Publication date: December 16th 2013
Genres: Adult, Horror, Paranormal
Vanora is haunted by the night her faith in those she loved was shattered. After fleeing Houston, she takes refuge in Austin and creates a normal life with her roommate Rhonda. Despite her newfound happiness, Vanora is tormented by dreams and visions of an enigmatic and dangerous albino vampire.
When her world starts to fall apart and Armando comes back into her life to warn her that her brother is in danger, Vanora realizes that she can’t escape her destiny. Evil threatens her family, and she must venture into the darkness to save everyone she cares about.
As she seeks to uncover the truth about the terrifying albino vampire and her purpose in his schemes, Vanora starts to realize that the man she loves most may be her greatest enemy. 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 book includes all five episodes of the second season of the serial.
In Darkness We Must Abide
Season 2 Excerpt
Vanora forced her eyes to open, abandoning the nightmare for the real world. The dream still clung to her mind and body. Attempting to sit up, she found herself paralyzed. It felt as if the bands of the nightmare world were keeping her strapped to the mattress, reluctant to release her. It struck her that she could still sense the power of the vampire. Fearfully, her gaze searched the gloom filling the room as she became horrifically aware that the vampire was near.
The door to the bedroom stood ajar. She knew for certain she had closed it when she had gone to bed. Now the darkness beyond the cracked door held the promise of growing danger. When he surreptitiously entered her room, Vanora shuddered at the sight of the pale vampire. His tall, pale, masculine form hesitated as he perhaps realized she was awake. Vanora strove to force her limbs into action, but her body refused to obey. The vampire slunk further into her bedroom, his movements quick and sure, like any predator.
“Rhonda invited me in,” the increasingly familiar deep voice murmured. He glided through the shadows of her bedroom, the moonlight straining through her gauzy curtains illuminating his pale skin.
Vanora willed herself awake, yet the world remained unchanged. Pinned to her bed, she was vividly aware of the approaching vampire. The power emanating from the vampire surged around her. It was wicked and enticing all at once. Cold prickles flowed across her flesh, her skin burned by the icy touch of the vampire’s presence. Vanora lay trapped on her bed, unable to call out or move.
The vampire stopped at the edge of the mattress, staring down at her. She could see that he was bare chested, his long legs clad in black leather. White hair fell in waves over his shoulders. Kneeling on the bed with slow, seductive movements, his face drew terrifyingly near, the purple fire of his eyes bright in the darkness. The light of the moon glinted off the silvery strands of his goatee.
“You don’t yet know who I am, and that’s how it should be. I need you to wait for me. Wait for the time when we can be together. Yet, I cannot resist seeing you just this once.”
Vanora strained to speak, but her lips remained frozen. Only her eyes were blessed with movement. The vampire lowered his head, tilting it so that his face disappeared into the gloom. He was so close, she felt as if her heart would stop from fright. Yet, the darkness within her craved to hold him close to her trembling body. That realization terrified her even more than the vampire.
“You look so frightened. There’s no need to be,” he whispered. “I would never hurt you.”
One of his hands caressed her face gently. It was the strong hand of a warrior and it felt soothingly wintry against her fevered face. As his fingertips traced her lips, her terror began to dissolve.
What was happening to her?
The bliss sweeping through her limbs untethered her body. Raising her hand, Vanora caught the vampire by the wrist. Beneath her unsteady grip, she could feel his incredible strength. His long body settled over her like a cloak, trapping her beneath him. His face was so close to hers, his lips brushed lightly over her chin and mouth as he spoke.
“We belong together, Vanora.”
“No,” she protested, finding her voice. It sounded shrill.
He slid a hand through her hair affectionately. “I love your hair. It’s so long and white. Like mine.”
“Please, let me be,” Vanora gasped. She couldn’t abide the sensations his touch created within her. It was a betrayal of all she held to be true.
“Don’t be afraid, Vanora. My little white witch. My love.”
The vampire’s mouth captured hers in an ardent kiss.
A dark essence flowed out of the depth of her soul, filling her with desire. It screamed with triumph, free at last. Vanora felt the great wings of her power reach out to embrace the vampire. Everything within her cried out for him. She was complete in his arms. Whole at last. Not lost, but found.
