Angelia Sparrow is a middle aged truck-driver, living quietly in the Mid-South with her husband, four kids and two cats. She's written numerous short stories and a few novels, both alone and with Naomi Brooks. In her spare time she crochets and reads porn in waiting rooms. She's still waiting to grow up to be Han Solo.
You can find Angelia on her personal website, her Yahoo group or Myspace.
Nikolai is a kinky gay Pygmalion set in a Dark Future America. James Ligatos is a man with an unusual hobby. He turns promising young criminals into world leaders. His latest project is Nicholas Boyd, formerly Nikolai of the Revenant street gang. But the little killer-turned-file-clerk is much more than Ligatos and his staff bargained for.
As Kentucky attempts to secede from the Confederated States of America and rejoin the United States, Nick's skills and the group's training are put to the ultimate test, and the price of failure is death
The street-preacher on the corner of Highland was harder to ignore than the newscreens. He towered over the passerby, black and frightful-looking, his hair a wild mass of dreadlocks, his filthy robe tattered with wear. He proclaimed the end of the world in his great deep voice that carried for blocks.
“Even now,” he intoned, “events rush to their conclusion. The demon that squats atop the world has called his Nikolai to him.” Nick startled a moment at the sound of his taken name and then saw an ancient battered copy of Nicolae: The Rise of the Anti-Christ in the preacher's hand. It was nothing, just weird coincidence. He had taken the name from the book, though, and something made him uneasy. Nothing had gone quite right on this heist.
He continued to the shop.
Nick opened the door of the pawnshop into must and dust and the smell of desperation. Old contraband computers, old televisions, prohibited fiction books, cheap jewelry all piled together with someone’s wheelchair and old forbidden movies in formats no one made players for any more. It didn’t look promising, and the feeling that something was going wrong only grew stronger.
He looked at the old woman behind the counter, taking in her short gray hair and overly applied make-up that enhanced her age rather than hid it. He decided she was probably old enough to be exempt from the appearance laws that prohibited cosmetics. He pretended to browse for a while. “I’m looking for Mr. Ligatos,” he finally said when he’d worked his way around to her.
She smiled and nodded. “Iakobos,” she called into the back of the shop, and followed it with a string of words in which Nick only caught about every fourth. An old man beckoned him into the back room. The filthy windows turned the light as yellow and nicotine-stained as the old man’s fingers. The heat of the room pressed in. The smell of insects and rodents, mold and dust made Nick want to sneeze. He was sure he saw something move in the half-draped, flyspecked mirror across from him.
“Sit. You have, for me, an item of value?” His command of English was better than the old woman’s. Nick smelled alcohol, cheap, homemade and raw, barely cut with licorice, on the old man’s breath. Yes, this would be the perfect place to fence his take.
“Guaranteed one of a kind. You had a deal with Vlad of the Revenants. Vlad didn’t make it out of the heist but he told me where to come.” Nick drew out the candelabra and set it on the table.
The old man looked it over, slowly and carefully. From the corner of his eye, Nick thought he saw movement, but when he turned nothing was there except the stacks of clutter in the dim, filthy back room.
“Yes, yes. I have a buyer. One who is much interested in such an artifact.” He prodded the item a few times with a gnarled finger. “It is what you say it is, boy.”
“If you can buy it, can you buy these as well?” Nick took out the small carvings he’d stolen. “Real jade, real ivory.”
Old Ligatos looked over the little statues. “Young jade. Not worth so much. Ivory, that, that is worth a fortune. I give you three thousand for all.”
“And for the candlestick?”
A voice from behind him said, “For that you’re going straight to prison, boy.” The cold metal of a gun pressed into the hollow of his skull.
What the Dark Diva's had to say about this book...
"I give this book four delightful divas for the sheer audacity of the author in throwing all that variety in there without throwing me out of the story. Good work."