Chapter 1


“Dad, it’s getting dark, don’t you think we should go in?”  Marcus called to his father.

“You only want to get inside because you can smell dinner.”  There was a chuckle in the man’s voice.  Dark grey eyes were hard to read as he squinted, trying to see his son. “Jeez Marcus, you’re almost as tall as I am.” 

Marcus straightened his shoulders, pushing long dusty hair out of his eyes.  His full lips split into a lopsided grin, softening the straight line of an aristocratic nose. “If I stood right next to you, I bet I’d be taller.”

“Maybe, but you don’t have my muscles yet.  I’m still stronger.”  He made a fist, pumping up large biceps.

“Getting there.”  Marcus’ voice, so much like his fathers, returned the chuckle.  “Come on Dad, I really am hungry.  How do you expect me to get as strong as you if you don’t let me eat?”

“Ah, but you get strong by working, not eating.  Besides, there are only a couple more rows.”  He turned away from his son, frowning.  “Did you hear that?  Sounds like there’s a man walking in the woods.”

 “I am a man walking in the woods.”  Though softly spoken, there was menace in the voice and Marcus felt the hairs on his arms rise.

  Turning a white face that seemed to hover over a body that could not be seen, the stranger smiled. 

Marcus grabbed his spade. He knew he must get to his fathers side.  He began to run.   It was too late.

He heard his father scream, a sound he had never heard before.  He could not tell what it was he saw, but he knew there was blood, his father’s blood. 

“Dad,” his voice disappeared into the night.  He choked back a sob, swinging the spade with all the strength of a man used to hard labor. The sudden stop, like hitting a cement wall made his jaw snap shut.  There seemed to be an explosion.  Bright lights, a darkness descending. He thought he heard his mother, sister, calling, their voices frightened wails.

It was quiet, dark and so very cold.  He reached out to feel the back of his head, where the throbbing pain was coming from.  It was then he realized why he was so cold.  He was naked.  He tried to stand, but the chains were too heavy.  

 “It’s a cellar, a root cellar, maybe.”  Marcus broke the all too loud quiet.

There were sounds, someone, something was pacing on the floor above.  He shivered.  Not from the cold.  Reaching around, he realized he was not lying in mud.  It was blood.  “Dad,” he fought back the scream, reaching to where he thought his father would be.  Surely, with this much blood, he must be dead.  There was no one near him.  He felt again the wrenching pain.  It was everywhere and he knew the blood was his own.

“I thought I heard you.”  It was the man from the woods.  The bloodless face was thin, with deeply sunken cheeks. A few dark hairs crossed his large skeletal head.  Dark bushy eyebrows sat above impossibly black eyes, eyes that were cold.  

“It will be more fun now that you are awake.”

The chains rattled.

“You were so brave, running to save him when you must have seen what I was doing.  Your father did not satisfy.  Sweaty, dirty, he did not taste good.”  It grinned and the chains once again rattled.  “You, strong as you think you are, cannot break those chains.  They have held stronger men.”

White teeth showed between thin blood drained lips.  “You will see that you are not strong.  Soon you will be crying, begging me to let you die.  I will, of course.  It will be less painful if you cry sooner.”  

Gregor looked to the ceiling and Marcus could see that this time he was not talking to him. 

 “I will show you that he, that no one, is stronger than I was.  I cried, yes, they all do.”  He turned to Marcus.  “You are wondering who I am talking to.  I shall tell you.”

Marcus turned away. Feeling a slap sting his cheek, his chin cruelly grabbed, he was once again looking at his tormentor.  Something rose inside him. Grey eyes darkened to that of an ocean just below the foam.  Sitting as straight as the chains allowed, he looked directly into those soulless eyes.   “I don’t care to know.  Feel free to talk to yourself.”  He swung his head, pushing the hair out of his face as he turned away. “I will not cry for you.  Whatever you do, will not make me beg.  You cried. I won’t.  You will see who’s stronger.”

The growl filled the room. Too quickly he was at Marcus’ side.  There was pain, a searing pain.  Nails, sharp as any butcher knife, sliced the already torn skin of his back, but the chains did not rattle.

“Look at me.”

“I am.”

Stormy grey eyes met black.  A soft, unexpected caress, as the bloodied hand stroked Marcus’ thigh.  “Will it be lovemaking that makes you beg?  Beg for me to stop, or perhaps you will beg for more.”

It took every ounce of the strength gained from years of harvesting potatoes, backbreaking work he’d done since the day he first began to walk.  He sat still, willing his muscles to steady and sent his mind to a different place.  The chains didn’t rattle.

