What’s spookier than a graveyard a night? One full of vampires, warrior angels, and statues that come to life. Sylvia Day’s Adrian Mitchell from the first book in the new Renegade Angels series, A TOUCH OF CRIMSON (available now from Signet Eclipse), is telling us a suitably scary and sexy version of the Black Agnes urban legend. And to sweeten the deal, Sylvia has very graciously provided a fantastic giveaway today including the first three books in her Marked series (EVE OF DARKNESS, EVE OF DESTRUCTION, and EVE OF CHAOS) & a stuffed tote bag from the RT Convention. See details below.
Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways
Sylvia Day’s Adrian Mitchell on Black Agnes “A TOUCH OF CRIMSON”
Adrian Mitchell tossed the crime scene photos on the dining table in his hotel suite, watching them fan outward as they slid across the glass. “We’ll be staying a while.”
The two lycans seated at the table reached for the images, dividing them between them.
Unable to look at them anymore, Adrian pivoted and walked to the massive window overlooking the city of Phoenix, Arizona. Fighting his unwelcome agitation, he unfurled his wings, the pristinely white feathers with their crimson tips emerging first as tendrils of smoke, then solidifying into shape. He stretched and flexed them, the only sign of his disquiet hidden in what would be perceived by the lycans as a simple bid for comfort.
“Black Agnes,” one of them said behind him.
“Excuse me?” Adjusting the angle of his position, he looked at the two men examining the photos. One was stocky, built for brute force. The other was taller, leaner yet stronger. He’d watched them work, noting their strengths and weaknesses. They were a good team and a good match for him. Together they’d taken down three rogue vampires in less than two weeks. He expected to add this latest one to their kill sheets before they headed home again.
The taller one–Elijah–lifted his head and looked at Adrian with the luminescent green eyes of a creature tainted with demon blood. It was that touch of demon that enabled the lycans to shapeshift between man and beast. It also indentured them to Adrian. “An urban legend. There’s a cemetery statue–two of them actually–of a hooded figure. One was rumored to have supernatural properties. College kids used it as a pledge to join sororities and fraternities. The initiate was supposed to spend the night sitting in the statue’s lap, but one of them was found dead in the morning, with bruises and marks that suggested the statue had come to life and held her until she croaked.”
“That’s not a shrouded figure,” Adrian pointed out, his voice kept carefully neutral to hide his roiling fury. He was a seraph, a Sentinel. He was expected to stand above the vagaries of human emotions. But he couldn’t fight his reaction to the pictures spread out before him, those of a once beautiful young woman laid dramatically upon the lap of a massive marble statue of an angel. An angel whose head was bowed as if weeping over the bloodless body draped across its thighs.
A taunt. An undeniable “f%#! you” from the vampire who’d taken the very last drop from a promising life.
“No,” Elijah agreed. “This rogue is a young one. Too stupid to know better.”
Only one who was young and foolish would deliberately attract the attention of a Sentinel. Adrian’s mouth curved grimly. “And he’ll get what he’s asking for.”
* * *
When night fell, they split up and cruised the college parties and local hangouts. They attracted attention, predators prowling through gatherings of their prey. Men shied away from them instinctively, but the women were drawn to that edge of danger. With focused attention and flattery, it was easy to get them to talk. By the time Adrian regrouped with Elijah and Trent, they’d each gathered intel on upcoming pledge initiations, many of which now included the cemetery statue due to its morbid notoriety.
Adrian looked up at the moon. “Our vamp isn’t going to wait. We’re here, and now that we’ve canvassed his haunts he knows it. My bet would be on another strike tonight, one last show of arrogance before moving on.”
“The cemetery, then?” Trent asked.
“Right. Let’s go.”
* * *
Having lived for millennia, nothing surprised Adrian anymore. He’d seen everything, countless times. Or so he’d thought.
From his vantage in a tree a half mile away from the statue, he tracked the young couple crouch-walking toward the massive angel, laughing softy and pausing occasionally for breathless kisses. He watched them reach their destination and lean against the marble in a passionate embrace. Her hands slid through the young man’s hair as he took her mouth with more enthusiasm than skill. Then he lifted her onto the angel’s lap, putting her at the perfect height for him to step between her legs and push up her pleated mini-skirt.
