Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Darker Things by Rob Cornell

Darker Things (The Lockman Chronicles)Kindle Price:
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Craig Lockman--no one had called him that in fifteen years.

Not since his days at the Agency. Not since he was trained to kill creatures that were supposed to exist only in nightmares.

Yet the teenage girl on his doorstep not only knows his real name, she claims she's his daughter.

Before Lockman can learn how the girl found him, he's attacked by a black-ops team of assassins. But these aren't ordinary killers--they're heavily armed vampires sent by his most hated enemy.

Forced on the run, Lockman protects his daughter from an onslaught of horrors while searching for who betrayed him and why. The investigation leads him to Detroit, where he unwittingly sets a plan into motion that could trigger a paranormal apocalypse and cost him his soul.

For fans of Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, and Laurell K. Hamilton... Darker Things is an 82,000-word urban fantasy loaded with double-crosses, thrilling action, and shocking twists.

Also includes bonus excerpts from Tara Maya's THE UNFINISHED SONG: INITIATE and Kent R. Conrad's DEAD FURST.

About Rob Cornell

An accidental nomad, Rob Cornell grew up in suburban Detroit, then spent five years living in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago to receive a BA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College. He has traveled full circle, now living in rural southeast Michigan with his wife, two kids, and dog, Kinsey—named after Sue Grafton’s famous detective. In between moving and writing, he’s worked all manner of odd jobs, including lead singer for an acoustic cover band and a three-day stint as assistant to a movie producer after which he quit because the producer was a nut job.

Interview with Rob Cornell

Nadine Earnshaw: What will readers like about your book?

Rob Cornell: If you like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other supernatural things, you’ll dig this book. Non-stop action. Fun characters. I’m hoping it’s the kind of novel that will keep you up all night reading. Plus, I take the typical paranormal tropes and filter them through my viewpoint. These aren’t your mama’s vampires…and don’t even ask about the ghost. He’ll freak you out.

Nadine Earnshaw: What is your writing process?

Rob Cornell: It seems like this is always in flux, but over time I’ve come to count on a few things. I have to know where I’m going (or believe I do). I can wing short stories, but the complexity of plot and character that goes into a novel makes me too nervous to fly by the seat of my pants. So, yes, an outline. I used to do this on index cards, but now I have a software program that imitates cards. 

I don’t feel as bad deleting electronic cards as I did crumpling up paper ones and throwing them in the trash. Also, I’ve started embellishing my index card outline. I hate coming to the computer ready to write and having no clue where to go. When I’m at the keyboard I want to jam. I also agree with novelist Andrew Gross (The Blue Zone, Don’t Look Twice, etc.). I don’t want the story controlling me; I want to be in control of the story. I’m creating something I hope entertains and even moves people. Ain’t gonna leave that to chance.

Nadine Earnshaw: What inspired you to write this particular story?

Rob Cornell: This story came out of my love for two different kinds of stories. I love Lee Child’s Jack Reacher thrillers. Great character, hard-hitting action. Lots of fun. I am also gaga over Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden. The magic is fun. The supernatural villains are too cool. A fantastic protagonist with a complex supporting cast. For me it was a chocolate and peanut butter moment—like the old peanut butter cup commercials. “Who put their chocolate in my peanut butter?” I wanted to put the supernatural into my action thriller. Darker Things was born out of that urge.


Gabriel sips from the ornate cup, the familiar taste of blood awakening his taste buds. It is nearly time. The hairs on the back of his neck and arms stand up as the air in the room turns electric. Heat emanates from the cup in his hands, growing until his palms sting. He swallows the pain along with the blood. He will not let go. Not when he is so close.

Blood still sputters from the lamb carcass on the table before him. Gabriel wishes he had time to find a human sacrifice, but he knows his time is short. They’ll be here soon.

He drinks again from the cup.

His head grows light. The basement floor tips under his feet.

Upstairs, the sound of the front door breaking open and the shouts of weak men who wear body armor and brandish guns. They are coming for him.

Gabriel drains the blood from the cup and mumbles ancient words that do not belong to this world. Besides the commotion upstairs, a buzzing fills his ears. Orange light flares along the cup’s lip where a smear of blood remains. A searing heat burns in Gabriel’s belly, doubling him over.

The cup clangs against the cement floor and rolls away.

The heat in his gut expands, rushes through him like adrenalin set aflame.

What have I done?

The texts on this ritual weren’t specific about the results. All he knows is that it should make him more powerful. Perhaps even immortal. Instead, it feels like it’s killing him.

Heavy pounding of boots on the basement stairs. A moment later the door crashes open and a slash of light shines at Gabriel’s back.

“Freeze! Hands on your head. Hands on your fucking head.”

The flashlight beam mounted to the intruder’s gun casts a mutant shadow on the opposite wall. Gabriel’s head looks as if it is rising from the slaughtered lamb’s body. A sign. He must trust his power.

He raises his hands and slowly stands straight.

“Turn around.”

Gabriel obeys. The flashlight shines in his face, blinding him.

The lamb’s blood boils in his stomach, the orange glow so bright now it shows through his skin and shirt.

“What the fuck?” asks the intruder.

Gabriel smiles. “You cannot kill me.” He reaches behind him and grasps the knife he used to slit the lamb’s throat. He lifts it over his head, ready to lunge for the man with the gun.

A soft pufft sound followed by a sting in his neck. Gabriel drops the knife and reaches up to find the dart right before the effects swim through him. The fire in his belly sputters and goes out. His vision blurs and he falls to the floor.

A man steps over him, looking down like a disappointed parent.

“Did you really think I’d let you die?”

It’s hard to speak. Gabriel’s tongue feels fat in his mouth. His face has gone numb. “I’ll never talk.”

The man smirks. “Oh, you’ll do more than talk, Gabriel. Way more.”

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me here, Nadine. This was a lot of fun. I hope your readers enjoy the interview.

    Rob Cornell
    Author of Darker Things
    Let the world you know meet the world you don't.