So why write about an angel?
Because he makes a better romantic hero than a pixie. See, in the first draft of Forever & Ever, Amen, Cass was a pixie. He had a little green suit and shoes with curled up toes and everything. Then I had a couple people read it and they were like, “Great story, but a pixie? Not sexy.”
They had me on that one.
So I looked around and found an interview from the 1930s where an elderly Irish woman from New York retold a story she learned from her mother, about how there were too many angels in heaven, so God tossed some of them out. Some fell all the way to hell and some remained in heaven, and those that were in-between stayed on earth and became the fairies. That story grounded the transition from Cass the pixie to Cass the angel.
As an angel, Cass is capable of doing a lot more than a pixie ever could. Like in the following excerpt when he takes a run on the beach and gets in the cross-hairs of his best friend Aodhan, who’d rather he didn’t get involved with Molly. Check it out…
Cass jogged along the beach, the early morning sun striking the curls of foam that cruised closer and closer to his bare feet. He’d been dodging Aodhan Macauley since hearing his voice the day before, and deliberately created this reality for his old friend to find him. Aodhan was way too cerebral to enjoy a good run along the beach.
“Come talk to me, my friend,” Cass called, barely sounding out of breath. Physical fitness didn’t come automatically, even for an angel. He worked hard for his muscle tone and stamina, same as everybody else.
Up ahead, one of the huge redwoods that grew down to the dunes had been pulled over by a storm, its smaller branches long ago worn away by wind and waves, leaving only the trunk lying across the sand. Cass glanced out towards the water for a second and when he turned back, Aodhan sat on the old tree, his elbow resting on a bent knee.
Cass slowed to a walk, breathing deep and wiping the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. “Come run with me.”
Aodhan huffed a laugh, his uneven smile splitting across his face. “Not today.”
“How’s your new assignment?” Cass asked, resting one foot on the trunk and stretching out his calf. He wore only a pair of baggy shorts, and it wouldn’t take long for the salty breeze to chill his damp skin.
“More curious about yours.”
Cass changed feet, delaying his response ’til he’d given the other calf a good stretch. “Not as much fun as playing guardian angel.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“What do you want?” Cass planted both feet in the sand, fists held lightly on his hips.
Aodhan leaned back, shaking his caramel-colored hair out of his face. As usual, he needed a shave, and since the earth was new Cass had wondered why his hair was so much lighter than his beard. “Word gets around.”
“You’re so close, my friend. Turn this one down.”
Cass’s initial response would do nothing to help him earn his wings, so he swallowed it down, instead stretching his hands to the sun and leaning right, then left, before answering. “I can’t.”
Standing slowly, Aodhan seemed to take the same amount of care with his response. “You could. The world is full of five-year-olds who need a little angelic help to stay alive.”
Cass met his friend’s gaze, wordlessly defending his decision. “She’s seen me already.”
Aodhan bent and picked up a scallop shell, one of its fluted wings perfect and whole, the other broken in half. He studied it for a moment, then flung it into the waves. “I’ll be watching.”
“Of course.” Cass put a hand on Aodhan’s shoulder. “It’ll be okay.”
“Have a care,” Aodhon said, covering Cass’s hand with his own.
Cass chuckled and stepped away. “I’ve got another mile in me. You sure you don’t want to come?”
Aodhan just laughed. Cass took off, and when he glanced back, his friend was gone.
To find out more about Forever & Ever, Amen you can check out the Crimson Romance page, go visit Amazon, or check out other fine e-book retailers.
Molly, a forty-something single mom, tangles with the wrong guy and gets a hell of a hickey. That blotch is really a demon’s mark, and she’ll have to face the three things that scare her most to get rid of it. First, Molly loses her job and then she has a near-sex experience with her philandering, not-quite-ex-husband. Worst of all, she has to sit by a hospital bed, wondering if her son is ever going to wake up.
The Powers That Be assign Cass to help her. He’s an angel who’s trying to earn a seat in the celestial choir by helping out a human in need. Vanquishing the demon would be his ticket up, but only if he plays by the rules. He’ll never earn his wings if he loses his heart to the lovely Molly. But she has even bigger things to worry about. She stands to lose her soul.
Oh, and if you’re interested, here’s a link to the folktale I mentioned. It’s from the Library of Congress, part of the American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writer’s Project, 1936 – 1940.