David’s Haunted Library: Obfuscate

David's Haunted Library

 

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You might think that Cheyenne O’ Cuinn has an easy life but nothing can be further from the truth. She may be beautiful, have a successful career as a computer programmer and her own virtual reality game that she designed but she is also a vampire. Not too long ago she found out that mythological creatures were real and many of them were playing her game, ExsanguiNation. Since she found this out, her life has changed drastically and now she has three tasks ahead of her.

She has to Rescue her sister from cannibalistic vampires, eliminate the villain who threatens her family and hunt down the man who tried to kill her. You think you have it rough? Think again.   Luckily she’s not alone, she has a vampire, a werewolf and a dragon along to help her. This may seem like a situation out of her video game but the threat is real and she can’t get a do over if she fails.

Obfuscate by Killion Slade is like a supernatural pulp fiction monster mash-up on steroids. Dragons, vampires, werewolves, wendigos, black-eyed children and merfolk, Obfuscate has all these and more. This is the second book in the World Of Blood series but it does work as a stand alone novel. When you start to read this book, the best thing to do is to just sit back and enjoy the ride. The story moves along at a frantic pace and goes back and forth from being scary and serious to being ridiculous and bizarre. Which is a good combination to have in an action packed story. One scene towards the beginning of the book was a total surprise to me.

What I liked most about the book is the amount of mythical creatures that are in it and are presented as real. There is one scene in a hospital where a character describes the island where a rescue attempt took place as Lord Of The Rings because of all the trolls and elves on it. The fact that you know that anything is possible in Obfuscate makes it a more entertaining read. Another thing I liked was that all the main characters were a different creature, they all take on human forms at different times and they all work well together. I think it would be fun to see a stand alone story with Torchy the dragon. World Of Blood is a universe where lots of good stories can be told. Also on a smaller note I liked that this book has a reference section at the end that lists songs, videos, movies and places that inspired the book.

Obfuscate has a little bit of everything: “Romance, action and more mythological creatures then I’ve seen in any other novel, this is one fun thrill ride. I loved how it opens on an island of cannibalistic vampires and goes to several other locations before it’s done. Obfuscate is like a video game in book form. This book isn’t meant to make you think, its meant to be a fun read and it is just that.It’s a lot of fun with some memorable characters thrown in and I’m already looking forward to the next installment in this series.

Exsanguinate

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In the world of an online role-playing game anything can happen and for Cheyenne O’Cuinn, a Halloween Scream Park adventure is about to become a supernatural reality. Cheyenne is given the task to watch, record and study fear. Her job is to find out what causes people to run screaming out of haunted attractions while peeing their pants. The three O’Cuinn sisters know horror, they live for horror trivia, and have developed a horror themed online role-playing game called ExanguiNation.

Things are not going well for the O’Cuinn family, while at the theme park, two of the sisters have been kidnapped by vampires to breed warmongering dhampires and its up to Cheyenne to save them. To do that, she has to play the game and solve riddles or her sister’s body parts will be mailed to her one by one.

Cheyenne is not alone though, she has a dragon, werewolf and a vampire to help her. She also has a virtual lover who has secrets of his own. Can their love survive? Who can Cheyenne trust in this virtual world and can the vampire apocalypse be stopped? Find out the answer to all of these questions in Killion Slade’s Exsanguinate.

When I first heard about Exsanguinate I was excited. I always like to read books that create their own  mythology and  combines it with reality. This one goes one step further, adding a virtual computerized world to the mix which happens to be more real than anyone knew. Part of this story takes place in a virtual world and the book includes links that go to extended animated scenes on the book’s website or if you buy the print book it has a code you can enter. I thought this was a great idea that added a lot to the book, it was like looking at special features on a blu ray movie.

Killion Slade takes the mythology of vampires, werewolves and dragons and changes it just enough to make everything fresh and original. One of my favorite scenes was when four of the characters go into a supermarket that is geared towards supernatural beings. The supermarket is cleverly disguised as an old warehouse and it has supplies for witches, blood donors for vampires, spas, restaurants, and items for creatures that no one knew existed.

