Deadly Destinations: Meljean Brook’s Jake Hawkins on Hell & win GUARDIAN DEMON

July 26, 2013 Deadly Destinations, Giveaways, Guests 69

Today’s Deadly Destination is from Meljean Brook‘s Jake Hawkins on Hell from GUARDIAN DEMON, Guardians #8 (published on August 6, 2013 by Berkley Sensation). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.

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Hosted by All Things Urban Fantasy & Dark Faerie Tales  July 1st-31st 

Meljean Brook’s Jake Hawkins on Hell from GUARDIAN DEMON

Meljean’s Note: This scene takes place directly after Demon Marked and before Guardian Demon, and includes spoilers for the Guardian series.

***

Demon Bound (The Guardians, #4)Don’t you get it into your fool head to go looking for Michael by yourself, Drifter had told Jake. The older Guardian had been his mentor way back when Jake had still been a novice – okay, only four years ago, but a lot of shit had gone down since then and Jake wasn’t exactly the effing new guy anymore – but Drifter still liked to give Jake advice and a guiding hand, even when Jake didn’t really want to hear it. Irena, who’d been acting as the Guardians’ leader since Michael had sacrificed himself, had a bit more blunt. If you go alone, I’ll rip out your idiot brain to see if you are smarter without it.

And maybe teleporting around Hell wasn’t the greatest idea, but Jake Hawkins wasn’t alone. He had a rocket launcher with him.

Quite a few rocket launchers, actually.

He didn’t intend to use any of them now, though. This close to Lucifer’s throne, the last thing he wanted to do was draw attention to himself. Even though he couldn’t see any sign of the demon lord, Jake could feel him – a malevolent presence pressing in on his psychic shields, like a snake coiling tightly around his mind. No doubt Lucifer was somewhere in the enormous tower that speared into the crimson sky, and even though Jake hovered miles away, he wasn’t at a safe distance. There was no such thing as ‘a safe distance’ if Lucifer realized a Guardian was here.

But he didn’t need to stay long. Michael wasn’t here.

The ancient Guardian had been here, that much was clear. Charred demon bodies littered the wasteland that surrounded Lucifer’s tower. Not long ago, the wasteland had been a frozen field filled with the faces of the damned – those unlucky souls who had broken a demon’s bargain and were trapped and tortured for eternity. Michael had been one of them.

Now…Michael was something else.

Jake glanced down at the trail of burnt demons. His stomach lurched uneasily. Those demons weren’t just roasted. Some were missing limbs, torsos – and they hadn’t been neatly severed with a sword. Unless he was badly mistaken, it looked as if they’d been bitten off with giant teeth.

Holy flippin’ hell. They’d been eaten.

He just wouldn’t think about it. Those bodies gave him a direction to go.

And hopefully Michael wouldn’t still be hungry if Jake caught up to him.

***

Jake lost the trail in one of the demon cities. The towers and buildings – all smaller than Lucifer’s, of course – had already been crumbling due to Lucifer’s neglect, dropping blocks of black marble into rivers of orange lava. Now many of the buildings looked as if they’d taken direct hits from a bomb.

That wasn’t neglect. That was Michael.

Hot damn. If the ancient Guardian could flatten a demon city now, maybe it wouldn’t matter that he’d also burned and devoured half the inhabitants.

Demon Forged  (The Guardians, #5)

Unfortunately, eating more of the demons meant that Michael hadn’t left much evidence to follow. Where in Hell would a Guardian with Michael’s power go?
Maybe to the Pit, where millions of human souls were tortured before being released to Heaven. Jake didn’t have much compassion for those souls – they were the murderers, the rapists, the bastards who deserved to suffer for everything they’d done in their lives – but no one deserved what Lucifer allowed his demons to do to those souls. Michael could release those souls by burning them.

Of course, burning them would make Lucifer a lot more powerful than he was now. And a more powerful Lucifer might be able to bust through the Gates between the realms and bring Hell to Earth. Michael probably wouldn’t risk that, not after spending thousands of years protecting mankind from Lucifer and his demons.

But Jake had to check. He had to be sure, because the Guardians desperately needed Michael back.

