Guest Author Danita Minnis and Falcon’s Angel

Falcon’s Angel

She’s a classical violinist and daughter of a dynasty with one passion; her Stradivarius.

Falcon wants the Stradivarius in her possession, and goes undercover to track down a thief. But he is not the only killer in search of the violin.

il Dragone, a devil-worshiping cult, wants revenge for a past only they can remember.

Angelina wants to go unrecognized when she leaves her family’s Yorkshire estate to play in a symphony in Italy. But the Stradivarius, a gift from her deceased instructor, opens a door to hatred that is centuries old.

Falcon’s Angel

is a paranormal romance of love that ended in tragedy in eighteenth century England. That love is tested in a fight of good versus evil some two hundred years later. This time around Falcon and Angel have an opportunity to learn something that can put a stop to the cycle of murder and mayhem.

A little about myself –

If you asked me which is easier, writing songs or writing novels, I would say it was the former. Melodies and rhymes are second nature. What my characters want is another thing entirely. With my debut novel, Falcon’s Angel, I learned to listen to my spunky heroine and sinfully confident hero. They’re funny and in danger, and that’s just the way they want it. Lesson learned: don’t try to save them.

When I’m not writing, I exercise my lungs at my son’s soccer matches and our favorite theme park, because everyone knows it’s easier on the stomach to scream your way down a roller coaster.

Tell us a little about your book.

Falcon’s Angel has a little bit of many things I love. It is a sensual story of reincarnation. My love of the paranormal blends with my interest in classical music – whodunit style.

Where were you when you got your first book contract? Who did you tell?

I was cleaning my kitchen that morning. Cleaning stopped immediately. My sister was the first person I told – she was the only one awake at the time!

What draws you to write your genre and sub genre?

I am a hopeless romantic. For me, there is romance in a dew drop on a rose petal. I can’t help the Erotica – it is just a natural extension of my body…er…my mind. J

Do you have any tips for new writers?

Gosh, I’m a new writer! But from my experiences so far, I would say you have to be ready, don’t lose focus. Finish that second AND third book because deadlines approach quickly.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Triple Chocolate Cake!

Where can your readers reach you?

In a movie theater watching the latest witchy/vamp blockbuster , or my website and blog:

http://danitaminnis.com/Home_Page.phphttp://romancethebookblog.danitaminnis.com/?ci=22763

Are you working on another book?

Yes, the second novel in the Cardiff Family series. When I started writing Falcon’s Angel I had no idea Angel’s family was so complicated.

il Dragone, a devil-worshiping cult has been after her family for centuries. She has a mom with special powers, a dad who comes from an ancient Roman line of vampire hunters, and an uncle who…let’s just say he is contemplating becoming immortal for love.

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?

Oh, yes!

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted a title that would sum up what takes place in the story. I also did not want to give up the real identities of Falcon and Angel too soon which is part of the storyline!

Do you work on one project at a time or mulitples?

Multiple projects/people/scenes are always in the works. I handle the priority mostly but I’m always writing scenes, new characters down on the bedside notepad.

Is there one particular thing that you find challenging about writing?

Yes, finding enough time to write! I want to write all day, but the day job gets in the way. Family understands but they’re important and need me around. Fortunately, my characters won’t leave me alone and I find the time to complete scenes. I have a rule that when I sit down with my laptop to write I complete the scene. I don’t get up until I do.

Who is your favorite author?

It’s a tie! Anne Rice, Jude Deveraux, I really can’t choose.

What are you reading now?

I am reading Heartwishes by Jude Deveraux. Next on the list is The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice.

Are your characters a reflection on you or anyone you know?

My characters are personality types I find attractive. Complicated people draw me. That can be both good and bad!

Do you use more than one pen name? Why?

When I first started writing I was going to use the pen name Hallie Holland. I wanted to remain anonymous! I held onto that name for a while, long enough for me to be proud of my creative abilities. By the time I finished the book I knew I was using my real name.

What do you do to get in the mood to write?

Writing puts me in the mood to write! It’s an obsession and an addiction. My stories just won’t leave me alone.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

Creating the worlds my characters live in. I just love stepping into their lives.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you like to be and why?

An angel. I fantasize about waving my hand and making beautiful things happen to people.

How long have you been a writer?

Five years ago, Falcon’s Angel began with daydreams. Driving in my car on the way to work I would imagine a hot guy (i.e., a hunk of the first degree) being chased by a car. These dire imaginings went on for three weeks until I realized they were a part of Falcon’s story. I’ve been writing ever since.

