Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Excerpt of Redemption by J.R. Turner

(This is an excerpt from Redemption. Savannah has been killed by Revenants, mutated creatures who live in a toxic wasteland and feed on human flesh. She has just finished being returned to her body and the healing is complete.)

Before me stands the most beautiful man I've ever seen. His blond curls are brushed back from his face, white shirt pressed and neatly tucked into a pair of grey slacks. Soft looking leather shoes cover his feet and he leans against a crumbling wall, arms crossed. Eyes so pale they are almost white shine like silver. Widening my gaze and squinting alternately changes nothing. There's more to this man than arms and legs—he has wings.


"You never did listen to your mother, Savannah. Close your mouth now, before you draw flies."

I'm flabbergasted and covering myself the best I can, I swivel until I'm sitting cross legged, shredded fabric between us and the sun warming my back. The prisms of light I saw when I was dead are still visible to me, though at a much lower wattage. Maybe human eyes suck at seeing the light.

"Do you know what's happened to you?" He straightens from the wall, extends a wing and shakes it the way a cat might shake its tail while it stretches.

I can hardly drag my gaze away from the wing to look him in the face. "I was dead."

He nods but continues to wait.

"And now I'm not."

"Yes," he smiles. "Good. At least you understand that much. You wouldn't believe how many mortals end up insane after a resurrection. Truly sad."

His smile doesn't dissipate and I'm so struck by the wrongness of all this I forget this being is more powerful than I can imagine. Dryly, I say, "Yeah, sad. You look truly upset."

Now the smile falters and he comes closer. Large wings extend behind him. They cast brilliant light over the daytime foliage I've never seen, with or without the filter of a face mask. Flowers bloom larger than a man's hand, green and purple leaves grow unfettered, the drooping trees full of strange fruits. The squidplants, such an ugly thing in the harsh glare of manmade lights in the night, spread like gorgeous cords of ruby crystals. Is this supposed to be paradise?

No, I answer myself, remembering the Reves scampering for the shadows like exposed insects. I ask, "Who are you?"

"I am Michael."

"Michael? Like the Michael?"

He nods and spreads his wings further. "Do you need more proof than your own healed body and what you see before you?"

I'm not given time to answer before our surroundings are replaced by the bedroom I once had as a child. The painters haven't come to create the pink and frilly environment I chose when I was seven. I stand, uncertain, my legs shaky and nearly bare. Only from digipics do I know the dark wooden furniture, the cheery yellow and pink stripes, the ballerina mobile over my crib. Dancing teddy bears march along the wall beyond the crib. Inside, a soft cooing ensues. I draw near, my rapidly beating heart a reminder I'm no longer dead.

I peek over the rails of the crib and see a nearly bald baby with blue eyes sucking on its fat fist, the pink shirt shoved high on its sturdy belly. Michael stands at the foot of the crib. Gone are his wings and bright glow. He's still beautiful and his nails gleam when he wiggles his fingers at the baby…at me.

My baby self gurgles and kicks her legs, shoving the light blanket further off her lower half. "Little Savannah," he soothes, "sweet baby Savannah."

His gaze turns to me. "You don't recall this visit, do you?"

I shake my head afraid to move closer, to touch anything. My boots crush the soft carpeting.

"Don't be ashamed. All your kind have difficulty remembering unconditional love. He designed you to love Him freely, by choice."

The baby glances toward me, as if following Michael's line of questioning, but I can tell she/me doesn't see me/her standing there. Her/my gaze is unfocused. This doubling of myself is unnerving and my head begins to ache. "Why?"

Michael pays attention to the baby again, winding the mobile so the haunting strains of the melody can echo in my memories, a sort of freakish stereo. "Why what?"

"Why did you visit me?"

He looks up and the room dissolves, returning us to the rubble of the toxic garden and the remains of the world that once was. The sickness I've fought returns and I swallow bile.

He's as I first saw him–a model of the perfect man but without the wings or glowing light. "Because you were chosen, of course."

September 3 Promo and review
Stuffed Shelves

September 4 Guest blog and review
Booked & Loaded

September 5 Promo
Roxanne’s Realm

September 6 Promo

September 8 Guest blog
The Qwillery - A blog about books and other things

September 9 Interview
Books & Other Spells

September 12 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

September 14 Guest blog
Mama Knows Books 

September 19 Guest blog
Zombie Girl Shambling

September 20 Interview

Sept 25 Promo
Faerotic Prose

September 26 Interview
Books & Beauty 

September 27 Review
Books, Books, and More Books

September 30 Interview
Fang-tastic Books

October 1 Promo
Just Another Rabid Reader  

By JR Turner

Half-angel Savannah Mantas smells the sulfuric stench of wrath when it enters her city, Iron Point. Resurrected by the archangel Michael, she’s hunting for redemption and half-demon Nico Montenegro is her prey. He comes from the Fringes, the border between the city and the toxic wasteland beyond. When they meet, Nico tells her a story, one of genocide and confiscated bodies. Not revenge, but justice is his purpose and his target is the most admired family in the world–Commander Hathaway and his daughter.

Hathaway’s soldiers are slaughtering Fringers and secretly feeding them to Revenants, mutants who survived the bio-bombing of 2120. They have a twisted idea they can train these clever creatures like dogs and keep them out of the city long enough to mobilize an evacuation for the wealthy and well-connected. Savannah knows better. Revenants are what killed her. When they attack, the last of humankind may be wiped out completely. Stopping Hathaway might just be enough to gain her redemption and escape a hellish fate.

About the Author:

J.R. Turner is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Writers Association. She writes in a variety of genres including middle-grade adventures, young adult horror, romantic suspense, horror, military action, and urban fantasy. In her spare time she enjoys arts and crafts, traveling, and movies. Few things in life compare to her passion for the written word, except perhaps the pursuit of chocolate.


J.R. Turner said...

Thanks so much for being a part of my blog tour!! :)