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About the Book
When the phone rings, and Kennedy Nash learns from her mother that her Great-Aunt Lillian has passed, she has no idea how her life is about to change. Kennedy comes from a long line of powerful witches who reside at Coventry Place, a small yet quaint town nestled in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. To tourists and outsiders, the residents of Coventry Place seemed normal…just another sleepy Pennsylvania town full of old houses, antiques, and old money. To the residents of the quaint little town, Coventry Place was something else; a refuge for the elite of the elite of witches, their familiars, and their husbands. That was until a young, dark haired beauty arrived and turned their world, and their lives, upside down when she unleashes her own brand of magic on the town’s inhabitants. Nothing will ever be the same, not if Kennedy Nash had anything to say about it! (this book does contain strong language and sexual innuendos but no depictions of sex)
About the Author
A perpetual night-owl and lover of all things horror related, Hargrove finds inspiration in the most unlikely places. A penchant for research and a dedication to creating literary indulgences that the reader is unable to forget, Hargrove spends a great deal of time researching the larger than life characters of history to formulate characters unforgettable, despised, and strangely adored. She writes horror, dark romance, and paranormal in the Adult, New Adult, and YA categories. She recently paired with her long time friend, author Dorothy Dawson, (who is the author of the acclaimed Banesville Series) to write House at Whispering Oaks, their first dual novel together that is a Paranormal Clean Read. 2014 Author of the Year by Double Decker Books in Historical/Horror.
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Vanora is just a little girl when her older brother inadvertently unleashes a terrible evil from the family crypt that changes their lives forever. As she grows up in a world where beautiful deadly beings hunt by night, one captures her eye and her heart. There is a powerful entity plotting to claim her when she reaches adulthood in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Can she escape?
Vanora is haunted by the night her faith in those she loved was shattered.
When her world starts to fall apart and Armando comes back into her life to warn her that her brother is in danger, Vanora realizes that she can’t escape her destiny. As she seeks to uncover the truth, Vanora starts to realize that the man she loves most may be her greatest enemy.
The Socoli Mansion is in ruins. Roman’s vampires have been butchered and their havens burned in Aeron the White and Terrible’s ghastly purge. Separated from her sister, Armando, and her friends, Vanora’s only hope is wrapped in a magic ritual that will not only reveal the supernatural conspiracy formed by a millennia of magic, but also unlock her secret powers.
In Darkness We Must Abide
A Supernatural Serial is Born
At the end of 2012, I stumbled across an old manuscript lurking in the badlands of my hard drive. I was shocked to unearth the story, having forgotten I had it converted to Word years ago from my old word processing format. For years I had considered it trunked and lost somewhere in the storage in the garage. Opening the file, I rediscovered a story I had sank most of my heart and soul into a very long time ago when I was just starting to write horror novels.
In Darkness We Must Abide was my first full-length original work. I spent hours at my old typewriter creating the first draft of the manuscript. Later, I bought a word processor and retyped the entire manuscript, saving it onto floppy discs. Yes, this was a long time ago!
As I read over my old work, I realized several things. One, I still absolutely loved the two primary leads, Armando and Vanora; and two, the story was solid, but needed some revision. I was very young when I wrote the story, inexperienced in life, love, and long lasting relationships, and this clearly showed. Also, I was under immense pressure from people in my life to write something “nice and normal,” so I struggled quite a bit with certain themes in the story. Reading over the manuscript, I saw exactly the changes I needed to implement to make it a stronger, vibrant read. I set it aside, considering reworking it into a trilogy.
Later, I began toying with the idea of doing a serial. My most popular trilogy, As The World Dies, was originally written as an online serial, and I’d missed the immediate feedback that came with the release of each new part. I had an idea for a whole new fresh work, but was intimidating by having to fit it into my already overloaded writing schedule. Then I saw an article about taking an old manuscript and converting it into a serial. Instantaneously, I knew that In Darkness We Must Abide was the perfect story to be converted into a serial. It was already divided into three distinct parts and it was huge! In fact, one of the reasons I couldn’t sell the book in its old form was that it was one massive book that far exceeded the word count limits of most publishers.
I instantly divided the first third of the story into the five episodes that make up season one. Extremely nervous, I started the revision process with the intention of each part reading like a television show in the reader’s mind. I was shocked at how easily the story fell into an episodic format, but was thrilled at the same time. Also, the voices of the characters readily reawakened in my mind, much to my relief.
