Hello everyone! Today I’ve got something cool 🙂 This is a new series by the very cool Miranda Stork. And I can’t wait to tell you all about it. 🙂
Vigilante of Shadows
Scarlet Rain Series, Book One
Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Romance
Publisher: Moon Rose Publishing
Number of pages: 267
Word Count: 88,487
Cover Artist: Miranda Stork
Aodhan clutched uselessly at his head, groaning. He knew it was useless, because the voice was not inside his head. It followed him, skimming across buildings and land. It had followed him since he was sixteen, and it still followed him today, like a memory too horrific to be forgotten…
Aodhan is a shadow-demon, hardened and cold after years of being alone, after his love, his Entwined, was cruelly taken away from him. He has closed his heart to the world, and now spends his life ridding the world of men like those who took his beloved away, an immortal hit-man…
Arianwen Harris is a young DCI, working for York City Police. When a known criminal is found viciously killed, she finds herself trailing a hit-man who has seemed to escape clutches again and again…but she begins to find herself drawn to his dark charms and roguish good looks…
As their two worlds collide, Aodhan and Arianwen find themselves coming together to escape a far greater enemy, one that threatens to create a world far worse than the one they live in. As they battle to hold back the oncoming forces, fate has another plan; one to draw them together and heal their broken pasts together…
Knocking his drink back, feeling the rich liquid burning his throat, Aodhan wiped his mouth off with the back of his hand, and slowly stood up from the vinyl bar stool. He waved his hand to get the attention of the barmaid, but she was far too engrossed in the attentions of her personal Adonis to notice Aodhan. Shrugging, he laid a ten-pound note down on the bar, next to his empty glass.
He turned and walked out of the bar door with long strides, feeling the cool night air on his face. The bouncer outside the doors turned and stared at Aodhan’s six foot frame, no emotion showing on his features. Aodhan returned the cool stare, and then began walking off into the night.
He walked along speedily, his hands shoved deep in his jean pockets. The sounds of the night surrounded him-distant cat song, the steady hum of far-off cars, the soft sound of wind whistling underneath people’s windows. He loved being out at night, not because it was a time when his ‘kind’ were more active, but simply because it was so much quieter than the day. The sounds of people rushing around disappeared, and left a peaceful calm with the soothing darkness.
Of course, there were the voices in his head, but that was another story.
He shrugged his shoulders up, cutting off the wind whistling around his neck. He wasn’t particularly cold, but the noise was annoying when your ears were so sensitive that a pin dropping sounded like a two-ton weight.
Aodhan’s mind went back to the girl from the bar. He hadn’t meant to be so brisk with her, but it was really best that no-one got that close. It really wasn’t his style to be the mysterious, dark, lone ranger, but it was for the best in this case. He had begun to…kill people. People who wouldn’t die if they hadn’t found out about them…
Aodhan was a demon.
A rare demon, as well, a shadow demon. He had been born to a Scottish clan just over eight-hundred years ago, to humans. Contrary to what he saw people believed in the media and books, demons were actually born to humans. There was no line of them, like vampyres or werewolves. They were simply…random.
When he had been born, there were no noticeable signs of what he was. He just looked like any of the other babies born to them, strong and healthy, but definitely human.
As he grew older, he had shown great proficiency with all weapons, learning faster than any of the other boys in the clan, becoming more powerful and stronger than most of them. Even some of the boys older than himself had a hard time keeping up with him. He was never big-headed about it though, simply fitting in with everyone else. However, the clan talked about how the strange-eyed boy was so much quicker and stronger than others twice his age, and whispered about ancient gods coming back to the earth. His looks weren’t too odd for his clan, everyone having black, brown, or auburn hair, but his eyes were odd. All others in his clan had mostly blue eyes, some of them had brown eyes. But he had startling clear green eyes, more like a cat, in the clan’s eyes, than a human.
When he was thirteen, he suddenly began developing strange growths near his temples. After going to see the clan’s wise woman about it, she simply cackled, and whispered, “Those who are given the gift of darkness, should not fear the unknown.” He had shaken off the wise women’s words, telling himself that she had finally gone crazy.
The growths had developed further, until they started to look like small dark horns, about the length of his thumb. They curled close to the curve of his head, smooth with small ridges forming at each stage of their growth. Luckily, Aodhan’s hair grew wild and long, allowing him to cover them up as much as he could.
When he became twenty, he was a well-loved member of his clan. He was kind and helpful to all, and helped to fight off their enemies more times than he could count on both hands. But he was holding a dreadful secret from his family. Since his horns had grown, he had also noticed many other things.
