Hi Holley and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Angel’s Hunger!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Please share the opening lines of this book:
Using fae magic to transfigure herself, Fionnuala blended seamlessly, cloak and swords and all, into the trunk of a Japanese maple. She had to bide her time. The tree gave her an unobstructed view of the house where she’d last slept, but holding the form was difficult, and her focus was spotty.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Noelle (Fionnuala) is a thousand-year-old elf who was formerly her queen’s primary guard.
- Tamatsu juggles unceasing cravings for food, sex, and violence, but food is the hunger he sates most easily.
- Noelle suffers from poor long-term memory due to her body’s adjustment to leaving the elf realm.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
Tamatsu is a silent fallen angel who spends his time eating and killing things (sometimes for profit). He appeared in my previous series (Desert Guards) and in the first Masters of Maria book The Demigod’s Legacy, so nothing surprised me about him. I’ve always had a pretty good idea of who he was. Noelle, on the other hand, was trickier. She’s the villain, in a way, because she was the one who stole Tamatsu’s voice. She has a redemptive arc, but I didn’t want to turn her into this completely moral creature who means everyone well. She’s simply not that good, but neither is Tamatsu.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
Noelle has a grovel scene about a third of the way into the book. Personally, I think it’s hilarious because she’s saying so much and Tamatsu can’t talk back, but he can show his displeasure in other ways.
“I just want to understand,” she said to the window. “Maybe I pretend that my self-esteem is better than it really is sometimes. Maybe I pretend that I don’t care about things, but what you did hurt. Do you even remember, or have you been alive too long to recount your old experiences?”
No response, but of course, he couldn’t give one. Her fault. She hoped she was doing a little better than talking to a brick wall.
Or maybe I’m not.
She hadn’t seen a flash, but he may have teleported out of there while she’d been speechifying.
She walked to the window and hopped to see inside, and then cringed.
He was seated facing the window, shirtless, hair loose, and his dark eyes held a murderous glint.
Back to the cement blocks she went. “I need to understand,” she said, bobbing her knee. “Did they mean anything to you?”
The last time they’d been in each other’s company, they’d been able to use basic telepathy to communicate when they needed to be discreet but, Noelle had to be touching someone to make it work on her end. She doubted he would leap for joy at the suggestion she hold his hand for a few wee minutes.
She heard a rip, and then the crumpling of paper.
A small yellow projectile soared out of the window, nearly spinning her phone off the ledge.
She leapt off the blocks and ran to grab the wadded paper before the breeze could whisk it away. Smoothing the sheet against her thigh as she returned to her seat, her heart was already in her throat and sweat was beading on her brow. The very worst thing he could tell her was, “Yes, they were as important as you.”
Already, Clarissa’s attachment to Gulielmus had Noelle questioning everything she knew about mate tethering. She was out of sorts with knowing so little about the way the most sacred elf connection was supposed to work. Her mother had told her that the feelings would be reciprocal, but her mother had told her all sorts of white lies, she’d later discovered.
Her air rushed out of her as if she were a balloon that had been stabbed when she read his terse missive, but not for any reason she could have predicted. It read:
“DID YOURS MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?”
“Mine?” she whispered, furrowing her brow. “Surely, he can’t be serious.” She repeated the sentiment louder to be sure he could hear her. “You’re not serious, are you? Who are you talking about?”
More ripping. More crinkling. Another hurled paper bullet.
She fetched that one, too, and didn’t bother returning to the step. If they were going to communicate in such a way, she figured she’d might as well stay put and catch what he was lobbing.
“I HAD NO REASON TO LEARN THEIR NAMES. DID YOU LEARN THEIR NAMES?”
She growled softly and fired back, “The orgy, if you can even call it that, had ended. I left for an errand.”
“YOU TOOK PART OF THE ORGY WITH YOU WHEN YOU LEFT.”
She remembered no such thing. “You’re remembering wrong,” she yelled. “You may be an angel, but your memory isn’t bulletproof.”
Another wad of paper.
“SO YOU DON’T REMEMBER SHARING A HORSE WITH A MAN WHO HELD THE REINS IN ONE HAND AND YOUR BREAST IN THE OTHER?”
Noelle squinted at the horizon. “I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen.”
There was a scraping sound from within the trailer, that of a piece of furniture being pushed across the floor.
Tamatsu’s big body appeared in the window next. He pushed the window all the way open, put his forearms against the sill, and gave her an eloquent glare.
She sucked in some air.
It might have happened. Her memory of that couple of days was a bit spotty. It was winter, and she’d been exhausted, but she didn’t think she’d be so far from the truth.
Maybe she was, though.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
Tamatsu gets away with his cynicism and dark moods because he’s male, and I thought, “Why not confront that?” I wanted readers to consider the double standard in what we expect of heroes versus heroines.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?
I’m working on the next Masters of Maria book—The Coyote’s Chance. It’s got an alpha coyote shifter and a peculiar demigoddess who happens to teach middle school band. That’ll probably be out in winter.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Kindle Ebook: The Angel’s Hunger (Masters of Maria) by Holley Trent
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Noelle has bad luck with pantyhose—they keep getting ruined during fights with creatures. What article of clothing do you have the worst luck with?
Excerpt from The Angel’s Hunger:
Fionnuala had been on countless boats and on countless roads, on foot, on horses, and in carts, wandering aimlessly with a heavy heart and no companion for nearly two hundred years toward anything at all.
Toward him, it turned out. An angel on Earth.
Tamatsu. He was the only thing that belonged to her in the strange realm of humans and other upper-worlders. She had been forced to become a part of their reality because the elves no longer had a home. Her queen’s last spell had triggered irreversible changes. They’d lost their distinguishing features—their pointed ears and sylphlike frames—along with the bulk of their magic so they could better fit in amongst the humans.
