Bitten by Books Review of Fallen

Fallen, book #1 of the Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances by Claire DelacroixOne of the fun things about attending conferences is meeting reviewers, readers and other writers. I met Carol Malcolm from Bitten by Books at the Coastal Magic Conference and we ended up talking about my Prometheus Project. She said she’d reviewed the books when they were originally published, but I had never seen the reviews. Well, she very kindly sent me the links, so I’m going to share these wonderful reviews with you.

Here’s the concluding paragraph of her review of Fallen:
“Delacroix’s fully-realized, disturbing world pulls the reader in on the first page and the narrative maintains both its suspenseful pace and intriguing storyline for the duration of the novel. The appealing Lilia and Adam and their respective backstories set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic landscape combine to provide a multi-layered reading experience. This absorbing and compelling urban fantasy/science fiction hybrid will satisfy fans of both genres and has this reviewer looking ahead to book two.”

You can read her complete review right here, and you can read an excerpt from Fallen, right here.

 

Abyss On Sale

Abyss, book #4 of the Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances by Claire DelacroixTupperman’s story Abyss is available! Phew – I’m glad to see this one published. Because it’s a bit shorter than the others in the series, the price is a bit lower. 🙂

At the beginning of the 22nd century, humanity has survived a challenge to its survival and has commenced the task of rebuilding. An elite corps of fallen angels called the Watchful Host remains in the earthly realm to help—but someone is hunting them.

Once the angel Turiel, Tupperman chose to remain in this realm after his mission was completed in order to aid the Watchful Host. When he is framed as the person behind the deaths of the soldiers, Tupperman knows not only that he will be sacrificed next, but that it’s time for his final quest. His only clue is a stone, which leads him to New Mexico—and a woman who enchants him completely. Tupperman never counted on finding love, nor that his mission would include a challenge from a dark force and known cheat. Can he save Kara and complete his quest, or will taking Lucifer’s wager cost him the woman who has claimed his heart?

ABYSS is book #4 in my Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances. Read an excerpt right here.

Buy Abyss now at All Romance eBooks, Amazon, or Createspace. More links to come…

Reader Letter from Abyss

Abyss, book #4 of the Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances by Claire Delacroix

Dear Reader;

Ideas are strange and wonderful things. Not only are they nearly impossible to anticipate, but the most unlikely ones can be the most beguiling. I had written quite a number of medieval romances when the idea behind the Prometheus Project came to me. I was skeptical of the notion of writing an urban fantasy romance with a mystery subplot, never mind one set in a gritty dystopian future, but Lilia Desjardins wouldn’t take no for an answer. She was persistent and wanted her story told. Publishers also thought the idea was a risky one, given my solid publishing history in medieval romance. The editor who ultimately acquired Fallen did so after I agreed to her suggestion to make the book into a trilogy. There was a lot of the Republic to explore, and I knew I could write three books set there. I also knew she was right that there should be more than one book in my publishing history in this different market niche.

I had a wonderful time writing Fallen, Guardian and Rebel: it was invigorating to visit new territory, so to speak, and work with different story elements than I had previously. I was fortunate to have the support of my publishing house and of my agent in trying something different. When the initial trilogy was completed, though, it troubled me that Tupperman had never had his happily-ever-after. Initially, he was a minor character, but his role grew over the series to the point that I felt I was abandoning him. The problem was that I didn’t know his story.

Several years later, ideas worked their magic again and I realized what Tupperman’s story would be. I had thought that it would be a novella, but as I started to write, Tupperman’s story kept getting longer. I really liked the story, so was easily convinced to spend more time in the new Republic. In the meantime, an interesting thing happened: the publishing rights for the initial trilogy returned to me. This gave me the welcome opportunity to have those three books edited again and published in new editions. I held off on publication of Tupperman’s story until that was completed.

This meant that I needed new covers for the original trilogy, too. I loved the covers on the Tor mass market editions—each featuring the hero alone—but didn’t have the right to use them. After much discussion, Kim Killion and I decided to use the heroines on the covers for these editions, to give the books more of an urban fantasy look. I’m very happy with the result.

And so, welcome to Tupperman’s story. It is set several years after the events in Rebel, when some things have changed in the Republic but others have not. The angels that Tupperman convinced to shed their wings and fight for the future of humanity have become an elite corps of soldiers called the Watchful Host. The problem is that someone is murdering the members of the Watchful Host, and worse, making it look as if Tupperman is the source of the betrayal. A disenchanted Tupperman believes that the time for his final mission has arrived, so he leaves New Gotham to meet his fate, suspecting he will never return. En route, he meets Kara, a woman who entices him and challenges him—and gives him more than enough reason to survive. It’s not a spoiler to tell you that Tupperman will finally get his happily-ever-after in this final book of the Republic.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best,
Claire

Read an excerpt from Abyss.

