Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guest Post & Contest with Donya Lynne

Donya Lynne Intro:
Hello everyone!  Book Monster Reviews and LITERAL ADDICTION are happy to have Donya Lynne with us today. 
In high school, Donya’s friends voted her “Most Likely to be a Romance Novelist” because she would fill her notebooks with love story after love story.  She has always had a flair for dark fantasy however, and enjoys erotica as well.  She loves to write about damaged characters and controversial subject matter, and revels in the fact that readers seem to like it too. 
In 2010 Donya found herself the victim of the failing economy and lost her job.  After much thought, she decided to truly begin her career as a writer and pursue her love.  A year later, after honing her skills and educating herself once again about the publishing world, her first story was published in the “Evernight” anthology, and at least 4 more of her works are planned for release in 2012.
Donya’s latest release, “Rise of the Fallen”, was just released on 3/24/12 and we’re going to help her celebrate and promote it today.


“Rise of the Fallen”


In the streets of Chicago exists an uneasy, centuries-old truce between vampires and their distant cousins, a race of shifters called drecks. Vampire enforcement agency, All the King’s Men (AKM), is charged with maintaining the truce, but when volatile enforcer Micah Black loses his mate and falls into the biological agony that results from the broken bond, he tests the boundaries of the truce by seeking out Apostle, a leader in the dreck community. Micah wants Apostle to kill him, a request Apostle is more than happy to fulfill.

When ex-Army medic Samantha Garrett inadvertently disrupts the plot and saves Micah’s life, a chain reaction sets Micah’s heart on a collision course with Sam’s, but he will have to protect her from Apostle and her obsessive ex-husband, Steve, if they will have a chance at forever. Can Micah hold his emotions together to keep Sam alive?

FYI:  Donya is having a SPECIAL CONTEST: Anyone with graphics abilities who would like to win a free copy of all upcoming AKM novels, here's your chance:  All the King's Men (AKM) needs a logo. Donya wants one of her readers to create it. The series will have at least 9 more books and 2 novellas, and she would like the logo to appear on the remaining books. Entries must be in by June 15. Specs for the file: A vector file is preferred, but a PNG file at 300 dpi will also work.  Please contact Donya Lynne on Facebook if you're interested.

Sounds good, right!?  Make sure you add it to your TBR or go and grab it from your favorite bookseller.  For now though, we have a treat for you.  Donya ambushed our sites with a special guest post, so let’s go and see what she had to say… 

Guest Post with Donya Lynne


Meet 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 my debut novel, Rise of the Fallen (Book One of the All the King's Men Series, or AKM). He's a vampire who has been alive so long he can't even remember his true age, but he remembers all-too-well the Middle Ages. That's when he lost his first mate, a wife named Katarina. It was a miracle he survived that loss, and now he has to try to survive the loss of another? That probably won't happen unless Fate intervenes and sends in a savior.

Rise of the Fallen is the story of how Micah navigates himself through his biologically-imposed hell to search for a way out of his pain. And if he doesn't succeed in getting himself killed first, he might just find his 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. They'll have to save each other if they are to survive.

Hi. I'm Donya Lynne, the author and creator of this larger-than-life male who I can never seem to get out of my face or my head. He always has something to say, and says it he does. LOL. In a way, he's the imaginary friend we adult ladies always wanted. He's damaged goods who just wants – no, he NEEDS – a reason to live again. Do you want to give him a reason to live? I know I do. *big grin*

When I started writing Rise of the Fallen (ROTF) over a year ago, I simply wanted to write Micah's story, and that's it. I was in a dark place in my own life, and was struggling to find my own way back from the brink of depression after losing my job and my identity. Writing through Micah's pain was cathartic. It was as if he and I needed each other. I know I needed him. And he needed me if he wanted to get out of his chasm of despair. So, write I did, and slowly but surely he and I worked our way out of the depths of hell.

As I began writing, though, an interesting thing happened. It quickly became clear that Micah wasn't by himself in this new world he and I were creating. Suddenly, I had six other damaged male vampires and mixed-blood vampires who wanted their stories told, too. Before I knew it, Tristan, Arion, Severin, Traceon, Io, and Malek had joined the mix and I had a series on my hands. That's when All the King's Men (AKM) was born.

