8th floor studio
Epub, mobi, pdf,
Release Date: 05 February, 2016
SOULS FOR SALE SERIES
BOOK ONE: 21st CENTURY DEMON
It should have been an easy job: a contract signed and a new soul earmarked for Hell. But when suave demon deal-maker Saul chooses nerdy Thomas Ives as his next target, events take an unexpected turn. The lines between business transaction and pleasure blur, and Saul must decide whether he cares more for his professional reputation or the soul he just condemned to eternal damnation.
BOOK TWO: 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?
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BOOK ONE: 21st CENTURY DEMON
IT’S TOUGH BEING a demon in this day and age. Times are hard and souls just aren’t what they used to be. I should know; it’s my job to collect them. Or try to, anyway. What I wouldn’t give to go back to the good ol’ days when you could buy a soul as easily as an apple at the market place. And I mean a proper apple, plucked straight from the tree that morning. None of this modified, refrigerated crap that passes as fresh fruit nowadays.
I know what you’re thinking. Trust me, I’ve heard it all before. You’re wondering how it could be so hard to get someone to sign away their soul in an age where everything can be obtained for a price, where everything is for sale. Actors, bankers, politicians. You’d think rich pickings, am I right? Well, you’d be wrong.
Problem is no one believes anymore. Picture this: I walk up to someone and offer to grant them anything their heart desires in exchange for their soul. Now, in times past they’d either tremble in fear and drop to their knees, praying to the guy upstairs (my cue to leave), or they’d tremble in fear for a moment, and then they’d sign on the dotted line. Simple. Everyone knew where they stood. But if I were to try that today, most people would laugh in my face and walk off, or else they’d look uneasy and slink away from the “deranged lunatic” as soon as possible. Hell, I miss the fear.
The faith is gone, you see, supplanted with technology, gizmos, and gadgets. An age of information. Everything you want, obtainable with the press of a button. What is there to long for anymore? What is there worth selling your soul for that you couldn’t get another way? Sure, you still have the old favourites—riches, power, and sex—but as I said, the belief is sadly lacking.
Every passing year it gets harder and harder to fill my quota. I have the big boss breathing fire down my neck—both metaphorically and literally—and damned if I know how to get around the problem. It’s not just me. My colleagues are equally exasperated. It won’t be too much longer until it’s impossible to sign up even one new soul to burn in everlasting Hell. Then what’s a conscientious, hard-working demon to do?
Anyhow, I guess it’s about time I introduced myself. The name’s Saul. Yeah, I know, but it’s not like I picked it. We get what the boss dishes out, and I drew the short straw that day. Guess he was in one of his funny moods. I’m here today following a mark. I’m actually pretty stoked I found this guy as he’s shaping up to be the most promising potential soul-seller I’ve seen in several months. Hey, try saying that three times faster! The trick now is not to rush things, not to push him too hard or too fast.
Oh, here he comes. See if you can pick him from the crowd. No? Hard, isn’t it? Everyone looks the same these days. It used to be so much easier to tell a sinner from a saint. Now the line is so blurred it barely exists at all.
But I digress. Just wait a moment…. There! See the guy heading into the pub? The one in the Marvel T-shirt? With the blond curls? That’s our man. Bit of a stereotype of a comic book nerd, isn’t he? Unlikely to sell his soul, you think? Well, we’ll see. So, are you coming or not? I haven’t got all day, you know.
BOOK TWO: HELL TO PAY
BY HELL, IT’S you! Do you have any idea how close you just came to a fiery death? Not sure how you found me, but since you’re here, I guess you’d better come in. Quickly, quickly. And shut the door behind you. Sorry for the abrupt greeting… actually, no, I’m not. If you had any idea what the sweet boy and I have been through these past few months you’d know better than to sneak up on us. It’s not easy being on the run. Sure, it looks exciting in all the films—action, adventure, amorous assignations—but I can tell you now that’s all a crock of shit. Well, maybe not the amorous assignations—we do have our fair share of those and no denying it—but the rest of it…. In reality, a life on the run is tiring, dirty, and not the least bit soppily romantic—the boy and I are no Bonnie and Clyde. And perhaps we should be grateful for that.
We’ve been holed up in this nondescript—or do I mean derelict?—hotel for three days now, and neither of us has set so much as a single foot outside since we checked in. We order takeaway or room service when we need to eat, and the sign perpetually hanging from the door handle is clear for all to read: Do Not Disturb. (Though obviously you chose to ignore that simple instruction, so maybe that piece of cardboard isn’t as effective as it’s cracked up to be.) Soon we’ll have to move on again. The grace period seems to be five days. Any longer than that and we risk being picked up. The first place we went to we stayed for a week, and on the evening of the seventh day—ironic, I know—the big boss sent us a visitor in the guise of a pizza delivery boy. It got pretty ugly. I mean, I could all but feel the flames kissing the soles of my feet as we high-tailed it out of there.
Who’d have ever guessed it would come to this? Well, you were there that day; you know what I mean. It was supposed to be a simple mark, a deal no different from any other. When I singled him out, I planned on getting a signature for his soul, making good on my end of the bargain, and then moving swiftly along. How was I to know the strange effect that beautiful, innocent nerd in the Marvel T-shirt was going to have on me? My sweet Tom has a magic about him, that’s for sure. I’d assumed I was the one weaving the spell over him, but one look into those clear baby blues, one brush of his fingertips over my bare skin, one press of his lips against mine, and I was a goner. Little old moi, demon deal-maker extraordinaire, professional to the eternally damned core, was suddenly desperate to cast it all aside, to—dare I say it—repent of my actions and void a perfectly legitimate contract. And now here I am, fallen from Hell’s grace and being hunted down by my own kind, who took none too kindly to my ever-so-slight bending of the rules to save a veritable angel from the darkness. But, hey, it’s not all bad news—I do have Tom at my side. And that makes it all worthwhile, believe me.
What? Oh, the contract? Yeah, well, apparently that clever trick I tried worked. Go me! The blast of Hell-Fire destroyed the parchment—signature, magical binding, and all—good and proper, and Tom’s soul is officially off Hell’s menu. Or rather it was. I honestly don’t know how things stand right now. It may depend on whether we get caught. I’m not up to speed with all the small print and legalities, but it seems our actions have ruffled more than a few feathers and scales, both on high and in the chasm. From what I could get out of Pizza Boy before I dry-roasted his arse back below, the big boss is majorly pissed about my change of heart and has threatened to drag Tom to Hell, contract or no contract. At that point Him Upstairs got involved, claiming Tom’s soul belonged to him again now, and word has it the political situation between the two camps is tense at present. So, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen if the fiery legions of the damned do get a hold of us. I, for one, would prefer to stay on the lam, keep one step ahead, and never ever find out.
Yeah, yeah, you can hang around if you want—I trust you. But you need to be ready to move when I give the word, and keep nice and quiet in the meantime. If you found us, others could already be on their way. I’m going to wake the sweet boy, and then we’ll prepare to head off. Call me paranoid, but I’m not taking any chances. If you were nautically inclined, I guess you could say we’re trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea, and if we’re caught…? Well, let’s just say, there’s gonna be hell to pay.
To view the Book Trailer, click HERE