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Originally publsihed at Fangoria.com on August 15, 2010

VAMPIRES IN DEVIL TOWN (out August 31 from Grindhouse Press) delves into the forbidden underbelly of a small town, which holds all of its dark secrets. This is a gripping read, from start to finish, by first-time author Wayne Hixon.

Rachel Stokes has trouble sleeping during the late hours of the night. Her longtime boyfriend lovingly proposed marriage just last month, and at 19 years old, Rachel wonders if she is fully ready for matrimony. She contemplates moving out of her home, which is just part of the huge responsibilities waiting for her. As her mind drifts off thinking about how happy Jacob makes her, two kidnappers suddenly storm into her locked home.

The young bride-to-be is yanked from her bed and knocked unconscious. Her abductors, Bones and Rain, swiftly drag her into a black van. They are delivering Rachel to a secret dwelling located in rural Lynchville. Their orders are to make sure she is brought in alive, as her body is integral to an upcoming sacrifice.

During the time Rachel is being kidnapped, her fiancé Jacob is nervously pacing around his apartment. The TV set somehow turns on automatically, displaying graphic images of torture. Jacob wants to believe this is a hallucination, even though he recognizes the local pharmacist on the screen. While the tortured druggist screams, pleading for his life, two black-cloaked men douse his bloodsoaked body with gasoline. Jacob pulverizes the TV with his bare fists after watching the man being burned alive.

No one in the small town of Lynchville is safe from Sad House. Rumors say the abandoned building disappears and reappears by itself. Inside the terrifying place lurk the predatory Devils. Taking the shapes of wolves, the Devils creep around the house, protecting the unseen inhabitants, never allowing invaders to enter when the structure is visible. This notorious household is run by two fanged immortals, Ernst and Ilya. They are the orchestrators of a violent cult, worshippers of the Dark Fire, and command their members to bring them sustenance. Because he is the chosen favorite, Zack brings them teenage girls to devour. Following the rituals, with the right sacrifice, the bloodthirsty duo will be able to open a portal to another dimension. Upon her arrival at Sad House, Rachel wonders if she will be there with Jacob on her wedding day.

This novel’s combination of haunted houses, ghosts and bloodsuckers makes, for most of its length, for a remarkably absorbing read. Hixon packs each detailed paragraph with bizarre twists and nonstop thrills. You can pre-order a signed copy now at Grindhouse Press’ official website.