Another thing I liked in this book was how it blends humor and horror. There was one funny moment where a vampire stakes a human and talks about selling humans on a stick at the state fair. I also liked when the werewolf in the story is eating bacon flavored dog treats, much to the disgust of a vampire. Exsanguinate has some great moments of horror as well. The description of the room where human women are impregnated and give birth to dhampires (a human, vampire hybrid) is chilling. Another scene is when one of the characters battles a rogue vampire in a Halloween haunted house. This scene was great because at first you’re not sure if its real or not.

Exsanguinate flawlessly blends horror, fantasy, romance, action and humor into one entertaining read. This book has it all and fans of all genres will enjoy it. This is the beginning of an epic series that has a lot of different types of creatures to work with.

www.worldofblood.com

www.killionslade.com

13 Questions with Shana Abé

13 questions

This week’s featured author Shana Abé is thrilled to be a part of the HA team and, for episode 95, will be sharing an excerpt from her latest release, THE DEEPEST NIGHT. Shana said, “I picked a really cool scene involving living smoke and agony and guardian stars who watch at night. Oh, and the heroine ends up making a pretty huge sacrifice.”

ShanaAbe3THE DEEPEST NIGHT features the last living members of an ancient, enchanted species called the drákon: shapeshifters who have the ability to turn from human to smoke to dragon.  “The entire series began with this incredibly vivid image I had of a single scene: a young dragon, golden and glittering, battling an airship by herself beneath a purple starry sky. (I don’t think it gives anything away to say that it becomes a crucial scene in the first book of the series, THE SWEETEST DARK.)

Now Shana, isn’t new to weaving the tales of dragons, “I’ve been writing about dragons for quite a while. My first series that featured them, the Drákon Series, was hugely popular, but I felt the need to shift time periods and main characters. Instantly I came up with Lora Jones: an impoverished, cunning orphan from the ghettos of London who has no idea she’s actually drákon. Both THE SWEETEST DARK and THE DEEPEST NIGHT highlight how she comes into her powers–which are actually quite dangerous–and slowly learns to master them. “sweetdark

“I set the series in Europe at the very beginning of WWI, because that was the only war in which the combatants used airships to drop bombs. And I really wanted Lora to go after that zeppelin! In THE DEEPEST NIGHT: It’s 1915, and Lora and Armand have set out to cross enemy lines to rescue one of their own. It’s definitely a story about magic and sacrifice and unbounded destiny.”

Shana went on to say what had inspired the series in the first place. “Hawks and bunnies. Seriously. I have pet house rabbits, and I used to live in LA, where there are tons of hawks. Whenever I’d let my bunnies outside to play, I’d have to stand guard over them. I watched hawks a lot. Eventually I could identify entire families. They’re graceful and deadly, and one afternoon I was watching them slice through the air when I thought, “Dragons! Aha!” Because although hawks are cool, dragons are even cooler. You can say whatever you want about dragons, create any mythology you want for them. They are purely products of our deepest, darkest imagination.

In fact, there’s a scene in THE DEEPEST NIGHT in which Lora and Armand are discussing why they–their species–are so feared by humans. Armand says:

“Because dragons are the most formidable creatures of all. Because we exist at the fringes of their imaginations, nefarious and bloodcurdling and never quite fully defined. We can be shaped however they wish, assigned any horrific trait they dare to invoke. We’re the accumulation of all that they fear, most of all themselves.””

