Book Jacket

 

rank 1322
word count 16537
date submitted 27.04.2010
date updated 01.05.2011
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Gay
classification: adult
incomplete

Darklands: A Vampire's Tale

Donna Burgess

Thanks to all! This book is now available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Darklands-Vampires-Tale-ebook/dp/B004GNFTQC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

 

Twenty years ago, Susan Archer witnessed the brutal murder of her beloved twin brother.

Now, the murderer, Devin McCree, has returned. Although Devin is a “Deathwalker,” Susan soon discovers that he is not the monster she has feared for so long.

Leaving her old life behind, she joins Devin on his run from a crazed former-Nazi vampire hunter. Unwilling to let his love disappear, Michael soon follows.

Can Michael save Susan? Does she even need or want to be saved?

“Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale” is a violent tale of survival, bloodlust , and two people trying to hang on to the last shreds of their humanity, while teetering on the edge of immortality.

“Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale” is the first volume in the Darklands Vampire series.

 
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tags

abandoned_city, beach, bloody, dark fantasy, darkness, dracula, dystopia, eric northman, erotic, fantasy, gay, gay vampire, gore, gory, horror, living...

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114 comments

 

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RonParker wrote 954 days ago

Hi Donna,

This is very well written and I was unable to spot any writing errors.
However, I'm afraid it isn't my kind of story. That's no reflection on your writing, I'm just not a fan of vampire stories generally.

The only critisism I have, and I hope you take this to be constructive in the way it is is meant, is that your prologue is far too long. Ask yourself if it needs a prologue at all? Many readers tend to skip them. If you decide you must have a prologue, then make it shorter and try to get to the action a bit sooner.

Ron

ccb1 wrote 970 days ago

Backed Darklands: A Vampire's Tale a few days ago, but was unable to comment because computer went into the shop. Now we are back up and running. We loved the idea of a Nazi vampire hunter, Deathwalker, and Darklalnds.Fast paced, the book has a new twist on the vampire theme. This book is a perfect example of why we are fanfans. It has everything you would want in a vampire tale: violence, bloodthirsty vampires, and suspense. When you have time hope you will check out our vampire thriller, Dark Side.
CC Brown

Anne K. Wallace wrote 1035 days ago

Such an original and well written telling of a often told, but much loved subject, Vampires. I really do think that this has great potential to a very lucrative market.

Red2u wrote 1043 days ago

This is something my daughter would love! I will definately give her a heads up on this book. Very well written!
Red

Joshua Jacobs wrote 1049 days ago

Wow. Intense first chapter. Even though it's listed as a prologue, I'm not sure it needs to be. It read much like a first chapter and was longer than most prologues I've read. As for the writing, it was some of the strongest and most compelling writing I've read on authonomy. It's obvious from what I've read that you are a phenomenal writer. When I read, I tend to skim, but I enjoyed your prose so much, I read every word. Your descriptions are top-notch. Though the premise isn't unique, the writing was strong enough to make me want more. By the end of the prologue, you've established a likeable, realistic character and a major conflict. Right to the point. I like it.

If I were to give any constructive feedback, I'd suggest using a bit more showing and less telling. There are a few sentences where you tell the reader something like "He was already too drunk," rather than showing them. Also, it looks like someone's edits are present in the prologue when you mention going home and smoking a fatty and drinking wine. I'd check that and make sure you fix it.

Otherwise, this was a powerful, engaging start that shines amongst a highly-populated genre. As far as vampire books go, this is excellent. Good work!

CarolinaAl wrote 1077 days ago

I read your prologue.

General comments: A gripping start. A sympathetic main character. Vivid visuals. Excellent tension. Good pacing.

Specific comments on the prologue:
1) '... breathing in the scent of age.' When you mention scent, try to characterize it. For example, 'breathing in the musty scent of age.' When you do this the reader can better experience the scent along with Susan and is drawn deeper into your story.
2) 'She could drown in his dark eyes' is cliche. Consider writing the same idea, but in a fresh way.
3) 'She felt as if she might explode.' Try to avoid using the word 'felt.' Just describe the feeling so the reader can experience it along with Susan. When you do this, the reader will be drawn deeper into your story and 'she felt' will be implied.

I hope this critique will help you further polish your all important opening pages. These are just my opinions. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Thank you for supporting "Savannah Fire."

Have a sensational day.

