Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Anessa Books
Date of Publication: March 7, 2015
Number of pages: 229
Word Count: 79,000
Cover Artist: Phatpuppy Art
Dar helped his foster sister become the ruler of Hel, and helped her free the enslaved humans from the elves. It’s about time he helped himself – to a fun week of mayhem in the Windy City. Collapsing a few buildings and corrupting politicians is an ideal vacation for a demon in Chicago, but Dar didn’t count on a beautiful angel sabotaging his fun and putting him to work.
Asta is an angelic enforcer, scanning for demons in her assigned territory and sending them to an early grave. Unfortunately, the latest trespasser from Hel has diplomatic immunity - but immunity doesn’t mean she can’t coerce him into helping her track and dispatch the powerful demon that’s been cycling in and out of her radar for the last few days.
Demons are the sworn enemies of every angel, but Asta must learn to trust Dar or the dark presence that is growing in Chicago will spread - and this particular enemy has the skills and knowledge to send human civilization back to the dark ages.
She has one week left as an enforcer before she returns to her heavenly home – one week to catch an elusive monster, and one week to safeguard her heart from the demon who is determined to seduce her to sin.
Stupid revolving doors. What idiot thought these things were a good method of entering a building? She stood watching as the door made its circuitous route. Could she time it so she actually managed to get in between the sections? The last time, she’d been knocked backwards onto the pavement. That wouldn’t be a graceful entrance given her current dress and sky-high stilettos.
She recognized his voice even before the faint energy trickled across her skin with its siren song. How did he do that? Thank Aaru all demons weren’t as stealthy as Dar, or her job would be nearly impossible. As she turned, she realized that with her heels, she towered over him. In flats, she was the same height as the demon, but the shoes she loved so much put Dar’s chin right at her bosom — a fact he’d quickly realized and had taken advantage of.
“Want me to get the door for you?” he asked her breasts.
“Did you make reservations? Otherwise we can skip the revolving door and just head over to Taco Bell.”
The demon chuckled and brushed a curl from her bare shoulder, his fingers lingering against her neck while his eyes explored the skin north of her cleavage. “Of course I made reservations. I didn’t want you to give me any excuse to not eat tonight.”
“I swore I’d play your game tonight as long as you help me catch the other demon. I’ll eat anything you put in front of me.”
Why did that cause the demon to nearly fall over laughing? Did he have something in particular he wanted her to eat, the thought of which was giving him such amusement?
Oh. Yeah, that probably wasn’t the best thing for her to say given his proclivity toward the sin of lust.
Wiping his eyes, still chuckling, Dar strode forward, stopping the revolving door to the angry protests of those trapped inside. “Then let us dine, my angel.”
Asta took a deep breath and walked past him, putting her palms on the front of the glass as she’d seen the humans do. Hopefully he wouldn’t bump her out as he had the other evening. With these shoes on, she’d probably land face-first on the plush carpet.
She should have known he’d squeeze into the tiny space behind her, pressing the full length of his form against her back and rear. Asta tried to scoot forward, only to find herself sandwiched between the demon and the glass. The humans yelled at them to move, but Dar held still, his body warm and powerful.
“Maybe we should just stay here a while.” His hips shifted and Asta felt something stir to life, hard and firm against her buttocks.
She’d told him no sex, but rubbing against her in the doorway wasn’t off limits. And it was most definitely brought with it welcome sensations. “We need to move,” Asta said with regret. She tried to push the door forward, but Dar had it wedged in place. The trapped humans began to pound on the glass.
“I love pissing them off,” he whispered against her hair. “So much anger over such a minor inconvenience. The gifts of Aaru seem to have turned them into a bunch of minor demons, don’t you agree?”
It did seem a fair comparison at the moment, but Asta hadn’t squandered her century here. She’d seen sparks of divinity in the human race, and no demon was going to convince her otherwise.
She shifted to look at him over her shoulder, rubbing herself along his body in the process. Oh stars, this felt good. If only those darned humans weren’t causing such a racket. “You’re being inconsiderate.” Her voice was breathless. “They have a right to be angry. And they’re still very early in their evolution. Give them another ten-thousand years or so, and I think you’ll find they’re more angelic.”
Character Name: Asta
Character Bio: The youngest angel of the angelic host at a mere 2.5 million years old, Asta has been serving as an Enforcer, protecting the city of Chicago from demons for the last century.
Describe yourself what is your worst and best quality?
I take my responsibilities very seriously. Chicago is my town, and I will never allow a demon to defile her with their filth. I would give my life to protect the humans who live under my wing.
As for my worst quality, well I can’t resist a half-price sale at Macy’s. Clothes are my weakness. Vanity is such a shameful sin, and I’m embarrassed to say that I lose the fight every time I see a hip boho jacket or a sharp pair of ankle boots.