Dropping from the tree, Adrian approached carefully, eyes on the prize as he waited for a sign that he was dealing with more than just an ordinary set of horny college kids. He was distantly aware of Elijah and Trent on the perimeter, holding back to keep their scent from reaching the sensitive nostrils of their vampire quarry.
The girl’s head fell back with a sigh of pleasure, exposing the creamy expanse of her throat to the greedy slide of her boyfriend’s parted lips.
Then Adrian saw the soft amber glow of her irises.
His brow arched. Well, then.
Her furtive hand signal alerted him to the presence of the others, warning him to shift into the shadows of a massive tree for cover. The pack converged from points behind the young man, four vampresses, their fangs gleaming in the moonlight. Their gender took him aback, although he would later wonder why it had. Although they hid it well, females were usually more vicious than males.
The girl on the angel’s lap shoved her would-be lover back into the waiting arms of her laughing friends. Adrian engaged, darting forward, going for the victim. Catching him up in the center of the pack, Adrian snapped his wings free, spinning fluidly. The razor-sharp tips of his feathers sliced like a circular saw, halving the vampires at the waist in less than a second. As the pieces fell to the ground with sickening thuds, he delved into the young man’s mind and removed all memory of the night, resetting his recollections back to the point when he’d met the vampress at a frat party.
Then he faced her, the ringleader. She cowered into the arms of the angel, caged by Elijah and Trent in their lupine forms. But when her gaze met Adrian’s it was hot with defiance and swirling with madness.
Plucking her off the statue, Adrian rifled through her memories, confirming her guilt in the previous attack and discovering the tragedy of her Change. She’d been caught just this way by a young rogue and his friends. The attack had stolen her sanity; the Change had taken her soul, as it did all minions. What was left behind was one of the monsters he hunted.
Nevertheless, pity stirred in his chest.
“I’ll find the ones who did this to you,” he promised softly. Then he ended her.
In the morning, several dozen white lilies were found in the lap of the mourning angel statue. And in the years that followed, it became known as an unusually peaceful spot, one where visitors felt a joyous equanimity and departed with a renewed sense of hope in the days to come.
About the author:
Sylvia Day (aka S. J. Day and Livia Dare) is the national bestselling, award-winning author of a dozen novels written across multiple sub-genres, under multiple pen names–three! A wife and mother of two, she is a former Russian linguist for the U.S. Army Military Intelligence. Sylvia’s work has been called an "exhilarating adventure" by Publishers Weekly and "wickedly entertaining" by Booklist. Her stories have been translated into Russian, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Czech, Italian, and Thai. She’s been honored with the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the EPPIE award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Readers’ Crown, and multiple finalist nominations for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award of Excellence.
Want to read more from Sylvia Day?
Giveaway provided by Sylvia Day
The first 3 Marked books & a tote bag from the RT Convention (stuffed as it was for convention attendees)
Available now from Signet Eclipse
Can a love that transcends death survive a war between angels, vampires, and lycans?
An angel with immense power and insatiable desire, Adrian Mitchell leads an elite Special Ops unit of the seraphim. His task is to punish the Fallen–angels who have become vampires–and command a restless pack of indentured lycans.
But Adrian has suffered his own punishment for becoming involved with mortals–losing the woman he loves again and again. Now, after nearly two hundred years, he has found her: Shadoe, her soul once more inhabiting a new body that doesn’t remember him. This time he won’t let her go.
With no memory of her past as Shadoe, Lindsay Gibson knows only that she can’t help being fiercely attracted to the smoldering, seductive male who crosses her path. Swept into a dangerous world of tumultuous passion and preternatural conflict, Lindsay is soon caught between her angel lover, her vampire father, and a full-blown lycan revolt. There’s more at stake than her love and her life–she could lose her very soul…
Enter the giveaway via the widget below
**Don’t forget to visit Dark Faerie Tales today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with Cynthia Eden and a chance to win ANGEL OF DARKNESS**
About the author
- Winner: DEAD MAN’S DEAL by Jocelynn DrakeMay 25, 2013