Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wolf Moon Rising Preview Extract

Angelique actress Lara Parker has a Dark Shadows novel out next month, and we're delighted to be able to share a preview of the book's prologue. Wolf Moon Rising is an exciting new story stretching across a century, following on from 2006's The Salem Branch. You can also find out more about the book in our exclusive author interview with Lara from last year by clicking here.

Wolf Moon Rising: Prologue
The trees draw in their shadows, a violet stain seeps over the sky, and beneath the stone walls of a hundred year old mansion, the vampire stirs. Encased in a smothering blackness that smells faintly of blood, Barnabas can feel an unfamiliar surge of strength, but where he lies there is no space, no air, only his foul breath, and demon memories crawling beneath his eyelids like maggots. Panicked, he gasps to breathe, claws above his head. His fingernails rip his silken shroud, and wooden splinters dig into the quick. 

Then, in the midst of his struggling, a wave of sorrow washes over him and he lies back in his coffin with voices humming in his brain. Once again, he has died forever. Had he been royalty in the Elizabethan age, an effigy would have been carved to adorn his tomb. He is that figure of veined and polished marble, hands fixed, face motionless, and buried within, a scarred and blackened soul.

High in an upstairs bedroom of the Great House, another anguished immortal paces the floor. restless and loose-limbed as a caged carnivore. Head pounding from too much brandy, Quentin lurches toward the mirror of his bureau and grimaces at his loathsome reflection. He lifts a furred hand to blot it out, and a low growl rumbles in his chest. 

He is powerfully built but his potency is sapped by the flood of urges that now consume him. Whom will he kill? What innocent? He can sense a shift in his temperament, an exhaustion of tenderness, and flowing through his body a hideous craving. Across the snowy vista that falls to the sea, his old tormentor rises out of the water drawing the tide in his blood. What cleaver sliced this moon in half so perfectly, exposing the opalescence within, then buried its hidden side away in some celestial cavern?

Just down the hall – in the third story tower room that looks out over the sea – a young man dreams of sailing over water. The sails swell, his boat heels, and his bow slips through the waves. David approaches an island where a young girl waits for him, her tangled hair lifted by the wind and her eyes the color of stars. She runs across the sand as he draws nearer, her arms outstretched, and then she is folded against him. Again and again he draws her to him only to have her dissolve in a mist. His body throbs with pulses so intense he wakes gasping for air. He hears her cry out before she disappears, turning to spray and salty foam, and leaving only the scent of roses on his hands. 

Down the sea road stands a ghostly mansion the moon has wrapped in a silver shroud. The milky columns shudder from the storm within, the windows rattle. A woman searches the rooms for a lost portrait, looking where she has looked before. High on weed, Antoinette slams doors, overturns chests, drags clothes from armoires, blankets from shelves. She sobs and sinks to the floor, the world spinning. Where could it be? Impossible for it to be missing. Who could have taken it? She is afraid of Quentin. She had thought she loved him but now she knows how violent he can be. Why did she always make such bad choices in men? Jackie must have put the painting somewhere. In a storage room. Under a bed. In the basement. As she rakes her face with her fingers, she can feel the synapses tearing in her brain. 

While in an adjoining bedroom, her daughter, Jacqueline, is painting by moonlight. Her concentration is such that she floats off her chair and hovers above her canvas, her brush lifting an image out of the shadows. But it is not a painting of the boy who dreamed of her, or the portrait her tortured mother must find. The image is of a brooding man with a bitter look, more alive than paint on canvas, and about to speak. What will he say to her? The brush moves by itself; something is guiding her hand. Sparks fly out of the tip as it rolls on deep maroons and magentas. A vision emerges of a person she does not recognize. Coal black hair combed into curving spikes across the forehead, deep blood shot eyes dark as chestnut seeds with a tiny flame in each iris. Craggy jaws and a large Romanesque nose, and faintly glimmering just inside blood tinged lips, two enlarged incisors. Jackie throws down her brush and pulls back from the canvas. Something has risen out of her subconscious. She has painted a vampire!
© Lara Parker/Tor Books, 2013. 

Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising is published on August 20 and can be pre-ordered at a discount price by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

Great excerpt!! I think Lara will have another winner. The book has already been preordered on Amazon for quite one time!

Sharon Lynn H. said...

Quite the chills and very intriquing Prologue to the haunting Suspence & Mystery that surrounds the COLLIN WOOD Mansion Estates and the legends that live there (and abroad Parrellel times). Scary!! Great opening to Actress/Writer Lara Parker new Novel: Wolf Moon Rising our much "feared & lov/hate" Angelique herself. Cool!!

Carl Daigrepont said...

How nice to read a "DS" novel that's packed with genuine, Gothic Horror
oozing throughout!
I think that this one may be the best, yet!
I'm eagerly waiting it's publication!

wildbastian said...

very much wanting this, now just 3 more days. Best wish's, Lara !