An Update on ABYSS

Abyss, book #4 of the Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances by Claire DelacroixI know some of you are waiting for the new fourth book in the Prometheus Project, which is Tupperman’s story. Abyss has been a fighter of a book to write, but I’m happy to tell you that I finished all the edits last week. My editor had such good questions that some of them took me a while to answer! It’s back for a final proof read with my editor, then will be formatted and published by the end of the month. The digital edition will be published first, followed as quickly as possible by the print-on-demand.

Phew!

REBEL Reader Letter

Rebel, book #3 of the Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances by Claire DelacroixDear Reader;

The Prometheus Project trilogy of urban fantasy romances was a departure for me in many ways, a visit to a very gritty dystopian world of the future, where angels voluntarily shed their wings in a quest to aid humanity. This world is filled with secrets and concealed truths, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that each book gave me new questions to answer. We started outside an “old city” in Fallen, an off-limit zone that Lilia Desjardins was bold enough to explore. We learned not only about the angels shedding their wings in that book, but about the survivors hidden in the old cities like Gotham. In Guardian, we went on a quest with Rafe to find and protect a woman who had long been hidden in the netherzones, and encountered the wraiths, a group of people lost to the Republic’s databanks. In Rebel, we undertake a bold mission with Armand at the Institute for Radiation Studies itself, in which he finds himself opposed by a wraith assassin. Theodora is an alluring woman who insists she will do anything for the bounty—but Armand quickly doubts that she’s as mercenary as she would have him believe. Together they enter the secret realms of the Institute to find Armand’s captured comrade, with only each other to trust as they try to evade capture themselves. I like their journey of discovery and the way this pair provoke each other to reconsider their assumptions.

I felt for years that I’d done badly by Tupperman in not giving him a happily-ever-after, and there were certainly readers who agreed with me. His story finally came to me (maybe it was in a flash of angelfire!) and I’m happy that it will be published this year. Originally, I’d expected Tupperman’s story to be a novella, but he had more to say than that, so it is a full book, the fourth novel in the Prometheus Project. Abyss is set several years after the ending of Rebel, when the elite corps of fallen angels known as the Watchful Host are being stalked and assassinated. Tupperman embarks on a quest to save the souls of the angels he convinced to shed their wings, never anticipating that he’ll meet a woman who challenges all his preconceptions. There’s an excerpt from Abyss at the end of this book, just to tempt you.

The research for these books was fascinating, as it touched so many topics. I often find myself reading old stories and myths, as well as variations in familiar stories, when researching my books: angelology was completely consistent with that. I’m also used to researching different physical locations for my books, including the underground realms and the history of cities. But with the Prometheus Project, I had to learn a lot about radiation and nuclear bombs. Both proved to be fascinating subjects, and not nearly as simple as one might expect: the elusiveness of data was part of what inspired the existence of the wraiths in my fictional world. If you’re interested in learning more about nuclear research and radiation, I recommend these two very readable volumes: Before The Fall-Out: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima by Diana Preston (Doubleday, 2005) and The Plutonium Files by Eileen Welsome (Random House, 1999). They are both proof that truth is stranger than fiction.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best,
Claire

Learn more about Rebel.

GUARDIAN Reader Letter

Guardian, book #2 of the Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances by Claire DelacroixDear Reader;

There is something about a rogue of a hero that draws my attention at regular intervals. I don’t write that many heroes who are handsome, daring, reckless and indifferent to expectations (as well as committed to their own solitary status), but they are a lot of fun to write. I tend to write wounded heroes, who are noble and less-than-great communicators, particularly when it comes to expressing their own emotions. A charming rogue who has a gift for conversation can be a refreshing change of pace. Rafe, the hero of Guardian, the second book of the Prometheus Project, has many similarities to Gawain in my gothic medieval romance, The Scoundrel. Like Gawain, Rafe needs to be persuaded of the value of love; like Gawain, the right woman changes everything for him.

In the process of writing Fallen, the first book in this series, I became quite fascinated with the physical challenges faced by the fallen angel heroes who volunteer to shed their wings. What would it be like to experience sensation for the first time? Montgomery was struck by the pain in losing his wings, a loss that was more than skin deep. For Montgomery, at least until he allied with Lilia, this sphere was an ordeal to be survived. Rafe was different from his first appearance on the page—or maybe I should say his first moment as a mortal. He was enamored with sensation and I knew that his view of the world would be entirely different from Montgomery’s. For Rafe, the physical world offers an adventure to be savored. Once I realized that, I knew that there could be no better hero for Delilah, a young woman who has known nothing of joy or pleasure in her short life, than Rafe. For Delilah, the world is a dark and fearsome place, yet one she must embrace in order to fulfill her destiny. Given her past, she doesn’t really know how to start, but Rafe is an excellent teacher. I knew from the beginning that he’d teach Delilah more than she wanted to know, and that he would be reluctant to learn from her—but Delilah has an unexpected strength. Together, they are a formidable team and a balanced one—I hope you enjoy the story of how they conquer the obstacles before them together.

