Do You Believe in Angels?
I never set out to write about angels. I didn’t sit down one day and think to myself, “Angels, now there’s a good basis for a book.” In fact, it was the furthest thing from my mind – before I had the dream. Back then, I had visions of Regency heroes and quirky modern heroines, but angels? Not so much.
Until the dream.
Of course I didn’t realize at the time that I was writing about angels. They weren’t very forthcoming in the beginning. I actually thought that I was writing about a woman who was at a crossroad in her life where the ultimate choice she made could literally have life or death consequences. I know what you’re thinking. All this from a dream? Well, no, not exactly. The dream itself centered around a woman at a nightclub dancing the night away with a sinfully attractive man. Simple enough but for the fact that, when she turned away from him, his eyes began to glow red, giving him a devilish look. Still rather unremarkable, right? Until the woman showed up in my next dream. Only this time, she was dressed in a rather proper manner and moving into a garage apartment, preparing to take care of the twins of a widower.
That’s how Nora’s Soul came to fruition. Two dreams, interconnected, that wouldn’t leave me alone. They were all I thought about. Who was this woman and why was she out dancing with a devil one night and preparing to care for children the next? The questions fueled my imagination, demanding answers. The first answer came in the identity of the woman, Nora, who began to give me clues to her background. The angels came in later. You see, in the beginning, I thought I was dealing with a clear-cut depiction of good versus evil, devil versus angel, but as the story progressed, I realized that not everything is so black and white. There are beautiful shades of gray.
Dante is a shade of gray. When he first came to me in my dream, Dante portrayed himself as something of a devil. So that’s how I described him. He was a devil, his only purpose was to steal Nora’s Soul, and that was the end of the story. Or so I thought. But Dante had other ideas. Just when I thought I was done with him, he wouldn’t let me go. He kept invading my dreams, telling a different story. I soon learned that Dante was an angel who, not unlike Nora, was led down the wrong path by his desires. And Dante also finds himself having to make some decisions that could have severe ramifications not only for himself but also for others connected to him.
At its core, Nora’s Soul is about a woman’s crisis of faith – in herself as well as the heavenly beings who are trying to set her on the right path. But it’s also about what happens when one of those heavenly beings has been led astray, his own faith – in himself, in his kind – tested. Even Dante will have to answer the question: Do you believe in angels?
Here’s a blurb:
When angels of light and dark collide on earth…
Once he held a favored position in the heavens. But one moment of weakness casts Dante out and now he is cursed to walk the earth, collecting the souls of vulnerable women to buy his way into hell.
All hell breaks loose…
But standing in his way is Peter, an angel of light. Peter is everything Dante is not. Pure, above reproach. And determined to prevent Dante from achieving his goals. Peter will stop at nothing to protect the souls in his charge, even if it means achieving the impossible – leading Dante back onto the right path.
And no one is safe from the fall-out.
Nora Kendall believed in angels. Once. But then she lost her brother to cancer despite all of her prayers – and she lost her faith in all things angelic. Now, she is a lost soul who wanders through life like a sleepwalker, playing it safe and leaving the risk-taking to others.
Kyle Cameron is one of those risks. Burned by a bad marriage, his only concern now is providing a stable life for his children, who are left motherless by the unexpected death of his wife. This means working overtime to grow his architectural firm into a viable business – and leaving the care of his children to the care of someone he trusts. Despite his past connection with Nora, Kyle isn’t certain that she’s the right person for the job. He also doesn’t want to reconnect with her and repeat history.
But fate – and the machinations of two angels – has other ideas.
And an excerpt:
“I don’t want there to be any misconceptions or hurt feelings between us, Nora.”
The sound of his harsh voice snapped her attention back to him. “Misconceptions?” she repeated, confused. “About what?”
“About what you and my sister expect is going to happen here.”
“I don’t – “ Her protest died on her lips when he placed a fingertip over them, silencing her. She nearly choked on a shallow breath at the fireball of sensation that roared down to the pit of her stomach at that minute touch. Thankfully, he withdrew the finger before she could do anything really damaging to her pride – like suck it into her mouth – but the fiery sensation lingered in her stomach, quietly banking a fire of old sensations into full life.
“I don’t need a social secretary,” he said, seemingly unaware of her reaction to him. “If I did need a secretary, I’d find one through a headhunter, not my sister.”
“And I certainly wouldn’t take one whose background is in social services.”
