Monday, March 8, 2010

Excerpt & Giveaway - Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Thanks to the kind folks at Penguin/Viking I have a signed copy of Angelology, the debut novel from acclaimed memoirist Danielle Trussoni (On-sale: March 9, 2010).  Her first book, Falling Through the Earth, was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year in 2006 by the New York Times.

Publishers Weekly says “suspenseful intrigues and apocalyptic battle scenes give this complexly plotted tale a vigor and vitality all the more exciting for its intelligence.” Library Journal also gives it a starred review saying, “Trussoni makes an impressive fiction debut with this engrossing and fascinating tale.”

Trussoni is already writing the sequel, and a movie version is in the works with Will Smith’s Overbrook producing and Michael Goldenberg—the screenwriter for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix—writing the screenplay.

You can learn more at and You can also read an interview with Danielle Trussoni  at Marta Acosta's Vampire Wire. Giveaway details at the end of the post.

Book Summary: Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.

Rich in history, full of mesmerizing characters, and wondrously conceived, Angelology blends biblical lore, the myth of Orpheus and the Miltonic visions of Paradise Lost into a riveting tale of ordinary people engaged in a battle that will determine the fate of the world.
Angelology Excerpt:

Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. Copyright © 2010 by Danielle Trussoni

Fifth Avenue, Upper East Side, New York City

Percival Grigori tapped the tip of his cane as he waited for the elevator, a rhythm of sharp metallic clicks pounding out the seconds. The oak-paneled lobby of his building—an exclusive prewar with views of Central Park—was so familiar that he hardly noticed it any longer. The Grigori family had occupied the penthouse for over half a century. Once he might have registered the deference of the doorman, the opulent arrangement of orchids in the foyer, the polished ebony and mother-of-pearl elevator casement, the fire sending a spray of light and warmth across the marble floor. But Percival Grigori noticed nothing at all except the pain crackling through his joints, the popping of his knees with each step. As the doors of the elevator slid open and he hobbled inside, he regarded his stooped image in the polished brass of the elevator car and looked quickly away.

At the thirteenth floor, he stepped into a marble vestibule and unlocked the door to the Grigori apartment. Instantly the soothing elements of his private life—part antique, part modern, part gleaming wood, part sparkling glass—filled his senses, relaxing the tension in his shoulders. He threw his keys onto a silk pillow at the bottom of a Chinese porcelain bowl, shrugged his heavy cashmere overcoat into the lap of an upholstered banister-back chair, and walked through the travertine gallery. Vast rooms opened before him—a sitting room, a library, a dining hall with a four-tiered Venetian chandelier suspended overhead. An expanse of picture windows staged the chaotic ballet of a snowstorm.

At the far end of the apartment, the curve of a grand staircase led to his mother’s suite of rooms. Peering up, Percival discerned a party of her friends gathered in the formal sitting room. Guests came to the apartment for lunch or dinner nearly every day, impromptu gatherings that allowed his mother to hold court for her favorite friends from the neighborhood. It was a ritual she had grown more and more accustomed to, primarily because of the power it gave her: She selected those people she wished to see, enclosed them in the dark-paneled lair of her private quarters, and let the rest of the world go on with its tedium and misery. For years she had left her suite only on rare occasions, when accompanied by Percival or his sister, and only at night. His mother had grown so comfortable with the arrangement, and her circle had become so regular, that she rarely complained of her confinement.

Quietly, so as not to draw attention to himself, Percival ducked into a bathroom at the end of the hallway, shut the door softly behind him, and locked it. In a succession of quick movements, he discarded a tailored wool jacket and a silk tie, dropping each piece of clothing onto the ceramic tiles. Fingers trembling, he unbuttoned six pearlescent buttons, working upward to his throat. He peeled away his shirt and stood to full height before a large mirror hung upon the wall.

Running his fingers over his chest, he felt a mélange of leather strips weaving one over the other. The device wrapped about him like an elaborate harness, creating a system of stays that, when fully fastened, had the overall appearance of a black corset. The straps were so taut they cut into his skin. Somehow, no matter how he fastened it, the leather cinched too tightly. Struggling for air, Percival loosened one strap, then the next, working the leather through small silver buckles with deliberation until, with a final tug, the device fell to the floor, the leather slapping the tiles.

