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Saturday, June 21, 2014

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Blog Tour: Darkness Reigns - Excerpt + Giveaway

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Title: Darkness Reigns (Darkness #2)
Author: L.M. Justus
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Publication Date: June 2014

New York City is a wasteland. More than eight million people are dead or worse…infected.

After their failed attempt to stop the spread of a virus that turns people into zombie-like, human-vampire hybrids, Reed Hennessy and his ragtag crew are scrambling to stay alive. To make matters worse, the human authorities are close to proving the existence of vampires and blaming them for the disaster in New York.

Their storm of trouble is already spinning out of control when an old enemy reappears to issue a challenge–an ultimatum that will mean certain death for at least one member of Reed’s group. With their mountain of problems growing exponentially and a host of enemies closing in, they flee for their lives, desperate for a miracle. Will they survive and avoid the world’s scrutiny, or will darkness prevail?

Excerpt:
     As we continued west, the occasional revenant spotted our van and turned to chase us. They were way too slow to catch up, even though we had to swerve around abandoned taxis all over the place.
     We barely missed driving over yet another bloody pile, which was all that remained of some poor person; the only part left that was recognizable was the bottom part of a leg with a sock and shoe still on it. Sophie gagged and covered her mouth as she turned away from the window. Sarah gave her sister’s hand a reassuring squeeze.
     We’d worried the tunnel might be blocked up, but there was no sign of a mass exodus. When the virus was released, the initial symptoms were flu-like, so people had probably stayed home thinking they were sick with a common illness. By the time things started going to hell, it was too late to escape. At least, that’s what we assumed.
     The farther we got from the city’s core, the more I relaxed. If we could make it to the countryside, there would be fewer revenants to worry about and maybe we’d find a cow to use as a source of blood. I hated to admit it, but the idea of drinking cow’s blood was not very appealing now that I’d gotten used to human blood.
     Sarah gave me a look, as if she knew what I was thinking. Of course, in her case, she literally knew what I was thinking because she could read minds.
     “Anyone feeling hungry?” Trudy asked, as she continued to drive west after crossing the Hackensack River. “I could go for one of those sandwiches we packed.”
     Nathaniel and I didn’t eat real food, and Sophie still looked kind of green, so I waited for Sarah to say something. She leaned over and unzipped the duffle bag at her feet. After rooting around for a minute in the dark, she pulled out a small pile of plastic-wrapped sandwiches.
     “Peanut butter, or . . . peanut butter?” she asked, passing one of the sandwiches to the front. Trudy took the sandwich and then Sarah tried to pass one to her sister.
     Sophie pushed Sarah’s hand away. “No, thanks. Not unless you want to stop the van so I can puke.”
     “You should try to eat something,” Sarah insisted. At twenty-one, she was only a year older than her sister, but she seemed to watch out for Sophie in a motherly way.
     “Maybe later.” Sophie turned to look back out the window.
     Nathaniel shifted in the passenger seat and looked back, his gaze drifting across Sophie to Sarah and then me. His dark hair had grown noticeably longer since we’d first met several weeks ago, softening his severe look. His normally deep brown eyes were a light golden color, which was a sure sign he needed to feed soon. If the color faded to a light gray, we were really in trouble because the girls would start looking a lot like food.
     He turned to face forward again as Sarah unwrapped her sandwich. The sound of the crinkling plastic wrap seemed deafening in the quiet interior of the van, and the smell of peanut butter filled the air.
     As we crested the rise of a steep hill, I immediately detected two distinct odors. In the distance, a complex of slate-gray buildings rose from behind a concrete wall, with a barbed-wire-topped fence encircling the entire compound. At least two hundred revenants surrounded the fence, trying to get inside, which explained the first of the two smells.
     Trudy stopped the van. “West Nelson Correctional Facility,” she read as our headlights shone on the sign at the side of the road.
     “It’s a prison,” Sophie said.
     Nathaniel turned to us and his nostrils flared. The tips of his fangs peeked from behind his upper lip. “There are many humans inside.”
     That explained the second smell. “Oh, goody. Dinner,” I said.

Author Bio

Lisa Justus’ path to becoming an author took a circuitous route through the University of Waterloo where she earned a Bachelor of Mathematics, followed by jobs in quality assurance and technical writing at a high-tech company. With a keen interest in creative fiction, she wrote her first fantasy novel as part of NaNoWriMo as well as an early chapter book for her kids when they were younger. Welcome to the Darkness and Darkness Reigns are the first two books of the Darkness Trilogy, a YA paranormal fantasy.

These days Lisa is busy writing her next novel, reading, finishing her basement, doing volunteer work, and trying to stay in shape by running somewhat regularly. She, her husband, and their three children live in Ottawa, Ontario.

Author Links:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts. She also doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). She's a first year Communications major from the St. Louis area, though she sometimes wish she wasn't. Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.

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