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Paved With Good Intentions (Halos & Horns, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Keith B. Darrell
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Exiled on Earth, naive angel Gabriel and amoral demon Lucifer, in the human guise of "Gabe Horn" and "Lou Cypher", form an unlikely partnership as private investigators in Las Vegas. Their adventures take them across the seven heavenly realms, into the nine levels of Hell, through the dream realm of the Dreamscape, and even through time to Camelot. Along the way, the pair encounter a wickedly funny assortment of angels, demons, witches, warlocks, vampires, and other supernatural creatures.

Darrell has devised some of the most imaginative characters in contemporary fantasy, including an intriguing array of protagonists (Miss Twitch, a Salem witch; Emma, a British schoolgirl and witch in training, and Morgan Summers, a Dreamwalker) and antagonists (sadistic witch-hunter Nathaniel Thornhill, a golem, a Paiute Shaman, the corporate vampires of Nosferatu, Inc., trampires, gangsters, and demons). Some of the vampires include Sharon - she's Jewish, crosses don't bother her; Pandora - trouble follows her like a shadow; Claude - he's too claustrophobic to use a coffin; and Artemus - a 10-year-old boy who's been a vampire for 457 years. But the real stars are the ultimate odd couple, Gabriel and Lucifer, whose comedic banter and improbable escapades will amuse and thrill readers and leave them asking for more.

Paved With Good Intentions is written in a style that differs from most books you may have read. As episodic fiction, each chapter is a complete story but the chapters build upon one another, composing a larger story. There are also Interludes - brief tales that serve to flesh out minor characters, or fill in gaps or backstory as a prelude to an event about to occur. Some readers find the episodic fiction format somewhat atypical and nonlinear, but later are pleasantly surprised when everything that at first appeared disjointed is pulled together, as the novel draws to a close.

The book's central theme is the nature of good and evil and whether one can overcome one's nature. Lucifer, like all demons, is hedonistic. Coming from Hell, a harsh environment filled with squalor and suffering, he makes the most out of any chance he gets for pleasure, such as gambling (on soul futures) and drinking (Merlin Ale). Gabriel, like all angels, is naïve, coming from an environment of perfection, where there is no struggle or suffering, and looks down on Lucifer's hedonism as vices. Lucifer is a semi-tragic figure, seeking happiness which is almost within reach before being snatched from his grasp. His quest is to become more human and to overcome his demonic nature. But as Lucifer is moving toward something, conversely Gabriel is moving away from something, encountering a crisis of faith. That's the larger story. The Halos & Horns saga continues in And A Child Shall Lead Them.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3395 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Amber Book Company LLC (January 12, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TMAL7M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,604,493 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Laugh Out Loud and Fun Read April 17, 2011
When I first read that this book involved the story of an angel, Gabriel or Gabe Horn, and demon, Lucifer or Lou Cypher, in Las Vegas, I thought "no way." Then I began reading and thought "okay this might work." Keith Darrell has provided a tongue-in-cheek, humorous read about this angel-demon duo in Paved with Good Intentions. They are both sent to earth to fulfill a mission and fail. Rather than dealing with the possible repercussions of their failure by returning to Heaven and Hell, they decide to stay on earth and head to Vegas.

I laughed while reading about the exploits of this dynamic duo. Their sexcapades result in Cory Evian and Violet Adams, and a few others, being expelled from their dormitory, Eden Hall. Yes, that's Adams and Evian being expelled from Eden. This is the action that causes Gabe and Lou's decision to stay on earth and relocate to Vegas. While in Vegas their exploits continue, but this time Gabe and Lou are playing at being private investigators. They meet shamans, dreamwalkers, vampires and trampires, witches - Morgana le Fay and Samantha Twitch, and warlocks - Perry Hotter, Merlin and Mordred.

I can appreciate any novel that makes me laugh and this made me laugh. Even better, Mr. Darrell evoked the desire to want to learn more about the characters and cheer them on during their exploits. The story slowed a few times with all of the action and subplots going on but it usually picked up again after a few pages. I may not be sure of how to classify this in terms of genre but I can definitely say I liked it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paved with... magical humor! November 12, 2012
By K Pedre
Paved with Good Intentions was a really good fantasy story.

The plot and setting, as well as the characters, all made up a great read that was hard to let go of. The possibility that such characters could walk the earth was amusing. Keith has such ideas that make this a fantastic read. I couldn't put it down.

Just imagine two personalities as extreme as an archangel and a demon getting their holy feet and filthy paws on earth and being transformed by the world and each other. Add in a sprinkle of werewolves, witches, and vampires along with a regular dose of humans, and you've walked through the greatest story-telling maze ever! In the end it all fits together like a giant puzzle. This is isn't your every-day, boring novel; the story builds up with each turn of the page, with each chapter read.

