Reap and Redeem
The Reaper Series
Genre: urban fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin E
Date of Publication: Oct. 6, 2014
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 78K
He’s a reaper who has given up on saving souls. Will a dying woman be his salvation?
After a century of enslavement to pure evil, Kylen Larson is finally free. But he’s long past caring. The only woman he ever loved is dead, and he’s tormented by memories of the horrors his demon parasite forced him to commit. Now, he lives for nothing more than hunting down the infernal creatures invading Meridian, Arkansas, and destroying them.
Olivia Evans is in the final stages of cancer when Kylen accidentally saves her from demonic possession. When he rescues this innocent soul, Kylen rediscovers his mission—and his heart.
All he wants is to help Olivia stay alive. He’ll just have to fight off an invasion from Hell first…
Excerpt: Chapter One
Kylen kicked the head across the floor of the dark shed with his steel-toed boot. Blood dripped into a pool on the floor from his scythe, which he still gripped tightly with one hand. He straightened to his full height and tilted his neck from side to side, listening to his spine crack and pop. Another demon down.
“You don’t have to keep killing them yourself, you know,” Deacon said, grimacing at the black ooze spilling out of the severed neck.
“Yeah, I do.” Kylen turned and walked to the door, taking a quick survey of the cemetery. A dark, sticky trail marked his course.
“You have to admit, he’s efficient.” Nate picked up the head by the hair and dropped it into a black garbage bag.
“That’s one way to look at it.” Deacon pressed his hand, which was glowing with Reiki energy, to the center of the dead male’s chest, directly over his heart chakra.
Kylen watched as light radiated from Deacon, encasing him and the body in a soft glow. The demon boiled forth from the dead human host in a thick black torrent of sulfurous haze. Spreading his arms wide, Deacon summoned the stream, which penetrated through his sternum. His body shuddered and the light around him sparked and cracked like the arc of a welder. The glow intensified to supernova status before winking out. Several smaller streams of gray light flowed forth from the ruined body, too, entering through Deacon’s mouth.
“Well? Did you retrieve all the souls?” Nate lifted the feet and legs of the body onto the tarp he’d set beside it.
Deacon frowned. “Yes.”
“Three.” Deacon rose and grasped the body by the shoulders, helping Nate maneuver it. “And the demon.”
“I really hate this shit.” Nate said, pulling a spool of duct tape from his backpack.
They rolled the man tightly in the tarp, taping both ends so that none of the bodily fluids would discharge in transit.
“How many more demons do you think there are?” Nate wrapped the head in a plastic bag and walked toward the door.
“Grim thinks there are at least two dozen more,” Deacon reminded him.
“Great. Slow and steady wins the race, yeah?”
“I’m not sure we have the luxury of slow and steady anymore. At this rate, we’re never going to find them all. There’s already way too much collateral damage. This many missing humans in town won’t go unnoticed much longer. We need to find their exit portals and shut down the rest of the demons. Sooner would be better than later.”
Kylen waited in the doorway, dividing his attention between the business in the shed and the cemetery grounds. Deacon was right of course. They needed to close the portals. Permanently. As it was, they were playing a game of supernatural Whac-A-Mole. Close one portal and another popped up. New entrance portals continued to open each week, which then had to be closed by Grim and Deacon. And while one batch of demons gathered their fill of souls before sliding down the small one-way shoots to Hell—the exit portals, the next batch waited for their chance. It had become a never-ending battle and the reapers needed to press on.
They didn’t bother cleaning up the black ooze or the blood trail. The only way to make sure the scene was completely clean was fire, but arson would be sure to draw more attention to the mower garage by the edge of the cemetery than a few stains that could easily be oil or fuel. None of them were concerned about the law. There were far worse things for them to worry about.
They’d burn the body at home, and then bury the ashes and bits of bone. Just as they’d dealt with the other eleven. This host’s disappearance would never be explained. Good thing, since the guy’s head was detached.
Cemeteries are an integral part of the setting for the characters of the Reaper Series, who spend a lot of time traveling to, from, and through them. All of the cemeteries of the Reaper Series were inspired by real-life cemeteries near my own hometown. In fact, I’ve done an entire series called Grave Discoveries featuring unique and interesting headstones I’ve encountered in my travels.
Before beginning the Reaper Series, I had little interest in cemeteries. My own mother knows I’ll likely never visit her grave once she’s passed and has taken matters into her own hands by purchasing and placing her own headstone in the family plot, complete with engraved flowers in a vase on the face of the stone.
Perpetual flowers. It’s a thing.
Yesterday I got completely lost in my travels.
For my day job, I’m a vampire for a local blood bank. I travel around organizing blood drives across five counties, and I am responsible for nearly ten thousand donations a year. Most days go smoothly since I’ve covered the same ground for the past fourteen years now, but one wrong turn yesterday took me completely off the map and into parts unknown.
The unexpected writerly benefit was I found some super cool graveyards.
You probably don’t really pay much attention to cemeteries. But once you start looking, you’ll see they are like Chinese restaurants and banks…there’s one on every corner.
I am particularly drawn to decrepit and neglected graveyards. There is an abundance of such places in the rural countryside. Most rely on volunteers to mow the grounds and some haven’t been mowed in a very long time.
Those are the best.
I especially like broken tombstones and those worn slick by time and the elements.
If you’d like to read my sentiments on the tradition of burying our dead in steel boxes, you can find a post here.
No one will ever admire my broken tombstone, but that’s okay.
Since I write reapers, I find graveyards inspiring.
Sometimes you can find inspiration in the strangest places.
Just be careful, some cemeteries are more proactive than others.
Have you ever visited a place that begged for a story afterward? Have you ever visited a place because it was mentioned or featured in a fiction work?
Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them. Reapers. The grim kind.
She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.
She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.
About the Author:
Lisa Medley writes reapers. The grim kind. A lover of beasties of all sorts, she has a farm full of them in her SW MO home including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees and a guinea pig. Not so in love with the guinea pig. She can do ten pushups IN A ROW and may or may not have a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times. Just. In. Case.
Amazon Author Page www.amazon.com/author/lisamedley
Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/lisamedleyauthor
3 e-copies of Book one, Reap & Repent
a Rafflecopter giveaway