In my youth, I had made several big mistakes. When a test reader had an adverse reaction to my lead character being an albino, I altered her appearance. I even changed her name to something I thought sounded fancier. When I started revising, the first thing I did was give Vanora her name back and restore her albinism. I had robbed my lead character of an important part of not only her physical appearance, but her life experience as an albino. I also embraced all the themes I had skirted around in the earlier drafts, out of fear of criticism.
Side note: Humorously, I spent a lot of time trying to avoid overt sexual themes out of fear of offending my mother. This is the same woman who would later call me up to tell me how much she loved the sex scenes in Pretty When She Dies because they were “hot.”
When I finally sent the first episode off to my beta readers, I was terrified. How would they react to a gothic horror novel I had conceived so long ago? When the rave reviews started flowing in, I was so relieved. My story had officially risen from the grave.
As a writer, it was a challenge to give the readers something they can enjoy in small increments, but also instills in them the desire to read the next episode. I did significant rewriting of the original work and the third season is completely new. The immediate feedback was also a great way for me to gage what was working, and what’s not. Because of the mad love for Armando, I expanded his role significantly in the first season.
Now that it’s finished, I can say I enjoyed my serial experience. It was definitely worthwhile digging up In Darkness We Must Abide and sharing it with my readership.
In Darkness We Must Abide
Q & A
Q: In Darkness We Must Abide is a supernatural serial. What exactly does that mean? What is a serial?
A: In Darkness We Must Abide is sort of like a television show I’m writing for your brain. A serial used to be a very popular form of literature. It was an ongoing episodic form of storytelling much like popular television shows today. Each part builds on the one before it, creating a very rich story for the readers to enjoy. Serials followed pretty regular schedules for their installments (weekly, biweekly, monthly).
I spent the last two years writing this serial and not that it’s over, I feel very accomplished.
Q: So what genre is In Darkness We Must Abide?
A: In Darkness We Must Abide is gothic horror set in modern times. It has all the classic gothic horror trappings like a big, gloomy mansion, the deep dark secrets, the tormented lovers, and terrifying monsters. It’s an epic tale about a young woman who is caught up in the supernatural world of vampires, werewolves, witches, vengeful goddesses, and ancient prophecies.
Q: This story is a bit different from most of your books though, right?
A: Though it’s still a character-driven tale of horror, and has some truly scary moments, at its heart it is a very tragic sort of love affair between two people who are drawn to each other even though their worlds are tearing them apart. Upon reflection, I can definitely see how my love of Jane Eyre and other gothic romances influenced the central relationship. Armando and Vanora are wounded people that you want desperately to somehow be together, but you’re just not sure if/when/how it might happen.
Q: We only see bits of Armando in the prologues of the first two episodes in the first season before he appears as a central figure in episode three. He instantly became very popular. Why do you think that is?
A: Well, he’s delicious! LOL. Armando is not only very handsome and charming, he’s very complicated. He’s a man of many secrets and conflicting emotions. Though he’s an older vampire (400 years old), he’s eternally 22 years old and has a youthful spark to him. He’s a bit sarcastic, naughty, and playful despite the fact that he’s not all that he seems to be. Armando doesn’t come across as cruel, so I think that adds to his appeal. Yet at the same time, he’s dangerous in that he can totally break Vanora’s heart and possibly betray her to his Master.
Q: Tell us a bit about Vanora, the heroine of the story.
A: Well, we start our journey with her when she’s ten years old and her life is altered forever when her brother has his ancestors from Romania transferred to the mausoleum on their estate in Houston, Texas. Immediately, a chain of events starts that sends her plunging into a very dark world. That being said, not all is bleak, because she has a much older brother and sister who take care of her and love her. They’re a very strong family unit. As season one continues, we see Vanora grow up to be a charming seventeen-year-old on the verge of her adulthood. Of course, that’s about the time when things between her and Armando start to significantly change.
Q: Vanora is an albino. How does that affect her life?
A: Vanora’s albinism affects her life quite a bit. She can’t be out in direct sunlight, she’s legally blind (though her sixth sense powers allow her to “see”), her appearance draws unwanted comments and negative attention, and isolates her a bit from others as she’s growing up. That being said, the difficulties she has to overcome make her a formidable person. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself, though she may not be entirely confident at times. We see her confidence evolve over the course of the serial.
Q: Tartarus, the Elysian Fields, the Fates, and other allusions to Greek mythology are popping up more and more. Is this significant?
A: I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology. I absolutely love it. There are some Greek supernatural characters in the story, so they’re going to address certain paranormal realms or beings according to their belief structure. Also, I liked the idea of maybe all those myths had roots in truth, but over time it was corrupted and changed.
Leto, the She-Wolf, is part of Greek mythology, but who she really is in the story of In Darkness We Must Abide is one of the bigger mysteries.
Q: We finally got a good look at the villain at the end the first season finale. He’s an albino, too, and quite imposing. Does he take on a much bigger role in Season 2 & 3?
A: Aeron takes on a much bigger role in Vanora’s life and we learn about his past and why Vanora is so important to him. It’s not just because he believes she’s a part of his destiny. There is something much more going on beneath the surface that reaches back eons.
Q: So, is there a love triangle?
A: I wouldn’t call it a love triangle. I am always intrigued by the concept of fate. What if fate laid out a future for you that you didn’t want? Could you fight it? Could you change it somehow? The concept of fate is definitely a lynchpin of the story, but so is the idea of defying it.
That being said, Aeron is a brutal man of his time, but there is more to him that meets the eye. I’ll leave it up to the reader to discern if there is a love triangle or not.
Q: Who is your favorite character?
A: I love Vanora, but Armando is my favorite male character of all those I’ve ever written. That say something!
Synopsis An epic fantasy about dragons, dark secrets, Pendragons, and magic On the southernmost tip of Wilde Island–far from the Dragonswood sanctuary and the Pendragon Castle–live the native Euit people. Uma, who is half Euit and half English, and … Continue reading
“Every choice has a consequence. Will Elle choose to embrace the truth or succumb to the pressures of her clan? The future depends upon her decision.” Continue reading
2014 Literary Classics Silver Medal Winner for PreTeen/Tween
Literary Classics 2014 Seal of Approval
When 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena, she doesn’t count on falling for him. And once back in Ancient Egypt, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do: She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.
Sons of the Sphinx is based on the schism that shot through ancient Egypt when, according to historians, the Pharaoh Akhenatenturned his back on Thebes and the gods of Egypt. He built his own city to honor his god the Aten, and he insisted that the people of Egypt do the same. Along with this, he supposedly refused to send troops to defend Egypt’s borders thus incurring the wrath of the then General Horemheb. When Tutankhamen becomes pharaoh, he reverses Akhenaten’s proclamations and returns the governing center to Thebes and the worship back to the god Amun.
However, the damage has been done, and by the time Horemheb attains pharaoh status, he has proclaimed the betrayal of the Egyptian people by Akhenaten so widely and so much, all members of the family including Tutankhamen and Ankhsenamun and Ay are dishonored. Horemheb further insults the family by defacing Ay’s tomb after his death. It is Ay’s decision before his death to ensure that Ankhsenamun is not subject to dishonor by keeping her final resting place a secret.
The historical significance of my story is the main reason I was able to write Sons of the Sphinx. Needing to help right a wrong done over 3000 years ago and reunite the boy king with his queen (whose tomb has yet to be identified or found), allows my protagonist Rosa the opportunity to come to terms with who she is and what her place is in this world.
I’m a twice-retired high school (ages 14-18) English teacher from Colorado having taught for 25 years. I love working with my students, and now I write for middle graders and early teens. My books are written for reluctant readers, but are enjoyed by any who love adventures and quests. It is my love of the ancient and medieval worlds that provides my settings for my stories.
Factoids for Cheryl Carpinello
- What are your favorite activities when you’re not writing?
I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, and working in the yard. I’m definitely not a housekeeper
- Where would we find you when you’re totally relaxing?
Sitting on the beach in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico!
- Any pets?
None at this time. I am a pet lover, but I’ve had to put too many down to go through that heartbreak anytime soon. My last ones were my horse (38 years), my kids’ cat (18 years), my son’s two dogs (way too soon), and my daughter’s little dog (also too soon).
- Any kids?
We have two kids, a boy and a girl. Both are married to wonderful people. Our son and daughter-in-law have a 6-year-old boy and a little girl 2 months old. Our daughter and son-in-law have a 2-year-old toddler. Those 3 grandkids keep us young.
- What inspired you to go into teaching before writing?