Still, they often stood out.
It turned out the addlebrained farmer had only been spouting gibberish. There was no other elf in the area. A wasted trip. She’d been eager to return to Tamatsu. The love of her life was in that borrowed farm dwelling, but not alone.
Two women, unclad and with long black hair loose over their shoulders, leaned in the open doorway. They were chattering in the local dialect, and the occasional response came from within—deep and resonant. Foreign words to Fionnuala’s ears, but the sounds were familiar.
She closed her eyes at the sight of the women and wasted a little more of her exhaustible magic to stop the tremors coursing through her body. If she wasn’t careful, she’d make herself visible. She’d show those women that the crazy farmer was right about things disappearing into mist. Fionnuala couldn’t afford to slip. Secrecy was still one of her kind’s most important tenants. Their safety depended on it.
She had to be sure.
The queen had always told her to be sure before she acted, because sometimes, there were no take-backs. No do-overs.
Fionnuala had been bred to be reckless, but the queen thought she could be better. Gods knew she tried to be.
She opened her eyes and watched a third woman step outside. The comely peasant emitted a brash laugh and brazenly pinched Tamatsu’s hakama around her body like a robe. If he’d truly been a samurai, he would have been more respectful of the garment. Days before, he’d draped that fabric over Fionnuala as she lazed sated atop him, smiling and content. She’d been happy for once in her life, in spite of everything.
The woman with the hakama laughed shrilly again. She threw her head back and slapped her hand against her thigh as if he’d told the most riotous joke she’d heard in her short life.
Fionnuala doubted that. Tamatsu’s sense of humor was the sort that people responded to with knowing smirks, not cackles. Either the woman was too stupid to understand the nuances, or she understood and wanted him to be quite aware that she did.
She’d thought she could trust her. All of them. They’d smiled welcomingly in her face, but the vipers had apparently been waiting for her to turn her back.
Fionnuala couldn’t watch for another minute. Her pride could only sustain so many blows, and she was tired. Winter approached, and would drain her vigor just like it would the maple she clung to. An elf’s bane in the “new” world.
She pulled in a breath and blew the transfiguration magic away, knowing instinctively that she’d never be able to use it again. Her queen had allowed the elves enough of their old magic to keep them safe until they could find new homes, but Fionnuala could never really be at home anywhere her queen wasn’t. Cinnia wasn’t just her charge to protect, but her dearest friend.
After two hundred years, Fionnuala was down to wisps of power. Only a few of her old tricks remained, but she still had anger.
Anger worked even if magic didn’t.
She held onto a thick branch of the maple, letting her legs dangle below. As blood flow returned to her numb feet, she watched the women put up their hair.
They didn’t care that they were naked.
How long had they spent in such a manner in each other’s company to become so comfortable?
“Trí lá,” she snarled through clenched teeth, and dropped to her feet onto the path with her hand already clenched around her sword hilt. Three days.
The women yelped with fright, but then two of them breathed relieved sighs. After all, they knew her—the foreign woman who’d been traveling with the big man who’d rendered them awestruck with as little as a nod. They’d offered hospitality, but Fionnuala should have known not to trust them. Her bigger mistake was thinking that she could trust him.
Their mouths were running as fast as hummingbird wings as she approached. She hadn’t learned their language yet, but she could tell they weren’t scared. They were excited. For all she knew, they could have been relaying intimate details about the man within, or giving him tips on how to make love to him as though she were just one more strumpet for him.
They weren’t afraid yet, but she had no doubts that they would be soon enough.
She pushed through the chattering peasant gauntlet and into the house. Her feet knew the way even before her gaze landed on the stark naked giant seated on a cushion by the hearth.
Beautiful, devastating Tamatsu.
Hers, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t leave. She wasn’t going to be one of many. She was supposed to be his only. That was what her dreams had told her, and her body, too. She hadn’t been able to draw a deep breath since she’d met him. Her anxiety wouldn’t ebb until they were perfectly in sync, and that took time for elves. Months, maybe. Years for her parents.
She hadn’t had nearly long enough with Tamatsu.
He’d barely opened his mouth before she’d put her hands around his throat and said in Gaelic, “When I’m gone, never forget that you needed three to replace me.”
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Fans have clamored for fallen angel Tamatsu’s story, which now unfolds in book two of the Masters of Maria saga by USA TODAY bestselling author Holley Trent.
Cursed by his vengeful elf ex-lover eight hundred years ago, Tamatsu lost not only his voice but his power, and became consumed by a ravenous hunger for food, sex, violence, and other earthly pleasures. Now he’s ready to make a deal with his former flame and tormentor: the return of his voice in exchange for the location of her missing elf queen.
But the Fates have a way of throwing monkey wrenches into the best-laid plans. After so many years in the human realm, Noelle isn’t sure she can remember what happened to his voice or even what made her mad enough to curse Tamatsu in the first place…
Can she find a way to make amends with the only person who’s capable of balancing her? Tamatsu must also decide if being intimate with Noelle again is worth exacerbating his insatiable appetites. It’s not a match made in heaven, but they could make a hell of a team.
Meet the Author:
Holley Trent is an award-winning, best-selling author of sexy paranormal romance sagas featuring shapeshifters, witches, demigods, fae, angels, and more. The Angel’s Hunger is the second installment in the Masters of Maria series which is a spin-off from Sons of Gulielmus and Desert Guards.
Learn more about Holley and her backlist at her website, http://www.holleytrent.com. Chat with her online at Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/writerholleytrent) or Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/holleytrent.)