His bare chest was smooth, without navel or nipples, the skin so white as to appear cut from wax. Swiveling his shoulder blades, he could see the reflection of his body in the mirror—his shoulders, his long thin arms, and the sculpted curve of his torso. Mounted at the center of his spine, matted by sweat, deformed by the severe pressure of the harness, were two tender nubs of bone. With a mixture of wonder and pain, he noted that his wings—once full and strong and bowed like golden scimitars—had all but disintegrated. The remnants of his wings were black with disease, the feathers withered, the bones atrophied. In the middle of his back, two open wounds, blue and raw from chafing, fixed the blackened bones in a gelatinous pool of congealed blood. Bandages, repeated cleanings—no amount of care helped to heal the wounds or relieve his pain. Yet he understood that the true agony would come when there was nothing left of his wings. All that had distinguished him, all that the others had envied, would be gone.

The first symptoms of the disorder had appeared ten years before, when fine tracks of mildew materialized along the inner shafts and vanes of the feathers, a phosphorescent green fungus that grew like patina on copper. He had thought it a mere infection. He’d had his wings cleaned and groomed, specifying that each feather be brushed with oils, and yet the pestilence remained. Within months his wingspan had decreased by half. The dusty golden shimmer of healthy wings faded. Once, he had been able to compress his wings with ease, folding his majestic plumage smoothly against his back. The airy mass of golden feathers had tucked into the arched grooves along his spine, a maneuver that rendered the wings completely undetectable.
Although physical in substance, the structure of healthy wings gave them the visual properties of a hologram. Like the bodies of the angels themselves, his wings had been substantial objects utterly unimpaired by the laws of matter. Percival had been able to lift his wings through thick layers of clothing as easily as if he had moved them through air.

Now he found that he could no longer retract them at all, and so they were a perpetual presence, a reminder of his diminishment. Pain overwhelmed him; he lost all capability for flight. Alarmed, his family had brought in specialists, who confirmed what the Grigori family most feared: Percival had contracted a degenerative disorder that had been spreading through their community. Doctors predicted that his wings would die, then his muscles. He would be confined to a wheelchair, and then, when his wings had withered completely and their roots had melted away, Percival would die. Years of treatments had slowed the progression of the disease but had not stopped it.

Percival turned on the faucet and splashed cool water over his face, trying to dissipate the fever that had overtaken him. The harness helped him to keep his spine erect, an increasingly difficult task as his muscles grew weak. In the months since it had become necessary to wear the harness, the pain had only grown more acute. He never quite got used to the bite of leather on his skin, the buckles as sharp as pins against his body, the burning sensation of ripped flesh. Many of their kind chose to live away from the world when they became ill. This was a fate Percival could not begin to accept.

  1. One signed copy of Angelology to giveaway courtesy of Penguin/Viking.
  2. Leave a comment and a way to notify you if you should win.
  3. Open to US and Canadian addresses.
  4. Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
  5. Giveaway open until Midnight, March 15, 2010 EST.


  1. I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you for the opportunity. :D


  2. Awesome sample. Love to read more.


  3. I would love to win this book. I just read a review in People magazine.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    -Kelly H.

  4. I've been on the fence with this book, although it does sound quite good. Are you going to review it Doug? I wish I could read somebody's opinion before I commit myself.

  5. People magazine also had a nice review about Angelology, where Trussoni has done some reviewing for. Would love a copy!

  6. I have a copy on my sidetable and hope to get to it within a week or so. I read one lukewarm review but can't remember where. Mainstream media seems pretty positive.

  7. Wow! I have been looking forward to this novel.
    Please enter me in draw.

  8. I've read positive reviews about this book. I would love to win a copy. Thanks so much for the contest!


  9. I definitely want to read more after I read the first chapter.

  10. What a great cover! Definitely want to win a copy of this!

    Morning Glow
    ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

  11. I really need to get this book. I've heard so much about it and it sounds just like the type of book I would enjoy: mythical and intelligent. I love stories of angels, good and bad ones, and this is just my cup of tea.