He braced himself before teleporting. He’d been to the Pit before, clinging to his wife’s hand in a desperate escape from the belly of a spider the size of a city. Before teleporting to the endless red desert beyond the demon cities, they’d landed in the Pit – a ten-second stopover that Jake would never forget. Even though he’d tried. God damn, he’d tried.

He jumped and it was the same, the same anguish and screams and heat, the bubbling lava and the agony of so many souls, the burning blood and burning flesh, and the stain that wouldn’t wash away no matter how many tears the Pit scrubbed from their eyes.

Covered in red scales, a demon stood directly below, its knife gleaming and its grin wide. The thing strapped to the table beside the demon might have been human once, must have been human, but flayed and opened, there was nothing recognizable as human except his screams. The tormented shrieks bore into Jake’s head, filled him, but it was his Gift that came out – an arc of lightning that sizzled from his fingers.

The bolt struck the demon below. Leathery wings snapped wide and stiffened, the tips smoking. Fanged teeth clenched in a rictus of agony.

Demon Blood (The Guardians, #6)

But it wasn’t dead. Only stunned. For now.

Even as thunder cracked across the Pit, Jake teleported down and beheaded the asshole. A second later he touched the human – what was left of him – jumped above the bubbling river of lava, and let the poor soul fall.
An instant of pain instead of centuries. It wasn’t enough to help just the one. It could never be enough.

But Jake wasn’t going to have time for more. Hundreds, maybe thousands of demons were looking toward him now, their eyes burning with a crimson glow.

Shit. Shit, shit.

But even though sense told him to teleport, he probably shouldn’t waste this chance. He was in Hell for a reason, after all.

“Hey, there!” he called out over the screams. “I’m looking for a dragon. Really big. Answers by the name of Michael. Anyone seen him?”

Hundreds, maybe thousands of swords suddenly appeared in taloned hands, and the demons launched into the air. Coming toward him.

Jake took that as a ‘no.’

***

A few hours later, Jake anchored to Drifter and teleported – into the night sky. Earth. Outside Seattle, unless the Space Needle had suddenly up and moved while he’d been gone. Drifter was flying along in his leisurely way. Jake formed his wings and caught up to the other Guardian.

Demon Marked (The Guardians, #7)

Drifter didn’t glance his way; he just sniffed. “Fried some demons, did you?”

“Hundreds. Maybe thousands.”

“Any sign of Michael?”

“Nope.”
Though he frowned, Drifter didn’t say much about that. Just, “Alice called me up, looking for you. If you’ve got a brain in your head, you’ll tell her you didn’t go alone.”

Nah, Jake wouldn’t lie. He wouldn’t need to. He knew from frequent experience that his wife would forgive him for being an idiot. “If I’d taken someone with me, I’d just endanger them, too.”

“Explain it to her just like that. Then tell me how well that goes over.”

“I’ve got to tell Irena, too,” Jake said.

Drifter winced. “And I’ll tell a nice story at your funeral.”

“Tell the one where I kissed Alice even though she made me think a tarantula crawled out of her mouth.” Jake’s bravest moment. “You know, they’re scarier than anything in Hell.”

“Tarantulas?”

“Alice and Irena.” All of the Guardian women, actually.

“I reckon they are,” Drifter said. “So maybe you’d be smart enough to take one of them with you, next time.”

Jake probably would – though he wasn’t sure it would do any good.

“I’m thinking that if Michael wanted to be found, I’d have found him. And Hell’s a big place.” Literally endless. “We might search for an eternity and never find him.”

“Then how do you figure we’ll bring him in?”

How to tempt an eight-thousand-year old Guardian who had recently turned into a dragon? “Right now, he apparently wants to fly around, eating demons. We just need to find out what Michael wants more than that.”

Drifter shook his head. Not disagreeing, Jake knew. That was his “You’re stumbling onto a real bad idea, Jake” headshake.

Because they both had a pretty strong clue about one thing Michael wanted, and it was something far more dangerous than any demon-eating dragon.

A Guardian woman.

Drifter glanced at him. “You going to suggest that she can go down there and be the bait?”

No way. “I’ll let someone else do it.”

“And that’s one of the smarter ideas you’ve ever had.”

Jake had to agree.

