I’m delighted to have my friend Voirey Linger as my guest today. Her paranormal romance, Risking Eternity, book 1 in her Heavenly Lovers series, is FREE at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon (US), Barnes & Noble , and All Romance eBooks from August 5th through August 18th.
People often ask where authors get their ideas. That’s a hard question to answer. Ideas spring from everywhere. They show up at the oddest times, sparked by an image or odd comment. They are abstract concepts, tossed into the nether, that take root and grow.
I don’t remember exactly where the idea for Risking Eternity came from, but I do remember this idea nagging me; what if the angel of death thought a death was an injustice and took fate into his own hands? The question was irresistible.
After I finished Dom and Maggie’s story, I knew I wasn’t done. Ren was there, waiting for me to give him his forever love. I admit that I was wary taking on this combination of m/f and m/m romance in one series. Sometimes the two don’t play nicely with each other. I don’t regret taking that chance.
I did know I wanted to do one more book from there and Evan seemed like the perfect candidate for a love story. His appearance in Forsaking Eternity was brief, but it was enough to show me he was intensely loyal — a good quality for hero material.
Love comes in all forms, and I love that this series let me explore that.
For two hundred years, Dominicus has lived in isolation, sentenced to take human souls to hell. But this night’s victim is unlike all the others.
But Maggie isn’t the only temptation he faces. Dominicus fights an attraction to the angel Renatus. With her, he risks Hell, with him, losing the only piece of Heaven he has left.
Demons covet Maggie’s soul and Lucifer won’t give up his prize. In claiming her, Dom has not only compounded his sin, he’s sparked a war between Heaven and Hell. Does he deliver Maggie to Lucifer and ensure his salvation, or save her and risk eternal damnation?
Hard bricks bit into Dominicus´ rear end and he shifted on the edge of the building´s roof, trying to find a more comfortable position. Rain fell in a fine mist, drenching the night and muffling the noise of the city. The low clouds blocked the Heavens and reflected the city lights and gave the sky an unnatural orange glow.
This was the thing he disliked most about his assignments, sitting hidden from the world while he waited for instructions. He frowned. No, there was something he hated more. The stench at the gates was worse, and sometimes the pleas from those who realized what was happening.
The dying never went quietly into Hell.
It was his punishment, leveled on him by none other than the Most High. Every night he waited, invisible to human eyes, while a human died. Every night he watched as the blackened soul separated from the dying body. Every night he took that soul to Hell. The human myth of an Angel of Death had been made real and would remain so until his curse was lifted.
He shifted again and returned his attention to the nightclub, five stories below. Neon glowed in the night, highlighting the people crowded under the awnings. The hard pulse of music drifted up to him. A taste of the atmosphere inside seeped onto the streets to lure in those looking for gaiety. Scanning the crowd, he tried to feel out the soul-deep emptiness, the bite of evil, that would mark his assignment, but there were too many people clustered together. They all had cravings, all needed something they thought they would find inside the garishly lit building.
“Are you prepared for this night´s work?”
“Checking up on me, Renatus?” Dominicus turned to look at the white-robed angel who had appeared behind him. Light sparkled off droplets of rain collecting in Renatus´s golden hair. The fine elegance of his features were marred by a pinched frown of disapproval.
“Of course not. You don´t need to be watched, do you?”
Dominicus couldn´t help but wonder if the light angel intended the subtle dig or if his words should be accepted at face value. Too many years living on the Earthly plane had soured him, made him suspicious. Still, Ren was his only contact with the Heavens now and didn´t deserve his distrust.
“If you are not here to make sure I am doing my job, then why have you come?” Dominicus watched as Ren took a seat beside him on the ledge, close enough the snowy white wings brushed his own black ones. The faint tickle of contact made his feathers stand on end.
“So hostile, Dom. Your time here does not seem to have mellowed you.”
No. His time hadn´t mellowed him. Quite the opposite. If anything his penance made him more certain he was justified in his rebellion. The Most High didn´t do enough to preserve the souls of creation. In the past two centuries, he´d delivered too many to the gates, seen the hunger and greed in the demons´ eyes as they devoured the souls and took their power for their own.
“Why are you here?”
“Can I not come to visit my friend?” A flicker of something crossed Ren´s face, something that looked suspiciously like regret.
Dominicus shot him a wry look. “You could, but you have not.” The angel wasn´t there to see him, that was certain. Ren never came without purpose anymore.
Renatus could not understand Dominicus´ continued defiance. His legalistic mind could not understand any defiance, for that matter. Dominicus´ constant questioning of Most High´s laws was an ever-growing barrier between the friends.
An awkward silence fell between them and Ren turned to study the people below. “There is concern for you in the Heavens,” he finally said, his voice quiet and hesitant. “You have been on the Earthly plane, separated from your kind for far too long. There is concern you have Fallen.”
Dominicus contained a snort of disbelief. Two hundred years after he was barred from the Heavens, they were now concerned? Where was their worry when he was cast down to the mortal plane to exist in solitude? All had turned their backs on him. All save Renatus.
“I have not Fallen.”
“And yet, you have not Risen, either.”
“Risen?” he asked incredulously. “I am confined here, cut off from all I have known, from receiving power. I have no companionship but yours, and you are a rare visitor. There is nothing to lift me back into the Heavens.”
“That is not true, Dom.” Ren´s hand clutched Dom´s arm as he repeated his oft-voiced plea. “You’ve always had the power to return. Rescind your statement. End this defiance and ask the Most High for forgiveness. Please, come home with me.”
“Until my punishment is lifted, I will stay as I am.”
“Don´t be so sure.”
Dominicus gave Ren a hard look, searching for a clue to his meaning. Had something changed? Perhaps his situation was not as static as he´d believed. Judging from Ren´s expression, this was not a good thing.
“What is happening, Renatus?”
“I cannot offer anything but the pronouncement.”
Dominicus stiffened. If Renatus was here in his official role of Messenger, his existence would soon be completely altered. “Which is?”
“I was sent to warn you this assignment is of the utmost importance. The Most High says, `This is your test. You have learned more than you know. We must all make our own decisions, find our own paths. It falls on you to do the right thing.´”
The Most High´s words resonated within Dominicus, the absolute truth in them sending a shiver through his body even as his hand curled into a white-knuckled fist.
Leave it to the Heavens to deliver an important message and yet be cryptic.
“And what is the right thing?”
“That, my friend, is your test.”
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Risking Eternity is FREE August 5 through August 18, 2013, at:
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