Sidhe Vicious Reviews

Spoiler Free Reviews & More Book-ish Goings On :)

Dark And Disorderly – Spotlight & Review

Dark & Disorderly by Bernita Harris

On sale date: Jun 28, 2010

Publisher: Carina Press

eISBN: 9781426890338

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Book Description:

“I was standing there naked when my dead husband walked into my bathroom…”


Lillie St. Claire is a Talent, one of the rare few who can permanently dispatch the spirits of the dead that walk the earth. Her skills are in demand in a haunted country, where a plague of ghosts is becoming a civic nuisance.

Those skills bring her into conflict with frightened citizens who view Talents as near-demons. Her husband comes to see her as a Freak; so when Nathan dies after a car crash, she is relieved to be free of his increasingly vicious presence. Lillie expects to be haunted by Nathan’s ghost, but not to become Suspect #1 for her husband’s murder and reanimation.

But what’s most surprising of all is the growing attraction between her and psi-crime detective John Thresher. He thinks that Lillie killed Nathan—and Nathan must agree, because his zombie is seeking revenge. Now she and Thresher must work together to solve her husband’s murder—before his corpse kills her…”

My Thoughts:

I quite enjoyed this e-book which is part of Harlequin’s Carina Press launch month of releases. Bernita Harris writes a brilliant story with interesting and quirky characters who drive the tale. A wonderfully written dark and edgy paranormal world in which ghosts, talents, sidhe and humans co-exist.

Lillie St. Claire and John Thresher had sparks galore and I hope there will be another book about them! 😀 The villains were truly detestable, (which I love, because you have to hate the villain), and the supporting characters were great as well. There’s something unique about the author’s writing style or voice that I found to be refreshing. It almost has a touch of a British taste to the writing and I liked it! I also have to show some cover love as the gal on the cover looks exactly how I pictured Lillie in my mind. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more books by this author.


Pre-Order Dark & Disorderly at:

Carina, Barnes & Noble

Find out more about Bernita Harris and what she’s got in the works at her BLOG.

June 23, 2010 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Reviews, Spotlight On..., Upcoming Releases | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Black Dust Mambo – Spotlight & Review

Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (Jun 29 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439167877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439167878
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Book Description: 


    “There will be times, girl, when all your magic ain’t going to be enough, times when it will seem to dry up like mud under the noonday sun, or even make matters worse. . . .” Kallie Rivière, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance’s annual carnival: her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed. And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching—the darkest of dark juju, soul-eating juju—a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.

    Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer—even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends. But Kallie’s search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated—back home to Bayou Cyprés Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie’s aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor . . . who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead.”

    My Thoughts:

    Adrian Phoenix hits another ball out of the park with Black Dust Mambo! 🙂 I was completely engrossed by the characters, the story, the rich atmosphere and the fast pace.

    This book is the first in a new series by Adrian Phoenix, author of The Makers Song series, and I am completely hooked. Kallie is a wonderful character who I was rooting for all the way. Layne, well… can I say I want one just like him? *Grins* Anyone who’s been following my blog for a while knows that I am a huge fan of Adrian’s writing and of the lady herself. She has an affinity for creating a world on paper that is so richly detailed that you feel like you are there with the characters, watching things go down like it’s a movie.

    Fast paced, wonderful plot, danger, excitement, romance, mystery and a few deaths mixed in with the paranormal, hoodoo, voodoo and a super sexy Nomad, well… alls I can say is I WANT MORE! (And when does the next book come out?) I highly recommend this book to fans of both Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance with some New Orleans’/Louisiana spice. 


    Pre-Order Black Dust Mambo at:

    ChaptersAmazonBarnes & Noble or Borders

    Find out more about, (stalk) 😀 , Adrian Phoenix, her writing, cool merchandise and other fun stuff at her Website!

    My last interview with Adrian.


    June 21, 2010 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Reviews, Spotlight On..., Upcoming Releases | , , , | 2 Comments

    SVR Updates

    Hi All! 😀 

    I’ve had a few people ask me to let you all know when I’ve updated things in my sidebar or added a new page, so here we go. I recently updated my Wishlist in the sidebar, so you can see what books I’m jonesing for both already released and upcoming. Yeah, and I can just insert my foot in my mouth now because I’ve received and bought a whole bunch of books in the last 2 weeks. But it is fairly recent. *Grins* I swear!   

