Patrick Varine’s debut novel, Chupacabra, is now available as a digital novel through the Amazon Digital Publishing Service for only $9.93.

Description: Southern Delaware was just the right place for homicide detective Jack Trappone and his family. He traded in hundreds of murders a year in his native Baltimore for the relatively sleepy streets of Redden Lake, where he spends his days fielding complaints about the town’s illegal immigrants and occasionally catching a case.

But lately, his days and nights are getting darker.

A dangerous gang is making inroads into the local drug market. A strangely-dressed, badly-mutilated body has turned up in the woods. While Jack is sure it’s gang-related, some of the folks in the Hispanic neighborhood think it is the work of the ‘chupacabra,’ a Central American monster that most people consider to be nothing more than an urban legend.

As he investigates the case, Jack joins several other Redden Lake residents in following the rabbit-hole deeper than they can imagine, into a terrifying world where their nightmares are more real than they know.

Patrick Varine, a former Southern Delaware resident, chose the First State as the setting for his first novel. “I spent six years living and working in southern Delaware, and the dynamic between longtime Sussex County residents and the growing Hispanic population seemed to work perfectly as the background for the story,” he said.

Chupacabra is a fictional novel which incorporates elements of Mayan mythology, murder/mystery and horror genres.

“I wanted to write a horror-based mystery with a wholly original bent to it,” Varine said. “Vampires are the flavor-of-the-month when it comes to modern horror storytelling, but I wanted to go in a different direction, hopefully one that will be fresh for readers.”

While the story is based in Sussex County, it is certainly not based in fact.

“A while back, there were rumors that a dangerous gang called MS-13 was making inroads into Sussex, so I ran with that as part of the story,” Varine said. “Although, to the best of my knowledge, there were never any rumors of the legendary Central American ‘goatsucker’ running around the Redden State Forest!”

Varine also chose to publish Chupacabra as an exclusively digital novel, as opposed to the traditional printed book, and encouraged other aspiring authors to “go digital.”

“In the current economic climate, publishers are even more hesitant than usual to take a chance on a new author, and while subsidy publishing – in which an author bears the brunt of the publishing cost – is an option, digital publishing is clearly the wave of the future, and is available at a fraction of the price of traditional book publishing.”

Chupacabra is available for the iPod, iPhone and iPad, as well as the Amazon Kindle and any home computer, by downloading Amazon’s free Kindle app.

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