Cover & Excerpt
Deadly Angels Book Five
It’s been centuries since the Norseman Sigurd Sigurdsson was turned into a Vangel-a Viking Vampire Angel-as punishment for his sin of envy, but he’s still getting the hang of having fangs that get in the way when seducing women. Slaying demon vampires known as Lucipires and using his healing gifts as a cancer research doctor, Sigurd is sent to Florida’s Grand Keys Island as a resident physician where he encounters the most sinfully beautiful woman.
The only hope Marisa Lopez has of curing her five-year-old daughter of is a pricey experimental procedure. When she meets the good-looking doctor, Marisa is speechless. Then Sigurd tells her he believes he can help her daughter. Could this too-hot-to resist Viking doctor be an angel of some sort sent to bring a miracle for her daughter? Or is he just a vampire bent on breaking Marisa’s heart?
Genre: Paranormal RomancePurchase links: HC Amazon ARe iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Vampires, Vikings, Angels, Demons, Humor
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins/Avon Books
Giveaway, Excerpt & More
The Norselands, A.D. 850…
Only the strongest survived in that harsh land…
Just then, he heard a loud voice bellow, “SIGURD! Halt! At once!”
He turned to see the strangest thing. Despite the blistering cold, a dark-haired man wearing naught but a long, white, rope-belted gown in the Arab style approached with hands extended.
Without words, Sigurd knew that the man wanted the child. To his surprise, Sigurd handed over the bundle that carried his body heat to the stranger.
“Take her, Caleb,” the man said to yet another man in a white robe who appeared at his side.
“Yes, Michael.” Caleb bowed as if the first man were a king or some important personage.
More kings! That is all I need!
The Michael person passed the no-longer crying infant to Caleb, who enfolded the babe in what appeared to be wings, but was probably a white fur cloak, and walked off, disappearing into the now heavy snowfall.
“Will you kill the child?” Sigurd asked, realizing for the first time that he might not have been able to do it himself. Not this time.
“Viking, will you never learn?” Michael asked.
He said “Viking” as if it were a bad word. Sigurd was too stunned by this tableau to be affronted.
“Who are you? What are you?” Sigurd asked as he noticed the massive white wings spreading out behind the man.
“Michael. An archangel.”
Sigurd had heard of angels before and seen images on wall paintings in a Byzantium church. “Did you say arse angel?”
“You know I did not. Thou art a fool.”
No sense of humor at all. Sigurd assumed that an archangel was a special angel. “Am I dead?”
” That did not sound promising. “But soon?”
“Sooner than thou could imagine,” he said without the least bit of sympathy.
Can I fight him? Somehow, Sigurd did not think that was possible.
“You are a grave sinner, Sigurd.”
He knows my name. “That I freely admit.”
“And yet you do not repent. And yet you would have taken another life tonight.”
“Another?” Sigurd inquired, although he knew for a certainty what Michael referred to, and it was not some enemy he had covered with sword dew in righteous battle. But how could the man…rather angel… possibly know what had been Sigurd’s closely held secret all these years. No one else knew.
“There are no secrets, Viking,” Michael informed him.
Holy Thor! Now he is reading my mind!
Looking up to see Michael staring at him, Sigurd said, “I was jealous.”
Michael shook his head. “Nay, jealousy is a less than admirable trait. Your sin was envy.”
“Envy. Jealousy. Same thing.”
“Lackwit!” Michael declared, his wings bristling wide like a riled goose. “Jealousy is a foolish emotion, but envy destroys the peace of the soul. When was the last time you were at peace, Viking?”
Sigurd thought for a long moment. “Never, that I recall.”
“Envy stirs hatred in a person, causing one to wish evil on another. That was certainly the case with your brother Aslak. And with so many others you have maligned or injured over the years.”
Sigurd hung his head. ‘Twas true.
“Envy causes a person to engage in immoderate quests for wealth or power or relationships that betimes defy loyalty and justice.”
Sigurd nodded. The archangel was painting a clear picture of him and his sorry life.
“The worst thing is that you were given a treasured talent. The gift of healing. Much like the Apostle Luke. But you have disdained it. Abused it. And failed to nourish it for a greater good.”
“An apostle?” Sigurd was not a Christian, but he was familiar with tales from their Bible. “You would have me be as pure as an apostle? I am a Viking.”
