Book Jacket

 

rank 1248
word count 25357
date submitted 17.05.2010
date updated 11.10.2011
genres: Thriller, Fantasy, Horror, Crime
classification: moderate
complete

Blood War

DL Mullan

Riley needs a life makeover but when she crosses into the supernatural, she realizes her boring life may not have been so terrible after all.

 

Riley Austin believes life is predictable. That is until she helps her friend, Tony, catch the kidnapper of three little boys. While she uses her sixth sense to locate the missing kids, she and Tony are attacked. Riley is taken by Julian, a vampire who wants to use her as his own personal tracking tool.

After she agrees to assist him, Riley discovers a kindred spirit in Julian. Moreover, she realizes that an insane, power-hungry vampire called Wilhelm is at the center of many disappearances. As they work together, a bond grows between Julian and Riley and is strengthened when she saves his life. For her own protection Julian returns her to the safety of the mortal realm.

As the search for the psychotic vampire intensifies, Wilhelm takes Riley hostage and tortures her for information. Riley's sole hope is that Julian discovers her whereabouts before Wilhelm tests the strength of her will.

If Wilhelm breaches her threshold of pain and terror, will Riley betray Julian’s trust? Give Wilhelm the answers he craves? Or, will Wilhelm simply kill her?

Either way, she is already caught in the middle of their Blood War.

 
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tags

, action, art, boys, crime, destiny, detective, drama, family, fantasy, fate, forever, gallery, genealogy, heritage, horror, immortality, karma, kidna...

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109 comments

 

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delhui wrote 1395 days ago

Dear DL --

You have created a credible female character in Riley; she comes across as strong enough to run her business (even if she does need her mysterious benefactor), yet vulnerable enough that she can't let anyone, even Aubree, her assistant in. (We loved how you showed us Riley's perfectionism right away, straightening the drawers that Aubree had just straightened.) We also think you have a great ear for dialogue, although we would have liked a little more exposition to set the scene around Riley in the first chapter. That's a preference, though -- not a necessity -- and we liked Riley enough that we kept reading, wanting to know what happened to her. That's why we're happy to back Blood War. -- Delhui, The Long Black Veil

Chris 1 wrote 1395 days ago

Hi. I shelved your book because of its sassy style of writing. You're a really talented writer, you show you don't tell. The dialogue says it all: it's snappy and streetwise and you have a real grip on character and story, you allow it to tell itself without any intrusion from The Author. You don't overload with adverbs - a golden rule for me so the work is pared down to its necessities, focusing on the story. It's a brilliant piece of writing. Only spotted one typo in the first chapter 'since' instead of 'sense' maybe? Or are you an Australian? Anyway, brilliant. Chris1

Andrew Burans wrote 1398 days ago

I really like how you used dialogue right from the start, smartly written by the way, to set a good pace for your story and to start developing your characters. You have created well an interesting character in Riley and your horror/thriller is a pleasure to read. Backed.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning
P.S. As per your profile would you please put me on your reading list?

Esrevinu wrote 1397 days ago

GL, I am a huge fan of vampire stories and your story did not disappoint. It is well written with a bit of charm—twinkling-- humor and I think you made some great choices in the storytelling. Great imagery and a compelling plot-- I felt I was right in the midst of the tale and thoroughly enjoyed your story.
Best wishes
Scott
The Esrevinu Chronicles/Secrets of the Elephant Rocks

donnaburgess wrote 1398 days ago

Excellent opening. Your dialogue flows naturally (I appreciated the Munsters reference ;D). You created enough suspense that the reader just has to keep on going. Excellent read!
Donna Burgess (Darklands)

billysunday wrote 930 days ago

Good read! Exciting stuff! Like some of your expressions and descriptions as well. Great dialogue. The right amount of characters to bring in the beginning of the book. I also enjoyed the art gallery setting and the subplot of the three missing boys.
Dina of Halo of the Damned and The Last Degree

kendra ann ziems wrote 1131 days ago

backed

kendra ann ziems wrote 1143 days ago

Found very entertaining and moves quickly. I have added to my bookshelf to finish reading. Would appreciate if you checked out my book and gave me some feedback as our genres are similiar. Good luck.

