Sunday, August 28, 2011


Christine Cody is the author of the new postapocalyptic supernatural Western Bloodlands series. The first book, Bloodlands,  launched July 26 and will be followed by Blood Rules (August 30) and In Blood We Trust (September 27).

She applied the Page 69 Test to Bloodlands and reported the following:
I would call Bloodlands a paranormal Shane meets Mad Max. At first, we meet Gabriel, a drifter who is looking for his lover—a woman who mysteriously deserted him and fled to the New Badlands, which is a desolate place where people have gone to hide from the terrible events of this new world. He finds trouble there, along with a group of survivalist types who take him in when he’s injured. He’s like a Western movie gunslinger in that he has lost his soul—but this is literal for Gabriel because he’s a vampire. Eventually, a monster hunter appears in the New Badlands, and Gabriel and his protectors need to decide whether it’s worth “outing” him to save the settlers’ lives; Gabriel even wonders if giving himself up is his path to regaining what he remembers of his humanity.

Page 69 is a pretty good place to test out this story, because we meet some members of the survivalist community and get to the bottom of why they won’t face up to a major problem that’s been dogging them—the harassment they’re undergoing from the employees of their new neighbor out in the New Badlands. The page also gives a sense that the protagonist, Gabriel, is hiding his vampirism and has left the urban hubs for more than just a visit to “the nowheres.” It also shows a little that he’s not entirely confident in his vampire skills yet….
Zel’s tone hardened. “Stamp’s presence really brings a crowd together.”

The oldster stepped away from the rooted wall, and from his loose walk, Gabriel could fully see now that he was nothing more than scrawny elbows and knees contained in denim.

“Good neighbors don’t force introductions,” he said. “Stamp’s boys don’t seem to understand that. They’re tone-deaf as to what was happening in the hubs, with the bad-guy raids and the attacks coming from every which way.”

Zel took up where he left off. “Too true—Stamp’s gotta get a grasp on his men. Those fools seem to have no restraint, and it’s going to amount to a terrible something.”

Gabriel could read it in them--these were people who’d retreated more than any of the sanctuary-bound ones in the hubs. A lot of good citizens had done the same. It was much easier to keep to yourself than to put yourself out there.

He knew that more than anyone.

The old guy came to stand a few unsteady feet away from the table, and Gabriel wondered if there was some turtlegrape alcohol in that canteen. He couldn’t smell it on him though.

“We could take Stamp on,” the oldster said. “Him and his guys.”

“Smart,” Zel said, engaging the old man, who seemed to have been waiting for just such an interaction. “While we’re at it, let’s just kill him. Let’s ignore that he might even have connections in the world and his death could spark off a thousand shit scenarios that’d bury us under more than dirt.”

“Aw, we’ve suffered worse before with terrorists and the like. Zel—you could bust them up all by yourself. You and Mariah, with all those weapons her dad collected before he--”

The oldster stopped when he saw Sammy glaring at him. Even Chaplin kept quiet.

This would be a good time to look into someone’s eyes and scan his or her thoughts, if Gabriel had more confidence in doing it.
Learn more about the book and author at the Bloodlands wesbite and on Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: Bloodlands.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue