Can you in less than five words, describe your book?
Erotic reincarnation story of love.
What inspired you to write it?
My extended family is going through a fractured time and I'm powerless to heal something that happened before I was born. This was at the base of my writing this book. It took me four years to write and it helped me come to terms and move on from my extended family upheaval and also to find forgiveness. My Demon Prince Agrat is half brother to an angel. Although Agrat loves his younger brother, a treacherous event occurs and the blame falls on Agrat resulting in the two brothers warring against each other. By learning to love my heroine princess who has incarnated into a modern woman, Agrat learns to find peace with his brother too.
And without further ado, here is the excerpt!
“I wish you’d focus on carving more angels for clients, especially like this gorgeous male angel you’ve just finished. I can’t stand that demonic sculpture you’re obsessed with restoring,” said Phoebe Larson’s agent and best friend, Rachael Ryan.
“He’s perfect in every detail. He looks like he might spread his wings and take flight,” Rachael said, her voice full of awe. “I don’t know how you get that lightness yet that intensity in your sculptures.”
“I see them that way.”
The Prince, his face full of fury mingled with despair, faced off the angel as the angel’s wing enclosed her. The repetitive snapshot that haunted Phoebe's dreams and she didn’t know why.
Phoebe studied her agent, appreciating the faith she had in her work. Rachael was a curious mix of Irish and Jewish heritage. From her father she gained her wild red hair and fair skin, which burned easily and turned to freckles. From her Jewish mother, she had business acumen, an arresting rather than beautiful face with cut-glass cheekbones and a sharp nose. From both she'd inherited her fey instincts, superstitious nature, and passion for art.
It was past ten pm and the studio in New York’s Meatpacking District was filled with a mix of light from the full moon and various lamps, which gave the room an ethereal glow. Phoebe pushed her hair from her face and continued polishing the marble torso of the sculpture, easing any stains from the intricate carving on the breastplate on the chest, her fingers caressing the lines and planes of the mythical warrior she dreamed so much about that he seemed real to her.
“I think this is my best work, even if he took me a year.”
Rachael walked from the angel sculpture and came to stand by Phoebe. She put out her hand but didn’t touch the marble, instead letting it hover over the stone.
“Old pieces carry energy and that marble holds blackness. Evil. I can feel it in my bones. I don’t know how you can touch it.”
“It’s stone, Rach.” Phoebe gave the torso a pat and Rachael winced. Phoebe knew her agent expected her to take her psychic feelings seriously, and to be fair to Rachael, her friend of twenty years, all of her predictions had come true, even when they had seemed unlikely.
“It’s more than that.” Rachael waved her hand over it again, concentrating on the torso and frowned. Her eyes widened and she stepped back. “I’m afraid to open my senses when I’m close to this statue. I haven’t dealt with this before but it feels like an ancient evil. Something horrible happened here. Something unjust.”
“I’m not being disrespectful about your gift because I’ve seen your predictions come true, but I don’t get how you can obsess about a bit of antique rock.” Whatever Rachael said, nothing would deter Phoebe from her compulsion to restore the piece she’d felt compelled to buy from an antiquities dealer. It was the only way to prevent the emptiness inside her so that it didn’t open like a bottomless well in her chest.
Slowly, through the cool fall months and the icy winter, she’d carved a face, arms and legs. In spring, she’d meticulously inserted rods into the neck, shoulders and thighs of the marble torso and in summer as the studio grew hot and her New Yorker friends had left for vacation, she joined the pieces so that he was finally whole. She was proud of her statue, whose face haunted her dreams. His hair was shoulder length, his brow furrowed and his gaze piercing over his sharp nose and sensuous mouth. The torso of marble she’d bought had wide shoulders and the warrior wore a robe over his back, a breastplate and a tunic underneath. On his feet, she had carved marble sandals. It had been tricky to get the dimensions of his head, arms and legs right so that all the pieces fitted together.
“When I look at him, I get that tight feeling in the pit of my stomach like something bad is going to happen.” Rachael clutched her stomach.
Phoebe bit her lip in irritation. Rachael could be so dramatic sometimes.