kendra ann ziems wrote 1143 days ago

Found very entertaining and moves quickly. I have added to my bookshelf to finish reading. Would appreciate if you checked out my book and gave me some feedback as our genres are similiar. Good luck.

kendra ann ziems wrote 1143 days ago

Found very entertaining and moves quickly. I have added to my bookshelf to finish reading. Would appreciate if you checked out my book and gave me some feedback as our genres are similiar. Good luck.

Sue50 wrote 1177 days ago

Blood War was recommended by CC Brown author of Dark Side (vampire novel). I read, rated, and BACKED your work. Hope you have a chance to take a look at Dark Side and find a place for it on your shelf. Thanks.
Sue50

Mitch Kelly wrote 1187 days ago

Hi Dawn,

Here is some feedback for Blood War.

Chapter one:
- "Maybe whoever doesn't want us to find them using" ('whoever sent it doesn't'?)
- "harmonious affect" (I'm pretty sure it is effect in this case.)
- "writes me these checks" (Should that be cheque, or is that American spelling?)
- "Tell me, you can find" (no comma)
- Ok, well I liked from the moment Tony entered onwards, and the chapter ended with a good hook. That said, I did like before that. Too unnecessarily descriptive and melodramatic for my liking. I felt as if all of it could have been only a couple of paragraphs and given the same information. If I start a book, especially on here, it has to start fairly exciting, otherwise I lose interest. So I'd consider cutting down the first part of the chapter and add more detail to the latter part.

Chapter two:
- "since she rather watch" (would rather)
- There were a few times that I thought you could link words, like 'candle lit' and 'out think'.
- Much better chapter as a whole. The hook was not as engaging, but the plot is moving along so the reader is drawn in further regardless.

I hope some of that is useful Dawn.
Cheers,
Mitch

newwriter2010 wrote 1197 days ago

Excellent read. from start to finish. Believable well constructed characters and a good storyline. Particularly like your dialogue it really makes the characters come to life.

SaffinaD wrote 1280 days ago

Backed, please take a look at Sugar & Spice. Thanks, Saffina. http://saffinadesforges.wordpress.com

zrinka wrote 1324 days ago

A mortal with some special abilities caught in the middle of vampire war, while this is not a new topic, you seem to find a new spin on it. Everything is writen with ton of action, dialogue one can really sink teeth into and fast paced plot. Excellent! Backed with pleasure.

Groaner wrote 1325 days ago

Ok, DL. I'm finally catching up on some of my commenting. Got a long list to go but I'm getting there
I think you have an excellent beginning. You define your characters well. Very good narrative voice but your strong point is dialog. The writing is comfortable and easy to read. I didn't run across anything that made me stumble... good continuity, and the story develops well, at least as far as I read. I think your style would insure the reader would finish it. I see you're complete. That's good for a change..
Nice pitch, by the way.
I think this deserves attention. On my shelf and I wish you the best of luck with it.

Herschel Shirley wrote 1325 days ago

Not my cup of tea but well written. Characters are fascinating and mystery early on hooks the reader. Well done. Backed.

TMNAGARAJAN wrote 1325 days ago

BLOOD WAR
The damned vampire drew me in! Backed.
TMN
"NEVER LOSE..."

ccb1 wrote 1326 days ago

As requested, we are expanding on our comments about Blood War. You have a solid story line. Riley is a well developed character. We like stories with strong women characters. We think the hardest part of the writing process is the proofing and editing. We found several proofing errors that you might like to change.

Example First Chapter:
He wants to follow me so bad
Suggested change:
He wants to follow me so badly

We noticed you have underlined words you want to emphasize. Try using exclamation marks or italicize the word or though instead.

Example:
To the end of the park. Only. (It is underlined in your story.)
Suggested change:
To the end of the park, only!

