Guest Post (A Series of Very Fortunate Events) & Giveaway - Lost Wages of Sin (Sinners and Saints, Book 1) by Rosalie Stanton
Wages of Sin
and Saints, Book
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Totally Bound
Date of Publication: June 13,
Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 91k
Working for Lucifer is the best
job in the universe, until the day it’s not. Then you’re on your own, with Hell
at your heels.
Ava, Sin of Greed, has had a
rough week. The angel she planned to make a life with left her with nothing but
a Dear Jane letter. Even worse, Lucifer believes she spilled Hell’s secrets to
her ex, and her boss’s temper is notoriously apocalyptic.
For centuries, Dante kept his
feelings for Ava under lock-and-key. The one time he pursued something more, he
nearly lost her for good. Lesson learned. However, when he hears of her planned
elopement, all bets are off. Not having Ava was a reality he could accept.
Losing her to an angel is something else entirely.
Now, Ava, once Hell’s golden
child, is fleeing for her life. When her old friend Dante shows up, her first
instinct is to send him packing. But Dante is more than a friend—he’s the only
other man who tempted her, and his fierce loyalty challenges everything she
thought she knew about him. As Ava prepares to battle the devil himself, she
can’t keep from getting closer to Dante…though she doubts her heart can survive
Someone thumped her on the
shoulder and sent her spiraling out of her thoughts. A jolt rushed through her
body and everything went on autopilot. Ava jumped to her feet, formed a fist,
and landed a blind punch in less than three seconds. It took another ten
seconds for her scattered mind to piece together what had just occurred, and by
then she was staring into an all-too familiar pair of crystal blue eyes.
Ava blinked. Hard. “Dante?”
“Fucking hell,” he cursed,
cradling his nose and scowling at her. “What’d you do that for?”
“What the hell were you sneaking
up on me for?”
“I didn’t sneak!”
Ava looked around, then waved a
hand. “This is a graveyard, Dante. In the middle of the night in Nowheresville.
You don’t just…I dunno, touch someone. You let someone know you’re there.”
“And here I thought getting your
attention would do that just fine.”
“Not like that!”
“Next time I’ll read the fucking
rule book.” Dante dropped his hands and sniffed. A small fleck of blood colored
the space between his nose and lips, but other than looking a little swollen,
he seemed otherwise undamaged. “If this is the way you greet your friends, it’s
no small wonder the whole of Hades is after your sorry ass.”
Ava’s shoulders dropped and she rolled her
head back, a long groan riding off her lips. “You know about that?”
“What other reason would I have
to be… Where the fuck are we?”
Dante offered a dramatic sigh,
though something in his eyes told her he’d only asked for show. Even at his
drunkest, he wasn’t the sort to forget what state he was in.
“Mississippi,” he muttered. “So
that’s what that smell is.”
On the other hand… Ava
straightened her spine and arched an eyebrow at him. “So…what? You come out
here to make fun of the locals?”
“No,” he replied coolly, wiping
the stray speck of blood off his otherwise pale, pristine skin. “I came here
Everything in her stilled. Though
she’d heard him the first time, the words had a way of really sinking in upon
repetition. As though it took a time delay for her to realize there was no
reason aside from her current problem that Dante should be out here with her—or
here at all. He wasn’t the sort of guy to crash in antebellum tourist traps.
“You came here for me,” she
He shrugged a shoulder, his face
blanking the way it did when he wanted to appear blasé. “Why not?”
“Thought you could use a friend.”
Ava stared at him a moment
longer, then sighed heavily and tore her gaze to the ground. Yeah, she supposed
she could use a friend. Or a whole army of them. And though Dante wasn’t the
first person she would have called, she couldn’t deny she was happy to see him.
Not that his presence answered
her questions. If anything, he added to the pile.
“I take it Merle gave you the
message,” she murmured. “About…”
“The angel?” One perfect eyebrow
arched. Actually, there wasn’t much about Dante that wasn’t perfect.