For more information on Shana’s Drákon tales, be sure to check out her website: shanaabe.com. The site has been newly re-vamped or shall we say…re-fired for her latest book series the Sweetest Dark. According to Shana, “THE DEEPEST NIGHT is, in fact, the second book in the Sweetest Dark Series, and I wanted to freshen up the site. New photos, new content, new links, and a couple of insanely awesome book trailers produced by Random House. I love it.”

nightUnlike many Horror Addicts out there, Shana was not drawn to the dark side by blood and gore. No in fact it is the idea of a “safe scare” that caught her attention. “Let’s face it; everyone loves the thrill of a safe scare. What I mean is, I don’t want to be frightened in my real life. That sucks. But movies, books, plays–venues that allow us to indulge in fear or shock or whatever that adrenaline-producing thing is without real-life consequences–that’s awesome.”

That being said, there was one time in Shana’s life that she wasn’t so excited about safe scares. “To this day, the monster/creature who scares me the most is Lon Chaney from the 1925 production of Phantom of the Opera. I’m not talking any cheesy, romantic version of the story; I’m talking about the grainy, black-and-white, fully disfigured, creepy version. I saw it as a little girl very late one night, loooong after I was supposed to be asleep. I was being babysat by some chick who I guess thought it would be hysterical to deal with a terrified child for the rest of the night, because she let me watch it in my empty, unlit house, all by myself. I cowered under a blanket and I swear didn’t sleep for days.”

Now-a-days, she spends her time baking and writing. “I like to bake, but I hardly ever do. I make incredible cinnamon-sugar cookies. But I live in Colorado, where nearly everyone I know is ridiculously fit and healthy. If I bake a batch of cookies, I always end up eating too many of them myself because all my friends are like, “Oh, I love them, but you used real sugar?? I’ll have just one.” And then I’ll have, like, eleven. [Then with writing, the hardest part is the isolation]. Isolation is a very necessary part of creating fiction, because the cacophony and rituals of everyday life can really steal time. Writers tend to write alone, which means we have to carve out that intention, that space, very deliberately. And then nourish it. Some people are able to write in noisy, crowded places, like coffee shops. I can’t do that. I need calm and quiet to let my dreams loose.”

Currently, Shana is finishing up the third book in the Sweetest Dark Series. After that, [she has] an idea for a brand-new trilogy that’s probably going to be a bit more dire than anything [she has] done before. It’s still in the early stages in [her] mind, but very compelling!

So be sure to keep an eye out for any updates from Shana. You can stay up to date but following her at:

www.facebook.com/ShanaAbe

www.shanaabe.com

The Sweetest Dark

13257637There are monsters living beside you right now. We were told that monsters are a myth but they do exist. They look just like us when they want to, but they are really monsters made of smoke, colors and claws called the Dra’kon. The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe is the story of one of the last Dra’kon.

The story begins during World War 1 in 1914 at The Moor Gate Institute for Socially Afflicted Youth in London England. Eleanor is sixteen years old and was found wandering the city streets with no memory. She also hears voices and music that no one else hears. After awhile her condition improve and opportunity knocks. Children are being sent to schools in the country because of the fear of the German army attacking London. Eleanor is then given the chance to go to a new school called The Iverson Boarding School.

Iverson is an eerie looking Gothic castle and very exclusive school on England’s Southern coast where rich people send their kids. Eleanor doesn’t fit in at the school but she does meet two boys who want to win her heart. One knows what Eleanor really is  and the other can help her in the future and has secrets of his own. Eleanor must learn to use her magic or loose everything she has.

The Sweetest Dark is a beautifully written paranormal historical fantasy. I loved how it was set during World War 1 and how the castle and location added to the atmosphere in the story. The way everything is described in this book, it was more like looking at a beautiful painting then reading a coming of age story.

The Sweetest Dark is a YA novel and is not the normal kind of book that I like to read but the way the story was told really brought it to life. The settings were described in breathtaking detail and Eleanor was a character you couldn’t help but fall in love with. She is a girl who is a little different and is trying to fit in while wanting to find out why she is the way she is. People of all ages will find something to like in The Sweetest Dark. So if historical fantasy,  ancient magic, vividly described settings and a touch of romance are your cup of tea then give this one a read.