I’ve been hard at work on getting Heart of an Angel (Fallen Warriors #5) ready for release, but it’s been slower going than usual. Part of that is due to my new little bundle of joy who, while being possibly one of the best babies ever, still requires a good deal of my attention! I’m trying to be cognizant of how quickly the time flies those first few years though, and spend as much time as my schedule allows with her. I can’t believe she’s already five months old!
With that said, I have a tentative release date. Provided all the starts align, Heart of the Angel should release on December 24, 2013. That’s later than I wanted, but still in time for some Christmas reading! Here’s a blurb:
With war looming between the angels and mankind, Abby decides to seek out the fallen angel who once saved her life…and earned her love in the process.
Nate is shocked to see the nephilim he saved as a young girl—and even more surprised at how alluring she’s become. Though he can’t deny the spark of attraction between them, nothing prepares him for Abby’s bold claim. That he belongs with her.
Tempting though Abby may be, the thought of loving and losing yet another mate forces Nate to resist her considerable charms. But his fiery little temptress won’t be so easily dissuaded. As the Fallen prepare to battle the angels over the fate of mankind, Abby must convince Nate that loving her is worth risking his heart.
And to thank you all for patiently waiting, I thought I’d include a treat: the scene detailing Nate and Abby’s first meeting.
A little set-up first. Nate and Abby meet when she is thirteen and attempting to flee her apartment building through the fire escape after a fire has started. Without further ado:
With a sudden loud, wrenching sound, the metal gave way from its anchoring.
Abby screamed and grabbed onto the waist-high railing. She held on for dear life as the fire escape shifted and swayed.
For one brief moment it seemed as if the movement had stopped, but then, with a sickening lurch, it tilted to the side, vaulting her over the railing.
The ground rushed toward her at a sickening speed. Mind-numbing terror vibrated through every fiber of her being…along with an altogether more unusual feeling. The buzzing sensation of awareness.
“Help,” she shrieked as the asphalt grew closer and closer, all the while knowing her desperate plea came far too late. Who could help her now?
Seconds before she hit the ground something closed over her waist, and she flew upward with a sickening jerk.
Jamming her eyes shut, Abby swallowed against the burst of nausea that threatened to force tonight’s pizza back up. Her hands instinctively gripped the vise at her waist, only to feel ropy, defined muscles beneath a layer of heated, vibrating flesh.
These were arms around her waist, and she was unmistakably flying.
A husky, masculine chuckle floated to her ears, accompanied by the fleeting scent of vanilla and spice.
An angel. She’d just been saved by a freaking angel!
Hysterical laughter bubbled in her throat. She’d thought she was toast. Had her savior been two seconds later, she would have been toast. But instead she’d been saved by one of the members of the elusive race that had taken patronage of Earth—a wondrous, amazing angel.
I finally get to see one.
She didn’t dare risk opening her eyes until the angel landed on a hard surface and gently set her down. Taking an experimental peek, she realized she was on the roof of the building across the street.
Her eyes flew all the way open when she saw the angry plumes of smoke ribboning up from the blasted out windows on her floor.
Only then did her ears register the blaring siren of the fire truck that had pulled up alongside the street. The ladder had been raised, the firemen hard at work on saving the building’s inhabitants. But they would never have made it in time for her…
“Oh my God,” she murmured.
The deep, velvety voice of the angel sounded out behind her. “Are you okay, little one?”
“Yes. You saved me—”
She turned around to face her savior…and cut off with a shocked gasp.
Her angel didn’t look at all like she’d expected. He was no benevolent creature with long, flowing robes and a bland, peaceful smile. Instead he was the stuff of every teenage girl’s—and quite a few teenage boys’—fantasies.
His lower body was encased in a pair of faded jeans that showcased the strong muscles in his thighs…along with a few other things she’d only dared dream about. His upper body was bare, revealing honeyed skin, washboard abs, and a killer set of pecs. And his face…
God, his face.
Messy black hair rested atop a long, angular face with a strong, square chin. His eyes were a beautiful blue that brought to mind the skies before a storm. And his lips, framed by the hint of a five o’clock shadow, were devastatingly plump.
But as striking as the man was, it was none of these features that commanded the majority of her attention. Rather, it was the set of full, majestic wings that rose from behind his shoulder blades and feathered to the ground in a show of beauty.
They were black instead of white.
“F-Fallen,” she gasped, staggering back. Her spine hit the wall of the roof and for one heart-stopping moment she teetered, fearing she might go right over the edge.
