There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.
She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.
It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.
Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.
Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.
Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay.
It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.
A spitball stops in mid-air less than an inch from my nose.
It hangs there. I assume everyone else notices the wet wad of paper too, but when I turn to my bestie Jordan, her mouth is stuck open with her eyes half closed.
She was just laughing. Now she’s ... frozen?
The sudden silence is louder than a room full of gossiping teenagers.
Mini-quakes creep up my spine like a centipede hurrying toward my hair.
I’m not entirely sure my heart is beating. I wave my shaking hand in front of Jordan, hoping this will break her free of whatever happened.
Why am I moving?
So many times, I wished Jordan would stop talking. Now is the one time I need her high-pitched voice to pierce my ears.
Quin, relax. It’s okay. No way this is real. I pinch my arm hard, but it doesn’t change anything.
A loud pop makes me spin around in my seat. A man stands in front of the chalkboard in a bluish-white robe staring at me through blizzard white eyes. He holds a staff in front of him that looks like melting glass.
“Hello, Quincy,” he says in a deep velvet voice. “How would you like to see your future?”
I stand and stumble toward the back of the room. “Who are you supposed to be? Gandalf?” I’m unable to keep the tremor out of my voice.
“One person dresses up like me in a movie, and that’s all I hear.” He leans back on Mr. Spragg’s desk. “I’m far more attractive than him and so much more fun.” He winks and lifts his robe, revealing a pair of yellow and red striped Bermuda shorts and orange flip-flops.
My eyes pop wider at the mismatched mess, but I keep my thoughts about his sense of fashion to myself. “Who are you?”
His sigh echoes off the walls. “I’m Destiny.”
Rolling his eyes, he raises the staff high to his left. Like a swordsman, he stabs and swooshes it down in an arch. The air ripples as a dark slit opens. A man in a deep brown pinstripe suit steps through. His cheap sneakers don’t match the formality of the tan fedora and horn-rimmed glasses.
A pony-sized white German shepherd saunters in behind him, and I take an automatic step back. The dog turns his head, black orbs where its eyes should be.
Pinstripe man glances my way before turning toward the person who calls himself Destiny. His features contort and a maroon tint creeps over his face.
“What the f—”
Destiny flips his finger and the new guy shuts up. After a moment, he does another finger move.
“We said when she was eighteen, Des.”
“I’m aware of that, Forsyth.”
“She’s not eighteen.”
“Really? I never would have guessed.” Sarcasm fills each word as Destiny raises his eyebrows like a flag on the Fourth of July.
Forsyth glares. “Then why am I here?”
“I let you pick the date, but I never agreed to honor it.” Destiny pats the dog on the head with sneer and wipes his hands on his robe. “Now is the time. Teach her.”
5 of 5 Reaper
Where to start this review. Man I have to say that I really enjoyed this story. I have read a few books about Reapers and they have been kinda scary but this one was refreshing and funny but it had a life lesson in it. See sometimes we make decisions that are selfish and that causes our behavior to become erratic which in turn causes us to do and say things we don't mean but we do it anyways. In this story our main character Quincy has to make a decision that effects her life and she is set on her answer until she reunites with her old best friend and things start to change for her for the better.
Quincy is a fifth generation grim reaper or so she will be soon but Quincy is also a spoiled brat with a car, friends, and way to much attitude. Lord help us all because she is one spoiled little diva and when she is told she is to become a reaper she flat out refuses. Then to make matters worse her old best friend Ben comes back into the picture. Ben wants to be more than friends but Quincy is not the girl he used to know so he knows he has to peel back all the spoiled layers and get back the girl he used to know the girl he knows is still in there but hiding for some reason.
What will Quincy do? Will she become the next reaper? Will she open up her heart to Ben again? or Will she continue to be the snooty little spoiled brat she is. This is such a must read that I sat there at work and read this story in 6 hours. Happy reading and don't forget the reaper is coming for you........
Authors often get asked, “Where do you come up with your ideas?” It’s a great question when you think about it. All the writing books give suggestions on where to find ideas, but you never know where the lightning might strike.
The idea for Reaper came from a “what if” question. I don’t remember where or when it came to me exactly, but I do remember asking myself “What if the It girl learned of her destiny on her 16th birthday?” It snowballed from there. Quincy was born. Then she took over. J
My current work-in-progress stems from a scene that I witnessed in high school. My creative writing teacher used to take us out of the classroom to wonder about town, in an orderly fashion of course. He would point out things that he thought would be inspiring. As we approached the school on our way back from the town square one day, he stopped and pointed at the parking lot.
“If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is,” he shouted. (He shouted a lot.) “Now write!”
Lined up in the parking lot were a dozen or so tractors. I rolled my eyes at the time, but the image stayed with me. My MC, Piper Marks, drives up to a similar scene on her first day of school. She’s as impressed as I was, only for different reasons.
Another idea that I’m developing popped into my head during my vacation this summer. The location was the inspiration. In fact, I’d love to go back there for some research this summer.
Inspiration can strike at any time, any place. It could be a memory. It could be a place. It could be a location. It could simply be a word that haunts you. My advice: Don’t look for inspiration. It will find you. And when it does, be ready because it won’t let go.
That’s a good thing.
Bio: L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets. “A Reason to Stay”, a contemporary romance novella, is available as of November 2, 2012. Reaper is her debut young adult novel and will be released on January 7th, 2013.
She is a co-rep for the Southern Illinois region of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild.