Friday, June 08, 2012

Conner Tour: Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

This is the last stop for Conner Tour (by Dark Mind Book Tours)!!
Welcome to Darkest Sins, Miranda!

(Miranda Stork)
I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow. My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice. My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother's Grimm's tales...Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone! I also had an incredibly vivid imagination, leading me to believe that the noises that the radiator in my room made, were in fact the noises of monsters hiding behind it. This led to me having terrible nightmares, in which I believed I woke up and would see them sat in my room, doing nothing more extraordinary than playing cards or reading a book. As I got older, my love of tales about unknown creatures persisted, always wanting to devour tales about ghosts or other beings. Being born in Guisborough was also a coincidence, as it is a town rich in folklore and ghosts in various places, such as the Black Monk of Guisborough Priory...whether or not any of these stories were true, I still don't know, but I love the tingle of imagining whether or not they might be. As I began school, I began to read more books, and became enraptured with the tales of ancient Greece and Rome, loving the explanations for simple things around us turned into figures and gods. To this day, I still have an avid love of ancient customs, and I have especially fallen in love with Celtic symbolism and myths, winding them into my novels whenever possible. As I got older, about ten or eleven, I had moved, to a small village, with only about 80 children or so. I quickly became the main story-teller of my friends, my favourite one being a story about a girl who buys a porcelain doll, only to hate it after a few days and lock it away in her family's garage. The doll of course, is haunted, and breaks back into the house, calling, 'I'm coming, I'm coming...!' until she reaches the little girl, who is hiding under her cover, where she whispers, 'I'm here, I'm here...!' The poor mother of course comes into her daughter's room in the morning and finds her daughter dead, with the doll sat on top of her. I have a vague memory of telling a wide-eyed group of peers one morning, and one of them running off crying...I think I got told off for telling stories that were too scary at school. At the age of seven or so, I was given two books by a relative; one of them was a large collection of Lewis Carroll, and to this day my favourite poem is 'Phantasmorgoria'. The other book was a collection of weird tales, all involving fair maids and witches, devils and wicked spirits in some form or another, a lot of them derived from eastern story-telling, where children and evil witches constantly collide-usually with awful consequences. This persisted with a series of magazines and music called 'The Magical Music Box'. At this point I began to really get into more horror books, watching all and any horrors on television, even ones that were far too cheesy to watch without laughing. Point Horror stories became a favourite on my shelf as I went into my teens, alongside my classic favourites such as Dorian Grey and Great Expectations (still my favourite book to this day). I got hooked onto Anne Rice novels as well, loving the combination of a typically monstrous creature who had redeeming qualities akin to human ones. The most terrifying book that ever made an impression on me has to be The Exorcist. The film is nothing compared to the book-I don't believe I slept the night after finishing it, waking up at every noise in my room, imagining it to be a voice or whispered giggle. (If you want to cut my bio down a little, please feel free, it's simply the author bio I use everywhere else, so I thought it would be best to send you the whole piece.)

Where you can find Miranda: Website - BlogTwitter - FacebookGoodreads - Amazon

Here you can read the book summary: Erin is a young psychologist, with no time for anything but her work, and unable to remember anything about her past. She leads an uneventful life, but a lonely one, in which she secretly wishes for a soulmate... Conner is an unusual patient who approaches her, thrusting her into a strange world of darkness that runs beneath our own. He believes himself to be a creature of legend-a werewolf. But he also draws Erin with a roguish charm, and an irresistible feeling that seems to bind them together... Conner desperately tries to save her from an unknown evil that pursues her with a relentless passion that crosses centuries, an evil that once took her very soul away, somewhere in Erin's lost memories. As she becomes more entwined in a series of events that will remind her of who she really is, will she make it away from the oncoming darkness unscathed...?



She was not sleeping well tonight.
...Something was racing towards her, crashing through the branches and leaves. She was sobbing, and running as fast as she could, but she was cold and wet, and her feet were cut and bleeding. Her clothes hung off her, heavy and chilling. 
A small clearing, lit with brilliant sunshine, danced in front of her, teasing her with the sight of it. She ran towards it, trying to scream for help, but her mouth felt full of cotton wool and no sound came out. 
Behind her, the breathing and snarling became louder and louder. Frantic, she looked around her for somewhere to hide, but all she could see were trees-no, wait! There was a small hut!
Crying with happiness, Erin began to run towards it, but she was knocked flying by something. 
She turned to look, and began to back away in panic. An eight-foot black creature with burning amber eyes glared at her, and began bellowing.
“You must never go inside! NEVER!”
Erin sat bolt upright, cold sweat dripping from her forehead. She took a deep breath, shakily, and switched her bedside light on.
“Oh, Erin.” she murmured to herself, wiping the sweat from her brow. She felt stupid for taking in Conner’s stories so much.
Still shaking, she slid out of bed, and reached for her pink silk dressing gown. Slowly, she pulled it on, and yawned. 
Shaking her head to wake herself up, she began to walk downstairs. Her wool carpet felt rough and very real beneath her bare feet; the perfect antidote to helping wake her up. As she reached her downstairs hallway, she fumbled on the smooth white walls for the light switch. The light above her bursting into life, illuminating the hallway; and she pattered along into the kitchen. 
Snapping the fluorescent above on, Erin waited as its humming light came to life, allowing her to see her small kitchen; its tiled floors and white walls blinding her for a second.
Erin opened one of her maple cupboard doors, the door squeaking in protest on its hinges, and reached inside to take out a glass. Sleepily, she walked over to her kitchen sink, and began to run water into the glass, the cool water filling it up with a rushing sound. 
A sudden quick movement in the shadows outside of her kitchen window made her look up in shock. Squinting, she peered outside, her reflection copying her in the glass.
“It must have been a cat or something.” 
Erin muttered to herself. As she turned away from the window, she suddenly heard a very
definite ‘thump’. The kind of thump that you know is someone-or something-letting itself be known to you. 
“Alright, what the hell is that?” Erin said aloud, more bravely than she felt. She slammed her glass down on her kitchen table, the clanging noise actually making her feel more panicked. Stories about women who live alone being preyed on by murderers raced through her brain. Shaking those thoughts from her head, she began to walk slowly towards her back door. 
Her heart thumping wildly, she took a deep breath, and unlocked her white UPVC back door, flinging it wide open. 
Standing less than six feet away from her door was a large, black wolf-creature. It was stood on four paws, but it had two glaring green eyes focused completely on Erin. It’s long tail hung behind it, quite still, as it continued to stare at Erin, daring her to defy it standing there. Erin stood frozen for a second, the blood draining from her body, making her feel cold, and then swiftly slammed the door shut. 
She fumbled hurriedly with her lock, and began to walk backwards towards the kitchen door, snapping the fluorescent off as she walked away. 
She tripped over a chair leg, unable to see in the dark, crying out as she hit the hard floor.
Shaking, she began to crawl backwards to the door, hitting the far kitchen wall instead. 
Sobbing silently with fear, she reached up onto the top next to her, moving her fingers until she touched one of her kitchen knives, left on the top from when she had made her dinner. 
Outside, she could still hear the creature breathing heavily, snarling and snuffling at her doorstep. Trembling, she gripped the knife to her chest, and squeezed her knees up, sat in a foetal position. 
Hours passed until eventually she heard the creature padding off, her head swimming with fatigue. Erin sat up for what felt like even more hours, listening for the creature coming back, eventually falling into an uneasy sleep.
And now, enjoy my review and the amazing giveaway below!
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