(Time for another Monsters, Misfits, and Mushy Stuff book feature! I’m delighted to hand the blog over to author Kat Heckenbach, who recently released fantastic paranormal romance Relent.)
How could I pass up an opportunity to post on Monsters, Misfits, and Mushy Stuff? First of all, those are just awesome things in books, especially for someone like me who loves to read and write dark stories, with atypical characters. And…I’m a sucker for alliteration.
Demons. Big, leathery-skinned demons with fangs and claws and bat-like wings. Glowing red eyes. Evil intent. Yep, that’s what Simone’s angel side will turn into if she continues on the path she’s chosen. Oh, wait, you thought the monster would be the villain? No, Simone is battling her own evil more than she’s battling anything outside. Sure, her best friend is a demon, but only because he’s the sole being in the world she can relate to. The single person (if he can be called that) who gets what it’s like to face immortality. And he’s the one who tells her the truth about herself (of course, that’s because the truth hurts…).
Okay, so there are some nasty demons in Relent, too. Killers and kidnappers. Even in human form, they’re brutish and evil. But they’re not the ones who get under Simone’s skin. She can face them a lot easier than she can face what’s growing inside herself.
Simone: A girl who grows up not understanding why she can influence people’s thoughts. A girl who finds out she’s half-angel, and may be the only half-angel in the world. A girl who ends up best friends with a demon because she has no one else who understands.
Wraith: A demon who actually tells the truth about lying. A demon who wants what he can’t have…and what he can’t give.
They’re not the only misfits, though. Reese is a photographer, an artist with a camera, forced to work a warehouse job until his world falls apart. And his—their—daughter Emily who has no idea Simone is her mother, and never questions the story-inspiring images in her head of angels with crystal eyes. Not to mention Gwen, the lonesome, but not lonely, retired doctor who recognizes where she’s needed, even to the point of taking in a total stranger.
This was actually the hard part for me! I am all about monsters and misfits. But mushy? Well…even half-angels need to fall in love. Especially when the object of that love is someone like Reese. Gorgeous, of course, but not in the in-your-face way of the demon Wraith’s human form. Gentle, kind, but strong, Reese sees beauty in the world and wants to capture the miracle of that beauty with his camera. He shows Simone that she is beautiful, too. Not in the obvious way, not in the way so many looks and leers have told her for years—but in an internal way. With his artist’s eye, he truly sees her, and uses his camera to show her what he sees. He’s the only one to bring Simone true happiness, because even though she can’t tell him what she really is, she can be who she is around him.
And then there’s Wraith. There’s nothing mushy about him. Even in human form, with pale, tattooed skin and midnight black hair, he’s all hard angles and sharp edges, darkness and manipulation. But, what really lies underneath? Why does he tell Simone just enough of the truth?
Kat Heckenbach spent her childhood with pencil and sketchbook in hand, knowing she wanted to be an artist when she grew up—so naturally she graduated from college with a degree in biology, went on to teach math, and now homeschools her two children while writing. Her fiction ranges from light-hearted fantasy to dark and disturbing. Enter her world at www.katheckenbach.com and purchase her original art at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JumpingRails.
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Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KatHeckenbachAuthor/
After spending her life in foster care, Simone discovers she’s half angel when the demon Wraith comes into the diner where she waits tables. Wraith–the only one who is ever truthful enough with her to admit his words are mostly lies.
Years later, angry that her mother abandoned her to return to heaven, Simone finds herself abandoning her lover, Reese, and their newborn child after Wraith tells her what she can’t deny is truth: “They will grow old and die while you remain young.”
But could he have lied? The only way Simone can know is by finding them, and making a place for herself in their life. And when the balance between human and angel begins to shift in her, she must turn to Wraith again regardless of whether she can trust him or not.