Monday, July 10, 2017

Soul Reaping by Anne Hope with interview and giveaway

Soul Reaping
Dark Souls
Book 4
Anne Hope

Genre: PNR/UF

Date of Publication: July 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9959602-4-4
ASIN: B0723HC6J5

Word Count: 90K

Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: To save the world he damned, he must sacrifice everyone he loves.

Book Description:

For six millennia, Cal has fought to guard mankind against the evil he unleashed upon it—his offspring, the Nephilim. Now, in order to avert another Great Flood, he must unite the Sacred Four. Problem is, one of these souls once cost him his grace and shattered his all-too-human heart.

Four years ago, Kleio awakened in an unfamiliar body to find her reality completely altered. Her only desire is to see her husband again. When Cal finally comes for her, she believes her prayers have been answered. Until she realizes the Watchers’ leader is nothing like the passionate angel she remembers.

Cal fights his sinful attraction to the woman who led to his fall, aware that for the world to be saved, the Sacred Four must die. But Kleio is determined to make him feel again. For the first time in centuries, he questions his dedication to his mission. When the floodgates open, will he have the strength to sacrifice everyone he loves or will he damn humanity a second time?

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Excerpt-Chapter One

For four years she spoke his name
each night before she drifted off to sleep and each morning when she awoke, but
he never came for her. There was a time when all Kleio had to do was think of
Calliel and he’d appear, a glorious winged warrior with piercing silver eyes
and hair as golden as the sun.
Even when he’d fallen, their
connection hadn’t waned. It had grown stronger.
But now, in this futuristic
world, where light came from glass bulbs and food could be warmed at the touch
of a button, whatever bond had linked them to one another had been severed,
setting her adrift.
So she’d adapted, learned these
people’s tongue, figured out how to operate their strange new-world machines
and live as one among them. They called her Daphne, like the tiny pink and
white flowers that had once bloomed in her courtyard. At first she’d argued
that her name was Kleio. Whenever she did, her new family would give her that
sad, mournful look and a smile meant to pacify, then go right back to calling
her Daphne.
In time, she’d accepted the name
along with her new life, but not a moment went by when she didn’t wonder about
Calliel. What had become of him, of their son, Athanatos? She’d given her soul
to save her boy. Why then was she suddenly free?
She’d spent countless hours
catching up on her history, trying to understand what had transpired in the
past six millennia while she’d slumbered. What she’d learned both fascinated
and horrified her. Her entire civilization’s history had been wiped away, all
the progress her small village had made thanks to the angels erased and
forgotten. Historians called her time period the Neolithic era, neos lithos, the new Stone Age.
How insulting. Her people had
invented farming, weaponry, pottery, sculpting…and yet, according to the great
minds of today, they’d been no better than monkeys, running around swinging
wooden clubs.
She didn’t blame historians for
their faulty assumptions, though. She blamed the heavens. As Calliel had
feared, a Great Flood had come, wiping out most of humanity...and her history
along with it. It had taken thousands of years for mankind to achieve the
progress her small civilization had enjoyed in the so-called Stone Age, all
because the angels had thrown a temper tantrum.
Kleio couldn’t help but wonder,
had the flood wiped out the fallen and their cursed offspring as well?
She couldn’t bear the thought of
existing in a world without Athanatos, without Calliel. And yet here she was,
imprisoned in a home she could never call her own, living with a family who
insisted on addressing her by someone else’s name.

“Daphne, darling, are you ready?”
Joyce shuffled into the living room, a large purse strapped over her shoulder.
“We’ll have to leave soon if we’re going to beat the Christmas rush.”
Christmas, short for
Christ’s mass, meant to celebrate the birth of Christ, yet another pivotal
event she’d slept through. “Sure, Mom. Let’s go.” She’d promised Joyce she’d go
shopping with her, and Kleio wasn’t one to break a promise.
At first, pretending to be Daphne
had been both physically and emotionally draining, but in time it had gotten
easier. Joyce and Theo had taken her in, given her a home, helped her recover
from her injury. The least she could
do to repay them was allow them to believe their daughter had survived the car
crash and her subsequent coma.
They had just pulled the plug on
the machine that was keeping Daphne alive when Kleio had awakened in the
deceased woman’s body. No wonder they’d looked at her as though they’d seen a
Kleio pulled on her jacket and
followed Joyce to the car, tightening the scarf around her neck as a light
drizzle began to fall. The probability of a white Christmas in San Francisco
was low, but December was rainy season and considered one of the coldest months
of the year.
Once ensconced in the white Audi,
Joyce gave her a wistful glance. “We used to do this all the time when you were
little. You always begged me to take you to Union Square so you could see the
Christmas tree.” Joyce watched Kleio for a reaction, hoping against hope that a
memory would miraculously unfurl in her mind.
Kleio simply smiled, saddened by
the desperation she caught in the woman’s soulful brown eyes. She understood
better than most the agony of wishing for something that could never be. “We
can pass by and see it, if you like.”
A gleam of pleasure cut through
the pain, and Joyce beamed. “That’s a wonderful idea, darling. Maybe—” She
didn’t finish her sentence.
Then again, she didn’t have to.
Kleio knew exactly what the woman had been about to say.
the tree will trigger a memory, the past four years will melt away, and you’ll
be my Daphne again. Then I’ll stop seeing a stranger each time I look at you.
The rain picked up speed,
pummeling the windshield with violent fists. Dark, churning clouds gathered in
the distance, blocking all traces of the sun. Funny, the forecast hadn’t called
for a storm today.
“I’m starting to think this
wasn’t such a good idea.”

