Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Peek at Anne Frasier's Pale Immortal

He grabbed the handles of his giant backpack, opened the passenger door, and tumbled out, slamming the door behind him. From somewhere a dog barked. It was a hollow, distant cry, given with only half a heart and coming from another world.

Before she could come after him, he walked down the sidewalk in the direction of the house.

Behind him the car was thrown into gear, the gas pedal tromped to the floor.

A slow turn of the head; then he was watching the ancient Oldsmobile chug away from the curb, watching it lumber down the street. Red brake lights appeared as the car squealed around the corner and disappeared from view.

--Graham is abandoned by his mother, from PALE IMMORTAL.

Evan Stroud lives his life at night, because he must. His body cannot endure the touch of the sun. The allergic condition has a medical name you won't remember. Nobody in the town of Tuonela cares to remember it either. They just know he lives in the shadows. Their shadows. Evan's life is a comfortable isolation, a soothing loneliness.

But no more. Graham, a teenaged boy claiming to be his son, drops onto his doorstep in the middle of the night. It's not a cheerful homecoming, and Evan learns quickly that Graham is hounded by his own frightful demons:

In one swift motion the kid lunged and pushed Evan backward, then just as quickly jumped away.

It took Evan a second to realize the boy had his gun. And that he was raising it.

To his own temple.

Evan saw the bleak determination in the kid's eyes; he had every intention of pulling the trigger.

Time slowed.

Tick, tick, tick.

And that gunshot would not be the only disturbance in the town of Tuonela during the night. A murder is committed, and the victim is drained of blood. Bizarre, except the town once knew a killer who did the same, a killer who was put to death more than a hundred years ago. That killer was also known as the Pale Immortal, and Evan Stroud is a local historian with a particular interest in him.

That's why Rachel Burton, the new medical examiner, decides to visit Evan, despite avoiding him ever since her return to Tuonela. She grew up with Evan, and after so many years, part of her still loves him:

Up the walk, up the wooden steps.

Had the doorbell ever been fixed?

In the dark she ran her hand across the molding that surrounded the door, feeling for a button. Just as she found it, words came out of the darkness from the corner of the porch, causing her to jump.

"Enfant terrible."

Recognizing the voice even after so many years, she swung around, heart pounding, barely able to make out the undefined shape of Evan Stroud. She heard a creak and realized he was sitting in the porch swing that hung from the ceiling by chains. How many times had she sat there herself?

The three of them, Evan, Rachel, and Graham, each a victim, and each an unlikely hero. Evil is not dead in the old streets. It once again stalks the quiet families of Tuonela, and soon it will reach out. Anne Frasier is going to take you on a journey. The roads are dark and the valleys deep. But beware. You might find a little of yourself in those shadows.

A little of the Pale Immortal just might live in you.

**Anne has posted sample chapters!! Click HERE for Chapter 1 and HERE for Chapter 2.**

Onyx Books and Penguin/NAL
September 5, 2006

Look for the sequel October, 2007


Flood said...

Sounds like a great book! Can't wait for its release.

Anonymous said...

Anne, strong samples to entice us! Looking forward to the whole read...

Anonymous said...

So I take it you like the book? ;)

anne frasier said...

thanks, flood.

thanks, suzanne!

nienke -- i don't know if this is true, but i've heard that if you go to jason's house you'll find his wife, kids, and even his dogs dressed in pale immortal t-shirts. can you imagine???

i've been teasing jason about all of his pimping. it's a little embarrassing, but i know it's because he believes in the book. what a sweetie.

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone! Yes, Anne has been giving me a hard time. :D But Anne's characters are so dark and absorbing. How could you not get lost in them?

Marcail said...

Thanks Jason. Those Two chapters really hook the reader.

Ginny Warth said...

Thank you, Anne, for not only commenting on my story, but taking the time to read it. I can't wait for the book release and congratulations.

anne frasier said...

littlepuddle: thanks so much for participating!!! i really enjoyed your entry!