He had begun to…see things. Shadows.
When he was out hunting in the forest near to their home, he would think that he had seen someone moving in the trees behind him, but when he swung around to face them, nothing. Then he would hear a soft chuckle, his name being called on the wind. At night, in his bed as he tried to sleep, he would see black figures running around the walls.
He had tried to tell the wise woman of the village again, thinking them to be spirits sent to drive him mad, or something worse. She simply shook her head at him, and chuckled, rocking herself to and fro. He had got used to them by now, drawing the blanket up over his head so that he couldn’t hear their taunting murmurs….
Aodhan suddenly stopped walking, snapping out of his daydreaming. He was sure he had seen one of…them. Looking all around himself, he scanned the buildings around him with his vivid eyes. The problem with them, was that they could hide anywhere they chose-walls, buildings, floors, anywhere-especially at night.
The red brick buildings around him looked empty, the few alleyways just leading alongside the backs of houses, a few bins scattered about. No-one else was walking near him on the pavement, no sound anywhere.
Just as he was about to turn around and carry on walking, pulling his jacket up again, when he heard something behind him. Something whispery and cold.
Sorry, I had a little technical snafoo and didn’t have my review copy until yesterday, so I WILL be reviewing this book very soon. I’ve left some days open right before Christmas to post this review and a few others 🙂 so be looking for it. I’ve started reading it and I’m really enjoying it so far! 🙂 My apologies!
But just because I’m late doesn’t mean that you guys should suffer, so without further ado, I’d like to introduce Ms. Stork!! WELCOME!! 🙂
First, tell me a little about your book and why you wanted to write this particular story….
Well, I’ve always had a big interest in the paranormal, purely because it fascinates me. And so called ‘Shadow People’ are not as well-known, and very little has been done with them in literature. So I thought it was time they had an airing, and came out into the fore. Having said that, there are many other characters in my book too. I also got to thinking about crime one day, and the different ways people deal with it. Vigilantes came to mind, and that was it—I knew I had to write a story about one. Although somehow he ended up as a sexy Scottish demon. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t like a man in a kilt?
Oh yes, he is quite HAWT 🙂 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated or did you always just know?
I think I always just knew. When I was very little, I used to make pretend ‘books’ out of sheets of paper, and write short stories in them with illustrations. When I was about 7, I was in love with Enid Blyton’s children’s books, and I realized at that point it was something I could do when I got older. I’ve done many other jobs, but I wasn’t happy until I was able to write full-time. I was meant to be a writer, regardless of the outcome. 🙂
Wow, that’s pretty cool! What inspired you to write your first book and what was it?
My first book was Conner, a paranormal romance/thriller about a werewolf—who everyone believes is simply a schizophrenic man. I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal, and the myths surrounding it, so I knew what genre I wanted to write. At the time, the vampire craze was really taking off, so I didn’t want to write another vampire story; I wanted to write something different.
Having read that series, I loved it! And that genre makes me an extremely happy kid! Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think a lot of the personal stories of my characters do come from my own life, the locations are usually places I’ve been to. The only thing that sprouts from nowhere seems to be the characters themselves. I always feel you can make the reader feel your story much more strongly if you write about what you know about. It would be no good me writing a story set in Egypt, as I’ve never been (although would LOVE to go). I would never be able to make the reader really feel it properly, as I’ve never been, and so I’ve never felt what it is like to be there.
I understand, I would to travel more too 🙂 How do you chose when/which characters die in your books?
Oooh, this is an interesting question…I don’t think I do. I tend to write by the seat of my pants, and only do the barest of planning. So as I’m writing, the characters steer the direction of the story themselves. Then sometimes I get to a point where I realize that particular character just can’t carry on any more—for them, the story is finished. But knowing my books, they could come back as a ghost, or a reincarnation…or the whole thing could have been a dream! *wink*
WOW! So you get the same surprise we do 🙂 Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
WOW. Too many to try and list here, but I’ll give it a go. When I started out on social media as part of writing, I found all these fantastic new authors. But I’m happy to say, not only are they amazing authors, but they are also now some of my best friends. J Tara Stogner Wood, K.S. Haigwood, Trish Marie Dawson, Lindsay Avalon, Caroline F Levy, Hunter S Jones, Cinta Garcia, Rob Zimmermann, Elle J Rossi, Livia Ellis, Laura De Luca, Carolyn Wolfe, Maxi Shelton, Ella Medler….and lots and lots more! There really are fabulous authors, and the amount of talent and new ideas from indie authors never fails to surprise me.
