Book & Author Details:
In Darkness We Must Abide Season 2 by Rhiannon Frater
Publication date: December 16th 2013
Genres: Adult, Horror, Paranormal
In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night.
Vanora is haunted by the night her faith in those she loved was shattered. After fleeing Houston, she takes refuge in Austin and creates a normal life with her roommate Rhonda. Despite her newfound happiness, Vanora is tormented by dreams and visions of an enigmatic and dangerous albino vampire.
When her world starts to fall apart and Armando comes back into her life to warn her that her brother is in danger, Vanora realizes that she can’t escape her destiny. Evil threatens her family, and she must venture into the darkness to save everyone she cares about.
As she seeks to uncover the truth about the terrifying albino vampire and her purpose in his schemes, Vanora starts to realize that the man she loves most may be her greatest enemy. Rhiannon Frater delivers a chilling adventure once again with this multi-part epic serial with a dynamic cast, old school vampires, bloody action, a smoldering forbidden love, and a terrifying villain set against the backdrop of a modern day vampire war.
This book includes all five episodes of the second season of the serial.
Vanora forced her eyes to open, abandoning the nightmare for the real world. The dream still clung to her mind and body. Attempting to sit up, she found herself paralyzed. It felt as if the bands of the nightmare world were keeping her strapped to the mattress, reluctant to release her. It struck her that she could still sense the power of the vampire. Fearfully, her gaze searched the gloom filling the room as she became horrifically aware that the vampire was near.
The door to the bedroom stood ajar. She knew for certain she had closed it when she had gone to bed. Now the darkness beyond the cracked door held the promise of growing danger. When he surreptitiously entered her room, Vanora shuddered at the sight of the pale vampire. His tall, pale, masculine form hesitated as he perhaps realized she was awake. Vanora strove to force her limbs into action, but her body refused to obey. The vampire slunk further into her bedroom, his movements quick and sure, like any predator.
“Rhonda invited me in,” the increasingly familiar deep voice murmured. He glided through the shadows of her bedroom, the moonlight straining through her gauzy curtains illuminating his pale skin.
Vanora willed herself awake, yet the world remained unchanged. Pinned to her bed, she was vividly aware of the approaching vampire. The power emanating from the vampire surged around her. It was wicked and enticing all at once. Cold prickles flowed across her flesh, her skin burned by the icy touch of the vampire’s presence. Vanora lay trapped on her bed, unable to call out or move.
The vampire stopped at the edge of the mattress, staring down at her. She could see that he was bare chested, his long legs clad in black leather. White hair fell in waves over his shoulders. Kneeling on the bed with slow, seductive movements, his face drew terrifyingly near, the purple fire of his eyes bright in the darkness. The light of the moon glinted off the silvery strands of his goatee.
“You don’t yet know who I am, and that’s how it should be. I need you to wait for me. Wait for the time when we can be together. Yet, I cannot resist seeing you just this once.”
Vanora strained to speak, but her lips remained frozen. Only her eyes were blessed with movement. The vampire lowered his head, tilting it so that his face disappeared into the gloom. He was so close, she felt as if her heart would stop from fright. Yet, the darkness within her craved to hold him close to her trembling body. That realization terrified her even more than the vampire.
“You look so frightened. There’s no need to be,” he whispered. “I would never hurt you.”
One of his hands caressed her face gently. It was the strong hand of a warrior and it felt soothingly wintry against her fevered face. As his fingertips traced her lips, her terror began to dissolve.
What was happening to her?
The bliss sweeping through her limbs untethered her body. Raising her hand, Vanora caught the vampire by the wrist. Beneath her unsteady grip, she could feel his incredible strength. His long body settled over her like a cloak, trapping her beneath him. His face was so close to hers, his lips brushed lightly over her chin and mouth as he spoke.
“We belong together, Vanora.”
“No,” she protested, finding her voice. It sounded shrill.
He slid a hand through her hair affectionately. “I love your hair. It’s so long and white. Like mine.”
“Please, let me be,” Vanora gasped. She couldn’t abide the sensations his touch created within her. It was a betrayal of all she held to be true.
“Don’t be afraid, Vanora. My little white witch. My love.”
The vampire’s mouth captured hers in an ardent kiss.
A dark essence flowed out of the depth of her soul, filling her with desire. It screamed with triumph, free at last. Vanora felt the great wings of her power reach out to embrace the vampire. Everything within her cried out for him. She was complete in his arms. Whole at last. Not lost, but found.
Vanora lost herself in his kiss. His lips and tongue were so cold against the warmth of her mouth. The sharp tips of his canine teeth raked her tongue, but she didn’t care. He was hers and she was his. Tangling one hand in his hair, she wrapped her legs around him, relishing his weight between her thighs. Dragging her other hand down his back, she felt the muscles beneath his smooth white skin.
“You feel it,” the vampire whispered against her mouth.
“Yes,” Vanora panted.
