Friday, July 11, 2014

NBtM: Interview & Giveaway - The Darkness Below by Sherri Lackey

The Darkness Below

by Sherri Lackey 



Twenty years have passed since Keeva killed her grandfather, Delius.  She drank in his powers and became the Queen of the Vrykolakes, known by the ancient Greeks as the bloodless vampires. 

She and Severin have settled into some semblance of a normal life, living in rural North America with their two kids, Connor and Kaie. Their neighbors would never suspect that they are anything more than a typical family.  

Aside from keeping their true identity a secret, everything seems to be going well for the small family. 

Until their twelve year old daughter, Kaie, goes missing. 

Are monsters ever afraid of the dark? 

When Kaie awakens from a prolonged sleep, she is no longer a child, and she is no longer in familiar surroundings. In a realm where no sunlight penetrates the dark cloud layers, a place called The Forbidding awaits. Echoes of madness surround her. Something lurking in the Belows warn of her doom. Legend holds that whatever is born or brought into the Belows must remain there. 

Kaie vows to find a way to return to her family, but first she must learn to face her darkest fear, if she is ever to escape from the darkness below. 


Here it was, her childhood nightmare in the flesh. Cold dark flesh. It thrashed back and forth, screaming so loudly that Kaie felt like her eardrums would burst. She held onto the sting blade and felt it sink deeper into the specter’s flesh. It ripped downward into muscle and tendons, tearing as she slipped farther down into its throat.  

Down she went into the beast’s stomach. She was greeted by a numbing cold that crept upwards from her feet, making its way throughout her body, into her arms and hands, making it hard to hold onto the blade. She flexed her arms and felt the blade continue to slice into the creature’s stomach.  

She wasn’t alone. The denizens of its stomach sprang to action at the bidding of their master. They were trying to pry the blade out of her hands. Their touch was freezing cold. She felt her hands slip on the hilt. They clawed and shrieked at her in anger. She fought back with her banshee fire and some of them responded by recoiling. With a thought directed at them she flung the nearest ones away and regained her grasp on the sting blade.  

She was so tired. Something told her if she would simply let go, she would slip into a cold oblivion, be free from all pain and suffering, free…  

No, it was a lie. With the remaining strength she had, she plunged the blade deeper and she saw it, pulsing away steadily. The creature’s heart was a deep, dark chasm…but it pulsed, pumping great blasts of cold with each beat of its heart.  

Let's Learn a Little about Sherri Lackey:
What is your writing environment?
I like to get comfy when I write. I have a favorite corner of my sectional sofa. An end table sits to my left holding my Camelbak water bottle, an assortment of pens, paper for notes, and dictionaries consisting of words not often used in modern society. My dog likes to sit on my right side and my cat is perched either on my shoulder or chest; she chooses her position based on what will be most inconvenient for me. I have the stereo playing music in the background as I write.

Who is your perfect hero and why?
Whether the hero in a story is a human being or a super hero with extraordinary abilities, they have to be real people with faults, struggles, temptations, sorrows, etc. Something must happen to them which defines the meaning of their lives. They should also exhibit a strong will to accomplish their goals, such as in this quote of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” As such, Atticus Finch would be one of my favorite fictional heroes.

What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
I recently read Scarlet the young adult novel by Marissa Meyer. I like what she’s done with her Lunar Chronicle series which takes well known fairy tales and modernizes them with a sci-fi twist. Unlike the Disney fairy tales, hers are a little gritty. I’m hoping that the series does have a happy ending however, unlike the original pre-Disney fairy tales which often ended badly for the main characters – sort of like what happens to some of the characters in George R.R. Martin’s books today. Don’t get me started on that subject! 
My all-time favorite author is Dean Koontz. I recently read his latest novel Innocence. The main character is the personification of innocence. As a result, he and his kind are hunted down and killed violently by anyone who looks at them whether it be a nice little old lady or a hardened criminal. It doesn’t matter who sees them, the violent reaction against them is the same. It’s an intriguing idea to explore. I wish I had thought of it.

What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I would like to write a modern day classic, something that would withstand the test of time, something that would cause people to say: I wonder what she meant by that?

Top 3 things on your bucket list?
  1. Stay in shape, eat healthy, and live long enough to see my great-grandchildren.
  2. Retire and move to a place that is intellectually and artistically stimulating so that I can continue to write new and different things.
  3. I like islands. I’d like to visit Great Britain, Santorini, and/or Japan.

How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
This is the second novel in my Narcissus Legacy series. I hadn’t planned on writing a sequel, much less a whole series following my first novel The Vrykolakas Deviation, but stories have a life of their own and demand to be told. Most people have never heard of a Vrykolakas which is a type of vampire that doesn’t drink blood. In the legends, how they kill their victims is not clearly defined. In my version of the legend I have them drain a person’s lifeforce by skin on skin contact. 
After finishing the first novel, a new character emerged in my mind, a precocious girl by the name of Kaie who also happens to be the daughter of the two main characters in the first novel. Kaie becomes the prototype of a new hybrid race of Vrykolakes. But before that can happen, she has to face a phantom which has haunted her all throughout her young life. Something which her parents and other family members think exists only in her imagination.

