The first Descendant in millennia with the power to use an ancient artifact is being hunted. By the good, the bad…and the worst.
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Every rogue longs for a second chance, right? Wrong. Larien, former angel of The Host is not looking for redemption. What he needs hasn’t been seen in millennia but he’ll search the ends of the Earth to find it – from the hills of San Francisco all the way to…the Silk Road.
Jayla Protegenu learned as a child to call her protectors to keep at bay the things that prowled the night. Now, as a woman grown, she never expected one of those protectors would be a Fallen angel – Larien. His job: to help Jayla find the mythical and mystical Seal of Solomon.
Even among those who created the very meaning of good and evil, nothing is black and white. Neither friends nor enemies are what they appear.
Angels have been the hot new trend lately. What do you think SILK ROAD brings to that category of paranormal romance that we haven’t seen before?
I think Silk Road expands the world of angels. We’ve moved beyond just the good and the bad, beyond Ascended and Fallen. Now we have a world where there are many facets to angelhood. There are eudaemon (includes Ascended, cherubs, seraphs, etc), Fallen, Fallen demons, demons and daemons – they all serve a different purpose. For example, in Silk Road, Abaddon, Guardian of the Abyss gate, is said to play a major part in the Armageddon, yet he is considered an Ascended angel rather than Fallen. Why? Because although he is a total badass with command over some of the nastiest creatures imaginable, he was created to police them. It’s his purpose and he is good at his job. So, he’s an example of a very bad good guy.
If you could sell SILK ROAD with a tweet, how would you describe it in 140 characters or less?
I think a part of my blurb does that pretty well – “Even among those who created the very meaning of good and evil, nothing is black and white.”
We all know there’s a great amount of research that usually goes into books. What’s one thing in particular you had a great time researching for this book?
I had a great time researching the lost books of the bible, specifically the Book of Adam and The Testament of Solomon. It was fascinating reading!
“So, what’s up, sweetpea?”
“Jay, I need to tell you something.” Chel’s voice actually wavered? Whatever it was must be serious.
“Chel, you know I’m not going to push, so whatever it is just take your time. But I’m getting the impression it must be a doozy.” God, she hoped it wasn’t a “Larien” discussion. Again.
They were all the way up the tunnel and exiting the clapboard façade and her friend still hadn’t said a word. Back at the vehicle, they yanked the rest of their bags out of the trunk and turned back to the building.
“Come on, Chel. You can tell me. I’m sure what I’m imagining is worse than whatever is really going on.”
“Well…it’s just that…uh, I. Shit.”
“Chel! I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard you swear in all the years I’ve known you. Yep. Definitely a doozy.”
Chel opened her mouth again, and then snapped it shut with an audible click as if she’d been sucker punched in the face. Jayla followed Chel’s line of sight towards the desolate stretch of dunes. The sky was clear, though strangely dim. There was nothing out here. No cars. No homes. Hell, there was barely a road onto Isthus’ property.
And then she felt it.
A flash of black energy so strong it blazed over her skin like a swarm of bees, stinging until it seemed as if each pore held its own individual stinger.
Jayla looked down at her arms just to be sure. No bees. No stingers. Yet the pain was incredible. Almost debilitating. And it came from inside of herself as if someone, something was trying to suck out her very essence.
The first clawed hand appeared out of nowhere and Chel was swiped aside like a Lego character.
There was nothing visible in the failing light, yet she felt spiky boned fingers dig between her ribs. Stretched them apart and proceeded to dig out the power pooled in her core. Jayla’s blood ran cold but the chill didn’t last beneath the flash of anger that gave her the courage to fight. Goddamit, she was beyond tired of feeling as if her ass was one big painted target. Without another thought she clamped down within herself, cut off the siphon of power from whatever invisible force tried to steal it from her and yanked it back. Chel was back up on her feet and together they looked up to the darkening sky to see a swarm of Fallen and demons.
These had no weapons that she could see, but their armor was unmistakable—black as night with glowing gray-tinged ooze that seeped out of the joints like supercharged pus. Their faces were what she expected, having seen them since she was a child—some were gorgeous with an unmistakable menace, perfectly formed and beyond beautiful. Others were as ghastly and malformed as something right out of a horror movie, complete with fangs and brittle cracked skin or enormous leather wings sporting wicked flesh-ripping talons or both.
Power flared from Jayla’s gut, strong and ready to do her bidding. She commanded it to form a hedge of protection around her and Chel.
One creature dove from directly above and two from the sides. Jayla commanded them to turn and fight their comrades. The chaos was most welcome, but didn’t last long enough. They tore each other apart, the defectors quickly subdued as several others readied to take their place and do damage.
She forced another group to freeze and they were quickly trampled underfoot by the horde as they stood like statues, unable to attack anyone or defend themselves. And there were more. Always more.
She cold cocked one in the face, then winced as her fist made contact with the razor sharp scales of his face, splitting her knuckles open.
Fuck. She could neither compel them all nor fight them all. There was no way they were going to get out of this alive without help.
Her mind screamed, “Larien!” as she turned a tight circle to see…
Whoa. What the hell? Chel?
The woman was a moving work of art. The full moon had just begun its climb over a mountain off to the East like a large piece of perfect china, and Chel’s equally flawless complexion was set aglow by the growing light of it. Jaw set and brows narrowed, Chel met their enemies with a ferocity that boggled Jayla’s mind even as the creatures whooshed up, down and all around them. Even in the dust kicked up by the movement of the battle that clogged her nose and throat, Jayla caught every movement her friend made as she earnestly defended them.