We like using three dots to show hesitation.
Example:
I did some research-
Suggested Change:
I did some research…

Hope this will help improve your writing as you requested. when you find time, please return the favor. We are continually revising our story also.
CC Brown
Dark Side

Andy M. Potter wrote 1326 days ago

Hi DL, that Riley is a one. sly humour, intelligence, wit. great read.
on my shelf.
i could send only kudos but thought i'd pass on a very minor comment re POV switch. i took ch 1 to be from R's POV except for a subtle and short-lived switch to Tony's about 1/2 way through: "Tony readied himself to divulge departmental info to a civilian"

possible typo near chapter end:

"... to see a black mass rushed the officer." - "... rush the officer."

enjoyed the read. very best wishes, andy

ccb1 wrote 1326 days ago

Backed Blood War. Love anything vampire. Like the idea of a a blood war.
CC Brown
Dark Side

scrapper2675 wrote 1330 days ago

Nice writing style, I like that Riley! Good character and interesting story! Backed.
Christi Watson
Wonder- Heart of Captivation- A Thief of Life Series

PCreturned wrote 1330 days ago

This is an exciting story. Fast-paced yet descriptive writing. Great, snappy dialogue. And a strong hook at the end with wierd dark energies and gunfire. Portentious events are afoot, methinks. ;)

I think your main strength is in dialogue. It feels real and bounces around at a good speed, getting us to read on faster and faster.

I didn't spot any big problems. But there were a few tiny things I noticed:

In the 1st parqagraph of prose, I think "dark haired" should be hyphenated in your description of the "dark haired woman." + you don't need to repeat "woman". you can just write "Her warm-toned..."

"harmonious affect" should be "effect". Affect is the verb form.

That's about all I spotted, to be honest. I only mentioned them because they are the sort of little things that are easy to miss.

I'm happy to back your fun book, and wish you the best of luck with it. :)

Pete

jennrose77 wrote 1330 days ago

You do dialogue well... It sounds like a natural conversation. And I like Riley. She comes across as a real person. BACKED. Cheers and all the best with your writing, Jennifer - A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE-

philip john wrote 1331 days ago

I never thought that I would be into vampires and that sort of thing but I took a chance and have read your first few chapters. This is really very entertaining stuff. Well , 'entertaining' might not be quite the right word. It is well written, the characters are very well drawn, the dialogue is well constructed and everything flows very smoothly. Backed with pleasure.

Philip John

Su Dan wrote 1331 days ago

good story, great atmosphere, great work. l am bias because l love the genre, still, you write it very well...on my watchlist...
read SEASONS...

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1332 days ago

Dear DL,
I enjoy your dialog. I think it helps move your story forward. I like the way you start with everyday conversation. It helps establish the MC as a real and normal person. The fantasy that comes later is all the better for the contrast.

BACKED
Elizabeth Wolfe (MEMORIES OF GLORY)

K A Smith wrote 1332 days ago

Well written and well paced, with crisp dialogue, this is an easy read. It has plenty to set it apart from the gamut of vampire books, the mysteries have some nice points of difference and the characterisation of vampirism does not feel derivative, it doesn't have the 'vampires are now legal' - or whatever, which has become so mainstream and predictable.

Thank you. KA.

Sly80 wrote 1338 days ago

Hm, what's this with the mysterious letters? A benefactor? It's an amusing discussion between Riley and Aubree as to who it might be. Then a mention of missing kids before Will turns up - Aubree's bloke who Riley finds creepy, but jokes away, 'Nah, it's definitely a spray tan'.

Along comes Tony, and he wants to involve her in the investigation for some reason ... ah, she's psychic? And there's something out there besides the missing boy, 'a part of her wanted to be found'. Tension mounts and they close in on what Riley is sensing. Then hell breaks loose. That's a riveting, action-packed encounter which she loses, inevitably in the circumstances. Julian sleeps as peacefully as the dead while Riley looks for a way out. There's no chance. She and Julian have a job to do ... Seriously hot stuff. These are vampires the way they were meant to be.

