Renee Bernard is giving away a $50 B&N or Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter and a $25 B&N or Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn host.
A Conversation with Lucifer
Danita: Welcome to my blog! Today we have Lucifer’s Executive Personal Assistant, Malcolm with us. Malcolm is according to his very luxurious business card the Demonic Liaison to the Prince of Darkness and one of the original employees at Hades Enterprises, LLc or H.E.LLc.
Malcolm: This is different. Thank you so much for having me here today. I know you were hoping for Lucifer to take the chair but he sent me in his place. It’s so rare to be out of the office so I’m thrilled.
Danita: You aren’t kidding? May I start off by saying you don’t look at all the way I expected you to? Wow! I was braced for a forked tail and horns and I just wasn’t expecting a tall, dark and handsome supermodel looking guy in an Armani suit.
Malcolm: Thank you. Demons have an impeccable sense of style and take great pride in our personal appearances. Of course, angels and demons are both notoriously attractive since both Heaven, Inc. and Hades were physically tethered to this plane of existence after the Corporation restructured the organization in 1504 A.D. but—pardon me, I was rambling a bit there. Nerves, I’m sure.
Malcolm: We may have been rivals for a while there but we were never enemies. I think Upper Management finally realized that we were much more productive when working cooperatively than dealing with the distractions of internal politics and backstabbing. Not that everyone is pleased to have payroll centralized but change is inevitable. All things evolve, even human beings.
Danita: What is it like at Hades Enterprises, LLc? Sulfur and brimstone? Tortured souls?
Malcolm: A quaint misconception but I must confess that we do not manufacture anything that pungent in Hell. It’s all office furniture, cubicles and break rooms where admittedly the espresso machines and pastries are a divine distraction. Hades Enterprises appears to mortal eyes as a sixty-six story skyscraper of steel and glass. It’s a striking looking structure but easy for you to miss, I promise. The location changes often and there’s no GPS in existence to map it. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
As for souls, we have no interests there. Souls are not spoons. We do not collect them, trade them, steal them, hurt them or drink them or whatever other nonsense you may have heard. Your soul is your own to keep for the long haul. Naturally, knowing that, I’d hope you’d take better care of it but it is not my business and a matter well above my pay grade.
Danita: What are some examples of the departments in Hell?
Malcolm: It’s all completely normal: Accounting, Demonic Resources, New Evils Patent Department, Temptations, Demonic Search and Rescue…Nothing extraordinary really.
Danita: Temptations? Search and Rescue?
Malcolm: Temptations is strictly for sanctioned Take Downs when certain human beings set themselves up in a position of influence over the population and are not what they appear to be. It’s very strategic and limited field work but I know the DTT agents do enjoy going where no angels can tread—if only to expose hypocrisy or the occasional political scandal.
Search and Rescue is just the team that retrieves any lost Field Agents or Unfettered employees from among the human population. I don’t want to alarm you but human beings are notoriously unpredictable and dangerous so it takes a lot of skill to get a demon home safely and without anyone posting incriminating videos online. Think of it as subtle damage control to avoid any universal misunderstandings…
Danita: What is Lucifer like? I heard a rumor there’s a bit of romance going on.
Malcolm: He’s an Angel to work for, pun intended. Of all the Lucifers we’ve had, I confess I have a soft spot for this one. It takes a lot of strength to sit in the big chair and manage global operations even if we are primarily merely observers. Not everyone is cut out for executive management and setting a balanced tone for a notoriously difficult pool of employees can be tricky. We do love him, though and every Boss’s Day, we do try to spoil him a bit.
At the moment though, yes, he is distracted by a mortal woman named Jayne Hamilton and the internal speculation amidst us is off the charts to see if he can win her. I mean, let’s face it—there are some challenges involved in dating the Prince of Darkness even if he is the sweetest soul walking. Think of it. Angels can’t lie and telling a girl you’re the Devil really isn’t a trust building moment in a relationship. Dating will be interesting…and this should be a courtship for the ages.
Danita: Ready for wild card round of questions?
Malcolm: I’m a demon. I’m ready for anything.
Danita: Favorite food? Favorite book? Favorite movie? What do you like to do for fun? And are you single?
Malcolm: Anything from the Slanted Door restaurant in San Francisco. “The Devil’s Dictionary” by Ambrose Bierce. Karaoke. And yes. I find I enjoy always having my options open and since demons don’t marry, I think you’ll find that’s a very standard answer. How was that?
