The Archangel of Castro by Diana Copland

March 21, 2010

Hi!  My name is Diana Copland, and I’m very excited to have a story included in Dreamspinner’s “A Brush of Wings” Anthology.  Here is a short excerpt from “The Archangel of Castro”:

Excerpt:

Brian smiled that movie-star smile as he came around the counter, and Nick felt his heart expand in his chest. “Headed out?” he asked, noticing the denim jacket encasing the square shoulders.

“Mark asked me to meet him for a drink,” Brian answered with a shrug and a twist of his lips. “I wasn’t doing anything else.”

Nick removed the towel from his belt loop and studiously began to work on a non-existent spot on the pristine counter top, refusing to look up. Mark Bryant was someone relatively new in Brian’s life; they’d met at one of the night classes that Brian was taking, and he’d called his cell phone several times. Nick had had to force himself not to eavesdrop on those conversations.

“That sounds like fun,” Nick remarked, relieved that his voice came out evenly around the lump in his throat.

“I guess,” Brian answered, but he didn’t leave as Nick expected. He stood there until Nick finally looked up. “Do you want me to stay? Help you close up instead?” His blue eyes were wide and so very blue that Nick could almost get lost in them. Almost.

“Why would you want to do that?” he said instead, forcing a smile. “Go on, go out and have some fun. You’ve helped close every night this week.”
Brian frowned slightly, hesitating. “You’re sure?”

Nick waved at him with the towel. “Go on. It’s so quiet I’m already doing the breakfast set-up. I’ll be fine.”

“Okay,” Brian said with a shrug, and then leaned in and pressed a quick kiss to Nick’s cheek. Nick closed his eyes, feeling his hand clench around the towel. Brian was so easy in his shows of affection, so generous with them. It didn’t mean anything, he told himself. “I won’t be late.”

Nick swallowed heavily and forced his eyes open. “You don’t have a curfew,” he said with a laugh that sounded almost as forced as if felt.

“But you worry,” Brian said. “And I don’t want you to, so no later than midnight. Night, Gabriel,” he said with a smile as he passed.

“Cherub,” Gabriel said with a regal inclination of his head. Brian’s smile widened, and then he was out through the door.

Nick watched his silhouette until it disappeared in the mist, then sighed unconsciously as he reached for another salt shaker to fill.

“You know,” Gabriel said slowly, and Nick glanced up to see him primly wiping his lips with his napkin, “you could be a bigger idiot, but I’m not quite sure how.”

Nick blinked. “Pardon?”

“You,” Gabriel said pointedly, “are an idiot. And you’re making my job here unnecessarily difficult.”

Nick frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about you and the Cherub, you nincompoop,” Gabriel retorted sharply. “God in heaven, man. What in the world are you waiting for? An engraved invitation? Someone to skywrite it for you? Perhaps a little golden arrow in the ass? Not going to happen. Cupid is retired. That’s why I’m here.”

Nick stared at him, feeling like he’d just entered a parallel universe. “You’re here instead of Cupid,” he said stupidly.

“Well, they got tired of all his pissing and moaning about his arthritis, so they put him out to pasture, as it were. He’s still pissing and moaning. Reminds me a bit of Milt, now I think about it,” he said, looking thoughtfully towards the pass-through, his index finger on his chin. “They might be related….”

“Gabriel,” Nick said, gentling his voice. “There’s nothing going on between me and Brian. He’s my friend. That’s all.”

“God, you’re stupid.” Gabriel scowled at him, and the expression was completely at odds with the circle of garland dancing above his head. He looked like a rather grumpy cherubim in a school Christmas pageant.


Writing this story was pure pleasure for me.  I loved the whole concept of an anthology with ‘divine intervention’ at the heart of it.  Mainly, I think, because I’ve always believed that someone was keeping an eye out for me. I truly do believe that I’m still here because I simply wasn’t ‘done yet’.  There have just been too many instances where it could have easily gone the other way for me to believe in coincidence.

I began writing when I was about 13, and it has always been one of my great loves, one I didn’t really have the time to indulge until my kids were grown.  I love the whole process of character construction and plotting, and spend a good deal of my time with my head in the clouds, writing even when I’m doing something else.  I feel really fortunate to have found Dreamspinner, and to be included in this anthology.  I believe that m/m romantic fiction is only going to become more and more popular, and I’m proud to be a part of that movement.

I’d love for anyone who is interested to visit my blog at:   http://diana-copland.livejournal.com/

I’d also like to invite you to check out the sites for the “A Brush of Wings” Anthology:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1757 for the paperback link, and  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1738 for the ebook.

Thanks so much for taking the time to check it out!

18 Responses to “The Archangel of Castro by Diana Copland”

  1. Betsy says:

    Diana

    I loved your first story “The Four Seasons” in the Sindustry anthology and can’t wait to read your next story.

  2. S. Blaise says:

    Hi Diana! The excerpt made me giggle, am looking forward to reading more. I think the submission call struck a chord with a lot of people, which is good because now there are so many wonderful and varied stories to read!

  3. Hey, Betsy!!!

    Thank you so much! You’re the best!

  4. Hi, S.Blaise! Thanks so much! I’m looking forward to reading the Anthology, too. These excepts are all so different, but so engaging. It should be a great read!

  5. sarah says:

    Love Gabriel in the role of Cupid! I’m looking forward to reading!

  6. rjscott says:

    I adore *oblivious idiot* stories… and Gabriel… awesome… HUGS XXX

  7. Hey, Sarah. Thanks so much! And yes, he’s an interesting cupid, I think. He’s certainly an opinionated one!

  8. Hi, rjscott!

    I like those oblivious idiots myself. And Gabriel was a kick in the shorts to write! Thanks so much for the hugs! I return them, tenfold.

  9. Sharon says:

    Fantastic excerpt! I’ve been waiting for this book for weeks! And for your story especially, D. :D

  10. Hey, love!!! Thanks so much. I’m really excited about it!

  11. I’m still learning how all of this works, so I should have posted my response to you here! Thanks for stopping by, honey. I love you more than my luggage!!

  12. clarelondon says:

    This looks very intriguing – and fun! – I’m looking forward to reading it!
    Clare :)

  13. Jacqueline says:

    So exciting! The excerpt sounds like so much fun. Gabriel for the win. :D

  14. Hi, Clare!

    Thanks! Being a huge fan of yours, that’s really very flattering.

    Thanks again!

    Diana

  15. Thanks, babe! So nice to see you here!!!

    Thanks so much for coming over; it means the world!

    Diana

  16. Another excerpt geared to draw me in. Luckily I only have to buy the one anthology to read them all.

  17. These sound like so much fun, don’t they? And hello there!

  18. Hello, dear Diana,
    I’m writing to you here since I couldn’t find an email address :) .
    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your story. I especially loved Gabriel – he is probably the best character out of the whole anthology! Thank you for writing such a lovely piece.

    Cornelia

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