Veronica: It’s our pleasure to have Marcella Burnard as our guest today, with an excerpt from her new book DAMNED IF HE DOES.
Rejected by heaven, twisted by hell, what’s a damned dead man to do when he stumbles upon a life and love worth fighting for?
Though damned for his earthly sins, Darsorin Incarri likes being an incubus. Prowling women’s dreams to siphon off their sexual energy for Satan's consumption has its perks: an array of infernal power and a modicum of freedom. Sure, Ole Scratch holds Dar’s soul in thrall, and Dar has to spend a few hours recharging in Hell every day, but it could be much worse. All he has to do is hold up his end of his damnation contract – five women seduced, satisfied and siphoned per night for eternity. So when he encounters gorgeous, bright, and funny Fiona Renee, it’s business as usual. Deploy the infernal charm and rack up another score. Except it doesn’t work. She’s immune. He has to find out what’s gone wrong or face Lucifer's wrath.
Fiona Renee has the life she’d always wanted: a career, a home, a cat with a bad attitude, and peace. Fiona’s dated. Had boyfriends. And hated every minute of it. She’s reconciled to being lonely. So when a man shows up in her bedroom in the middle of the night demanding to know why her dreams turn to nightmares every time he tries to seduce her from within them, Fiona winds up negotiating a contract with a demon that allows him access to her life. She never anticipated that it would also give him access to her heart. If she's going to fall in love at all, something she never thought would happen, shouldn’t it be with someone who’s alive? If Fiona wants to hang on to Darsorin, she has to find his true name—the one he’d been given at his birth over a thousand years ago. But Satan, himself, stands in her way. Even if Fiona can dodge Lucifer, she and Darsorin have to face the question neither of them can answer: What happens to a dead man if you manage to wrest his soul from the Devil?
The Excerpt (Darsorin has a run in with Fiona’s landlady):
With a noise like a saw drawn across ice, a key slide into the lock on the front door.
Darsorin frowned. Fiona came in the back door. Unless she’d walked to work.
The door opened.
Carrot and peeler still in hand, he peered around the archway into the hall.
The landlady eased into the entryway, book clasped to her bosom with one arm. She shut the door.
“Mrs. Murphy,” he said, racking his brain for any indication that she was supposed to have been in the duplex that day. There wasn’t one. Inability to forget anything, ever. Demonic perk. If Fiona told him to go to Hell when she came home, his perfect memory would be a curse for the rest of eternity. “What can I do for you? Fiona is still at work.”
“Good. I came to deal with you,” Mrs. Murphy said, her mouth set in a grim line. She marched toward him.
The cat hissed.
Dar glanced over his shoulder at Archimedes. He stood, fluffy tail bristling, the fur along his spine standing on end, and yellow eyes fixed with baleful intent upon the hallway. A comment Fiona had made caught Dar, he hates everyone.
Dar set the half-peeled carrot and the peeler back on the cutting board and started for the cat. “Mrs. Murphy, you’re frightening Archimedes. Let me . . .”
“You have done more than enough, Demon,” the landlady snapped. “I know what you are. And after what one of your kind did to my baby sister, I made sure I’d know exactly how to deal with one of you. Incubus.”
The woman raked him with a derisive look, but her cheeks flushed, and she couldn’t complete her dismissive set-down.
Arching his back, Archimedes warbled a battle cry at the woman.
“Don’t you take that tone with me,” the landlady said, striding to the cat. In one swift move that left Darsorin breathless with rage, she swept Archimedes from the counter.
The cat yowled and struck out, claws flashing.
“Ow! Why you—”
“Don’t you dare touch that cat,” Darsorin snarled, summoning the power of Hell. Not how he wanted to sentence himself to spending a couple of regenerative hours in the lakes of fire, the scenery left so much to be desired, but he refused to let anyone be mean to Archimedes.
Fiona had been right. They couldn’t stay here. They wouldn’t.
“Fiona’s on her way home,” he said, gathering power and shaping it into one specific, emotion-laden intention. “You will not be here when she arrives. Time for you to LEAVE.” He threw every mote of unholy power into the word.
Ole Scratch knew the application of overwhelming force. He provided generously for his incubi. Malevolent will rolled in through his feet, flooded him until his vision swam with the pain. He released it in a sweep of his fingers.
It swarmed Mrs. Murphy.
The power bent. Piled up as if against a wall. His smile died. The wave crested, rolling back to smash down on his head. He yelped.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/damned-if-he-does-marcella-burnard/1124047954?ean=2940153409252
Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. She writes science fiction romance for Berkley Sensation. Her first book, Enemy Within won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Futuristic of 2010. The second book in the series, Enemy Games, released on May 3, 2011. An erotica novella, Enemy Mine, set in the same world as the novels was released as an e-special edition by Berkley in April 2012. Emissary, a sword and sorcery short story released in the two volume Thunder on the Battlefield Anthology in the second half of 2013. Nightmare Ink, an Urban Fantasy novel from Intermix came out in April of 2014 and the second in that Living Ink series, Bound by Ink, came out in November 2014. She lives aboard a sailboat in Seattle where she and her husband are outnumbered by cats.
You can find Marcella here:
My website: www.marcellaburnard.com
Instagram: marcellaburnard (but I warn you – this is almost 100% cat photos!)