Al

Kat51 wrote 1209 days ago

Backed Darklands. Recommended by CC Brown author of Dark Side. Read, liked, star rated, and backed. Hope you will find a place on your shelf for their book.
Kat51

Sue50 wrote 1216 days ago

Darklands was recommended by CC Brown author of Dark Side (Vampire novel). I have read 4 chapters of your novel. I found it very well described. Love your use of figurative language and your short chapters. I am backing and star rating your book! Hope you have a chance to look at Dark Side and find a place on your shelf for them.
Sue50

RonParker wrote 1293 days ago

Hi Donna,

I'm not a fan of vampire stories, but from the few chapters I've had time to read this is good. I did spot a typo in the third chapter but otherwise it is well written. Good luck with it.

Ron

Becca wrote 1325 days ago

Definitely a dark opening there! How could I not read on after that? I have to say, I'm digging the short chapters. The pace is excellent. Small clips of Susan's life that make us wonder more about her. Love the "sounded noble, but she had been drunk when she said it" line. Fantastic! Now I'm curious about what she did that possibly scarred the child for life. You really keep me flipping through the "pages" here. By chapter 4 the erotica elements were obvious, and I personally love a good horror novel with erotic elements. The best part for me was, you did it WELL. Erotica is soooo easy to make cheesy (hey, that rhymes!) but you didn't have that problem. I noticed this is well polished--even the punctuation is in order (and that makes for such an easier read!)

I really enjoyed this.

xBeccaX
The Forever Girl

meemers wrote 1348 days ago

Wow me already! Moving, compelling, gory, all the best stuff in a great read. Will go far for you I'm sure.

backed
sue
Fate's Chastening

M.R.Sanner wrote 1352 days ago

I'm only on Chapter three, but already I love this. I love the voice and tone that you use it really draws the reader in and keeps them there! Ok, just wanted to say that before I continued.

Lynne Ellison wrote 1356 days ago

Interesting piece of dark fantasy

Lynne Ellison

The Green Bronze Mirror

andrew skaife wrote 1361 days ago

I am backing this book on the strength of the read which I found impressive enough to back. The problem is that while my Talent spotter ranking sank below one hundred I have been inundated with requests to read. If you require detailed comments please message me otherwise I was proud to back you and will watch with interest. Cheers for now. BACKED.

bluewriter wrote 1361 days ago

Quickly captivating and realistic. Backed.
Jenny

donnaburgess wrote 1361 days ago

Hi. After six days on this site I am (unbelievably) still running to catch up with the people who have been kind enough to back me. Every time I log on I have thirty people to thank and review in return before I even get a chance to read some that I have picked myself from the book list. So, and I do not mean to be unhelpful, I am BACKING this on the read because I think it is every bit good enough to be in print (I think that is the criteria I should be using) but, although I have made written comments, I have no time to type up my thoughts. If you want them just message me and I promise to get to them ASAP. Otherwise, BACKED.



Thanks and no worries. I seldom have time to comment lately, as well. Because of work, I have just enough time to check out some books in the mornings and back the ones that deserve to be backed.

Good luck!

livid wrote 1361 days ago

Hi. After six days on this site I am (unbelievably) still running to catch up with the people who have been kind enough to back me. Every time I log on I have thirty people to thank and review in return before I even get a chance to read some that I have picked myself from the book list. So, and I do not mean to be unhelpful, I am BACKING this on the read because I think it is every bit good enough to be in print (I think that is the criteria I should be using) but, although I have made written comments, I have no time to type up my thoughts. If you want them just message me and I promise to get to them ASAP. Otherwise, BACKED.

Narwhon wrote 1361 days ago

Okay. Read enough to like where this is going and the writing is okay. I keep repeating what someone said to me."By the time you do your third rewrite, you should be living in the world you are writing about and it will show." Backed. Cheers, B. Cameron Lee (Diary of a Serial Killer)

donnaburgess wrote 1362 days ago

Hi Donna, I'm on chapter 5. First I have to tell you that I have this inbred thing that (as I live in southern California) if a writer is also a surfer I MUST read her/his works. So there ya go! Anyway, some terrific narrative flow you have! Enjoying the journey path. Backed.

blessings,
jim
jack & charmian london



Cheers and thanks! Good thoughts to you from the opposite coast!

donnaburgess wrote 1362 days ago

This is SO not my genre but I just love the way you write. I ended up reading it all.
Backed.