Teaching was my first profession. I enjoy working with high school students. They are such fun to interact with, and it’s fascinating to watch them grow up and mature.
- What’s your favorite color or color combination?
Blue’s always been my favorite color. It’s the color of my eyes, of the sky, and of the ocean.
- Favorite beverage of all time?
Just can’t pass up a good marguerita.
- You’ve clearly done some traveling. What was your ultimate travel destination?
Every extended trip we’ve taken has been the trip of a lifetime. In 2008, we spent 3 weeks in Egypt and traveled from Cairo to Aswan and eventually back to Cairo by local train. Absolutely in awe of that ancient world sitting in the modern one.
In Sept. 2014, we spent 3 weeks traveling around the UK by car. Our aim was to immerse ourselves in the land that gave us Arthurian Legend. I also wanted to explore the locations I used in my book Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom. As an added bonus, I was invited to Manorbier Castle (also in YK) for a Meet and Greet the Author!
We visit Mexico and Las Vegas on a regular basis, and each fall, we travel to college football games. My husband prefers them to the pros, and I just love to travel! FYI: in addition to being a retired teacher and a writer, I’m also a retired airline employee:)
- Favorite snack?
I devour nachos and Auntie Anne’s pretezels!
- Which character do you love the most in all of your books? If you can’t choose just one, pick a few.
The Princess Guinevere from Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend because she was my first character, and Rosa from Sons of the Sphinx because I loved how she handled herself in ancient Egypt. Also, I would love to have been her.
- If you owned a time machine, what period would you most love to visit?
It would have to be the ancient worlds of Greece, Rome, Pompeii, Atlantis, and Egypt. Those civilizations have given the modern world so much, even Atlantis, which is supposedly mythical.
- Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
My writing cave is supposed to be the bedroom off the living room, but this is also my oldest grandson’s room and the toy room for both grandsons! I usually do my writing on the couch or on the patio in the summer.
- What book are you currently reading?
I read several books at a time, a habit left over from my college days when I would take 4 or 5 literature classes at the same time. Currently I’m reading Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton, The Nile by Toby Wilkinson, and Twenty Years After by Alexander Dumas. As you can see, I’m somewhat of an eclectic reader.
- Who are your favorite authors?
I grab anything by the writing duo of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Childs, and I also love their individual books. David Baldacci’s books are also favorites. I’m somewhat addicted to blood & guts & thrillers!
- Do you listen to music when you write?
Yes, and I also put on my favorite movies: the ones I’ve seen a million times and don’t have to pay attention to. Sons of the Sphinx was written to Mumford & Sons The Road to Red Rocks. I can see the amphitheater from my living room windows.
- If you could live anyway, where would it be?
Right where I’m at, in Colorado. We have the best weather—All four seasons. I live next to the foothills, and a drive up in the Rockies is a cure for any ailment. My immediate family is all here, except for one sister. When I need a change, it’s so easy just to hop a plane and go to the beach.
- What are your favorite movies?
Star Wars, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and The Mummy. I’ve watched each of these so many times that I’ve lost track, and my husband shakes his head when he sees on and says, “Really?” I just smile.
- Do you have a favorite TV show?
Yes. I like NCIS and CSI (both the originals). The Amazing Race is also a big hit with me. Love to see all the places the teams go.
- Favorite books as a kid?
I devoured anything with horses. Then, as now, I re-read my favorites over and over. The ones I loved the most: Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion series and Rutherford Montgomery’s The Golden Stallion series.
- What other jobs have you had in addition to writing?
I’m a twice-retired high school English teacher, a retired airline employee, and currently an Ambassador at Denver International Airport.
- What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel, fiction or non-fiction?
Coming across numerous misspelled words, sentence fragments, and incorrect facts. That comes from 25+ years as an English teacher and writing instructor. Nothing is ever perfect, especially writing, but good editing is essential for authors.
- Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl! I don’t usually go to sleep until midnight, and now that I’m retired, I comfortable with not seeing the sun come up in the morning:) That’s one of the reasons I love Las Vegas.
- Do you workout? Run? Walk?
I’m a walker. It’s quiet and gives me thinking time.
- Favorite food?
That would be a smothered shredded beef burrito washed down with a marguerita.
- Do you like to dress up or dress down?
Dress Down. A good old pair of jeans or shorts makes the best day better along with tennis shoes or flip-flops.