First of all, thank you to Anna for hosting me here today. And thank you to everyone for stopping by. I’m giving away a set of my Shadow books—Shadow Bound, Shadow Fall, and Shadowman—to one lucky reader. Just comment below to be entered.
Bad guys abound in my September release, Shadowman, but none is worse than the Gate. Why? Because the Gate takes on the humor of the place to which it leads—Hell. It’s all bad. Mean bad. It knows your deepest hopes and fears and knows just what you need to hear in order for you to do what it wants. And it wants only one thing: For someone to throw it wide.
Shadowman, my hero, doesn’t care about good and bad. He forges the Gate out of the memories of the woman he loves, Kathleen, who he believes is suffering in Hell. Each strike of his hammer is powered by the love he has for her, and so makes the Gate near indestructible. The fact that a gate to Hell poses serious risks to humanity doesn’t sway him at all; there is no greater good if she, of all people, has been sent there.
The Gate rattles on its posts, whispering in the minds of all who draw near. Even the angels, who eventually take it into their custody, aren’t immune. It wants to be opened.
The trouble with using an inanimate object as my chief villain is that it’s more an abstraction than it is an active, layered character with a personal history and complex motivations. So The Gate had to be opened, just a crack, to let out a single devil, who does have a history, desires, and hopes all her own. In my series, a devil is the opposite of an angel—a devil is a really, really bad person. In this case, Rose Anne Petty. She does The Gate’s dirty work with a gleeful pleasure. (Actually, Rose was one of my all time favorite characters to write.)
Here’s a little excerpt of the Gate and Rose getting to know each other:
She used her nails to scratch and scrape at the black line under her cuticles. Evidence was such a trial. One hand was a little worse for wear. At first she thought the knuckles were just swollen from the fight, but the bones seemed different, too. Longer. The muscles were corded and sinewy, the fingernails coarser. Didn’t look right. That hand, her bad hand, she’d have to keep carefully hidden, or else people would stare.
Reasonably clean, she drew on another of her new shirts, a lovely pale yellow, like her sunny nature.
When she emerged, a coffee was waiting for her at the pick-up counter. As she walked out the door a customer yelled behind her, “Hey that’s mine!” but Rose paid him no mind. She made a point not to respond to uncouth behavior like shouting. His mother should have taught him better. If he persisted, Rose would.
She got back in her car feeling much refreshed, and looked down the street for signs of a freeway entrance. Somewhere along the way she’d have to dump the body in her truck before it started to smell. Unclean things, bodies. Maybe it’d be quicker to leave the car instead and find herself another, something roomier that didn’t smell like cigarettes. She didn’t want to keep Mickey waiting. Twelve years was enough, sweet man. A green sign directed her to I-95 heading south.
But the kat in Rose’s head said, That way! West. Go that way!
And then she knew what the sound was. She should have recognized it at once. The rattle had to be the gate. No matter how far she ran, she’d never be free of Hell.
kat-a-kat: That way!
No. She accelerated to exit the intersection. Before morning she could be in Mickey’s arms.
kat-a-kat: Obey me. Turn. Now.
It really wasn’t fair. All she wanted to do was get back to her sweetheart—12 years!—before she was caught and sent back to the bad place. And here the bad place was coming after her before she could do a really good deed. A big one. Mickey would know just the thing.
kat-a-kat: Kill a woman, and you’ll never have to fear that place again.
Rose eased her foot off the gas. “Any woman?” That was easy. Women were everywhere.
They haunt the halls of the Segue Institute, terrifying the living, refusing to cross over. But one soul is driven by a very different force.
It survives even death. And Kathleen O'Brien swore she would return to those she was forced to leave too soon.
He broke every rule to have her in life; now he will defy the angels to find her in death.
Forging it is his single hope of being reunited with his beloved, but through it an abomination enters the world. Leaving a trail of blood and violence, the devil hunts her too. Pursued through realms of bright fantasy and dark reality, Kathleen is about to be taken...
Where to Buy:
Yes, you read that right Erin is giveaway a set (Shadow Bound, Shadow Fall & Shadowman) of her books to one lucky winner. To enter leave a comment along with your email address. This giveaway is open to everyone, that includes International residents as well. The winner will be announced on September 17th. Good Luck!