Good morning, everyone! Please give a hearty welcome to today's guest, Tricia Skinner. She's here to talk about a book that sounds absolutely fascinating to me, her new release, Angel Bait. And we get to meet this fascinating Jarrid!
Much love to Claire for giving The Eternal Order an opportunity to connect with her blog regulars. My debut novel, Angel Bait, would never have happened without the cooperation of the four half-angel assassins and their angel mentor.
You're welcome, Tricia! Glad to have you all.
Tricia: Hey guys, why don’t you introduce yourselves. Lots of people are curious about you.
Tricia: Um, okay then. I’ll just go around the table. Tanis, you are the leader of this group, the father figure who saved the others when they were only children.
Tricia: What was the most difficult part of training them to be assassins?
Tanis: They lacked patience. Their human emotions made them unpredictable.
Jarrid: (mumbles) And Ionie thinks I was born without a sense of humor. Look at my guide, the anti-Mister Rogers.
Tricia: I imagine growing up without parents was difficult for all of you.
Tricia: How about we move this to nicer territory?
Cain: I would move to Antarctica with you, gorgeous.
Tanis: God of All, here we go.
Kasdeja: If Cain starts with the love poetry, I am out of this mutha.
Tricia: Come on, guys. People are reading this to get some inside info on the Order. Angel Bait followed Jarrid and Ionie’s beautiful love story, but I constantly get questions about each of you. Tell them something juicy.
Tricia: Why did you agree to this blog post?
Jarrid: Ah, hell. The human’s gonna cry. I hate when they start leaking.
Cain: It pains my charming soul to see sadness on a face so lovely.
Tanis: Cut the bull you two. We promised we’d do this promo thing. The Order keeps its word.
Tricia: Thanks Tanis. Let’s try this: tell readers about your favorite mission.
Tricia: Current mission?
Tricia: Next mission?
Tricia: Fine. Favorite song?
Kasdeja: Ah yeah. Now you’re talkin’.
Tricia: Let’s begin with Tanis. Name one of your favorite songs and give the reason why.
Tanis: “Back in Black” by AC/DC. It’s a soliloquy, similar to Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be,” that expresses the strength of the human spirit.
Nestaron: I’d like to buy a vowel.
Jarrid: No one is going to read Angel Bait if they think shit like that is in it.
Tanis: Is that so? And what profound music do you count as a favorite?
Cain: Oh, I know!
Kasdeja: Cue the violins and break out the pink taffeta.
Jarrid: My current favorite happens to be Ionie’s as well. “Dream Within A Dream.”
Tricia: Based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe?
Cain: No, baby girl. Based on the hip-thrusting song of awesome by The Glitch Mob.
Kasdeja: Jarrid bought the whole album after meeting Ionie.
Nestaron: They’d danced to it.
Cain: Well, Ionie danced. She’s got some moves. Jarrid sort of did his rooted tree thing.
Jarrid: I don’t dance.
Nestaron: We know.
Tricia: Kas, why don’t you share your favorite song.
Kasdeja: Ah, a woman who despises club noise as much as me. My choice is classic. “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones.
Tanis: God of All, my penance continues.
Kasdeja: Come on, T. Even you can’t hate on the Stones, man.
Jarrid: He can when you refuse to let the ‘60s die.
Nestaron: Bell-bottoms. Seriously?
Tricia: Nesty, what’s your song?
Nestaron: “Head Like A Hole.” That’s classic Nine Inch Nails.
Kasdeja: It takes all nine inches to stab your brains out.
Tricia: I like NIN.
Kasdeja: And you just lost hottie points for that one.
Cain: Is it my turn yet? I know you’ve left the best for last.
Jarrid: No one will know if I kick his ass, right?
Tricia: Save the violence for the Renegades. Your enemy is probably lurking around Detroit, waiting to level some payback for Beleth.
Tanis: We can hope.
Tricia: So, what’s the song?
Cain: “This Is Halloween” from that movie, the Nightmare Before Christmas.
Jarrid: And I’m out.
Cain: What? That’s some magic right there.
Kasdeja: Been real, Trish, but me and Nesty gotta jet. We’re raiding in SW: TOR tonight.
Tricia: You play Star Wars: The Old Republic? Empire or Republic?
Kasdeja: Pfft. Like we’d be caught dead playing the good guys.
So, I hope this, um, interview gave you a glimpse into the lives of my beloved characters from Angel Bait. They’re rough around the edges, but sweethearts at the core. If anyone has questions about Jarrid, Cain, Tanis, Nestaron, or Kasdeja, drop by my website and send me an email.
One woman tripped over her own feet.
Another face-planted into a wall.
The half-angel was so handsome it hurt. Jarrid didn’t seem to notice the attention directed at him. Or maybe he didn’t care.
“You’re upset I won’t allow photos, but you still plan to work with me,” he said, his fingers sliding over a shriveled dictionary. “I want to know why.”
Blunt and to the point.
“I’m not upset.” Ionie snorted, a sound she hoped made her seem indifferent. “You’ve answered my prayers. I’m used to working obits, or chasing the occasional fire truck.”
