Today we welcome Angel Martinez to Books, Coffee and Captured Moments on her audiobook blog tour for Hell For The Company, the first book in her Brimstone series.
Angel Martinez is one of my favorite authors. Her stories run from serious to laugh out loud funny. The Brimstone series falls on the humorous end of that scale. The characters are wonderful and I am always impressed with the unique and, in this case adorable creatures that Angel creates. I have read all of the books in this series and I am excited to be a part of her audiobook tour. I am also delighted that she brought us a treat, A Brimstone Ficlet called Poker Night.
Lets start with a little bit about the book, then be sure to scroll down for the ficlet with Shax, Verin and Ness.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for a $10 gift card to Amazon or AllRomance eBooks!
Author Name: Angel Martinez
Narrator: Vance Bastian
Book Name: Hell For The Company
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay
Release Date: December 5, 2015
Shax, the Demon Prince of Thieves, has reconciled himself to exile. He has a grand time careening around the galaxy as a high-end, intergalactic purloiner of pretties. Everything’s going just fine, thank you very much. All right, fine, the anti-gravity cows are a bit problematic and some of his buyers are bad for his health, but he manages until he comes across an injured angel in a psychedelic alien jungle.
He only rescues the wing boy for his golden feathers, but what Shax doesn’t know about angels could fill an intergalactic encyclopedia.
Play Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes
Categories: Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Science Fiction
We meet Shax and Verin while Shax is stealing some pretties and the men they belong to are trying their best to kill him. Verin comes to his rescue and once safely away Shax realizes they have some interesting passengers in the cargo hold. Anti-gravity cows. (totally awesome) Shax and Verin are demons on the run for reasons that are explained later in the book. Shax is a demon prince of thieves – which explains his love of the pretties. Verin is his business partner and best friend. When a need arrives for food for their bovine cargo – they stop on a planet and find an angel, unconscious and injured. Shax cannot leave him and besides, he has golden feathers for wings – pretties, which Shax would dearly love to have for his collection.
What follows is a fun tale of two beings that are normally enemies finding out that they have more in common than not. I enjoyed the humorous mix of space western,adventure,romance, witty banter and the subtle way the author brings in the dichotomy of good and evil, stereotypes, politics and how we are not all painted with a broad stroke. There is good, bad and in between in all people, even demons and angels. Subtle, and works well with building the relationship between Shax and Ness (the angel). I adored Shax and found his character easiest to love. Verin is the gruffer of the two and I hope he gets more page time in the next book – which I am very much looking forward to.
As one of the books I have read more than once, I was initially hesitant to listen to someone else voice my beloved characters. Vance Bastian takes on the roles of Shax, Verin, Ness and the other minor characters and gives them his unique perspective. Shax is polished in a way I imagined him to be and Verin was his gruff self. Ness seemed more timid than I imagined but as his character grew more comfortable in the story, so did his voice. Overall, I enjoyed listening to the story, so much so that I gave it a second listen.
Buy the audiobook here:
And now a treat from Angel Martinez:
Poker Night – A Brimstone Ficlet
“I thought you both said you enjoyed this game?” Ness fidgeted uncomfortably with his cards, gaze shifting from Shax to Verin and back.
“We do, cupcake.” Shax murmured, then he raised his head from his cards, one perfect red-gold eyebrow arched. “Whatever’s the matter?”
“You’re so very serious. And Verin’s scowling.” Ness flicked his wings carefully so he wouldn’t scatter cards. “This doesn’t appear to be fun at all.”
“Verin’s always scowling, my dear,” Shax murmured, returning to the earnest contemplation of his cards.
“It’s how you play, Twinkles,” Verin said on a puff of steam. “You can’t let anybody know what you’re holding.”
Ness pulled his cards in closer. “I understand that part. I’m not showing anyone my cards.”
“Hmm, yes.” Shax removed two cards from his hands, placed then face down on the table and tapped them. “Two please, Ver. It’s more than that, Ness. You can’t let anyone know what you have, good or bad. If you’re not careful, your face shows what sort of hand you have.”