    I’ve added a new page to the blog titled New Releases. Pretty self explanatory, lol. I know I’ve been a hard core slacker for the last few months with my new release list, so I’m hoping that this page and format will be easier and faster for me to maintain. It’s still a work-in-progress, so no links yet, but you can see all the wallet breaking goodness that’s out this month. (The 29th is going to kill me!) I’ve also included a bunch of books that were released in the last couple of months – those being the months I slacked off on. Just scroll down the page for this months releases. 

    I know, I know… I am WAY behind on updating my “My Books” pages, and for those of you who reference them for new books, authors or just out of morbid curiosity about what’s on my bookshelf, I promise that I will update them ASAP. My GoodReads bookshelf is, by far, the most current representation of my book collection. As always, please feel free to comment or email me if you have any questions about any books or authors. I do my best to get back to you as fast as possible. 

    And just because it never gets old, 

    Smile, it could be worse!

     ETI: I have all the links up on the New Releases page and will frequently be adding new books/links, so be sure to check the page often!

    June 7, 2010 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Rambling, Sidhe's News & Updates, Upcoming Releases | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Blood Song – Spotlight & Review

    Blood Song by Cat Adams

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition edition (Jun 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324946
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324948
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Book Description:

    “Bodyguard Celia Graves plies her trade in a world where vampires roam the alleys of Tinseltown, street corner psychics have real powers, and cops use memory enhancement spells. An ordinary human, Celia uses street smarts and charmed weapons to protect the rich and famous from mortal and supernatural threats. She’s protecting the prince of a small but politically vital nation when things go horribly wrong. Bitten by a master vampire, Celia knows she is about to die.

    To her shock, she survives. Celia Graves has become an Abomination, neither fully mortal nor fully vampire. Her “master” is hunting her, to destroy her or finish what his bite began. She’s accused of murder, and the cops aren’t sure whether she should be locked up or staked. And then there’s the demon she glimpsed during the vampire attack…

    Struggling to cope with her new powers, Celia reaches out for help from her once (and future?) lover, a powerful mage; his warrior priest brother; a handsome werewolf who keeps his lupine nature concealed from the world; an elderly clairvoyant; and one trustworthy cop.

    Celia Graves has three days to save the world, her sanity and her soul.”

    My Thoughts:

    Blood Song is the first book in the new Blood Singer series and it blew my mind! Awesome, awesome series debut novel. This is Urban Fantasy at its peak. I am dying to read the next book in the series, Siren Song, which will be out September 2010, (just in time for my birthday!).

    Celia Graves is a really likeable character and the writing duo of Cat Adams have created an immensely fascinating and entertaining read filled with believable paranormal characters and plotlines. Fast paced plots, heartbreaking scenarios and superbly developed characters had me flipping the pages like crazy! There are so many great places that this story went and so many more great places for these characters to go. Surprise twists in the plot and some great potential oncoming plots have me jumping up and down wanting to read the next installment of the series NOW!

    This book will definitely be in my top ten picks of 2010!


    Pre-order Blood Song at:

    ChaptersAmazon or Barnes & Noble

    Find out more about Cat Adams and their books at their website.

    May 29, 2010 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Reviews, Spotlight, Spotlight On..., Upcoming Releases | , , , , | 10 Comments

    Burned – House Of Night

    Burned‘ is the seventh book in the House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast….

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; 1 edition (April 27 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312606168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312606169
  • Genre: YA, Paranormal
  • “Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird’s soul has shattered. With everything she’s ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey’s fading fast. It’s seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampire High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only 7 days left… “
    The New York Times-bestselling mother-daughter writing team of P.C. and Kristin Cast again prove why they have become a major force in teen fiction. With over 3 million copies of their books in print, a well-publicized film option, an updated interactive website, daily-growing fan base, the Cast duo will command your attention with every page turn.

    Download the song from the book trailer free

    Read the first chapter of the book free

    Learn more about The House of Night series

    Buy Burned at :

    ChaptersAmazon or Barnes & Noble


    April 29, 2010 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, Spotlight On..., Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

    Ardeur – Giveaway


    14 Writers on the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series
    Edited by Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Pop (April 6 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193377147X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933771472
  • Buy at: ChaptersAmazon or Barnes & Noble

    You can also buy Ardeur directly from Smart Pop Books with a 30% discount off the price!

    Book Description:

    “Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series is a literary sensation, thanks to its strong female hero, well-fleshed (both literally and literarily) characters and unabashed attitude toward sex. The world Hamilton has created is powerfully compelling and stunningly complex—and it gets deeper and richer, and more perilous, with every book.

