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About the Author
REVENANTS: You're complete undead fix.
This series has: ghosts, vampires, zombies, angels and demons all in one new creature. Explore the whole new undead world of the revenant from the revenant's view.
"This, the first in a series, is seriously good...this is an immaculately presented, well constructed story, but most importantly it is a hugely entertaining read." - Truth About Books
HOLD THE LIGHT: Once you are Death, you can do anything but live.
Come find a lineage of unlucky souls' fates twisted into living as reapers, from the American Revolutionary War to the 1990's Boston.
"...Sherwood's novel is both ambitious and offers an original take on the age-old 'Grim Reaper' theology..." - Truth About Books
I'm a big fan of zombies, comic books, horror, dark sci-fi & fantasy and even literature (can be darker than horror!), as you will see in my books. Yet, I want to help keep genre fiction honest and create stories that build something new and challenging to concepts, not just rehashing someones good idea from a century ago.
Fun side fact: I designed all my book covers and website, as I am a visual/web designer by day and author (ok, maybe sleeper too) by night. Best time to write dark fantasy/horror books probably is the night anyway. You tell me - share your opinion with me and especially with others!
Try the Revenants prequel "Before the Watch" for under $1. You'll dig it.
For even more, visit www.ryansherwood.com
and even get a FREE short story HORIZONS at: www.ryansherwood.com/free_stories.html
Read an Excerpt
MURAL'S reflection shone in the butcher knife and revealed more than his image. He saw, finally, what his brother had been trying to tell him for years. In the polished blade resting on the table before him was his boyhood face. Round, child-like features pushed past his adult visage and glared at him with big round eyes that harbored an innocence that Mural hadn't sensed for years. He had never thought of himself as pure, yet he had a few scattered memories that told him he once had a normal childhood. That there were once better times, back when he had a family untouched by the stain of violence.
But there was no time for these jumbled thoughts. Mural had finally found a focus, a purpose that built him a stable bridge between the past and present. He was ready to choose his first victim.
"Til death do you part..." Mural muttered into his ale as he slid the butcher's knife from the table and nestled it behind him. He leaned his massive weight back in his chair and it protested with creaks and moans. He had always liked this pub; everything was built solid and sure, and nothing broke underneath him. And the people stayed far away from him and that was far different from all else he encountered.
"...and I've come to hold you to your vows," Mural finished.
His favorite spot was a small table meant for two that was pushed into the corner, but his sprawling size negated any chance for company of even the smallest stature. It was perfect for solitude. Wood paneling brushed against his back, pulling on the fibers of his long black coat.
Mural leaned and stretched as he gazed out onto Boston through the pub's long rectangular window. The crooked lightof night peered in. This was the place--the best spot to keep hidden while he heard all the women pass by with their escorts. Mural had been enduring their uninvited whispers for weeks, listening to the slews of their terrible and back-stabbing thoughts, all emanating from random, cheating women. Any and every woman that strolled the fire-lit cobblestone streets of Boston could be his target. This night was when he would act on their thoughts.
Dusk had settled beyond the dirty pane he peered through and the insidious whispers slowly came with the shadows, creeping up on him with the impending night. Yet they approached much more leisurely than usual. He shifted his weight in the chair and the thin wooden posts that served as its back jostled the knife that rested under his belt. He could almost hear the blade cry out to be used. He began to feel rushed. It is one thing to kill in haste, to react to a threat; Mural had done that plenty--it's another thing completely to plan and stalk a random person whose identity isn't known until a few seconds before the kill.
Mural brought the mug to his mouth again and the glass crashed against his teeth, beer and foam pouring down his chin and onto his lap. Wincing with pain, he wiped his chin and gently placed the glass down in a puddle of ale. The moment had arrived in a jolt. A whisper from the street jarred him into action. He licked his lips and stood, swallowing blood and beer as his chair joyfully moaned in relief to be rid of Mural. Straightening his coat in an attempt to look presentable, he strolled past the couples, inevitably bumping shoulders with his elbows until he left the pub. Ducking outside, the clear night air leapt to his nostrils. He sucked in a deep breath and savored every aroma, committing them to memory. He would remember the charred wood from the lamps on the street, the horseflesh, the salty sea breeze, and the irresistible perfume from the adulterous woman no more than several strides ahead. She had no escort.
Long, blonde curly hair bounced off the back of her silk dress and hypnotized him with its rhythmic movements. She was the perfect first victim, a gorgeous upstanding wife who hid all her indiscretions behind fine manners and an innocent smile. Mural was almost fooled; she looked so pure, yet unmistakable sinful whispers flowed from her all the same. He shook off his doubt and continued his pursuit. The light retreated the more he followed, and she lead him further from the city, to some unknown rendezvous.
Curiosity reigned while Mural envisioned the possible scenarios he was about to experience. He had confirmed the whispers so many times before, but only as a distant observer, watching women cheat on their husbands. But what if his first victim was his first error? He had to make sure that she would follow through on her thoughts. The feelings he received from this one woman were overwhelming and inimitable; it was just a matter of time before the desire in her head made it to her lips. He knew that in his bones.
She scurried like the insect he saw her as, down an alleyway and perched at a stoop, rapping on a door. Mural hid behind a corner, peered past the brick, and could smell the lust pouring off her. It was sickening. How could she do this? The door creaked open and a pale face with blonde hair and a snipe nose pushed into view, beckoning her in. Her head bobbed in agreement and they both smiled as she entered. The door slammed shut and so did Mural's eyes; he was ready to pounce. His pulse pounded with a surge of hatred that stemmed from the past. Flashes from his youth surfaced, carrying with it pangs of love laced with pain. His muscles tensed. Mural slid into the alley like a shadow and pressed his ear to the door. The whispers from her billowed from the building and told him she was already undressing. He could almost feel their breath and it sent shivers into his every vertebrae. The chill made him button his coat all the way to his neck.
Mural slipped his fingers under his coat to his beltline where the knife waited, anxious, nearly screaming to be brandished. He held it under the folds of his black coat; he wasn't going to take the chance of being caught. This had to be flawless. With his free hand, he pushed down the latch on the door. It wouldn't budge. He slid his hand up and across the wood and gave a slight thrust to test the strength needed to break in.
Mural smiled and kicked in the door, hoping the rest of the night was going to be as easy.