Today, I’m very excited to spotlight horror & fantasy novelist Sharon Stevenson. She is the twisted mind behind The Gallows Novels and the After Death Series. She also has two gripping short stories published in the At Hell’s Gate horror anthology.
Her latest release is Spirit Splintered (Gallows book# 6). As with the other books in her series, this entry is fast-paced with many twists and turns. Within Sharon’s supernatural universe, her characters face intense psychological and physical dangers. Sharon even warns that her books are not YA.
I’ll warn that they aren’t for the faint of heart! And that’s a very, very good thing.
Sharon Stevenson was kind enough to provide me with a short excerpt from Spirit Splintered. Here’s a sneak peak from the Gallows world.
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Excerpt from Spirit Splintered
Sarah went after the wolf, wondering why it didn’t seem to be moving away from her. She knew Shaun wasn’t keeping up and that was how she wanted it. She slowed as she caught sight of the beast, coming upon it in mid-transformation. Suddenly its lack of movement made a whole lot more sense. The groan that hit her ears was female and pained. The girl’s dark hair hung over her face as she slowly straightened. Dark smudges of blood and dirt marred her pale skin. Sarah took a step forward and stopped suddenly. “Lucy?”
Her old high school friend gazed at her sleepily as she brushed her hair back from her pretty, blood speckled face. “Sarah. What are you doing here?” She showed no sign of modesty in her naked state, but she grimaced at the bloody, dirty smears on her body when she glanced down, swiping at them with her hands.
“I was looking for you, actually.” Sarah wondered when the hell this had happened. There hadn’t been wolves in town for months.
Lucy laughed. “So the rumours were true.” She looked Sarah in the eyes. “Sarah’s into freaky shit with monsters. And here I just thought you just had bad taste in clothes.”
Sarah started to grin. “No, I just had bad taste in friends.” She launched a punch Lucy didn’t see coming. It landed with a crunch, hitting her in the jaw. She tumbled backwards, squawked and hit her head against a tree.
Shaun’s shadow loomed over her as she crouched down by Lucy and her discarded lunch. The blood drenched human was toast. Lucy had slashed the guy’s throat and devoured his guts; Sarah hoped in that order. He looked vaguely familiar, but Sarah couldn’t put a name to him.
“Holy shit,” Shaun said, crouching down beside her. “That’s that bitch you used to hang around with.”
“Yeah,” Sarah said, with a sigh as she got up and dusted her knees off. “Now she’s just taking being a bitch more literally.”
“How did this happen?”
Sarah shook her head. “There aren’t any wolves in town. Maybe she was out of town recently.” It was the only thing that made any sense. Though, a pack wouldn’t just let a new recruit leave after she was made.
“This is weird.”
“Well, it’s about to get weirder,” Sarah said. “You’re going to have to carry her home.”
He groaned. “What?”
“Strict orders not to kill her, remember? The council want her to talk.”
“Can’t we just say you slipped?” He motioned to the dead guy. “She killed someone, it’s not like she’s innocent.”
“This is a weird situation, Shaun. We need to do what we’re told.”
He raised an eyebrow at her.
She smiled and shrugged. “This one’s not worth fighting.”
He sighed and leaned down, wincing as he got closer. “She smells bad.”
“That would be the blood and guts.”
He groaned as he bent and lifted her up. “This is going to look dodgy as hell.”
If Sarah cared about her old friend’s dignity she might have given up her jacket, but as it was she didn’t really care. “We’ll stick to the woods until we get closer in,” she decided. “Hopefully there’s not a lot of random people out for the day.”
Shaun shook his head. He put Lucy back down and took off his jacket. “There goes another perfectly good jacket,” he grumbled as he wrapped it around her bloodied friend and picked her back up.
It looked slightly less creepy now that she was mostly covered up.
Sarah led the way, sticking to the woods until they ran out. The climb over a chest-high wall was a breeze for her but Shaun had to pass her Lucy before he could climb over. The girl wasn’t as light as she appeared. Sarah passed her back to Shaun with an undignified grunt.
“Crap, you’re heavy, Luce,” Sarah said.
Shaun snorted. “I’m the one who has to carry her.”
“Yeah, well, that’s because you’re a big strong manly-man.” She rolled her eyes. “Hurry up.” She darted on ahead, ignoring his muttered protests. Running until her parent’s house came into view, she slowed at the path. Her breathing hitched as Lucy’s transformation finally hit her. What good was being a tracker when she couldn’t stop that kind of thing from happening? She blew out a breath and headed into the house. Lucy hadn’t exactly been renowned for making good decisions, but still, Sarah wished she’d been around when this one had been getting made. She left the door open for her grumpy brother and headed into the kitchen where her mother was sitting in front of her laptop at the table. “Thanks for the heads up,” Sarah said, studying her mother’s face as she looked up from the computer screen. It didn’t look like she knew what Sarah was talking about. At least there was that, she supposed. “The wolf is Lucy.”
Her mother’s mouth dropped open. She pushed her chair back from the table.
“How could this happen? There aren’t any wolves in town anymore.” Sarah folded her arms.
“She came from out of town. We thought she might be here to test the waters. Her pack can’t be far behind.” Her mother had her phone in her hand seconds later. “Did you…”
“Shaun has her,” Sarah said, cocking her head as his heavy footfalls landed in the hallway. He cursed before the sound of the door banging shut filled her ears. She winced. “Speak of the devil.”
A minute later he entered the room and ditched Lucy on the table, making their mother scurry to pull her laptop out of the way. Shaun sighed as he folded his arms. “She’d just had lunch when we found her, and aye, that is intestine in her teeth. Never wearing that jacket again.”
Their mother got up. “She killed a human?”
Sarah grimaced. “He looked kind of like one of her old boyfriend’s pals.”
Their mother got on the phone, getting up and crossing over to the sink. Sarah looked at Lucy’s peacefully sleeping face. That blood smeared monster used to be her friend. Guilt started to sink in as she realised how long it had been since she’d last spoken to the girl.
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About Spirit Splintered
Shaun & Sarah Gallows are used to dealing with supernatural threats, but things get complicated when Shaun uncovers a secret. Sarah gets closer to Dev while Ray is missing, and begins to question past choices. Meanwhile Ray is fighting to become the man he thinks Sarah needs him to be, and Shaun takes another step closer to his destiny as the Seelie Knight. As the twins fates take shape, their paths begin to split, but are they ready to go it alone?
The sixth book in the Gallows series, ‘Spirit Splintered’ came out on 11th January. This is a new adult modern fantasy series and contains profanity and sexual references.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S4FZNHI
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00S4FZNHI
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Sharon Stevenson Bio
I’m the twisted mind behind The Gallows Novels and the After Death Series. If you want to know a bit about me, here it is: I spend too much time indoors and probably watch too many horror films. Some of my favourite things are; Alone time, people who know when to shut up, having a drink, eating pizza (usually after having too much drink the night before), reading books, adult swim cartoons, bad horror and sci-fi movies, proper good TV shows like Dexter & The Walking Dead, and last but not least having a laugh with my hilarious other half – this would usually include some of the above.