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!

***

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. Fran says:

    Hi! DRAWN INTO DARKNESS sounds great and it’s definitely going on my TBR pile :)
    To answer your question: I loved them in every way they come. When they have familiar mythology behind them it’s easier to follow the story and understand their motivations. But on the other hand, it’s always exciting to enter a completely new world and discover the new rules and to be surprised by the characters and course of the events that wouldn’t be possible if traditional mythology was used.
    Congrats on the fabulous new release!
    Have a great day.

  2. blodeuedd says:

    I love when the author makes up her or his own mythology and such, but I also love when they borrow. A Celtic theme, Greek, it’s always fun and different,

  3. Chris says:

    I slightly prefer it when authors base their mythologies in one I’m already familiar with – makes it easier to remember! :)

    This book sounds good – definitely going on my to-read list!

  4. Diane Sadler says:

    I don’t mind either way as long as the story flows well and is not too unbelievable. Good luck with your book, I have put it on my wish list and will look for it come september

  5. Diane Sadler says:

    wow
    I just went to your website and watched the video, it was great; I should have gone there before my first comment sorry about that

  6. Tamsyn says:

    I don’t mind entering a completely new world. I find it fascinating that authors can do that! I checked out the “Drawn Into Darkness” video and its really cool! I will definitely check out future books in the Soul Gatherers series. :o)Tamsyn

  7. Annette says:

    Hi everyone–thanks for the great comments!

    Myself, I often enjoy a new take on an old myth–I love all the different takes on vampires, for example. I also love running across stories based on mythologies I don’t see too often, like Greek, Egyptian, and Nordic. I have a special fondness for all things Celtic because my grandma was a Scot. :-)

  8. danni says:

    I like both. I like old myths changed some way, especially greek myths. I also like new worlds because its so interesting to see what the author came up with. The cover for the book is gorgeous.

  9. Raonaid Luckwell says:

    Awesome that you ahve a fondless for all things Celtic. I’m the same way (though I have a deep attraction to druids). Done right with religion, despite if I follow it or not, then I would enjoy it.

    I even like it when authors take a religion, revamp it and add new twists really gain my interest too.

  10. Jamie Birdwell says:

    I like both also. Sometimes it is fun to read about myths you already know and other times it is to cool to read about new worlds. Even a mix of both makes for a great read!!

  11. Pamk says:

    whatever works for the story works for me. And this sounds like a great story.

  12. Larena Wirum says:

    I enjoy any and all. I always find it interesting when authors create new worlds and rules and make it their own. Of course when they twist mythology that can be a great read too. :-)

  13. Roberta Harwell says:

    I enjoy new worlds that are created but also have a little mythology to them as well. It truly depends on the author and how well they communicate their worlds. Have a great day.

  14. Hi Annette,
    I like a blend of both, because let’s face it when reading a paranormal it is hard not to apply what you already know, but at the same time I think it is great when an author can put a new spin on something we think we already know.

    For example I loved that Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight took what we know about vampires and their need/desire to stay out of the sun, but instead of using the usual “combust in the sun” myth, she gave them skin that sparkled like diamonds in the sun which does not allow them to blend as regular humans, thus wanting to avoid sunlight. I loved that part in the book and thought it was so refreshing.

  15. Teresa W. says:

    Thanks for introducing me to another new author, the release sounds great!

  16. delitealex says:

    I like a blend of the familiar with something new. Drawn into Darkness sounds great. Definitelly something I’d be interested in reading.

  17. Nancy Gilliland says:

    Some days I like the mythology of it, other days I like newer ideas. Mostly I like a blend of new and old, with a world I can get lost in. I have found so many new authors with this promotion, its been great.

  18. Alexa says:

    I like a blend because it’s something familiar, but at the same time unique and different.

  19. Maija P. says:

    I like both. But of course it’s nice to read about wonderful new worlds created by authors.

  20. Michele says:

    Love the excerpt!!! Have this posted on my personal calendar as one to watch for 😀

    I like it when the author uses a myth that most have heard and put their own twist on it. Recent series that I just finished earlier this year was by Kathryn Smith, The Brotherhood Of The Blood. Her setting was based off the Templar and the chalise. Great series if you haven’t read it 😀

  21. Valerie says:

    I enjoy reading something old and something new. I always find it interesting to see what twists an author makes on old legends. Certainly adds for a more interesting and fresh read.

    Love the cover. This one is going on my wishlist for sure!!

  22. Annette says:

    The sparkly vampire concept in Twilight is a great example of same but different–I thought that was very creative, too. I think a number of the books introduced here this month have introduced terrific new twists. I think its particularly interesting when an author turns a norm upside down–like making a demon into a hero. Nothing is more sexy than a really bad boy made good. :-)

  23. Edie says:

    Terrific excerpt!

    It’s the writing and the characters that matter to me. I don’t know all the mythology, so either way I’m fine.

  24. Annette says:

    Kathryn’s Brotherhood of the Blood series rocks! What a terrific blend of history and mythos! Templars and vampires. Yum.

  25. azteclady says:

    Welcome, Ms McCleave!

    For me, it’s all about the writing. Some authors can take a well known mythos and breath all sorts of new life into it. And others create entirely new worlds that grab me by the throat for a number of books.

