Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Darklands Release Day Blitz - Excerpt and Giveaway

Today it's the release day of Darklands, book 4 in the Deadtown series by Nancy Holzner.

I very much enjoyed reading the first two books and have book three lined up to be read as soon as possible, so I'm very excited that after book three I can immediately pick up Darklands. Because believe me: This is a cool series.

Today I bring you an excerpt from Darklands and you can enter a giveaway for a chance to win any book in this series!


Darklands (Deadtown #4)
by Nancy Holzner


They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its border—but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

Boston’s demons have been disappearing, and Vicky’s clients are canceling left and right. While fewer demons might seem like a good thing, Vicky suspects foul play. A missing Celtic cauldron from Harvard’s Peabody museum leads her to an unwelcome conclusion: Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and bitter enemy, is trying to regain his full powers.

But Pryce isn’t alone. He’s conjured another, darker villain from Vicky’s past. To stop them from destroying everything she loves, she’ll have to face her own worst fear—in the realm of the dead itself.


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Darklands Short Excerpt:

Calling a spirit is tricky business. To do it right, you need a ritual dagger, along with candles, incense, salt, and an altar loaded up with all kinds of magical paraphernalia. Except for the kitchen salt shaker, I didn’t have any of that. What I had was my intention.

I stood in the center of the living room, having pushed its few pieces of furniture against the walls. I took a couple of minutes to get centered, breathing deeply and going inside myself. Breathe in . . . breathe out. Breathe in . . . breathe out. No thinking, no guilt, just a steady focus on each breath. When the world seemed to pulse in time with my heartbeat, I opened my eyes. I pointed at the cabin floor and moved in a slow, clockwise circle. I concentrated on my intention: protection. I projected my will from my brain, my heart, down my arm and through my pointing finger, creating a sphere of protection around me. Nothing could enter the circle unless I allowed it.

Let it be so.

Then, I called the Night Hag. I pulled up everything I knew about her legend. I remembered the terror I’d felt as a child—lying in bed, sure she was coming for me, pulling my pillow over my head to block out the sound of galloping hooves. I could see the pages of a book of Welsh folktales, one from Mab’s library, where I’d read her story. I felt the uncanny shiver that had tingled through me when, walking alone at night in a dark Welsh lane, I’d felt something pass by. My pulse pounded like those galloping hooves. My whole body trembled with the desire to run, to flee, to stay out of range of the hag and her pack of hellhounds. But I stood my ground.

And I called her to me.

“Mallt-y-Nos!” My voice rang out with a confidence I didn’t feel, pushing past the cabin’s walls. “Matilda of the Night! Lady of the hunt! Mistress of Hounds! Night Hag, who drives lost souls to the Darklands! I, Victory Vaughn, do invoke thee!”

The words echoed back to me, then faded. My intention cut through the silence, as I held the image of Mallt-y-Nos in my mind. A silhouette on horseback, shadowy against the moon, long hair flying behind her as she rode. She reined in her horse and cocked her head, listening. I called out again: “Mallt-y-Nos, come to me!”

In my imagination, the hag wheeled her horse around. She whistled to her hellhounds. Shrieking a bloodcurdling hunting cry, she raced toward me.

“Come!” I shouted, shrieking too, raising the volume to blot out the horrible sound of the hag’s approach. “I command thee!”

Hounds bayed and howled in the distance. The sound grew closer. The ground shook as thundering hooves pounded closer, closer. I clamped my hands over my ears and kept shouting. I wasn’t saying anything now; I was just making noise. Anything to fight the terror of her approach.

An explosion jolted the cabin as the wall collapsed. I staggered back a step, almost falling, covering my face with both arms. A tingle in my shoulder told me I’d bumped into my protective magical barrier, and I jerked forward. I had to stay inside the sphere.