Physically, at least. One of his most annoying qualities also happened to be
his most prized. There was nothing worse than a man who knew just how damn good
Truly, Dante had always seemed a
bit too perfect when it came to the male form. He was only a few inches taller
than she and had a body built for debauchery, complete with strong arms and a
marble-carved chest. Tonight, he was wrapped in a snug pair of jeans and a
form-fitting long-sleeved navy tee, which made his pale skin seem paler. His
hair was coal black and his eyes sparkled blue. Ava had always loved his eyes.
And thinking about his perfect
eyes right now on the cusp of a broken heart while all of Hell nipped her heels
was probably the last in a very long line of bad ideas. At once she felt
overtly vulnerable, exposed. Standing in a strange town under strange
circumstances with him, her oldest friend, seeming one part savior and one
Nothing in her world made sense
right now. Dante had just muddied things up even more.
“Yeah,” she said when she remembered
to speak. “The angel. Merle told you.”
Dante nodded solemnly. “That was
the plan, right?”
Ava released a shaky breath, her
mind spinning so fast it was a small wonder she remained standing. Looking at
Dante now with everything that had happened in the past week still heavy on her
heart, with the uncertainty of her future, took her suddenly oddly-shaped world
and turned it on its head. She felt like she was living in the funhouse mirror
version of her reality. Sebastian, then the Binsfeld Six, and now her vampire.
At some point she had to wake up.
“What are you doing here?” she
asked again. “Do you have any idea what’s going on?”
“Not much,” he admitted, stepping
There was something guarded in
his gaze, and so help her if she started analyzing every little look from
Dante, she would lose her mind. Trying to figure out what he was doing here was
He nodded. “Just that you were
out here. And you could use a friend.”
This admission did little to
answer her questions. Her friendship with Dante was not a secret, by any means,
yet she couldn’t speculate as to why anyone right now would decide to throw her
a lifeline. Being alone certainly hadn’t done much for her…yet there was a good
reason she hadn’t gone to Dante in the first place.
Dante was the kind of friend who
was there for the good times and gone for the bad. At least in her experience.
If he had any idea what was really going on, he’d make tracks. The large,
But Dante didn’t know. Hell, he
didn’t even know what she was. His knowledge beyond his own kind was rather
limited, and while his experience with others of Lilith’s children left him
with a relatively grounded understanding of how the world worked, certain
things—like Hell and all its residents—remained more or less relegated to the
realm of other. He was aware Hell existed, sure, and had figured her for a
demon early in their relationship, but otherwise boasted little knowledge of
Lucifer or the pit beyond what was assumed through myth.
Seven centuries and he had no
idea she was part of that myth. She’d never mentioned it, and he likely hadn’t
thought to ask. His perception of her role had been established on the legs of
their meeting, which, as it was, had been entirely accidental. It just so
happened she didn’t like watching anyone, demon or otherwise, suffer at the
hands of holy men, and in saving Dante’s life all those years ago, she’d earned
a permanent ally.
Well, until now. Her own brand of
permanence was about to run out, and of course Dante wouldn’t know why. If she
explained the significance of what had occurred with Sebastian, and how limited
her future was, he would be gone. She wouldn’t know to miss him.
Still, she owed him explanations.
Dante was the one loose end she had—the only one who wouldn’t know why she was
gone when Lucifer finally came to collect her life. Her siblings knew what was
coming. Dante was the last person to whom to pay her regards.
Perhaps that was why someone had
sent him to her. So she could do right by her one earthly friend and say
“I could,” Ava admitted softly.
“Use a friend. I’m glad you’re here.”
A shadow crossed Dante’s face.
“That’s not good.”
She frowned. “What? That I’m glad
“Yeah. You’re never glad I’m near
these days.” He laughed shortly. “You must really be into some deep shit.”
“You have no idea.”
“All this over an angel.”
The corner of Ava’s mouth pulled
into a grin, and for a moment she felt somewhat like her old self. “More or
“An angel, Ava. For fuck’s sake,
what happened to your dignity?”
“Where were you three weeks ago?”
“I dunno, but if I’d known you
were gonna be falling for one of those winged assholes, you’d better believe
I’d have dropped everything to beat some sense into you.”
