Friday, May 6, 2011

Darklands: a vampire's tale by Donna Burgess

Darklands: A Vampire's Tale (Darklands Vampires)Kindle Price: 
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Twenty years ago, Susan Archer witnessed the brutal murder of her beloved twin brother.

Now, the murderer, Devin McCree, has returned. Although Devin is a “Deathwalker,” Susan soon discovers that he is not the monster she has feared for so long.

Leaving her old life behind, she joins Devin on his run from a crazed former-Nazi vampire hunter. Unwilling to let his love disappear, Michael soon follows.

Can Michael save Susan? Does she even need or want to be saved?

“Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale” is a violent tale of survival, bloodlust , and two people trying to hang on to the last shreds of their humanity, while teetering on the edge of immortality.

“Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale” is the first volume in the Darklands Vampire series.

Donna Burgess is an author of dark fiction and poetry who enjoys surfing, painting and has a deep affection for all things Monty Python and low-budget horror flicks. Over the past fifteen years, her fiction and poetry has appeared in genre publications such as Weird Tales, Dark Wisdom, Sybil’s Garage and others. She has been married for twenty years and has two children. Her newest releases include Darklands: a vampire’s tale (the first book in the Darklands Vampires series) and Breaths in Winter, a short story collection. Both are available in print and e-book. When she is not conjuring, she can be found surfing.

What will readers like about your book?
Reader who enjoy good, traditional vampire horror will get a kick out of this, I think. The market has been saturated with vampire romances (which I often enjoy), so I wanted to create a dark, dreary world where vampires still need to kill to survive. 

Why did you self publish?
After reading success stories from writers like J.A. Konrath, Amanda Hocking, Scott Nicholson, I decided why not? I had been sending my novel out to agents and just waiting. Now, I seems all that waiting did nothing more than cost me money. Self-publishing is the new indie movement, like indie music and films were before us. It's exciting and different and just incredible. On top of that, the indie community has been so supportive. I'm not sure I would want to go traditional at this point.

What is your writing process?
I outline first and then try to write as much every day as I can.

How long does it take you to write your first draft?
A few months, plus editing and rewriting. I'm slow, because the time is not always there for me to write as much as I want. My next novel seems to be moving along much faster, thank the stars!


Michael passed the mouth of an alley and thought he saw something flash across the pale spray of his headlights. He slowed and looked through the rear-view mirror at the road behind him as the shapes sank into hollow, black doorways and entrances to buildings long abandoned by normal people.

Probably a stray dog. His eyes were playing tricks on him—he needed to rest.

He needed a fucking drink.

He pushed the gas pedal and brought the car back up to speed. Then, he saw it again. Still ahead, but how? He jammed on the brakes, his foot crushing the pedal to the mat. The Beemer skidded to a halt, and his foot slipped off the clutch. The car choked and died.

Silence, all but the soft ticking of the engine.

What kind of city was so quiet? Still, it seemed the very shadows were alive, writhing. The moon slid behind a cloud again, and the road became as dark as a cave, the crumbling buildings seeming to close in, to lean over. His headlights cut grooves in the darkness. He reached over and picked up the Glock, his breath and heartbeat the only sounds in his world.

He wet his lips and clutched the gun in his fist. Squinting into the darkness, he searched for any kind of movement.

Everything was still.

Like a tease, the moon emerged once again from the cover of clouds, brightening the night enough for him to see ahead. What he saw caused his stomach to flip-flop. Silhouetted in the yellow-blue halogen glow of his headlights were possibly a half-dozen slumping human-shaped figures.

“Oh, shit,” he whispered.

He twisted the ignition, and the engine reluctantly fired. He threw the car into gear, and then gunned it, causing the tires to screech like a banshee’s screams. The slumping, lurking shapes leapt, heading straight for him.

Michael could see the faces now—ghost-white smears, blurred with speed, mouths like gashes, eyes glowing hot yellow, reflecting the light. He tore through the darkness, gripping the wheel with one hand and changing gears with the other, all the time holding onto the gun.

The shapes jumped away just before he could plow through them. The little convertible skidded sideways and then tipped crazily onto two wheels. When it dropped back down, Michael’s foot fell off the clutch again, and the engine coughed and died again.

The car shook as if it had been struck, but from the top, not the side. Someone or something had landed on the roof, and the ragtop sagged with the weight like an overfilled sack.

Michael took the gun in both of his hands, wincing with anticipation of the report, and fired upward at the bulge in the canvas.

A howl of pain or of delight—he couldn’t decide which—pierced the night. The cloth ripped as though it was made of old newspaper, and a clawed hand plunged through, dirty nails, grime ground into the palms and creases of the knuckles.

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