A sneak peek into Midnight – Book 2 in the No Death for the Wicked series

Midnight sneak peek 1

If you’re a Rush fan or have read Daylight and have been anxiously waiting for book 2 in the No Death for the Wicked series, well…  please bear with me.

As some might already know, I have recently lost my best friend, my husband. He passed away August 13th and I have been completely and utterly lost without him. I know some may say it’s too soon or take it slow, which I am. But, the one thing that has always kept me grounded is writing, my husband used to always say he loved it when I wrote simply, because it fueled me with life. Writing helps me on so many different levels and I know it’s the one thing he would want me to continue even with him gone.

With that being said, here’s the first chapter to Midnight. I’m working on it here and there, whenever I get the chance, mostly nights since sleep evades me. Also, I would like to mention before I cozy up to write, (book one) – Daylight should be out in audio very soon. I will post links as soon as I can and I hope you enjoy the beginning taste of Mattie and Graham’s next story.

© 2015 Karli Rush

Chapter One

“A stake through the heart…” I flip another page and grumble, “Exposure to the sun.” Another page. “Decapitation.” And another. “Starvation.” I roam my eyes over to Graham, annoyed.

“Where’s the good stuff in this fossilized book?”

He directs a shimmer of a glance my way, but still keeps his blue eyes on the ill-lit road. The city of Solace is a distant memory, but one I will not soon forget. Graham found a set of wheels for us, more like a war machine. A Gothic black 1965 Buick Rivera, to travel the wastelands, the barren lifeless roads. Each mile means I’m that much farther away from the Elites. The elites are hunting us, and every pit stop we make, someone’s watching us. So, whether it’s a cashier at a gas station or a hitchhiker wandering the dusty roads, Graham makes sure they have no breath to reiterate what or who they just saw.

“There’s more in the book, Mattie,” Graham reveals, and magically flicks the pages backward with a simple gesture from his finger. His unworldly succulent eyes study me. “Bleed,” he says in a deep and throaty tone.

The only way I can read the book in my lap, the Voynich’s book, is for a drop of vampire blood to touch the page. I press my nail into my hand and squeeze the ruby-red blood from my palm. The crimson fluid turns into ink and the encrypted symbols begin to form into words. Readable, fluent sentences appear, and I start to decipher what I’m seeing.

“Vampires have existed since the dawn of man, and since that time, the two races have been at war. Both fighting for their own instinctual survival. Mankind had daylight on their side, to them vampires were nothing more than a menace.

The vampires ruled the night, but were also reliant on the humans… for their blood. After centuries of bloody war the humans believed they had finally won, and fell into a state of complacency, but the vampires, concealed by shadows of night, discovered another race being hunted and persecuted by the humans… witches.

These two formed an alliance and began slowly developing a strategy to infiltrate and take over humanity, without mankind ever knowing. First, a serum was created, giving them the one thing the humans had advantage of, the sun. Now the nightwalkers walk the day, and soon all aspects of society will be within our grasp. In five hundred years, we shall rule the world.”

As soon as my last word expels from my lips the sentences fade, no words, no ancient scribbly handwriting, not even a hint that my blood had even spilt there.

“So all this time humans think that vampires are mere stories of myth and forgotten legends, but in fact they’re the ruling class of humanity. How ironic— wait a minute… how many cities are there like Solace?”

Graham hits the lights, deadening the path in front of us even more, and steers the car off the road. The town, Shadow Hills, caps the dry scenery in the distance. Graham slips out and scouts the area. He walks, no that’s not accurate, he glides toward the front of the car. His long trench coat whispers along the ground as he waits a breath before he answers me.

“There are more cities like Solace than you would like to know about, Mattie.”

“So, we’re fucked?” I quip getting out, my eyes roam around the dreary landscape. I set my hope for blood on a metaphorical shelf for now and stride toward the back of the car. I slam my fist hard against the dusty metal and watch as vials of daylight shine like the Holy Grail from the trunk. I slide one translucent bottle from its precious cushioned protection and inspect it. The entire trunk is filled with cases of daylight, and if I’m careful, it will last me a couple of years. But, if I am not, I may just end up being a flesh-skinning nightwalker and that’s not a go-to option for me.

