Teaser Tuesday – A Lesson In Wickedness!

That’s right, lovely people, it’s Teaser Tuesday! I know it’s normally Thursday, but I’m switching things up, just to confuse everybody. I’m going to share a little snippet from A Lesson In Wickedness, the 5th book in the Grim Alliance series, which is well under way! So enjoy a little light reading on your break, ladies and gentlemen. 🙂 (Bearing in mind this is still unedited!)

Tuesday Teaser

The night air was cool as it kissed Mika’s cheek, still damp from the evening’s rain. She leaned back against the white bricks of the house, folding her arms as she cocked one leg against them too, blowing out a harsh breath. She closed her eyes, welcoming the sting of relief as her tired eyeballs rested for a moment. It had been a long few weeks for all the Reapers, but Mika was feeling it now. As the oldest—besides Greek—she had always felt more wearied from than the others. A cold shiver travelled across her skin as an insect dropped onto her arm, flying off again rapidly as her eyes snapped open to stare at it. You’d think they wouldn’t like dead flesh, but there you go. A morose smile curved her lips as she gazed across the garden, lazily watching the tall wildflowers and grass bending against one another in the semi-darkness of twilight.

Her nerves jumped as she was startled by the sound of heavy footsteps coming through the hallway, and Gabe stepped out through the open front door. He pensively turned his green eyes to Mika, rubbing a hand over the blond stubble on his head, giving a shifty look over his shoulder back inside. The sound of the others chatting travelled out to the still air, and he cleared his throat softly. “Er…you’re not going to tell Talia I was out here, are you?”

Mika raised an eyebrow, grinning coyly. “Why? Lover’s quarrel?”

“No, but there might be one if she spots what I’m doing.” In answer to Mika’s frown, he pulled a crumpled pack of cigarettes out of his back pocket, holding them up for her to see before tapping the packet and pulling a slim stick out. He rummaged in his other pocket, finally pulling out a yellow lighter, snapping it and holding the flame close as he took a drag. The tall Reaper’s eyes closed in pleasure, and he took a long drag, placing the lighter back in the seat of his jeans. “Oh, gods. I needed that.” He gave Mika another panicked glance. “Seriously, don’t tell Talia. I’m trying to quit, but it’s fucking hard, you know.”

“Gabe,” Mika admonished, giving a cluck of her tongue. She peered around the corner of the open doorway. The hallway was dark, a shaft of light showing across the floor from the door to the living room, left ajar by a few inches. Laughter came from within, and she could hear the raised sounds of the TV.  Groaning aloud, she turned back to the stillness of the night air, shaking her head at Gabe. “You know I’ll get in trouble if your faerie sees you. And I don’t want to be on the wrong end of Mother Bear.” The Reaper pushed herself off from the wall, her hair bobbing with the movement as she stared at Gabe. He stared back, unblinking, taking another sharp drag of his cigarette as though it might be his last. Eh. It’s his un-life. “Fine. But you have to give me one.”

Gabe scoffed, his forehead wrinkling as he widened his eyes in surprise. “Since when do you smoke?”

“Since you lot never notice me sneaking out the back and spraying myself in deodorant. Since when do you sneak out the front to have one?”

“Touché.” The blond Reaper held his pack out, allowing Mika to take one. He tilted his head back as he passed her the lighter, narrowing his eyes. “You know, smoking is just the tip of the iceberg.”

The lighter made a grinding noise as the flint struck, and a large orange flame leapt up, dying down as Mika pulled it, and the poisonous contents of her cigarette, into her lungs. Passing the lighter back slowly, she blew out a long plume of smoke over her shoulder, resting one hand on her hip. Great, more deep talk. Just what I need when I feel like my brain’s wound down for the year. She cast her eyes back towards the waving wildflowers at Gabe’s statement. “What do you mean by that?”

Gesturing for her to follow with a jerk of his head, Gabe turned and headed over to the far side of the house—the side with no windows—towards a large, black garden sofa. The wooden decking groaned under his weight as he marched over to the couch, sinking himself down into the cushions with a contented sigh, pulling his feet up and resting them against the arm. Mika stepped up to the far end of the corner-sofa, plumping herself down as she continued to stare over at Gabe. I want to know what the hell he meant by that statement. Fear gripped her for a second. She was always worried that her sarcasm and iciness made the others think she didn’t care about their group, when nothing could be further from the truth. I love this gang of misfits—even our new misfits. We’re a family. Even if sometimes it’s like the Addams Family. And I’m Wednesday. Who didn’t love Wednesday?

Copyright © 2016, Miranda Stork.