“Careful,” he murmured, his brows drawing together as he took a step toward her.
“No.” She brought her hand up, as if that alone could keep the distance between them. “Stay back.”
Unmistakable disappointment darkened his gorgeous eyes. “I see you, like the humans, are too quick to believe what our former brethren have said about us.”
Huh? What did he mean? She was human.
“You mean to tell me you’re not one of the fallen angels I’ve heard about on TV?” she asked.
The man’s lips curved into a sardonic smile. “No. I am indeed a Fallen. What you’ve been deceived about are the reasons why.”
Something in his tone rang of absolute sincerity, as well as a depth of sorrow she’d never felt before. It dimmed the fear racing through her veins.
Slowly, she lowered her arm. “You saved me. Why?”
One of his brows rose. “You were falling.”
Yes, but the Fallen agenda was to kill humans. To destroy mankind. That’s what the angels had said to the newly formed Consortium after the Fallen had been condemned to death and twelve of them had ended up escaping. They were now public enemy number one, and anyone spotting a Fallen was to call the Consortium immediately.
“Why would you bother to save me if you want my kind dead?”
He let out a low, somber chuckle. “Exactly.”
Possibilities raced through Abby’s mind, erasing the fear and dread the events of the past ten minutes had spawned. Finally she settled on another pressing question.
“How did you even spot me to begin with? Unless I’m the luckiest person on the face of this earth.”
Which she was beginning to think she was.
“Good question, little one,” the man rumbled. He gave a careless flex of his shoulders, and his wings disappeared with a snap.
Abby swallowed another gasp. She’d known angels could absorb their wings, making them appear human, but actually seeing it done was another matter entirely. It was nothing less than pure magic.
“The short answer is I sensed you.”
She drew back at his unexpected answer. “You sensed me?”
He nodded. “You are nephilim.”
Nephilim. She pronounced the strange word in her mind. It wasn’t completely unfamiliar to her. She’d heard it before, she knew. But as for what it meant…that knowledge escaped her at the moment.
“What is a nephilim?”
He began to speak, but then, as if being called from a distance, his head snapped to the side and he gazed out at the horizon.
Abby swallowed hard as the man’s muscles flexed with all the grace of a cat. Not a housecat, of course. No, this man was more panther, all muscle and effortless strength.
“I have to go, little one.” His eyes refocused on her, and the shadow of a grin crept to his lips. This time when he closed the distance between them and reached out a hand, she didn’t do a thing to stop him. His strong fingers curved along her jaw, lifting her face so their eyes locked. “You sure you’re okay?”
“Y-yes,” she stammered, though really she wasn’t. Her limbs were tight and achy, her heart was racing, and she felt like she couldn’t catch a single breath. All because of his electrifying touch.
“Good.” His fingers stroked the skin of her cheek once before dropping his hand and stepping back. “You should go. Convince your parents to leave this city entirely. It’s a dangerous place for one such as you.”
His beautiful black wings emerged with one careless flick of his shoulders. When he tensed as if about to take off, she gave in to instinct.
She sprang forward and placed her hand on his thick, muscled arm and he paused. Something dark and grim read in his gaze. Whatever the Consortium said about him and his agenda, it was clear the man was suffering. Mourning some sort of loss.
“I must go,” he murmured softly. “For both our sakes.”
“At least let me know your name,” she said desperately.
“It’s Nate.” He gave one more look at the horizon. “Take care of yourself, little one. Always be vigilant.”
With those words, he beat down on his wings and flew up into the sky.
Abby gasped as a burst of hot air swept over her face, sending her wavy, long hair flying around her. She whirled and watched the angel fly off into the distance, until he was nothing more than a speck in the night sky.
After he was gone, she realized she still didn’t know if the Fallen were good or evil. Whether they intended to kill the humans or not.
All she knew was that, at the tender age of thirteen, Abby Rhodes had just fallen head over heels in love.
In other upcoming release news, TOUCH OF THE ANGEL (Demons of Infernum #3) re-releases on November 26, 2013 with a yummy new cover. Look for in on the shelves at your local bookstore, or online at your fave retailer!
In addition, I’ve signed a contract for a novella in an anthology featuring witches, ghosts, demons, and Sleepy Hollow. This story was written over 2 years ago, so imagine my surprise when Sleepy Hollow debuts on Fox this season, featuring *drum roll* witches and demons! I’ll have more details, including a blurb, for you soon. You should look for it to release in April or May 2014. ♥