WIP Wednesday – StS

I shared the beginning of the prologue for Surviving the Shadows during an author takeover on Sunday. Now that it’s been a few days, I’m going to share it here. Rewrites are coming along, and it looks like I’ll be able to hit my new deadlines, but again, no official release date until my editor has it. I hope you enjoy this in the meantime!

Unedited

Copyright Miranda Turner 2019

Prologue

Gabriel wasn’t sure how long he’d been trapped in this place, but it had been more like weeks than days. The heat and darkness pressed in on him, blinding him to his surroundings as he hung there, miserable and sweaty. He’d been there long enough that his hunger had given way to a deep emptiness in his gut and his lips were cracked from lack of moisture. His long dark hair lay in a tangle down his back, both wet and greasy. It had been so long since he’d properly bathed. To feel the cool touch of water on his skin sounded like heaven. He was lucky if he got water to drink.

The sour, decaying smell of the air here had caused him to gag in disgust when he was newly arrived. Now it had become his normal, invading his pores until his scent matched its foulness. One more sign of how this place was taking him over, fundamentally changing him into something closer to the darkness—at least, trying to. He was too strong to let it win; he had to believe that.

Gabriel gazed down at his once powerful body, now emaciated, frail, and incapable of saving him from his current situation. His captors kept him under control by not providing him with food or allowing him to feed. Every rib in his torso stood out in stark relief, and his mouth was so dry his tongue was swollen. His blood moved through his veins like sludge, pushed by his barely beating heart.

He’d been weakened already when they captured him. Barabbas’s training had to be harsh to be effective. And, as part of that training, he’d brought Gabriel to the Underworld, thinking that being closer to the source of his Daemonic power might help him connect the two halves of his soul. It had worked, at first.

Gabriel, what’s wrong with you? Get up,” Barabbas scolded him as he lay on the floor after having been flattened by a blast of fire.

“I’m trying, Uncle. I’m just so tired. Everything on me hurts. This is what I imagine humans feel like when they’re sick. But I can’t get sick, can I?” Gabriel was baffled. Why did he feel so terrible? The lethargy was bone deep and almost painful. He didn’t even want to get up. Maybe he could just take a nap right here.

Barabbas walked over and kicked the bottom of his foot. “Get up.” With a groan, Gabriel rolled over and got to his knees, but as he tried to stand, his knees gave out and he went crashing back down.

“Fuck. I don’t like this. Something is wrong,” Barabbas said, grabbing Gabriel and pulling him to his feet. “We’re getting out of here.” Barabbas flashed them back to the human realm, and Gabriel was able to take a deep breath for the first time in what felt like days.

Even with the setback, he’d been getting closer to achieving his goals of a cohesive soul, a Daemon side that was comfortably under control, and returning to his team when they’d snatched him. He’d just still been too weak to fight off the sheer numbers they’d sent after him. From what he could tell, the process of integration had completed in this dark place out of self-preservation.

The two halves of his soul had become one mid beating in an effort to help him survive. The merging had stolen his breath and drawn his legs up to his belly as a sharp stabbing sensation assailed his chest. The breath had sawed in and out of his lungs as he regained his equilibrium before Dantalion, his demonic tormentor, could take advantage of his weakness. It was only later he’d realized what had happened.

Now, his captors were keeping him as weak as possible, and the longer he was here, the less fight he had. Something about the atmosphere seemed to suck his powers away just like before.

No…not his powers. It felt like it was ripping out part of the very soul he’d worked so hard to heal.

Running Too Fast; Hit a Tree

You know those moments in life when you “think” things are going well: you’re finally getting a handle on things, you’ve made excellent decisions to help your life run smoother, and you just have to get through this last month? Then BAM, tree to the face. I’m in one of those moments right now.

I recently posted of my decision to shut down most of my editing business because it was hurting my writing. It was hurting it more than I knew. I’ve already pushed this book back once because of family illness in February, then in March we were hit with Influenza A and it took us out. Through all of that, I wrote a book…badly.

