Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Spotlight: Kiss of Pride by Sandra Hill


Hello Beardies!

This is Sara and I’m excited to write a book review for The Bearded Scribe. Joshua was correct in my introduction post—I am usually not far from a book. The fact that my Nook is about 85% full and I’m still surrounded by paper books is proof. My reading specialty is romance—specifically paranormal. There are so many series I want to write about, but I figured I’d start small.

Vikings. (Not very small, are they?) The word conjures images of giant blonde warriors traversing the European waterways to plunder, pillage and explore. This was a race that scared their time period with just their name, so how could they simply be absorbed into other cultures? Sandra Hill offers and explanation for this in her series, The Deadly Angels.





The Premise:
The Christian God is angered that the Vikings believe in him yet still worship their Norse gods. The seven Sigurdsson warriors are specifically in trouble (Deadly Sin trouble) and God is about to toss the whole family into Hell and condemn the rest of the Viking race to extinction when St. Michael the Archangel intervenes. He convinces God to allow the Viking race become integrated with other cultures, losing their own. The Sigurdsson warriors become vangels—vampire angels—in order to combat Lucifer’s vampires (Lucipires) who are circumventing human free will by targeting potential sinners so they can steal their souls.

Kiss of Pride introduces us to Vikar Siggurdson who has just been thrown the biggest challenge of 1200 his year-long vangel life: turn a crumbling, guano-filled castle in Transylvania, Pennsylvania into a fuctioning base of operations in under a month. Presenting a major distraction is Alexandra Kelly: a journalist who arrives in town to interview the mysterious Lord Vikar—to his surprise. Vikar drags Alex into the castle and bites her—for her own good, of course. She’s already been bitten by a Lucipire and needs to be cleansed. In a town set up to cash in on the vampire craze, she thinks he’s insane; he thinks she’s delectable—and not going anywhere. In the meantime, there’s a castle to finish remodeling, a Sin Cruise set up by the Lucipires to stop, and a Reckoning with St. Michael to attend.

Gems for Writers:
You Gotta Have a Gimmick. To quote Gypsy.  You need to stand out from the authors with similar ideas to yours—figure out how to be unique. The Deadly Angels does a good job—this is a new take on vampires. I have a thing for vampire romances and this is the first one I’ve read that has mentioned the Christian God with a hand in the creation of vampires. In other series, God is generally mentioned by other characters, who merely assure the vampires that He loves them.

Perfect is Boring. All the characters in Kiss of Pride have flaws. Vikar is prideful (his Deadly Sin,) Alex is contemplating murder, even St. Michael and God have tempers and have to be calmed down at times. *Hopes to not get struck by lightning* It makes the novel complex—and characters are actually reacting the way they would as real people. Sandra’s characters are well-written and quirky. Even the supporting characters are definitely interesting: Armod: a 16 year old, newly turned vangel who has a thing for Michael Jackson; Trond: another Sigurdsson whose sin is sloth; and (my personal favorite) Miss Lizzie Borden: whom you meet wielding a meat cleaver, about to butcher a side of beef. Even the main antagonist, the demon Jasper, is a little likeable.


Kiss of Pride is a book I definitely enjoyed reading. It’s a good choice for those who like their vampires a little heavenly and their angels a little naughty. The characters leap off the page; the story is complex and well-executed. I am looking forward to the end of November, when the next book in the series, Kiss of Surrender, comes out.

So, until next time…


Happy Reading and Happy Scribing,









***Kiss of Pride (2012) by Sandra Hill is published and copyright HarperCollins Publishers.  It is available in stores, online, or at your local library.
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