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Excerpt and Giveaway: Angleology by Danielle Trussoni...

March 1, 2010
Boy oh boy, do I have something for you today! Danielle Trussoni, March's FEATURED AUTHOR, has a new book being released on March 9th. Read on for an excerpt and a giveaway!

FTC Disclosure: I am an IndieBound and Amazon affiliate, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover or the links provided may result in monetary compensation.

About the book:
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.
Genesis 6:5

Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.

Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.
Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. Copyright © 2010 by Danielle Trussoni

Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, New York City

Percival Grigori tapped the tip of his cane as he waited for the elevator, a rhythm of sharp metallic clicks pounding out the seconds. The oak-paneled lobby of his building—an exclusive prewar with views of Central Park—was so familiar that he hardly noticed it any longer. The Grigori family had occupied the penthouse for over half a century. Once he might have registered the deference of the doorman, the opulent arrangement of orchids in the foyer, the polished ebony and mother-of-pearl elevator casement, the fire sending a spray of light and warmth across the marble floor. But Percival Grigori noticed nothing at all except the pain crackling through his joints, the popping of his knees with each step. As the doors of the elevator slid open and he hobbled inside, he regarded his stooped image in the polished brass of the elevator car and looked quickly away.

At the thirteenth floor, he stepped into a marble vestibule and unlocked the door to the Grigori apartment. Instantly the soothing elements of his private life—part antique, part modern, part gleaming wood, part sparkling glass—filled his senses, relaxing the tension in his shoulders. He threw his keys onto a silk pillow at the bottom of a Chinese porcelain bowl, shrugged his heavy cashmere overcoat into the lap of an upholstered banister-back chair, and walked through the travertine gallery. Vast rooms opened before him—a sitting room, a library, a dining hall with a four-tiered Venetian chandelier suspended overhead. An expanse of picture windows staged the chaotic ballet of a snowstorm.

At the far end of the apartment, the curve of a grand staircase led to his mother’s suite of rooms. Peering up, Percival discerned a party of her friends gathered in the formal sitting room. Guests came to the apartment for lunch or dinner nearly every day, impromptu gatherings that allowed his mother to hold court for her favorite friends from the neighborhood. It was a ritual she had grown more and more accustomed to, primarily because of the power it gave her: She selected those people she wished to see, enclosed them in the dark-paneled lair of her private quarters, and let the rest of the world go on with its tedium and misery. For years she had left her suite only on rare occasions, when accompanied by Percival or his sister, and only at night. His mother had grown so comfortable with the arrangement, and her circle had become so regular, that she rarely complained of her confinement.

Quietly, so as not to draw attention to himself, Percival ducked into a bathroom at the end of the hallway, shut the door softly behind him, and locked it. In a succession of quick movements, he discarded a tailored wool jacket and a silk tie, dropping each piece of clothing onto the ceramic tiles. Fingers trembling, he unbuttoned six pearlescent buttons, working upward to his throat. He peeled away his shirt and stood to full height before a large mirror hung upon the wall.

Running his fingers over his chest, he felt a mélange of leather strips weaving one over the other. The device wrapped about him like an elaborate harness, creating a system of stays that, when fully fastened, had the overall appearance of a black corset. The straps were so taut they cut into his skin. Somehow, no matter how he fastened it, the leather cinched too tightly. Struggling for air, Percival loosened one strap, then the next, working the leather through small silver buckles with deliberation until, with a final tug, the device fell to the floor, the leather slapping the tiles.

His bare chest was smooth, without navel or nipples, the skin so white as to appear cut from wax. Swiveling his shoulder blades, he could see the reflection of his body in the mirror—his shoulders, his long thin arms, and the sculpted curve of his torso. Mounted at the center of his spine, matted by sweat, deformed by the severe pressure of the harness, were two tender nubs of bone. With a mixture of wonder and pain, he noted that his wings—once full and strong and bowed like golden scimitars—had all but disintegrated. The remnants of his wings were black with disease, the feathers withered, the bones atrophied. In the middle of his back, two open wounds, blue and raw from chafing, fixed the blackened bones in a gelatinous pool of congealed blood. Bandages, repeated cleanings—no amount of care helped to heal the wounds or relieve his pain. Yet he understood that the true agony would come when there was nothing left of his wings. All that had distinguished him, all that the others had envied, would be gone.

The first symptoms of the disorder had appeared ten years before, when fine tracks of mildew materialized along the inner shafts and vanes of the feathers, a phosphorescent green fungus that grew like patina on copper. He had thought it a mere infection. He’d had his wings cleaned and groomed, specifying that each feather be brushed with oils, and yet the pestilence remained. Within months his wingspan had decreased by half. The dusty golden shimmer of healthy wings faded. Once, he had been able to compress his wings with ease, folding his majestic plumage smoothly against his back. The airy mass of golden feathers had tucked into the arched grooves along his spine, a maneuver that rendered the wings completely undetectable.