He flicked his head at the desk adjoining hers. “You work with someone?”
“I don’t do partners.”
“Yet you will do me.” The simple statement, spoken in his sexy rumble, liquefied the marrow in Ionie’s bones.
“Uh,” she said. “My work takes on a whole new meaning when you say it.”
He leaned in, a smooth slide of firm muscle and taut flesh. She caught a whiff of his scent; she hadn’t noticed it before. Something nameless, celestial like the man – the being – it belonged to. She inhaled deep, lulled by his nearness. Gorgeous. No other word fit him better.
“Is there a problem?” Jarrid’s lips curved down. His tone held an edge she couldn’t place.
“Problem?” Mario’s smooth voice yanked Ionie from her trance. She shook her head and leaned away from the nephilim. “You okay, kid?”
What the hell am I doing?
Ionie strained to smile at Jarrid. The half-angel’s face presented a solid mask, obscuring any hint of his reaction.
“I’m fine,” she said. “Mario, this is Jarrid. He’s with the Eternal Order ... and my new story. Jarrid, this is Mario Hernandez. He trained me on the graveyard shift.”
“Story?” The men exchanged handshakes. She could see Mario’s mind working behind his casual expression.
“On Patrick’s say so.” She suppressed some of her excitement. “I’m doing a feature on angel society.”
“Angels don’t seek attention. Why the switch?”
“Times change,” Jarrid said in a tight, controlled voice.
The older reporter narrowed his eyes at the flat tone. She didn’t blame him. “Doesn’t explain why the boys above have sent a nephilim. Aren’t you guys a bit high level for PR?”
The muscles in Jarrid’s arms ticked. “My work is classified.”
“I bet,” Mario said.
What the hell?
Ionie stared at her friend, then Jarrid. The corded line of his neck bulged with thick throbbing veins. Her source appeared ready to pounce on the curious old coot. She slid off her chair. “We should get going.”
No touching. Got it.
Without a word, he marched from the office. With the weird question and answer session over, she grabbed her bag and hauled ass to catch up.
“What happened back there?” She jogged to keep pace with him, his long strides churning yards of polished marble floor in his wake. “Why are you acting like this?”
Jarrid turned on her with a scowl. “Your buddy is inquisitive.”
“Newsflash. He’s a reporter, like me. Nosey is what we do.” That didn’t help. Not the way Jarrid stared at her as if she’d sprouted horns. “You’re a big deal in Heaven, huh? If it’s a secret, you shouldn’t be hanging around journalists. We suck up secrets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
“We keep to ourselves.” A tremor of annoyance filtered through the words.
“Not anymore.” The two of them standing in a newspaper lobby made the whole conversation seem ridiculous. Ionie stepped closer to Jarrid and angled her head to see his eyes. “Not many people can say they’ve seen, or met, an angel. Your kind might want to keep on the down low, but when you step out, you’re going to draw attention.”
His steady glare told her he didn’t believe a word. Or maybe he didn’t like what he heard. Or maybe he just liked glaring at her like she’d eventually shut the hell up.
Jerk. Angels weren’t the only ones who preferred seclusion. Try tracking down the Fae. Those bastards were near impossible to get out in the open. She’d tried.
“Angels and nephilim are private. I get the cloak and dagger bull, but you came to me. This covert thing? You want people to answer your questions?”
He gave a microscopic bob of his head.
“First lesson? People are naturally curious, especially humans.” Ionie moistened her bottom lip. She hated the nervous response, but Jarrid held a remote control on her anxiety. “They may have questions for you, too. We’re drawn to the unknown like butter to toast, at least according to my grandma. I’ll help you. You’ll help me. Everybody gets what they need.”
Silver eyes dipped to her lips.
The gap between them sizzled like someone had flipped on a low-voltage current. Every hair on her skin saluted. She stared into his eyes and her heartbeat doubled. By now she should be nervous, but the hint of danger she sensed in him only brought an embarrassing rush of arousal.
Her face must have flushed apple red because Jarrid’s mouth parted. His now wide gaze traced over her features, lingering on her cheeks and lips. She should kiss him. Kiss him right in the middle of her workplace. Kiss him in front of Stan the desk clerk who took classified ads. One kiss on the nephilim’s too-full lips. One hard press ....
She licked her lip again. His gaze tracked her tongue. Before she could lean into his body and act on the impulse, he jerked back and stepped out of reach.
“What are you doing?” His voice was low, dangerous.
What was she doing? She’d almost pounced on a guy at work! She didn’t jump her sources. Another wave of heat seared her face and she stared at her feet. “So ... we still have a deal?”
Jarrid didn’t reply. She chanced a peek at him. He looked pissed. His back was ramrod straight and his eyes glowed. Maybe she’d offended his angel sensibilities with her odd human reactions.
Wasn’t he half-Human? Did he feel an attraction to her?
A miserable minute ticked by.
“We still have a deal,” he said. “First, you meet my brothers.”