After carefully taking in serious consideration all the comments made on my Facebook page, this is the cover I created. It is final. For now.
Seagulls squawked high above in the sky, and the brine from the sea tickled Peter’s nostrils. He was now replenished, but still restless. Ophelia had set his senses on fire and he gave in and touched her. He had made it look necessary to get her over the wall, but the truth was he had been dying to place his hands on her. The sparkle between them, however, that he hadn’t expected. Even through the gloves and her clothes, he had felt the synergy building between them and she had felt it too. He had never lost his control with a woman, and now, as a result, he needed to tend to his body. He thought about diving in the cold waters, but knew swimming would only excite him more. Time to collect another object for his memories collection. After a brief shower, he drove back to Rome, to the nightclub barges anchored alongside the Tiber River. He had several favorites, but decided to try a new one tonight, the Arco di Trionfo under Vittorio Bridge.
The place, nothing more than a dive despite being pretentiously named after the Arch of Triumph, was well assorted in the human variety. Peter didn’t care for alcohol, but usually a large crowd meant the beverages were either good or cheap. Or both. He couldn’t understand human’s fixation for getting inebriated. He’d never been drunk. His body metabolized alcohol at such a rate, he had never felt any effects. He also didn’t like to pick up women who were intoxicated. He wanted them to know what they were doing before he removed his gloves and touched them.
He saw the brunette before she saw him. He strolled toward her, and sure enough, she felt his presence. She smiled at him and he coked his head to the side. She nodded and followed him outside. Peter preferred the nightclub barges because there were plenty of secluded corners under the Lungotevere bridges, and he wasn’t always in the mood to follow them to their homes.
Last night, he had needed the diversion with the two women and accepted to go to the redhead’s place. But now he was going for something fast, and the arched alley just around the corner from the barge would do. The young woman was curvaceous and her hair bounced over her back. She was lovely, and kept smiling at him, but he saw beneath the façade and found her sadness.
He pushed her against the concrete wall as he lowered his mouth over hers to stop her from saying her name. Not quite kissing her yet, he whispered, “I can only give you this.” Still wearing his gloves, he brushed the side of her ribcage and stopped just under her breast. “Nothing more.”
She moaned and arched her back to press herself against him. “It’s enough.”
Peter removed his gloves and caressed her jaw. Her eyes widened at the onslaught of feelings he elicited with a single brush, lust instantaneously overwhelming her senses. He had to cover her mouth with his, least she screamed as he raised her skirt and lowered his jeans. Casting her panties aside, he joined their bodies with a swift thrust. He grabbed her legs and she was fast in anchoring herself to him as he rocked in and out of her, making sure the woman experienced the highest peaks of pleasure several times before he let himself reach completion.
He had to help her stand when he finally lowered her to the ground. Her eyes half-closed, she sought one last kiss. They asked so little of him, and a kiss meant nothing to him. His eyes went to a small barrette holding her black curls to the side. In the throes of passion, the barrette had come loose and was now dangling from a silky strand. Small, delicate fabric rosettes in pastel colors decorated it. One rosette was missing and showed the yellow glue underneath. Almost childish in his innocence, that object was his collected memory for the night. He wore his gloves and breathed a deep breath.
I’m pleased to announce that the third title in The Immortals series, The Broken Angel, is out. Slightly later than my planned release date, but finally available wherever books are sold. I worked on this story throughout the summer and I had to rewrite the whole ending because I felt there was something missing. But the comments from my ARC’s reviewers so far are overwhelmingly positive, so I guess that waiting to release was the right call.
Just a few snippets from the reviews left so far on Goodreads for Samuel’s story:
“Monica La Porta you deserve a standing ovation for The Broken Angel. Your writing is brilliant and soul consuming…” S.I.
“Amazing! I really admire Monica La Porta for creating books such as this one. It is a Paranormal but she managed to include sensitive topics that were very common in our society such as marital abuse, rape and abuse of power.” R.
“I recommend it for everyone especially those of you that love paranormal. As for my rating of this outstanding book, I give it a rating of 25 out of 5 stars.” D.S.
“In my review of The Immortal Greek, I asked myself if Monica La Porta could pull the rabbit out of the hat again. I was convinced she would….She has not let me down…” L.C.
“Utterly fantastic story! I absolutely loved Samuel’s and Martina’s story. I couldn’t put this book down. It held me captivated from page one.” A.M.
The Immortal Greek is the second title in The Immortals series, and takes place one year after The Lost Centurion’s events. Alexander Drako, Marcus’s longtime friend and immortal himself, has lived a long and full life. Rich and famous, he is a carefree character until Ravenna, the Enforcer who brings the bad guys of the paranormal world to justice, enters his life. For Alexander, one day is parties and easy conquests, the next is death, deception, and unexpected love.
