Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Number of pages: 330
Word Count: 100K
Cover Artist: Kris Keller
A fallen angel with a mission and a medical examiner who's lost her faith are fighting for their souls in a glittering, near-future Manhattan...
Blind faith is for fools. That's what Dr. Morgan Sterling believes. And she's going to prove it by curing the zombie plague ravaging her city's slums. She's certain it's not a sign of the End of Days, but a nasty disease—until an angel appears in her morgue in a flash of glory.
Luniel is not just a fallen angel. He's a powerful warrior sworn to fight evil in hopes of a chance at redemption. He's after the demon princes who are stealing the seven vials of holy wrath which, when perverted, will unleash eternal hell on earth.
To stop the plague, Luniel needs Morgan's help, and her faith. But Morgan believes science is their salvation. If the zombie plague is a demonic curse—and if Luniel is true—he’ll have to prove it. Even if he loses his heart to true love or his soul to Hell...
Today, of all days. It was Thursday. The world couldn’t end on a Thursday.
Luniel, the fallen angel, crouched on the shore of Liberty Island in a hot August sunset with blood lapping at his feet. It licked the rocks beneath his boots, clotting. All the way across the bay, to the firelit Brooklyn shore and the gleaming blue arcs of the Narrows Bridge, what used to be water gleamed sick and scarlet.
The angel sniffed the air, and tasted copper. A dead fish bobbed belly-up, pale white flesh and fins. He poked the warm liquid with his finger, and licked. Yeah. Definitely blood. And human. There were seaweeds and algae that sported the same fleshy color. But Luniel had tasted enough blood in his three thousand years to know this wasn’t algae.
He straightened. No breeze flicked his long black hair back. In his human guise, he had no wings. He scanned the distant shore with sharp blue eyes, further than any human could see, and his nose twitched. Hunting. For something. Anything. A trick. A college prank. A fish slaughterhouse. Overflow from some industrial accident, one of the factories along the built-up Jersey waterfront spilling toxic chemicals.
Not a sign of the Apocalypse. Not God’s wrath.
Across the bloody bay, Babylon’s glittering towers razored the red sky, the decadent sprawl of skyscrapers and spires they once called Manhattan. The sunset flashed on steel and mirrored windows, glaring in competition with neon lights and rainbow columns of virtual advertising. Even from here, Lune’s preternatural ears detected buzzing electrics, the faint digital beep of comms towers, snatches of conversations, and in his magical angelsight, the city glowed, green with the living, pulsing energy of human souls.
Helicopters lasered their searchlights through smoke and heat haze, sweeping over burned-out housing projects and shining condominiums. Traffic noise hummed, the groaning subway, horns and engines and wailing sirens, police and fire and the ever-more-urgent ambulances. At the height of summer, plague had stolen into the Empire State like a homicidal houseguest, more frightening than California dengue and deadlier than arctic flu, and people were afraid.
But terror happened in Babylon, the world’s richest, rottenest city of sin. You only had to look at the shining glass spire piercing the sky, one hundred and ten stories high, built back in wiser days where a pair of ill-fated twin towers once stood. The world had turned ever more rapidly to shit since then, but Luniel still remembered that day well. That day, angels dived for earth, fiery wings flashing, but it was too late. Even the fallen, like Lune, were powerless. The people screamed and died and thought the world was ending.
Horrific? Yeah. But the monkeys had no idea what they were in for.
What the end of the world would really be like.
Luniel shivered. This wasn’t over yet. It couldn’t be.
He dug into his jeans pocket for his phone, and speed-dialed. Trendy SIM implants in your ears were all very well for humans, but fast-healing angelflesh rejected biotech. The irony was pleasing and bitter. “Come on, Ithiel,” he muttered. “Answer your rotted phone.”
Ithiel was still on heaven’s A-list, but he and Lune stayed in contact. If anything was going down, Ith would know. But voicemail kicked in, his brother’s laid-back laughter: I’m busy. Leave a message. If I give a shit, I’ll call back.
