Today, I am excited to welcome Lori Titus, author of a new Dark Urban Fantasy novella, Lazarus.
The Dead Shall Walk. The Dead Shall Speak.
It’s 1869. In the town of Lazarus, California, the dead don’t stay that way.
Luella Pembry comes to town with a secret, and a device. She offers the Sheriff and the Mayor of the town a proposition – give me my own land to build on, and I will destroy the zombies that plague your town.
Sheriff Drake is skeptical at first, but willing to try anything to save his hometown. Together, Luella and Drake set out to solve the mystery behind the Risings that are occurring in Lazarus.
Part old west fable, part ghost story, part zombie adventure, Lazarus is a thriller that grips the reader from beginning to end.
Love Meets Horror
I have always loved horror stories with a bit of romance to them.
The first horror movies I fell in love with were black and white flicks where a girl waited in a darkened room for a vampire to appear. Wishing for a kiss, she’s always drawn in, compelled by something in his eyes. Despite garlic and crucifixes she gives in, and finds her only reward is death.
Maybe it was these images that stayed with me, and in a way, made link the thrill of love with the fear of death.
After all, isn’t love married to fear? We fear the loss of what we find most dear to us.
Yet there is thrill and excitement involved with love. Risk taking. Reward. Much like conquering the great unknown, the monster that lurks in the darkness, giving in to love promises great rewards when one succeeds.
My novella, Lazarus, deals with love and death. Set in California’s Old West, Luella Pembry comes to town with hopes to start a new life. Luella has a singular talent. Not only are the dead drawn to her, but she often carries out their wishes. All, except for her own late husband, whom she still grieves for. She approaches the town Sheriff, Benjamin Drake, and the Mayor, Jasper Cole, with her plan. Drake and Cole have been friends since childhood, but they are rivals. Both men have secrets to protect, and Luella’s ability to commune with the dead stirs up memories of the past. The Mayor’s wife, Sarah, has died recently, under tragic circumstances. The dead have begun to rise in Lazarus, and not just ghosts. Zombies are being resurrected. Luella and the Drake work together to face down the power behind the Risings and attempt to save the town.
My latest work, out this month, is Hailey’s Shadow. It is a modern day horror story that blends sex, horror, and murder. Since childhood, Hailey Patterson claims that she has been tormented by entities that she calls “shadows”. They tell her about bad things that will happen. And they also tempt her to do bad things. Are these dark entities part of a delusion, or is she able to sense something that others can’t? By the time Hailey is in her mid twenties, she is institutionalized. Arson, murder, attempted murder… all things that she has been accused of, though there has never been enough physical evidence to connect her to any of the crimes.
Dr. Adam Bennett is a psychologist who hears Hailey’s story on television one night. For him, something clicks. He has been looking for a subject to write a book about, and Hailey Patterson feels right. He arrives in Seattle, sure that he will be able to unlock the secrets behind Hailey’s past, the truth about those that she has killed and hurt. Hailey proves to be more than he expected. Despite his own disbelief, Adam cannot explain the things that Hailey knows. She’s aware of things that no one could have told her, including some of his own misdeeds. The story unfolds as a cat and mouse game between patient and therapist, with Adam searching desperately to find an explanation for the events in Hailey’s past.
These novellas are very different, but both are horror and suspense with a twist. One is about love, betrayal and redemption; the other is about deceit and love gone wrong, with sex used as a weapon. I hope you get a chance to read both, and see which side of the love/horror equation thrills you the most.
Lori Titus is the author of Lazarus (published September 2010, through Library of the Living Dead Press), Green Water Lullaby (published April 2010 through Sonar4 Publications).
Her upcoming novella, Hailey’s Shadow, will be released in early 2011.
Lori is also the Managing Editor of Flashes in the Dark, a website that features flash fiction, serials, and author interviews. She is the author of the popular Marradith Ryder Series, a web-serial that updates every week, and has been a mainstay of her website since 2009.
Lori splits her time between blogging, hosting an internet magazine talk show, and working on several writing and editing projects.