It is filled with never-ending imaginative and dark tales that anyone with an open mind will definitely enjoy. I look forward to reading the next one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny and yet not enough to grab me April 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was different than most books out on the Market. Not because of content but because of writing style. It's written in almost TV like 'episodes' that carried the story through the book. This replaced the use of the normal 'chapters'. Anything different than normal takes a bit of getting used to and it was stylistically a big change, for me, to get used to. It was like reading a play or script.

From the start I had trouble getting into the book. Beyond the above 'episodes' there was, within the opening few pages, a character flaw that had me have trouble believing this make believe story. The 'naive' angel Gabriel was how he was described in the summary on the back of the book. This 'naive' angel has sex within the first episode. It troubled me. Here's this angel that is supposed to be on Earth representing God against the Devil in this test.. and this angel within his first day there.. the first test thrown at him is having sex. Surely Gabriel knew better!

After getting through that first bit of trouble the book did start to get better about 120/130 pages in. Gabriel and Lucifer join together and become PI's in Vegas. I loved the name change for Lucifer. Lou Cypher had me laughing out loud. Their journey together being PI's was comical and entertaining. The cast of characters grows to include everything from Angels and Devils to Witches, Warlocks, Vampires and Gangsters.

By the end of the book I did enjoy it and was even pondering purchasing the second book in this series. I did not end up doing so. I wasn't sure that I enjoyed it enough to do so. It wasn't a book that kept me up at night or even one that made me want to read it whenever I could. It was entertaining but it didn't grab me enough and I decided that I would not be following the Halo & Horns series.

If you are into a light read that has moments of pure comedy, check this one out.

Reviewer for 1000 + Books to Read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing June 20, 2011
By Mandy

The picture of the sky on top and fire on bottom are pretty literal symbols of what people think of when thinking of Heaven and Hell. I like the devil's tail wrapped through the halo ... I think it'd make a good tattoo if you were to design it out a little more.


The concept of the book was definitely original: An angel and a demon coming together and forming a partnership on Earth, unexpectedly helping each other out during the entire process. Because of this, I really wanted to like this book. Anybody who thinks outside the norm is worth a shot in my book.

However, I did have some issues. Thinking outside the norm can be good (i.e. an angel and demon working together), but if you take away the fundamental aspects of two beings that people expect ... it can get kind of iffy. For example ... oh ... wait a sec ... let me do this first ....

*Slight Spoiler Alert*

Okay, now you've been warned ... back to what I was saying ...

An example of taking away the fundamental aspects of a being people know is when the author had the angel (Gabriel) have sex with a college student ... I'm sorry, but when people think of Heavenly angels, they think of goodness and purity. They don't think of them as having human weaknesses, like sexual temptations.

On the flip side, when people think of demons (particularly Lucifer), do they imagine a demon falling in love and behaving well? They become lustful, definitely, but falling in love ... ??? That was sort of a stretch for me.

As for the flow of the book ... I'm sure the author wanted this book to read straight through like a novel. It did not read that way to me at all. The characters experienced so many people, places and things that it read ...
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More About the Author

A prolific American writer of short stories, novels, nonfiction books, and newspaper and magazine articles, Keith B. Darrell is the author of:
* The short story collections "Randoms", "Careywood", and "Shards";
* "Collected Essays of a Reluctant Blogger"
* "The 25th Hour" (Young Adult SF)
* "The Tomorrow Paradox" (Young Adult SF)
* The "Halos & Horns" fantasy series:
... "Paved with Good Intentions"(Book 1),
... "And a Child Shall Lead Them" (Book 2),
... "To Hell in a Handbasket" (Book 3), and
... "The Witches' Cauldron" (Book 4);
... "Halos & Horns: The Omnibus Edition"
* "Fangs & Fur: Flashbacks"
* The textbook "Issues In Internet Law: Society, Technology, and the Law" (now in its 9th edition);
* And two web design books: "The Web Designer's Client Handbook"; and "Putting Your Business on the Internet: Your Website, Your Web Designer & YOU!"
* Keith has also published 40 eStorybooks for Kindle.

Randoms, his speculative fiction collection, was a finalist in the 2009 NIE Awards and was also honored as a finalist in the Fiction & Literature: Anthologies category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News. Shards, his second speculative fiction collection, was named a Finalist in the category of Short Stories in the 2013 NIE Awards.Issues In Internet Law: Society, Technology, and the Law was the 2013 NIE Awards Winner in the Internet books category.


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