    Straddling the series’ dominant themes of sex and power, Ardeur gives Anita fans a deeper look into the dynamics, both personal political, that have kept readers fascinated throughout the run of the series. Why is the ardeur the very best thing that could have happened to Anita, personally (aside from all the sex it requires her to have with hot men)? How is Anita’s alternate United States a logical legal extension of our own? And as the series continues, what other bargains might Anita have to make with herself and others in order to keep the people she loves safe from harm?”


    Giveaway Details:

    Smart Pop Books has been gracious enough to supply a copy of Ardeur to giveaway to one of my readers! Contest is open to USA & Canada.

    Tell me what you love about the Anita Blake series?

    For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question.  (+1 entry)

     For extra entries:  

    • Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)
    • If you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive two extra entries, but be sure to let me know in the comments if you’re an old follower. (+2 entries)
    • Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to. ( add 1 entry each for  however many links you’ve done)
    • Follow me on Twitter, Add me as a friend on FaceBook, GoodReads, MySpace, Chapters Community or LibraryThing. (add 1 entry each for however many places you followed/friended me)
    • Contest is open to Canada & USA  and will run through May 4th until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on May 5th. Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! :)

    (I should also mention that if you’re leaving me a bunch of links in your comment, do not panic if it doesn’t show up right away. It just automatically gets held for me to moderate, which I will as soon as I’m online. :D )

    April 27, 2010 Posted by | Contest, Contests, New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, Spotlight On..., Uncategorized | , , , , , | 29 Comments

    Shade – Spotlight & Review

    Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready


    Published:May 4, 2010

    Publisher:Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

    The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
    ISBN – 10:1416994068
    ISBN – 13:9781416994060

    Book Description:

    “Love ties them together.
    Death can’t tear them apart.
    Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan’s band playing a critical gig and Aura’s plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend’s life. She never thought it would be his last.

    Logan’s sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He’s gone.

    Well, sort of.

    Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

    It doesn’t help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

    As Aura’s relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura’s heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.”

    My Thoughts:

    I can’t wait for the next book! I loved the world building that Jeri Smith-Ready created for this series. Aura, Logan and Zachary are wonderfully rich characters and I was sucked into their story from the beginning. This is Jeri’s first foray into the young adult “arena” about a world in which only the young can see and talk to ghosts. She has succeeded with an immensely entertaining read that I couldn’t put down.

    The sequel, Shift, is due out in May 2011. I highly recommend this book to both young adults and adults! Definitely a “grand slam homerun” of a debut YA novel.


    Pre-Order Shade at:

    ChaptersAmazon or Barnes & Noble

    Find out more about Jeri Smith-Ready and her novels at her website.

    April 10, 2010 Posted by | New Covers - Release Dates, On My Bookshelf, Reviews, Spotlight On..., Upcoming Releases | , , , , , | 8 Comments

    Angelology – Spotlight & Review

    Angelology by Danielle Trussoni


    Published:March 9, 2010

    Publisher:Doubleday Canada

    The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
    ISBN – 10:0385668619
    ISBN – 13:9780385668613

    Book Description:

    Sister Evangeline was just a young girl when her father left her at St. Rose Convent under the care of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Now a young woman, she has unexpectedly discovered a collection of letters dating back sixty years – letters that bring her deep into a closely guarded secret, to an ancient conflict between the millennium-old Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful Nephilim, the descendants of angels and humans. Rich and mesmerizing, Angelology blends biblical lore, mythology and the fall of the Rebel Angels, creating a luminous, riveting tale of one young woman caught in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.”

    “Set in the secluded world of cloistered abbeys, long-lost secrets and angelic humans, Angelology has all the makings of a blockbuster hit, combining elements of The Da Vinci Code and Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth

    My Thoughts:

    First of all, this cover just blew me away, it’s so gorgeous! I was looking forward to reading Angelology because it seemed to be written in a way that is similar to Anne Rice’s Vampires, only with Angels and Nephelim. I was not disappointed. Danielle Trussoni has truly written a unique and memorable story that will stick with you and have you wondering if maybe there really are Nephilim out there among us.

    This tale is  richly detailed  and a wonderfully complex world in which past and present are mixed with truly believable characters, involving an enticing mystery, ancient myths and interesting theories regarding fallen angels and nephilim. The ongoing conflict between Angelologists and Nephilim had me captivated and I was pulled into the story completely! Trussoni’s writing oozes atmosphere, and the intricate plotting and pace were fascinating. Definitely a “must read” in my opinion.


