by Rhiannon Frater
Published November 24th 2008
Amaliya wakes under the forest floor, disoriented, famished and confused. She digs out of the shallow grave and realizes she is hungry...
... in a new, horrific, unimaginable way...
Sating her great hunger, she discovers that she is now a vampire, the bloodthirsty creature of legend. She has no choice but to flee from her old life and travels across Texas. Her new hunger spurs her to leave a wake of death and blood behind her as she struggles with her new nature.
All the while, her creator is watching. He is ancient, he is powerful, and what's worse is that he's a necromancer. He has the power to force the dead to do his bidding. Amaliya realizes she is but a pawn in a twisted game, and her only hope for survival is to seek out one of her own kind.
But if Amaliya finds another vampire, will it mean her salvation... or her death?
by Rhiannon Frater
Published September 5th 2012
Amaliya Vezorak never believed in happy endings…
When Amaliya harnessed her necromancer powers to defeat her greatest enemy, she believed she had finally found a happy ending with Cian, her lover and the master of Austin. That happiness is short-lived when the vampire ruling over San Antonio attempts a takeover of Austin in order to capture Amaliya and use her power for his own devices.
To make matters worse, Samantha, Cian’s ex-fiancée, is seeing ghosts, the untested vampire hunters of Austin are running scared as a supernatural war looms, a mysterious man is hunting Amaliya with the help of her one time lover, Pete, and Rachoń, the Summoner’s favorite progeny, appears to be out for revenge.
When Amaliya’s grandmother, a powerful medium, experiences terrible visions that reveal there is another necromancer vampire and she is crying out for help, Amaliya realizes happy endings do not come easily…
by Rhiannon Frater
Publication date: August 27th 2013
Amaliya Vezorak always believed she was destined to live a failed life in obscurity until she was brutally murdered by an ancient vampire named The Summoner and reborn as a powerful vampire necromancer. Now it is up to her to save the world…
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am going to do a combined series review here for the tour. I will post the full individual reviews at Goodreads and Amazon and other places when I get them written up.
I finished the 3rd book earlier today, and was so hooked on all 3 I could not put my Kindle down at all, I read one right after the other, and read late into the night for a few days and am lacking on sleep now. I just could not stop reading, it was that good.
I have been blown away by the phenomenal writing of Rhiannon Frater. She is an incredibly talented writer and it shows in every single page of her novels. I can’t praise her enough on the writing and the originality of these books.
We have a mix of several genres here, we have the Paranormal Romance (and its steamy, not for the younger crowd) and we have suspense, horror too, those walking dead are scary for sure. We get all kinds of supernatural’s too, gritty vampires, witches, necromancers, and more. Plus the walking dead, which the necromancer’s control.
I love Cian so much, he is like so hot, and with each book I just loved him more and more. Amaliya is so badass too, she is amazing. I loved seeing her grow from that first chapter in book one, when she crawled out of that grave without knowing what she was at first, or who she was. Now she is a kick ass heroine, and still down to earth. You can’t help but to like her.
I do not want o give any plots away from any of the books, as I know some will read this and have not read the first book even.
The 3rd and final book starts where book 2 ends, and just escalates from there. The non-stop action keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The characters are very well developed too. I feel I was able to get to know them really well. I loved the multiple points of view from the 3rd person writing style. Not all writers can pull this off this well, but it was done so well that you almost forget your reading, and that you’re not really there with them, lol
I think anyone who enjoys the more gory side of vampires, will love this series. It’s not the YA kind of vampires that are gentle. I love those kinds too, but loved this change up.
This series reminds me, just a little bit, of the Night Huntress series by Kelly Armstrong, and that’s a compliment, as it’s a great series, it only reminds me in the dangerous way these vampires are, and the great steaminess in this one, like in the other.
So, if you like the Night Huntress series, I guarantee you will love this one too. Give it a chance.
Read part of the first chapter I posted of book one, Pretty When She Dies. This won’t spoil anything at all, but should get you hooked!
5 huge giant stars of of 5, for All 3 books!
You can find the rest of the book tour at Xpresso Book Tours, Here
Pretty When She Dies (part of Chapter One)
When she began to stir from her deep slumber, she had no idea she was buried under several feet of moist, dark earth. Curled into a tight ball with one hand over her face, she shivered as her brain slowly switched on. Flashes of random memories full of distorted images burst through her mind.
Time to wake up, a voice whispered.