Thanks so much! Your comments are very encouraging.

flower girl wrote 1362 days ago

This is SO not my genre but I just love the way you write. I ended up reading it all.
Backed.

celticwriter wrote 1365 days ago

Hi Donna, I'm on chapter 5. First I have to tell you that I have this inbred thing that (as I live in southern California) if a writer is also a surfer I MUST read her/his works. So there ya go! Anyway, some terrific narrative flow you have! Enjoying the journey path. Backed.

blessings,
jim
jack & charmian london

Mr. Nom de Plume wrote 1365 days ago

When reading Chapter 1, the large amount of space on the first screen might cause readers to move to Chapter 2 without finding the start of the first chapter. A suggestion is to go to "Upload" and use "Replace Chapter" click. I like the storyline. Backed. Chuck (Literary Agent Blues) (Uboat Officer)

nsllee wrote 1366 days ago

Hi Donna

This is really powerful and emotional - much more moving and affecting than I expect a horror story to be. It's not my genre, but I'm impressed. Backed.

Nicole (Chosen)

Linda Lou wrote 1371 days ago

hullo Donna.Wow what a start. This is not another attempt to recreate a 'romantic' vampire story. what a mess but a great story. Already shelved and backed.
Please take a look at my book if you have not and thanks for that.
Linda Lou Long
Southern dis-Comfort
http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=11421

Billy Young wrote 1376 days ago

The first two chapters area a little short, merge them together. You have a good strong MC with her own vioce and well supported by the supporting cast well. I also like how you take the time to let the reader get to know Susan, filling in her background tragedies. This is a good dark tale that I think would appeal more to the horror faternity than fantasy buffs, but they do cross over a lot. Backed.

donnaburgess wrote 1377 days ago

Hi Donna, This is an intense POV and with the short action sequences at the beginning, it draws in, piecing the affects of the brother dying and the pregnancy. I think I did read this before and if it’s been revised and listed again, I’m sure the beginning is stronger. Susan’s self-examination after killing the desperate man begins a fascinating character development. Shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)



Thanks, Katherine. Best of luck to you and The Swan Bonnet

klouholmes wrote 1378 days ago

Hi Donna, This is an intense POV and with the short action sequences at the beginning, it draws in, piecing the affects of the brother dying and the pregnancy. I think I did read this before and if it’s been revised and listed again, I’m sure the beginning is stronger. Susan’s self-examination after killing the desperate man begins a fascinating character development. Shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

alicev wrote 1381 days ago

Hi Donna,

Susan is a very likable character. I like how you tell us so much about her in just a few short chapters, makes you want to sympathize with her right away for all the trouble she's been through in her life. Backed.

Alice V
The Shoes that Charlotte Wore

mvw888 wrote 1381 days ago

A chilling beginning, expertly paced and with vivid detail. I like the twist here, that Susan will choose her path because of heartbreak and despair. Nothing to complain about in terms of your writing; it's polished and ready for print.

---Mary
The Qualities of Wood

Njoy14u wrote 1382 days ago

Donna Darklands is a unique Vampire Story.
I like the pace and your descriptions are very real.
you have a real winner here.
Backed Njoy*moods and expressions*

Giulietta Maria wrote 1383 days ago

Short chapters work very effectively- you transmit short, punchy scenes that engaged me, and made me want to jump to the next chapter. After too many nice vampires recently, it's good to read a darker, more traditional tale.
Backed!

donnaburgess wrote 1383 days ago

I enjoyed this very much. A nice new twist to a vampire theme and you do a splendid job in hooking the reader with the tension filled start. Susan is quite strong and at the same time vulnerable and you depict her troubled state well without putting it into words.
Backed earlier and I found this quite interesting.
Rakhi (Sir William...)



Thanks the backing. Best of luck!

Rakhi wrote 1384 days ago

I enjoyed this very much. A nice new twist to a vampire theme and you do a splendid job in hooking the reader with the tension filled start. Susan is quite strong and at the same time vulnerable and you depict her troubled state well without putting it into words.
Backed earlier and I found this quite interesting.
Rakhi (Sir William...)

Johanna Kern wrote 1384 days ago

Donna, this is great!

Love the premise, love Susan, and the whole adventure is equally intriguing, scary and entertaining.

Backed with great pleasure!

