Shelley Russell Nolan
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Ormiston Press
Date of Publication: 23rd October 2015
Number of pages: 240 Kindle
Word Count: 83,000 words
Cover Artist: Two Decade Designs
The first dead body I ever saw was my own
For twenty-five year old Tyler Morgan, being murdered was easy. Easy in comparison with working for the Grim Reaper. Jonathon Grimm may have brought her back from the dead in exchange for working as a reaper for her home town, Easton, but she has to find his lost reaper before she can enjoy her second chance at life.
Only … the lost reaper isn’t actually lost. He has a new body, a new life, and no intention of turning himself in.
Tyler begins the grisly task of reaping the souls of Easton’s dead while searching for the reaper. He could be anyone – the intriguing detective, Sam Lockwood: the handsome, wealthy Chris Bradbury; or the serial killer stalking the women of Easton. Women who bear an uncanny resemblance to Tyler.
As the killer closes in and Grimm’s deadline draws closer, Tyler discovers she is fighting a much bigger threat than the Grim Reaper and time is running out for everyone.
I opened my eyes and found myself somewhere else, looking through a window at my body on the service station floor. Blood coated the front of my t-shirt, darkening the cloth. My caramel-coloured skin was pale, heart-shaped face slack, long black hair matted with blood.
I put a hand on my chest. My heart beat faster and faster. It should have reassured me, but I couldn’t ignore the evidence of my own eyes. I was dead.
I clutched my stomach and found my ruined clothes had been replaced by a long white gown, the silken fabric soft and cool against my body. My feet were bare but I could feel nothing beneath my toes. Around me was a dark void, the only light coming from the room where a horrible scene was playing out.
Behind the counter, the owner had pulled himself to his feet and was frantically pushing buttons on an ancient telephone, gnarled hands shaking, horror etched on his face when his call wouldn’t connect.
To the left of my body, the man who’d tried to give me a chance to escape slumped at the end of the aisle closest to the counter. He struggled to his knees, oblivious of the monster standing over him.
I heard the knife thud home and wanted to turn away but my body seized up. Helpless, I watched the owner scramble out from behind the counter, making for a door marked ‘Staff Only’. The monster got to his feet and stalked after him, whistling as he prepared to kill again.
I sobbed, hands covering my mouth, tears streaming down my face.
‘It doesn’t have to end this way, Tyler.’
I dropped my hands and spun around.
A man shrouded in mist appeared out of the darkness, the light from the service station creating shadows that cloaked his features as he glided towards me.
The mist flowed around him like a living thing, keeping his shape indistinct until he stood in front of me. Then it parted.
About the Author:
Shelley Russell Nolan is an avid reader who began writing her own stories at sixteen. Her first completed manuscript featured brain eating aliens and a butt kicking teenage heroine. Since then she has spent her time creating fantasy worlds where death is only the beginning and even freaks can fall in love. With books for both young adults and adults in the works, Shelley plans on writing for as longs as she has the power to type and looks forward to the day when her stories will be published.
Where are you from?
I was born in New Zealand, but moved to Australia when I was little and now live in Central Queensland.
Tell us your latest news?
I just got home from GenreCon, a three day writing conference for genre writers, and had a fabulous time meeting and learning from a host of amazing authors.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I was sixteen because I had stories in my head that I needed to get out.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve thought of myself as a writer ever since I started writing my first story, which was about brain eating aliens, but it is the publication of ‘Lost Reaper’ that has made me feel like an author.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always loved to read and then one day the idea for a story of my own sprang into my head and wouldn’t let go until I started to write it down.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I am generally a pantser. I get an idea and just start writing. Sometimes I will write out a short outline, but it usually winds up changing as the characters start making up their own minds about what to do next.
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted something that was reflective of Tyler being thrust into a world she knew nothing about as well as her search for a lost reaper. So ‘Lost Reaper’ made perfect sense to me.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t set out to write a message, I just have a story that I feel needs to be shared and hope readers enjoy it.
How much of the book is realistic?
As an urban fantasy, with supernatural elements, the only realism comes from setting it in a modern town.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, the events and experiences in Lost Reaper are all fictional.
What books have most influenced your life most?
My love of reading, which in turn became a love of writing, came after a discovered the fantasy and science fiction section in my high school library. I then immersed myself in the worlds created by David Eddings and Anne McCaffrey and never looked back.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My mentor is Sandy Curtis. She writes fantastic romantic suspense and also runs an annual writing festival, Writefest, that allows beginner and emerging writers to learn from established authors and industry professionals. I would not be published today without her support and willingness to help all writers to improve their craft and achieve their goals.
What book are you reading now?
I just started ‘Zenith’ by Dirk Strasser, a fantasy published by Momentum.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I recently read ‘Aquila’, a paranormal romance by Sue-Ellen Pashley and really loved it. I also loved ‘See Her Run’, a romantic suspense by A.K. Leigh.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently writing the next book in the Reaper series, ‘Winged Reaper’ as well as editing a YA spec fic novel ‘Freak: Book One of The Revival Project’.
What would you like my readers to know?
Vampires and shifters aren’t the only creatures that go bump in the night. Give reapers a chance and you may be surprised. Happy reading!
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