“Well, then, it’s a good thing I’m not here to be your secretary.”
“Good. Now that we’ve got that established, let’s move on.”
Kyle ignored that last comment as he launched into his speech. As he spoke, he made a leisurely circle about Nora, pausing to lean toward her in punctuation of each sentence.
“I’m not looking for a wife or a new mother for my children – “
“I’m not – "
“ – so if that’s the little scheme you’ve got going with my sister, you can just forget about it now.”
“I don’t have any ‘little scheme’ going with Joelle - or anyone else, for that matter!”
“Glad to hear it,” Kyle said, his tone belying his words. “Let’s move on, shall we?”
“Oh, please do.”
“I live alone. I like that.”
His breath skimmed her right ear as he leaned in close to her, front to front. She tried not to shudder at the pleasurable sensation it sent shimmering down her neck and into her stomach, where it joined the fire still banked there. She feared that she failed miserably. She almost didn’t hear his next words in the aftermath of the sensations he aroused in her.
“I throw my clothes on the floor when I undress.” He slipped around her right shoulder, but circled close to it – too close. “I leave the toilet seat up. I squeeze toothpaste from the middle. I sleep in the nude.” He leaned over her shoulder. His lips pressed to her ear, his breath searing a path down the left side of her neck now that, oddly enough, brought chills to her spine. “I like that.”
As the chills rippled through her, Nora swayed, slightly off-balance. Kyle righted her equilibrium with a quick, painless jab of his knees to the backs of hers. Then he pulled back, abruptly, completed his circle as he drilled home his point. “I don’t want anyone picking up my clothes. I don’t want anyone putting down the toilet seat or telling me where to squeeze my toothpaste.” He paused to quirk his lips in what could almost pass for a smile at the suggestive statement. “And I don’t want anyone buying me silk pajamas. I don’t want to be reformed.” He leaned his face so close to Nora’s then that his features filled her entire realm of vision. “Got that?”
Well, of all the arrogant, insufferable – ! Nora was trembling with rage by the conclusion of Kyle’s little speech. Just who the hell did he think he was, anyway, making demands like that?
“That’s what I missed about you all these years, Kyle,” she said with hard-won calm. “That charming personality.”
Kyle smiled then, but it was just a flexing of the muscles; there was no warmth to it. He leaned nearer to Nora, the tip of his nose in a position to touch hers should either of them make the slightest movement. It was an oddly intimate pose; a slight twist to the left, or a slight twist to the right, and their lips would be touching, even if no other parts of their bodies were. But the heat of his body – emanating from his skin in a wonderfully male scent that reminded her of warm summer days at the beach – did touch her; like a brand, searing another impression of him on her heart. The urge to melt into him wasn’t as hard as the urge to pull away; it took all of her strength to resist it. Oh, no, she wouldn’t give him that.
“Oh, I can be very charming.” He dropped the smile. “Or not.” Withdrawing, he stared down his nose at her, pointed a finger toward her collarbone. “Your choice. Just remember this – I don’t want to be seduced.”
“Oh, I don’t think there’s any chance of that,” Nora said, her voice so thick with sarcasm she nearly choked on it. She thought she detected a flicker of something – admiration, perhaps – in his eyes when she stated, “I’m here to take care of your children’s needs, not yours.” But whatever she thought she saw in his eyes was gone before she could name it. Must be my imagination, she decided.
“See that you remember that.”
“Oh, I will.”
They faced off for an eternal moment, two battle-scarred warriors at an emotional impasse. Each waiting for the other to flinch first. When that didn’t happen, they simultaneously relaxed their stances, as if by some silent agreement.
Kyle took a wary step backward. His eyes never left her face. “Good. Then there’s nothing left to discuss. Is there?”
“Just one thing,” she said when he would’ve turned away. She ignored the annoyed look he cast over his shoulder as he paused on his flight up the stairs. She started down the hall toward the sounds of merriment emanating from the kitchen, but paused when she came abreast of Kyle on the stairs. “I take my responsibilities very seriously.” She hesitated, for effect, then drove the statement home with, “All of them.” And then she was gone, leaving Kyle to stare after her in wonder.
I hope you enjoyed this little teaser. Watch this spot for details on a new and improved version of Nora's Soul.
Thank you for spending some time with me. Until we meet again, watch out for the angels…especially when they invade your dreams.
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