Although physical in substance, the structure of healthy wings gave them the visual properties of a hologram. Like the bodies of the angels themselves, his wings had been substantial objects utterly unimpaired by the laws of matter. Percival had been able to lift his wings through thick layers of clothing as easily as if he had moved them through air.

Now he found that he could no longer retract them at all, and so they were a perpetual presence, a reminder of his diminishment. Pain overwhelmed him; he lost all capability for flight. Alarmed, his family had brought in specialists, who confirmed what the Grigori family most feared: Percival had contracted a degenerative disorder that had been spreading through their community. Doctors predicted that his wings would die, then his muscles. He would be confined to a wheelchair, and then, when his wings had withered completely and their roots had melted away, Percival would die. Years of treatments had slowed the progression of the disease but had not stopped it.

Percival turned on the faucet and splashed cool water over his face, trying to dissipate the fever that had overtaken him. The harness helped him to keep his spine erect, an increasingly difficult task as his muscles grew weak. In the months since it had become necessary to wear the harness, the pain had only grown more acute. He never quite got used to the bite of leather on his skin, the buckles as sharp as pins against his body, the burning sensation of ripped flesh. Many of their kind chose to live away from the world when they became ill. This was a fate Percival could not begin to accept.

Well. Has your appetite been whetted? Want the book? Of course you do! Well then. Thanks to Viking/Penguin, I have one copy for you. This one is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY, so don't tarry! As usual, giveaways are for followers only. To enter, fill out the form, AND tell me what you like (or don't) about angels, in the comments! Do it all before 6:00 CST March 30th! Good luck!


Benita said...

I believe in angels. I love the feeling of being protected by angels.


Simply Stacie said...

I believe in Angels and actually have done Angel readings before. I always call my Angels and Archangels when I need help.

Sweet Vernal Zephyr said...

I like that angels are benevolent and a silent watcher, comforter, guider... you are not alone

Miss Haley said...

wow, i absolutely must read this book!

as far as angels, the Bible says that Angels are warriors and protectors. My mom and dad have both seen them. Mom was riding, as a kid, in the back of her car. it looked like it was carved out of cloud, but the details were so perfect that she knew it was real. Dad and his best friend were stuck in the mountains with bloody fingers and ice and no food. This angel came and helped them cross the gorge.

Angels are awesome in the literal sense of the word.

but i like fictional angels too :) my fave. fallen angel is, of course, Patch :D *swoons*

Martha Lawson said...

I definitely believe in guardian angels. I haven't read al whole lot of books with angels in them, so I can't comment on that aspect.BUT, like I said I do believe there are angels among us!!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Haku said...

Hola! Thanks for make it international, I filled out the form, about book really sounds so interesting I can say the cover is great and reading reviews about book is awesome by its genre and deep story, love angels stories so thanks for the contest!

Christa said...

I like angels, so don't be mad. But something that drives me nuts is all the cutesy-baby-illustrations of angels. Why no flaming swords? ; ) Since fiction has taken a turn to flaming-sword-strong-angels (in some genres) I'm just loving the chance to see various author's takes on angels & what plots they build around the concept.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of a guardian angel looking over people and guiding them in their lives.

Sharli said...

Agree with Christa! Why are they always pictured as freakign querubins?! I believe in angels but they are more powerful and just a bigger overall precense than babies in diapers :)

Spav said...

I like how angels are now the new supernatural creature a lot of people are writing about.

Unknown said...

I like angels, because they are peresent in most of the religions (Christians, Jews and even Muslims believe in them), but angels aren't onyl restricted to religions, they are even present in atheist worldviews too.

I also like the idea that they exist in our world, but humans either don't see them, or are not aware they are angels. I also like the idea that angels, who are always portrayed as wise, near the light of wisdom can fall: what makes them sacrifice their world? what would make them choose another world over their perfect one?

please enter me in the contest.

Thank you!

MarionG said...

What I like about angels is that they are inspirational. I like to think that everyone has their own angel taking care of them and trying to guide them. When I think of angels I only think of the holy and good white angels.
polo-puppy-fluffy at hotmail dot com

redbaronsg said...

wow this book sounds great!
I'd love to be entered in your contest!

swglazier at gmail dot com

mjrobertson said...

Angels have done a great job looking out for me my whole life. They keep me from falling... hard, and they help me find things that get temporarily lost. Sanity included. They even showed me your website. And for all these things I am grateful.

Gaby G said...

Angels are cool!! They are like at the top of the chain ;) The only thing I don't like is that they always seem to be good guys :s

bookaholic said...

I love books with angels. I so so so want to win this one!! Please???

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