Darkness and Light

Darkness and Light is now two books

Darkness and Light, the Hunter

Darkness and Light, Vampires

My beta reader said she was not able to do her work, she had to continue reading the first book. Unique, my books remain in the horror genre but to better explain them, the sub-genre it is Psychological Horror. Marcus continues but if you compare real life with a supernatural existence, real life is always more difficult. As with all my books, I am consulting experts in the areas I am unfamiliar with and have much to thank them for. I will be selling books in Westerly at the Armory and hope to participate in the Loof festival in North Providence. Feel free to contact me about signed copies. You can purchase them directly from me the payments will be handled through PayPal.

I have a question for those who’ve read my books. Which character is modeled after me, meaning If I were a character which one would I be? Please don’t go for the easy and obvious. To the first person who correctly answers the question, I will forward a published book of your choosing. Send the answer to my author e-mail. Be patient, but know I will check.

I will also begin working on a compilation of short stories/poems. The one my sister read, frightened that it might be true, will be my first selection and yes, in the darkest moments of my life I had wished it were true.

Darkness and Light

Darkness and Light is in the editing phase. It will be two books. In Darkness and Light, The Hunter we find Marcus struggling to find a way to live with the changes Gregor forced upon him and the skills his long battle gave him. A man used to moving, to seeing evil has grown into a man who sees through people’s lies and see the monster too many try to hide. In the second we see the dramatic results of his decisions. With Maddy by his side, being a man unable to completely free himself of the creature who changed him in ways he never expected, he finds life cannot be defined by limitations, but only by the discovering all he can be.

Darkness and Light

The Hunter

And Darkness and Light

Book Two


Westerly Armory

I know it’s been awhile since my last post. COVID canceled most of my plans. I’m still hoping things will open up soon. Presently I am in the process of completing the latest books in my Darkness and Light series. Hopefully editing will be completed in time for the books to be available for sale before Christmas.

Now the reason for the above title. I will be participating in the Armory Craft show on Sunday November 7th. As I did last year, buy any two adult novels and you’ll receive my Children’s picture book “Peacedale” It’s perfect for young children learning life lessons about getting along with those who don’t look like us. I hope to see you there.

RI Authors Showcase

Martha Reynolds, award winning Rhode Island author, hosts an authors blog through-out November, introducing us to many of Rhode Islands talented authors. I will be highlighted on November 26th. Tune in and learn about my second book (written second) A Darkness Descending. It is a prequel to Dark Night of the Soul and though either one can be read first, it makes a good introduction to my character Marcus. Leave a comment on Martha’s blog to give you a chance to win a $200.00 Amazon gift card. I will be sending out a free signed copy to the comment of the day.

If you’d like a signed copy of any of books, email me at drzannelliauthor@gmail.com. All my books are available for $15.00 plus shipping and handling. Payment accepted via PayPal. I hope to hear from you.

Below are two book reviews from A Darkness Descending. I hope will entice you to pick up the book.

  I was so happy to get the back story of this enigmatic character. Marcus was the intriguing main character in Debra’s first novel, “Dark Night of the Soul”, a well written first novel in the horror genre. I really loved Marcus, so when I heard about this origin story I had to read it, and it was worth it. It really brings Marcus to life. While the first novel is great as a standalone, I recommend that you read this one first. What a ride.

Diana Rotelli

I loved it!  Marcus is a sympathetic hero with a code of ethics forged by his early years with a loving family.  I love the play between him and Gregor and his ability to torture the torturer.  I love the human kindness he meets along the way.

Below are the latest reviews of my first novel, Dark Night of the Soul

Awesome book by an awesome author with a very bright future.

5 our of 5 stars

What a phenomenal book.  I didn’t want to put it down.  Now to read the second book.  I can’t wait.

4 out of 5 stars

A unique vampire story.  This book was gripping, had quirky characters, and a unique ending.

5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book even though I’d never before been interested in vampires.  The basic storyline is compelling and each character has been fully fleshed out by the author.  Wonderful, descriptive language!!

5 out of 5

Dark Night of the Soul was intriguing and kept me wondering what was going to happen until the very end!  It was a great outing for this new author and I can’t wait for more.

5 out of 5

The best “vampire” story I’ve read.  This is a great story.  Marcus is an enigmatic and conflicted man; a man of strong moral character in an impossibly strange situation.  Filled with well-rounded and (mostly) likable characters that you will really care about.  I read it in one sitting.  Though this is a fine standalone book, I recommend that you also read the prequel, “A Darkness Descending.