She snickered. “Like you could
“You never give me the chance to
try,” he retorted, his eyes gleaming.
“Your ego is too fragile to
handle getting your ass handed to you by a girl.”
“So you’ve told me. And told me.
And told me. You know what they say about words and actions, don’t you, love?”
A small thrill raced down her
spine, her insides igniting with heat and a rush of good old-fashioned
nostalgia. “Wanna grab a beer?” she asked. “Or, you know, a burger? I don’t
think I’ve eaten in a week.” She paused, then waved at him. “You can consider
it the last meal of a condemned man.”
“‘Cause you’re gonna kick my ass,
“That’s the plan.”
Dante grinned ear-to-ear.
“Thought you’d never ask.”
Rosalie Stanton is a
multi-published erotic romance author, with emphasis in paranormal and urban
fantasy. A lifelong enthusiast of larger than life characters, Rosalie enjoys
building worlds filled with strong heroes and heroines of all backgrounds.
Rosalie lives in Missouri with
her husband. At an early age, she discovered a talent for creating worlds,
which evolved into a love of words and storytelling. Rosalie graduated with a
degree in English. As the granddaughter of an evangelical minister, Rosalie
applied herself equally in school in the creative writing and religious studies
departments, which had an interesting impact on her writing. When her attention
is not engaged by writing or editing, she enjoys spending time with close
friends and family.
Rosalie is represented by Tish
Beaty at the L. Perkins Agency
funny how some worlds can grab you and demand a return visit, whereas others
you can leave at will. Prior to writing Lost
Wages of Sin, I had no experience writing series books. In fact, aside from
my one smaller and somewhat stalled series at Ellora’s Cave, Sinners &
Saints is my one and only “living” world. Meaning the canon is still open and
can definitely see myself being a series author beyond Sinners & Saints.
Nowadays it’s hard to find single-title books that aren’t a part of an author’s
larger universe, and as an author, I can see why. Once you develop a world,
establish its rules, and introduce a cast of characters, the thought of leaving
them behind is incredibly bittersweet. That being said, I never set out to
write a series. I hadn’t discarded the possibility, by any means, but it wasn’t
on my list. In fact, I didn’t realize until I met my heroine’s sister, Luxi—and
lead in the next book—that this was a world complicated enough to necessitate a
second, third, and fourth installment. And then a sixth, seventh, and eighth.
Yes, eight books planned. Ho boy.
think this is one of the main reasons I needed to revisit Lost Wages of Sin after the terms of the initial publication
agreement expired. When you don’t realize you have a series book on your hands
until halfway through the first installment, things you though were throwaway
lines or details become incredibly important for the sake of continuity.
Established rules within the world have to be followed not just until the end
of the book, but continually recognized until they become gospel. I am a heavy
plotter, yes, but I have just enough of a pantser in me to get into trouble if
I don’t think certain things through before they come up in the story.
Something like where exactly the
souls of the damned are housed in Hell goes from being a minor detail to
critically important between installments.
it makes sense that I would fall into a world like this and not want to be
rescued. I spent almost a decade in the Buffy
fandom, nearly ten years playing within one world, crafting stories with
the same set of rules—more or less. If those rules were broken, there was a
reason addressed by the context of the narrative. My first few years out of
fandom were spent searching for my voice. I hadn’t written original fiction in
ages, and finding your own world after spending so much times in others’ can be
Sinners & Saints world became my personal haven. I see it as my ultimate
canon, where each of my non-series stories fit in their own way. Somewhat like
Stephen King’s The Dark Tower—his
ultraverse in which the entire library of King canon lives. Even if I’m the
only one who enjoys it, my world is that for me. I’ve already written and plan
to write more non-series, same-universe books. These are the rules I know and
love, and as long as I’m having fun, I’m doing my job as a writer. As an
author—she who presumably gets paid for her brainchildren—I hope the readers
share my enthusiasm.
5 e-copy giveaways of Lost Wages
of Sin and 1 $50 Amazon Gift Card