 Meljean Brook is the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Seas steampunk romance series and the Guardians paranormal romance series. Her latest novel, Riveted, won RT Book Reviews Editors’ Pick for Best Book of the Year. Meljean lives in Oregon, is socially awkward, and often tries to walk through closed sliding glass doors.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

ATUF-giveaway

2 copies of GUARDIAN DEMON

Guardian Demon

  

Available on August 6, 2013 by Berkley Sensation

Description:

In this thrilling conclusion to the Guardian series, New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook delivers another stunning page-turner, in which the fate of humanity depends upon a tortured warrior winning the trust—and heart—of the woman he wounded…

After a terrifying encounter in Hell destroys her trust in Michael, the Guardian’s powerful leader, former detective Andromeda Taylor is ready to call it quits as one of the angelic warriors and resume her human life again. But when demonic forces threaten her closest friends and she uncovers a terrifying plot devised by Lucifer, Taylor is thrown straight into Michael’s path again…

To defeat Lucifer, Michael needs every Guardian by his side—and he needs Taylor more than any other. The detective is the key to keeping his own demonic side at bay, and Michael will do anything to protect her and keep her close. And when Taylor manifests a deadly power, her Gift might tip the scales in the endless war between Heaven and Hell…or it might destroy them both with a single touch.

“A fabulous conclusion to an amazing series!” –Nalini Singh, New York Times bestselling author of Heart of Obsidian

Read an excerpt

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69 Responses to “Deadly Destinations: Meljean Brook’s Jake Hawkins on Hell & win GUARDIAN DEMON”

  1. Cristiana

    I’ve never heard about this series but by the description they seem awesome. I’d love to win a copy. :)

  2. miki

    i’m curious as how an author, like you, manage when shewrite several series in differents universe, there are never some mix up in the early draft?

    thank you a lot for the international giveaway

    • Meljean Brook

      It never is a problem, thankfully. The different worlds are so distinct in my mind that I never confuse them. So if I’m thinking of and writing about one world, the other worlds never slip in.

  3. erinf1

    I love Meljean :) I’ve read the first 3 books of this series and I’m woefully behind. But I’m getting ready to get caught up and I’m so excited :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. Nora-Adrienne

    I’ll admit I haven’t read the series.. I’ve seen reviews of the books but none of the libraries I have access to have this on their shelves. I’d love to win something so that I can read at least one of them.

    • Meljean Brook

      I’m always sad to hear that. I can’t count how many series I started because the first book was at the library and I could try it out, risk-free. :-( Hopefully they will become available soon!

  5. Rebe

    This series is awesome! And Jake is hilarious – he’s one of my favorite characters in the series!

    • Meljean Brook

      He’s one of my favorites, too! There were several times during his book that I wondered why in the world I’d chosen him to be a hero…but I really love how he’s grown throughout the series.

  6. Laís Roque

    These books look awesome!! it is in my list now! :DDD

  7. Susan S.

    Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance to win.

  8. Sebella Blue

    I loooove this series and have been a HUGE fan since Lilith’s book (who is one of my very favorite heroines). Michael is sooooo due his own story and I am going to devour it like Michael would a demon casserole. I hope there are some Hell hound puppies running around.

  9. Jasmyn

    I know it may not be the most important thing about a book – but I know we all take a good look at it anyways – these covers are amazing!! I would definitely have to take a peak if I saw this at the store.

    • Meljean Brook

      It might not be the MOST important, but it is important, I think. And I’ve been really lucky. I love LOVE these covers.

  10. MAke Kay

    I’m so excited for this book!! I love Meljean’s work

  11. Iswari

    Thanks for the chance to win! I have read all of the books in this series and CANNOT wait until this gets released! I would love to win a copy of the final book telling Michael’s story.

  12. Lori Daamen Jolly

    Thanks for the great giveaway. Love Love Jake he is so funny , But I guess you end up loving them all once you start a series . I am sure down the road I will reread this series again . Kudoos to MelJean for such a great series.

    • Meljean Brook

      Thank you! There’s no greater compliment than a re-read. I hope they are just as enjoyable the second time around!

    • Meljean Brook

      Except for Demon Bound, that is all the work of Cliff Nielsen, who illustrates a lot of UF/Fantasy covers. He’s really amazing.

