Book Blitz & Giveaway: No Angel by Helen Keeble
Book Crushin is very excited to work with Xpresso Book Tours to bring you this book blitz for Helen Keeble’s newly released young adult novel No Angel. In this post you will find all the book information, an excerpt, interview and a giveaway! Hope you enjoy!
Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn’t exactly heaven on Earth.
Raffi’s about to learn that St. Mary’s is actually a hub for demons-and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he’s no angel-but it’s pretty hard to deny that there’s some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.
Helen Keeble’s debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it “refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.” No Angel brings you angels and demons like you’ve never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.
In which Rafael Angelos — high school student, would-be Casanova, and unexpected angel – attempts to get to grips with his awesome new powers
So I was, for want of a better word, an angel, possibly with a holy mission to protect the world from the forces of evil. Obviously there was one thing I had to do as soon as possible.
The next morning I got up at the crack of dawn, liberated a helmet from the communal bike shed, and set off to learn how to fly.
A half-hour hike found me a nice wide clearing in the woods, well away from the school buildings. With a last glance around to check for onlookers, I shrugged my wings out. Early morning mist scurried along the ground as I lofted them to full vertical extension, the glowing pinions reaching for the sky like outstretched hands. I crouched, looked up, and took a deep breath.
“Okay,” I said softly, and swept my wings down.
It was a good thing I’d worn a helmet.
“Right,” I muttered to myself, spitting out dirt. “Less sideways, more up.”
After another ten minutes of running, leaping, and rather unangelic swearing, I was still resolutely earthbound. I brushed the mud off my knees, scowling. Maybe what I needed was motivation. I’d certainly had plenty last night. Unfortunately, I didn’t think Faith would appreciate her own guardian angel pushing her out a window, not even in the interests of science. And I wasn’t quite confident enough in my wings to want to throw myself out of a window, either.
I crouched down in a sprinter’s stance and squeezed my eyes. Just think of all the things I’d be able to do once I mastered flight. I’d be able to confirm my suspicions about the true threat to the school. I’d be able to save Faith if she fell again. I’d be able to sneak out in the evening and find the nearest pub-
“Oh my God,” said a voice behind me.
I leapt into the air in alarm — literally. A short mid-teens girl in a baggy cardigan and unflattering glasses stood frozen in the bracken, staring at up me with her mouth hanging open. “You’re… you’re an angel,” she said.
As I was hovering six feet above her on glowing, slowly-beating wings, this did not seem like something I could deny. The rising sun highlighted the girl’s tear-tracked face and red eyes. She took a hesitant step forward, holding up a hand to shield herself from my light. “Who are you?” she breathed.
With my head backlit by my incandescent feathers, she must not have been able to make out my features. If only I could get away quickly, she need never know my identity. “Yes, I am an angel,” I said in the deepest voice I could manage, while frantically trying to work out how to go up. I wobbled dangerously in the air. “Sent from Heaven to, uh…”
“Smite the wicked?” the girl suggested hopefully. She sniffed, swiping her sleeve across her nose. “Because I can totally give you a list. Starting with that bitch Joanne.”
“Er, no.” What the hell did angels talk about? Half-remembered bits of the few Christmas services my dad had forced me to attend drifted up out of my memory. “I come bearing Good News! For unto you a child shall be born!”
The girl stared at me. She did not look like she considered this to be Glad Tidings.
Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.
Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, was released in Sept 2012, from HarperTeen.
A Signed Copy of No Angel – Open Internationally
Interview with Helen Keeble about Rafael Angelos:
1. How would you describe Rafael Angelos, the hero of No Angel?
He’s an odd mix of great self-confidence and crushing anxiety – for example, he’s supremely (and mistakenly) certain that all girls will find him irresistibly good-looking, but at the same time desperately unsure how to act in a romantic situation! And despite his attempts to cultivate an aura of cool, he’s always accidentally letting his inner dork show through.
He’d describe himself as “just a normal guy”… apart from this whole halo-and-wings thing, which he is REALLY not happy about!
2. In No Angel, Rafael Angelos discovers that he is the only male student at a previously all-girls school. Where did you get the idea for that?
I was listening to a radio program about private single-sex schools in England, and whether parents thought that they were still a good idea. There was an interview with the Head of a boys’ school that had gone mixed-sex because they were struggling to attract enough pupils. He mentioned that the first year they had only had five girls in the entire school! I immediately started wondering what it would like to be the ONLY girl at a boys’ school… and then the only boy at a girls’ school. And No Angel was born!
3. One boy surrounded by girls? Sounds like there’s a lot of potential for romance…
Yep, and that drives a lot of the comedy! Rafael’s main motivation in coming to the previously all-girls’ school is because he thinks he’ll have his pick of the lovely ladies. Unfortunately for him, it turns out that the hottest girl in the school wants to kill him, the nicest girl in the school is more interested in saving the world than noticing Rafael’s charms (not to mention that she also has the world’s most terrifying mother), and while he does end up with a fan club pining after him, they’re entirely pre-pubescent. And all of that is just the start of his troubles…
4. Did you find it difficult to write from the perspective of a teenage boy?
Not really, because we’re all just people ultimately, and I think that gives us all more commonalities than differences. But boys do have different social pressures on them than teenage girls, and it was very interesting to have a chance to explore that.
5. Who’s your favorite character in No Angel?
I love them all, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for the Headmistress, who is like all the worst, meanest, scariest teachers you ever had rolled up into one personality and magnified by a hundred. It’s so much fun to write someone that sarcastic!
6. Are any of the characters in No Angel based on people you know?
Not directly, although my mom used to be a teacher, so a lot of the teachers in the book are inspired by some of her war-stories.
(I hasten to add that my mom was NEVER sarcastic to students like the Headmistress is in No Angel… though she may sometimes secretly have wished to let rip with a devastating put-down to snotty kids sometimes!)
There is however a lot of myself in the various No Angel characters – one of them has my relentless (and I’m told occasionally aggravating) optimism, another of them is a weird loner geek like I was as a teen, one of them has a terrible pre-teen unrequited crush on an older boy like I… um, that is, I definitely never had one of those. Nope. No way. *shifty eyes* Uh, next question!
7. Your first book, Fang Girl, was a paranormal comedy about a vampire fan girl who becomes a real vampire. Is No Angel a sequel?
No, they’re completely unrelated – no characters from Fang Girl show up in No Angel. There isn’t any mention of vampires in No Angel, and Fang Girl didn’t have any angels or demons in it, so the jury is out as to whether they’re even set in the same world. (Even I haven’t quite made up my mind on that one)
However, for those who enjoyed Fang Girl, I can promise that No Angel has the same sense of humor, including affectionate mockery of ridiculous paranormal romance tropes! Basically, what I do to vampires in Fang Girl, I do to angels in No Angel.
8. Fun fact about No Angel?
It’s dedicated to my mother, with apologies. The reason for the apologies will become obvious after reading the book…