Hi, I'm Donya Lynne. I want to thank Sara for inviting me to join her on her blog today for a little paranormal snack.
Do you like paranormal romance, but want something different from the standard vampire stories you find everywhere else? Then perhaps the world of All the King's Men is just what you need. These aren't your normal vampires. They aren't all alike, and they sure aren't perfect. In fact, each of the vampires in All the King's Men has different "gifts" (or curses as the case may be), is carrying major baggage, and some are more damaged than others. Case in point: Micah Black of Rise of the Fallen, the first novel of the series and my debut novel.
Micah Black: Sexy. Dark. Dangerous. He's the kind of male you don't want to be enemies with. And right now he's got a problem. A big one. He just lost his second mate, and he's a ticking time bomb. If he had been a natural disaster in the making before, he's DEFCON 1 now. In other words, get out of his way and batten the hatches, because he's about to implode. And if you're too close, he'll take you with him.
Micah is the main – and very troubled – character of Rise of the Fallen. He's a vampire who has been alive so long he can't even remember his true age, and right now, all those long centuries of self-imposed Hell are catching up to him. He needs a savior or he won't live through the night. If he doesn't succeed in getting himself killed first, he might just find that savior in the most unexpected person: A spunky blonde named Samantha Garrett who has her own past she's trying to run away from. When these two finally meet, sparks fly and danger closes in, and they'll have to rely each other if they're to survive.
Here's an excerpt from chapter one of Rise of the Fallen:
…Micah was perched like a gargoyle on the banister of his eighteenth floor balcony. He was naked and his skin gleamed against the lights of Chicago. The cold January wind blew his shoulder-length, black hair over his narrowed, soulless eyes. The fight had failed to give him what he needed to control the ache in his chest, which now expanded and played peek-a-boo with the suicidal thoughts plaguing his mind.
This was how it felt to lose a mate: Like falling off a cliff into a bottomless pit. But when was losing a mate ever easy for a male vampire? He felt empty, like a surgeon had cut him open, pulled out a couple of vital organs then sewn him back up with acid. Something was missing and it left a raw scratch on the inside of his skin.
The fight with the wife-beater was supposed to have taken the edge off his suffering, but he felt more in need of a beating now than before. He was getting worse, and at an accelerated rate.
At this point, dying would be a gift. And maybe he would die. All it would take was one slip of his foot, and if that happened, Micah wouldn't try to save himself by dematerializing back to his balcony. A fall from this high could cause enough damage to kill him, and if it didn't, the broken bones wouldn't heal in time for him to escape the sun when it rose in a couple hours. That would finish him. He wasn't a day walker like Traceon or that new guy, Severin. The sun would fry his ass into dust.
Hooray for the sun.
What had started this decline into darkness? Oh, that's right. Jackson. Jack had broken up with him. How long had it been since Jackson had left? A month? No, it had only been a week ago, hadn't it? Shit, only a week. It felt like longer. He had fallen far in only a short time.
The past week had been a waking nightmare. For the first two days after Jackson left, Micah had lived on the marble floor of his bathroom, curled in a shivering ball when he wasn't hunched over the commode. The vomiting had lasted a day then became dry heaves and gagging on the second day. Food? No thanks.
He had finally overcome the last of the sickening ache on the third day, but that had opened the door for a dark, dangerous hunger that grew deadlier by the hour: A hunger for pain that had deepened in the days since and sent him in search of a beating every night. But tonight was the first time a fight had left him still in need, and not because his opponent had been weak, but because Micah's need had worsened. Probably because Micah had lost a mate before and the pain was compounded from losing another.
During the Middle Ages, he had lost a wife, Katarina. He had barely survived Katarina's death, but doing so had come at a heavy price: He had never fully regained his will to live and had turned into one hell of a nasty SOB who people instinctively knew not to mess with. Losing her had changed him and thrust his mind into a world of isolation and rebellion. And now he had lost Jackson. If he had thought losing Katarina had been rough, losing his second mate was even rougher, because it opened up all the old wounds again so they could seep right along with the new ones and compound his pain into an agony that would kill most mortals.
Jackson had come along nine months ago, right after Easter. Jackson was a male, but that hadn't mattered to Micah. For the first time since losing Katarina, his heart had stirred, and within a month, he had mated to him. Not a full mating, but a bond to Jackson had formed nonetheless. With Jack, Micah had smiled again. Jack had given him hope and happiness for the first time in centuries.
Now it was clear that Jackson had never mated to Micah. Not even a little.
Which brought Micah back to being perched on the banister, overlooking the city like a sentry.
Closing his eyes now, he moaned from the cold wind's bite, a kind of pain in and of itself. He wallowed in the hollow place that had once been his soul, the darkness creeping and spreading like a parasite to eat him from the inside out as the brittle cold clawed his skin.
With his arms stretched vertically between his bent knees, he gripped the corner of the banister and closed his eyes, his toes curled over the railing. His senses engaged and stretched out, and he felt everything dark and nasty that seeped in the streets below. He inhaled, savoring its acrid odor.
When he opened his eyes again, his pupils smoldered with malevolence, and he swept his gaze from side-to-side as if searching for something. He felt eyes on him but couldn't find the source. Or maybe it was just his imagination. Nothing was making sense. He teetered on the banister as he glanced down the side of the building as if a legion of giant spiders was crawling up the side, coming for him. Nothing. No one. He was alone. So why did he feel another's gaze?
* * *
From the shadows below, the guardian kept his pale eyes fixed on the eighteenth floor balcony, watching the naked vampire sway in the cold wind. Micah had to be freezing up there, or maybe he didn't even notice. It was clear even from here that Micah wasn't fully present in his own body. He hadn't been since Jackson had left a week ago, and it only seemed to be getting worse. This wouldn't do. The guardian refused to lose Micah. He had come too far and searched too long for him.
Fuck! The toothpick in the guardian's mouth snapped as he clenched his jaw and watched Micah lean forward precariously. Fast as a rifle shot, he reached his hand into the air and blasted Micah with a gentle push of energy that mimicked a strong breeze. The guardian's mind eased as Micah seemed to come back into himself long enough to climb off the railing and put his naked feet back on safe ground.
The guardian breathed a deep sigh of relief, deciding to stick around for the rest of the night to make sure Micah didn't pull anymore near-nose-dives or worse. Pulling up his collar and securing his skullcap, he stepped back into the darkened entrance of a nearby business, fully shrouded in shadows, his special powers engaged. With closed eyes, he stretched out his senses to keep tabs on the damaged vampire up on the eighteenth floor. He cringed at the pain he felt coming from Micah, but at least it wasn't death. Not yet, anyway. And hopefully never.
Book two of the All the King's Men series, Heart of the Warrior, is due out on May 25, and it promises to be even more explosive. I'm excited to continue unfolding more of Micah's story, as well as the stories of the other characters in his world, and would love to have you join me on the journey.
If you would like to buy Rise of the Fallen or take a closer look, here are the links where you can find the ebook:
Amazon: Amazon - Rise of the Fallen
Barnes & Noble: B&N - Rise of the Fallen
Smashwords: SW: Rise of the Fallen
All Romance ebooks: ARe: Rise of the Fallen
I'd love to meet you on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDonyaLynne
Author's Note: My thanks to model and web designer, Andrei Andrei, for his permission to use his image on the cover of Rise of the Fallen. You can see more of his body of work at his website: http://www.andreiandrei.com/