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News About A Unicorn

Wow, is that…is that a cobweb? Dust? Sock-eating monster? I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to tidy up after having not been here for a while, haha.
SOME GOOD NEWS ABOUT A UNICORN!
Okay, so now I have your attention…there is no unicorn. Got’cha! BUT…I do have some book-related news. The last three months have pushed stuff back even further, but I put my head down and…
*drum roll*
TWICE AS GUILTY, BOOK 4 OF THE GRIM ALLIANCE IS FINISHED!
It’s currently going through editing, but it will be available to download and continue the story of Drew and Devin on FRIDAY 11TH MARCH, people! So make a date in your calendars, or use that handy Siri/Cortana feature you’ve got, and make a date. Just to give you all a tease of what’s to come, here’s some of my favourite random or funny quotes from the book. 😉 (Yes, Greek is there twice, but really, who doesn’t love Greek?)
“You know why,” Greek promptly replied with a grin. “Remember when you and Drew crashed that guy’s bachelor party? With the sheep, and the transvestite stripper? That club had to close down and become a sandwich shop. They never did get that stuff off the walls.”
Helena straightened herself, dramatically throwing her arms around to indicate a mess. “You kind of ‘artfully arranged’ everything. That is, you turned your box upside down, threw everything on the ground, and curled up in your bed for a nap.” She turned around with a smirk, her eyes lit up at teasing the Reaper. “I left your tea on the nightstand. Seemed the only reasonable thing to do.”
Snapping her fingers to light her cigarette with a steadier hand, the Soothsayer narrowed her eyes at the group, leaning over to Greek. “Are they always like this?”
Greek rolled his eyes dramatically, throwing his hands up. “You have no idea. You should see them on Pizza Saturday. Chaos.”
The Soothsayer grinned. “And you’re the ones who don’t get punished? You poor man.”
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Copyright © 2016 Miranda Stork, The Grim Alliance Series

Reaper’s Deliverance Is Released!

Hey everyone! Today the first book in my new Grim Alliance series is released – Reaper’s Deliverance! Scroll down to find out a bit more about it. 🙂

Blurb

When Ryder dies in a horrific motorbike accident, he’s left facing a choice. Go onto his next life, more terrible than his last, or become…a Reaper.

Ryder’s life has little meaning to him. A violent hedonist who left his broken childhood behind, he would rather spend his time chasing women and smashing up bars than consider his future. But when it all comes to an abrupt end, he’s forced to make a decision that changes everything.

Elizabeth is a single mother, and the light of her life, her son Thomas, is terminally ill. With no time for a job, a normal social life, and definitely not a relationship, her world is turned upside-down when Ryder strides in with his biker boots. She’s always known there was something more to the universe than what she can see. But when she learns the real reason for him being in their lives, she has to do something she hasn’t done for a long time. Trust someone.

When little Thomas is threatened by an evil that would misuse his special gift, they must work together, along with a troubled but caring group of reapers. Time is running out to get him back, and Helheim beckons with its black jaws. All of them must fight, and be prepared for the centuries-waiting battle they will kick off.

And will Ryder finally gain his redemption?

Excerpt

The wail of sirens filled the air, followed by the screech of tyres somewhere on the other side of the nightclub. The thump of dizzying music still pounded out from the club, matching Ryder’s heart as it hammered against his ribs. Not waiting to see if the others were following him, he twisted the handles towards the main road through the town, and hit the accelerator, lurching forwards as the heavy clatter of police feet came behind him. Ignoring the shouts and yells, he pulled out onto the road and sped onwards, picking up speed as he pressed his foot harder.

He grinned broadly as the wind he kicked up breezed under the neck of his jacket, sending a rush of cold air tingling down his spine. He narrowed his eyes as he zipped around corners and roundabouts, dipping and diving as though he was on a racecourse. Horns and shouts came and went in isolated blocks of sound as he passed streets full of taxis and club-goers, and he skidded around a red vehicle as it halted in time from an adjoining road. Blood raced through his veins at the thrill, and Ryder let out a joyous laugh, tilting his head back as he became a blur against the muted colours of the quiet neighbourhoods he passed through.

A siren cut through his senses, a mournful wail fast catching up on his tail. Gritting his teeth, Ryder drove the bike harder, gliding around cars as he weaved through the late night traffic. Not again. I’m not fucking going back in, I’ve only been out six months. Sweat formed on his forehead as he felt the throttle of the beast under his legs vibrating across his skin, freezing like ice as it was whipped by the wind. He couldn’t go back inside. Not after the last time. If it was a choice between prison and getting injured, he would risk injury. There were a lot of people in jail he had pissed off over the years, and he would rather not meet them again if he could help it. Coming to the end of the main roadway, Ryder dared a glance over his shoulder, red and blue flashes filling his vision as the police cars narrowed the distance between him and themselves.

He pulled his head back to the road, confusion flooding his brain as he was met with the grill of a large blue truck. A cry of terror ripped itself from his throat as the horn blared loudly into the night, warning him of his impending doom. The headlights of the massive vehicle flashed on and off, blinding him, and he couldn’t stop himself from throwing an arm up to shield his eyes. The bike’s going too fast. The bike’s going too fast. I’ll never stop in time. Ryder slammed the brake down, but the bike squealed with protest as it was forced down sharply from the breakneck speed he had been travelling at. The blue metal bore down on him, and he braced himself for the impact, willing his body to survive, even though he knew it was too late. There was a grinding slam as metal twisted into metal, and the air was knocked from his body as he hit the truck at full speed, feeling as though his lungs had sprung out from his throat. The world tornadoed around him, colours and sounds whirling together in a maelstrom as the bike twisted out from under his legs, throwing Ryder to the ground.