Her eyelids fluttered.
Before she could fully awaken, her body was seized tight in a spasm of pain, contorting in on itself as her hands trembled around her face. The seizure released her and, slowly, she opened her eyes.
Darkness greeted her.
Trembling, she strained to see into the blackness that enshrouded her. She could barely make out the outline of her fingers curled over her face. Something heavy and moist was pressing down on her.
Suddenly claustrophobic, she thrust her left arm upward in a desperate attempt to throw off whatever was covering her.
Dirt poured into the tiny space around her face and filled her mouth and nose. Terrified, she plunged her arm into the earth, trying to push it away. She tried to roll onto her back and shoved upward with her other hand. Warm, wet earth pressed down all around her body.
For a horrible moment, she had no sense of up or down and feared she was frantically tunneling deeper into the ground. Shoving fear aside, she clawed at the dirt, desperately trying to free herself.
To her relief, her hands and arms broke through the soil and into the empty space above her. Managing to get her feet under her, she shoved her body through the earth. She broke the surface of the forest floor and stood, blinking in the moonlight, standing in what was left of the hole that had been her prison. She raised trembling hands to sweep back her raven hair. Her blue-gray eyes blinking hard, she tried to take a deep breath. She choked and gagged, then fell onto her hands as she threw up streams of muddy liquid. Coughing, she wiped her mouth with her dirty fingers and let out a whimper.
Around her, the night whispered softly. Tiny animals scurried through the underbrush around her. An owl hooted in a tree nearby. The moon shone down brightly, its full face glowing in the sky. Falling onto her hip, she lay in silence for a long moment.
Try as she might, she could not draw her thoughts together. She wasn't even certain of her name. How she had come to be buried alive in the forest was beyond her comprehension.
Pulling her legs slowly out of the grave that had entrapped her, she lay on the ground shivering.
Her long, milky-white fingers clawed at the ground beside her and she looked at her hand in dazed confusion.
Need to go home, she thought.
Slowly, she rolled to her knees and bowed in silence, almost appearing to pray. Pressing down on the ground with her hands, she slowly rose to her feet. Her muddled brain slowly took in her soiled jeans and boots. Her white T-shirt was caked with dirt and what appeared to be dried blood. Her hair fell unfettered to her waist, full of clumps of dirt, twigs and bugs. Shaking her head vigorously, she tried to get the forest crude out of her tresses.
“Home,” she whispered.
Her own voice startled her.
Her first step was hesitant. She wasn't even sure her legs would support her, but amazingly, they did. Slowly, she made her way down through the trees. Her stride became increasingly steady as she walked forward in the direction that felt “right.”
Her hand fluttered over her hair as she walked. She could not remember her name, but a dim memory of extraordinary pleasure filled her mind. Scrunching up her nose a little, she hesitated and stood looking around her in confusion.
A glow over the treetops called to her.
Home lay that way.
Feeling a bit steadier, she trudged on. Her jeans were stiff with all sorts of crap, and she craved a hot shower.
My brain isn't working. This isn't how I should be reacting.
She wasn't sure what her own thoughts meant.
As she reached the bottom of the hill, buildings bathed in soft light swam out of the darkness.
The college, she thought.
She stood at the edge of a pool of light and gazed dreamily through the limbs of the trees. Voices whispered in the distance and, somewhere, music was playing. Suddenly, horribly aware of her appearance, she decided not to venture down to the sidewalk below. Home lay nearby, but she could reach it by staying in the shadows.
Not certain how she knew where she lived, but couldn’t remember her own name, she frowned deeply. Once more, she ran a hand over her soiled hair, then moved down into the shadows of the large red brick buildings of the college.
It was relatively easy to avoid people and she hid whenever anyone walked down the crisscrossing sidewalks that connected the buildings.
It's Easter weekend, she thought. No one is here.
A long narrow building beckoned to her with its familiarity. She trudged toward it through the gloom. Most of the windows were dark. The dirty yellow light from the broken outdoor lamp fastened over the double doors was a welcome glow.
Stepping out of the cover of the trees, she shivered as she was suddenly exposed to the view of anyone cutting across the courtyard. She hugged herself tightly and peered through the glass panes of the doors into the long narrow hallway beyond. It was intimidating in its length, and only the dark, chipped dorm doors surrounded by stickers, posters, photos and other ornamentation broke up the impression of it being never-ending.
