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Shadowing the Light by Miranda Turner
“Everybody has their own agenda. Everybody.”
Series: The Bearer of Truth (book 1)
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Release Date: December 17, 2018
Length: 273 pages
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): Gay Urban Fantasy
“Everybody has their own agenda. Everybody.”
Hunted for the unique blood that runs through his veins, half-angel, half-demon Gabriel Sinclair lives without expectations. On the run from forces on both sides of an ancient conflict, he searches for strength and peace in a world which only seeks to use him.
When Gabriel is forced to stop running, assigned a team—and a mate—he doesn’t want, and reluctantly tasked with a mission, he must overcome obstacles both real and imagined. Otherwise, the world as he knows it, and the mate he’s reluctantly come to care for, may cease to exist.
“I will do as the Creator bids me. Always.”
Evander Ryan is special, and he knows it. The final handcrafted immortal warrior for the light, he is the Creator’s greatest masterpiece. For fifty-eight years, he’s lived his life in black and white, coddled by his Maker, while leading his team to countless victories against their enemies. Those fights were easy. Working with a new, uncooperative mate who sees the world in shades of gray? Less so.
As Evander’s eyes are opened to the existence of light warriors who are not good, dark warriors who are, and the wider world of supernatural beings, he learns nothing is as he thought it was, and his mate isn’t who he thought he was either. Maybe there’s something to be said for not always following the rules. . .
A presence warmed his back, and Gabriel stiffened as the delicious scent of his sodalis vita rolled across his senses. With the fight and not enough rest, he was mentally weak, too weak to fight this stupid need to be close to Evander. Maybe he could just stand near him without touching him or taking it further and hope it would be enough? Because it was all he could willingly get from Evander, and he’d never take what wasn’t offered freely.
Evander cleared his throat. “I want you to know that I did and will continue to take care of the Luc issue. He won’t be bothering you again.”
Gabriel scoffed. “Sure he won’t.”
“Are you questioning my leadership?” Evander glared at him.
“More like your faith in Luc’s ability to control himself. But now that you mention it…”
Evander’s entire body stiffened. Rigid as a plank, Evander seethed. “It’s been dealt with. I know how to handle my men.” Uh-oh, someone didn’t like to be doubted. Gabriel mentally shrugged. His doubt was justified.
Gabriel barked out an abrupt laugh. “You do? Since when? Because I seem to remember someone trying to beat the shit out of me not too long ago, and no matter how gingerly he may be moving right now, his first instinct is still to attack me. I can tell you all the lashes in the world won’t fix the actual problem, so how are you going to handle it?”
Evander immediately deflated, his eyes darting around the room nervously. He’d probably never had anyone besides Gabriel say more than boo to him in his entire life. He had no idea how to behave if everyone didn’t fall in line.
“See, this is your problem. You have no clue how to deal with the situation here. Have any of your men stepped out of line before now? I feel pretty confident saying no. The proof of a good leader isn’t if his men will listen to him when things are good, but how they behave when the chips are down. How are your men behaving, Evander? You’ve been an effective leader because you’ve had obedient men who are also leaders in their fields. With your power levels outranking every other Bellator and the fact that you are a decent strategist, of course men will follow you. But can you actually be what they need when they get out of line? So far, I’d say no.”
Evander slowly turned redder with every word that came from Gabriel’s mouth, but instead of exploding, he seemed to wilt, collapsing into himself. Quickly shaking it off, he stood to his full height and grit out, “Like I said, I’ll handle it.” And Gabriel grudgingly dipped his chin, letting it go because there was no use arguing with someone who wouldn’t, or maybe couldn’t, see the truth.
☆ Author Interview ☆
Welcome, and thank you for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.
Hi! Thank you for having me! My name is Miranda Turner, and I am a new author and an old editor. Lol I’ve been writing in various formats since I was a child. I was even published in a poetry anthology in high school and had a friend who chose to record a song I’d written in my early 20s. But I was too afraid to do more than write fiction behind the scenes as I voraciously read the authors I loved.
I went through some life changing events a few years ago and realized I needed a way to support myself and my eight children (that’s not a typo), so I began offering my editing services to people. I now have a fairly stable group of authors I work for who all encouraged me to chase my dream of publishing my own book, and I’m so grateful to them for all the help and support they’ve given me along the way.
Now, I’m stepping back from taking any new editing clients so I can focus more on writing, and I’m planning to get the next three books in The Bearer of Truth series out in 2019 along with Valentine’s Day and Christmas novellas. I also have a psychological thriller I’ve been working on when I need a brain break from the BoT world I’m hoping to have time to finish. My ultimate goal, though, is just to improve.
Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?
Thank you! My debut release is Shadowing the Light, Book 1 in The Bearer of Truth series. It’s an urban fantasy with a romantic subplot. I want to emphasize the subplot part because this is not a classic romance that is all wrapped up with an HEA at the end, and I don’t want readers going in expecting it to be and feeling disappointed. It’s a planned five book series following the same two main characters, and their relationship arc will stretch over several of the books. Gabriel and Evander are both strong willed, stubborn individuals who come from completely different places in the world, and their relationship reflects that. Expect hot moments, but also expect to want to smack them around a bit on occasion.