It is a wonderful thing to have a chance to revisit a book and create a new edition. When Guardian was originally published, it had some inconsistencies in the age of Delilah. Initially, I had thought she was much younger, but when she became the heroine of her own book (which was a romance at its core), she had to be older. Not all of the references were caught and corrected, and that always bothered me. This new edition gave me the chance to correct that and make a few minor revisions to ensure continuity between all three books.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best,
Claire

Read more about Guardian.

FALLEN Reader Letter

Fallen, book #1 of the Prometheus Project of urban fantasy romances by Claire DelacroixDear Reader,

When Lilia Desjardins strode into my office in 2005 and demanded that I write her story, she surprised me. I’d written opinionated and outspoken heroines before, but Lilia was from a different time and place. Her world was that of the future, almost a hundred years in the future, a gritty repressive society called the Republic. Her world was post-nuclear but pre-Apocalyptic, one in which angels were sacrificing their wings in a quest to save humanity. Even better, she was falling in love with one of these fallen angels, whose earthly guise was a homicide cop named Adam Montgomery. As a rebel and a woman who has a slippery relationship with the truth, I think Lilia was more concerned that Montgomery was a police officer than a fallen angel. Now we call these books urban fantasy romance, and the settings dystopian, but at the time, I thought Lilia’s story was a strange hybrid of genres.

All the same, she wasn’t one to take no for an answer. I found myself not just writing her story but haunted by it. The first draft was a compulsive write, a mystery told in first person point-of-view in her strange and dark world. That version of Lilia’s story was never published—the book was revised extensively and repeatedly. The original vision was that of an historian trying to recreate a chronology of the events in 2099, which are told in the story. In that version, the historian had only Lilia’s diary as a source document. The historian thought Lilia an unreliable witness, so added newspaper articles and other materials to both corroborate and challenge her view of events.

Fallen was published in 2008 as a paranormal romance. Along the way, my idea that Lilia and Montgomery would be continuing characters with a relationship that evolved over multiple books fell by the wayside—because the trilogy of the Prometheus Project were all romances, they each had to feature a different hero and heroine. The story also was told in third person point-of-view, with scenes from Montgomery’s perspective that hadn’t existed in the original. I liked this change a lot because it showed us more not only of Montgomery but also of the angels and their plan. It also made the opening scene of the book possible. That was the last scene I wrote for this book and it remains my favorite. Sadly, my historian was cut out of the story, along with her footnotes. Guardian, book two in the trilogy, is the story of Raphael (a fallen angel we meet in Fallen) and Lilia’s daughter, Delilah. The final book in the trilogy, Rebel, is the story of Armand (one of the angels captured by Lilia before Fallen—his angelic name is Armaros) and Theodora, a wraith we first meet in Guardian.

I always really liked these books, although they are quite different from my other work. I’d never written about a place as dark and violent as the Republic, yet it offers a good contrast to the power of love. I was very excited to have the opportunity to revise and repackage the original trilogy for new editions. Publishing a linked series as it is written invariably leads to some continuity errors, so I’m glad to be rid of those. In addition, a new fourth book is being published: Abyss is also an urban fantasy romance, which takes place after the events in Rebel and tells of Tupperman’s happily-ever-after.

The other wonderful thing about a new edition is the chance to include some bonus material. I’ve gone through the files of the original book and included a selection of the content that never made it to the final version of Fallen. You’ll find the bonus material on page 333 of this edition. It includes A Summary of Nuclear Events of the 21st Century, some commentary from Lilia on New Gotham and radiation, as well as a news item about Lilia’s mom, Lillian Desjardins.

Finally, I want to comment on the change in the cover art. The new editions require new covers, and in this case, the market has changed significantly. Urban fantasy is well-established now as a viable genre, as is dystopian fiction, and the graphic language of those covers often include the heroine alone. Putting the heroines on the covers of this series resolves another issue with accurately presenting the characters in the book. Those of you familiar with angelology will have already realized that Munkar (Montgomery’s angelic name) is an angel named in Muslim sources and said to have the ability to discern the secret hearts of men. Munkar is also the only black-skinned angel. In the Republic of 2099, there is no conflict between black and white citizens, so the color of Montgomery’s skin color isn’t an issue for Lilia or anyone else in the book. Even though there are plenty of other prejudices in this fictional world to fill the void, that’s one facet of the Republic that would be a welcome change in our world. With Lilia on the cover of this new edition, you’re welcome to imagine Montgomery however you choose.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best,
Claire

Read more about Fallen.