Danita: Great! Well, thank you so much for coming by, Malcolm! And for…making me rethink a few things. Wow…Karaoke, really?
Malcolm: We do love a good country ballad and you should see the Maintenance Department’s rendition of “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places”. Our office karaoke parties are legendary…
Devil To Pay
by Renee Bernard
Workplace comedy is always fun but when the company in question in H.E.LLc (Hades Enterprises LLc) and your job is being Lucifer, let’s just say, there are some unique challenges beyond Casual Fridays and who keeps taking your lunch out of the break room. Even if Hell really is just a place where evil is tracked and analyzed in endless cubicles-no brimstone and not a human soul in sight-there’s no room for error. This Lucifer (who is the seventh unlucky archangel to get the position behind the black onyx desk) is about to have his entire world rattled when a very sweet and likable mortal woman crosses his path.
After all, angels can’t lie. And when Jayne Hamilton wants to know what he does for a living, all bets are off. Because “dating” isn’t exactly in the cosmic scheme of the Eternity Gambit, but Love… Well, Love is never really off the table.
Now, if Lucifer can just figure out how to win the girl and get himself fired, he’ll be one very very happy angel.
“Filled with sparkling wit and devilish charm, DEVIL TO PAY is a delightful visit to the Shangri-La of Hell!” — Erin Quinn, The Three Fates of Ryan Love, NYT Bestselling Author
“Only Renee Bernard could make dating Satan sexy as sin! Funny, fresh, irreverent and utterly adorable!” – Dakota Cassidy, National Bestselling Author
First book in the new Eternity Gambit series from USA Today bestselling author Renee Bernard. This is a romantic comedy series with an original paranormal twist that defies categorization and turns every notion of Heaven and Hell on its ear.
“Smitten without a prayer,” Lucifer regained his focus on the present moment. “There’s no Sanction for me.”
“Wrong,” Uriel said softly. “How many people have walked into your building’s lobby in the last seventy-five years?”
Lucifer calculated his answer trying to remember. “Two. Besides her, I think it’s two.
“Invited?” Uriel asked.
“Of course! Mortals can’t even see the structure unless—“ Lucifer stopped himself. “Oh, my God!”
Uriel smiled in triumph. “See? Sanctioned.”
“What did I just miss?” Raphael put the cards in the box.
“She found him without an invitation. She walked in of her own free will and unless it was Sanctioned, Management would have never allowed it.” Uriel smugly folded his hands like a magician revealing his best trick. “I’d say Michael’s going to eat his own hat when he finds out.”
Lucifer was speechless as he absorbed the implications.
Sanctioned. Was it really true that she’d been allowed to come to me? That there’s a chance? It’s all still human free will and the long shot of the millennia, but oh, God…thank you. I’ll have to get Malcolm to send you a gift in the morning for this one!
Luke shoved the chips at Azrael and excused himself with a bow. “I hate to win and run, but I have to see a Demon about a fruit basket.”
He instantly vanished and Raphael’s laughter filled the room. “You gotta love his exit lines!”
What in the world is a retired Navy chaplain’s daughter doing writing scorching hot historical romances and paranormal romantic comedies and even comic books? Renee Bernard is applying a great education from traveling all over the world to story telling and doing her best to keep her father proud. Truthfully, her father is her number one fan, even though he has sworn never to read a single word of her books (a vow he has kept to this day!) Nothing stops him from telling everyone he knows that his daughter is now a USA Today Bestselling author or from handing out bookmarks on the golf course. Love can make even a minister do strange things!
Renee Bernard is a freelance writer and host of “The Romance Bookmark” on Readers Entertainment, as well as a contributor to Romantic Times BookReviews magazine. Renee currently lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. (Note an interesting proximity to great wineries!)
DEVIL TO PAY is available now online wherever books are sold and is coming soon to Audio! The Eternity Gambit series is a fun departure from her well-known Victorian set historical romances and creates a new world for readers unlike any other. DEVIL TO PAY is the first book in this new series and is gathering up 5-Star reviews and momentum as more readers discover that office politics can hit a whole new level of crazy when you work at Hades Enterprises, LLc (or H.E.LLc).
You can also find her at:
FaceBook at Renee Bernard Fan Page
Buy Links for DEVIL TO PAY:
Amazon – http://tinyurl.com/qckqaza
Smashwords – http://tinyurl.com/n9l4jvf