She looks so darn innocent too. I mean, look at the author pic down there. Does that look like the face of a woman who writes – hushed tones – gay demonic sex? But she is. And I for one am delighted about that fall from grace, and even more delighted to host Asta here today and tell you more about her latest releases, a short story 21st Century Demon and the accompanying novella, Hell to Pay, both wrapped into a single book called Souls for Sale.
And what’s more, a book with possibly the most gorgeous cover I’ve ever seen. So many m/m romance covers are much of a muchness, so alike that I can barely tell one from another. But this cover? Stunning. Beautiful. Evocative.
Hell To Pay
The 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?
Souls For Sale
Wayward Ink Publishing
Published: 5 February 2016
MM PNR Short Story & Novella
139 pages (PDF)
21st Century Demon
It’s a bold move so early in the conversation. I couldn’t have made it more obvious if I’d had a flashing neon sign above my head. But I find I’m starting to enjoy myself. He’s a bit of a nerd, but the guy has looks, and I’m as partial to a pretty face as any man. Given my nature, I’m pretty gender fluid. Girls or guys, I’ll swing either way.
My plan had been to seduce him as myself—get his juices flowing and all that jazz—and then I’d offer him the waiter to sweeten (and hopefully seal) the deal on the contract. Now I’m beginning to change my mind. Why not set myself a little challenge and make myself the main reward?
Yep, if he signs on the dotted line, he gets one night of unbridled passion with yours truly. Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but it’d be a much better deal for the guy. I’m fairly certain the waiter’s straight, for one thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s feeling up that waitress out back even as we speak. For another… well, let’s just say no one, male or female, has every finished a night with me feeling in any way… unsatisfied, if you get my meaning. I’ve got the moves, baby. Austin Powers, Don Juan, Casanova. They have nothing on me.
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.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re rolling your eyes at that corny old Star Wars line. Well, roll away. I may be a twenty-first-century demon, in touch with my yin and yang and all that jazz, but I’m still a bloke, and that “l” word comes kinda hard. Sweet Tom has no problem with it, sure, but he’s a sensitive, artistic type—it’s easier for them. As for us demons…. Look, can you keep a secret? Don’t tell this to the boy; don’t hurt him. Do you promise? Thing is, I’d always been told we couldn’t love— demons, I mean—that it was impossible, we weren’t built that way. All these years I believed it… and maybe I still do.
I mean, this thing I’m feeling, what if it’s not love? I don’t know what else you’d call it, but it’s gotta be a mistake, right? A demon falling in love at all, let alone with a mortal—how could that happen? Whether you believe in fate or free will, someone somewhere has made a huge cock-up. That’s what I can’t help but think when I look into those breathtaking blue eyes of his. Every time I kiss him, every time I lie with him—I mean that in the Biblical sense; I don’t always feel the need to be crude—I wonder, “Is this the last time? When the moment ends, will I blink and wake up to find this unnameable feeling gone?”
Asta Idonea is the MM pen name of Nicki J. Markus. She 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.