Angelique Armae is a native New Yorker who’s as zany as the city she grew up in. As a child her favorite toy was Emerald The Witch, a small doll with green eyes, green hair and purple skin.
Miss Armae’s books and novellas have garnered numerous awards and nominations, including the Sapphire Award, P.E.A.R.L. Award and Word Weaving Award. Her books have also been featured on Midwest Book Review’s Book Watch TV. Angelique’s first novel, COME THE NIGHT, made Fictionwise’s Best of the Best list, rounding out the top five best selling dark fantasy books of the year.
Aside from writing, Angelique also dabbles in digital art. She is the recipient and two time nominee of the Dream Realm Award for best cover art.
When not working, Ms. Armae enjoys traveling, learning about the ancient Celts, exploring history and learning new languages. Angelique studied history and French literature at Skidmore College.
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When a Grigori prince and a demon huntress team up to find the antidote to a supernatural disease, the balance between good and evil is forever altered.
A fallen angel…
A human scholar…
A race against time…
Isabel Godfroie Heart is a Paradisian Scholar-an immortal human trained in the ways of Heaven and Hell-who’s suffering from memory loss. During her last battle, a dark force erased specific portions of her past life memories. Now she remembers little of times past, save for the fact she’s a demon slayer mentored by the archangel Gabriel. When ordered to a new post to help translate a volume of ancient text from a forbidden verse, Isabel is forced to work with the dark prince Nicolai Valentine, a soul who may or may not be responsible for her memory loss. If only she didn’t find the tempting creature so hard to resist…
Born to a fallen angel and a mortal mother, Nicolai Valentine is a prince of the Grigorcov, the children of the fallen sons of God. Searching for the lost chalice that will save his kin from eternal damnation, Nicky unknowingly unleashes the Hadean Virus, a dark entity targeting members of the Grigorcov. Now the entity has been unleashed on man’s world and Nicky’s in a race against time to find the antidote that will stop this deadly parasite. But in order to keep the Hadean virus from attacking again, Nicolai must enlist the help of Isabel Godfroie Heart, the Paradisian Scholar he was unable to save from the wrath of Hell centuries ago…
The lights flickered.
The abbey fell dark.
My sixth-sense kicked into high gear.
Popping into Lucifer’s niche unawares didn’t make for good demon hunting. Neither did getting my ass fried for sheer stupidity, a lesson I learned firsthand when a demonic warlord named Dreadacus stole a big chunk of my memory.
That little incident keeps me more than just enough pissed to continue pursuing the vile creatures I stalk. Remaining madder than hell is a good thing in my line of work.
Moving along, I listened to the heavy rain pelting the arched windows. A flash of lightning illuminated the stained glass and sent a rainbow of shadows dancing across the chamber. The colorful images invaded my path but didn’t deter me.
The foul scent of demons, similar to sulfur, now dominated the air.
The noxious odor overpowered the waft of spicy incense from the abbey’s swinging thuribles. The smoking censer served to purify and eradicate wicked entities and evil essences from the air.
Apparently this time the sacred relic had failed.
A second later the canister swung back like a hexed pendulum, the kind you’d expect to see in a cheap horror flick. I ducked and avoided a head-on collision.
It dipped from the ceiling once more and glided a hair’s breadth past my face.
This time a whiff of perfumed smoke caressed my cheek.
My nose twitched as a burning sensation assaulted my throat.
Another gust of sulfur permeated the vicinity.
I gripped the swords at my sides and stepped away from the wall. Not to brag, but when I pack heat, I don’t fool around. Forged from the essence of thunder and lightning, the weapons contain an otherworldly mix of metal and Heavenly elements. A deadly combination needed to fight Hell’s demons. I dragged the swords along the floor.
Metal clanged against stone and the sound echoed about the church like a continuous rumble of thunder. The sharp pointed blades marred the abbey’s floor, deep tracks left in their wake.
The demon scent grew stronger.
I refused to stop.
The marble font by the main doors, large carved panels at the back of St. Gabriel’s Abbey, now toppled over. I silently thanked the demons for that little tantrum, as the holy water, flowing like a thin river through the floor’s sword-made cuts, trailed my steps. The blessed liquid, acting as a barrier, protected me from being ambushed.