AKM is an organization created by King Bain, who we aren't introduced to until book two (due out May 25), to maintain and enforce the truce between the vampires and their rivals, the drecks. Drecks are shifters who are described as "distant cousins" to the vampires, and throughout the centuries, drecks and vampires have been in and out of war with each other as they jockey to be the dominant race. That's a hard mountain to climb for the drecks, because, as is said more than once, vampire blood trumps dreck blood. The same goes for their venom.

On the surface, vampires appear to be the stronger race, and the majority of drecks resent this fact of life. They hold a deep grudge against their nemeses, the vampires, and some take any and all opportunities to stick it to them, which we see more of as the series progresses. Some drecks aren't willing to give up trying to find a way to overcome the vampires, and we will see them attempt several endeavors to do so. Drecks generally don't have much of a conscience when it comes to morals and ethics, either, which is another reason why the more conscientious vampires need to keep them under control. If they can't, drecks could overtake the human race and all hell would break loose.

In Rise of the Fallen, Apostle is the head dreck in charge of his own little band of deviants. He's bad ass, hungry to give Micah the pain he wants, and would like nothing more than to see the vampires fall extinct so the drecks can take over. He makes a formidable enemy for the vampires.

These vampires aren't your normal vampires, either. I wanted to make my vampires more tragic, more damaged, and more unique than what I've read elsewhere. Why not allow them more interesting powers and abilities? Why not make them more diverse? The human race is filled with diversity and people who have special gifts and talents. Why can't vampires share that diverse nature?

Consequently, with the help of my characters (yes, I do what my characters tell me, because they know best), I created a paranormal world where my characters battle the same fears, prejudices, and dangers we humans do, but on a more epic and magnified level. Not only does this series tackle Micah's severe self-destruction and near-mortal depression in ROTF, but each subsequent book covers each of the other characters' battles with their own demons and social fears.

Tristan, who's the leader of Micah's team, sums it up best in the yet-to-be published book two, Heart of the Warrior, when he says: "I have got to have the most dysfunctional team at AKM." On his team, he has: Micah (and we already know how messed up he is); a male who is closeted in fear over his sexuality and is only just beginning to understand the oppression he's endured all his life to hide the truth; a male who lives in fear that the secrets of his past will be exposed, and who is running from an assassin hell-bent on exacting justice; a male who has never allowed himself to grieve the loss of his human mate and is about to get a drastic wake-up call; a prejudiced playboy whose world is about to get turned upside-down and be reminded of his drug-addicted past; a male whose life is built on borrowed time; and a male who is bound – literally – to a lifestyle of hardcore BDSM and submission to keep from falling prey to the enormous power that resides within him, and who has a tragic past he can't forget.

The world of AKM is an exciting one, and Rise of the Fallen is just the beginning of what these tragic males will have to endure as I tell all their stories. A few other key characters come along in books two-four whose stories will be told, as well. I anticipate ten AKM books, and at least two AKM novellas, and I am thrilled with how well Rise of the Fallen has kicked off the series.

Here are just a few samples of what reviewers are saying about Rise of the Fallen:

"This author has taken a way over populated paranormal genre and brought us something different. Her characters are strong, yet troubled…If she continues with work like this, she could easily join or surpass the ranks of Ward, Kenyon, and Feehan." –Wowed1

"RISE OF THE FALLEN left me breathless and begging for more. It's filled with tension, romance, conflict, and a cast of characters screaming to tell their own stories. Being a debut novel, I [cannot] believe how well written this book is." -LoveMyBooks

"Rise of the Fallen by Donya Lynne was an incredible book filled with love, loss, and discovery! The characters had such depth and realism it seemed like they were going to jump off the page!"- Asher Rae

"The best features in the books? The dialogues. I grinned nearly the whole time, especially because they sounded so "right" and "normal". Does that make sense? They were funny, teasing and entertaining but not in an artificial way." -Sunne

And, finally, I can't end this post without giving you 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.


I hope you've enjoyed hearing about Micah, All the King's Men, and the book, Rise of the Fallen. I also hope you enjoyed the excerpt. I'm excited to continue unfolding more of Micah's story, as well as the stories of the others in his world.

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:

Barnes & Noble: B&N - Rise of the Fallen
All Romance ebooks: ARe: Rise of the Fallen

And I'd love to meet you on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDonyaLynne

Book Two, Heart of the Warrior, is due out May 25.

Happy reading, and if you want to win a free copy of Rise of the Fallen, please comment and tell me who your favorite paranormal character is from any novel ever written and why they are your fave. We'll draw a name from all who comment.

