Thursday, May 31, 2018

Best Friends and Worst Enemies

A friend started a discussion on Facebook by asking what the opposite of "frenemy" is. The answers were interesting, and most agreed that frenemies include people who are friendly on the surface but hate each other underneath. But they also include people who seem to hate each other, yet totally have each other's back. I agree with those definitions to a certain level, but I think a real frenemy relationship it much more complex. I know this because I've had a couple of frenemships (is that a word?) myself. I drew on these relationships when writing Relent.

Yes, I see Wraith a lot like Jason Momoa.
Only Wraith has much paler skin
and much darker hair.
Relent opens with Simone meeting a guy named Wraith, who reveals himself to be a demon. He also reveals the truth about Simone: that her mother, who abandoned her, is actually an angel. Simone's father, of course, was human, and her mother lost her status as an angel because of her affair with him. She abandoned Simone in order to regain her angelic status. Okay, it's more complicated than that, but to get the full story, you need to read the book.

The point is, Wraith gave Simone both the information she desperately wanted and the information that would hurt her the most. And his motivation was both to help her and hurt her. Throughout the novel, Wraith manages to be the only one Simone can trust, while also being the one who intentionally causes her the most pain. He is there to dig and torment at all the wrong times, but he is also there for Simone during her darkest moments. 

It goes far deeper than just pretending to be friends, but hating each other underneath. Or being openly hostile, while jumping in to save the other person from peril because it's the right thing to do. There is no moral compass guiding Wraith--he's a demon, remember? All of his motives are selfish. Everything he does is calculated, and yet driven by his own desires. He toys with Simone, but he connects with her, and she connects with him. There is a level at which they simply need each other because, despite their animosity, they are the only ones who can genuinely understand each other. They are quite literally best friends and worst enemies. 

After spending her life in foster care, Simone discovers she's half angel when the demon Wraith comes into the diner where she waits tables. Wraith--the only one who is ever truthful enough with her to admit his words are mostly lies.

Years later, angry that her mother abandoned her to return to heaven, Simone finds herself abandoning her lover, Reese, and their newborn child after Wraith tells her what she can't deny is truth: "They will grow old and die while you remain young."

But could he have lied? The only way Simone can know is by finding them, and making a place for herself in their life. And when the balance between human and angel begins to shift in her, she must turn to Wraith again regardless of whether she can trust him or not.

"A unique and twisted journey into the supernatural. Compulsively readable! I was totally captivated by Heckenbach's vision." - Rachel A. Marks, author of The Dark Cycle trilogy. 

"Relent is a fresh, unique take on angels and demons that will sweep you away on a wild ride you won't soon forget." ~Amy Brock McNew, author of the Reluctant Warrior Chronicles.

Find links to purchase Relent at your favorite online retailer HERE. Also available in print on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

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