“It’s getting worse by the minute. The evil. I can’t bear it. I wish I hadn’t opened myself up to it. It’s coming at me like a roar.” Rachael ran over to Phoebe’s workbench, pulled off her bracelet made of black angular rocks and reached for a pair of scissors. Snipping the elastic string, she pulled ten rocks off the bracelet, raced back over and placed them at even intervals around the statue.
The hairs on the back of Phoebe’s arms stood up when she saw the intense look on Rachael’s face. “What are you doing?”
“Protection. You need it. I’ll sacrifice my bracelet of Moses rocks. They come from around Moses’ tomb on my last trip to the Middle East. They’re inscribed with protective talismans. Don’t move them.”
“Rachael, stop. You’re scaring me.”
“You have to get rid of this statue.” Dressed in her trademark black T-shirt and jeans, with her wild, rusty curls, pallid face and slim body, Rachael seemed other worldly. It didn’t help that a beam from the full moon was spotlighting her face. A deep moan left Rachael’s lips and she started to sway. Her eyes had widened as her hand raised and she pointed at the sculpture.
“Oh shit!” Phoebe had the impression of the studio’s walls closing in on her. She’d seen this before. Last time when Rachael had had a vision this intense, a friend had died.
“Stay away. Don’t take her.” Tears streamed down Rachel’s face as she stared up at the statue.
Phoebe looked at her sculpture. Did the eyelids just flicker? She blinked and looked again. They blinked. Fear exploded up Phoebe’s spine. She raced over and grabbed her friend. “Rachael, what’s going on?”
Rachael’s whole body jerked at her touch and she stared wildly at Phoebe. “Destroy it!” Rachael's face had blanched, so that the freckles on her nose and cheeks stood out. Even her lips had lost their luster.
“I can’t. I love the piece. It isn’t evil. I know it isn’t.”
Tears poured down Rachael’s cheeks and she clutched Phoebe by the shoulders. “You don’t understand Phoebe, it’s Halloween! The time when the plane between life and death is thin. Anything can come in. This statue carries death energy.” Grabbing a hammer from Phoebe’s workbench, she pushed passed Phoebe and strode toward the statue. Bang! Down went the hammer right into the side of the torso so that it left a raw gash and bits of marble scattered across the concrete floor.
Jesus, Rachael had lost it. All her work ruined. Phoebe lunged after her just as she raised the hammer again and grabbed the tool from her hand. “Rachael. No!”
Eyes wild, Rachael turned. “I have to destroy it before it comes to life.”
Surely she’d imagined the eyelid flicker before? “Are you nuts? He’s stone just like the others,” Phoebe said, waving her hand at the gallery of carved figures of biblical princesses, demons, a hideous monkey-faced sculpture, and a beautiful, proud-faced angel.
Rachael shuddered. “I don’t know what he is. I’ve never experienced this energy before.”
Oh hell, Rachael had been right so many times before. Gripping the hammer, Phoebe realized the temperature had plummeted in the room. “Before, in your vision, you said, ‘don’t take her.’ Who’s he going to take?”
A sickening, twisting sensation gripped her stomach. “It’s stone, damn it.” Phoebe slapped her hand on the torso where the hammer had hit to reassure herself that the marble was nothing more than a cold piece of rock. Something wet and clammy made her draw back her hand and look at her palm. Blood!
“Phoebe. Get out of here. He’s coming to life,” Rachael screamed.
But she couldn’t move. The hammer dropped from her hand. Sheer, sharp disbelief clouded her thinking. Looking back at the statue, it seemed to be changing color in front of her eyes. The face, arms and legs had darkened and taken on a swarthy skin color. Thick, dark blood oozed from the hole Rachael had made.
A gleam of light from the moon hit the face of the sculpture and the Moses rocks burst into flames. The statue shuddered, heaved a sigh and his eyes scanned the room, coming to rest on her. “Princess.”
“No!” Phoebe said, backing away.
He jumped off his plinth, his sandals making a clacking noise as he hit the boards, but when he strode toward her and reached the Moses rocks, his body shuddered as if he had slammed against an invisible wall. “Princess, move the rocks.”
“Phoebe, run. When the rocks burn out, the protection stops,” Rachael cried.
The man’s dark eyes fixed on her. “Princess, it is I, Agrat, I have come for you.”
If you liked the sound of this, you can by Her Demon Prince at Amazon.
...And if you want to find out what else Cathleen is up to you can find her at the links below;