Johanna Kern
Master and the Green-Eyed Hope

donnaburgess wrote 1384 days ago

Back this all the way to the top people. This is how vampires should be.


Thanks! ;-D

Owen Quinn wrote 1385 days ago

Back this all the way to the top people. This is how vampires should be.

Andy M. Potter wrote 1385 days ago

Donna, racey stuff. the pace. plus the erotica ;)
and the writing itself? that i admire the most.
on my shelf.
no editing quibbles. the sentences are perfect: short, with enticing forward momentum.
best wishes, andy

nakiacap wrote 1386 days ago

Okay I have read the first chapter and I am hooked. I agree with Andrew Chapter 1 sets the tone and you do not disappoint in chapter 2. Your MC is strong and sexy. Backed
Best Wishes

NJ Capaldi
Crescent Heart

Andrew Burans wrote 1387 days ago

Your use of short chapters keeps the pace of your story flowing nicely. Chapter 1 sets the tone perfectly for the balance of your book leaving the reader wondering as to what happenned and therefore compelling him/her to read on to find out more. You build Susan's character extremely well and your imaginative writing makes your horror fantasy a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

donnaburgess wrote 1390 days ago

Brilliant!!! I am having trouble trying to pull myself away from this fabulous tale. I am speechless, well almost!! It is with extreme pleasure I put you on my shelf. I am limited for time right now but I will most definitely be back to read more. What else can I say, great writing!!
Sincerely, Serenity



Thanks so much! Just visited your offering with comments and backing. Best of luck!

Serenity Wickford wrote 1391 days ago

Brilliant!!! I am having trouble trying to pull myself away from this fabulous tale. I am speechless, well almost!! It is with extreme pleasure I put you on my shelf. I am limited for time right now but I will most definitely be back to read more. What else can I say, great writing!!
Sincerely, Serenity

udasmaan wrote 1393 days ago

I could read your two chapters and I wish I could read more, it is compeling story and quite gripping. good luck with it and wish you well. backed

shah

Vanessa Darnleigh wrote 1393 days ago

I got some similar comments re show not tell and frankly speaking I think you can safely ignore them...this works very well as indeed it's meant to...some people seem to think that good writing has to be according to a certain formula or the publishers won't entertain it...nonsense! Most of the really great writers both past and contemporary became great BECAUSE they stepped outside the box!
Good luck
Stewart

Daniel Manning wrote 1393 days ago

Maintaining youth and beauty, having aspirations to stay young, in a town where the dangers and criminal elements increase the anxiety lines, perpetuate old age. Susan Archers history of tragedy, recent and past,
should have nullified those aspirations and aged her prematurely, but she maintains youthfull good looks beyond her years. Darklands has an eternal youth appeal, cleverly cemented in the story, but all the exciting main dramas like retribution and vengeance act as a distraction. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, only if the gift horse goes horribly wrong. One can achieve eternal life, but at a terrible cost. Beguiled rather than offered the package, Susan ends up being stalked by her gardian angel, who wants to complete the mission.
A full blooded horror story with a sensitive serious issue lurking in the background.
Backed for originality.
Daniel Manning.
No Compatibility

Silent Storm wrote 1396 days ago

Donna Burgess:

This is quite a dark tale, beautifully written, and is sure to capture the attention of those who love horror stories. I read three of the chapters and must say that you give visual descriptions; your words have power.

During the read, I noticed in the sentence in Chapter 2: "At the end of the bed, Elvis, a bushy-haired stray that had taken up at the house after Susan began feeding him tuna on the back porch, stirred and peered at (him) with drowsy yellow eyes before nestling back down to sleep." ( Wordy. Did the dog stir and peer at Michael or Susan? - this needs to be clarified)

Consider: "At the end of the bed, Elvis, a bushy-haired stray that had taken up residence after Susan began feeding him, stirred and peered at Michael with drowsy yellow eyes before falling asleep."

Other than the above, the script read quite nicely. Backed.

Ida L. (Silent Storm)

lynn clayton wrote 1397 days ago

Donna, I have a horror of being watched through a window so this gave me the creeps rather.
I've never read an opening like yours. I have to be honest and say this book is too frightening and gruesome for me though that in itself is testament to your writing. But for many people this is just up their street and I'm sure it will do very well. Quality writing. Backed whilst trembling. lynn

Mike LaRiviere wrote 1398 days ago

Donna,

I just finished reading your story. I don't usually get into erotic or expletive filled storylines, but Darklands proved to be somewhat different. The erotic scenes didn't go so far as to become pornographic, and the sparing use of vulgarity carried the slice of life scenes without blowing the reader away.

