Aug 30, 2012 - Paranormal, Romance    41 Comments

Romancing the Hop with Franco

Fighting demons is easy. Franco doesn’t even bother with weapons anymore. Relationships are another matter. He’d rather pay for “services rendered” than let someone get close to him because he doesn’t think he’s worth being loved. It may take miracle, or at least an angel, to give the hero the courage to confront himself.

Want to see more of Franco and his story? Read the excerpt below and leave a comment telling me what “weapon” Franco chooses to fight the demon with. I’ll give away a copy of “Angel in the Middle” to a lucky winner.

Also, remember to leave your email address in the comments if you want to be entered for the Grand Prize drawing for the blog hop. Click here to visit the other authors for more chances to win!

Grand Prizes:

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

Chapter One

Franco stepped aside as a second police officer flew out of the alley and hit the side of the Hummer with a thud. The man slid to the sidewalk and lay unmoving beside his partner. The rest of the Atlanta street crowd had become invisible. Franco knew they’d be watching the street, but no one wanted to be found nearby when something started tossing cops out of an alley.

The smell of cheap rum in the air hinted at what had tempted this one from Hell. Booze, not sex. After all, he’d just thrown away two perfectly acceptable cops, but then, Franco always appreciated a man who supplied his own cuffs.

Opening the back of the Hummer, he studied his options. The alley was too narrow to swing the sword. He considered the crossbow. Nah, for this one—he pulled a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark out of the SUV. The liquid glowed like gold as he held the bottle up. Well, the job did demand sacrifices. He gave the unconscious officers a quick salute with the whisky and strode into the alley.

The demon loomed halfway down a narrow space cluttered with garbage from overturned cans and ripped trash bags. “Do you know who I am, mortal?” it bellowed.

Franco removed the top from the bottle and made a show of taking a swig. The scent of the whisky helped to mellow the reek of the alley. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and studied the creature. It could almost have passed for one of the homeless with its greasy skin and ragged bits of clothing. Except the homeless weren’t eight feet tall with leathery wings. Damn, if this one took to the air, he’d need the crossbow.

“Nope, who are you?” They never gave their real names, and he never understood the priests who expected them to. Franco edged forward. He’d been hoping this was just a minor imp to send back down to his work in the pits; then he’d be off for a night at The Heretic. Instead he had a high-ranking demon on a binge. There was one name on the latest list. He just hadn’t expected to run across him so soon.

“Lucifer, cast down from the Heavens. Look on me and despair.”

Not that high ranking. Franco tilted his head and stepped forward, as if he needed to get a closer look. “Nope, don’t think so. Luc’s a good-looking fellow.” He took another step, holding the bottle out in front of him. The creature’s gaze moved to it. “His hair isn’t greasy, and he doesn’t have boils.”

With a roar, the demon made a swing for the whisky. Franco pulled back, letting the bottle drop onto one of the half-empty trash bags. The demon lunged for it.

Franco caught him by one ear. “By your name, Gressil, I bind you where you stand.” The demon howled, and Franco tweaked the ear. “Thought so.” He’d only had time for one guess, but this had to be Gressil, the demon of sloth and indolence. Any other demon of his rank would have torn the street apart. Gressil had hunkered down in an alley to get drunk. “See, I’ve met Lucifer. Made a bargain with him once. It went something like this—I don’t go to Hell if you do.” The agreement also meant he was provided with the names of any free-roaming demons. The priests would have been jealous. When it came to demon hunting, they were freelancers. He was staff.

He tweaked the demon’s ear again. Even a lazy demon would object to being returned to the pits. “By your name, Gressil, I send you back to your duties in Hell.”

The demon stretched out his hand, possibly in a plea for pity but more likely in an attempt to reach the whisky bottle. Then the air sizzled around him and he vanished, leaving nothing more than the odor of brimstone to mingle with the scent of spilled whisky. Franco put his hand out and felt the static in the air where the demon had been. The energy wrapped around his fingers and moved up his arm as part of the demon’s life force became his. He stood for a moment, evaluating the change. “Hardly worth the effort.”

He strode from the alley to find one of the cops stirring. Since he could already hear the wail of approaching sirens, he checked the second officer to confirm that he was still breathing, moved the first cop away from the Hummer’s wheels, and drove away. The men had been lucky. Gressil ranked high in Hell’s power structure, but he was a lazy demon without the motivation to do much in the way of real damage.

Franco noticed a few curtains flicker as he drove down the deserted street. Tonight no one would talk. By morning three different gangs would be claiming responsibility for dropping the cops. And if he was lucky, he’d have a few days before the next assignment.

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Angel in the Middle from Liquid Silver Books (available in multiple formats)

Angel in the Middle on Kindle

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Click here to visit the other authors for more chances to win!

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Contest question – what weapon does Franco use going into battle with the demon. 

