Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Donners of the Dead Blog Tour: Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

Welcome to Unabridged Bookshelf's stop on the Donners of the Dead Blog Tour!  Make sure to check out everything going on during this tour by clicking the banner above. 

About the Book

Title: Donners of the Dead
Author: Karina Halle
Publication Date: February 24, 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Romance, 
Amazon | Smashwords 
***A Standalone Horror Romance coming February 2014***
Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive
The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.
What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.
***This is NOT New Adult***
About the Author
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver,
Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.
10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Did Not Know Before (in no particular order)

10. Your ass will double in size (so put down the computer and take a walk when you can)

9. You will always be working. Vacations don’t really exist. You’ll never turn off your brain, never run out of ideas. You’ll find writing painful and stressful at times but you’ll also find not writing to be painful and stressful as well.

8. You will have no social life except for book signings (and that’s okay with you because you’re a hermit at heart).

7. Your dream job is sometimes just a job. Just because it’s been your dream career doesn’t mean that it won’t make you want to cry and hate your life at times. It’s wonderful but it is still WORK.

6. You will at first be crushed by criticism. Then after a few years, you will learn to handle it a lot better and think nothing can hurt you. Then something (or someone) usually does. It’s normal to go between being strong and being sensitive on a daily basis.

5. You will encounter a lot of selfish, idiotic, insensitive, greedy people in the industry. Be careful with those you trust. Be nice but don’t get taken advantage of either. Ignore the haters.

4. The more successful you get, the more successful you will want to be. This creates a cycle of always trying to best yourself. It’s better if you try and appreciate how far you’ve gotten even when you’re reaching for bigger goals.

3. Despite all the asshats you’ll meet, you’ll also make the most loyal, wonderful friends in the world.

2. There are no guarantees. You might fluke out and become a bestseller on one book, you may sell a handful of copies on your next. You can’t predict anything, you can only hope. 

1. You’ll soon realize there’s no other job out there for you. This is it, so practice your craft, work hard and plan for the long haul. 

My Review of Donners of the Dead 
Donners of the Dead is an intense, terrifying read by the exceptionally talented master of getting the adrenaline pumping, Karina Halle. I made the mistake of curling up with Donners of the Dead late at night right before trying to go to sleep, let’s just say that I did not get much sleep that night. The ways the scenes unfold make Donners of the Dead much more terrifying than your average zombie novel. Maybe it is the reality behind the situation, which the people of the Donner Party may have actually resorted to cannibalism to stay alive, and this story follows that same path just a few years later. It is more likely Karina Halle’s talent for writing a scary scene and making it feel so real. 

Set in a time where everything from her heritage, to the fact that she was female worked against Eve, she still manages to be a headstrong, even outspoken at times young woman. I have to say I like her sass, and her will to fight even when most would have given up. As for Jake McGraw, he has some very rough almost sharp edges, but I liked watching him slowly change and those edges dull a bit as Eve grew on him. Being faced with your possible demise has a way of breaking down walls, unlike any other. 

I really like some of the historical feeling to the novel, and even thought this is a fictional novel, it has a realistic historical quality to it. I think this adds to the atmosphere of the novel, and the darkness of the material. The whole setting being on the same trail as the ill-fated Donner Party adds in its own tragic darkness to the whole story. Karina Halle really did go all out on Donners of the Dead, and it shows in the intensity of the novel, and the atmosphere of the story. 

Whether you are a fan of Karina Halle or just looking for a good scare, Donners of the Dead is a must read (with the lights on of course preferably in the middle of the day). If you loved being scared in her Experiment in Terror series, get ready for a completely new level of terrified. 

**Unabridged Bookshelf received this book, in exchange for an honest review**

Open to US and Canada
(All to 1 winner): Signed paperbacks of Donners of the Dead, The Devil's Metal and The Devil's Reprise plus a tote bag AND a one-page handwritten story about the winner in a fight with a zombie!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Thank you for visiting Unabridged Bookshelf!


Giselle said...

I think I would have the hardest time with the criticism. I can totally understand that THAT would make being an author not for everyone. I mean we all-too-often see author drama that stems from just this. And great review it sounds like Karina has done it again with a fantastic read and great characters and this time, zombies! WOOT!

Jaime Lester said...

Yes, yes, yes ma'am I want to read Donners of the Dead. Let me tell you a little story.... I have heard for a LONG time that Karina Halle was a master, and I received countless recommendations for her Experiment in Terror series. I did not listen.... until about a month ago. I ended up devouring all 8 books in a matter of a week and a half! And cannot wait to read the 9th and final book. But I have to wait until May... So, it would be wonderful to have a little more Karina Halle to tide me over until May gets here! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

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