Friday, September 28, 2012

Guest Post by M.L. Guida

Welcome to A Guest Post by M.L. Guida the author of Betrayal.


BLURB:
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.



BIO:
ML Guida writes contemporary and historical paranormal romance.  She is published with Passion in Print.  Currently, she is pursuing her Master of Art in Creative Writing through Regis University.  She lives in beautiful, colorful Colorado and enjoys going to the mountains.  Skiing, walks and scuba diving are her favorite past times when she is not writing.

ONLINE LINKS:
Facebook  MLGuidaauthor
Twitter  @ ml_mlguida
Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5177984.M_L_Guida
book trailer on Betrayal. http://youtu.be/e5vRgbvpd3I

The Guest Post

I have always written about alpha males. I guess this is because I come from an Italian American family, inundated with alphas. I learned how to stand up to the alphas and how not to be intimidated. In my writing, my heroes immolate some of the characteristics from my male relatives. Therefore, my heroines had to be assertive and not cower underneath my characters. In this excerpt, Scythe, an angel of death, meets Heather and learns rather quickly that this human female is not easily intimidated, not even by an angel of death. Scythe stared at Heather Bowen’s ass as she marched across the hardwood floors. Her red sundress hugged her curvy body. He lowered his gaze to her firm legs. Clenching and unclenching his right fist, he ached to run his hands over those smooth calves and thighs. Zeus, when was the last time a human set his blood on fire? One, two hundred years ago? He inhaled her scent of jasmine--sweet and innocent. His whole body trembled. His blood thundered in his veins. Every fiber within pushed him to claim her as his own. That had never happened. Thousands of women had intoxicating smells, but none of them affected him. Why hers? What was going on? Even at Rosemary’s funeral, her fragrance nearly drove him over the edge. What would she think if she knew he had been there when Rosemary died? Not that he killed her nor had he saved her. Not his job. His job was to escort the soul to the determined destination. No questions asked. Actually, questions were forbidden. If an Angel of Death disobeyed, punishment was swift. Painful. Terrifying. Saint Peter ordered Rosemary be taken to a holding area off Heaven. Immediately. As a good solider, he followed his command. Pumped up on Hell’s Xanadu, Rosemary killed herself. The poor woman hated herself for what she had done to Carolyn Carmichael. Her reaction exactly the same as Blade’s other victims--Jessy Malcolm and Mark Vanderbilt--after Blade gave them the drug. As he raised his eyes, Heather faced him. She narrowed those beautiful brown eyes. “You like what you see?” Without missing a beat and pretending to misunderstand, he answered, “Yes, this place is beautiful.” “Uh uh,” she said as she stormed into her office. Her thick dark brown hair flared across her slender shoulders. She motioned to a Queen Anne stuffed chair. He headed for the chair as she moved around the desk and sat. She opened up a manila file and studied what looked like his application and resume. “So, you’re a Certified Alcohol Counselor III?” “Yes.” “In looking at your file,” she glanced at him. “I see you don’t have a degree?” Shit. Why had he forgotten to put that down? He waved his hand. “Look again. I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.” “I did, Mr. Angel.” She held up his resume, glanced again, and dropped it as if it were on fire. “Wait a minute.” Her face clouded. “I swear it wasn’t on here.” She rubbed the top of her nose. “I don’t understand. God, I must be tired.” “Must be,” he said. “But what does God have to do with this?” She cocked her eyebrow. “Excuse me?” Zeus, even flustered, the woman was beautiful, but she shouldn’t use God’s name in vain. He resented that more than anything. Who could blame him? Did she want people to use her name as an expletive? She flicked her long, dark brown hair. He perceived that if he ran his fingers through her strands of hair, it would feel like silky chiffon. One day, he’d find out, but not now. Now, he needed to get this job. His brother’s soul depended on it. If he failed to stop Blade from dealing Xanadu, Michael would, and it would be damn ugly. Michael relished punishment like he did with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. With his sword, Excalibur, he showed no mercy and killed hundreds--beheading, slicing and stabbing. Covered in blood, he had said, “They deserved it.” That was Michael--black and white--no gray. At the memory, every muscle tensed. He sat straighter in his chair. His hands gripped the Queen Anne’s armrest. Beneath his palm, the wood shifted and cracked. He immediately released his hands. Get your head in the game. He glanced at the armrest. A crooked line ran around it. He stole a quick look at Heather who studied his paperwork. Without hesitating, he snapped his fingers. The crack disappeared. At the sound, she gave him a strange ‘what’s-up-your-butt’ look. She said in a calm contrast, “Let me tell you about Serenity House. We have both an inpatient and outpatient program. There are currently ten patients residing here and twenty patients who are participating in our outpatient program. We need another therapist to manage our outpatient program. You would have a caseload of all the outpatient clients and would provide individual therapy. Plus, you would be conducting two groups and do all the case management.” He nodded. “So tell me about yourself, Mr. Angel?” “It’s Scythe. As you can see, I’ve been at Arapahoe House, Jeffco Chemical Dependency Program and West Pines. I provided both individual