She took a breath and tried to open the door. It was firmly locked. Confused at first, she jiggled the doorknob. Reason pushed through her murky thoughts and she fished in her jean pockets. A simple ring with a few keys was in her right one. Slowly, she tried each key in the battered lock until, at last, one slipped in easily. The knob turned.
A slow, icy chill flowed down her back. She tossed her hair back from her face looking sharply behind her. The sensation of being watched pricked over her skin. She pushed the door open and took refuge in the long, stark hallway. Nothing stirred out in the courtyard except a pink flyer. It must have torn loose from a bulletin board and now danced in the night wind.
Fear trembling at the bottom of her stomach, she turned and moved away from the locked doors. The narrow hallway was strangely familiar. Her footsteps echoed around her as she walked. In the distance, she heard the very soft hum of someone's radio.
It seemed to take forever to reach the middle of the long hall. A small room crammed full of vending machines sat at the base of the stairs. The handicap elevator stood open. She glanced inside to see that it was empty before starting up the narrow staircase that led to the second and third floors. The ugly, faded, formerly buttercup-yellow paint on the walls was covered in flyers and posters for events around the campus. She briefly glanced at them as she trudged upwards, but the words and pictures were nonsense to her numb brain.
The second floor hall lights were flickering when she reached the landing. Feeling another cold shiver of fear, she looked up and down the stairwell, but there was no sign of another person.
Home was nearby.
She started to turn right, then corrected herself and turned left. Drawn toward the end of the hallway, she shuddered. Fear once again gripped her tightly and, for a moment, a vivid thought flashed through her mind.
I'm dead. There is nothing here for me.
She froze in mid-step and reached out to stabilize herself. The thought repeated itself over and over again until she let out a desperate sound and pushed it down. Insanity lay in that sort of thinking.
Gathering up her strength, she pushed on until she reached a door surrounded by stickers of sexy devil women, vamps and an assortment of band photos. Sid Vicious snarled out of her from one, while Ozzy Osbourne howled at the devil in another. Laying her hand on the doorway, she read the name stenciled onto red paper in black marker and taped with electrical tape to the door.
“Amaliya,” she breathed. It was her name. Her grimy fingers traced over the letters. She whispered the name again. Yes, that was her name. She remembered people called her Amal. That nickname bugged her.
Pulling out the ring of keys, she leaned against the door, a sense of relief washing over her. Her mind felt full of thick muddy water with flashes of light beneath the waves, but she couldn't concentrate too long on those flashes or her whole body began to hurt.
She needed to bathe, then it would be okay.
The key with the skull sticker slid into the lock and she pushed open the door. Her room was very narrow and sat at the end of a long, dark hallway. It was simply furnished with a twin bed in one corner, a desk under the long window, and a battered dresser on the wall across from the bed. The walls were covered in posters of long-haired rock stars, none of whom seemed familiar. An enormous poster of Angelina Jolie was on one wall surrounded by pictures clipped out of magazines of other beautiful women dressed in sexy outfits.
Amaliya shut the door behind her, drinking in the familiarity of the room. She remembered every detail: its battered furniture; the tiny fridge tucked at the end of the bed that made godawful noises when she tried to sleep; the dirty laundry thrown at the bottom of her closet. This was her personal space and she felt her shoulders sag with relief.
Her one luxury in the dorm was her very tiny bathroom. It was one of the perks of paying more money to live on the second floor.
She walked down the narrow little hallway, past the open sliding doors of her closet, and into the room itself. Shoes, most of them pretty battered, were strewn at her feet. Her bed was a crumpled mess. Silently, she leaned over and pushed the button on her old stereo. Johnny Cash's voice filled the room. On her bathroom door was an enormous poster of the Man in Black. She automatically touched the brim of an imaginary hat to salute him. His somber, craggy face did not change as she shoved open the bathroom door.
The bathroom was so small the door barely missed hitting the toilet and the bathtub when she opened it. All she could think of was the bath. She was caked in dirt and grime and leaves, twigs, dirt, and a few insects were twisted around in her hair. Her body was so filthy she could barely see her creamy, pale skin.
“Yuck,” was all she could think to say.
When she turned on the hot water in the shower, a tremor rocked the center of her body. It started just above her stomach, then rolled through her chest and limbs. She gagged, then leaned over the tub and threw up again. Mucous and mud trailed from her lips. Again, she shuddered and fell into the tub, fully clothed, the warming water sloshing over her.
