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.

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.