Possible nits: Not sure about the opening. The first 2 lines told me little, then at the third, my impression was that Riley was a check-out girl in a shop. It wasn't until 'Art she displayed with pride', that I realised what she really was. 'dinner with you[r] mother'. 'She pointed passed [past] the residential'. 'The pair sauntered', too casual a word, maybe 'crept' or just 'walked'?

Frank James wrote 1341 days ago

To D.L.Mullan (Blood War)

Good plot, good characters makes for a very good read. I'm delighted to BACK it.

Frank James (The Contractor)

ccb1 wrote 1345 days ago

Definitely Backed Blood War. Your pitch about psychotic vampires really pulled us in. Our book has rogue vampires! We’re reading more. Your use of dialogue really moves this along. Best wishes with this.
CC Brown
Dark Side

KW wrote 1351 days ago

I'm glad I'm not psychic. I'd hate to be used as a personal tracking tool by a vampire. I guess Julian is a good dude, but Wilhelm sounds like bad news, the Dick Cheney of vamps. I love the way your story is carried by dialogue rather than description. It keeps it moving along at a good clip. "You eat pizza?" "I eat lots of things." "And lots of people." "Those too . . . care to join me?" I think I'd rather stick with a veggie pizza. Man, I'm glad I'm not psychic. Backed for now. I'll be back to read more when I get a little time. I'm glad you uploaded the complete text.

name falied moderation wrote 1363 days ago

Dear Dl
Again love the long pitch, but have said it all already......What a good book. I started reading this some time ago and just wanted to let you know, now finished. I have already commented and backed your book a while ago, but cannot see the backing anywhere. So i am taking the time to back it again because I believe your book is WORTH IT

BEST OF LUCK
Denise

dave_ancon wrote 1364 days ago

Very good. One thing that slows the work, though, is the everyday dialogue. One rule that works for me is to cut out everything that doesn't move the plot forward. I'll back this for you to move it toward your goals. Dave

mvw888 wrote 1365 days ago

You're a skilled writer and I like that you dive right into dialogue, daring the reader to keep up with this story. Your Riley is intriguing and you give us just enough info, in bits, to keep us reading. You know the power of a good, short sentence--I feel like you have given us only the words that are necessary. Love that about your style. One minor thing: I thought you used Riley's name too much. Weird, but I was starting to notice it. I think if you read aloud, maybe you can take some out and use pronouns. All in all, polished writing, great story and beginning.

---Mary
The Qualities of Wood

Wilma1 wrote 1365 days ago

What a nice change to have such strong main charachters, you have an art for development. Riley is a favourite for me she pushes alll the right buttons and keeps the story fresh. I read 4 chapters anfd enjoyed all of them. You are good at writing chapter ends lots of foreshadowing. I hope this does well for you.

Wilm1
Knowing Liam Riley- I hop[e you have time to take a look

Tom Bye wrote 1365 days ago

HI D L . BLOOD WAR'

most interesting cover and the pitch pulled me in.
this is a nice pacey story as Riley talkes about her lonely existance in the gallery that she lives and works in.
although there is a hint f something is about to happen, and happen it does at the end of the chapter with a nice hint of the suspense to come in this well written thriller.
the dialouge is set a an easy pace that keeps one interested and wanting to read more.
backed
FROM HUGS TO KISSES' TOM BYE
please read back/comment min e of time thanks

Amy R wrote 1369 days ago

Love the strength of Riley and the subtle intensity of her captor. I like the exchange between Aubree and Riley however I wish you would have started with Tony and Riley because until that moment I was dragging...the exchange between Tony and Riley is rather awkward and I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to like Tony, trust Tony or be annoyed with Tony. He seems to be a big part of who she is but I didn't feel the connection.

Your plot is strong and the pacing it fantastic once we get to Tony. I would suggest tightening, and adding some sensory depth as far as Riley, it will intensify the scenes and help in defining who I (the reader) am supposed to like, love, hate or be wary of...

