Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle
Publication date: February 24th 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Romance
***A Standalone Horror Romance***
Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive
The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.
What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.
***This is NOT New Adult***
(Unedited scary sneak peek)
He handed the rifle back to me then brought out the revolver from his holster, the axe in the other hand. We were a poorly armed ragtag team but if the rest of the monsters were as decrepit as the last one, if there weren’t that many of them, then maybe we had a chance in hell.
I made a move toward the door when Jake stuck his arm out and held me back. He nodded at the fire. “When all else fails, I believe fire will work just as well.”
“I can’t exactly hold a torch around all this gunpowder, can I?”
“That’s why I said, when all else fails.”
I took in a deep breath. If we failed, we failed. There are no other options when you’re dead. Well, unless you wanted to become a monster. I know I certainly didn’t, even if it did mean a way to prolong my life.
All of a sudden the moaning and the scratching stopped. We looked at each other in wonder. I breathed in. The stench was still there, still pungent. There may have been no noise but they were definitely still outside the cabin.
I took in a deep breath, tightened my grip on the rifle and walked toward the door. I had to know. I had to get this over with.
In unison Jake and I stepped together into the door frame, weapons drawn.
The sight took my breath away and replaced it with pure primal fear.
There were over a dozen monsters standing outside the cabin, staggered about, all of them facing us with expressions of hunger and mindless hate. Some were as close as ten feet away, close enough for me to note the glassiness of their eyes, the way their hair was falling out of their heads, the way their bare, blue-cold feet shriveled in the snow. Their mouths were open, drooling, with grey tongues lolling around beside black gums.
All of them wanted to eat us.
We didn’t even get to make the first move.
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.