Westerly Armory

It’s coming. I hope to see you there. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to meet with my readers and friends. Let’s enjoy the day, buy something for gifts, maybe a gift for ourselves – a good book perhaps – and get what sounds to be some tasty food. I’m all for the chocolate.

There’s going to be 26 vendors including Rhode Island authors with their books, silver jewelry, metal sculptures (large and small), water-color greetings cards, framed rock art, carved wooden bowls & other carvings, woven goods, hand-made tote bags, clamdles (candles in shells), pearl jewelry, photographs, RI games, Seacoast Sweets (upscale chocolate patties with assorted fillings), and a large display of antiques. Ninigret Quilters will have a quilt raffle, as well with one of their famous and fabulous quilts. The Armory will have its own booth with items to sell – from Samurai swords, WWII overcoats, and a few antiques — to the Armory’s brand new black fleece fests with embroidered Armory – and tan canvas zip-top carry-bags with embroidered Armory. The snack bar will have wonderful sandwiches – one kind has hand-made bread with various fillings, a very special soupy (soprasata — sp??) sandwich will be available (called “Westerly’s gold”), fresh cut-up fruit in cups, home-made cookies, plus water and soda. Coffee is on us this year to vendors so we’ll have that for you when you come in, I hope.


In the Darkness and Light series

Book1: A Darkness Descending and Book3: Where There was Darkness are available in all formats

Dark Night of the Soul is only available as a paperback or Kindle at Amazon. Though you do not have to read Dark Night after A Darkness Descending, I highly recommend reading Where There was Darkness Last.

To those who have read any of the above, please write a review(Good I Hope) and let me know if you think I should write a fourth. It’s all mapped out and ready for the writing.

Sister World1 and 2 are available everywhere. Both have received excellent reviews. There aren’t many reviews sent in but although I’d like to complain, I hardly ever did reviews myself so I understand why there are so few. My biggest and best review, came from my brother-in-law, so it can’t be posted. Amazon doesn’t know that he is very quick to tell me what I do wrong. He loved both books but likes second one more. As he put it: “he really liked the battle scenes and the way I resolved the problems, especially how certain people got what they deserved. I cannot say more. I hope I said enough to interest you.

My mother did not live long enough to read Sister World 2. She loved the first one. She told me it was a p perfect blend of science and characters you’d remember long after you finished the book, with just enough whimsey to make her smile.

I hope you enjoy them.

My heart will always be with Marcus, the main character in the Darkness and Light series. In him you find a strength I wish we all had. I can only hope I could face the challenges sent his way, making the choices he makes. You see his growth, from the boy in a Darkness Descending to what Gregor tried to make him. Under all circumstances, Marcus’ remains true to his nature, using the values taught to him as a child (book one), to become the man you meet in book two.

You can now purchase signed copies either at the Westerly Armory November first or through my business e-mail, payment through my PayPal account.


Good Reading.

Book Selling

To anyone interested in purchasing my books directly from me, you can reach me at drzannelliauthor@gmail.com. Your payment will be processed via pay pal, referencing the email above. Once I receive notice of payment I will sign and ship the books. At present, to make things easier for all of us, I charge $15.00 per book plus a shipping fee of 3.00 per book and sales tax of $1.00 for a total of $19.00. The shipping is the same whether it’s being shipped to someone in RI or another state. Of course if you’re in Rhode Island you can come to book selling/signing events, which I’m hoping will return. I will post any that I will be participating in. At this time the only upcoming one is at the Westerly Amrory on 11/1 from 10am to 3pm. The cost for shipping overseas is pricey and beyond my control. The taxes remain the same but the shipping cost is $24.00/per book. Sorry but I have to say in that case Amazon is the better deal.

Correction to Going Wide

I am sorry to say that Dark Night of The Soul and A Darkness Descending will not be available on all formats until the middle of October. I recommend purchasing them through Amazon, paperback or Kindle prior to reading Where There Was Darkness. We don’t want to give any story plots away. You can always contact me at drzannelliauthor@gmail.com

Westerly Armory 2nd annual Exhibit and Sale

Hello friends. On November first I will be selling and signing books at the Westerly Armory. The event will include many talented crafters and in these extraordinary times, it will be one great way to leave our problems behind if only from 10am to 3pm. The Westerly Armory is at 41 Railroad Avenue Westerly, RI 02891 Stop by and say Hi. I hope to see you there.