Blog Tour | Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle {Guest Post & Giveaway}

Posted 25 February, 2014 by Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side in Blog Tour, Giveaways, Guest Posts / 6 Comments

by Karina Halle

Today I’m super excited to be hosting a stop on the Donners of the Dead Tour and have the pleasure of having author Karina Halle on the blog sharing some films that inspired her new horror romance. If you love a story that’s going to keep you on the edge of your seat and throws in a little smexy romance, add this to your TBR list ASAP!
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“Three Movies that Inspired My Book” by Karina Halle

When it comes to writing a zombie book, it’s hard not to be influenced by zombie films. That said, I actually haven’t seen many zombie films. I know, considering I’ve written eleven horror books, that might come as a shock but the truth is that zombie films scare the sh*t out of me. I don’t know why it is, maybe because zombies don’t represent a threat to one or two individuals but to mankind as a whole. I mean, how do you win against that?

That said, the zombies in Donners of the Dead aren’t your typical zombies and even the classification of zombie is a pretty loose one. As such, there weren’t many films that could match the twist on the creature, nor the time period (1850s).

Except for one: Ravenous. This 1999 black comedy horror gem of a film stars Robert Carlyle and Guy Pierce in a tale loosely based on the Donner Party. There aren’t any zombies but it does deal with the supernatural effects of Cannibalism. The only thing missing from Ravenous is the romance.

The films Duel in the Sun (with my beloved Gregory Peck in a rare lecherous role), John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) and of course Pocahontas are some other films that could be called influential, if not carry similar themes of forbidden love, history and racism.

That said, I’m not sure if any one film directly influenced Donners of the Dead. While something like Ravenous is fairly similar, I didn’t actually watch the film until I had started writing Donners.

There is only one thing that I could count as somewhat directly influencing Donners of the Dead and it actually isn’t a film. It’s the video game Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. I mean, the hero in that game, John Marston ain’t too different from Jake McGraw, at least not in the looks department and when you take into the account that Undead Nightmare combines zombies AND a western, well you can see how it influenced me. I came up with the idea for Donners about two years ago and though I can’t remember how exactly I came up with it, I’m sure it was a combination of playing Red Dead Redemption then hearing or reading something about the Donner Party and then wondering “what if?”

Or I just thought that Donners of the Dead was a funny title and just ran with it!
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Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle


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 Karina Halle

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.


Giveaway provided by author

Tour wide giveaway
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


Follow the entire tour HERE.

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6 Responses to “Blog Tour | Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle {Guest Post & Giveaway}”

  1. The Donner party is new to me – being Canadian we never learned about it in school and I never heard of it so I’m very curious. Thanks for being on the tour, Lori! 🙂

  2. Stephanie F.

    I love the idea of this book. Taking a well know story and twisting it in such an awesome way. I can’t wait to read this. I know it won’t disappoint cause Karina is an amazing author.

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