    Buy Angelology at:

    ChaptersAmazon or Barnes & Noble

    Find out more about Danielle Trussoni and her novels at her website.

    Read my interview with Danielle. (The contest portion is closed)


    March 21, 2010 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Reviews, Spotlight, Spotlight On... | , , , , , | 2 Comments

    Danielle Trussoni – Interview & Giveaway


    Sidhe Vicious welcomes author Danielle Trussoni! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and all about your novel ANGELOLOGY.

    Thank you! I’m really glad to be here.

    Your novel, ANGELOLOGY will be released on March 9th, 2010 by Viking Penguin Group. Can you tell us about it and a bit about the main characters?

    Angelology is a novel that follows a group of angelologists—scholars who track and study various kinds of angels—as they work to contain the machinations of the Nephilim, half-human, half-angel creatures who are first mentioned in Genesis: 6 of the Bible. The story moves through various times and settings, going from contemporary New York, to 1940s Paris to ancient Bulgaria. The heroine is a young woman named Evangeline who becomes enmeshed in this struggle. There is also a young man named Verlaine who begins to uncover the central mystery of the novel.

    What about Angels inspired you to write about them?

    Actually, I didn’t set out to write about angels at all. I knew that I wanted to set some of the story in a convent and so I went to stay in one to do research. While there, I happened upon a reading room with books about angels. I knew then that angels would be an ideal centerpiece for the novel.

    You’re currently living in the south of France doing research for the sequel to Angelology. Can you tell us about the new book? 

    Angelopolis is a love story between Evangeline and Verlaine set in Paris. There are forays to the south of France, especially the Bay of Angels in Nice.

    How did you get your start in writing? What, if anything, lit the “spark” to get you started and keep you motivated?

    I’ve been writing regularly since high school, when I kept very meticulous journals. I knew I wanted to write from a very young age, however, and so I have no real idea what inspired me to want to write. I think that it was something I was born to do.

    Worldwide, there is a Twilight craze, and your book features a love affair between a Nephilim and a human. What do you think it is about fantastical fiction that appeals to readers so much? Where do you think ANGELOLOGY fits in with this trend?

    I think the invitation to imagine a new world is irresistible for many readers and when this is combined with romance—which is a complete construction of our desire anyway—it can be even more seductive. ANGELOLOGY is (in my opinion) really different from Twilight, but there is still the obsession with otherness and desire in ANGELOLOGY, and there is definitely the element of fantasy mixed into a seemingly ‘normal’ world.

    As research for this novel, you stayed in the convent of Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse, WI where your great aunt is a nun. What was that experience like?

    It was a wonderful, completely educational experience. The Sisters at St. Rose in La Crosse were generous with their time and allowed me to interview them. I was there before I had any real notion of what I would write, and yet they very openly allowed me to visit.

    What supernatural power or creature would you most like to have or be?

    I would love to be immortal and without physical substance, sort of like an angel, I suppose.

    If you could choose one fictional character to bring into real life, who would you choose?

    Orlando. Or Heathcliff. I can’t decide.

    How have the books you’ve read influenced the books you write?

    I think the books that influenced me the most were 19th century novels and, when I start to pull apart the structure of ANGELOLOGY, I can see that I was very much influenced by them. I love descriptive writing and larger than life characters, all of which are hallmarks of the 19th century novel.

    What do you do when you’re having writer’s block to “shake” it off?

    I force myself to sit in front of my computer until I actually write something. Usually I end up throwing this out, but it will get me started. Or I eat a lot of chocolate.

    ANGELOLOGY visits many different locations: a picturesque convent on the Hudson River Valley, the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the streets of Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria. What was your favourite location and did you visit them to write about them?

    Yes, I did visit them all, even the cave in Bulgaria. It is strange, because I love all three of these locations for different reasons. I can’t decide which is my favourite. I guess it would depend upon my mood.

    How much of the book is rooted in fact and where did you let your imagination take flight?

    I very purposely blurred the lines between fiction and fantasy in ANGELOLOGY. I chose characters such as Abigail Rockefeller and settings which many people are familiar with. I also have tried to create the sense that Angelology is a living breathing practice. Medieval theologians actually created angelologies–or systems of classification for angels– and were genuinely practicing the study of angels, but in our day and age it is difficult to imagine such a thing happening. In reality, it isn’t. But by creating a structure and an academy of angelology, and placing my angelologists in real settings, I hoped to draw readers into belief. One example of this is a website I’ve created: You can learn a lot about the world of angelology on this site.