As for the previous title in the series, The Immortal Greek too is set in modern-day Rome, which makes it one of the few urban fantasy and paranormal novels that has The Eternal City as one of the characters. Alexander, Ravenna, and the rest of the immortals, vampires, and fallen angels populating the story have to deal with a crowded, loud, but ever so charming Rome as they try to find the truth about a series of suicides among the paranormal community.
Rainy Monday! My choice for the week is an absolute masterpiece, Archangel by Sharon Shinn. This novel is one of my favorite books. I have a list of ten books that I compile every year,and Archangel has been there for a good while. I read it several years ago, and I have been rereading it at least once a year. It’s my comfort reading. Archangel is the first in a series of five set in the imaginary planet of Samaria. A complex array of human beings populates the variegated geography of the planet. The Manadavvi are sophisticated landowners from Gaza. The Jansai are greedy merchants from Jordana. The peaceful Edori are composed by nomadic tribes hunted by the Jansai and forced to slavery. Above them all reign the Angels, superior human beings who can fly and communicate directly with the god Jovah by singing. The angels sing to Jovah to keep Samaria’s erratic weather pattern under control. They sing to ask for medicines that fall from the sky. The angels live separated from the humans in three hosts that divide Samaria in as many regions. Raphael, the current Archangel, is also the leader of the host in Windy Point. Ariel is the leader of the host in Monteverde. Gabriel is the leader of the host in the Eyrie, and the next appointed Archangel. The story is set in motion when Gabriel seeks the Oracle Josiah to ask the god for the name of his bride, the Angelica. Gabriel has delayed the task as long as possible, but the mass gathering singing of the Gloria is only six month ahead. To his surprise, the god Jovah has selected for him an Edori slave. Rachel is headstrong and not at least awestruck by the arrogant angel who proclaims to be her chosen spouse. She refuses to believe Gabriel, even when her “kiss” (the colored piece of glass most of the Samarian children get implanted during the Dedication Ceremony) illuminates to match his own. Rachel, daunted by her feelings toward Gabriel, runs away from him at every turn, looking for the comfort of the Chievens, the Edori tribe that adopted her when she lost her family. At first Gabriel is forced by the circumstances to follow her. It is his duty to make her listen to reason. Without the Angelica by his side during the Gloria, the annual gathering where everybody in Samaria must sing in harmony, the life on the planet will be annihilated by Jovah. In his journey across Samaria Gabriel realizes the depth of his sentiments toward the renegade bride. He understands where she comes from, and what she has endured to become who she is. Gabriel and Rachel united will save Samaria from the destruction caused by Raphael. What I liked the most about the cosmos Sharon Shinn has created is the absolute coherence of the characters and their environment. While I was reading the book I found myself more than once imagining about the places Shinn described. The blue city of Luninaux, where the craftsmen live, vibrant with life and shining with art. The white city of Semorrah, built on a small island in the middle of the river Galilee, where Rachel is brought as a slave to serve a family of river merchants. Gabriel’s beloved Eyrie, a place where celestial music is sung day and night, perched over the busy city of Velora. The bleak peak of Windy Point where Raphael commits his acts of hubris against the divinity. And as detailed is the description of the geography in Samaria, so is the description of each character. From the two protagonists, Gabriel and Rachel, who are both strong and weak at the same time, to the secondary characters who propel the story. Nathan and Magdalena are a good example of the quality of the subplot in Archangel. They are both angels, respectively brother and sister of Gabriel and Ariel. In Samaria angels, both men and women, are strongly encouraged to bed as many human partners as possible to ensure angelic progeny. Angels are difficult to be conceived, and the union of two of them is prohibited because it doesn’t normally end up in healthy babies. Nathan and Magdalena fight their sentiments, but their “kisses” come alive the first time they kiss. Every character in the novel has a story, and all the stories come together beautifully in rendering a well drawn picture of a whole universe. Sharon Shinn commented that the first scene she envisioned when writing Archangel was when Gabriel shields Rachel in his wings. It’s the same scene that makes me come back to the book again, and again. Rachel wakes up, after a traumatic experience, fully embraced in a white cocoon of feathers. The scene is breathtaking because of the two characters involved. Sharon Shinn is very good at creating conflicts that transform a mere embrace into something more. Something that makes you read a novel several times. Each book in the Samaria series can be read as a stand-alone, but I suggest to read them following the chronological order of the story line (even though is not the order Sharon Shinn wrote them). Angelica would be the first one, set one hundred years before the events narrated in Archangel. Archangel would be the second one, followed by Angel-Seeker set few years after it. Jovah’s Angel is set one hundred years later. And finally the truth about Samaria and it’s vengeful and mercurial god is uncovered in The Alleluia Files. A final consideration is due about John Jude Palencar, who is the artist behind the ethereal covers of the Samaria’s books. Before I bought my copy of Archangel, I picked up one at my local Library simply because my eyes were caught by the clean beauty of the art cover. Love at first sight. It exists serendipitously.
Have a glorious reading.