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Mercy for the Wicked is Now Available in Print!

Mercy for the Wicked

Again it only took about a month after it was released as an ebook but it’s available to purchase through Amazon.com.

So, to celebrate, here’s another excerpt from the book that takes place when Mercy hears the call of Gabriel’s horn and sits in on an Angel Jamboree.


With a little wave to Daphne to let her know I’d arrived safely, I started into the trees, the call even stronger on that side of the water, even though I couldn’t hear the actual horn anymore. The island itself wasn’t huge, and I didn’t see any structures on it or a dock for boats to tie up there. The trees were dense though, and I had to pick my way carefully through the underbrush as there were no trails to follow.

A rush of air was my only warning as Sam landed beside me. “What are you doing here?” I asked automatically, though I could guess he’d heard the same call as I did.

“I could ask you the same question,” he replied, his voice hushed as he looked around carefully.

“I heard that sound, like a horn calling me, so I came to check it out. It’s an angel thing, isn’t it?”

“You heard that?” he blinked. “Nevermind. Go home, Mercy. You don’t belong here.” Sam strode away from me at a brisk pace.

Like I was gonna turn around and head for home. He should have known me much better than that. I chased after him, knowing instinctively that he was headed in the right direction. “What is it? A meeting of the Fallen Angels Club and I can’t come?”

“Not fallen angels,” he said shortly and I could understand why he was so tense. This was a meeting of the big boys, and I was strictly persona non grata with them.

“So what are you doing here then?” He didn’t seem like the type to flaunt the rules.

“I am not joining them; I am merely trying to…”

“You’re spying!” I hissed back at him, tickled beyond belief to find he wasn’t above something petty like that, and a flush of color stole up the side of his face.

“I only want to know if their plans will affect those I care about.”

Me. I could read that on his face plainly enough. He wanted to know if they were holding a pow wow about my situation. “Okay then, I’m coming too.”

“They will see you.”

“Not if I’m real sneaky like,” I grinned, slowing instinctively as the trees started to thin out.
And then I spotted them. Angels. Gobs of ‘em.
A dozen or so angels stood alone or in pairs, chatting amiably like it was a church social. Their auras gleamed against the gray, overcast day, casting the clearing in a halo of golden light almost as if it were a sunny day. “Wow, what are they all doing here?” I whispered, ducking behind a tree.

“They came in response to Gabriel’s horn, as you and I did.”

That begged the question, “which one is Gabriel?”

“The one with the horn, duh; standing over there by Nathanael.”

Sometimes I liked him better before he picked up on modern qualities like sarcasm. “Oh,” I whispered back shortly. The pair of them stood next to each other but didn’t appear to be talking, Nathanael looking stern as ever; Gabriel serious, but not quite as intimidating as his brother. As we watched, Gabriel lifted the horn to his lips and blew out another impossibly long note without taking a breath and the pull towards the clearing grew impossible to ignore. “I’m gonna go check things out.”

Sam immediately caught hold of my arm, stepping into my path. “Mercy, you can’t go out there, it’s forbidden.”

“Then why are they calling me?” Maybe the horn didn’t discriminate against the Fallen or weird hybrids like I was. All I knew was, I had to get into that meadow and find out what all the fuss was about. Side stepping around him, I tugged my arm free.

“They’ll see you,” Sam hissed after me but I was undeterred.

“I know but… don’t you feel it? I have to go.” For a moment I thought he might try to tackle me to the ground, but instead he retreated back into the shelter of the trees as I approached the clearing. As soon as I was spotted, all eyes were on me with varying degrees of shock and surprise. Most of them appeared curious, but more than a few were openly disapproving of my arrival and I started to rethink the wisdom of venturing into their midst unannounced. The gathering parted, giving me a wide berth as if I’d brought contagion with me.

Not that I got far, as Nathanael stepped up to block my path. “Leave this place,” he ordered imperiously, but I wasn’t about to let him intimidate me.

