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First pages

Twisted Paradise

Restlessness prickles under my skin. It feels like one of those never-ending winter days when breathing kerosene heater fumes for hours on end starts getting on your last nerve. It’s sad really; all it took was one week for me to go trailer park crazy. I’m edgy and antsy. And to make it worse Sparrow vowed to respect King Gabriel’s wishes regarding sins of the flesh. That’s what I get for swearing never to leave the Seven Kingdoms of Heaven.

“You know, if you focused on other things besides what Sparrow’s got hiding in his pants, you’d be doing this better,” Teari’s chipper voice breaks my concentration.

The gentle brush of her fingers flutters across the skin of my shoulders. I turn quick to face her. “Don’t touch me,” I warn.

She holds her hands out as though she was thinking about doing it again. “Wouldn’t dream of it.” She smiles sweetly.

“You’re not supposed to be able to lie.” I glare.

“I didn’t lie, Meg. I just said I wouldn’t dream of it. Because I wouldn’t. You rarely enter my dreams.”

I run to the mirror on the far end of the dining room and see what she did to me.

“Teari!” I yell when I see that my hair is three inches longer.

“What?” She shrugs and sits on a velvet upholstered club chair, crosses her long legs and admires her fingernails.

“I told you to stop doing that!” I pull my shirt out and check my skin. The tattoos are still there. The spattering of stars are still across my left shoulder, the anchor still on my ribcage. I pull the waistband of my pants out and check the heart—it’s still there. Thank God. I pull the shoulder of my shirt down and check the tattoo of the black quill across my right collarbone. Disappointment hits me hard. It’s faded.

“That is his favorite one!” I turn to Teari and clench my hands into fists. “You know how Sparrow likes feathers.”

Teari stands quickly, her skin blanching when she gets a good look at how angry I am. “You’re supposed to look like a princess.”

“I don’t give a shit what one of your fluttery angel princesses are supposed to look like. Stop trying to change me.” I grit my teeth and hold in a long stream of curse words. I don’t care if the Archangel Gabriel is my father, I’m not going to pretend to be one of their princesses. He said he liked my spunk, it reminded him of my mother. His actual words were: “Mother of pearl, you’re feisty girl! Just like your mother.”

“I can’t get this fixed up here in angel-land. And I promised on Sparrow’s life not to leave.”

I would love to strangle Teari right now. I don’t care if she towers a foot over my head. I think my hands would wrap nicely around her neck.

Teari fidgets with the waistband of her slacks. She looks like a damn supermodel standing in front of me. I want to claw her eyes out.

“It’s fine,” she says.

“It’s not fine. It’s faded!” I walk towards her, ready to attack. I point to my shoulder where the quill tattoo is. “And it’s his favorite.”

Teari steps back, her eyes widening. “I helped you,” she reminds me. “When you were in Hell I healed you. I made you whole again.” Her perfect face is starting to look worried now.

True, she did heal me. Teari came to help me and Sparrow when we were trapped together in Hell. She healed my wounds after my a-hole of an ex strung me up like a turkey and stabbed me in the chest with a knife.

My hands clench into fists. While strangling Teari might help me feel better, it would leave my father without his personal healer. I cross the room to get away from her.

“Stop screwing with my tattoos and hair,” I warn her.

A few moments pass before I come to the conclusion that causing Teari physical harm is unladylike—something Sparrow’s always nagging me about. I weave around her and leave the room, slamming the door closed behind me.

They want me to be on my best behavior here but Teari is making it awfully difficult.

I walk down lengthy hallways with towering windows that let in the bright, heavenly light of this place. Shielding my eyes, I wish I had brought my sunglasses with me. I avoid the sunlit expanses and walk in the shadows along the wall. It’s not long before I’m standing at the door to my room.

