Guest Blog Post and Excerpt by Erica Hayes...
The Terminator with feathers: why we love our angel warriors
They slaughter innocents. They turn cities to salt. They smite their enemies with a ready sword, stained to the elbows in the blood of unbelievers and heretics. They're the relentless, remorseless bringers of holy vengeance, and they take no prisoners. Kind of like the Terminator with feathers.
Would you ever really want to meet an angel?
Yes! everyone yells. Well, yes. Okay. Definitely, if they're the smoldering, fiery-eyed warriors of paranormal romance. There's just something about these immortal alpha warriors-on-a-mission that we can't resist… and did I mention the feathers? Dude can fly, honey. Do you know how much muscle power that takes… okay, so maybe some magic involved there. So he's multi-skilled. Even better.
But fallen angels have their own special appeal. All of the above—plus, who doesn't love a bad boy? Cast out from heaven, walking the earth for eternity, neither damned nor saved. How hopelessly romantic. Mighty warriors they may be, but they're also lost souls, without a place to call their own. And some of them have been very, very naughty.
In REDEMPTION, my hero, Japheth - that's him on the cover, isn't he fabulous? - has sworn off sin. Doesn't drink, doesn't party, doesn't flirt with women. Centuries ago, heaven cast him out for... well, he's not quite sure why, but his archangel is mighty displeased with him. On any other day, he'd be burning in hell, but tough, single-minded demon-slayers like Japheth are too precious for heaven to waste. So for centuries, he's roamed the earth, one of a gang of fallen angels called the Tainted Host, who do heaven's dirty jobs. The things no one upstairs wants to handle. It's not as if he can say no: one more mistake, and he's damned.
Japheth longs more than anything to win his way back to heaven, so he's vowed to remain sinless. To resist all temptation. No lies, no gluttony, no pride or self-indulgence of any kind. And certainly no women.
So when he meets Rose - a beautiful vampire assassin called the Angel Slayer - he's determined to kill her... but he'll have to resist her sultry wiles first. Because Rose's demon master is the angels' sworn enemy, and he's sent her to corrupt Japheth's goodness. To lure him to damnation, any way she can.
For her part, Rose never wanted to be a demon's vampire slave. But she fell for the demon's dirty tricks, and now she burns for revenge against the heaven that abandoned her. She'll kill as many angels as it takes... and Japheth, with his frosty facade and fiery warrior's heart, is an easy mark.
Or so she thinks. But the world's falling to pieces around them. Demons are hijacking the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse, and a hideous vampire plague threatens to consume all of Manhattan. If Rose and Japheth can kill her bloodthirsty demon master, Rose will get her human life back, and Japheth's soul will be saved. But can they resist one last chance at love, before the world dies screaming?
That's another cool thing about angels, see: they mean trouble. They bring bad news. They never show up just to let you know everything's okay. If you see an angel coming your way, you know that mayhem and destruction aren't far behind. Like the Terminator, with feathers. Love 'em.
“Looking for someone, angel?”
That honey-blood voice quivered Japheth’s feathers taut.
She grinned, mocking. Leaning against the redbrick wall beneath a rusted fire escape, steeped in magical shadow and hot vampire stink.
He stared, dumb. Tall for a girl, only a head shorter than he. Long legs, encased in blue jeans and black army boots. Her short black t-shirt stretched over full breasts, flashing that tempting skin above a silver belt buckle. Her bare arms shone, muscular but womanly. Sexy dimples in her cheeks, perfectly shaped for cupping in his palms.
The bloody feathers of slain angels, gold and white and red, stuck through the thick dark braid she tossed over her shoulder. A few wisps escaped to play around her face in the summer-night breeze. He wanted to trace their path with his fingertips, cheekbone to chin to cherry-ripe lips . . .
“Matter of fact, I am,” he said tightly. “Your sniveling master. Fluvium, is it? Prince of Thirst? Tell me where he is and I might kill you quickly.”
She laughed, fangs glinting. Sharp, lethal like a tigress’s. “You’ve come to kill Fluvium? Good luck with that.” She lolled on one foot, eyeing him speculatively, sizing up her prey. “Japheth, right? Of the Tainted Host? Cute name, for a hamster.”
Sweet lord, his name in her mouth sounded . . . dirty. He swallowed, rough. “How’d you know that?”
“I know my enemy.” She licked ripe lips.
“Yeah?” he said coldly. “Well, I don’t want to know you, whore. I don’t care what your name is—”
“Rose Harley,” she cut in swiftly, with a wicked grin. “Whoops. Too late. Sorry about that. You like it anonymous, don’t you? So you can pretend they’re not people when you damn them to eternal torment?”
His grip spasmed around his sword. Sweet heaven, he wanted to stab her. Fill her with burning steel. Twist it, thrust it deeper, make her moan . . . “You don’t need me to damn you. You made your choice. Tell me where Fluvium’s hiding, and I’ll put you out of your misery.”
She laughed again, and strolled towards him, hands in pockets. “You sure could learn a thing or two from demons about making deals. Like, I dunno. Offering me something I actually want?”
Her knife still lay sheathed, in her thigh holster. Unafraid, was she? Grudging admiration tingled under his skin, and he crackled it off. Nothing admirable about a demon minion’s attitude. “So you do know where he’s hiding, then.”
“And what if I do?” She draped her sultry gaze over his silver-clad chest, his bare arms, his glowing blue sword . . . Her scrutiny flushed treacherous heat right to the top of his head. He could smell her, blood and corruption, yes, but underneath, the hot salty musk of female flesh . . .
Surely, she was his nemesis. Sent to tempt him into falling. Well, he wouldn’t give in. Not when he was so close to redemption.
The Seven Signs, Book 2
Genre: paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Number of pages: 330
Word Count: 100K
Cover Artist: Kris Keller
Paperback: Amazon BN Book Depository
Ebook: Amazon BN iTunes
Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.
As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.
Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.
When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell.
About the Author:
Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.
She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.
She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she's terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.
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