Today’s the last chance to enter for the big Elysian Fields tour prizes, and get a new flash fiction as well! I’m at Fangtastic Books today with “Nix That,” a longer story set in the Sentinels world. Stop by, and enjoy a visit with DJ, Jean Lafitte (briefly) and some nixes.
It is my great pleasure to welcome author Laura Bickle to Preternatura today! Laura is here today to talk about her latest release, The Outside (The Hallowed Ones #2).
Laura Bickle has worked in the unholy trinity of politics, criminology, and technology for several years. She and her chief muse live in the Midwest, owned by four mostly-reformed feral cats. Her work has been published in Midnight Times, Down in the Cellar, MicroHorror, Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction,Ballista , Byzarium, New Myths,a Blog-O-Novella office soap opera for True Office Confessions, and Aoife’s Kiss. Her most recent project is the Embers series of urban fantasy novels for Juno-Pocket Books. She also writes under the name of Alayna Williams.
You can learn more about Laura by visiting her website or by visiting her blog.
ABOUT THE OUTSIDE: After a plague of vampires was unleashed in the world, Katie was kicked out of the safe haven of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. She enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two friends and a horse by her side And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can they be trusted, and are they even people at all? In this sequel to The Hallowed Ones, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to sacrifice in return?
And now, let’s hear from Laura…
Top Ten Improvised Weapons for the Vampire Apocalypse
By Laura Bickle
Katie is a young Amish woman who’s been kicked out of her community to face the vampire apocalypse in THE OUTSIDE. She’s got to find and make weapons to survive, and these are at the top of her list:
1. A Himmelsbrief. A Himmelsbrief is a letter to God, made by Katie’s local Hexenmeister (he’s sort of like the village wizard – he paints the hex signs on barns and spends a great deal of time mumbling to himself). Before Katie got shunned, the Hexenmeister made her one of these holy articles, and keeping it pinned to her dress helps deter the bloodthirsty vampires.
2. Traveling in groups. When Katie got booted out of her settlement for failing to follow the new rules of survival, her friends Alex and Ginger were kicked out with her. Alex and Ginger aren’t Amish, but they are extra eyes and ears in the dangerous landscape. They also are joined by animal friends – a white horse and a wolf. More friendly eyes results in a better chance to survive the night. True to old-fashioned legend, the horse can sense evil, and acts as an early-warning system for the group.
3. A really good tattoo. Katie’s friend, Alex, has a tattoo of a Djed pillar on his back and an Ankh scar on his chest. These ancient Egyptian religious symbols have the power of thousands of years of belief behind them, and work the same way as a deterrent against the vamps that Katie’s Himmelsbrief does…much to Katie’s confusion.
4. Holy ground. Surviving the night depends on finding some patch of unspoiled ground. Katie’s old Amish community was like that – holy ground because church services rotated among families’ backyards. Katie and her friends wind up seeking refuge in shrines, graveyards, and even old burial mounds.
5. Stakes. Lots and lots of stakes. Katie makes homemade stakes from tree limbs and whatever pieces of wood she can find. When sharpened and aimed for a vampire’s heart, they do a good job of stopping them in their tracks. This has earned Katie the nickname “Bonnet the Vampire Slayer.”
6. Don’t drink the last of the vodka – use it for Molotov cocktails.Ginger finds a bottle of vodka at an empty gas station. Before she can drink it down, she’s forced to make a homemade bomb to ward off the vamps, a fact that she mourns for several days.
7. Fireworks. Vampires are afraid of fire, and finding a closed-up fireworks stand is a great boon to folks who are fleeing from the undead.
8. Running water. The vampires in THE HALLOWED ONES and THE OUTSIDE have their roots in classical vampire tales, and fall victim to the old myth that evil cannot cross running water. Bridges are good places to hide out.
9. Disposing of the dead properly. This is grisly work. To keep a bitten person from rising as a vampire, the head must be removed, and the body staked and burned. Katie struggles with the violence of this work – especially when it involves people she knows and loves.
10. Daylight. Sunlight is the ultimate vampire deterrent. Though vampires can still lurk within shadowed buildings, the safest place during the day is a sunlight-drenched field. Katie and her friends learn to take advantage of this, sleeping during the day and traveling at night.
With these weapons at their disposal, will Katie and her friends be able to last long enough on the road to find other survivors? It will depend on how creative and resourceful they can be, using the last pieces of a ruined civilizations to beat back the darkness.
What would you use to combat the Vampire Apocalypse? Are you prepared? Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of The Outside, by Laura Bickle.