Rebel

Rebel, an urban fantasy romance by Claire DelacroixRebel has been published in its new edition!

At the end of the 21st century, the future of humanity hangs in the balance, caught between the radioactive waste of a half century of nuclear wars and the repressive authority of the Republic. Angels sacrifice their wings to join a secret fraternity of freedom fighters, risking classification as mutants and consignment to the Republic’s slave dens. Each warrior is a volunteer, but no angel anticipates the full cost of his fall.

The eyes of the Republic are everywhere.

Having sacrificed his wings in a bid to save humanity, fallen angel Armand has a bold plan to assassinate presidential candidate Maximilian Blackstone. When things go awry and his partner is gravely injured, Armand fears he will fail and forever lose the chance to rejoin the angels in heaven.

Theodora is a wraith, a woman who officially doesn’t exist. She lives in the shadows, taking risks to earn bounties—bounties that buy new life for those she loves. Captured when her latest hit goes horribly wrong, Theodora finds herself the prisoner of a strong, arrogant stranger.

Soon enough, Theodora and Armand find their missions—and their hearts—entwined. But in their desperate attempt to save the world, will they be able to save each other?

“A true triumph of storytelling!”—Fresh Fiction

Buy Rebel at Amazon Buy Rebel at iBooks Buy Rebel at All Romance eBooks Buy Rebel at B&N Buy Rebel at KOBO Buy Rebel at Nook UK Buy Rebel at Books-a-Million Buy Rebel at Smashwords Buy Rebel at Sony eReader Store Buy Rebel at Waterstones Buy Rebel at Createspace

Read an excerpt from REBEL

 

November Reader Contest

This month’s prize is a signed copy of the new trade paperback edition of FALLEN. FALLEN is the first book in my urban fantasy romance series, The Prometheus Project, which features fallen angel heroes on a quest to save humanity in a dystopian future. This is the edition with bonus content.

Fallen, an urban fantasy romance by Claire Delacroix

All you have to do to have a chance to win is comment on this post. How easy is that? At the end of the month, I’ll choose a winner. As usual, for every 25 entries, I’ll add another prize. Good luck!

GUARDIAN Reader Letter

Guardian, an urban fantasy romance by Claire Delacroix

Dear Reader;

There is something about a rogue of a hero that draws my attention at regular intervals. I don’t write that many heroes who are handsome, daring, reckless and indifferent to expectations (as well as committed to their own solitary status), but they are a lot of fun to write. I tend to write wounded heroes, who are noble and less-than-great communicators, particularly when it comes to expressing their own emotions. A charming rogue who has a gift for conversation can be a refreshing change of pace. Rafe, the hero of Guardian, the second book of the Prometheus Project, has many similarities to Gawain in my gothic medieval romance, The Scoundrel. Like Gawain, Rafe needs to be persuaded of the value of love; like Gawain, the right woman changes everything for him.

In the process of writing Fallen, the first book in this series, I became quite fascinated with the physical challenges faced by the fallen angel heroes who volunteer to shed their wings. What would it be like to experience sensation for the first time? Montgomery was struck by the pain in losing his wings, a loss that was more than skin deep. For Montgomery, at least until he allied with Lilia, this sphere was an ordeal to be survived. Rafe was different from his first appearance on the page—or maybe I should say his first moment as a mortal. He was enamored with sensation and I knew that his view of the world would be entirely different from Montgomery’s. For Rafe, the physical world offers an adventure to be savored. Once I realized that, I knew that there could be no better hero for Delilah, a young woman who has known nothing of joy or pleasure in her short life, than Rafe. For Delilah, the world is a dark and fearsome place, yet one she must embrace in order to fulfill her destiny. Given her past, she doesn’t really know how to start, but Rafe is an excellent teacher. I knew from the beginning that he’d teach Delilah more than she wanted to know, and that he would be reluctant to learn from her—but Delilah has an unexpected strength. Together, they are a formidable team and a balanced one—I hope you enjoy the story of how they conquer the obstacles before them together.

It is a wonderful thing to have a chance to revisit a book and create a new edition. When Guardian was originally published, it had some inconsistencies in the age of Delilah. Initially, I had thought she was much younger, but when she became the heroine of her own book (which was a romance at its core), she had to be older. Not all of the references were caught and corrected, and that always bothered me. This new edition gave me the chance to correct that and make a few minor revisions to ensure continuity between all three books.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best,
Claire

Learn more about GUARDIAN.