Trapped within the web of their joined power, she invited the seductive touch of the vampire. His hand gripped her thigh, pulling her hard against the erection straining beneath the leather of his trousers. It was then that she felt something hard against her shoulder blade. It was cool metal. Distracted by the sensation, she tilted her face from the vampire. His mouth descended to her throat, lightly biting her, but not drawing blood. Through the haze of desire, she realized the bit of metal was her cross.
The wicked carnality she had felt at his kiss began to fade as Vanora concentrated on the discomfort of the cross pressing into her skin. It warmed, pulsating beneath her. Mentally shoving away the sinister force enveloping her emotions, she struggled to regain her sense of self. The cross became unbearably hot, slashing through the vampire’s seduction.
Vanora’s mind came sharply into focus as her body numbed to the vampire’s ardor. Their mingled auras no longer felt like salvation, but slavery. Her heart and soul cried out for Armando, and she felt sullied by the touch of the vampire.
“Wait,” she whispered, pressing him away.
The growl that emanated from the vampire was terrifying. His hands tightened possessively on her body.
“Help me,” she said, thinking rapidly. She took hold of the top of her pajamas.
The vampire chuckled, gripped the fabric and yanked the tank top over her head. As it came free, Vanora caught hold of the chain of her necklace, yanked the cross forward, grasped it in one hand, and shoved the silver pendant against his skin.
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.
You can find her online at:
Website: rhiannonfrater.com & astheworlddies.com
Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com
In Darkness We Must Abide
The Origin of a Supernatural Serial
At the end of last year, I stumbled across an old manuscript lurking in the badlands of my hard drive. I was shocked to unearth the story, having forgotten I had it converted to Word years ago from my old word processing format. For years I had considered it trunked and lost somewhere in the storage in the garage. Opening the file, I rediscovered a story I had sank most of my heart and soul into a very long time ago when I was just starting to write horror novels.
In Darkness We Must Abide was my first full-length original work. I spent hours at my old typewriter creating the first draft of the manuscript. Later, I bought a word processor and retyped the entire manuscript, saving it onto floppy discs. Yes, this was a long time ago!
As I read over my old work, I realized several things. One, I still absolutely loved the two primary leads, Armando and Vanora; and two, the story was solid, but needed some revision. I was very young when I wrote the story, inexperienced in life, love, and long lasting relationships, and this clearly showed. Also, I was under immense pressure from people in my life to write something “nice and normal,” so I struggled quite a bit with certain themes in the story. Reading over the manuscript, I saw exactly the changes I needed to implement to make it a stronger, vibrant read. I set it aside, considering reworking it into a trilogy at a later date.
At the beginning of this year, I began toying with the idea of doing a serial. As The World Dies was originally written as an online serial, and I’d missed the immediate feedback that came with the release of each new part. I had an idea for a whole new fresh work, but was intimidating by having to fit it into my already overloaded writing schedule. Then I saw an article about taking an old manuscript and converting it into a serial. Instantaneously, I knew that In Darkness We Must Abide was the perfect story to be converted into a serial. It was already divided into three distinct parts and it was huge! In fact, one of the reasons I couldn’t sell the book in its old form was that it was one massive book that far exceeded the word count limits of most publishers.
I instantly divided the first third of the story into the five episodes that make up season one. Extremely nervous, I started the revision process with the intention of each part reading like a television show in the reader’s mind. I was shocked at how easily the story fell into an episodic format, but was thrilled at the same time. Also, the voices of the characters readily reawakened in my mind, much to my relief.
In my youth, I had made several big mistakes. When a test reader had an adverse reaction to my lead character being an albino, I altered her appearance. I even changed her name to something I thought sounded fancier. When I started revising, the first thing I did was give Vanora her name back and restore her albinism. I had robbed my lead character of an important part of not only her physical appearance, but her life experience as an albino. I also embraced all the themes I had skirted around in the earlier drafts, out of fear of criticism.
Side note: Humorously, I spent a lot of time trying to avoid overt sexual themes out of fear of offending my mother. This is the same woman who would later call me up to tell me how much she loved the sex scenes in Pretty When She Dies because they were “hot.”
When I finally sent the first episode off to my beta readers, I was terrified. How would they react to a gothic horror novel I had conceived so long ago? When the rave reviews started flowing in, I was so relieved. My story had officially risen from the grave.
Since the release of the first episode of In Darkness We Must Abide, I’ve been having a great time discussing the story with readers. A serial feels much different from a trilogy or series because the installments come out much quicker and there is less waiting for the readers. As a writer, it’s a challenge to give the readers something they can enjoy in small increments, but also instills in them the desire to read the next episode. The immediate feedback is also a great way for me to gage what is working, and what’s not. Though the fan reaction will not affect the overall story arc, to some degree it does affect the presentation of it. Because of the mad love for Armando, I have expanded his role significantly in the first season.
I have enjoyed my serial experience so much. I’m already anticipating doing one next year! This time it will be a whole new writing project, but it was definitely worthwhile digging up In Darkness We Must Abide and sharing it with my readership.
(Open to US and Canada):
–Paperback of both season 1 and 2