Verin slid two cards across the table to Shax. “Get your hand out of your fucking pocket, your highness. We agreed to no cheating. Ivana, are you watching him?”
“I have my eye on our hot little captain, don’t you worry,” Ivana sang out from the ship speakers. “He’s not cheating. Yet.”
“Always so suspicious.” Shax rolled his eyes and handed a plasfilm printout over to Ness. “The ranking of hands. In case you forget. It’s a lot to remember at first.”
Ness thanked him and divided his attention between the list and the cards Verin had dealt him. He was supposed to make a valuable pattern from what he had been given, much of which had to do with chance, though there were definite probabilities involved. The cards included three red ones and two black, the red ones all displaying the same symbol, the parallelogram up on its point, and the black ones both showing different symbols, the clover sort of shape and the one that looked like a stumpy tree. Bottom lip caught between his teeth, Ness removed the two black cards and slid them toward Verin.
“See, that sort of expression, cupcake. You look worried. Tense. Other players will read into that,” Shax murmured as he rolled one of the foil-wrapped chocolates they were using as money across his fingers.
“Oh.” Ness tried his best to look blank and serious, or blank, or serious, knowing he probably looked ridiculous. He picked up the cards Verin gave him, and managed to stifle a gasp in a sniff. Both new cards were also red, both with the four-sided symbol. That had to be good, yes? He checked the value of each card and after some shuffling, realized he had a sequence…but only four in a sequence. Frowning, he studied his chart. Ah. The sequence would have to be all five cards to count, but wait. All five cards with the same symbol—suit. That was a flush. Even better than a sequence.
Calm. Uninterested. He wasn’t to give himself away. He put his first chocolate out in the center when Shax and Verin did, into the pot, which was silly. There was no pot. Not even a skillet.
Shax, still wearing his most serious face, tossed two more chocolates into the center. “Raise. Ness?”
The rules of betting had been explained several times until Ness believed he understood. He felt terribly wicked gambling, but he supposed since it wasn’t for money, it wasn’t truly sinful. “I, ah, see your two and raise two.”
“Damn it. I got less than shit,” Verin grumbled. He put his cards face down with a huff. “Fold.”
One of Shax’s eyebrows crept up, but he met Ness’s bet and raised again. This went on for several rounds, each time Ness becoming more and more nervous under Shax’s skeptical gaze. Finally, he only had two chocolates left and he had to concede.
“You must have something truly astounding, love,” Ness said ruefully as he lowered his cards. “I supposed I must fold, too.”
“So? What’d you have, bonehead?” Verin growled.
Shax’s grin spread slowly over his handsome face as he placed his cards face up on the table. Ness leaned over to decipher what had beaten his lovely flush—a tree king, a heart two, a tree three, a clover 7, and a four-sided 9?
“But…” Ness checked his list and tried to make sense of the cards. “But that’s…nothing!”
“And that, my dear…” Shax unwrapped a chocolate and popped it in his mouth, still grinning madly. “Is how you win on attitude alone.”
“That’s not—” Ness wasn’t certain what he would’ve said. Not fair. Not right. Not cricket. Just not nice. But in that moment he understood both the game and the universe according to Shax. It was a good thing Ness loved him.
Win a $10 gift card to Amazon or AllRomance eBooks!
Meet the author:
While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/angelmartinez
Meet the narrator:
Vance Bastian loves being a professional storyteller. He writes urban fantasy about sandmen and reapers. He has grown his acting and voice background into a career performing voice-over work and narration for both radio and audiobooks. He is also a founding host of the WROTE podcast – bringing you interviews and news of authors who write, perform, and tell LGBTQ stories. When nobody’s looking, Vance is a complete sci-fi and fantasy geek.
For more on Vance, please visit:
Tour Dates & Stops:
14-Dec: MM Good Book Reviews
15-Dec: BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads
16-Dec: Hearts on Fire, Prism Book Alliance
17-Dec: Books, Coffee, & Captured Moments
18-Dec: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Love Bytes