Wednesday 30 October 2013

Straight to Hell by Michelle Scott + Giveaway

Welcome to Day One of the Straight to Hell blog tour!

Keep reading for more about 
Straight to Hell by Michelle Scott
my review, an excerpt, and of course a fabulous giveaway!

Genre:  Urban Fantasy  
Published:  September 8, 2011  
Page Count:  179  
Buy Links:  Amazon UK

The Devil Never Forgets a Deal

I, Lilith Straight, was the woman you always wanted to be. I was married to someone better looking than your husband, we lived in that house you always wanted. Within a year, however, all of that changed. My marriage dissolved, my house burned down, and my job hardly paid the bills. So when I was hit by a car and died, I thought my life couldn’t get any worse. Boy, was I wrong.

Hell was not the place I imagined. It was worse. During my brief stay, I learned some disturbing truths about my family. Most worryingly my ancestor’s deal with the devil promising him every female descendent as a succubus.

So these were my options: Life on earth as a soul-sucking seductress. Or death and pass the succubus baton to my sweet little daughter. There was no choice. Welcome to hell on earth, Lilith. Mother, teacher, wanton she-demon.

Straight to Hell is a witty, engrossing read that grabs your attention from the beginning. The book is about Lilith Straight, a down on her luck divorcee, who is struggling to balance the strains of being a single parent plus the additional stress of an immature adult sister and a troubled niece living with her. Right after we are introduced to Lilith and have been given a chance to get to know her, she dies. Lilith knows she was not perfect during her short life, but she was not prepared for where she ended up.

I loved Lilith's witty, sarcastic personality. It was so much fun to be inside her head. Throughout the book we watch her struggle with what she knows is right and what she feels she must do. The tough decisions she makes are always for what she feels is the greater good…her daughter. This is not a story of good versus evil, but more like bad versus worse, and Lilith does the best she can with what she has to work with.


Note from the Author:  I love this scene because it’s the first time Lilith runs into William Benedict, her incubus counterpart.  What happens when two opposites attract?  Sparks fly!

From the corner of my eye, I noticed a man watching me from across the room. I didn’t remember him coming in, not surprising since the evening had been a blur of unfamiliar faces. He had one of those chiseled chins that belong on male models, and thick, dark hair that begged to be tousled. His conservative V-necked sweater and leather loafers looked out of place among the flamboyant hippies and club kids.

My cell buzzed again. Annoyed, I dragged my eyes from the visitor. This time, Ted’s message read, “Sorry. I forgot about your mom.”

The guy in the sweater came closer. I held my breath, hoping he’d stop by.

Once more, my cell vibrated in my pocket. I was tempted to ignore it, but if I did, Ted would continue to text until I answered. His message read: “I would have come to the visitation but had a med emergency.”

Medical emergency, my ass. Like I said before, Ted’s an orthodontist, so unless a kid’s rubber band snapped hard enough to put out an eye, I doubted there was much of a crisis. I quickly sent Ted another text (“Ok. See you later.”) as Mr. V-necked sweater approached. He was over six feet, and I had to tilt my head up to meet his gaze. Oh, there was such sadness in his eyes! No doubt, some of it was due to the funeral. Coupled with that, however, was something deeper. A bottomless well of world-weariness, perhaps, or the weight of a secret that was too much to bear.

I wanted to speak, but couldn’t. The guy rocked me like I was a teenager all over again. My knees felt watery, my cheeks hot, and I had that delicious, warm, tingling between my legs. I wondered if it was okay to put the moves on a guy I’d met at my mother’s funeral. Then again, Carrie would have done it. In fact, she would have leapfrogged over my casket to get at him.

The visitor didn’t take my hand, though I wished he would. Instead, he said, “Ms. Straight?”

And there it was: the killer British accent. Dear gods. I was ready to go up in flames. I dabbed at my sweating forehead and nodded.

“I’m Mr. Benedict.”

He waited, clearly expecting a reply. I uttered a strangled, “Okay.”

“Miss Spry sent me.”

Miss Spry? For a moment, I was too dazzled to remember the name. Then it came to me. Oh right, Miss Spry. The woman who had told me that I was not only dead, but a succubus to boot.

Mr. Benedict continued to look at me with his doleful, brown eyes. “May we speak outside?”

Could he speak with me? He could not only talk to me, he could take me to dinner. He could drive me to his place. He could soil me like a tissue if he wanted. Without a thought to the other people in the room, I floated behind Mr. Benedict like I’d suddenly left the real world for a place where dreams come true.

Once outside, I realized how dark it had become. And cold. I wrapped my arms around myself and shivered. Mr. Benedict carried a coat over one arm but didn’t offer it to me.

When we were clear of the doors, he said, “Miss Spry has a task for you tomorrow morning.”

“A task? What kind of task?” I pictured myself picking up her dry cleaning or running to the store to buy milk.

His mouth tightened in annoyance. “I don’t know. It isn’t our job to ask questions. Just be ready to leave at 10:00 tomorrow morning.” He walked away.

“Wait, ten? That’s the time of my mother’s funeral!”

“That’s not my problem. Just be ready at ten. Wear something appropriate.”

I ran to catch up, tottering on my high heels. “Appropriate for what?”

“Your occupation.”

Occupation? Was he talking about the stretchy slacks and semi-dressy T-shirt that I wore when substitute teaching? But the hard look in his eyes said otherwise. 

Suddenly, I felt very stupid. Of course he didn’t mean teacher; he meant succubus. I needed to dress like a slut.

I’d been avoiding thoughts about my new job, but the fact I was expected to do the Devil’s dirty work made my stomach cramp. “I can’t do what Miss Spry wants. No way.”

“You don’t have a choice. It’s our job to follow her orders.”

Our job? What do you mean our, I wondered. Then it struck me. The smoldering gaze, the instant attraction. He was a male version of what I was. An incubus. No wonder I’d wanted to get naked with him in the backseat of my car.

About the Author:  Michelle Scott received her MFA from Wayne State University. Her stories have appeared in such places as “Tales of the Unanticipated”, “All Possible Worlds” and “Realms”. Straight to Hell, the first book in her Lilith Straight urban fantasy series, was released from Carina UK on Oct. 24. Michelle lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three children.

To keep up with Lilith and the other members of the Straight to Hell cast, visit Michelle’s blog, Urban Fae.  

1 comment:

  1. Great review! The book sounds very interesting. Thanks!