What is your favorite scene in your new release?
My favorite scene is one in which Kaie is an adult but still trapped in the dark realm of Subtenna. She is bloodied and worn after fighting in a battle against the city of Pugni Plumbus. She likes to journal as a form of relaxation and she is sitting atop a tall rock doing just that in the dying hours of dimlight. Her peace is shattered when she is attacked from behind. She plummets to the ground sustaining cuts and abrasions. Her main concern though is for her journal. It was new and journals are expensive items on Subtenna.  
Her assailant turns out to be none other than her Dark Elfin husband, Amaury, who thinks sneak attacks are loads of fun. She doesn’t think so and she is furious when she sees that her journal is ruined. Amaury tries to smooth things over but she will have none of it. He finally tells her to punch him if it will make her feel better. He probably didn’t think she’d take him up on the offer, but she does and tells him he owes her a new journal. This scene is followed by another where her manipulative father-in-law informs her that it is her duty to provide their noble house with an heir. This does not improve her mood at all. After taking a long hot bath her mood isn’t much improved, until she sees that Amaury has left a crisp, clean, and newly purchased journal on her pillow. When you live in the hostile and dark realm of Subtenna, it’s the little things that count.

What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?

The third book in the series, The Darkness Within, picks up with the story of Connor and Genovefa. Connor is the older brother of Kaie. Unlike his sister, he is gentle and introspective. Genovefa is his shrewish, ancient banshee wife. No one in the Vrykolakas royal family can understand what attracted Connor to Genovefa in the first place. Connor begins to wonder that himself when he overhears a conversation between Kaie and Genovefa where she admits that she never loved him. Broken hearted, Connor flees the realm of Earth leaving his family wondering what has become of him. Meanwhile, their enemies, the Blood, or vampires as they are known as on the realm of Earth, are plotting to destroy the Vrykolakes. They intend on using Connor to do it for them when they infect him with something called Strixanis. Book three will be available by late summer or early fall of 2014.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I like spending time with my family. My sons are writers too and my daughter does the graphics for our novels, so we often talk about writing when we’re not writing. We like to go hiking in the summer. We live in Montana where it is cold most of the year. When it’s too cold to go outside I like to make jewelry or crochet.

What would you consider a perfect date?
My husband and I have been married for nearly twenty-four years but we still go out on dates as often as we can. For us that means getting out of town, sight-seeing, dinner and conversation. That’s how our first date started out. We talked for hours on end. We got to know each other pretty fast; so fast that we were married six months later. I guess we’re unconventional in the romance department. A couple of years ago for our anniversary we went boondocking in the back of our Suburban up in the mountains of the Lewis and Clark National Forest instead of going to a nice hotel like we did the year before. It was a lot of fun even though I accidently set off our car alarm in the middle of the night. Sorry, forest animals, for disturbing the peace!

What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
When I was younger, speaking in public frightened me so much that I would become physically ill if I had to give a speech. I had to take a public speaking class as part of my college requirements and the teacher gave us an evaluation to see how much we liked or disliked public speaking. I went off the charts as did a few of my classmates on the dislike spectrum. He told us that he was surprised we were taking the class at all. Well, I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t a requirement! Now however, I like public speaking. I still get the jitters if I’m speaking before an unfamiliar crowd, but it doesn’t bother me like it used to and I actually enjoy it. I guess people do change.

AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Sherri Lackey lives in Montana where the cold northern climate inspires her to write foreboding tales. She writes the way she cooks, and that is by using dashes of speculative fiction, a pinch of steampunk here, and a touch of urban fantasy there. She lives with her husband, Paul, in a house on a hill that she prefers to think of as an island. She has a faithful dog named Raymond, who likes to sit by her side while she writes, and a vampire cat named Penny who likes to sit on her shoulder purring or trying to nip at her neck.



Barnes and Noble:

Sherri will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  The more you comment, the better your chances of winning!  Follow the tour HERE


  1. Thanks for this book tour.This book it's awesome and have a artistic cover! tor_andu[@]

  2. The book sounds intriguing if a tad scarier and angstier than my usual reads. The interview surely made me curious to read the first episode (since it's always better to start from the beginning) and the upcoming third book in the series definitely sounds like something I'd read even on its own, since I love stories with heroes 'corrupted' by the enemy *-*
    Thanks for introducing us to this series, for the entertaining interview (cats do indeed find the most inconvenient positions and timings to nap on their owners) and for the appetizing giveaway.
    Have a wonderful day :)
    ellis_dream (at) hotmail (dot) com

  3. This promises to be an exciting read.


  4. Interesting book. Loved the interview! I also read Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, it's a pretty good retelling of our favorite fairy tales. =)

  5. Thanks for having me here today! Thanks to everyone for their comments too! I hope you enjoy the book!

  6. The book sounds very intense, I can't wait to read it.


  7. Fun bucket list

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  8. book sounds good.and it was a good interview

  9. I was quite interested in the banshee fire that she has. Exciting excerpt.
    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com