Don’t get me wrong, the story has great bones, and it’s fixable. But it definitely needs fixed. I’m worried that I will lose you guys through this process of me finding the right balance in my life between editing, family, and writing, but I at least believe I have finally found it, which will alleviate these problems in the future and allow me to hit my deadlines.

As for today, today I must say I’m delaying my book to give you the best book possible. I don’t want to let you guys down, and I don’t want to let my characters down. That’s exactly what I’d be doing if I didn’t take the time to fix what’s broken. I hope you’ll stay with me, and while I’m hoping for the release to still occur in May, I’m making no definitive date announcements until it’s with my editor.

But I will show you the full cover by the amazing Lou Harper as a bonus.

The End of a Chapter

When I first became a member of this community of authors, writing professionals, and fans, I was a reader, and I always will be. As I got more involved in the community, I slowly began to become a Beta reader and even had the nickname “The Plot Doctor” for a while. Upon the realization that I was to become a single mother of eight (I mean, I knew how many kids I had. It was the single part that was a surprise.), I moved to full time editing work. But in my heart of hearts, I was always a writer.

Yesterday, I posted on Facebook that I was shutting down my editing business. I’m keeping a select few long term clients so that I’ll be editing at most two books a month. This way, I will have time to write and be a mom, not just some sort of editing gremlin who never sleeps and is always grumpy and often sick. Plus, I need downtime too. I just have to make it through this month, which is frankly going to be hell.

This month I have five books on my editing schedule, not to mention edits on my own book will be returned to me. I already had to push my book release back because of editing work and the crazy amount of illness that has occurred in my home this winter. Not only were the kids dropping left and right, but my health was compromised by the crazy schedule I was keeping and trying to care for my family at the same time. It was this that ultimately led to my decision to shut it all down and focus on my number one passion: writing.

Starting in May, I will have at most two books (maybe three on occasion) on my schedule for edits, leaving me plenty of time to craft my own stories. Getting book two of The Bearer of Truth series done has been a nightmare. Add to that the normal impostor syndrome, worries about how readers are going to take the book, some feedback that shook me for a while, and I had a soup of self-doubt, anxiety, and depression just waiting to drown me. But, ultimately, I pulled up my big girl pants and made some changes to the story, though not too many. I have to write what is in my heart and go where my characters lead. I have beta feedback to go through and edits are coming, and I know I will put out the best version of the story possible.

This book isn’t about the fluffy love stuff. Book one wasn’t really either, which is why it wasn’t marketed as a romance but an urban fantasy. This series is slow burn when it comes to the romance. They have more important things to accomplish, and let’s face it, Gabriel and Evander aren’t getting anywhere near a healthy relationship until they can take the time to work on it, and time is something they just don’t have right now. Plus, they’re both kind of assholes sometimes.

I hope you all will stick with me through their journey. It’s filled with many perils and a lot of heartbreak, but I promise it’ll be worth it in the end.

Surviving the Shadows – The Bearer of Truth – Book 2

In other news, I have a tentative release date of May 6th for Surviving the Shadows. I will be doing a preorder once again, and it should be up before the original release date since I had promo already scheduled all around that date. When the preorder link is live, I will release the full cover, but for now, here’s a cover tease and the edited and reedited blurb. Blurbs are hard. lol

Blurb – Surviving the Shadows

Gabriel has been gone longer than predicted, and Evander is growing increasingly worried each day that passes without his return. Confounded by their leaders’ lack of answers, Evander and the team begin to fear the worst.

In the midst of fruitlessly searching Miami for clues to the Daemon Abaddon’s whereabouts, Evander begins to have disturbingly vivid dreams. With a little help from a newly-returned and empty-handed Michael and Barabbas, Evander discovers Gabriel has been calling out for help across their nascent bond. With a little backup from an unlikely source, they set off to rescue Gabriel from the depths of the Underworld.