There’s a plush mattress on a frame, a bathroom with a tub and shower, fluffy towels, clean sheets, fresh pillows, a balcony, and a closet full of clothing. None of this ever existed in the single-wide trailer I grew up in. I came close when I spent my inheritance on that little house with a white picket fence. Tried to pull my roots out of the North Country gutter but while it seems money could buy me a home, it couldn’t hide me from my demons.

I open my door and step into my room. A warm breeze billows the curtains of the floor to ceiling windows. The golden linens of the giant four-poster are not the crumpled mess that I left them earlier. I look around and notice that my towel is no longer on the floor by the bathroom. Teari must’ve sent someone in here to clean up.

I walk past the bed and grab my sunglasses off of the table in the sitting area. It’s so bright here that it hurts my eyes, gives me a headache. Trying to control the darkness within me is hard enough; I can’t stand constantly being illuminated by the sunshine of Heaven as well, even if it does sparkle prettily. Day hurts Hell-dark adjusted eyes.

I reach for the small machete-style weapon on my nightstand. Forged in the fires of Hell and only cuts if I’m the one holding it. Lucifer gifted it to me after I brought him the bag of bones that was my mother. He also promised me one favor that I have yet to use.

My thoughts turn to Sparrow and our time together down there.

Sparrow’s an angel, tall and handsome and a little peculiar. He’s better than he used to be. When we were trapped in Hell he was batshit crazy. The poor guy was nothing but a cracked nut when we found each other. We can blame my father for that though; he banished Sparrow, stripped his wings and took his memories. Left him to wander the zombie-strewn wasteland of Hell. As fate would have it, that’s where we found each other.

Sometimes I think that Sparrow is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Better than finding out what I truly was: more than North Country trash, the daughter of an Archangel, the child of forbidden love.

I secure the weapon in the thigh holster Sparrow made for me and put my sunglasses on. Leaving my room, I make my way to the door leading to the courtyard at the end of the hall. As soon as I step outside my skin sizzles. It’s bearable, almost.

I wonder if the sun is like this in the other Kingdoms of Heaven? Teari is supposed to teach me about them but she’s too busy working with the Legion, being my father’s personal healer, and trying her damnedest to turn me into a princess. I’ve learned a few things though: The earthen plane is His land. The Seven Kingdoms of Heaven are ruled over by the Council of seven Archangels. Hell has Lucifer.

I make my way past the sparkling stone fountain and down the marble steps set into the hillside. I stroll past the barracks where the Legion trains; the grounds are empty. They must be on break, which means Sparrow will be home. Good, I haven’t gotten him alone in a few days. I pick up speed and head for the trail behind the barracks.

Thick forest shades the winding path to Sparrow’s house. Having finally escaped the sun, I take off my sunglasses and hang them on the front of my shirt. Windows and doors close at the houses as I pass. There are some inhabitants of this place that are not happy about my presence here. They don’t like the idea of me tainting their goodness. I am the blackened stain of my father’s Kingdom.

My mother birthed me on the earthen plane. I am half darkness and half light, my soul doesn’t know where it belongs, and because of this I can poof between realms at will. All I have to do is whisper the words ‘Angele Dei, illumina, custodi, rege et guberna’ and I’m gone, traveling faster than you can blink. Everyone else has to use the governed portals.

People here don’t like that. They don’t like my darkness, my foul mouth, or the fact that I’m with Sparrow. There are whispers and disapproving stares. It’s like I’m back in my tiny hometown of Gouverneur, New York. Everyone watching, nobody saying a word.

Screw them, I tell myself. They don’t know the literal hell we went through.

I step up onto Sparrow’s stoop, my hand hovering over the doorknob. I lean closer and listen. Livin’ on a Prayer is blaring. I smile. Sparrow loves Bon Jovi. Turning the knob, I inch the door open until I can squeeze inside without making a sound. The music is so loud that when I close the door I can’t even hear the lock click into place. I move towards the living room and find Sparrow rocking out.

