Another Sunny Day by D. K. Janotta: On Sale For A Limited Time!
ANOTHER SUNNY DAY
(Astrid Sonnschein series Book 2)
by J. K. Janotta
Astrid Sonnschein is in trouble again. Her mom disappears without trace, leaving her to negotiate miles and miles of dangerous forest to reach safety. Then the woman-hunt begins. Astrid and her boyfriend Mike track Mom from San Francisco to a spooky castle in darkest Transylvania, meeting several unexpected relatives on the way. It gets worse, as what appears to be a civil war has broken out in Romania, and our intrepid couple must escort two little girls to their grandma who lives at the other end of the warzone, at the same time trying to build their own shaky relationship.
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Excerpt from Another Sunny Day:
For as long as I can remember, my main source of nourishment has been blood. That must mean something, and the only logical explanation is that I have more than a hint of something non-human in me. Angus liked to mock me, laughing at me for my disgust of a necessity. He kept telling me it was no different to eating a rare steak, the way many humans do, and nor should I forget the semi-nomadic Maasai people from the savannas of Kenya and Tanzania, who live on fresh blood and milk from their cattle. I tried to convince myself he was right. Occasionally it made drinking blood easier. But most times I just wanted to throw up.
Mom was right. I couldn’t survive here on my own. Not against beings who saw me as a threat. Somebody who knew where to find them, who with a stray word, or a deliberate one, could have a mob swarm the place and wipe them off the face of the planet. Somebody better off dead. For that reason, I’d never intended to stay at home for long. All the same, I’d hoped Mom and I could have found time to have a civilized discussion about where we should take refuge, instead of her just running out on me. But maybe she was right to decide for us both. There was no longer a future for us here, not since my stepfather had been killed. Though George Sonnschein had turned out to have been worse than evil, with him around we’d still had a measure of protection, but now he was dust on the wind, and the clan had declared hunting season open on Mom and me.
For a long time, I stared at the note again. She wanted me to go back to her sister’s and be safe. And to do that she expected me to undertake an ultra-hazardous journey through the forest all by myself. But how else could I reach the haven of Aunt Jean’s holier-than-thou house? When I’d looked outside, I’d noticed the BMW had gone. That selfish woman expected me to walk. Or run. Sixty miles through hostile territory. Forest she’d always told me never to venture into alone. But now I had no choice if I wanted to stay alive. If by some miracle I made it as far as the bridge I could hope to hitch a ride for the remaining forty miles. Or call Mike and beg him to come fetch me.
I scrunched the note into a ball and threw it hard at the nearest wall. A very human part of me wanted to shout and scream, but I held myself in check, knowing such a waste of emotion wasn’t worth the effort. I needed to stay cold-blooded and go upstairs to pack for my journey, instead of letting my anger at Mom overcome me. But I was angry, furiously angry. Surely she’d understood why I’d left Mike behind and come home to stay with her.
But maybe I’d come back here for a selfish reason also. Experience told me I was hardly safer out there among humans. George had been against me leaving home, but Mom had insisted I was ready to make my own choice. But after all that had happened in the year since I had left, I wasn't so sure I’d made a good decision. George may have been right all along.
In a rage, I pounded up the stairs to my attic, changed into clean running gear, and stuffed a change of clothes into my backpack. There was no time to lose. I needed to make use of all the midsummer daylight hours on offer and the clock was ticking. As I packed, I prayed for rain too, or at least a buildup of clouds to block out the sun’s rays. Jogging the forest paths instead of the road I could take advantage of any shade, but there were many treeless areas I would have to sprint across, and for such obstacles maximum cloud cover was essential.
Next stop was my stepbrother’s room. I wanted the big killing knife that hung on his wall with his other trophies. As I weighed it in my hand, I didn’t doubt for a moment Angus would be as mad as the biggest hornet in history at me for ‘borrowing’ his most prized possession, but I had the feeling I might need it.
To be honest, I could hardly blame Angus for hating me. If I’d been like him, doomed to be frozen in time, aged twenty-two for eternity, I could easily see it becoming too much to deal with. I’d been tormented enough being sixteen for just one year. As a little kid I hadn’t understood my stepbrother’s problem, couldn’t accept it, and I kept trying to get him to like me. I really wanted him to like me. I thought it would help. Instead I just made him despise me more, and in the end, I came to hate him right back. And I feared him too. As did Mom, with good reason. If that psycho so decided, he would easily be able to kill me. While George was around he never would have dared, but now things were different, and one of my greatest enemies sometimes lurked in the room below mine. But not recently. Which was good because I had enough problems already without adding Angus to the list.
Sighing, I dragged myself out of my own head and went back to Mom’s room, where I sat on her bed, wiped away a tear, and smoothed out her note. After reading it through once more, I folded it carefully and slid it into an inside pocket of my jacket. I figured I’d need to show the note to Aunt Jean, who doubtlessly would be just as mad at her baby sister as I was, and then we would have to work out our next move. But first I needed to make it to the far side of the forest without dying.
After a final look round the house, I sat on the stoop to lace up my red running shoes, with a lump growing in my throat. I’d never be coming back here. This was it, my final farewell to this village and good riddance to its sleeping occupants. I hoped to be far enough ahead of the pack by nightfall, at which time I planned to climb a tree, cross all my fingers and toes, and hope for the best. Thank God summer nights were short. The moon had just started to wane too. Given the tough terrain between here and the bridge I reckoned I would need to sleep rough two nights. After the bridge I’d be safe from the monsters that stalked the darkness this side of it. I shook my head in self-disgust. Monsters? Why didn’t I call them by their real name? Vampires.
A harsh gust of wind blew my hair over my face. I was ready to go. I slung my pack over my left shoulder and set off at a steady jog into the haunted forest, not looking back for an instant. Okay, humanity, here I come.
Meet Author D. K. Janotta
D. K. Janotta lives up the mountain from Lake Geneva in Switzerland with his uncannily beautiful Romanian wife and two white mice both of whom have extraordinarily long teeth. On sunny days he runs wild over hills alive with the sound of yodelling. On rainy days he stays home and builds monsters.
Interview with D. K. Janotta:
Q: Hi D. K. Janotta! Tell us a little more about yourself.
DKJ: My name is D. K. Janotta. A long, long time ago, I was born in the UK, but now make my home in Switzerland. I write thrillers and paranormal romance. My life-partner is from Eastern Europe, and the mythology and legends from this part of the world fascinate me. I find great inspiration in them for my stories.
Q: For those who are new to your books, what is the story about?
DKJ: ‘Another Sunny Day’ is the sequel to ‘Fifty Percent Vampire’, featuring Astrid Sonnschein, who is an eiqhteen-year-old troubled teen very unsure of her ancestry, split between two very different worlds, and trying to decide in which one she belongs. Both worlds want to claim her for their own and are fighting viciously to do so, but in the end it’s Astrid’s decision where she sees her future. So it’s very much a psychological coming-of-age story with much drama and romance thrown in.
Q: Name a few of your favorite authors or books.
DKJ: Favorite authors and books :- Anything written by Sir Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams or William Shakespeare. I’m also inspired by movie directors Quentin Tarantino, Ron Howard and Joss Whedon.
Q: What is your ideal reading experience?
DKJ: We have three school-age kids who are currently homeschooling due to Coronavirus, which makes it kinda hard to find time for reading currently! I’ll be glad when this totally disastrous year is behind us.
Q: Where can our readers find you? (Social media, website, etc.)
Thanks for chatting with us today, D. K. Janotta!