  13. Glittergirl

    Wow what a generous excerpt and time with Jake! I love your books and imagination. Thanks so much for sharing both with we readers :-). It’s bittersweet to end a series but wonderful that you got to wrap it up for us. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! THANKS for the giveaway.

    • Meljean Brook

      Thank you! I’m thrilled that I got to finish the series, too! It’s always uncertain in publishing, but I got lucky with great readers and a publisher who all support the series :-)

  14. Eva Millien

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful post. Jake is awesome! I love this series and I am so looking forward to reading Guardian Demon. Is it true that this is the last of the series? What are you planning on doing next? Thanks for the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

    • Meljean Brook

      This will be the last novel of the series. I will have at least one followup novella later this year, and I might revisit a few other characters, but I had a series arc planned and this book finished it.

  15. Stephanie F.

    I love the series and I love Jake. Your characters and word building are so unique and fantastic. What project are you working on next?

  16. Diane

    So what else is Jake going to get into ??? Danger follows him…makes a great story!

  17. Tamlyn

    I’ve never read any of this series. Would it be very confusing to start with this one?

  18. Denise Z

    I have not read this series, but have several of the books on my wishlist. I was just over looking at them and wanted to know are they each standalone stories within the same world or is it a continuing series? Which book would be the best to begin with? Thank you for sharing, I am definitely looking forward to getting started :)

    • Meljean Brook

      They are stand alone stories in the same universe. The series starts with DEMON ANGEL — although some readers had a difficult time with that as a first book (others loved it, though, so it’s hard to say whether you would!) and suggest starting with DEMON NIGHT, the third book.

  19. Barbara Elness

    Despite having quite a few books in this series on my TBR shelf, I haven’t had a chance to start it yet. I’m thinking on need to get started, I’m really behind. :D

  20. Kai W.

    I have heard so much about this series. I haven’t gotten to read it yet. I just started reading the Iron Seas series. I’m going to have to start the Guardian Demon series next. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

  21. Myranda

    I am so freaking excited for this book! I just reread the series and I can’t wait to read Guardian Demon. Meljean rocks!

  22. Victoria Zumbrum

    I would love to read this series. It sounds really good. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  23. Mary Preston

    Always the most incredible covers to go with the great stories.

  24. Dovile

    How much influence do you have on the making of covers for your books? Do the characters’ images on them look similar to what you imagined when writing the books?

  25. Cassy

    I love this series! I’ve been waiting years for Michael’s story and now it’s finally here! Can’t wait to read it :)

  26. Steph

    Sorry the series is ending, but so excited to read Michael’s story!

  27. Kirsten

    This series sounds fantastic! I’ve never heard of it before, but would love to read them. Sadly, my library doesn’t carry them either.

  28. Michele A

    I’ve been meaning to read this series for a while….it looks really great.

    thanks for the giveaway.

  29. Natasha

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sounds like an amazing series!!

  30. Filia Oktarina

    I still haven’t read this series. But i read another series from your book, it was Iron Seas Series, I really love this series. Maybe i will try read this series too :)

  31. Texas Book Lover

    I have heard amazing things about this series and hope to start it very, very soon!

  32. Joani S

    I haven’t read any of your books yet but I also heard they’re really good. I saw only a few of your books available in audio. Do you like that format and are more of yours going to become available?

  33. nurmawati djuhawan

    i love steampunk books by meljean brook…
    thx u for this giveaway :)

  34. Jolene A

    I haven’t started this series yet but I’ve heard such amazing things!!!

  35. Kt.

    This series has been on my radar for a while, but it just got bumped up the tbr pile!

  36. nan

    I’m really looking forward for the next book to come out.

  37. MaritzaM

    Oh for those that have new to the series, you are in for a very nice treat! This book is sweet torture. I can’t wait for it to hit the shelves but at the same time I dread it being the last book of the series.

  38. Pam P

    Absolutely love both this series and Iron Seas. Excited to finally read Michael’s story. Since it’s the last in the series, anything new you are working on down the road besides the steampunk series?

  39. katrina whittaker

    Love this series and sad to see it end ;0 cant wait to read Michaels story – its a much awaited instalment – Happy book birthday Meljean and Hoping you hAd a fantastic birthday as well.

    What do you have instore for us now ;) I have to say this is my favourite of all your series ;)

    Katrina ;)