Sparrow is standing in front of the stereo. He turns the music louder, his head bobbing to the beat, his shoulders ticking along as well. His entire body is in motion. And just as the chorus starts, he spins and rips his shirt off.

I freeze, taking in the sight of Sparrow in full Bon Jovi impersonation mode. It’s a beautiful sight. His white wings are tucked tight against his back and the muscles of his broad shoulders tense as he’s dancing and singing. His narrow hips jut from side to side with the beat. He kicks his boots off, sends them flying across the room and then runs to collect them like it was choreographed, bellowing out lyrics the entire time. Sparrow sets the boots side by side near the back door of his house. Next his socks come off, followed by his Legion-issued black cargo pants, leaving him in nothing but a pair of boxerbriefs.

My jaw drops and my trailer park roots quiver. This is better than the strip club I went to in college. The ‘Thunder from Down Under’ has got nothing on Sparrow.

Sparrow spins, stomps his feet and then looks up. His eyes lock with mine and a wide grin spreads across his handsome face. He spins again and turns the music down.

“You didn’t have to do that,” I say. “I was enjoying myself.”

“Bet you were.” Sparrow’s brown hair is tousled and dimples appear in each of his cheeks as he smiles. Bright green eyes take me in. “What’s different about you?” he asks, taking a step towards me.

“Nothing,” I lie.

“Something.” He reaches out and touches my hair. “It’s longer.”

“Teari was getting a little handsy.” I shake my head and my hair tickles my shoulders. It used to be long, trouble changed that. Remembering what happened last time I had long hair makes my stomach churn.

Sparrow frowns like he’s read my mind. He knows I don’t like being touched, suffered far too much pain at the hands of others. Now I trust no one and allow even fewer to touch my skin. I trust Sparrow enough though. Trust him with my life. He’s saved it enough times.

“Can you fix it?” I ask.

Sparrow’s fingers linger in my dark hair for just a moment too long. No doubt he’s remembering the haircut he gave me with his machete.

“Just let me jump in the shower quick and then I’ll do it.”

I look up at him. Sparrow in the shower is a sight.

“No.” He presses his lips together. “You can’t join me.” His fingers leave my hair and trail down the side of my neck. I tilt my head and give him access to the collar of my shirt, knowing that he’s going for that quill tattoo on my collarbone.

Sparrow frowns. “It’s pale.”

“Teari did it.” I pull away from him and walk across the room. “I’m going to punch her in the throat one of these days. And since I am forbidden from going to the earthen plane I can’t even get this fixed.” I motion to the tattoo. “Pisses me off to no end.”

Sparrow puts his hands on his hips and watches me. “It’s going to be okay,” he says.

I begin to pace. “I’m going stir crazy here.”

“It’s only been a few weeks.”

“I know. I just… I just feel…” I look at Sparrow and find him watching me intently. I can’t tell him what I feel. Darkness. My grandfather’s darkness is threatening to overtake me. I can’t tell Sparrow my soul is about to burst wanting to get out. When I was a kid I could burn it off by doing bad shit like stealing, drinking, partying, et cetera. I’m not allowed to do any of that here.

I try to shake it off.

“Just go shower,” I tell Sparrow. “I need you to take care of this for me.” I motion to the mess Teari created on my head.

He nods and collects his clothes as heads for the bathroom.

Damn, I wish he had finished his striptease.

I cross my arms and turn away from the hall he just walked down. Controlling the urge to follow him is hard. I guess I’ll have to entertain myself.

I’ve never been alone in Sparrow’s house before. I take this time to snoop around a bit. The place is small but tidy with stone walls, large windows, and dark leather furniture. There’s a deck attached to the back of the house, an amazing view of the sloping forest.

I make my way to the bookshelf behind the couch. The shelves are lined with leather-bound hardbacks. I tilt my head to the side and read the titles on the spines. Birds of Paradise, Birds of the Arctic, Birds of the Northern Plains, Birds of the Pacific Northwest. They go on and on, rows and rows of books about birds.