How many books have you written? How many have been published?

So far, I have four books in various stages. Falcon’s Angel is published and the second book is just about ready for the editor. I’m halfway through writing the third book. My heroine in the fourth book is still introducing me to her potential love interests.

Do you have a favorite character from one of you own books? Who and Why?

I love them all but I would have to say Falcon and Angel are my favorites right now. I love their story and the door it opens up to the other Cardiff family secrets.

What is the easiest and hardest thing about writing?

The easiest thing about writing is creating the visual landscape of the scene. I love architecture, paintings and countries. All of these beautiful things I’ve encountered in my life make it into my stories.

Do you find love scenes difficult to write?

I never had a problem writing a hot scene. I’ve actually taken some scenes out of my book and salvaged them for other stories!

Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

Definitely, my music. I am a singer and my taste varies from contemporary rock, classic R&B to classical Baroque.

How long does it usually take you to write a book?

Building the framework of the novel may take several months. Once that’s done and I’m in my character’s zone, it’s another few months as long as the story’s outcome doesn’t change. My outcomes usually do change.

Do you set timelines when your writing or write when the feeling hits you?

I write all the time, that addiction I mentioned earlier. J

Do your characters talk to you?

Not only do they talk to me, they bring family to visit!

Who controls the storyline, you or your characters?

My characters write the story, that’s why the outcomes change. They always make me go back and change their lives.

What is your writing day like once you start a book?

I sit down with my laptop and get up only to eat and drink!

How many books do you write in a year?

I wrote both the first and second books in the Cardiff Family series simultaneously. I used each story to check and balance the other one since it’s a series.

Naples, Italy

Falcon stood in the shadowed courtyard of the Naples Conservatory.

She left the building right on schedule. She had arrived early and stopped by the panetteria to pick up breakfast. She preferred the sweet rolls. When she left the music school, it was near dark.

Her schedule of classes wasn’t that bad. It was the time she spent practicing alone in whatever unoccupied classroom she could find that kept her there all day. She was dedicated, and very beautiful.

She had bumped into him in the hall two days ago on her way to class, “Scusi, Signore.” He did not know which was more shocking; the sound of her rich contralto or those huge liquid gold eyes, a striking contrast to the midnight waterfall rippling down her back.

He had purposely stepped in her path that day to confront her about the Stradivarius she carried. When he got a better look at her, he smiled “Perdonami,” and let her pass. Her lithe form glided down the hall.

If this goddess is a thief, she won’t have to take anything from me. I’ll give her whatever she wants, and more.

Although he allowed her to see him just that once, he had been watching her ever since. He did not know her name yet, but he called her Angel. Her unusual eyes made her seem like a fairy. Her fluid grace only enhanced the impression of an ethereal wood sprite.

The warm breeze lifting her summer print skirt silenced those thoughts.

Damned if he was not holding his breath waiting for the end of those legs before the gentle curve of her hips.

She crossed the darkening piazza and her full breasts danced under the white camisole top, making his mouth water. She was on her way home now.

She was staying at the Casa di Città on Piazza Avellino and now so was he. The apartment, a few avenues away from the Conservatory, was in the cultural Greco-Roman district, where the buildings themselves looked like archaeological finds.

Falcon emerged from the cluster of fig trees in the courtyard. He stopped when a man exited a side door off the Conservatory. The man started walking behind Angel.

Turning toward the fountain in the courtyard, he gave the man a head start. He fell in step behind the man, who carried no books, no instrument. Is he a teacher, or a lover? No, not a lover. The man didn’t even call out to the girl. He did not know her.

Falcon strolled along, looking into shop windows he passed. The man ignored a streetlight, but Falcon stopped, making sure no one followed him. With an idle shift from side to side, he waited for a car to cross the intersection.

Across the street, a teenager sat on the steps of a closed shop. He’d been there for the last few days. The car stopped at the curb in front of the teenager.

Someone should pick him up.

He would not jeopardize his cover for drug trafficking. He would leave that to the local polizia.

The light changed and Falcon crossed the street, satisfied that the man following Angel was alone.

They were walking through the ancient Roman marketplace, which was deserted now. When the girl got closer to the church built on the site of an old temple, the man began to close the distance between them.

Falcon shook his head as she reached the church corner. She never noticed the man who was just a few feet behind her now. When the man pushed her into the gloom around the church corner, they were lost from his sight. The girl screamed.

Sprinting, he rounded the corner. About ten feet away, the man was trying to wrestle the violin case from her against the wall.

Falcon pulled out his gun and aimed. “Let her go.”