You set the stage early on for the rest of your book to be an unveiling of an intriguing and very dark reality that something big, bad, and bloodsucking out there waits. The introduction of the vampire character early on was timed well, and making him the hero-protector of your main characters brought the reader into a sympathetic and supportive relationship to anotherwise macabre beast. The scene in which the bat breaks and kills the brother was masterful --a stake in the heart that went to his head....

The sub-plot of a vampire hunter stalking the beast that was stalking the main character was a nice add, and contributed to the overall twists and turns of the story.

I enjoyed the development of the lead character as she lived a life that looked one way on the surface, but may have been tainted by something very nasty underneath.

The scene where Michael, a doctor, tries to shoot evil beings, but just was not the John Wayne type of guy that some would have made him out to be was great --kind of a lab coated, desk jocky doc with a gun.

Fat paced, intriguing, exciting, satisfying, and scarey, your book contains something for everyone who is into this genre, I look for vampire books with a twist that differentiates them from the pack, and yours certainly has that twist. Your book bagan a gradual descent into the dark world of the undead, and those humans who were crossing over. It introduced the chapters to come, and set up an encounter between the love of a man for a woman and the power of an aged and powerful vampire prince, or king, or bad dude --whatever they are called.

You have an exceptional gift as a wordsmith and the ability to weave an enchantingly good story. Grammar is good and wordchoice is appropriate to what you are trying to accomplish. I never experienced a loss of interest of continuity by encountering a misused word or phrase, other than what I mention following,

I'd check out monzygotic to make sure it fits. I wasn't sure what Elvis was. One thing I did notice was how much in stride Susan was taking all of this. She is either a very resilient woman, or she is numb to the reality of what is happening.

Backed by a satisfied reader.

PawPaw Mike LaRiviere
Eden's Door

Mike LaRiviere wrote 1398 days ago

Donna,

I just finished reading your story. I don't usually get into erotic or expletive filled storylines, but Darklands proved to be somewhat different. The erotic scenes didn't go so far as to become pornographic, and the sparing use of vulgarity carried the slice of life scenes without blowing the reader away.

You set the stage early on for the rest of your book to be an unveiling of an intriguing and very dark reality that something big, bad, and bloodsucking out there waits. The introduction of the vampire character early on was timed well, and making him the hero-protector of your main characters brought the reader into a sympathetic and supportive relationship to anotherwise macabre beast. The scene in which the bat breaks and kills the brother was masterful --a stake in the heart that went to his head....

The sub-plot of a vampire hunter stalking the beast that was stalking the main character was a nice add, and contributed to the overall twists and turns of the story.

I enjoyed the development of the lead character as she lived a life that looked one way on the surface, but may have been tainted by something very nasty underneath.

The scene where Michael, a doctor, tries to shoot evil beings, but just was not the John Wayne type of guy that some would have made him out to be was great --kind of a lab coated, desk jocky doc with a gun.

Fat paced, intriguing, exciting, satisfying, and scarey, your book contains something for everyone who is into this genre, I look for vampire books with a twist that differentiates them from the pack, and yours certainly has that twist. Your book bagan a gradual descent into the dark world of the undead, and those humans who were crossing over. It introduced the chapters to come, and set up an encounter between the love of a man for a woman and the power of an aged and powerful vampire prince, or king, or bad dude --whatever they are called.

You have an exceptional gift as a wordsmith and the ability to weave an enchantingly good story. Grammar is good and wordchoice is appropriate to what you are trying to accomplish. I never experienced a loss of interest of continuity by encountering a misused word or phrase, other than what I mention following,

I'd check out monzygotic to make sure it fits. I wasn't sure what Elvis was. One thing I did notice was how much in stride Susan was taking all of this. She is either a very resilient woman, or she is numb to the reality of what is happening.

Backed by a satisfied reader.

PawPaw Mike LaRiviere
Eden's Door

DP Walker wrote 1399 days ago

Hi Donna
You open this really well. Short, sharp paragraphs. Concise and poignant setting up the tension nicely. You tell us enough to keep us interested, but leav enough of a hook as to not give too much away. A really strong story.
DP Walker
Five Dares

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