This doesn’t surprise me much. I mean, when we were in Hell Sparrow got a hard-on over every feather we came across, dragged me all over the place collecting hundreds of them. But he never mentioned being infatuated with them before he was a fallen Angel.

I pick Birds of Paradise and begin flipping through. There’s a hundred different species in here highlighted with full color pictures. I recognize a few of the parrots we saw at the zoo. Images of their limp bodies on the ground and Sparrow crouching down to pull out their feathers flood my mind. One memory leads to the next and soon I am holding the book and staring off into space remembering the first time I saw him dressed in an old trench coat and boots in Noah’s cellar. Sparrow was taller than any man I’d ever met and his eyes were so green and intense.

Suddenly Sparrow is standing next to me. He’s dressed, hair damp, smelling fresh from the shower.

“What are you doing?” he asks as I flip the book closed.

“Just looking.” I run my fingers over the textured spine of Birds of Paradise.

Sparrow takes the book out of my hand and flips a few pages. “That bird.” He points to a smooth brown bird with a sharp pointed beak. “It’s my favorite. This week.”

“Why that one?”

“The beak reminds me of a macadamia nut shell. The smoothness and angles.”

He sounds like a hippie artist from New York City. I have no idea how to respond to that.

“Why do you have all these books?” I ask.

“I like birds.”

“You like feathers.”

Sparrow smiles at me as he replaces Birds of Paradise on the shelf. He runs his finger down the spine, ensuring that it is in the exact place it was before I touched it.

I want him to touch me like that. Now. Courting phase be damned. I’m tired of following the rules up here. I want to do what I want just for once. I want—

Sparrow turns to me, gripping his machete in his left hand. “Haircut?”

Well, there go those feelings.

We step out to his back deck. I turn around. Sparrow collects my hair in his fist. I feel the cool, dull edge of his machete against the back of my neck right before he swipes and cuts my hair off.

I turn. He’s holding my black hair in his fist looking indecisive.

“You going to give it to the birds?” I ask.

Sparrow smiles quick before arching his arm over the deck and throwing the handful of hair into the branches of a nearby tree. Then he just stands there, watching me.

I take a step closer to him. Then another. And another.

“I want you,” Sparrow whispers. “It’s killing me.”

Yes. I’ll teach him to be bad to the bone like me in no time at all. I run a few quick steps and launch myself into his arms. Sparrow’s hands catch my bottom and my arms wrap around his neck, and then we’re kissing like two high-schoolers under the bleachers on a Friday night.

He sets me down on the railing of the deck so his hands are free to roam. In the weeks we’ve been here this is the most he’s touched me. I’ve missed it. I’ve missed all the time we had to ourselves even if we were being chased by the dead.

The minutes that pass are not long enough before Sparrow pulls away. He’s out of breath.

“I promised your father.” Sparrow backs away from me as though I’m poisonous. “Gabriel can see everything in his Kingdom,” he reminds me.

I frown and slide off of the deck railing so I’m standing in front of him.

“We need to work off this angst.” Sparrow runs his hands through his hair. “Want me to teach you how to fight?”

“I can fight. I took on Jim and seven Hellions when they invaded my house on the earthen plane,” I remind him.

In the end they put me in a coma but that didn’t stop me from filling their bodies full of bullets. Unbeknownst to me at the time I was engaged to the son of a powerful demon. Jim and his Hellions killed my unborn baby and tried to kill me for a boatload of cash.

Sparrow’s face blanches. “I don’t like it when you talk about that.”

Sparrow feels guilty. He thinks it’s his fault. If he hadn’t lost me, none of that would have happened. If Sparrow had kept his post all those years ago, my mother wouldn’t have been killed and a very bad man wouldn’t have raised me. Sparrow couldn’t help it, he had his reasons, no matter how fucked up they are.

I should apologize for bringing it up. But I rarely apologize, unless it’s for something really, really bad.

“Fight with your hands.” Sparrow’s holding his palms up.

I guess he’s stuck on this. I’ll humor him.

“Usually I pull their hair and scratch their face. That’s how chicks fight,” I reply.

Not that I was in many fights. John Lewis was too busy knocking me around for me to get into a fight with someone else. He killed my mother for her money, but the money was wrapped up in a trust fund. All he got was me in return and he made me pay for it every day of my life.

Sparrow nods to the machete strapped to my thigh. “Let me show you how to use that.”

I know how to use the weapon. Heck, it pretty much does everything itself. All I have to do is touch it and the piece of metal comes alive in my hand.

“Don’t you have to go back and train with the Legion?” I ask.

Sparrow shakes his head and his body stiffens. “Done for today.”

I touch the weapon on my thigh. “I know how to use it.” I assure him.

“Let me see it, Meg.” Sparrow holds his hand out. This isn’t the first time he’s asked to touch it. I’m starting to think he’s a little obsessed.

I shake my head. I know what he wants. I know what I want. I decide to toy with him a bit. I like to watch him get frustrated.

“What do you want?” I ask, reaching for the hem of my shirt. It’s printed with swirls and petals, pink and soft and flouncy. Teari picked it out for me when she overhauled my wardrobe. She said there was too much black in there and too much skin showing. Now everything is loose and long, real princess-like. I hate it all. I’d much rather have jeans or shorts and a drawer full of T-shirts.

“Come on,” Sparrow urges. “I want to see it again.”

Pulling my shirt up, I flash my midriff at him then ever so slowly I drag the shirt higher.

“No. Not that.” His eyes are glued to the weapon strapped to my thigh. “The blade.”

Making a noise of disgust in my throat, I say, “Seriously? This is worse than you and those damn feathers.” I drop my shirt and let it cover me again.

“Come on, Meg. Please.” As he steps towards me I straighten my back and try to seem taller. Next to him, not much is taller besides Gabriel at seven feet. Sparrow measures in at six and a half. Angels are giants.

“Okay,” I say, trying to force my lips to stop grinning.

“Okay?” His eyes open wider with anticipation.

He used to make expressions like this all the time. Thinking about those moments makes me a bit sad, he’s different now, a lot less crazy but still a little quirky. But, at times, the old Sparrow shines through, like when he asks to see my weapon, and it’s a total turn on. That’s the Sparrow I fell in love with. That’s the Sparrow who saved my life a bunch of times. The Sparrow I never want to forget.

“Now?” he asks.

“Sure.” I close the space between us, reach up on my toes, snake my hand up his chest and across the back of his neck so I can pull him closer and whisper in his ear. “After you do one thing.” I flick my tongue across his earlobe and feel every muscle in his body stiffen. “Take me to your bedroom and let’s do some dirty, dirty things together for a few hours. And then I’ll let you touch my blade all you want.” I step away.

Sparrow’s eyes reveal a mischievous glint. He lunges for me but I’m quick to move and duck out of his way. Spinning and running, I leap off of his deck and round the side of his house, laughing.

Sparrow follows. I hear his footsteps behind me and I’m surprised he hasn’t caught me yet; his legs are longer than mine. He’s holding back, must be enjoying the chase.

I round the front corner of his house, look back for just a split second to make sure he’s behind me. He is. When I look forward again there is a large object in my path. I slam right in to it, full force.

Large hands grip my arms and lift my feet off of the ground.

“Sparrow!” King Gabriel shouts. “What in the grace of God are you doing?”

I am set on my feet.

“We were just running,” I say, out of breath and nervous. I wonder what my father is doing here?

Looking up, I notice Sparrow standing stiffly behind me.

“You were supposed to come see me,” Gabriel bellows. “Mother of God, boy! This is what I’m talking about.” He steps forward and grips Sparrow’s shoulder with his giant hand. “Come with me now. Let’s go.”