The man turned toward him, and the girl pulled at his ear. The man bent, holding his stomach. He made an inarticulate sound before running away along the side of the building into the darkness.

Falcon darted past the girl and followed the man into the shadows.

What the hell?

Something flitted overhead, darker than the darkness in which he now stood alone. He pointed the Glock upward even as a figure walked up the side of the building. It looked like a black cloud but more solid than it should be.

Before he could get off a shot, the darkness disappeared over the side of the roof.

Staring at the dead end in front of him, Falcon put his gun away. No doors or windows on either side.

Where is the guy?

Must be a hidden door somewhere, he’d check it out later.

Falcon turned back toward the girl. Beyond her, across the street, the man he had been chasing got into a car.

“No way,” he murmured as the car sped off. No way could the man have gotten past him in the alley.

The girl had both arms wrapped around the violin case in front of her. She was leaning against the church wall, crying.

A street lamp flickered on above them, belatedly bathing the passage in revealing light. She did not seem to realize that he was there.

“Did he hurt you, Signorina?”

She looked up. He lifted his gaze from her heaving chest.

“Grazie,” she whispered, wiping her face with the back of her hand. She shook her head. “I am fine.”

“You should not be walking alone at night.” The harsh reprimand in his voice surprised him. She was very young. Her tears wrought such vulnerability that he softened his tone when he came to stand in front of her. “Do you know that man?”

“No, I have never seen him before. But … he knew me.”

“What did he say to you?”

She looked down at the violin.

He stared at her until she looked up. Ah, she had just found her story. It was in her eyes, and it was not the truth. The fear in her eyes told him that story would never change.

“He didn’t say anything, but the way he looked at me…”

Her chest heaved again. He almost smiled; she was having a hard time with this lie.

She stared at him. “You are from the Conservatory. I saw you the other day.”

“Antonio Russo, Tony to my friends.” She did not hesitate to shake his hand, and he did smile then. She might be lying to him but at least she did not see him as a threat. She continued to stare at him. She must want more. “I’m taking classes at the Conservatory,” he added. “I play piano.”

“Oh yes, I’ve seen you in Signor Gattano’s class.”

He had signed up for the class because it was right next door to hers. So, she had noticed him, too. He smiled wider.

“Signorina, I could call you Bella, but that would not satisfy my curiosity.”

She lowered her eyelashes over cheeks flushed the color of the terracotta tiles on his mother’s sunlit patio in Tuscany. She tanned well for one so light. He almost lifted his hand to touch her cheek. There would be little satisfaction in knowing her name now that her skin was singing a siren’s song to him.

“My name is Angelina Natale.”

“Ah. You are an angel, after all. I have not seen you around here for very long. Did you just fall from heaven?”

He watched her full lips while the sound of earthy laughter, though shaky, amped up the adrenaline coursing through his veins. A vision of her lying naked beneath him, her golden eyes glazed in passion, teased him.

“I am from England. I’m here for the symphony.” Her Italian was excellent.

“Angelina Natale, I would be honored if you would let me escort you home.”

She put the violin case under one arm. “I would like that.”

There was blood on her closed fist.

“Are you hurt?” He moved closer.

She moved her hand behind the folds of her skirt and backed into the wall.

He waited, leaning his hand against the wall above her head, inhaling her perfume. A beguiling combination of … amber, apples and musk. The scent suited her, organic, delicious. He wanted to lift her skirt right now and take her against this wall, those long legs wrapped around him.

Angelina examined the buttons on his shirt that were in such close proximity. Stepping away from him would be cowardly, and he would guess she was made of sterner stuff. When she looked up it was with the defiance he expected from a cornered tigress.

He held her gaze, reaching behind to bring her fist out from the folds of her skirt.

The bloody gold in the center of her palm was a heavy medium-sized loop engraved with a stylized dragon. She had pulled it from the man’s ear and he had not made a sound.

“A memento?” He whispered in English close to her lips.

“I don’t want it. You can have it,” she answered in her native tongue. Now, that was the truth. Her British accent was tinged with a weary sadness. He wanted to pick her up against his chest and carry her home.

She had courage. Even while his mind worked to figure out what her role was in the mystery of the Stradivarius, he admired that.

He couldn’t leave her alone now. Not on a street where men escaped him when cornered in an alley and black clouds slid up church walls.

“Are you hungry?” Their lips were inches apart and he wanted to kiss her, but that would have to come later.

“I forgot about lunch. I had caffe at four. I’m starving,” the beautiful tigress admitted.

 

 

 

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