Luniel swore—even after centuries, defiance felt good—and waited for the beep. “Party never stops upstairs, huh. Call me, asshole,” he said, and ended the call.
A week. Ithiel hadn’t answered for a week. And now this.
It could be stupid luck. Coincidence. Random events colliding like flotsam.
But after two millennia spent dealing out heaven’s wrath, and going on another one walking the earth and seeing it all from the other side, Luniel was wearily certain that what goes around, comes around to kick you in the balls.
Coincidence was bullshit. Nothing was random. Everything happened for a reason, and fate was one dastardly, despicable motherfucker you just couldn’t avoid.
But inexorably—inexplicably—the blood lapping at his feet made him angry.
Defiantly, recklessly, sinfully angry.
Thanks for having me – I'm stoked to be here!
- Where did you get the idea for the novel?
I was thinking about the end of the world (as you do) and I thought, what if someone stole the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse? Wouldn't that be a great McGuffin for a paranormal romance series? You could have a posse of sexy warrior angels tasked with getting the Signs back, only there's this Demon King who wants to spring Satan from the pit, see, and the boss archangel has his own agenda, and…
Boom! Plot bunny roadkill. I wrote half the book in two weeks.
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
Me! I didn't have to change this one. Mostly, I'm rubbish at titles. But REVELATION is snappy and evocative, and we liked that it wasn't blood something or darkness something or something shadow, like a lot of paranormals. And then the people at Berkley came up with this crazy cover art! I adore this cover. Dark, dangerous, a bit twisted, definitely over-the-top – just like the story!
- Which came first, the title or the novel?
It's always the story first for me. Titles are to be agonized over when the fun part's done. I'd rather write a synopsis than make up a title. For a writer, that's saying something…
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
In the writing world? Award nominations, for sure. It's a real buzz to know that someone out there has read and loved my books.
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
A western, one of the books I’m judging for the RITA. So I can't mention the title. But it's good so far! Apart from that, I just finished THE FALLEN BLADE by John Courtenay Grimwood, a cool historical fantasy, and I'm starting LEGEND BEYOND THE STARS, a sci-fi romance by an author who lives near me in Australia, SE Gilchrist.
- What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
It was this mad fantasy tale about a nun who falls for a psychopathic killer. It had swords and flintlock pistols and posses of evil knights with magic spells. The hero died of the plague at the end. He deserved it, too.
- What is your writing process?
I'm a plotter, so I spend loads of time arranging the story just so before I start writing. It's a time-sucker, sure, but it means I don't have to do much big-picture editing when I’m finished.
- Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Oh, that's a hard one. It's hard to pick out just a few! I'm yet to read a Stephen King that I didn't like in some way. I love Joe Abercrombie's fantasy books. In paranormal romance, I like Pamela Palmer, and JR Ward's Fallen Angels series.
- At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
I try to write something extra. But when you're signing piles of books it's difficult to keep it up! So I generally fall back on something lame, like 'happy reading' or 'hope you enjoy!'. If you get something other than that, you'll know I was inspired that day. (I'll be at RWA Nationals this year if you want to try your luck…)
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
You terrify me. All of you. I may seem relaxed and sociable, but inside I'm a shivering wreck. Except on the internet, where I engage with reckless abandon.
- How do you react to a bad review?
Indiscriminate homicide. LOL no, really, I just go away and think about something else. I try not to read reviews, to be honest, unless I already know what they're going to say. The bad ones creep up on you. People have the right to say what they like, but it does hurt. So I prefer to keep away.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
You know, I don't remember? Probably went out to dinner. I recall I was playing a music theatre show that night, in the orchestra pit (yeah, my geekdom knows no bounds) and I sat there wearing this stupid grin on my face for the whole of South Pacific. Probably played dozens of wrong notes!
About the Author:
Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.
She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.
She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she's terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.