Gabriel is old friends with torture, and his captors haven’t been gentle. Despite growing weaker every day, Gabriel resolves to survive long enough for rescue, or to die fighting, until a Dark Seer begins to dredge up the terror of Gabriel’s horrific childhood, threatening to destroy his mind and soul. Nearing the end, Gabriel manages a last-ditch effort to contact help, reaching out to Evander in his dreams.

Against all odds, Evander and the team fight through the Underworld to reach Gabriel, and come face to face with mortality. Sacrifices made for the bonds of brotherhood nearly break them, and Gabriel learns the hard way that embracing the darkness while fighting for the light may be the only way to survive.

From the underbelly of Reno to the glitz and glam of Vegas, Gabriel, Evander, and the men they call family will be tested, and the final confrontation with Gabriel’s maker may be the end of everything they hold dear.

 Surviving the Shadows is an LGBTQ urban fantasy with a romantic subplot. It is a direct sequel to Shadowing the Light and reading the first book in the series is essential to enjoying this one. Please see the disclaimer on the Copyright Page for content advisories.

It’s Been Almost a Month

Hi guys! Remember me? I almost don’t at this point. February was a rough month for me. It was partially my own fault because I still haven’t learned to say no and overbooked myself for edits for other authors. Then my kids got sick, and I mean sick. My oldest son ended up with some rare disorder that caused blood to pool underneath his skin that we’re still dealing with repercussions from. Of course, I also got sick, so it derailed everything.

On top of all of that, I’m going through the lengthy and complicated process of getting my youngest son diagnosed for his delays and interesting behaviors. I have been told he has Global Developmental Delay and sensory issues so far. They’re waiting for insurances approval to do genetic testing, which may tell us more, especially as the genetic counselor felt he had some of the appearance markers for fragile X.

Long story short, I’ve spent the last weeks frantically catching up on my work for others in between caring for my children, and my book suffered for it. I did hit the end, and it’s now with an alpha reader, but I’m pushing it back to early May publication instead of late April so I can give it the attention it deserves before I put it in readers’ hands. It looks like it’ll release about two weeks after I originally planned.

My plan is to return to my regular blogging schedule, which I haven’t managed to do yet, next week. I’ll start on Monday with a small excerpt from the new book. Thank you for sticking with me while I was quiet. I appreciate all of you.

Fantasy Friday Ish

This Fantasy Friday will be a bit different because I’m on a writer’s retreat trying to write as much of book 2 as possible before I get hit with my very full editing schedule for February. I have four, maybe five, books on my schedule for the month, and I need book 2 of the BoT series to my beta reader on the 25th. It still needs to go to my alphas before that too. I’m trying to finish it this week. If I can get 25K more done over these next three days, then I should only have about 15 – 25K to go before I can send it off.

So, in lieu of a Fantasy Friday, you’re getting a cover and blurb reveal for A Blaze in the Dark. Antonio and Bain’s novella about how they met, and book 1 of the BoT World Stories series. Releasing February 7th and will be available in both ebook and paperback.

A Blaze in the Dark – BoT World Stories

Blurb

Bain never thought he’d escape the prison he’d lived in for the last five years. He spent his days chained up like an animal, and his nights…they were better not spoken about. Until one day Antonio came stumbling into his darkness, lighting a fire in his soul and giving him a chance at a new life.

Antonio loved his position as a Bellator, and he loved his brother Luc; it was Luc’s friends he could do without. When he came upon an emaciated and beaten boy at his brother’s best friend David’s house, he knew he had to get him out of there. Risking his place on his team, his relationship with his brother, and even death was something he’d never regret. After all, Bain was Antonio’s sodalis vitae, and soulmates were forever.

The small problem of Bain being a member of the Tenebrix, the Bellators’ mortal enemies, was nothing compared to what could happen if David found out where he was. But Antonio won’t let anything—race, being hunted by his own kind, or Bain’s fears—keep him from finally claiming his mate on Valentine’s Day.

This novella is a standalone in The Bearer of Truth world and takes place three years before Shadowing the Light. Antonio and Bain do appear in The BoT series as side characters, but you do not need to have read those books to read this one or vice versa.

