The blog of author Harper Alexander

Queen of Spades Excerpt

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In light of finishing LIfebreath, I’m on to finishing up the next book in the Ace series!.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1, to kick things off:

(If you’re not familiar with the first two books, some of the lingo might not make too much sense, such as all the ‘fang’ references ;-).)


I had supposed many times that my bad luck would be the end of me. It’s the only thing that makes sense as an end, really, as far as ends go, for one who’s been ruthlessly hunted by the stuff her whole life. I had only ever had intentions of outrunning it every time it struck, of course, but really – if I was going to meet an end, I would be kidding myself if I ever thought I was going to go out nicely or naturally. (Because really, what was I going to do – keep running right up until one hundred, on my creaky old legs, and then die peacefully in my sleep one night? No, at some point the running itself would kill me.)

But supposing it would always be my bad luck that got me one way or another didn’t prepare me for how I would meet that moment. How I would face it. I had never really known if I would refuse to stop running right up until it actually grabbed me by the heels, or if I would recognize the moment for what it was and stop, and turn, and stare my fate knowingly in its stupid, smug face, and say,

“Hello, you stupid, smug thing – I’ve been waiting.” (And maybe even: “What took you so long?”)

(Or: “What took you so fanged long, you stupid, smug thing?”)

(Or: “What took you and your stupid, fanged face so long, you stupid smug-fanged thing?”)

(Or: “What took you and your fanged, stupid smug-mugged face so long, you stupid fanged mug-thing?”)

Maybe it was the indecision between phrasing that saw me say nothing at all, when the time came. But really, it was probably the fact that my bad luck didn’t catch me at all.

The fact that, what brought it down on me in the end, was me sitting down and waiting for it.

So, that eliminates the first option that I always thought I might take; I didn’t run.

And as it turns out, I didn’t take the second option either. It was always going to be one or the other, when I imagined the End: running or staring my fate in its face; but instead…

Instead I closed my eyes.

I closed my eyes, and didn’t open them again until it was all over.


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