“Idiots! I am forced to work with idiots.” Michael rolled his eyes. “Nay, no one expects purity from such as you. Enough! For your grave sins, and those of your six brothers…in fact, all the Vikings as a whole…the Lord is sorely disappointed. You must be punished. In the future, centuries from now, there will be no Viking nation, as such. Thus sayeth the Lord,” Michael pronounced. “And as for you Sigurdsson miscreants…your time on earth is measured.”
Michael nodded. “Thou art already dead inside, Sigurd. Now your body will be, as well.”
So be it. It was a fate all men must face, though he had not expected it to come so soon. “You mention my brothers. They will die, too?”
“They will. If they have not already passed.”
Seven brothers dying in the same year? This was the fodder of sagas. Skalds would be speaking of them forever more. “Will I be going to Valhalla, or the Christian heaven, or that other place?” He shivered inwardly at the thought of that latter, fiery fate.
“None of those. You are being given a second chance.”
“To live?” This was good news.
Michael shook his head. “To die and come back to serve your Heavenly Father in a new role.”
“As an angel?” Sigurd asked with incredulity.
“Hardly,” Michael scoffed. “Well, actually, you would be a vangel. A Viking vampire angel put back on earth to fight Satan’s demon vampires, Lucipires. For seven hundred years, your penance would be to redeem your sins by serving in God’s army under my mentorship.”
Sigurd could tell that Michael wasn’t very happy with that mentorship role, but he could not dwell on that. It was the amazing ideas the archangel was putting forth.
“Do you agree?” Michael asked.
Huh? What choice did he have? The fires of hell, or centuries of living as some kind of soldier. “I agree, but what exactly is a vampire?”
He soon found out. With a raised hand, Michael pointed a finger at Sigurd and unimaginable pain wracked his body, including his mouth where the jaw bones seemed to crack and realign themselves, emerging with fangs, like a wolf. He fell to his knees as his shoulder blades also seem to explode as if struck with a broadsword.
“Fangs? Was that necessary?” he gasped, glancing upward at the celestial being whose arms were folded across his chest, staring down at him.
“You’ll need them for sucking blood.”
“What do you think? From a peach? Idiot! Fom people…or demons.”
“What? Eeew!” He expects me to drink blood? From living persons? Or demons? I do not know about this bargain.
“Thou can still change thy mind, Viking,” Michael said.
Reading my mind again! Damn! “And go to hell?”
“Thou sayest it.”
Sigurd thought about negotiating with the angel, but knew instinctively that it would do no good. He nodded. “It will be as you say.”
Moments later, when the pain subsided somewhat, the angel raised him up and studied him with icy contempt, or was it pity? “Go! And do better this time, vangel.”
On those words, Sigurd fell backwards and over the cliff. Falling, falling, falling toward the black, roiling sea. He discovered in that instant that there was one thing a vangel didn’t have. Wings.
Sometimes life throws you a life line, sometimes a lead sinker…
No one watching Marisa Lopez emerge from the medical center in downtown Miami would have guessed that she’d just been delivered a death blow. Not for herself, but for her five-year-old daughter Isobel.
Marisa had become a master at hiding her emotions. When she’d found out she was pregnant midway through her junior year at Florida State and her scumbag boyfriend Chip Dougherty skipped campus faster than his two hundred dollar running shoes could carry him. When her hopes for a career in physical therapy went down the tubes. When she’d found out two years ago that her sweet baby girl had an inoperable brain tumor. When the blasted tumor kept growing, and Izzie got sicker and sicker. When Marisa had lost her third job in a row because of missing so many days for Izzie’s appointments. And now…well, she refused to break down now either, not where others could see.
And there were people watching. Looking like a young Sophia Loren, not to mention being five-ten in her three-inch heels, she often got double takes, and the occasional wolf whistle. And she knew how to work it, especially when tips were involved at The Palms Health Spa where she was now employed as a certified massage therapist, as well as the Salsa bar where she worked nights at a second job. Was she burning the candle at both ends? Hell, yes. She wished she could do more.
Once inside her car, with the air conditioner on full blast, Marisa put her forehead on the steering wheel and wept. Soul searing sobs and gasps for breath as she cried out her misery. Marisa knew that she had to get it all out before she went home where she would have to pretend optimism before Izzie, who was way too perceptive for her age. Marisa’s parents, on the other hand, would need to know the prognosis. They would be crushed, as she was.
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