Vanora lost herself in his kiss. His lips and tongue were so cold against the warmth of her mouth. The sharp tips of his canine teeth raked her tongue, but she didn’t care. He was hers and she was his. Tangling one hand in his hair, she wrapped her legs around him, relishing his weight between her thighs. Dragging her other hand down his back, she felt the muscles beneath his smooth white skin.
“You feel it,” the vampire whispered against her mouth.
“Yes,” Vanora panted.
Trapped within the web of their joined power, she invited the seductive touch of the vampire. His hand gripped her thigh, pulling her hard against the erection straining beneath the leather of his trousers. It was then that she felt something hard against her shoulder blade. It was cool metal. Distracted by the sensation, she tilted her face from the vampire. His mouth descended to her throat, lightly biting her, but not drawing blood. Through the haze of desire, she realized the bit of metal was her cross.
The wicked carnality she had felt at his kiss began to fade as Vanora concentrated on the discomfort of the cross pressing into her skin. It warmed, pulsating beneath her. Mentally shoving away the sinister force enveloping her emotions, she struggled to regain her sense of self. The cross became unbearably hot, slashing through the vampire’s seduction.
Vanora’s mind came sharply into focus as her body numbed to the vampire’s ardor. Their mingled auras no longer felt like salvation, but slavery. Her heart and soul cried out for Armando, and she felt sullied by the touch of the vampire.
“Wait,” she whispered, pressing him away.
The growl that emanated from the vampire was terrifying. His hands tightened possessively on her body.
“Help me,” she said, thinking rapidly. She took hold of the top of her pajamas.
The vampire chuckled, gripped the fabric and yanked the tank top over her head. As it came free, Vanora caught hold of the chain of her necklace, yanked the cross forward, grasped it in one hand, and shoved the silver pendant against his skin.
In Darkness We Must Abide
Q & A
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 in the first season before he appears as a central figure in episode three. He instantly became very popular. 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. We see her confidence evolve over the course of the serial.
Q: We finally got a good look at the villain at the end the first season finale. He’s an albino, too, and quite imposing. He appears more in Season 2, but will he take on a bigger role in Season 3?
A: Absolutely. Aeron takes on a much bigger role in Vanora’s life and we learn about his past and why Vanora is so important to him. It’s not just because he believes she’s a part of his destiny. There is something much more going on beneath the surface that reaches back eons.
Q: So, is there a love triangle?
A: I wouldn’t call it a love triangle. I am always intrigued by the concept of fate. What if fate laid out a future for you that you didn’t want? Could you fight it? Could you change it somehow? The concept of fate is definitely a lynchpin of the story, but so is the idea of defying it.
That being said, Aeron is a brutal man of his time, but there is more to him that meets the eye. I’ll leave it up to the reader to discern if there is a love triangle or not.
Q: Tartarus, the Elysian Fields, the Fates, and other allusions to Greek mythology are popping up more and more. Is this significant?
A: I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology. I absolutely love it. There are some Greek supernatural characters in the story, so they’re going to address certain paranormal realms or beings according to their belief structure. Also, I liked the idea of maybe all those myths had roots in truth, but over time it was corrupted and changed.
Leto, the She-Wolf, is part of Greek mythology, but who she really is in the story of In Darkness We Must Abide has yet to be revealed.
Q: What can we expect in Season 3 that starts in January of 2014?
A: There is a lot more magic in Season 3 as Vanora fully inhabits her witch powers. Armando’s struggles against the supernatural edict that holds him captive will become much more pronounced. Some of the minor characters in the first two seasons will get bigger roles. Aeron steps into the spotlight and we’ll learn a whole lot more about the vampire society he has created.
Q: Is there anything you’d like the fans of the serial to know?
A: I’ve been trying very hard to get these episodes out as rapidly as I can, but sometimes contractual obligations to my publishers will disrupt the process. There was a big gap between the 9th and 10th episode and I felt really bad about that. I do promise that Season 3 will be written and published. Vanora’s story will be fully told. It may take longer than I’d like, but I will complete the serial. I won’t let my fans down.
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, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.
You can find her online at:
Website: rhiannonfrater.com & astheworlddies.com
Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com