“Nonsense.” Joyce kept a firm
grip on the steering wheel as the car coasted forward. “It’s just a little
Cars. That had been the greatest
adjustment of all. Who would’ve thought that in the future people would travel
around in steel boxes, catapulting forward at inhuman speed?
When they neared the Golden Gate
Bridge, Kleio gripped the door handle, as though the futile act could protect
her from a two-hundred-foot plunge into San Francisco Bay. The
three-mile long suspended bridge always sent ice chips skittering along her
spine, and today was no exception.
Joyce assumed her fear stemmed
from the car accident Daphne had suffered, and Kleio didn’t bother to correct
the woman’s misconception. What could she say?
hail from a time when the only means of transportation were a stubborn mule and
a pair of scuffed sandals. Oh, and let’s not forget the angels.
She’d flown with Calliel a time
or two, before he’d been ruthlessly stripped of his wings. She remembered what
it had felt like to soar thousands of feet from the ground, the world below fading,
becoming a tangled blur of shapes and colors. With his arms fastened around
her, she’d felt safe and ridiculously happy, as though there wasn’t a force in
heaven or hell powerful enough to pry her from his grasp.
She’d been wrong. 
The wind blustered, shaking the
vehicle until it groaned. The bridge seemed to rattle beneath them, and fear
snatched the air from her lungs. “Turn back.”
“I can’t.” Joyce gave her a
sympathetic grin. “We’re almost there. Don’t worry, honey. We’ll be fine.”
No, they wouldn’t. This was no
ordinary storm. Kleio felt it in her bones. Darkness swept over them, cold and
greasy and familiar.
The bay suddenly bubbled. Similar
to a leviathan rising from the depths of the sea, a giant wave surged,
accumulating in mass as the car arrowed forward. Surely, the swell couldn’t
reach two hundred feet in height, could it?
Kleio closed her eyes, uttered
another desperate prayer. “Calliel, where
are you? I need you.”
The darkness thickened, finding
purchase in her soul. With a thunderous whoosh, the wave crested over the
bridge, washing everything from its path. Joyce screamed as she lost control of
the Audi. The sedan flew sideways, sweeping across the blacktop in a graceful
glide reminiscent of Cal’s wings.

Then, with an ear-splitting clang,
it breached the metal barriers and plunged, nose-first, into the hungry bay.

About the Author:

Anne Hope is the author of emotionally intense romances with a twist—a twist of humor, a twist of suspense, a twist of magic. All her stories, however, have a common thread. Whether they make you laugh or cry or push you to the edge of your seat, they all feature the redeeming power of love and the heart’s incredible ability to heal.

Anne’s passion for writing began at the age of eight. After penning countless stories about enchanted houses, alien girls with supernatural powers and children constantly getting lost in the woods, she decided to try her hand at romance. She lives in Montreal, Canada, with her husband, her two inexhaustible kids, a lazy cat and a rambunctious Australian Kelpie.


Interview with Anne Hope
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
I find inspiration in many different ways. A newspaper article may trigger an idea. A movie or a show I watch may send my mind racing. I often ask myself “what if,” which opens the door to all sorts of possibilities. My mind never rests, even in sleep. The first book I published was actually inspired by a dream. My Dark Souls series, however, required a little more work. I actively researched myths and legends, which is how I learned about the Nephilim. There were so many theories concerning these mythical creatures, so many directions my story could take, and inspiration struck.

How did you do research for your book?
First, I did an Internet search on myths and legends. Then, once I settled on the Nephilim, I delved deeper. I read everything I could find on the subject. There were many contradicting views, so I focused on the ones that worked best for the story I had in mind. That, coupled with my imagination, provided the framework for my Dark Souls series. For each individual book, more research was required. I learned about different locations, used Google Maps to walk the streets where my stories were set. I learned about music, string theory, ancient Greece and the Minoan Palace. One of the things I love most about writing is all the knowledge I acquire with each new project.

Do you have another profession besides writing?
I have an MBA with a concentration in marketing. I’ve worked as an account manager in an ad agency and as a product manager. Now, I’m a full-time author and a soccer mom!

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Ancient Greece. I’m curious to see how my portrayal of Knossos in Soul Reaping compares to that actual period in time. I’m also of Greek descent, so it would be interesting to see how my ancestors lived.

What is your next project?

Now that my Dark Souls series is complete, I can focus on my Sci-Fi series, Children of Epsilon. Book one is set in the near future and tells the story of a young woman who was brainwashed, robbed of her humanity and turned into a slave. In her quest to retrieve her memories and learn about her past, she forges friendships, falls in love and discovers a level of strength she never knew she possessed. It’s an action-packed thriller with several tender moments along the way.
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  1. Thank you for having me over as a guest today! I'd be happy to answer any questions readers have.

  2. Hi Anne, what was it about the Nephilim that grabbed your attention?