With the powerful thrust of their downy white wings, King Gabriel and Sparrow take off into the sky, leaving me alone.

I hate it when they fly. Especially since I can’t. I don’t have wings. Gabriel says they will come when I’m ready, that I lack faith in God and in myself.

He’s right though, I don’t believe in a God who would allow those things that happened to me. If there’s anything I have faith in, it’s how bad shit can get. I hold the most faith in Hell.

***

“The Legion won’t take him back.” Gabriel shakes his head and looks away.

Sparrow left hours ago and never came to find me afterward. I came to the King to find out what happened between the two of them. Sparrow never mentioned any problems but something is definitely going on.

“What the hell do you mean they won’t take him back?” I ask Gabriel. “You’re the King. Tell them to take him back.”

“Can’t just toss him back to being Legion Commander.” Gabriel throws his hands in the air in frustration. “Fucking figures. Was probably those asshole Council members.”

Gabriel and I resemble each other. We have blue eyes, black hair, and filthy mouths. The only difference is he can get away with all the cussing.

The Council holds every curse word against me. They hate my guts. Gabriel warned me when I first came here. He said,“Been watching you for a while now. You’ll do good here. Don’t think the Council will like your attitude though.”

Boy was he right.

“Bet they planned this,” Gabriel continues. “Always had a problem with me taking in their strays.”

“Their strays?” I ask. “What’s that mean?”

Gabriel’s mouth snaps shut and his eyes level on me. “He’s not like we remember.”

“He’s more put together than when I ran into him in the bowels of Hell. He was flat out nuts when I met him.”

“You didn’t know him before.” Teari appears in the room. I didn’t even hear her come in. “He’s very different from what he used to be. I’ve seen him in training. It’s not safe. He could hurt himself, or the others. There’s something wrong that we can’t fix here. Believe me, I’ve tried.”

She’s tried? The thought of Teari alone with Sparrow makes my blood boil. I caught her with her lips on him when I first arrived in Gabriel’s Kingdom. And while she apologized, I still don’t trust her. My father forbade her from going near Sparrow with romantic intentions ever again.

“What’s wrong with him?” I ask.

Gabriel and Teari look at each other, avoiding the answer.

They’re hiding something.

“Tell me!”

“Go ask him.” Gabriel waves towards the door. “He needs to tell you. The Council forbids me from revealing some things. I can’t say it, but he can. Go.”

I look at both of them with disgust before turning and running out of the room. The Council forbids it? Bullshit.

I search everywhere for Sparrow; his house, my room, the pool, the closets, the kitchen—because he’s always shoving his face full of food. I walk my father’s land until my feet hurt. If I had wings I could just fly everywhere real quick, but I have to walk, and traipsing across Gabriel’s Kingdom is a royal pain in my ass.

It’s night by the time I finally find Sparrow. He’s sitting in the middle of the barracks alone. I move towards him, wanting to take him in my arms and figure out what the heck is going on. I’ve never wanted to do that before, I was never touchy-feely but something about Sparrow draws it out of me.

“What happened?” I ask.

Sparrow wraps his arms tight around my middle and buries his face in my abdomen.

I push my fingers into his silky hair.

“Gabriel says I can’t do it.”

My clothing muffles his words.

“Why?” I ask.

“Seems he scrambled my brains a bit beyond repair.”

“But he fixed you.”

Gabriel gifted Sparrow back his memories when Sparrow found me in Hell. He brought him back to life, gave his soul back to his body. Gave him back his house and belongings in Heaven. Sparrow paid his dues, he was forgiven.

“He can’t fix me all the way. They said something isn’t right. It’s…” his voice trails.

I don’t like seeing him like this. I want to fix him, fix this, poof him away and make it all better.

I swore to Gabriel on Sparrow’s life that I wouldn’t leave. But I’m developing the strong urge to pack my shit and run away just like I did when I finally got the nerve to ditch my small town and head off to college.