This book is LGBT Romance and Urban Fantasy. Not recommended for readers under 18. Use the Look Inside feature or download a sample to see additional content advisories on the Copyright page.

Cover by Sloan’s Design Stop.

BoT World Lore & Announcements

When I was looking for subject matter for my blog tour for Shadowing the Light, I decided it would be fun to share background information that would never make it into my books. I shared small snippets on the blog tour, but I’m going to expand and further explain here in weekly posts. There will also be updates about my writing progress, publication dates, takeovers, promo, etc., but this is something that I’m really excited to share with you.

The Boring Stuff ;P

Let’s take care of the housekeeping first. Here are my updates and announcements:

I’ll be finishing A Blaze in the Dark, Antonio and Bain’s novella, today, self-edits tomorrow, and off to the beta and editor. The novellas will be published as a separate series because of Amazon’s lovely numbering rules. Tentative publication date: February 7th.

January 20th ~ I’ll be doing a takeover in Ana Newfolk’s group at 7:30. There will be takeovers all weekend in there so you should check it out. https://www.facebook.com/groups/208814836439843/

January 30 – February 3 ~ I will be completely unplugged. My kids’ dad is coming into town and I’m retreating to an Airbnb with lots of snacks and my laptop to try to reach the end on book 2 of Gabriel and Evander. I have big plans to rework the first half of the book that I’ve already written before then because I realized I don’t quite like how I was approaching it, and I will hopefully add a few more new words and be ready for the home stretch when I lock myself away.

I will not be sending out newsletters for a while because of the pesky physical address rule. While I love you all, I’m not sending out my home address to strangers. As soon as I’m able to maintain a PO Box, I’ll do newsletters. In the meantime, you can follow me here.

Part 1 – Immortal Warriors Creation

Before humans walked the earth, it was an inhospitable place. The waters boiled, the lava flowed, earthquakes shook the land, and a war raged. Daemons and Angeli were pitted against each other in an eternal battle neither side could win. For centuries they roamed the earth, destroying everything in their path, fighting on the wind and sea, devastating the planet, but neither good nor evil ever triumphed.

The Creator and Lucifer became weary over the centuries; the constant struggle for supremacy weighed heavily upon them, and they lost heart. They were ready to lay down their weapons, rest, and try to enjoy their immortal lives without the constant bloodshed. Calling a temporary truce, they met at a neutral location and made the decision to retreat from the earth and ban Daemons and Angeli from roaming there. They would bring the earth back to life and create others who would live and thrive on the surface and not require their control but be free to live as they saw fit.

To police the Earth, maintain the balance, and keep the Angeli and Daemons away, they each created their own set of immortal warriors. The Creator brought the Bellator Luminis into being, and Lucifer the Tenebrix Meam. The Bellators would defend the light, fight off the darkness, and be a force for good in the world. The Tenebrix would oppose the light and spread darkness, for without darkness, the light cannot be appreciated.

When creating these special immortal warriors, the Creator and Lucifer decided to give them traits of both celestial beings and humans. Bellators would have a mixture of the Angeli’s blind faith in the Creator and the human gift of freewill. The Tenebrix would have the same human gift and a deep commitment to Lucifer’s agenda. It was when they were sent to earth that problems began to arise.

Living among the humans, the immortal warriors began to long for their ability to create bonds with one another and have relationships and families. These were privileges that had been denied the warriors by the rules which governed their existence. This dissatisfaction led to them becoming apathetic and endangered the balance. The Creator and Lucifer met once again and decided to combat their warriors’ dissatisfaction by granting them mates and allowing the Bellators and Tenebrix to breed future generations instead of expending the energy to keep creating them. The only rule was they must stay away from the humans and any others not of their own kind.

However, in their rush to fix the problem, they had forgotten one important fact: the choice of their warriors’ mates was not up to them. Mates were under the purview of the Fates.

I hope you enjoyed the immortal warriors creation story. I’m going to go deeper into it and talk about everything from how things got twisted between them to maybe some Gabriel things that won’t make it into the books.