Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Angel's Assassin by Laurel O'Donnell

Angel's AssassinDamien is an assassin, a man with no home and a tortured past. Sold into slavery as a young boy, he is trained to kill with cold calculation, without remorse. As a reward for his ruthless success, he is given a chance to earn his freedom from his cruel master. One last mission. One final person to slay…

Lady Aurora of Acquitaine is the epitome of purity and goodness, beloved by all her people. She lives her life trying to atone for her mother’s cruelty by being a fair and just ruler. Secretly she fears that one day her mother’s murderer will return for her.

When Damien enters Aurora’s life, tempting her with promises of dark passion and forbidden lust, he threatens to tear her peaceful world apart with shadowy secrets of his own.

Can Aurora’s light heal Damien’s dark spirit or will his evil consume her? The eternal battle of good versus evil, love versus hate, dark versus light, all come to a shattering climax in this historical romance set in medieval England

Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

Laurel O’Donnell has won numerous awards for her works, including the Holt Medallion for A Knight of Honor, the Happily Ever After contest for Angel’s Assassin, and the Indiana’s Golden Opportunity contest for Immortal Death. The Angel and the Prince was nominated by the Romance Writers of America for their prestigious Golden Heart award. O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her four cherished children, her beloved husband and her five cats. She finds precious time every day to escape into the medieval world and bring her characters to life in her writing.
For a more detailed biography, downloadable author photos, a question and answer session with Laurel O’Donnell, and other informational items, please visit the media kits page.
Take a look at Laurel’s feed on Feedburner to stay up-to-date on all the latest book news, First Kiss Friday guest authors and more.  You can subscribe or unsubscribe any time you want from there.
Guest Post:

A Little Bit of Me

Each of my characters is alive.  I can say that because they live in me.  When I create my characters, I give them life.  Kind of like Frankenstein, I know.  But think about it.  I form them, hair color, eye color, build.  I give them a name.  Like a child.  But unlike a child, I give them their personality, their likes, their hates, their fears.  I give them a background.  Where did they come from?  What formed their personalities?

So, yes, I create them, but there is more to it then that.  I give them a part of me. 

Each character that I create is born from me.  My background, my emotions.  When I look back at the books I have written, I don’t think I could write the exact same book again.  Because I am at a different point in my life.  For example, when I wrote Champion of the Heart, my children were young.  I knew how much they needed me and how much they depended on me.  I wrote that part of me into the story.  Now, I couldn’t write that book.  My children are older and more self sufficient.

When I create a character, I feel what they feel.  Love, hate, anguish.  The horror of that dark moment, I live it as do they, as (I hope) do my readers.  If I don’t connect to my characters, how can I hope my readers will?  If I don’t cry during a story, how can I hope my readers will? 

If my characters are not real to me, how can I hope that my readers will cheer for them?  I take a little bit of me and put it into each one of my characters.  I hope that you feel the story and characters as much as I have!  Enjoy!


Angel’s Assassin Excerpt –

Aurora climbed to her feet.
“Where is my sword?” Damien demanded, searching the forest floor.  He could not look at her.
“Here.”  It had been hidden beneath the flare of her dress when she was lying down.
Damien nodded in satisfaction.  He picked it up, pausing as he looked into her eyes.  They sparkled a pale blue in the moonlight.
Aurora stared at him for a long, pensive moment.  Then, she dipped her head in thought.  The furrows of her brow deepened as her gaze stopped at his thigh, lingering on his wound.  “How do you feel?” she asked.
“Well enough to see you back to your castle.”  He sheathed his weapon and took a step toward Acquitaine.
“Damien,” she called.
He hesitated.  He didn’t want her to fear him.  Would she condemn him now for his violence?  The silence stretched.  Finally, he turned to her and his breath caught in his throat.
She stood in middle of the forest, bathed in a pool of moonlight.  Her blonde hair, loose from any constraints, fell to her waist in thick waves.  Her back was straight, her tiny body alluring and curvy and delectable.  But it was her eyes that captured his attention.  He saw no fear in her eyes.  It was concern.  Had he mistaken fear for concern?
Damien had never felt such an overwhelming need for anything in his life.  He trembled with his want of her.
A swirl of emotions played over her face.  Concern, regret, helplessness.
It took all Damien’s willpower not to go to her and sweep her into his embrace.  He didn’t want to scare her.  He didn’t want to harm her.  He didn’t want to taint her.
“I will never leave you,” she finally confessed and tears entered her eyes.
Damien came toward her then, like a tumultuous storm cloud.  “You don’t know what you are saying,” he warned in a savage whisper.
Aurora did not run for cover; she did not shrink from his approach.  She stared up into his face with those damned clear orbs.  And for the briefest of moments, Damien saw himself reflected as she saw him.  A hero, a good man.  A man worthy of all he could attain.
He stood before her, stunned.
The sound of horses thundering through the clearing pounded a warning through the ground.
Damien grabbed Aurora’s hand in one hand, and drew his sword in the other.  He watched the group of men approach through the forest, clumsily maneuvering their steeds through the tight trees.  He pulled Aurora behind him.
These men were no brigands.  They wore heraldry, and while Damien couldn’t be sure, he suspected they were from Acquitaine.
As they drew closer, his suspicions were confirmed.  One of them called out, “Lady Aurora!”
Damien refused to relinquish her.  For just one moment, she had been his.  And it had been the most glorious moment of his life.
“Lady Aurora!” another called.
His time alone with her was over.
“I am here,” Aurora called out, a reluctance in her tone.
Four men came forward, three of whom wore red tunics with a white dove embroidered onto it, the symbol of Acquitaine.  But the leader wore a different crest.  A black lion on a white background.  He reached them first, reining his horse to a stop before them.  His blonde hair waved gently in the breeze.  His dark eyes swept them.  “Lady Aurora,” he gasped, dismounting.  He brushed his blonde hair aside and knelt before her.  Practiced, polished.  Fake.
Damien hated him on sight.
Aurora stiffened.  She released Damien’s hand and stepped toward the knight.  “Count Ormand,” she greeted.
Ormand stood and his gaze shifted to Damien with just the right disdainful curl of his lip, then back to Aurora.  “I came to rescue you as soon as I heard an attempt was made on your life.  Imagine my surprise at finding you gone.”
“We were attacked by an assassin.  Damien was struck by a poison arrow.”
One of Ormand’s eyebrows rose.  “Another assassin?”  He looked at Damien, then back at Aurora.  “Were you hurt, m’lady?”
“No,” she said.  “Damien saved me.  Again.”
Ormand looked at Damien.  “This must be the amazing Damien.”
Aurora nodded.  “Ormand, this is Damien.  Damien, this is Count Ormand.”
“I am Aurora’s betrothed,” Ormand stated with a slight lifting of his chin so he could stare down at Damien.
Betrothed.  The word rang in Damien’s head like a thunderous bell and his teeth clenched.  Betrothed.  Betrothed.  What did it matter?  But the word did not stop clanging in his thoughts.  Betrothed.
Ormand’s pompous stare swept Damien suspiciously from head to foot.  “Why is he half naked?  And what in heaven’s name were you doing out in the forest knowing that your life is in danger?”

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  1. Hi Donna -
    Thanks for allowing me to give you and your readers a sneak peek at myself and my medieval romance, Angel's Assassin!


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