    Best of luck with the book, it sounds really good (and what a cool cover).

  26. sarah :) says:

    i love the mythology and history.. :) and the cover too! its always a great feeling for me when i am reading something so awesome (like all these wonderful authors) and learning something too!

  27. Wow, I think this is definitely a book my bookclub would enjoy. We are always looking for something new. I will have to pass this on to them. BTW – I love the cover.

    I like just about any mix of paranormal. I do love Greek and Roman mythology so those add a little something to the books for me but anything that has shifters, vamps, demons, etc – I will give a chance.

  28. Jane says:

    Congrats on your debut. I do enjoy paranormals that have a familiar mythology or motif to them because it’s interesting to see how those stories have evolved.

  29. Beth aka The Warrior says:

    I like a mix of mythology, a familiar motif and likes new worlds created entirely by the author or a blend.
    Great excerpt and Cover:>

  30. Beverly G says:

    In all out honesty it depends on what the plot is and hwo the author is sometimes a made up world is better then myth so it all depends personally i like both ways since i love tor ead about myth if i had to pick one id pick one with the made up world simply because well i like to read history when i feel like it and not when i dont

  31. Amy R says:

    Like it when the author takes a familiar mythology and adds to it. Currently waiting on the next book in Gena Showalter’s series, Lords Of The Underworld, where she puts her own personal spin on Pandora’s box :)

  32. Greta says:

    I want this book – I really do not want to wait for it. I already have it on my TBB list when it is available. :)
    Anyway I love it when authors use myths or a motifs in their books. For me if I’m curious about the mythe or motif, then I will research it on line.
    However sometimes, it’s refreshing when the author builds their own world.

  33. Elaine G says:

    Love the little excerpt of Drawn into Darkness.I’d love to win the arc!! If not its going on my list to buy.
    I like both.but I like to see what authors come up with when they build their own world and mythology.

  34. Minna says:

    I like all kinds of paranormal stories.

  35. Brandy says:

    There are some myths and legends that I truly like and others I don’t, adding in different cultures makes them seem real while letting the author put their own spin on it. If the author wants to start from scratch and invent something, that’s great, too. *G*

  36. Angela M says:

    Excerpt for Drawn Into Darkness was GREAT!! Would love to win an ARC 😀

    Like it when authors take a myth and add to it. An example would be the series I’m currently keeping up with by Lynsay Sands the Argeneau Series. Instead of vampires dying because the are exposed to sunlight it just weakens them and then need more blood to sustain them. Plus I love how her vampires drink bagged blood, nice little twist 😀

  37. Ilona says:

    Drawn Into Darkness sounds like an intriguing book. Look forward to reading it.

    As to my personal preference, I like it best when an author creates their own mythology or use an existing one with their own twists to it. Makes for a much more interesting read 😀

  38. Armenia says:

    I enjoy books that have a bit of mythology. Its amazing what authors come up with in their imagination.

    Loved the excerpt and book trailer. And did I mention the sexy front cover…wowsa!

  39. Annette says:

    Thanks for all the great comments on the cover! I love it, too. Funny thing? I can’t tell you how many guys who after they see it promptly swear they’re the model, LOL!

  40. Rebecca Jean says:

    I like to read about blended worlds that draw me in and make me believe that I am already a person living in them even if I am unaware of what exactly is going on behind my back :)

  41. Donna S says:

    Drawn Into Darkness sounds great. Congrats on its release. I cant wait to read it.

  42. Barb P says:

    Hi Annette! I have to say that I like my Demons/Paranormal stories with a good blend, but then again I read pretty much all of it. I can’t ever seem to get enough. Your excerpt from D into D was fantastic and I can’t wait to read it. I have it on my TBB list for Sept.

  43. Leslee says:

    That was an awesome exerpt. I love recognizing a myth or legend and then being surprised by the twist an author adds to make it totally their own. Lynn Viehl’s Darkyn is a great example, as are others. I will be looking for Drawn to Darkness when it comes out, but would love to win an ARC and review it for Night Owl Romance. :)

  44. Amy S. says:

    Sounds great!

  45. Lori T says:

    I think this book sounds really good and I would love to be entered in the contest. I enjoy recognizing myths or legends in stories that I am reading. I am adding this to my TBB list.

  46. chey says:

    As long as it’s well written, I don’t have a preference.

  47. adela says:

    I love for they to have a bit mythology to them. I took a mythology class in college and I loved. i love learning about different cultures and the way to learn about alof of different cultures is to understand there myths. Plus i like knowing the back story to chac. why are they the way they are

  48. Llehn says:

    For me, I think it’s all in how you use them!

  49. caffey says:

    Hi Annette! Yes this book is almost here!! Congrats to more to come too!
    I love both Annette. I love to learn about legends and how they can be written into romance to tell their stories and how others may think the outcome and all occurred. But too I love those that were created by the author too. Often for me, they are both the same because many legends I learn of are through romance books! So I love them both and I think it comes from what story wants to be told from the author!

  50. Pam P says:

    This sounds good, adding to my wishlist, Annette. I like them all, it really comes down to the author telling a great story that draws us in, whether tried or true, or something different and unique.