Release Date: February 5th, 2016
Hell To Pay SynopsisThe contract was destroyed and Tom’s soul saved from Hell.
Or so they thought.
Demon deal-maker, Saul, and his mortal lover, Thomas Ives, find themselves on the run when the other demons take none too kindly to Saul’s bending of the rules. With the denizens of Hell on their heels, Saul and Tom must fight to stay one step ahead, knowing that if they’re caught there’s only one direction they’re headed: down.
When Heaven decides to get involved, Saul’s actions are no longer a mere bureaucratic misdemeanour but the basis of a factional confrontation. And now only one question remains: to whom does Tom’s soul truly belong?
21st Century Demon SynopsisIt should have been an easy job: a contract signed and a new soul earmarked for Hell. But when suave demon deal-maker Saul chooses nerdy Thomas Ives as his next target, events take an unexpected turn. The lines between business transaction and pleasure blur, and Saul must decide whether he cares more for his professional reputation or the soul he just condemned to eternal damnation.
Souls For Sale Excerpt
BY HELL, IT’S you! Do you have any idea how close you just came to a fiery death? Not sure how you found me, but since you’re here, I guess you’d better come in. Quickly, quickly. And shut the door behind you. Sorry for the abrupt greeting… actually, no, I’m not. If you had any idea what the sweet boy and I have been through these past few months you’d know better than to sneak up on us. It’s not easy being on the run. Sure, it looks exciting in all the films—action, adventure, amorous assignations—but I can tell you now that’s all a crock of shit. Well, maybe not the amorous assignations—we do have our fair share of those and no denying it—but the rest of it…. In reality, a life on the run is tiring, dirty, and not the least bit soppily romantic—the boy and I are no Bonnie and Clyde. And perhaps we should be grateful for that.
We’ve been holed up in this nondescript—or do I mean derelict?—hotel for three days now, and neither of us has set so much as a single foot outside since we checked in. We order takeaway or room service when we need to eat, and the sign perpetually hanging from the door handle is clear for all to read: Do Not Disturb. (Though obviously you chose to ignore that simple instruction, so maybe that piece of cardboard isn’t as effective as it’s cracked up to be.) Soon we’ll have to move on again. The grace period seems to be five days. Any longer than that and we risk being picked up. The first place we went to we stayed for a week, and on the evening of the seventh day—ironic, I know—the big boss sent us a visitor in the guise of a pizza delivery boy. It got pretty ugly. I mean, I could all but feel the flames kissing the soles of my feet as we high-tailed it out of there.
21st Century Demon Excerpt
The waiter returns and sets two plates in front of us. The opulent dessert is simply oozing chocolate. Like most demons, I have a terrible sweet tooth and so I dig right in. I’m probably shovelling the cake down faster than would be deemed suitable for polite society. But to hell with that! Within seconds I’m scraping the last vestiges onto my cake fork and licking hard to clean off every last morsel.
I can feel Tom’s gaze on me so I make the most of it and elaborate the movement. I work that fork in and out of my mouth like I can’t get enough, sucking hard. I conclude the display with a satisfied sigh; then I set the much-abused item of cutlery back on the plate.
When I glance up, Tom is stock still. He was obviously about to take a bite when I began my show because his fork has come to a halt about an inch away from his mouth. His elbow is locked in place, and his (frankly quite perfect) lips are parted, jaw frozen open.
Who’d have ever guessed it would come to this? Well, you were there that day; you know what I mean. It was supposed to be a simple mark, a deal no different from any other. When I singled him out, I planned on getting a signature for his soul, making good on my end of the bargain, and then moving swiftly along. How was I to know the strange effect that beautiful, innocent nerd in the Marvel T-shirt was going to have on me?
The story of the demon Saul and mortal Tom beginning with Souls For Sale and ending with 21st Century Demon, is one of the most interesting stories I've ever read. Told in the first person vernacular by the two main characters and the supporting character, the story is totally what I had not expected. You'll have to read the stories to find out what I mean by that. It's an excellent read, and quite compelling and you find your self rooting for Saul and Tom as they face a situation that could very well cost time their lives.
Would I read these two books again? Absolutely! Would I recommend them? Without a moment's hesitation.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5 and place it on the absolutely must read list.
About the author
NICKI J. MARKUS was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her works, including the novella Time Keepers and the fantasy novel The Ragnarök Chronicles.
Nicki also writes M/M fiction under the alternate pen name of ASTA IDONEA and has had several short stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing. She is currently working on her first M/M novella.
Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, and cross stitch. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.