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/


 **************************************************

CONTEST:
Donya is graciously offering up an eBook of Rise of the Fallen to one winner from Book Monster Reviews and another winner over at LITERAL ADDICTION. 
TO ENTER:

1)  Please become a member of the Book Monster Blog by clicking on the “JOIN THIS SITE” button at the top left hand corner of blog page.
2) Fill out the Rafflecopter form, follow the directions, take action, and mark as ‘Done’.
Make sure that your Rafflecopter email address is correct!

Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website (http://www.literaladdiction.com/) and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 comments:

Hai-Yen said...

I've been obsessed with vampires for as long as I can remember. This would be a great opportunity to discover a new author. Thank you for the giveaway!

Kara Lee Lovell said...

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon is my favorite character and book. Because his life is so tragic and he overcomes it all and is strong and wins in the end. I lot that stuff, am a sucker for it.

I love your story and your books are already dragging me in, because I'm a sucker for that as I said. All the best in the world and I can't wait to read all 9 or your books and many more.

kll@surfacezero.net

Victoria said...

I think I'll love this series. I have a thing for the tortured hero and it sounds like these vampires really struggle. Your "world" sounds really interesting and different too.
Thank you.

vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

Eva Luna said...

I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but i don't think i can choose just one. I guess some Rhage and V and Rehv and Qhuinn and Z and ....oh well, i love all of them :))
Thanks for the opportunity. :)

Kassandra said...

I am always looking for different takes on existing subjects. Vampires and shifters have been done every which way so when a new flavor comes up I want to read it! And that cover model is OMG yum, I think I drooled ;)

sionedkla@gmail.com

jbon said...

Love paranormal, love vampires!! Have not read anything by Donya...yet!!

Gale Nelson said...

absolutely love vampires and the cover is hot as hell! Gale

IreneRJ said...

Zsadist from the BDB is my favourite character in paranormal so far.
I love the look of All The King's Men as a series. A different look at vampire worlds.
Irene Jackson on rafflecopter.

Michelle said...

I don't think I have one favourite. It depends on my mood at the time. If it's a comfort read I go to the Dark Hunter's & pick up Valerius & Tabitha's book - it always makes me giggle, if I need to cry I go for Acheron.
Nalini Singh's Hawke is my ultimate Alpha male though, I love the way his character develops and grows throughout the series - the fact that he's a yummy wolf helps too :)

I sent a request to stalk you on fb :)

mmcmichael79(at)googlemail(dot)com

Donya Lynne said...

Love all the comments from everyone so far. :) And I've had a few new Friend Requests on Facebook today, too, so welcome to all my new, lovely fans. Micah says hello in his own, dark, sexy, irresistible way. *smile*

I can't wait to introduce you all to this new world and the tortured souls who inhabit it.

SdyLion said...

I am a huge fan of the vamp! The sexy, sexy leading character pictured is not hurting either. The story sounds amazing- so very intrigued. Love the world you are creating. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Wendy Higgins said...

I would love to win...haven't read anything from Donya yet but putting her on my list...as for my favorite paranormal...I couldn't choose.

dragonflychic@tampabay.rr.com

StickieKittie said...

This sounds like a very interesting series. I'm always looking for new authors to check out. The cover is great and the premise is promising. I can't wait!

stickiekittie [at] gmail [dot] com

Karina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karina said...

This sounds intersting and I ♥ vamps! I love to discover and promote new authors. Cant wait to read this!

Karurena79@aol.com

Erin said...

The story sounds wonderfully interesting and that cover is delicious!
Erin
loveeria@gmail.com

AD said...

Interesting. New author and book series to check out!

Thanks for the giveaway!

amberdaulton86@gmail.com

mandy saial said...

I have yet to read any of Donya's books . This story sounds like a great read . Not to mention the cover is sexy.
thank you
mandy saial
msaial@yahoo.com

Linda said...

Gosh... Who's that model in the pictures *swoons*. the story sounds most intriguing - vampires, shifters & a tortured hero! I'd love to win a copy please *fingers crossed*

thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

Laurie said...

Thanks for the post, I love seeing all the different takes author have on vamps, they are alway fascinating. I'm a huge fan of tortured heros finding their HEA, like Zdadist, Acheron & Zareck. I'll be following!
lfacchini(at)tampabay.rr.com

Lovebites said...

This series sounds very interesting. Can't wait to read it.