Well done, and backed with promise!

AmyR
Trust Me

Amy R wrote 1369 days ago

Love the strength of Riley and the subtle intensity of her captor. I like the exchange between Aubree and Riley however I wish you would have started with Tony and Riley because until that moment I was dragging...the exchange between Tony and Riley is rather awkward and I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to like Tony, trust Tony or be annoyed with Tony. He seems to be a big part of who she is but I didn't feel the connection.

Your plot is strong and the pacing it fantastic once we get to Tony. I would suggest tightening, and adding some sensory depth as far as Riley, it will intensify the scenes and help in defining who I (the reader) am supposed to like, love, hate or be wary of...

Well done, and backed with promise!

AmyR
Trust Me

nsllee wrote 1370 days ago

Hi DL

I like your natural everyday writing style - not like vampire fiction at all. It reminds me of the Nancy Drew stories I used to read in my long ago youth. Your MC is likeable and I'm keen to know more. Backed.

Nicole (Chosen)

Black Dog wrote 1370 days ago

I am afraid that I found the first chapter difficult to read and somewhat inconsistent. The imagery is over flowery and the dialogue confusing - it reads more like a screen play than a novel. There are serious inconsistencies such as how Riley can see Tony's brown suit and tie which are hidden by his leather trench coat - let alone the pressed and dapper white shirt.

Because of the above I will not read any further. Having said all this I must state that I love the premise - with better execution you could be on to a great book with potential for a series.

Mark Mane wrote 1375 days ago

A psychotic vampire, what a way to grab someone to read your book. Interesting and enjoyable. I am backing it and reading more of it this evening. Bed time here in the US

Mark Mane Kidnapped: The President's Family and other titles.

Idea Girl Consulting wrote 1376 days ago

cool pitch.. backed the book

Elizabeth Wolfe wrote 1376 days ago

I think your pitch is quite compelling, especially since I'm not at all into vampires but now I want to read your book! Your title is excellent too. I think you could come up with a more creative cover though, more "sassy" as a commenter said below. Anyway, great job!
BACKED

Elizabeth Wolfe
Would you consider backing MEMORIES OF GLORY? I thank you for taking a look.

LeClerc wrote 1376 days ago

Hello DL,

I'm a great believer in dialogue, I use it a lot in my work. Here, it sets the pace and keeps a steady rhythm going which skips from page to page. Blood War is one of those works which leaves the reader wanting more, for example I want to know more about Riley, why is she such a perfectionist, what really draws her to Julian?
backed.

Phil
Danny Murphy

Kristine Cheney wrote 1379 days ago

Backed! Will you please take a quick peek at my "Spartan Heart," and if you deem it worthy, return the favor? Thank you so much! Best wishes for all of your writing endeavors.

Kristine Cheney
Spartan Heart

Daniel Manning wrote 1380 days ago

This story really flies along with a great opening chapter. There is tension and atmosphere, so I hope your writing will go beyond this book.
Backed with pleasure.
Daniel Manning
No Compatibility.

SammySutton wrote 1384 days ago

Blood Wars
I love the way you buil up the reader in chapter 1 almost as a book within a book. It is a clever tactic that kept me wanting more. The events leading up to the murder are fast moving even. Riley is a great character. I like your style it is colorful with a new feeling not the same old story. Now, I am new to fiction I have been in a world of a more sterile non-fiction. It is not fair for me to offer advice on technique. I had a great experience with King Solomon's '13' I could keep writing fiction forever but I have a lot to learn. But I do know you have great talent and as a reader I found what I value the most the story to be Interesting and compelling. I think market value is important you have a story that sells.
Good Luck!
Sammy Sutton
King Solomon's '13'

andrew skaife wrote 1384 days ago

Hi DL. My thoughts on your revised pitch.
Short pitch is fine: it has the necessary hook and would give a reader some thought to read on.