I dropped my arms to see what I’d called

I stared into the fiery, red eyes of a massive steed. Flames shot from its nostrils, but they broke to the left and right before they reached me. Hounds leapt forward, jaws snapping, but they couldn’t reach me. My protection held.

“Quiet!” shouted a woman’s voice. The hounds fell back, milling around the cabin. The wall they’d burst through remained intact. The half-dozen hounds that crowded the place didn’t look like any dogs I’d ever seen. Each was the size of a small horse. Their eyes glowed red and orange, lit by inner fire. Saliva dripped from their fangs; it sizzled when it hit the floor.

The horse turned sideways, and Mallt-y-Nos came into view. I blinked. This was the Night Hag? The woman astride the horse was young and beautiful, with blue-green eyes and golden blonde hair that flowed, shining, to her waist. She looked nothing like the nightmare hag that had terrorized my childhood imagination. “Why have you summoned me?” she demanded, regarding me imperiously from her demonic steed.

Before I could answer, her face changed. Wrinkles formed around her eyes, on her forehead, between her nose and mouth. Her blonde hair faded to gray, then bleached white. Her skin went from creamy to blotchy red to jaundiced. I gaped, unable to look away, as the beautiful young woman sagged and faded into an ancient crone. Finally, the hair thinned to a few wiry strands. The skin shriveled and peeled away, baring the skull beneath. Flames consumed the eyes, leaving only a red glow.

I looked into the face of death.

The cycle began again. In the course of a few minutes, Mallt-y-Nos flowed from youth to middle age to decrepitude and death. And back again. And then again. I stared, fascinated, almost forgetting the terror of her presence.

In her death’s-head form, she pointed a skeletal finger at me. “Why did you call me?” she asked again, her voice impatient. Youthful flesh covered her skull. Her cheeks turned pink; her eyes sparkled. Thick, shining hair cascaded down her back. “Do not suppose, mortal, that you can command me. I came because I was curious. Mortals run from me; they do not request my presence.”

That I could believe. Even in her youthful form, she was terrifying.

“I called you to ask you a favor.”

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Not familiar with this series, but got curious after this excerpt:


Deadtown (Deadtown #1)
by Nancy Holzner


They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders — but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…
Vicky’s demanding job keeping the city safe from all manner of monsters is one reason her relationship with workaholic lawyer (and werewolf) Alexander Kane is in constant limbo. Throw in a foolhardy zombie apprentice, a mysterious demon-plagued client, and a suspicious research facility that’s taken an unwelcome interest in her family, and Vicky’s love life has as much of a pulse as Deadtown’s citizens.

But now Vicky’s got bigger things to worry about. The Hellion who murdered her father ten years ago has somehow broken through Boston’s magical protections. The Hellion is a ruthless force of destruction with a personal grudge against Vicky, and she’s the only one who can stop the demon before it destroys the city and everyone in it.




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8 comments:

Aurian said...

This sure sounds great! The series has been on my wishlist for a while now. I'll just have to read some series before I am allowing myself to buy a new one.
I like books with multiple paranormal creatures, especially the more obscure ones.

Mel said...

I LOVE this series! I only discovered Vicki and Deadtown at the end of last year but am so addicted right from the start. Like you Sully I still have to read Bloodstone, but it's near the top of my August reading especially now Darklands has been released! Thanks for the giveaway! :-)

B.E. Sanderson said...

I ordered Darklands yesterday. Can't wait for it to get here. =o)

And btw, Bloodstone rocks. I'm kinda jealous that you'll get to read it for the first time soon.

Barbara E. said...

I have Deadtown on my TBR shelf and the rest of the series is on my wish list. I'm thinking I need to get started reading this series soon, since I'm getting further behind with the release of Darklands.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh I do want to get started on this series!! I have loved the idea of it since the first book. :) Thank you for the chance. :)

sienny said...

i need to re-read this one!! then on to book #4

Sullivan McPig said...

Thanks for you comments everyone!

marybelle said...

The series looks AMAZING!!!!