    Here is an easy checklist of fact/ fiction:
    ANGELOLOGY–Real although I changed its meaning and made it an on-going practice
    DEVIL’S THROAT–Real. One can visit it in Bulgaria. The legends about Orpheus are also really in circulation.
    ABIGAIL ROCKEFELLER–Real, although I’ve re-imagined her and made her an angelologist.
    NEPHILIM–Real in the Bible, so it depends upon whether one thinks the bible is fictional or not.
    Saint Rose Convent–False, but modeled on a real Saint Rose Convent in La Crosse, WI

    Are any of your characters particularly fun or easy for you to write? Any that are more difficult?

    I loved writing from the perspective of Brother Clematis, a 10th century Thracian monk. I also loved writing from the point of view of Gabriella, one of the toughest angelologists around.

    Do you have any tips for aspiring speculative fiction writers?

    Make your alternate world or reality as strong as possible.

    Thank you for giving me this great interview Danielle. It was a pleasure getting to know about you and your novel, Angelology!


    Giveaway Details:

    The wonderful publicity people at Viking/Penguin have generously offered one reader a signed copy of Angelology! Giveaway is open to USA & Canada only.

    Question: Do you believe in Angels? Have you ever had an experience? Do tell.    

    For one entry: Please leave a comment with the answer to the question.  (+1 entry)

    For extra entries:

    • Subscribe to my blog, Sidhe Vicious Reviews, through the links at the top right hand side of the blog, and let me know in your comment. Be sure you verify your subscription through the email you’ll receive or it won’t count. (+1 entry)
    • If you’re already subscribed, you’ll receive two extra entries, but be sure to let me know in the comments. (+2 entries)
    • Post a link to this contest on your Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LibraryThing, or on your blog and send me the link either in the comments or by email and you’ll get an extra entry for each place you add a link to. (+? entries, insert however many links you’ve done)
    • Contest is open to USA & Canada  and will run through March 17thth until 11:59pm. The winners will be posted here on March 18th. Please leave your email addy in your comment for me to contact you if you’ve won. If I haven’t heard back from the winner in 7 days, a new winner will be drawn from the eligible comments. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator. Good Luck everyone! :)


    (I should also mention that if you’re leaving me a bunch of links in your comment, do not panic if it doesn’t show up right away. It just automatically gets held for me to moderate, which I will as soon as I’m online. :D )

    March 8, 2010 Posted by | Contest, Contests, Interview, New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, On My Bookshelf | , , , , , , | 26 Comments

    Angelology Excerpt

    I’m currently reading this amazing book, Angelology! I’m supposed to have the review up today along with my interview with the author, Danielle Trussoni, but an unexpected move along with putting my back out have led to my being a bit behind with my reading. I should have my review up in a day or two, but in the mean time I’ll whet your appetites with an excerpt from the book and then the interview / giveaway post. 🙂 (I am so blown away by this awesome cover, I am actually contemplating framing it so I can gaze at it always!)


    Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. Copyright © 2010 by Danielle Trussoni

    “Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, New York City

     Percival Grigori tapped the tip of his cane as he waited for the elevator, a rhythm of sharp metallic clicks pounding out the seconds. The oak-paneled lobby of his building—an exclusive prewar with views of Central Park—was so familiar that he hardly noticed it any longer. The Grigori family had occupied the penthouse for over half a century. Once he might have registered the deference of the doorman, the opulent arrangement of orchids in the foyer, the polished ebony and mother-of-pearl elevator casement, the fire sending a spray of light and warmth across the marble floor. But Percival Grigori noticed nothing at all except the pain crackling through his joints, the popping of his knees with each step. As the doors of the elevator slid open and he hobbled inside, he regarded his stooped image in the polished brass of the elevator car and looked quickly away.

     At the thirteenth floor, he stepped into a marble vestibule and unlocked the door to the Grigori apartment. Instantly the soothing elements of his private life—part antique, part modern, part gleaming wood, part sparkling glass—filled his senses, relaxing the tension in his shoulders. He threw his keys onto a silk pillow at the bottom of a Chinese porcelain bowl, shrugged his heavy cashmere overcoat into the lap of an upholstered banister-back chair, and walked through the travertine gallery. Vast rooms opened before him—a sitting room, a library, a dining hall with a four-tiered Venetian chandelier suspended overhead. An expanse of picture windows staged the chaotic ballet of a snowstorm.