First para: Still a little confusing. My humble suggestion would be something like this:

Riley Austin believes life is predictable. That is until she is called on to help her friend, Tony, catch the kidnapper of three little boys. Whilst using her sixth sense to find the boys they are attacked and Riley is taken by Julian, a vampire, who wishes to use her gift for his own purposes.

When he asks for her help, Riley discovers a kindred spirit in Julian and she discovers that an insane, power hungry vampire named Wilhelm is the kidnapper. A bond grows between Julian and Riley and is strengthened when she saves his life. For her own protection Julian takes her home.

As the search for Wilhelm intensifies he takes Riley hostage and tortures her for information. Riley's sole hope is that Julian discovers her whereabouts before Wilhelm tests the strength of her will. If Wilhelm breaches her threshold of pain and terror will Riley betray Julian? (Here you need to say what that betrayal might be) Or will Wilhelm simply kill her?

Either way she is already caught in the middle of their Blood War.

This is just a quick suggestion that I threw together. I have not had a chance to edit it properly. I hope these can give you a foundation that you can build on. Or you could just ignore them and do it from scratch. Either way, as you have found, the pitch is one of the most difficult things in this stupidity that we immerse ourselves in. Writing is the stupidest thing we can try but I think you are the same as me and you can't help yourself.

Good luck. Cheers.

andrew skaife wrote 1385 days ago

I was a little confused by the pitch when you go into Riley being taken "instead"-- why is she taken and what is she taken instead of? Even as a novella is it still not a little too short?

This is an imaginative twist on the vampire theme, which usually makes me vomit, and you have been creative in your approach which brought me through my initial prejudice.

You write dialogue with swift and concise language and this fits in well with you overall style. I note that others are calling for more description/ more scenery but your writing is jagged and sharp which does not call for overly wordy prose.

Overall a winner in style and premise.

Cheers

Ysabetwordsmith wrote 1386 days ago

Not a bad title, but the pitch isn't compelling. Redline: " If you enjoyed the read, then please back the novella."

Katy Christie wrote 1387 days ago

This is a good start with enough 'tags' to keep the reader interested. Added to that, your writing and dialogue are easy to follow and well paced.
Katy Christie
No Man No Cry

theweed wrote 1388 days ago

BLOOD WARS - 06/28/2010

The pitch is confusing. The line, "Instead Riley is taken..." Instead of what? And who is Julian? The vampire who takes Riley? Is the bond between Riley and Julian, or someone else?

Chapter 1 - the benevolent benefactor is redundant. Both words imply the same thing. When Riley is leading Tony on the search, it seems a bit casual for something that has such potential danger. To me, they make too much light of it as if Tony is not really serious about it. This would be an excellent opportunity to introduce more emotion and dial up the suspense.

Chapter 2 - if the gun fell onto the soil, it most likely would not clank. After the creature leaves with Riley, some kind of break is needed between the scenes.

The story is quite creative. I like the way a vampire uses Riley to find one of his own. The story develops with a good pace. The good dialog keeps the reader's interest. The one thing that is lacking is the gravity of the situations. The characters seem to treat their experiences as casual, everyday occurrences. If this was me, I would be blabbering insanity.

Overall, I like the story line and the characters, even if they are a bit insensitive to their predicaments. I would like to read more than 6 chapters, but I must move on. Good luck with this.

Marc - Where's The Ivy

Roxanne Kade wrote 1388 days ago

What an intriguing read! Of course this is my favourite genre and I was immediately drawn to it. Your characters are strong and it's easy to get caught up in the action, enjoying every minute! Well Done. Unfortunately I haven't had time to read the entire novella, but I have backed it and it will remain on my WL so I can read it to the end. Will comment more, the more I read.

Roxy
Therian

djinnia wrote 1391 days ago

this is great. the only thing is i can see it being even more. with a little bit more idk . . . oomph i guess, this could be amazing. like in the epilogue. i can see the the entire paragraphs with charles lockley and riley fleshed out as its own scene with riley actually speaking the last line to him.

other than that, this is excellent.

me

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