In their world, the battle between good and evil is a tangible thing, and they’ve been recruited for a mission they still don’t really understand. Up until this point, they’ve been enemies in this war. Forced to work with one another and Evander’s team of immortal warriors, sparks fly, and not always the good kind. Add in the frustration of only being fed small amounts of information about their mission, Evander and his team’s sheltered past, and the struggle of figuring out what their roles now entail, and you have a recipe for a lot of confusion and mistakes.
My favorite aspect of the story is the relationships, I think. Not giving too much away, this is a group of men who start the book with a lot of misconceptions and even outright hatred toward one of the main characters, Gabriel. The prejudicial way they look at the world is to their detriment, and it takes a lot for them to open their eyes to the real world. There’s a lot of action in this book, but the part I love is how the relationships and characters grow and change. It’s quite the journey.
My favorite character is Gabriel. He was the first one to speak to me, and his snark is legendary. I love his take no prisoners attitude and the way he utilizes his tongue as a weapon at the same time as having one of the biggest hearts you’ll ever see. He’s a powerful immortal, but he’s human too. Plus, he has tattoos and a sword, what’s not to like?
What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?
I think it was killing my baby. I finished the rough draft and sent it to the first alpha reader (Thank you, Meghan Maslow!) and it had some problems as first books often do. The story was there, but some of the execution was lacking. I took Meghan’s feedback and went back and completely rewrote the story from the beginning. I’m a linear writer (Unless it’s fight or sex scenes, I don’t like to write too many of those close together because they’ll start to sound the same, so I’ll do something like [insert fight scene here] and move forward. Lol), so while I did copy/paste in parts of what I’d already written when I got to the appropriate places, I had to start at the beginning to do what I needed to do.
I had an author friend (Love you, Sheena J Himes!) tell me she was proud of me for being willing to rewrite my story to such an extent then she helped me when I’d had too many people give me feedback (lesson learned!) and I felt like I wasn’t connected to the story anymore. I’d been trying to change it to please everyone. Sheena told me it was impossible and to put me and my style back into the story, and I did, which allowed me to feel good about it again.
What did you edit out of this book?
Since this question kind of feeds into the previous one, I wanted to answer it. So much! In fact, so many things didn’t make it into the final draft that I have to go back and check sometimes as I’m writing book 2 before I create a continuity issue. I originally had a really bad prologue that I’m glad I got rid of, but there are several detail things that I cut, some of which will never be used because I changed the character arc for a few of the secondary characters. There were originally two more members of the team, but it just got too confusing. Once upon a time, there were more straight people. LOL Logan was straight, but I wanted to keep a certain story in that was in another character’s arc, so he’s bi now. Not that sexualities are discussed in depth in the book outside of Evander and Gabriel, but there’s a lot of supposition and side stories that give clues. So, hey, bonus info, Logan is bisexual.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I actually use driving time as a time to empty my mind, decompress, and just be in the moment with whatever music I’m listening to. However, I do get bolts of inspiration while driving sometimes (I think it’s the subconscious mind finally being able to break through all the noise of my regular life. Lol). So Siri and I will have a talk, and she’ll dictate notes for me…badly.
What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?
I’ll read almost anything. I’ve read books I’ve loved, I’ve read books that made me sick, and I’ve read things that made me say never again. But I’ll always try it out. My favorites do tend to be in the paranormal/urban fantasy genre, but I also love mysteries and thrillers and series that follow groups of friends or families. I like the on-going glimpses into their lives. I’m currently rereading Sandrine Gasq-Dion’s Assassin Shifters/12 Olympians series for the first time since March 2017. I couldn’t bring myself to for a while, but it’s one of my favorite overall story arcs. It’s been a bit emotional.
I have a lot more ebooks because I just don’t have room for a lot of print books. But nothing beats the smell of a well-loved book. I feel like there’s history in a paperback you’ve read many times. You come across the stain from that one time you drop salsa on it while reading, or it doesn’t quite close right from the time you attempted to read in the tub and it slipped out of your hands. You remember what was happening in your life at those times when you read it, not just the story you’ve immersed yourself in.
Does your research lead to bizarre internet searches? If so, tell us about some of your wackier searches, or ones that would make you nervous if your computer were ever confiscated by law enforcement.
Definitely. I’ve researched deadliest poisons, urban warfare training, explosives, and much more. I think the one that made me feel like I’d definitely get flagged was something along the lines of “how to effectively set explosive charges to clear an area without bringing a building down.”
Do you put together a playlist and/or soundtrack for your books (or for particular scenes from your books)?
Yes, I do. The one for Shadowing the Light is now public on Spotify. I keep them secret as I’m writing, and I add songs as I go along. If I’m feeling stuck while writing, I’ll turn it on to get me into the mood of the story.
Meet the Author
Miranda Turner is a single mom of eight living outside a small, hippie town in the middle of Ohio. She’s surrounded by children, chickens, and one temperamental editor kitty who is silently judging her on a daily basis. She is a voracious reader and an editor who decided she had different stories to tell. She firmly believes a happily ever after is there for everyone, but she likes to make her characters earn it.