My head is spinning. Deciding between what’s right and wrong in this moment is frustratingly hard. I made a promise to an Archangel, to my father, but I’d break it in a heartbeat to help Sparrow.

One thing worries me though. My mother, Clea, she gifted us a feather. And her feathers revealed a dire future after we left Hell: Wars. Blood and death. Good and Evil. A dead Sparrow. A motherless child and a fatherless child. Light and dark. The earthen plane and the ethereal realms. A burst of bright light. A dark, never-ending vat of emptiness that would suck every joyful moment right out of me.

I shudder at remembering the way I felt when the vision thundered through me. I’ve never felt so empty.

This staying within the Seven Kingdoms of Heaven blows.

“Let’s skip town. Me and you,” I offer. “I’ll take you somewhere and we can forget about all of this. We don’t need them, Sparrow.” I tug on his hair at the base of his skull, tilting his face up. “We can go bird watching on the earthen plane. Whatever you want.”

“And if I die?” he asks. “Your mother’s feather revealed blood and death.”

“We could make it work. Somehow. The King of Hell owes me one favor.”

“You would risk my life on the word of a liar?”

“I’m a liar. I’ve lied.” I release Sparrow’s hair and try to step away from him but he holds me tight around my middle. He knows I’m not pure-blood angel. I am part darkness. I can lie like the greatest of sinners.

“That’s not what I meant.” He lets go of me and stands. His green eyes shimmer and soften.

It breaks me a tiny bit when he gets that sad, faraway look in his eyes. I want to pull him to me, hold him and kiss him and… and…

“How many times do I have to die for you, Meg?” Sparrow asks.

“I don’t want you to die for me. I never asked you to die for me.”

In one swift movement he grips my chin between his fingers, snakes his free arm around my back and pulls me tight against his body.

“That’s what makes it worth it. You not asking. I do it because I love you. I’ve loved you longer than you’ve known I existed.” Sparrow kisses me. He’s so intense, always been this way.

Sparrow pulls away and rests his forehead against mine, inhaling deeply. “I should go.”

I grip his arms. “Where?” I can’t stand the thought of him leaving me behind.

“I have to go away. Fix this mess.”

“Don’t leave me here. Take me with you.” I search his eyes, begging. I’m not below begging. It’s worked for me in the past. I promised to stay within the Seven Kingdoms of Heaven, but I’m not staying in Gabriel’s Kingdom alone.

There is a long pause, an internal struggle for him.

“I have to return to my father’s Kingdom,” he finally says.

“Your father?” I never wondered about where Sparrow came from or who his father was.

“Yes.”

“Who is that?” I ask.

He’s so nonchalant when he says, “Remiel. Another one of the Archangels.”

Oh shit.

Sparrow isn’t just some Legion Commander thrust off of his perch; he’s a frigging prince. No wonder the Council won’t allow Gabriel to tell me crap about Sparrow.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

M. R. Pritchard enjoys books, coffee, and rum - not necessarily in that order. She is currently plotting her escape from the frozen north to the land of sand and sun. To learn more about this author visit MRPritchard.com.

Q. Where did the idea for this book come from?
A.
A few years ago I was at the public library with my daughter, we were there to see a presentation on owls from a local bird rescue group. The presenter was talking about how they repair flight feathers in injured owls (readers of Sparrow Man take note) and ideas for this series started forming.
Q. What did you learn while writing this book?
A.
I learned a lot about birds, their feathers, colorings, and bird calls. I spent far too much time listening to bird calls on the internet. But it was great. It brought back a lot of memories of bird watching at the dining room table at my great grandmother's house in the Adirondacks.
Q. What is the inspiration for the story?
A.
There are so many tidbits of inspiration that helped form this series: my love for all things zombies, that good/evil battle that always seems to sneak into my stories, and, as corny as it sounds, true love and working hard for a relationship no matter how doomed it seems to be.

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