The front altar remained only a few steps away.
Near the tabernacle, unseen enemies waited in the shadows. Their spectral energies teased my senses.
The hair at the nape of my neck stood on end.
Screeching voices, sounds akin to TV static, echoed from beyond the grave and filled my head with a thousand whispered words all at once. Thanks to a few dabs of holy oil behind each earlobe, tuning out the very vocal undead was a piece of cake. The noise ceased almost instantly.
Gray, hazy forms rose up from the flaming wicks at Lucifer’s candle stand.
The shadows on the outer rim concealed my exact location. I focused on the barren altar. Swords alone wouldn’t obliterate my enemies, nor would the workings of any one-belief system. One by one, relics from various religions appeared on the cloth-covered table. Among them sat a pentacle, a Star of David, a cross, even a set of Tibetan Mala beads.
The sacred items flew toward me, accessorizing my leather catsuit. The cross, the star and the pentacle now dangled from a single cord around my neck, while the Mala beads circled my wrist.
Decked out in religious armor, a surge of powerful energy shocked through my body.
The zap nearly knocked me to my knees.
I approached the altar, knelt, and then prostrated myself.
With a single flick of the wrists, my swords ascended to both sides of my body, coming to rest mere centimeters from my fingers.
Several seconds ticked by. The cold, rough stone numbed my cheek as the heady scent of burning incense mingled with smoldering candlewick assaulted my nose.
The constant drip of melting wax whispered a tormenting lullaby. The familiar sensations pricked at my nerves and teased every fiber of my being with a tempting desire to escape the agony assaulting me.
Yet despite the tingling in my numbing limbs, I knew better than to rise from my prone position.
Unseen enemies stood in the shadows.
One wrong move and I’d be toast.
A slight rumble shook the earth.
I took a deep breath. It was a cold, slightly sweet gulp of air.
The damned were suddenly everywhere.
I smelled them, tasted them, their whispered words mocked me.
Only my eyes failed to notice them.
I flexed my fingers and concentrated on the sacred weapons that remained poised near by–one blade to stun, one to obliterate. Both swords used simultaneously in the attack. I had one chance at grasping both weapons, and one chance only.
Fate could be a bitch at times and tonight obviously wasn’t one of her better moments.
I focused on the thunderbolt at my right and the sword of lightning at my left. Both hands stretched and waited, fingers flexed, and like hawk talons seeking their prey, aimed at the hilts of each sword.
The sound of a flickering flame echoed from somewhere above.
One of my enemies blinked.
In a flash, both weapons rested in my hands. Knuckles white and palms hot like fire I jumped to my feet, as black, hazy shadows filled the abbey.
Maneuvering the swords as if they were an extension of both my body and soul, I raced through the sacred space, slicing through the hearts of my now visible enemies.
Around me lightning crackled while sulfuric vapors slowly overpowered the building’s heady incense. The pungent odor of decay was almost too much to bear.
I took a running jump and grasped a marble pillar. Swinging around, I headed back toward the front of the church. The last two remaining shadows melded into one. A slight tingling sensation caressed my ears.
“Isabel…” the shadow whispered, its voice, deep and haunting. “Come to me and I will give you everything.”
“Not in a million years,” I answered.
The dark entity slowly took on human form.
It wore leather pants and boots and was draped in a black hooded cape. A tattoo of a large letter X severed by a lightning bolt graced its face. A newly forged sword, still sizzling, rested in its left hand.
I stared, taking in all that it pretended to be. The vile creature stood at least a good foot more than my five feet two inches, and wore no shirt over its rippled chest. I surmised that the demon’s muscular appearance meant to either intimidate or to entice its opponents. But the visual effects did little to sway me.
Demons had a knack for wearing elaborate, throwaway façades that included sculpted bodies and handsome faces.
“Your looks mean nothing to me, beast,” I said. “So save your energy and use it where it matters most.”
A resonating, throaty laugh filled the building, followed by a low growl. “You wound me, Isabel. It’s not often I show my better side in the presence of a human.”