Thanks to Thianna for having me on her blog to talk to everyone about my latest release Soldiers of the Sun, which is the lead in to it as technically Soldiers is book three. However, all the stories are stand alones. Book 1 is a novella, The Darkest Midnight in December and book 2 is a short story, Snowbound, which is a rerelease from Dreamspinner’s Necking anthology (which is now out of print)>
The series is set in Pittsburgh of the 1930s in an alternative universe where everyone knows demons are real. Groups like the Soldiers of the Sun and the Knights Templar stand between humanity and the demonic. In Soldiers of the Sun Caleb, Temple and Agni know they’ll be getting a new partner and have no idea what to expect. All they know is things will change. Complicating things further is that people are dying in the city, sacrifices to raise a powerful devil, a true prince of hell. They have to find out who is behind it and stop them before it’s too late. Worse, Temple’s past has come back to haunt him.
We thought it would be fun for one of the soldiers to tell you a little bit about what it’s like to be a Soldier of the Sun, so here you go.
Shwmae, hello, I’m Caleb Davies, leader of my team. We’re demon hunters working for the Soldiers of the Sun. Thank you for having me today. They asked me to talk to you about what it’s like being a Soldier who fights demons.
First off, most Soldiers are men or women who can see the demons assuming human shape. Normal humans are blind to those demons. Anyone can spot an imp with its red fire red skin and stereotypical devil’s tail, but it takes someone like us to spot the succubus who looks like a Hollywood doll.
Sometimes it means being a little lonely. We can be shipped to wherever we’re needed without much notice, like when me, Agni, and Temple were sent to America from London. At least the Soldiers provide apartments for us on base. What’s worse when it comes to the loneliness is that some people fear us. Even though they know we’re there to keep them safe, there is still that fear. I’ve never understood it.
Our days tend to be long. If we didn’t have the late night patrol, we get up at dawn to exercise and train. If we did have patrol, training happens closer to noon. I think that’s Temple’s preference. He shares Dracula’s point of view about the dawn. It’s pretty hysterical watching him wail about it. He could have been on the silver screen.
Training takes a good chunk of the day between running courses, doing hand-to-hand combat, including all that fancy, deadly, almost-pretty stuff we learned from the Asians, and of course, weapons training. That’s not just your traditional stuff but learning to weaponize whatever is at hand and using things like blessed oils and waters, even various holy scriptures for certain types of demons. Every demon has differing weaknesses so we have to be prepared for that. Luckily, edged weapons and bullets work for the majority of them. The hard part in training is keeping Agni from shooting Temple with the holy water just to test if Temple’s possessed by an incubus. I swear some days I believe Temple is possessed.
Patrolling is a lot of what we do. We cover all of Pittsburgh but we can be sent out to the towns around us like that Christmas in Old Economy when some holiday-related demon was stealing kids. Patrol is often mind-numbing boredom punctuated by too much excitement in brief bursts. Or at least we hope brief. It’s terribly dangerous. You know you could see your partners and in my case, my lovers, torn apart in front of you. That’s why a team has to work together well. It’s too dangerous to have a team that doesn’t get along and it’s my job to make sure things are going smoothly. I’m worried about that because we’re going to be getting a new partner.
Research is in another big part of it. Many of us are bilingual. I don’t mind the research. A lot of it is very interesting, Agni loves it. Some days it’s better to have Temple go do something else. He can be distracting in the library. Temple spends more time whining than he does reading some days or worse.
We guard time off like a dragon guards gold. We don’t get enough of it so we try to make the most of our time. I’m glad in some ways that Agni, Temple, and I have different ideas of what’s fun and how to spend our time off. Everyone needs a little break, some alone time. Yes, Temple and I enjoy going to the movies and Agni and I enjoy cricket but you can’t see that here. Pity. But Agni likes to read or play in the science labs when he gets a chance. I love baseball and Temple is a fiend for music and dancing. I’m glad we get time to do that. Not every demon hunting group allows for fun. We’re lucky.
And there you have it. A day in the life of a Soldier of the Sun. Thanks for listening.
“That was not how the New Year should be welcomed.” Temple sighed, undoing his bow tie. He and his partners shuffled through the quiet corridors of one of the male wings of the Soldiers of the Sun’s home base.