    I posted the contest on my FB page and I've also posted a tweet.

  12. Please enter me!



  13. I've read mixed reviews on this book. I still want to read it. For me part of the draw is my occupation-medievalist. Which is not really related but a good friend is a scholar whose research is focused on (medieval) angels. We talk about our research. Wow, digression here.

    Anyway, I would love to read some FICTION with angels ;)


  14. Been wanting to read this since i heard about it, thanks for the chance to win it!

    van p.

  15. I so want this book, would love to enter the giveaway.

  16. please enter me in the giveaway, would like the read this book. Definitely sparked an interest.


  17. i really want this book. i hope i win!


  18. Please include me in the giveaway and again thanks for the opportunity!


    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

  19. Looks great!

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

  20. Sounds interesting, I'm very curious!

    chrissy dot morin at gmail dot com

  21. Thanks for sharing and hosting this great giveaway! I'd love a copy og this book!

    Shared Event link on FaceBook:!/Kate.and.Norm.Leger?ref=profile

    Kate (aka YzhaBella)

  22. Thanks for the wonderful contest. I've always been interested in angels, and I can't wait to read this. I'd love to win a copy!!!


    twitter -

  23. Thanks for the contest. I would love to win this. Angels are so interesting. I am loving reading about them as of late.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  24. This book sounds great, so thanks for the contest!

    karenwitkowski AT aol(dot)com

  25. This sounds really interesting. I'd love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

  26. I can't wait to read this. It has been on my wishlist for months and finally the release date is here!

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  27. I would love a chance to read this book!

    chichai_hana at hotmail dot com

  28. I'm glad you put up an excerpt. It really helps to get a feel for the book before deciding whether or not to buy (or enter the contest)

    I'd love to enter for this contest.

  29. Thanks for the contest. I'm so excited to read this book!

    ambience.of.rain {at} gmail {dot} com

    +1 Tweeted:

  30. I read a review in the Times and it sounds good. Sounds good. kayannakirby(at)gmail(dot)com.
    thanks. I've tweeted and face book this post

  31. Sounds really good, please include me.

    Linked here and on the sidebar -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  32. Enter me please!


  33. This is right up my alley, as Urban Fantasy lover and bible reader. I'd love to read it, also owing to the excerpts I've read.

    my blog where I'm posting the contest:
    my email:

  34. I would love a copy of this book. I so wanna read more angel fiction.

    patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

  35. I would absolutely love to read this book. It looks fantastic.

    I have also posted on my livejournal

    sleepingaurora at hotmail dot com

  36. This one has me curious. I am hearing a lot about it lately. Please drop my name in the hat.



    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    Very interesting subject.

  38. I've been seeing this book everywhere lately. I would love a chance to win it.


    findjessyhere at gmail dot com

  39. I adore angels! Would love to win!!

  40. I want to read this so bad.


  41. Great giveaway - so happy for this author - what great reviews!


  42. Would love this novel!

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

  43. Sounds great! Would love to win! :) lilianril(at)gmail(dot)com

  44. Oh this looks like a book I'm going to enjoy. I'm enjoying the angel presence in urban fantasy a great deal.

    I posted the contest on my blog at


  45. angel books seem to be catching on. I'm so glad :)

  46. Iwould lov and really want to win this book, I read the sample and it really sounds great who knows really whom walks amoung us, Lov to win great contest pick me pick me Please!!, even if I dont win Ill go buy it, thats how bad I want to read this..

  47. This book sounds interesting!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  48. Tweeted:

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  49. The books sounds angels..I'm hooked after reading the sample..

  50. Awesome!!
    I'd love to win a copy of this book!


  51. Angelology is exquisite, thrilling — a wonder-world!

    See too a non-fiction book you'll love:

    Angels on My Stage: The True Story of Eddie Benitez.

    It came out about 3 weeks before Angelology and you'd think it was used for research by Danielle! Only this is real life — check it out.


For bloggers comments are like water to a man (or woman) wandering in the desert. A precious commodity. I love to hear from everyone and do my best to respond to every post.

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