As Ryder Thompson hit the cold, hard ground beneath his cheek, grit digging into his flesh, a burning sensation ripped across his legs and torso, and he gave a gurgle as he tried to cry out, red liquid pooling across his vision. Blinking a few times as the world darkened, he clutched at the air weakly as booted feet charged across to him, blue and red flashing lights meeting his gaze. He tried to move his other arm, but it wouldn’t move when he willed it to, leaving only a cold throbbing as he twitched his shoulder. Voices cried out above him, but they were far away and underwater, burbling in non-coherent syllables as he tried to respond. His tongue was thick against his mouth, and the air grew thinner as he gulped for it, closing his eyelids against the brilliant lights as he gave into the heavy throb behind them…

Where to get your hands on it

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Reapers-Deliverance-Book-Grim-Alliance-ebook/dp/B00LG3BIGK/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404305218&sr=1-2&keywords=reaper%27s+deliverance+miranda+stork

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reapers-Deliverance-Book-Grim-Alliance-ebook/dp/B00LG3BIGK/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404305174&sr=1-2&keywords=reaper%27s+deliverance+miranda+stork

Amazon CAN: http://www.amazon.ca/Reapers-Deliverance-Book-Grim-Alliance-ebook/dp/B00LG3BIGK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404305257&sr=8-1&keywords=reaper%27s+deliverance+miranda+stork

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Snippet Time – Reaper’s Deliverance

Hey, everyone! 🙂 sorry for the lack of posts over the past week or so, I’ve had one of those weeks where you just don’t stop spinning around with work and family. You know the kind of week, right? Anyhoo, to make up for it, here’s a snippet from my new paranormal WIP, Reaper’s Deliverance, and I’ve got a post coming tomorrow about the first line of any book, so keep an eye out! Enjoy! 😀

(Also, my MC here swears quite a lot, but I’ve beeped them out. LOL)

*****

Copyright © Deklofenak at bigstockphoto.com

Copyright © Deklofenak at bigstockphoto.com

This is a joke. A sick joke one of the others is playing on me. Ryder let out a shaking breath, digging his nails into the soft flesh of his palms as he shook his head vigorously. Thoughts tumbled one over the other in his mind, shifting against each other in a flurry of colours and faces. The fear in the pit of his stomach squeezed at him, and he felt the hairs rising up on the back of his neck in response. Limbs trembling, he staggered backwards, away from the nightmare in front of him. The hooded figure simply crooked its finger again, letting out a deep, mournful sigh.

Ryder blew in and out a few calming breaths, drawing himself up and sticking his chin out proudly. Come on, Ryder, what the f*** are you frightened of? It’s a joke. Making the decision firm in his mind, he swallowed back the bile that threatened to erupt from his throat, striding across the hall confidently. His footsteps echoed sharply back to him, the hard rubber soles of his boots hitting the floor with uncustomary heaviness. Stopping just shy of the two figures, Ryder felt a chill travel along his skin, lifting hairs with it in its wake, as he parted his dry lips and passed his tongue across them. “So, who’s the joker? Is it Greg? Matthew? It was Matthew, wasn’t it?” He let out a dry chuckle, his nerves jumping at the croakiness of his own voice.

When no response came from either of the figures gazing down at him with their dark expressions, anger flared in his gut, his natural reaction to anything being withheld from him. It was a reaction every probation officer and police officer had ever seen from him. Temples throbbing, Ryder glanced from one to the other with wild eyes, screaming, “Tell me who the f*** it was!”

“It’s no use shouting, young man. I’m stood right in front of you, and I can hear perfectly, despite my age,” the cloaked man intoned. His voice boomed across the hall, and the resonance of the tone brought memories of worlds long since passed, of lives come and gone in the blink of an eye. He lowered his crooked arm, the fabric of his cloak whispering as he shifted down the steps to come closer. Ryder lifted his boot as if to take a step back, but held his ground, tensing his jaw. The man paused for a second, holding the staff out for the woman by his side to take. She gripped it silently, grasping the wood with both hands as she brought it before her and rested on it.

The man brought his hands up to the hood, pulling it back deliberately. Ryder bit his tongue to prevent whimpering as the deathly countenance of the figure was revealed. His skin was as pale as snow, both eyes milky-white and blind, no hair on his head. Wrinkles covered his skin, but there was something youthful about the way he held himself. “Gilbert Ryder Thompson, I am sorry to greet you here, for one so young. This,” he continued, gesturing around the grand space with raised arms, “is the Hall of Rest.”

“What is this? What’s going on?” Ryder bit out, taking the step back with his boot as he swallowed hard to coax saliva back into his dry mouth.

The figure fixed him with both milky eyes, and uttered, “My name is Ankou, and this is my wife, Morrigan. We are the Guardians of Death. It is our solemn duty to help those who have died…pass over into their next life.”

The words slammed into Ryder like the truck had slammed into his fragile body. Air seemed to evaporate from his lungs, and he clutched at his throat, wheezing for oxygen as his stomach twisted.

 

Taken from ‘Reaper’s Deliverance’, copyright © Miranda Stork, 2014.