“I definitely had other ideas myself,” Agni said, and Temple looked back over his shoulder at him.
“Oh, really? And here I thought you were the staid, boring type who probably turned in at nine.”
Caleb suppressed a grin. That baiting sounded much more like the Temple he knew so well.
Agni huffed. “I suppose that means you don’t want to see what I would have done. My blood’s up a little too much to go right to sleep.”
Temple’s green eyes lit up. “I didn’t say that.”
“So I’m not getting sleep anytime soon?” Caleb eyed his partner as he unlocked the door to his apartment. Sometimes Agni surprised him. Caleb thought Agni only entered into this three-way partnership because Caleb asked, but he was beginning to think Agni truly enjoyed having sex with Temple too.
Temple stuffed his tie into his pocket. “You can sleep on the couch, I suppose.”
“As noisy as you are, if I chose that option, do you really think I’d get a moment’s rest?” Caleb slipped out of his overcoat and dress jacket, putting both on the coat rack by his door.
“Then you’ll have to join us.” Temple ran his hand across Caleb’s shoulders.
“Naturally.” Caleb turned and studied Temple’s face. “Are you okay?”
Temple shrugged. “I’m not perfect, but I will be eventually. Don’t want to talk about it now.” He fisted his fingers in Caleb’s starched shirt, pulling him forward into a kiss. “And I get the middle tonight since I earned it. All you did in the fight was stand there looking pretty.”
“And how was I to know which way the demons would run?” Caleb protested, breaking free. He caught Agni’s hand, tugging him toward his bedroom.
Temple followed behind them. “You’re smart. It sounds planned to me.”
“Keep talking, Temple, and your boyfriend for tonight will be found at the end of your wrist,” Caleb volleyed back.
Temple pouted, but he didn’t look particularly sad. “Ouch, you can be so mean.”
Caleb couldn’t hide his grin. If baiting Temple made him less morose, Caleb was happy to do it. It was so very easy to get his goat, anyhow. “You love it when I am.”
“Do not.” Temple’s sulk deepened.
“I have to side with Caleb. You thrive on us being hard on you.” Agni reached back to swat Temple’s arm.
Temple narrowed his green eyes. “I’m beginning to think my hand is the better choice.”
“At least your hand wouldn’t be mean to you,” Caleb agreed.
“And it would do exactly what you want.” Agni grinned.
“You two are just lucky I like you,” Temple huffed. “And I know you’re both damaged, and this is the only way you can show affection.”
Agni wiggled free of Caleb’s grasp, heading for the nightstand. He got out the jar of lubricant and put it in Temple’s hand. “Have fun.”
“And I’m not damaged. I barely remember being at the not-so-nice orphanage,” Caleb said.
“I was thinking more that someone at the orphanage dropped you on your head as a baby,” Temple said, taking off his ichor-splattered dress shirt, dropping it to the floor. His nipples stood up in the chill of the room. He went over and played with the heater controls.
“Go enjoy that jar.” Caleb shoved him.
Temple tossed the jar onto the bed, then tackled Caleb back onto the mattress.
Author Jana Denardo
Series: Soldiers of the Sun, Book 3
Caleb Davies and Agni Pradesh are worried about their teammate and lover, Temple Chevalier. Not only has he lost his long-time partner, Fu Li, but he nearly died fighting a demon himself. Also, Temple isn’t sure he’s ready for a new teammate after Li. Caleb and Agni are even more concerned that their three-way relationship with Temple exists less because he loves them and more because he’s hiding from the pain of Li’s loss.
1932 shapes up to be a terrible year for the Soldiers as they welcome the New Year fighting demons and then end up investigating a case that pairs them up with the Knights Templar. This would normally be a good thing, but it forces Temple to face his painful past. Worse yet, the case leads right to Astaroth, a Prince of Hell, who might prove to be an unbeatable foe.
Soldiers of the Sun Available from:
While you’re enjoying Soldiers of the Sun, check out the first two books
Book 1 – The Darkest Midnight in December Available from:
Book 2 – Snowbound Available from:
About the Author:
Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.
Find her online: