FLESH AND FIRE, Up for Preorder on Amazon Kindle

DARK OF NIGHT – FLESH AND FIRE (Journalstone’s Double Down Series, Book VIII) is now available for preorder on Amazon Kindle.


The dead rose. We fell.

The survivors are trapped in a world of monsters who prey on the helpless. Some of them are zombies…but they are not the only predators who feed on pain and suffering.

DARK OF NIGHT is a story of worlds in collision. Three heroes who have survived the apocalypse are in a deadly race to save a busload of children from ravenous zombies and ruthless human scavengers.

This brand new novella brings together three of New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry’s award-winning novel series.

Captain Joe Ledger (PATIENT ZERO and CODE ZERO), Officer Desdemona Fox (DEAD OF NIGHT and FALL OF NIGHT), and Rachael Elle (BITS & PIECES, a Rot & Ruin novel) are caught between an endless wave of the living dead and an army of corrupt men who want to enslave the last human survivors.

Jonathan Maberry teams with debut novelist Rachael Lavin to tell a sweeping story of adventure, horror, and heroism.


In the midst of a midlife crisis, Todd is haunted by Chloe, the lover who died not long after their relationship ended. When Chloe escapes Hell in search of the peaceful rest that has eluded her, a demon named Samael is on her trail and she needs Todd’s help.

While on the run Todd and Chloe face demons real and personal, soul-threatening danger, and their long-buried feelings for each other.


You can preorder the Kindle here.

Trade paperback should be available soon.

Interview with Donna Galanti by Lucas Mangum for A Human Element Blog Tour


I’m delighted to have the talented author, Donna Galanti, here at the Dark Dimensions as part of her blog tour for her debut novel, A Human Element. She was kind enough to answer my questions about her process, the novel, and her journey as an author. A Human Element is one of those novels that refuses to be put in a box. At times it is horrific, romantic, and heart-wrenching. The characters are impossible to forget, and you’ll be compelled to read on until the satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend it.

Read on for the interview.

Lucas Mangum: What was it about A Human Element that made it stand out for you among your other ideas?
Donna Galanti: The entire story – even the character names – came to me in a flash one day driving to work. It’s as if the idea spoke to me from some place I hadn’t tapped into. That was nearly fifteen years ago. I shelved the idea until recently when it kept haunting me to write it.

LM: What parts of the novel were the most fun to write?
DG: I love writing from the dark side but also love bringing characters together in love scenes. I think because violence and love both come from the same well of passion. It was especially fun writing hideous acts of the tormented villain X-10. I am driven to write about things I would get tossed in prison for life (and probably solitary confinement too).

Here’s an excerpt from a fun scene with X-10:

X-10 crushed his hands together and shrieked a demonic wail, pressing into her brain, probing with points of fire. Pain. He wanted her to feel so much pain. She fell to the floor, hugging herself. He watched her from his mind’s eye writhe and moan. When he faced her in person he would bring her to her knees and kill her while he stared into her forlorn eyes. Those big, brown eyes. He would snuff them of life so no human could enjoy them again.

Bitter bile filled his throat and he swallowed hard, forcing it down. It was time to go. A few hours sleep was all he needed and when dusk fell again he would be off, running the last few miles toward his prey. He was so close. By tonight he would be upon her. And they would be face to face.

He thumped his chest in a war cry and ran through the farmhouse door, a wild beast with one thing in mind. To kill.

LM: What draws you to the paranormal genre? Do you feel they are the same things that draw the rest of us?
DG: So many things fall under the paranormal, but I think we are drawn to it because they all have the same theme: the mysterious unknown. Are ghosts real? Do we have the power to read minds? Can we heal with our touch? Can we move objects with our thoughts? Can we kill with our mind power? Research says we use a very small percent of our brain power. I like to imagine the possibilities if we could access the remaining percent. We may not need physical bodies at all or need to talk to communicate.

LM: What was the biggest challenge in crafting the story of A Human Element?
DG: Bringing multiple characters together across years to a final conclusion. This challenge also included creating believable and consistent characters from childhood into adulthood.