Graham motions over at the horizon just as the sun breaks through the early morning light. I quickly slip the vial back in its snug, tight concealment and make sure the cases are securely closed before I slam the trunk shut. I might be able to go a few days without needing another dose, but a thousand or so vials of daylight won’t last me forever. In the book it mentions witches, an alliance between us and them. And how they conjured the serum, now, all I need is a witch.

“Your friend… she’s there,” Graham announces and shifts his provocative eyes toward me.

“How do you know? You have a thing for witches too?” I sass meeting his pace, his body meets mine. We’re close to touching but not. I swallow hard watching as he licks his full sinful lips. He’s been careful not to touch me since we hightailed it out of Solace, all of his energy and concentration has solely been on keeping us safe. But now, I can see his sexual frustration building, he wants to touch me, he needs to touch me.

Finally, his right hand ensnares around my waist, pressing our hips closer. His blue eyes scour over my face as if he’s deciding on how he wants to take me. “Witches? No… They couldn’t survive my ways, they’re not nearly wicked enough.”

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“Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.” ― Stephen King

Mindnight banner for blog

When I first started writing out the story for ‘Daylight’ which is the first book in the No Death for the Wicked series, it was for a Halloween anthology dedicated to a charity. It was meant to be a short story with a limited word count and a wonderful opportunity to write with so many talented writers. As most now know the story has evolved and I am currently writing book 2 Midnight. As soon as I am finished with Midnight I will announce the release date, which I’m hoping will be sometime next month.

It is the ultimate challenge, writing a book with balance. As an author, I want to write a book that is capturing, intriguing and brings you along as my characters live out their lives. But here’s the thing with my writing, I write what the characters show me, they are the ones that take me down the writing path. I follow their lead.  Do I want to be an author that is too easy? Predictable or boring? Well I certainly hope not, but do I want to give up everything to you in the first book? No, I don’t. I want you to desire for more, to have unanswered questions that stick with you and allow the secrets not yet whispered into your ear to bring you along as the full story unfolds, whether it’s one stand alone book or a series.

Daylight, my first book in the No Death for the Wicked series, is a great example of this. I understand that my readers are open minded, thought provoking, and intelligent.  So, I don’t fill my book with explanations of why a Reaper (Graham) and a young vampire (Mattie) have an instant attraction. Book two, Midnight, will bring more of this to light and book three, (Untitled) will wrap it up.

I also don’t dive into much of the backstory of Mattie or Graham because the first book is more of a discovery into who they are right now. How they handle themselves in different situations. What are their boundaries, or restrictions? What are their strengths or weaknesses?

There is so much in Daylight that can be expanded on, and that’s the fun part of a series. Why was Mattie so stuck in being young?  How did Mattie’s Mother Dearest control and use her? Why is Graham so thunderstruck with Mattie? Why can’t Mattie get enough of Graham? What’s the deal with the serum Daylight? How is the serum made? What’s the rest of the world like outside of Solace? Are there other vampires out there? How does Pandora fit into the picture going forward? Or does she? Why wasn’t Krew a truly evil bastard? Was he really meant to be the villain or just someone representing the other side?

All of these questions and much more are set into Daylight for a reason. The answers are my secrets. Secrets to be whispered to you as you read along with the rest of the series. And that’s the real trick isn’t it? In Midnight you’ll find out more about the questions above, more secrets will rise up too. The one thing you can rest assured is that I will always wrap up my books with a nice little bow at the end so that you’re not left hanging.

 

Midnight coming soon…

Midnight teaser 1

 

Cover reveal for Midnight – book 2 in the No Death for the Wicked series

Midnight cover final one

Midnight book 2

Synopsis

I have what I came for, the serum they call Daylight, and him. Graham is a dangerously seductive Grim Reaper who shadows my every move. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, necessarily. Now, a clan of unforgiving elite vampires hunting me down by night, that’s a downer.

Why? Why would another vampire, especially the ‘Elites’, care if I walk the streets by day? It’s because I have something they want.

The Voynich manuscript, a book you wouldn’t believe is real unless you’ve seen it with your own eyes. Bound in the skin of an unnamed animal, this legendary book contains the history and knowledge of all vampires that walk this earth, and I have it.

They hunt the nights searching for me. I walk in the light of day trying to keep one step ahead of them, but what happens when my Reaper’s last grains of sand run out, forcing him to return to the underworld?

What will win? Love or revenge?

Join Mattie in this unique vampire love story with a gritty Gothic twist as we find out how far she will go to keep what she has.
 Release date to be announced.