     At the far end of the apartment, the curve of a grand staircase led to his mother’s suite of rooms. Peering up, Percival discerned a party of her friends gathered in the formal sitting room. Guests came to the apartment for lunch or dinner nearly every day, impromptu gatherings that allowed his mother to hold court for her favorite friends from the neighborhood. It was a ritual she had grown more and more accustomed to, primarily because of the power it gave her: She selected those people she wished to see, enclosed them in the dark-paneled lair of her private quarters, and let the rest of the world go on with its tedium and misery. For years she had left her suite only on rare occasions, when accompanied by Percival or his sister, and only at night. His mother had grown so comfortable with the arrangement, and her circle had become so regular, that she rarely complained of her confinement.

     Quietly, so as not to draw attention to himself, Percival ducked into a bathroom at the end of the hallway, shut the door softly behind him, and locked it. In a succession of quick movements, he discarded a tailored wool jacket and a silk tie, dropping each piece of clothing onto the ceramic tiles. Fingers trembling, he unbuttoned six pearlescent buttons, working upward to his throat. He peeled away his shirt and stood to full height before a large mirror hung upon the wall.

     Running his fingers over his chest, he felt a mélange of leather strips weaving one over the other. The device wrapped about him like an elaborate harness, creating a system of stays that, when fully fastened, had the overall appearance of a black corset. The straps were so taut they cut into his skin. Somehow, no matter how he fastened it, the leather cinched too tightly. Struggling for air, Percival loosened one strap, then the next, working the leather through small silver buckles with deliberation until, with a final tug, the device fell to the floor, the leather slapping the tiles.

     His bare chest was smooth, without navel or nipples, the skin so white as to appear cut from wax. Swiveling his shoulder blades, he could see the reflection of his body in the mirror—his shoulders, his long thin arms, and the sculpted curve of his torso. Mounted at the center of his spine, matted by sweat, deformed by the severe pressure of the harness, were two tender nubs of bone. With a mixture of wonder and pain, he noted that his wings—once full and strong and bowed like golden scimitars—had all but disintegrated. The remnants of his wings were black with disease, the feathers withered, the bones atrophied. In the middle of his back, two open wounds, blue and raw from chafing, fixed the blackened bones in a gelatinous pool of congealed blood. Bandages, repeated cleanings—no amount of care helped to heal the wounds or relieve his pain. Yet he understood that the true agony would come when there was nothing left of his wings. All that had distinguished him, all that the others had envied, would be gone.

     The first symptoms of the disorder had appeared ten years before, when fine tracks of mildew materialized along the inner shafts and vanes of the feathers, a phosphorescent green fungus that grew like patina on copper. He had thought it a mere infection. He’d had his wings cleaned and groomed, specifying that each feather be brushed with oils, and yet the pestilence remained. Within months his wingspan had decreased by half. The dusty golden shimmer of healthy wings faded. Once, he had been able to compress his wings with ease, folding his majestic plumage smoothly against his back. The airy mass of golden feathers had tucked into the arched grooves along his spine, a maneuver that rendered the wings completely undetectable.

     Although physical in substance, the structure of healthy wings gave them the visual properties of a hologram. Like the bodies of the angels themselves, his wings had been substantial objects utterly unimpaired by the laws of matter. Percival had been able to lift his wings through thick layers of clothing as easily as if he had moved them through air.

     Now he found that he could no longer retract them at all, and so they were a perpetual presence, a reminder of his diminishment. Pain overwhelmed him; he lost all capability for flight. Alarmed, his family had brought in specialists, who confirmed what the Grigori family most feared: Percival had contracted a degenerative disorder that had been spreading through their community. Doctors predicted that his wings would die, then his muscles. He would be confined to a wheelchair, and then, when his wings had withered completely and their roots had melted away, Percival would die. Years of treatments had slowed the progression of the disease but had not stopped it.

     Percival turned on the faucet and splashed cool water over his face, trying to dissipate the fever that had overtaken him. The harness helped him to keep his spine erect, an increasingly difficult task as his muscles grew weak. In the months since it had become necessary to wear the harness, the pain had only grown more acute. He never quite got used to the bite of leather on his skin, the buckles as sharp as pins against his body, the burning sensation of ripped flesh. Many of their kind chose to live away from the world when they became ill. This was a fate Percival could not begin to accept.”


    And there you have a sneak peek at Angelology which will be out on shelves tomorrow ( March 9th). 🙂

    March 8, 2010 Posted by | New Book Releases, New Covers - Release Dates, New Releases, On My Bookshelf, Reading, Spotlight On..., Upcoming Releases | , | Leave a comment