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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blog Tour: "Betrayal: Angels of Death" by M.L. Guida (Guest Post/Giveaway)


Welcome to our Blog Tour stop on "Betrayal: Angels of Death" by M.L. Guida.  Brought to you by the lovely ladies at Innovative Online Book Tours.  Here you can read the book's synopsis, the author's bio, a guest post from the author, and a chance to win a copy of "Betrayal".

As a writer, one of my favorite characters to write about is the villains.  They bring life to your work, as long as you do not make them flat.  I like my villains to have character and not be so black and white.  I chose this scene, because Scythe faces a human villain, and a demon villain.  You will have to make up your mind about the Archangel Michael.  Depending on your point of view, he can be a hero or villain. 
In this scene, Scythe has saved the heroine’s dog, Mattie, and has angered the Archangel Michael.  Scythe is running from Manson, a possessed police detective, bent on killing Scythe and his mate, Heather.  Michael is ruthless and does not tolerate any disobedience so he punishes Scythe, sending him to hell to face his nemesis, Balthazar, a demon.  Balthazar is actually one of my favorite characters and he too in time will have his own story, but until then, he will play havoc with the angels of death. 
A loud crack in the sky grabbed Scythe’s attention. A light flashed in the blue sky. Another one hit behind the cop cars, but none of the officers even flinched.
“Shit,” Scythe said.
Heather gripped his arms and the dog whined. “What?”
“Michael.” 
She looked at him. “The Archangel?  Where?”
“Over there.”  He nodded. “Behind the cop car.”
Michael’s thick blond hair cascading down his back, he stood shirtless, like always, with his arms folded across his massive chest. His leather pants revealed his lean muscles. He wore his heavenly silver sword, The Merciless, tucked in his sheath on his hip. The same blade he used to fight Lucifer. He towered over the cop car. The tallest, fittest and meanest angel of death in God’s arsenal, he wasn’t one you wanted to betray, and he had done it. As if reading his mind, Mattie licked Scythe’s face.
She frowned. “I don’t see anyone.”
“I know. It’s better that you don’t.”
She trembled in his arms. “Is he mad?”
At Michael’s fierce scowl, a touch of fear shot through Scythe. “You could say that.”
“You need to keep your mouth shut,” the black cop ordered. “Put the woman and dog down. Hands in the air. Now.” 
Scythe lowered Heather to the ground, never taking his eyes off Michael. Heather lowered Mattie to the ground. She scampered off, straight toward Michael.
“Mattie,” she called. “No.”
“Leave her. She’s safe. He won’t hurt her or you.”  No, he’s here to kick my ass.
“Hands in the air, lady, now,” the burly cop ordered.
Raising her arms high, Heather gave him a quizzical look. “Who?”
“Michael.”
A look of comprehension crossed her face. “It’s because you brought back Mattie, isn’t it?” 
Scythe refused to answer. The less she knew the better.
Manson ran up behind them. “They both tried to kill me.”
A car door opened and a petite black woman wearing a blue striped suit got out. She leaned on the car. “Really Manson?”
“Schmidt, what are you doing here?”
“Thing is…Hewitt’s not dead. Came to.”
Scythe arched his eyebrow at Michael who shrugged. The head angel kept him alive. What? To spoil Blade’s plan?  Or was Hewitt’s name not in the Book of the Dead?  Like Michael would give him any answers at least not now.
Michael narrowed his eyes. Scythe swallowed his fear. His gut hurt. He was so fucked.
“What?”  A cloud of doubt flashed over Manson’s face. “That’s great.”
“Ya think?”  Schmidt tapped the window with her fingers. Her clicking long red nails grated on Scythe’s nerves. “Take them all in for questioning.”
Manson reached under his jacket.
A blonde haired female cop yelled, “You touch it, you’re dead Manson.”
All four guns aimed at Manson. He dropped the knife. “Alright. Alright. Don’t shoot.”  He raised both his hands high in the air.
Scythe glanced at Heather. Strands of her brown hair hung in her face, and he itched to push it away. Her wide brown eyes looked at him as if to say do something. She was his angel-mate. Clenching his jaw tight, no matter what Michael did to him she was worth it. He’d die for her.
A snap echoed through the air. Michael’s menacing voice said, “We’ll see about that, Angel.”
Darkness engulfed Scythe. An icy wind whipped over his naked skin, whirling him around like a piece of paper in a roaring tornado. The noise hurt his ears. Pain gripped him. Human shrieks rang in his ears. Don’t let those be hers.
He couldn’t make out the voices, in too much torment to distinguish male or female. Zeus, knows what happened to her. With sheer determination, he shot out his wings, but an angry gust cracked them like toothpicks. Agony tore threw him as his wings flattened to his back, totally useless. He screamed and fell.
The air turned hot. His wings plastered to his sweltering skin. The wind intensified the heat. Shit, Michael, really?  His throat too hoarse to scream anymore, he clenched his teeth. Had he been screaming her name? 
He spiraled towards an orange ball. At his rapid descent, it grew brighter. Flames exploded and crackled. Fear gripped him as the blistering wind lashed him like a scalding whip.
His arms and legs trembled. His heart pounded. Sweat drenched him. His hair flung around his face, blinding him. Michael have mercy.
But none came. How could Michael do this to him?  If he hurt one hair on Heather’s glorious head, he’d challenge the holy tyrant. Where was that coming from?  He had never felt this way towards his boss. Never. He had followed Michael’s every command, every order, every desire without question. But that was then, this was now. The only thing that mattered was getting back to Earth. Heather needed him, but what if she was down here?  For Heaven’s Sake, Michael. He couldn’t feel her. Where the hell was she? 
He smashed into the boiling lava. His flesh melted off his bones. Agony gripped him. He screamed, but the flames ate his shrieks. Suddenly, the fire dissipated and he was whole again.
“Ah, so you’re here,” an evil voice said.
 Panting, Scythe turned. Jagged rocks and pebbles scratched and dug into his skin. Volcanoes erupted and the stench of his own singed flesh hit him. Human screams mixed with demon laughter rang in his ears.
A black haired man stood with his arms folded across his naked chest. Long black hair fell to his waist and his eyes burned red. Sweat glistened off his muscles. He wore tight black jeans and no shoes. “Balthazar.”
“Hello, Scythe. I see we meet again, but this time…”  He raised his hands in a wide V over his head. “We’re on my turf. Welcome.”
The rancid smell of decaying, rotting souls permeated the air. Noxious fumes made his eyes water. He wrinkled his nose. His stomach twisted into a knot. He bit his cheek to keep from vomiting. Scythe rolled to his side. “You bastard, where is she?”
“Ah, yes, your angel-mate?  Wouldn’t you like to know?”  Balthazar put his hands on his hips. “By the way, it’s not polite to insult your host. Boys.” 
Growls and snarls emitted from the ground. Black shadows with pointed horns, yellow glowing eyes and long sharp claws emerged. Hovering, the black shapeless images surrounded him. Scythe tensed. Shit, ghost demons. He was fucking powerless without a heaven sword.
“Now,” Balthazar ordered.
With his fists clenched, Scythe struggled to stand, to fight. “Balthazar, I’ll kill you if you hurt her.”  The ghost demons hissed and swarmed him, like pissed off wasps protecting their nest. Nails slashed through his flesh. He swung, but his fists went right through them.
“Yeah right.”  Balthazar laughed. “Only a demon can touch them. You know that.” 
Scythe staggered and fell to the ground. Sharp teeth tore at his muscles, ripping bits out. Agony swelled inside him. Gritting his teeth, he refused to cry out.
Through the chomping and tearing, Balthazar said, “Don’t worry. I doubt Michael will let you die. But let me give you this piece of advice, Blade’s soul will soon be mine.” 
“Never,” Scythe spat.
Cruel laughter filled his ears. “Good-bye, Angel. We’ll meet again.”        
Closing his eyes as a ghost demon attempted to tear out his eye, Scythe dug his nails into the hard ground. Wind blew in his ears and the tearing and biting lessened.
“Get up,” a hard voice said.
Scythe recognized that voice. “Michael?”
He peered open his eyes. He lay on a turf of fresh cut grass. Mattie panted. She edged closer to him and put her nose next to his. Her paws touched his hand as if to say I’m here.
Michael towered over him. “You disappoint me, Scythe. My number one angel betrayed me.”
Scythe rolled onto his back. How could he be sweltering, melting in hell but come out here and be as cold as ice?  Michael’s shadow covered him. He could only make out his shining silver eyes. Michael sauntered a few feet away, and the sun chased away his chills.
Scythe sat and Mattie laid her head in his lap. She nuzzled closer and he stroked her soft fur. He sighed. “I didn’t betray you, Michael. Where is she?”
Michael pointed at Mattie. “Then why is she alive?”
“She’s a dog. Did I disturb some grand plan?”  He gritted his teeth, “Where in heaven is Heather?”
Michael narrowed his eyes. “Are you telling me you want to go back and visit Balthazar?”
“No, but…”
“Silence.” He waved his hand. “I will hear no more of your excuses. You are no longer second in command. Saber is replacing you.”