LM: Who are some authors that have inspired you along the way?
DG:Dean Koontz. Stephen King. John Grisham. Robert James Waller. Laura Ingalls Wilder. That last one may not fit, I know! But Wilder’s Little House series is a series I re-read every year. Why? Because the characters are endearing. They suffer and love and adapt and have love of family at the core of their strength. I want them to overcome their struggles. This is the basics to a good book, I believe.

LM: So you’ve sold your first novel, what’s next?

DG: So many things! I am busier now than when writing A Human Element. Ongoing promotion takes up a lot of time. I am also editing a middle grade adventure novel I wrote last year and writing the sequel to A Human Element – A Hidden Element. I already envision the final book, A Healing Element. Then there are workshops and conferences to attend to keep improving my writing craft. Plus going to fun reading events like your Awesome Reading Fests, Lucas!

LM: You managed to sell a debut novel in a publishing industry that can best be described as chaotic. Aside from writing a damn good book, what else do you think contributed to your success?

DG: Thanks for the praise, Lucas. As far as success I would have to say: Never giving up. Really. I loved my book and wanted to share it. This meant editing it to be the best it could be and not being bothered by rejection. I would get a rejection, toss it with a smile and send out another query. Working on creating an author platform and surrounding myself with a supportive network of writers was a big part of it as well.

LM: What is a little known fact about you that readers of your work and fans of this blog may like to know?

DG: I’ve always been one to balk at authority. I was a non-conformist (hint: another word for trouble maker) at my Catholic high school. I’m not Catholic but my parents thought it would straighten me out. I skipped class. I was forever called down to the Principal’s office. I played tricks on the nuns. Once locked the library nun in the library. Another time stole the wheelchair ramp so the nun couldn’t get to class and hid it in the bathroom. Smoked in the chapel. So go figure, why I joined the U.S. Navy (although I had lots of fun in boot camp)! I think I have found my balance in life now as a writer. I am able to live my life now the way I choose and not dictated by others. If those others don’t like it, too bad. Life is too short. Besides, aren’t we writers all non-conformists in our own way?


One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test.

With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him.

Readers who devour paranormal books with murder, mystery, and steam will enjoy A HUMAN ELEMENT, the new novel about loss, redemption, and love.


Reviewers are saying…
“A HUMAN ELEMENT is an elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart. Highly recommended.” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of ASSASSIN’S CODE and DEAD OF NIGHT

“A HUMAN ELEMENT is a haunting look at what it means to be human. It’s a suspenseful ride through life and love…and death, with a killer so evil you can’t help but be afraid. An excellent read.” –Janice Gable Bashman, author of WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE, nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.


Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense A Human Element. She has a B.A. in English and a background in marketing. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, and Pennwriters. She lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs. Visit her at: www.donnagalanti.com

LIKE Donna’s Author Facebook  page for news and updates! Her tour runs through April 11thh with book giveaways, more guest posts, and interview fun, and a chance to win the big prize giveaway! So pop over to her blog to see the full tour schedule.

Connect with Donna here:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/DonnaGalanti

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor

Blog: http://blog.donnagalanti.com/wp/

Purchase A HUMAN ELEMENT here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Human-Element-Donna-Galanti/dp/1590808762/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-human-element-donna-galanti/1109435439?ean=2940013900530&itm=1&usri=donna+galanti

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/139981

Interview with Marie Lamba: Drawn Blog Ghost Tour

I am delighted to have the multi-talented Marie Lamba stop by the Dark Dimensions as part of her Drawn Blog Ghost Tour. The tour is in support of her third novel, the YA paranormal romance Drawn.

The novel follows Michelle who moves to England and encounters a hot medeival ghost with a haunted past. This is one of those books that has it all: romance, adventure, time travel, some creepy elements, a plot steeped in medeival history, and ghosts. What really makes the story work though is a lead protagonist that is impossible not to love. Her life is filled with adversity, from her psychic mother who left her to her grieving father to trying to fit in at school, and her troubles only increases when Christopher starts appearing to her. Yet she never backs down, and while uncovering the secrets of Christopher’s past, she also starts to make sense of her own life.

Drawn can be purchased on paperback here or on Kindle. Keep reading for the interview.

What was it about Drawn that made it stand out for you as a story among all your other ideas?

I guess because it’s a mash up of some of my deepest interests.   I’m fascinated with ghost stories…not the bloody sort or the silly sort, but the ones filled with strangeness and regrets.

I’m also completely head over heels about England and especially medieval stuff.  One of my favorite books of all times is still The Once and Future King by T. H. White (which I first read in high school) because he humanized that time, yet still presented an air of mystery and magic to it.  I majored in English in college and lived in England as a student for a semester. You can bet I spent most of my time wandering through old graveyards and castles (with a few side-trips to the pub tossed in).

Plus, like Michelle the heroine in my novel, I’m an artist too.  Along with being an English major, I was also a Literary Arts major – a degree that I created at my university so that I could take all the writing and fine arts courses I wanted.  Telling this story through the eyes of a character who was an artist was wonderful because Michelle can observe all the nuances of a scene with, hopefully, a believable voice.  Like in this scene between Michelle and Christopher in Drawn:

He pulls the horse to a stop and jumps off.

“So, this is where you’re dumping me?” I ask as he helps me down.

He gives me an odd look. “I am not dumping you.”

“Oh.” The view is sensational. The ground drops beyond the hill, spreading out into a quilt of wide lush fields, patched with varying shades of green and tan that fade into a haze in the distance as if their colors were mixed with more and more of the tint Payne’s Gray. Clusters of trees are here and there. It would make an incredible painting. “Is your home near?” Is anything near, I wonder.

“No,” he says with a sigh. He undoes his bear pin, removes his cape and spreads it on the grass and motions for me to sit. I hesitate, but set my messenger bag down and sit on the cape. He drops down beside me, fixes the pin onto his collar and leans back on his elbow, like it’s the most natural thing in the world. “What of your home? Is it far?”

“Good question.” I hug my knees. Our eyes lock for a while.

He says, “What are you? Will you tell me now?”

“Nothing special. Seriously.”

“So you will not say, then?”

I shrug. “There’s nothing to tell.”

He rubs his chin. “Yet there is something, indeed. And you wield some power over me. I feel it.”

I shake my head but I think there is something about him. Christopher has this rugged appeal that makes even William Wallingford ordinary in comparison. I can’t seem to look away. It’s as if I’m studying him for a portrait. I notice he tends to raise his chin. The very corners of his mouth curve up, making him seem slightly arrogant. And his eyes. Their light color gives them endless depth. Yet they seem so full of…of what?


So, yeah, you can see how writing about a teen artist who draws and then meets a medieval ghost was such a blast for me!

What parts of the novel were most fun to write?

I think I most enjoyed the moments were Michelle walked the edge between sanity and insanity, normal and paranormal.  She’s a grounded girl from New Jersey, but her family history is mottled with hefty doses of mental illness and eccentricity.  When she finds herself seeing what defies logic and having feelings for someone who is most assuredly the manifestation of a budding mental illness, I had to steer the reader through her fears and doubts, and to search for answers of what is real? And how can we take a leap of faith and somehow believe?

This made for great conflict, and these scenes just poured onto the paper, feeling like they wrote themselves.

Why do you feel that the paranormal genre is so successful with a teen audience?

I think it’s the same reason that adults enjoy it so much: it dabbles with the fears and the taboos that tease us at the edges of our reality.

When you’re little, these fears are all too real. You can’t tell the boundary between what is real and safe and what is terrifying but only imagined, and you can be a victim to it.  Who hasn’t had endless nightmares as a child? Or believed someone when they grabbed at your face and then said, “Got your nose!”  I’ve seen kids cry, begging someone to give their nose back!  When one of my daughters was little, she believed that all the mannequins in the shop windows were actually dead people!  Talk about horror.

As frightening as this blurring of reality was, it was also exciting, dramatic, tantalizing.  Anything was possible, wasn’t it? You could instantly become a princess, or an astronaut, even though you were 4 years old!

As a teen you know what’s what, yet you can escape back into that world of blurred realities through paranormal books. You can once again feel as if anything is possible, from the terrifying to the sublime. And you can explore the what if’s, wherever they take you.

What was the biggest challenge in crafting Drawn’s story?

DEFINITELY the complex storyline!  Going back and forth in time, and then having those actions changing what happens in the present and in the past throughout the entire novel just about fried me.  And add to that the shifting reality that occurred when Michelle learned which truths in the past were lies, and yikes!

It tangled me up big time. I had to actually spend an all-nighter just to pull the book apart into pieces and to re-piece it together.  During that frenzied night I made giant posters that listed things like: The Way It was Known; What REALLY Happened; Interactions Michelle has that Alter Things; Things that Changed in the Past; Things that Changed in the Future; Things that Don’t Change.

Blah.  What really saved me was deciding that only a few essential things would change throughout the book.  By having all sorts of alternate realities appear in every character and in every facet of the story after each time Michelle messed with destiny, well, that was only making a mess.

Simpler ended up being MUCH better.

Who are some authors that have inspired you along the way?

T.H. White and Edward Eager for their wit and whimsy. Anne Tyler for her sumptuous imagery. Audrey Niffeneger for her complex plotting and passion. Jane Austen for her tart tongue.  Sarah Dessen for her astute view of the teen world.  John Green for being just plain brilliant. Jude Deveraux for showing me how smart romance can be.

And that’s just a start!

Being both an author, literary agent, and a writing teacher, what would you say is the most important thing any aspiring novelist should know?

I guess that writing is a mix of both passion and of hard work.  It’s not enough to have an idea, or a love of writing. You have to put in the hours and do everything you can to learn and improve every day.  I worked on my first novel for over 10 years and submitted it endlessly, getting great feedback and critiques from crit groups and editors and agents. I never sold that book, but I learned a ton. And I didn’t give up. My next book only took 4 months to write and within a year of that, I’d gotten my agent and a book deal.

Every day I still work hard to improve my writing, and all the professional writers that I know do the same. It’s hard work, but completely worth it when you are able to produce a novel that is as good as the one you dream of writing.

It can be a long hard road. And it can be plenty discouraging at times. But if writing is what you love, then stick with it, put in the time and see where you end up.  If this is your dream, don’t let anything stop you.

What is a little-known fact about you that your readers may like to know?

How about this: I was a varsity and Junior Olympic fencer in high school and into college!  My weapon: foil…that’s all women were allowed to do “back in the day. “

Actually, having a fencing background helped me a lot during the battle scene in Drawn. But that’s the closest to a real bout as I’ve been in a while… Touché’!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Lucas!  A real pleasure.

Marie Lamba (marielamba.com) is author of acclaimed young adult novels including What I Meant… (Random House), Over My Head, and Drawn. When she isn’t writing or racing through the streets with a sword shouting en guarde!, she’s working as an Associate Literary Agent for The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency in NYC.  Marie lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

About Drawn:

Teen artist Michelle De Freccio moves to England in search of a normal life…instead she finds a hot medieval ghost with a sketchy past.

It all begins when a strange guy appears in Michelle’s drawings. When she actually meets him at the town’s castle, she’s unmistakably drawn to him. But something is definitely not right. For starters, he wears medieval garb, talks of ancient murders and tends to disappear each time they kiss.

Could he possibly be a ghost? Could Michelle be losing her mind? Or has she simply uncovered a love so timeless it’s spanned the centuries…

Praise for Drawn:

“A lushly romantic ghost story…captivating and haunting. I didn’t want it to end.” –Cyn Balog, author of paranormal YA novels Fairy Tale, Sleepless, and Starstruck

“…a wonderfully spooky tale of romance and discovery. It’s a magical exploration of the unconquerable power of love.  Highly recommended!” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay

“In DRAWN, Marie Lamba deftly entwines romance and mystery, past and present, into a page-turning adventure. Buy it today and I promise you’ll be finished reading far too quickly!” —Joy Nash USA Today bestselling paranormal romance author of The Immortals series, The Grail King and The Unforgiven