41 Comments

  • angel in the middle looks really interesting! i haven’t read any of your stuff yet but that book does look a good buy

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

  • A half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark.
    Great excerpt.
    Thanks for being part of the hop and the chance to win.
    bidelia78@yahoo.com

  • He used the bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey to trick the demon

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  • Whiskey, I love it!!!! What a fun hop! delphinareadstoomuch at yahoo

  • Half Empty bottle of Maker’s Mark…

    thanks for sharing and participating
    glhince@gmail.com

  • He used the half empty bottle of Maker’s Mark to deal with the demon.
    Great excerpt
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  • bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey

    thanks for the contest!!
    forettarose@yahoo.com

  • He uses a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey. How great is that?! It sounds awesome :)

    Thanks for the giveaway and the great post!

    songbird1613 at yahoo dot com

  • Oh, and by the way… great name! ;)

  • He uses a half empty bottle of Maker’s Mark (which is just an epic weapon by the way!!) LOVE the excerpt!

    lindsayavalon (at) gmail (dot) com

  • He grabs the half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey as a weapon.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    beckerjo at verizon dot net

  • Thanks for the awesome and amazing giveaway!
    cassandrahicks1989@yahoo.com

  • Thanks for the great excerpt and thanks for the chance to win!
    sqwallker2@hotmail.com

  • Wooohooo I loved the chapter! Can’t wait to read the book!
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

  • He used the whiskey bottle to trick the demon. It was very well done. Thank you for the giveaway.
    kaylyndavis1986@yahoo.com

  • A half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark..Thank you for the chance to win..

    ronnkelly3@aol.com

  • Franco uses a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark.
    I find it amusing that Franco grabs him by the ear.
    bituin76 AT hotmail DOT com

  • Thanks for participating! Really like the hop so far!! I love reading, especially romance. I love reading contemporary, historical and erotic romance. I love the happy ending that is garenteed at the end. My favorite book is Lover Mine by JR Ward! I love John Matthew and Xhex. My favorite romantic moment was when my fiancé asked me to marry him! We meant two years ago right around when summer was ending when my friend and I went out for our last big night out before classes started again. I think it is romantic when he brings me flowers because no one else has ever done it! Thanks so much! Hope everyone else is having a great long weekend!!

    prettyunicorn78@yahoo.com

  • Romance Hop…loving it! But so many sites in so little time!

    No doubt, I believe in romance! Pretty Woman….my fav movie, proves that there’s an HEA for any and everyone.

    Thank you for the opportunity to visit your site to check out your work.

    Belinda, belgre@comcast.net

  • Thanks for the awesome hop and giveaways! This is so much fun! Thank you! My favorite thing about romance is the romance. lol I love the characters, the plots, the HEA’s, the love. I love it all!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Thanks for sharing. Love the blog, great hop!
    krystalshannan@yahoo(dot)com

  • A half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey. Sounds like what most of the guys I know would do! Thanks for sharing and for joining the blog hop!
    ehaney578 at aol dot com

  • bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey

  • Thanks tons for the hop! I only read romance. My fav is Lora Leigh! Going to parade Monday with brothers and sisters! Should be FUN!
    swkimbell@yahoo.com

  • half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  • Thanks for being in the hop!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • Franco used a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey. That was a cool excerpt! :) I love those kinds of books, demon fighting and all that, haha. Thank you for the giveaway!

    craigcrystal(at)ymail(dot)com

  • For me, romance is all about the trust and respect built between the characters. Since I write BDSM, these elements are very important.
    Thank you for participating in the blog hop!
    qwilliarain(at)gmail(dot)com

  • He used 1/2 empty bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey. Great chapter; it has hooked me in!

    Thanks,
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  • He used a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark whiskey to trick the demon, then grabbed him by his ear and used a binding spell to hold him.

    Barbara
    bbsbooknook@aol.com

  • half empty bottle of Maker’s Mark Whiskey – regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  • OMG I love it, a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark. That’s one awesome weapon. I have put these books on my wish list because they sound like great fun to read.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  • Great excerpt! The weapon is a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark. Great weapon, but such a waste of good alcohol. Sounds like a good read.
    mel
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  • What a great hop! Grand prizes, old friends to visit and new ones to meet… and chances to win at each stop too. I’m in Blog heaven! :-}

    He grabs the 1/2 empty bottle of Maker’s Mark.

    Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Thank you for the great giveaway! Fun blog hop Love romance!
    tishajean@ charter.net

  • I loved the excerpt. He used a half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark.
    Sherry
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  • A half-empty bottle of Maker’s Mark Whiskey.
    Thank you for being part of the blog hop. :)

    yazmin.z.rangel(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Answer: 1/2 bottle of whiskey —-super hott by the way :)

    brunettelibrarian AT gmAil . c0m
    The Brunette Librarian’s Blog

  • He used a half empty bottle of Maker’s Mark. Hey, I’ve got some of that in my bar. I’m gonna make myself a drink to enjoy while I finish hopping!
    mcv111 at hotmail dot com

  • Thanks for the great giveaway!
    red_tigergirl2(at)hotmail(dot)com

  • Thanks for being a part of the hop. I hope that you had a great Labor day weekend!
    jessangil at gmail dot com

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