Friday, 24 May 2013

XPRESSO TOUR **PROMO: "In Darkness We Abide" by Rhiannon Frater




In Darkness We Must Abide: The Complete First Season by Rhiannon Frater
Genre: NA Modern Gothic Horror Publication date:  May 24th 2013 Goodreads:
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In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night.

Already living in the shadows due to her albinism, Vanora is just a little girl when her older brother inadvertently unleashes a terrible evil from the family crypt that changes their lives forever.

As she grows up in a world where beautiful deadly beings hunt by night, one captures her eye and her heart. Yet, can she trust the mysterious Armando? For there is a powerful entity plotting to claim her when she reaches adulthood in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy, and her enemy has enveloped her in a web of deceit, casting doubt on all she believes to be true. Soon, she will have to fight not only to save those she loves, but also for her very soul.

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 paperback includes all five episodes of the first season of the serial


With his presence still sizzling on her skin and his hazel eyes still haunting her thoughts, Vanora pondered the words that Armando had spoken in his silky Spanish accent.

You must go home, he had said.

Hugging herself, she gazed into the darkness surrounding her, wondering if Armando still lingered in the shadows observing her.

That he had sought her out both thrilled and terrified her. 

When she had first seen him standing on the lighted path of her apartment complex, the mere sight of his enigmatic smile had set her heart aflutter. But now that he had slipped back into the darkness, her heart beat with fear.

Could she go back to Houston and face all she had run from? Could she forget the evils she had beheld on her eighteenth birthday? Could she just abandon the life she had meticulously created for herself over the last two years and return to the mansion that was haunted by death and pain?

You must go home.

Armando’s words echoed in her mind.

Vanora lifted a hand to brush away her white-blond hair and turned to face the dark waters of the swimming pool that glimmered in the moonlight.

To go home meant she would at last cast aside her trepidation and face the monsters of her nightmares. Was she strong enough to do so? Was she strong enough to go home and save the ones she loved?

With a surrendering sigh, she admitted to herself that it was time to return to her childhood home. It was difficult to concede, but her reluctance to return was partially because she feared allowing Armando into her life once more. Though the creatures that dwelled in the darkness were terrifying, it was Armando who surely frightened her.

Only he could truly steal away her heart and soul…



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.

Q&A with Rhiannon


Q: In Darkness We Must Abide is a supernatural serial. What exactly does that mean? What is a serial?
A: It means I’m crazy and just had to put more on my writing plate! Okay, in all honesty, In Darkness We Must Abide is sort of like a television show I’m writing for your brain. A serial used to be a very popular form of literature. It was an ongoing episodic form of storytelling much like popular television shows today. Each part builds on the one before it, creating a very rich story for the readers to enjoy. Serials followed pretty regular schedules for their installments (weekly, biweekly, monthly).

Q: So what genre is In Darkness We Must Abide?
A: In Darkness We Must Abide is gothic horror set in modern times. It has all the classic gothic horror trappings like a big, gloomy mansion, the deep dark secrets, the tormented lovers, and terrifying monsters. It’s an epic tale about a young woman who is caught up in the supernatural world of vampires, werewolves, witches, and ancient prophecies. 

Q: This story is a bit different from most of your books though, right?
A: Though it’s still a character-driven tale of horror, and has some truly scary moments, at its heart it is a very tragic sort of love affair between two people who are drawn to each other even though their worlds are tearing them apart. Upon reflection, I can definitely see how my love of Jane Eyre and other gothic romances influenced the central relationship. Armando and Vanora are wounded people that you want desperately to somehow be together, but you’re just not sure if/when/how it might happen.

Q: We only see bits of Armando in the prologues of the first two episodes before he appears as a central figure in episode three. He instantly became very popular in the first season. Why do you think that is?
A: Well, he’s delicious! LOL. Armando is not only very handsome and charming, he’s very complicated. He’s a man of many secrets and conflicting emotions. Though he’s an older vampire (400 years old), he’s eternally 22 years old and has a youthful spark to him. He’s a bit sarcastic, naughty, and playful despite the fact that he’s not all that he seems to be. Armando doesn’t come across as cruel, so I think that adds to his appeal. Yet at the same time, he’s dangerous in that he can totally break Vanora’s heart and possibly betray her to his Master.

Q: Tell us a bit about Vanora, the heroine of the story.
A: Well, we start our journey with her when she’s ten years old and her life is altered forever when her brother has his ancestors from Romania transferred to the mausoleum on their estate in Houston, Texas. Immediately, a chain of events starts that sends her plunging into a very dark world. That being said, not all is bleak, because she has a much older brother and sister who take care of her and love her. They’re a very strong family unit. As season one continues, we see Vanora grow up to be a charming seventeen-year-old on the verge of her adulthood. Of course, that’s about the time when things between her and Armando start to significantly change.

Q: Vanora is an albino. How does that affect her life?
A: Vanora’s albinism affects her life quite a bit. She can’t be out in direct sunlight, she’s legally blind (though her sixth sense powers allow her to “see”), her appearance draws unwanted comments and negative attention, and isolates her a bit from others as she’s growing up. That being said, the difficulties she has to overcome make her a formidable person. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself, though she may not be entirely confident at times.

Q: We finally got a good look at the villain at the end of episode 5, the first season finale. He’s an albino, too, and quite imposing. Will he take on a bigger role in Season 2?
A: Armando’s Master is definitely the villain of the story. In Season 2 we learn a whole lot about him and what exactly he’s up to. We also learn why he’s so fixated on Vanora and why he sent Armando to watch over her. That Vanora and the villain are both albinos is significant.

Q: What can we expect in Season 2 that starts June 7, 2013?
A: Well, the intensity of Episode 5, the season finale, is amplified. It becomes very, very intense and all the characters are in considerable danger. Of course, Armando and Vanora continue to be at the center of the storm. By the end of Season 2 the readers will definitely know where Armando stands and exactly what Vanora must battle against.


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, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.  

You can find her online at:
Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com

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