It’s been thousands of years since Raum’s angelic wings turned from white to black, and the Destroyer of Dignities and Robber of Kings never looked back. These days he’s also on the outs with Hell and works with a motley crew of ex-demons on a new mission: snuffing out lesser demons and their half-human progeny.
Raum’s latest assignment brings him to a small Vermont town—and a sweet, funny half-demon, half-human he’ll risk everything to save. Ember Riddick stirs him as no woman ever before—and she holds the key to what Lucifer will move Hell and Earth to prevent: his team’s redemption.
But Ember’s secrets are as dark as Raum’s midnight wings. And their fate may leave them entwined…but destroyed….
We’ll be giving away a signed copy of Renegade Angel, so make sure you stick around.
Writing in Hell
Believe it or not, I don’t actually mean trying to write while all three kids are screaming at one another, my husband is on a business trip, I haven’t gotten anything out for dinner even though it’s five in the afternoon, and the puppy has decided to take a poo in the middle of the kitchen floor, step in it, and then wander all over the family room. That’s a special kind of hell, but not the one I mean.
From the moment a certain big, sexy fallen angel showed up on my mental doorstep, the very image of sin with his curly raven hair, sea green eyes, and of course, big black wings, I knew his story was going to take some interesting research on my part. I mean, how many heroes are from, well, Hell? A few, certainly, but it’s still not exactly standard. They tend to be a little harder to redeem the closer they live to the inferno, and Raum had a pretty sweet estate there: sumptuous décor, nice view of the flaming River Phlegethon, you know. All the bells and whistles. Now, he does end up running for his life, sentenced to death by the Infernal Council on trumped up charged of treason because he ticked off the wrong demon, but still, I needed to be able to see the place I was writing about when he escaped. What would my version of Hell look like? How would it be set up?
I could have just winged it while writing my September Nocturne, Renegade Angel…I sometimes do, owing to my intense hatred of research and equally intense love of making crap up…but this time I bought a fascinating book to go along with my Dictionary of Angels (invaluable for all of your heavenly and demonic naming needs). I bought a book called The History of Hell by Alice K. Turner, which was described as “Sinfully Delicious” by the LA Times. Obviously, as a former Catholic schoolgirl, anything billed as sinfully delicious is completely irresistible to me, so I bought it. Turned out to be a great buy. I learned all sorts of interesting things about the history of The Great Below. Fer instance, didja know that in Mesopotamian myth, Hell was actually run by a goddess named Ereshkigal? She managed to trap her Heaven-ruling goddess sister Inanna down there for three days once, just because (if you have a sister, you might understand the impulse), but eventually Inanna trades her shepherd boyfriend for her freedom, at least for six months out of the year. The poor guy’s sister gets stuck with the job the other six months. And there was much rejoicing. Or something.
Anyway, I went with a cross between Virgil’s Lower World, with its gates and rivers, and Dante’s Inferno, with its circular structure. And minus the medieval politicians. It’s a dry, red, dusty place, deserts of misery, gates of utter darkness guarded by monstrosities, and a gleaming city set in the middle of it all where the aristocracy live. The Infernal City is basically a very large gated community. When Ember, the heroine, goes to its outskirts in some of her more unsettling dreams, she notices that it also stinks of brimstone, which smells a lot like sulfur, which…stinks. And so Raum’s detestable home was born, as was the opening scene, during which he assumes his other form, that of a crow, and is flying for all he’s worth to try and get out before the demonic guards notice he’s gone. He manages it, of course…and ends up in the employ of his white winged brethren, getting paid for exterminating the plague of perky half-human, half-demons that’s become so pervasive it’s interfering with all of the angels’ more important work, namely dealing with the fact that the balance between light and darkness is rapidly slipping into the danger zone.
I suppose working with a few of his more obnoxious fallen angel counterparts (also kicked out of Hell) and being bossed around by a bunch of control freak white wings is a special kind of Hell for Raum, too. But it all changes when he heads to a small town in Vermont, expecting just another routine job…and finding a woman who’s anything but routine, and everything he never knew he was dreaming of.
Thanks so much to Jackie for having me back at Literary Escapism! I always love to come over! I’ve also got a signed copy of Renegade Angel for one commenter. I’ll be here all day to answer whatever questions you might have, but to get the ball rolling, here’s my question for you: who’s your favorite unconventional hero?
Kendra Leigh Castle spent her youth stealing her mom’s romance novels, and now indulges her fascination with paranormal bad boys by writing her own. She lives in Maryland with her family, and is the author of the acclaimed MacInnes Werewolves trilogy, Renegade Angel, out now from Harlequin Nocturne, and a new series coming from Grand Central Publishing about the ancient vampire dynasties that rule the night, beginning next summer with Dark Awakening. Visit her online at www.kendraleighcastle.com!
Want to purchase Kendra’s novels?
- Call of the Highland Moon at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Dark Highland Fire at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Wild Highland Magic at Amazon or the Book Depository
Contest Time! Kendra has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of Renegade Angel. All you have to do is answer this one question: Who’s your favorite unconventional hero? Or simply ask Kendra a question?
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
- +10 Purchase any of Kendra’s novels (listed above) or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.
There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.