What a fantastic list, and some very cool friends to have! Who do you look up to as a writer?
With very well-known authors, it would have to be Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie. Dickens for his vivid characters and brilliant social commentary, and Christie for her unique and clever twists. In indie authors, it would be all the authors mentioned above, and many more. We work as a large community to encourage each other, and I love that we work together, not against each other in competition.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I don’t think so, as I’ve already changed it a lot. I always go back over my books and do rewrites of large sections, so a story of mine can change many times over before it ever makes it to print.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think when I have to hide things from my readers. Dropping in lots of red herrings, that sort of thing. It’s always tricky to lead someone down a different path when you know the real route the characters are taking. It’s fun though, especially when you read reviews, and people say things like, “I never saw that coming!”. I do the silent fist pump in the air of happiness if I read that. 🙂
High five to fist pumps 🙂 What book are you reading now? Or what genre? My followers love author’s opinions!
At the moment, I’m reading Eternal Island, by K.S. Haigwood and Ella Medler—and I love it so far! It’s all about an island that is invisible to the human eye, and is filled with magical creatures of all sorts, witches, vampires…you name it! And a human girl, Ariana, is transported to the island, where she finds that not only is she actually a powerful witch, but that there are many other things there out of her control! It’s a great read, and I’m really enjoying it so far.
Sounds so intriguing. I will have to look into that one. Who designed the cover? And do you help with them?
Well…it was actually me! *blushes* So I guess I helped a lot! I also do paintings, so it was a natural choice that I would do my own covers. They’re a mixture of stock and painted artwork, so they always have my ‘stamp’ on them. I also design covers for other authors, which makes sure I don’t grow slack with practice! It also means that I always get to have exactly what is in my head on the front cover, so the readers get the feel of what I’m trying to convey to them.
Well you are very talented! Don’t blush, be proud! Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
I think I lean lots of things as I’m writing, but the most important one was to write everything down as fast as you can, before you forget where the story was going. Stories can always be edited and rewritten afterwards, the important part is to get the bare bones down so you know where it’s heading.
If you could be one of your characters, who would you chose?
Hmm….very good question! I think it would have to be Erin, from my first two books, ‘Conner’ and ‘Erin’. Some of her characteristics are based on my own, and I think she is the character closest to myself. Aside from growing fur and fangs, obviously. *quick shifty look around* But I love that she’s a strong character. Arianwen from ‘Vigilante of Shadows’ is a strong woman too, but Erin wins by a margin because she has the most awesome sword ever, Sioctine. 🙂
I LOVED Erin’s story! 🙂 She’s a cool character to be! Are there any books you think some of us should read, just because?
LOADS. I would suggest checking anything out by the authors I listed above, as all of them are fantastic. But just READ. Read as much as you can, as often as you can, and in as many different genres as you can. I don’t think there is a single book in the world that shouldn’t be read, even if you end up hating it. Books are something very magical, and all of them have their own charms—and just because one person doesn’t like a book, doesn’t mean you won’t.
Mind you, my favourite book ever is Great Expectations. EVERYONE should read that at least once. 🙂
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes. A great big, huge, wet-lip-smacking-with-hugs THANK YOU. Without readers, writers have no point at all. I love it when readers send me a little messages or emails letting me know what they liked (or didn’t like! But in a nice way, obviously) about the books. It always lets me know if I’m on the right track with what I’m doing or not, and leaves me with a big grin for the rest of the day. Reviews or even ‘likes’ on Amazon help authors out so much, and we can keep producing more books the more you wonderful readers help us out. Touch wood, I seem to be doing okay so far. 🙂
Hear that guys! She loves feedback! This is basically the OK for you to stalk her hahahahaha 🙂 And you are doing great, so I won’t need to knock on wood for you 😉
About the Author:
I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow.
My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice.
My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother’s Grimm’s tales…Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone!
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Miranda-Stork/e/B0082YW92S/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authormirandastork
Tour Wide Giveaway: 10 Ebook copies and Swag packs, containing a signed poster, bookmarks, and postcards; open internationally.
Yep, you read that right, TEN! 🙂 I’m so excited for people to get their hands on this story! I know I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s reaaaaallllyyyy good 🙂 LOL So here’s how to win… You can go HERE which is the tour’s host site and enter via rafflecopter!
Who wouldn’t wanna win a copy of the book and some swag, especially since it’s international! 🙂 I wish you all extra good luck! Thanks again for stopping by and thanks so much for just hanging out! 🙂 Happy Reading everyone! Later Gators!!