“Hey, you’re the ones that called; I came to see what was going on.”

“You were not summoned; the call was for the heavenly host only.”

“Then what am I doing here? Obviously I was summoned or how would I even know you were having a jamboree in the first place?” I pointed out, and I could see the effect my words were having on the crowd.

“She speaks the truth,” one of the angels nodded, but Nathanael wasn’t having any of it.

“The call is sometimes heard by the Fallen, it does not mean they are among the chosen.”

Another stepped forward. His long dark hair and close cropped beard reminded me a little of the big JC, but he had quite a bit more muscle on his frame. Dressed in a cashmere turtleneck and dress slacks all in earth tones, he was the epitome of refined grace and his voice was cultured and well spoken. “She is not of the Fallen, and she shares the Grace of God. Should she not be privy to his words?” I liked this guy on sight and I was glad to have him in my corner.

“This is not to be borne! Will we allow our ranks to be polluted by this abomination?” Nathanael demanded, and I was afraid he might physically toss me out of the clearing in another moment. But at Gabriel’s light touch he quieted, his face dark and glowering. I had unconsciously taken a step backwards in the face of Nate’s anger but forced myself to hold my ground as Gabriel approached.

“I haven’t done anything wrong. But if you want me to leave… I will,” I said respectfully, all of the sarcasm falling out of my tone. Unlike Nathanael, who rubbed me the wrong way from day one with his pompous attitude, Gabriel radiated authority but also a gentleness. It soothed my prickly temper, and I found I really craved his approval. All looked to Gabriel who studied me with those big blue eyes, a touch of melancholy to his expression. It made me wonder; was he bummed because I interrupted his party, or because of something else? He approached slowly, coming to stop a couple of feet away from me. I expected him to say something, but he just stood there looking at me. Could Gabriel read minds? Was he trying to judge the quality of my soul based on the Grace? Was he wondering if he was going to miss Monday Night Football by the time all of this was over? I couldn’t tell what was going on in that head of his, but he seemed to come to a decision, his head bowing the slightest of nods before he turned and strode away.

Apparently I’d passed some kind of test, because the other angels clustered around me then, and I was reminded that I really was like a shiny new toy to them. Most kept a respectful distance as though they were afraid to commit to actually choosing a side, but a few came closer to introduce themselves, their voices full of varying degrees of reverence and amusement. I felt a little like the belle of the ball; if the ball was full of glowing sexy angels. I’d never seen so much perfection in one place. Ever. Of course I hadn’t heard of any of them in particular, until one approached, the one with long dark hair who had stood up to Nathanael in my defense.

“Greetings,” he nodded formally.

“Hi,” I nodded back.

“You are well?”

“Yes, I’m… well. I guess.” It seemed an odd question after my outburst but then I remembered that they weren’t all that big on small talk. At least this one didn’t look like he was afraid to talk to me. “Hey, I’m a little rusty on my angel mind reading, is it actually okay for me to be here? ‘Cause I could leave if it’s gonna cause a problem.” I wasn’t sure how much leeway I was given from that slight nod out of Gabriel.

“No, you were given leave to attend, though as I understand it, it pertains to this gathering only.”

“Wow, I must have missed that part of the message. You got all that from a single nod?”

He chuckled at that, a deep rich sound that made my stomach flutter. “We are all familiar with Gabriel’s ways; he is not one for words.”

“Yeah, I’m getting that. I looked over to where Gabriel watched over the crowd with that same impassive expression on his face. Was there supposed to be a formal announcement or were they waiting for me to leave to get back to angelic business? Deciding not to worry about it, I turned my attention back to my tall, new friend. “Listen, thanks for your help back there with Nathanael, that guy’s got it in for me big time, I appreciate the support.”

“Of course, I could do nothing else, Merceline,” he sketched a half bow.

“It’s Mercy,” I corrected him automatically. “Does everyone here know who I am?”

“Oh yes, word of your… evolution has been spoken of in the highest of places.”