Sometimes being the hero is not an easy task.  Scythe loses his position after saving Heather’s dog.  He now must prove himself by saving his brother.  Time is running out for him.  This is getting close to the black moment.  Scythe begins to realize how much he cares for Heather and what he is willing to do to save her. 
Villains tend to force heroes to make hard choices.  Where would be without them?  Think of Hannibal the Cannibal – one of my all time favorites.  I loved his little quotes such as - “A census taker tried to test me once.  I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”  Who can forget that line? 
Who are your favorite villains?  What do you think makes a great villain?


Betrayal: Angels of Death
by: M.L. Guida
Publishing Date: 8/17/12
Publisher: Passion in Print Press

Description:

Scythe must save his brother's soul before the next full moon, Heather is determined to prove her sister's innocence, but to do this, they must trust each other. Heather Bowen, a drug and alcohol counselor has always been able to see auras, but now she's being haunted in her sleep by a red-eyed man who's peddling a psychotic drug to her clients. After her sister becomes his next victim, Heather is determined to prove her sister's innocence. Life as she knows it becomes more unpredictable when the new counselor, Scythe Angel, arrives. It doesn't take Heather more than a first meeting to determine this larger than life man is commanding, pushy, determined and downright sexy. However there's something about him she's not sure she can trust, no matter how she finds herself drawn to him. Scythe knows he can clear Heather's sister's name, but to do it he must confront his elusive and dangerous brother who seems to be bound to the dark side. With his own wings on the line, Scythe has to discover a way to save his brother's soul before it's too late. An arduous task for Scythe becomes even more complicated by his unearthly attraction to Heather. For both of them to succeed they will have to learn to trust each other or fail; losing everything they hold dear.





M.L. Guida
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M. L. Guida writes paranormal romance and currently writes for Passion in Print. She has one book out, Betrayal: Angels of Death series. She has a short, Sinful Delight, which is another story about the Angels of Death and will be released in October.











Giveaway

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(10 ebooks and 5 swag packs up for grabs during the tour)  =)
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4 comments:

Thanks for hosting M. L. Guida today.

Vickieann said...

This was an interesting and unique read.

Sounds like a terrific book! I love the name of Michael's sword, the Merciless.

Sounds like a great read! Loved the excerpt!

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