30 Days of Demons, Day 29: Annette McCleave, Darkness, and an ARC! Back to Blog

Update:  The winner is…Booklover1335. Congrats!

I can’t believe it–our month of demon fun is almost at an end.  Where has the time gone?

But, before the fun’s over, I’ve got another great guest author for you…Annette McCleave is here to talk demons with us.  :-)  Annette’s debut book, DRAWN INTO DARKNESS (Signet Eclipse), will be on bookstore shelves September 1.   This is another book that is on my To-Be-Read list.  A great plot, one with new twists I’ve never seen before.  Hurry up, September 1st!

But, you don’t have to wait until September 1st to read DRAWN INTO DARKNESS. Well, one person won’t have to wait anyway–because Annette will give away an ARC to a commenter. Very, very cool.

Welcome, Annette!

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Thanks for reading! You can discover more about Drawn into Darkness on my website at www.annettemccleave.com, including the book trailer. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you, Cynthia, for including me in this fabulous month of demon madness. I’ve had a blast reading all the posts and I’m looking forward to your release tomorrow!

In the Soul Gatherer series, demons are definitely the bad guys. They come from hell and they’re bent on all sorts of nasty, destructive behavior. Some are mindless and wreak havoc just for fun, while others are smarter and stronger and more interested in corrupting the good. Are they sexy? Well, some are and some aren’t.

The demon in Drawn into Darkness hides behind a guise of blond, curly hair and green eyes. Drusus has old school manners that include bowing to ladies and rarely raising his voice. He’s earnest and charming, at least on the surface. But his demonic purpose is to draw people into a spiral of dark thoughts that eventually leads to suicide—preferably one that involves taking other people along for the final ride. Right now, he’s busy swaying the daughter of my heroine. Yup. Nasty.

My hero, Lachlan, is serving time as a warrior for Death. He gathers the souls of the dead and delivers them to heaven or hell, depending on how they lived their lives. To him, demons are a pain in the ass. They don’t play by the rules and regularly try to steal souls that don’t belong to them. Which usually involves ambushing Soul Gatherers.

Lachlan is undefeated in dispatching demon thieves—until he meets this particular bad, with whom he shares some ancient history. Let’s just say he’s not too pleased with how their first skirmish goes:

***

A dustbowl of swirling red miasma rose up from the damp pavement, encircling the two of them as they dueled. Spinning madly, the crimson tornado lifted higher and higher, until it obliterated every star in the night sky. Then white-hot fireballs began to rain down on Lachlan.

His shield charm took a heavy beating. In a disquietingly short time, the hellish fury pitted the protection spell to rice paper density. But Lachlan had little time to spare for repairs.

He was battling an expert swordsman.

Had he been the same rough soldier Drusus had manipulated all those years ago, his defeat would have been quick and brutal. The demon held nothing back, hitting his blade with powerful, bone-rattling blows, the kind of blows one avoids in practice sessions for fear of irreparably damaging a blade.

Fortunately, though, Lachlan was no longer a backward Scottish knight who only hacked and thrust. With the help of Italian and Spanish masters, at whose feet he had studied for a hundred years after his death, he’d honed his talents to a lethal edge. Talents that now served him well.

He cut and thrust with smooth, almost effortless technique. He broke through the demon’s defenses twice, slicing through the leather jacket and biting deep into flesh. His new sword glowed green with the taste of demon blood.

But victory eluded him.

The sword was not enough. Not only did his opponent’s wounds heal with incredible speed, allowing Drusus to continue fighting without respite, but moments after Lachlan scored his second successful slice, the beleaguered shield charm collapsed, leaving him dreadfully barren of protection. He swiftly called forth another, but it was whisked away before it was fully formed, with no more exertion than a horse swatting a fly.

The swirling red vapor dissolved, carried away in wisps on the night breeze. Drusus paused, staring curiously at Lachlan’s heaving chest and sweat-drenched brow.

“You Gatherers are little better than humans,” he observed, sounding disappointed. “This is hardly the challenging duel I’d hoped it would be.”

Lachlan responded by whipping a restraining spell at him, roping the demon in thick white cords and pinning his arms to his sides.

Drusus broke the binds with a single in-drawn breath. “Very rudimentary stuff, that. There’s a much better spell in the Book of Gnills. Where’s the Linen?”

As the tattered remnants of the binds fell away, the gap in the demon’s leather jacket widened, and Lachlan caught a glimpse of a faint golden glow about his neck—the reliquary. A bitter dose of failure poured into his throat, choking him. Drusus could crush him, right here and right now, if that was his desire. Not without a fight, of course, but slowly, inevitably, courtesy of the indefatigable power the bastard borrowed from Satan. And when he fell, the souls of his family would be cast into hell, never to be recovered.

No. He could not let them down. Not again. He drew deep on his powers and straightened to his full height.

“Fuck you.”

***

My demons have a touch of religion attached to them, being from hell and all. Do you like your paranormal stories to have a familiar motif or mythology behind them? Or do you prefer new worlds created entirely by the author? A blend? Comment and you could win an ARC!

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55 responses to “30 Days of Demons, Day 29: Annette McCleave, Darkness, and an ARC!”

  1. Jacqueline L. says:

    A bit of both, not necessarily at the same time. :)

  2. stacey smith says:

    So your demons are the bad guys.well i like a blend of the two some mythology and some just what ever the author makes up as they go along.
    sasluvbooks@yahoo.com

  3. Eva S says:

    This book sounds great, one for my wish list!
    I like stories with a bit of mythology, but also new worlds, so I guess my answer is a blend.

  4. Lindsey Ekland says:

    Good or bad demons add depth to a story. Each author has their own take on demons and the rules and regulations as applied to the world and therefore I never get tired of reading about them. So another interesting book to track down.

  5. Rena M. says:

    I’ve read demon stories that have a slight religious theme and other where the author has created her own world and I’ve enjoyed both styles immensely. As long as the author can pull me into the story and make me wish I was there it’s all good!

    Drawn into Darkness looks really good! It’s going on my list of titles to look for, unless of course I win an ARC here!!