“And the lowest,” I muttered, not at all happy with my lack of privacy those days.

“You speak of your capture by Raum. I was both pleased and impressed to learn of your escape.”

There he went again, knowing all about my business. It was a little flattering, but mostly it was kinda creepy, the idea that there were a bunch of people out there knowing the ins and outs of my daily life. “Seriously, how do you know all of this?” Sam had spoken of the angels watching over me, was he one of them?

“I made it my business to know. You don’t seem to understand the impact you’ve had on our world, my dear lady.”

“Oh?”

“Oh yes, in all the years of our existence, there has never been one such as you. You are…”

“Yeah, I know, I’m new. I get that a lot,” I sighed and he chuckled again.

“Do not take it to heart that many of my kind have not accepted you, as a whole we resist change.”

“That’s alright; I never set out to be Miss Popular. Actually I’m a little more worried about the ones that like me a little too much.”

“Could anyone ever care too much, dear lady?”

Uh oh. I recognized the look of infatuation that was starting to gather on his face and I wanted to nip that in the bud. “Yeah well, I’m taken, I mean really taken,” I added quickly, gratified when he got the message and stopped giving me those puppy dog eyes. “I don’t appreciate being kidnapped by demons who are attracted to my Grace or fallen angels who want to use me to escape eternal damnation either. By the way, shouldn’t it be your guys’ job to make sure that doesn’t happen? He’s your prisoner, right?”

“You speak of Azazael.”

“Yep, that’s the one. What kind of a prison is it if he can escape into the Ether whenever he wants or jump into someone’s body?” It seemed like a flawed system to me. Sure his body was chained to a rock, but it obviously wasn’t doing any good if his mind could escape so easily.

“He has come to you in the Ether?”

Maybe it was petty of me, but I couldn’t help but feel a little jolt of happiness for having caught an all knowing angel by surprise. “Oh, so you don’t know every little thing about me after all, do you?” I gloated.

“My apologies, the Ether is difficult for us to monitor.”

“That’s okay.” It was better for me if they didn’t keep too close of an eye on the Ether anyway; it left me feeling less like I was being watched at every turn when I got to spend time with Adam.

“You should not have to bear the brunt of Azazael’s avarice or schemes. Nathanael!” he called out, and I almost wished I’d kept my mouth shut. But if they could help me with my Azazael problem, that would simple my life up big time. “Were you aware that Azazael is stalking this child in the Ether?”

“I am not her keeper, I leave that to you,” he replied with disdain.

My brows came up at that one. This guy was my keeper? Did I have another guardian angel? Not that I was complaining, but how exactly did I rate that? Did he get an assignment to watch over me, or was it his idea all on his own? With an advocate in my corner, I spoke up again. “Yeah, but you don’t want him to escape right? Isn’t there something you can do to keep him from coming after me?”

“Even if I deigned to concern myself with your plight, we are bound by God’s instructions, unable to take action without direction. So there is little that can be done against Azazael unless and until he actually escapes his bonds.”

The sonofabitch actually looked happy about that little loophole that allowed Azazael to keep tormenting me with no retribution. I had to wonder; was he always like this? Or was it just me who got his knickers in a knot? While I had pretty much expected a response like that from good ol’ Nate, my new champion clearly was not.

“Still, you cannot believe it is His will for Azazael to escape,” he pressed, but Nathanael wasn’t interested.

“I have learned not to try and anticipate God’s will and I would caution you to do the same,” Nathanael replied stiffly. “If you feel that strongly about it, take up a petition, you know the proper channels.”

“I shall.”

“Fine, may we get back to business now?” The air fairly crackled with enmity as the two angels squared off, but my friend was the first one to back down.

“I humbly await your pronouncement,” he gave a low bow before stalking off.

“That guy is a total asshat,” I muttered under my breath and the angel standing next to me gave a nervous titter of laughter. He soon quieted under Nathanael’s disapproving glare though and we all sobered, waiting for whatever angel business was on the docket.


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