and group therapy.” He half grinned. He had never worked there, but he had visited all the patients. In their dreams, he offered them a choice--stop using or die. Nothing like people lying in their open coffin, staring up at the priest reading the New Testament’s Psalm 23 or having loved ones sobbing to make a commitment to change. He gritted his teeth. But sometimes that failed. Free will sucked. “Is there something wrong, Mr. Angel?” He forced his muscles and jaw to relax. “No, why?” He gave her his best smile but from the look on her stoic face didn’t earn any good graces. No different from Michael. She twirled a pen in her right hand. “What are your strengths?” “I’m a natural leader.” At his answer, Heather snorted. He wanted to lift her determined chin and kiss her. Zeus, she was a dangerous distraction. How come the owner of Serenity House couldn’t be some fat lard ass? “I’m straightforward. An advocate for my clients.” If people made a sincere effort to change, more than once he had talked to Michael to extend their life, but if not, they died, pure and simple. “I don’t back down from challenges. I’m a fighter for the weak. I’m loyal to my employer.” Not like my treacherous brother. “Okay,” Heather said. “What about your weakness?” She gave him the I-bet-you-don’t-think-you-have-any look. Such a spit fire. “Actually, I know my weaknesses,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t know when to quit.” Like challenging God’s Right Hand Man and not following orders. God had ordered Blade to kill Pharaoh’s son, but he had refused. Could he blame him? Yeah, Pharaoh deserved to be punished but his kid? The kid had only been five years old. Hell, he wouldn’t have done it, either. God had ordered him to kill Blade. His own brother! He had told Him he would, but obviously, he never did. If it hadn’t been for Raphael intervening and using his special way of calming the Lord’s wrath, he would have ended up with his wings torn off, but what could he say? Blade was his twin. He’d take on Christ to save him. “I like to win. I’ve been told I’m too blunt. I call a spade a spade.” “Win, what do you mean by that?” “I don’t give up easily. Sometimes I feed on negative excitement which isn’t always a good thing. Let’s say, I don’t back down from anything.” Not even from a raging demon from hell. Bring it on. “So, Mr. Angel…” He liked the way she said his name soft and husky. He’d loved it even more if she screamed it in the throes of passion. Bet she’d lose her Marine Sergeant attitude. Get your mind out of wanting to get into her pants. At the knock at the door, Heather frowned. She got up from her desk and headed toward the door. Opening it, she said, “Stephanie, have the next one wait,” she mumbled low. Scythe glanced at his watch. Ten twenty. They’d only been here for fifteen minutes. Heather opened the door. He twisted in his chair. Biting her nails, her secretary stood looking like she’d seen a level four demon. “Heather, I’m so sorry to disturb you, but there’s a man from the Colorado Department of Behavioral Health. He’s insisting on seeing you now.” “Shit, this is just what I need,” she sighed. “Um…” “Ms. Bowen?” A man with curly black and gray hair, dressed in a dark navy suit appeared next to Stephanie. Heather’s shoulders slumped and in a small voice she said, “Yes, I’m Heather Bowen.” At her dejection, Scythe had an urge to protect her. He wasn’t sure what to make of this feeling. Had he ever felt like this about a female, angelic or human? Not that he could remember, but he ached to punch Steve right in his weasel nose. “My name is Steve Sandoval, and I’m from the Colorado Department of Behavioral Health.” He handed her a business card. “Licensing department. We need to talk now.” Heather glanced at Scythe. “I’m in the middle of an interview. Can this wait? I should be done in about fifteen minutes.” “No, I’m afraid it can’t. Not with the deaths of your two clients and now your sister.” Scythe narrowed his eyes and gripped the arms of the chair. Bastard. How come humans can be so damn insensitive? He strutted across the room and stood next to Heather. “What is this about?” The little man backed away. “And you are?” “Scythe Angel.” Towering over the man, he said, “Coming to offer your condolences?” “Yes. What?” Sandoval stumbled. “No.” “I didn’t think so. Serenity House is not responsible for these deaths, but being a sharp nosed badger I bet you’re here to cause trouble. Need a scapegoat do you?” Sandoval gulped and straightened his tie. “It’s my job to ensure patients safety. We have received a number of complaints about citizens being afraid and based on what’s happened, they have a right to be frightened.” “Don’t threaten us.” “Us? Excuse me, what are you doing,” Heather snapped her fingers. She glowered at him. “This is my problem, not yours.” She stuck out her thumb and motioned towards the door. “The interview is over. Now leave Mister Bad Boy.” Scythe blinked. “What?” She turned to the weasel and gave him a tight smile. “Mr. Sandoval, please accept my apologies.” “No, I…,” Scythe said. His voice tapered off and he bit his cheek. Crap, what had he done? He was the head of Michael’s Army, cool, steady and calm, but now he acted like a gnashing, charging out of control alpha wolf protecting his mate. She jerked her thumb at the door. “You heard me. Now out.” Scythe just met his match and through Betrayal, he must convince Heather to trust him or lose both her and his brother. I would love to hear what you think about this story.



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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for allowing me to come on your blog. I appreciate it.

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