What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?
Humans? Oh my, humans shouldn’t know about me at all! I cloak my presence when I’m flying around the city, and I try not to attract their attention by glowing or smiting demons in front of them. Angels have interfered enough in human evolution – I try to keep my presence as under-the-radar as possible.
What is your biggest secret something no one knows about?
I watch the humans as they go about their days, and envy them. Their short lives are filled with such richness, such depth of emotion and sensation. What I wouldn’t give to spend one day riding the bus, eating Pho, falling asleep in the arms of another.
What are you most afraid of?
Rats. I know, I know. I’m an angel, and I’m afraid of rats. It’s just their little twitchy noses, the red beady eyes, the clawed hands. . . I’m feeling rather ill just thinking about them.
What do you want more than anything?
It used to be to go home to Aaru and away from all these humans with their tempting lives. Now, I think I might like to stay. If I had one wish, it would be to stay here and protect the humans forever, even if I could only watch their lives from afar.
What is your relationship status?
Alone. That sounds so horrible, but it’s okay. Really. It’s hard to have a relationship as an Enforcer. We’re forbidden from it with humans, and the few angels here are spread out and busy with their duties. I’m sure there will be someone once I get back to Aaru.
How would you describe your sense of fashion?
Ooo, I love human clothing! Those fringe-filled dresses, the poofy crinoline skirts, embroidered gathered smocks, skinny jeans – whatever is trendy and designer is in my closet.
How much of a rebel are you?
Well, I’m really not supposed to be flying around or obsessing over clothing, but that’s hardly going to cause me to fall from grace. I try to keep my vibration levels appropriately high, but I’m afraid it’s not been easy. I know someday I’ll be unable to resist the sinful urge to indulge in a cup of espresso, no matter how hard I try.
What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?
There was a minor plague demon who started a particularly virulent form of influenza one winter. I’m proud to say that I caught and executed her before she was able to cause a pandemic, and assisted the critically ill humans in making a surprising recovery. Umm, don’t tell my boss about the recovery part. I’m really not supposed to be doing that.
What is your idea of happiness?
Flying along Lake Michigan as the sun is rising over the waters.
What is your current state of mind?
Conflicted. My tour of duty here is nearly at an end, and I should be happy to be returning to my heavenly home. But I’m not.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a Vionnet gown from the 30’s – Satin with glass beads and a halter neck. The back dips down low, and there’s a gathered train. It’s just like something Ginger Rogers would wear!
What is your most marked characteristic?
My form is more human than many of the other angels. I’m not very good at entrancing the humans, so I need to look like them as much as possible to fit in.
What is it that you, most dislike?
Demons, although I’ve never actually spoken to one. I was newly formed when the Angel of Chaos fell and left Aaru, so the only demons I’ve met are the ones spreading their evil in my city.
Which living person do you, most despise?
Humans? I don’t really know any of them to like or despise. I’m terribly disappointed in their behavior sometimes, but I don’t despise them.
What is your greatest regret?
That I wasn’t old enough to know the angels that fell – especially the one who formed me. Both of my angelic parents died in the war. I wish I could at least remember them.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
As a potential mate? Angels are beings of spirit without gender, but I would like a partner who is kind with a generosity of heart. Hopefully he will inspire me to be a better angel. Oh, and he should always strive for the highest of vibration level.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
I’ll answer that as meaning human women. I like women who are smart and sassy, who are confident, but not foolishly so. I admire human women and men who strive to make the world a better place for future life.
Who is your favorite hero in fiction?
There was a pirate who was a duke’s illegitimate son, and although he was initially quite angry that one of his crew members was in reality a woman, he still protected her from the other sailors and the cannibal island natives. He even asked her to be his mate after he returned home and discovered he was the true heir to his father’s lands. What a noble man.
Please don’t tell the other angels I read that book.
Which living person do you most admire?
Gabriel, the angel who raised me after my parents died. He’s very strict, but to me he has always been patient and kind.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
My human form is tall. Very tall. Although many humans admire that, it does make me a bit conspicuous in a crowd.
What is your motto?
Every soul matters. Every. Single. One.
After majoring in English with a concentration in Medieval Literature and Folklore studies, Debra promptly sold out to the corporate world, occasionally writing marketing copy and op/ed articles for a local city paper. By day, she designs compensation programs, after dark she stuffs her nose into obscure mythology, and feverishly writes her novels. A DEMON BOUND is her debut novel.
Debra lives on a farm in Maryland with Sweetie, three sons, and a Noah's ark of four legged family members. She drives an old PT Cruiser, couldn't carry a tune if you duct taped it to her back, and enjoys an occasional cosmopolitan (heavy on the vodka). On a good day, she jogs and horseback rides, hopefully managing to keep the horse between herself and the ground. Her only known super power is 'Identify Roadkill'.