creatures who are wreaking such havoc on their small and vulnerable community, Laura is terrified. Because Christy’s dreams tell her that the monsters are coming for her next.

And she is right.

In the terrifying tradition of the best of Dean Koontz, Sanctuary is a suspense-filled tale of love, courage and redemption that will take you in its grip from the first page and leave you breathless by the last. Because sometimes the real monsters are the ones you can’t escape, no matter how far you run...

In addition to her independently published e-books, Donna Ball has written almost a hundred works of traditionally published commercial fiction under pseudonyms that include Rebecca Flanders, Donna Carlisle, Leigh Bristol, Taylor Brady, and Donna Boyd.

Donna is known for her work in women’s fiction and suspense, as well as supernatural fantasy and mystery. She is the author of the current Ladybug Farm series of women's fiction, and the Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries, both in print by Berkley/NAL.&nb sp; She lives in a restored Victorian barn in the Blue Ridge Mountains where she does nothing but write, and write, and write.

What will readers like about your book?
I think one of the most appealing things about Sanctuary is that it is so plausible. The characters who are caught up in this horrifying series of events could be your neighbors… or it could be you.

Why did you self publish?
The stress, uncertainty, and lack of control—not to mention the abysmal pay!—that accompany traditional publishing were beginning to erode my creativity. I started to hate writing because I had been victimized so many times by the publication process. Now I’m finding my joy again.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Sanctuary was written in one draft only, from beginning to end. It took about three months.

What inspired you to write this particular story?
In the early nineties I built a vacation cabin in a remote and sparsely settled part of the Appalachian Mountains. The wildness of the woods there impressed me in a way I’ll never forget. There were plants that grew nowhere else in the world except in that tiny area, and species of grotesque-looking insects that I had never even imagined existed before. You c ouldn’t walk into those woods without being very aware that humans were the aliens there. And then I started thinking, What if….


The sound rose and fell in an echoing, drawn-out ululation, not like any animal sound she had ever heard. Laura wanted to clap her hands over her ears and blot it out. But she couldn't move.

As the wail died away, Laura realized that the crickets had stopped chirping. In the awful, absolute silence that followed, she could hear the dry thumping of her heart.

She gripped the windowsill, straining her eyes to see out into the darkness, half-afraid of what she might see. The shadows were so close, the darkness so impenetrable, that the woods seemed to be pressing in on her, weaving their thick, twisted branches around the house, closing out the air with their pungent leaves. The stillness was unnatural, intense, as though every living creature had ceased to exist except the two trapped inside this house . . . and one other, out there.



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