Tears exploded from her eyes and she let out a desperate wail. The seizure arched her back and sent her sprawling before abruptly releasing her. She lay there, on the cold, chipped bottom of her tub for a few minutes before she felt strong enough to wiggle out of her clothes. The jeans were hard to get off. She struggled with her boots. Finally, she was naked and the water was hot.
Standing up slowly, she reached out, grabbed the showerhead, and pulled the tiny switch so the hot water would stream over her. She didn't let go, but held on for dear life. The hot water sluiced over her, washing away the muddy remains of her grave. She closed her eyes and tried not to focus too hard on the memories trembling just below the thin layer of confusion. If she tried to think too hard, it only hurt.
Using nearly half of the shower gel and a good portion of shampoo, she scrubbed her body and hair clean. The scalding water and loofah soon had her skin looking red and raw, but it felt better than before. Her fingers traced over the tattoo decorating the lower portion of her belly. Intricate vines and flowers made a lovely pattern against her skin.
Why the hell would you do that to your body? Do you want to look like a whore? The male voice whispered, then faded away.
She dragged her long hand over the tattoo perched on her upper arm. It was an intricate design with vines and roses with little cherubs holding scrolls that read “Beloved Mother.” Frowning, her fingers slid over the rough scar in the center of the tattoo. There had been something here, she remembered that.
Tears streamed down her cheeks as she remembered the pain of getting this tattoo. Her heart had hurt so badly that the pain of the needle had not mattered to her. It had been for her mother, her sweet, broken mother. The one who had named her Amaliya. There had been-
“A cross,” she whispered, her fingers tracing over the roughened edges of the white scar.
Sliding the clear shower curtain back, she stared from the depths of the shower into the fogged mirror over the sink. For a moment, she thought nothing was reflected in the mirror.
Stumbling out of the shower, she ran her hand over the mirror, her blue-gray eyes coming into focus. Her clean, black hair hung loosely around her face, framing a face with a strong chin, high cheekbones, a sharp slightly hooked nose, and full, bruised looking lips.
Her fingers slid down over her features, then over her neck, down to her breasts. The piercings in both nipples glinted in the florescent light. Slowly, she turned and looked over her shoulder to see her back was still adorned by angel wings, her freshest tattoos. Her waist tucked in above her full hips. She ran a hand over her curvy right cheek slowly.
Need to lose weight, she thought.
For a moment, she was filled with self-loathing. Her upper body was long and lean, with shapely breasts and a small waist. Her lower body was fuller, but her legs seemed too short for her body. Endless jogging, avoiding potatoes and other starches had never rid her of her wider hips.
She started laughing. It was a startling sound to her ears when she heard it, and she sank against the wall, cold and wet.
I'm insane, she thought. I've lost my mind.
Forcing the crazed giggles away, she dried off, then checked the mirror again. The tiny diamond tucked into the side of her nose twinkled back at her. She slid her dark hair back behind her ears. The six hoops in each ear were intact. Her fingers pulled back her hair and she studied her roots intently. A faint line of gold was visible along the part.
She would have to dye her hair again soon. At least her eyebrows were naturally dark.
Her legs were a little shaky as she walked into her room and pulled a pair of jeans out of the laundry basket resting on the cluttered dresser. A pair of pink bikini-briefs came with them and she pulled both items on. Rummaging around in the basket, she found a white tank top and shrugged it on. Collapsing onto the bed, she leaned over and opened the refrigerator. The tiny thing creaked open and revealed it was empty, save for a soda and bottled water.
She was hungry. Very hungry. Famished.
Shoving the door shut, she ran her hands over her damp hair and stared down at her feet. The chipped red polish on her toenails was the norm. They were cut short and slightly ragged. Shrugging, she leaned down and snagged a pair of battered Bettie Page heels. She always tried to wear heels to make up for her shorter legs.
Her stomach coiled tightly as she stood. She gasped in pain. Her vision swam and she stumbled forward.
She needed to eat, and soon.
Looking up into the battered mirror above her dresser, she stared into an empty room. She gasped, then suddenly, her reflection winked into view. Blinking hard, she watched it wink out again, then shimmer back slowly.
Terror gripped her. She grabbed her keys off the floor and rushed to the door. She would eat and then she would be fine. She'd stop feeling like this and she would understand what had happened to her.
She just needed to eat.
That would do it.
Yes, to eat. That would be salvation.