Four years ago, Frankie Rios walked away from her best friend and big sister, Iris. To Frankie, Iris
died the day that she last rejected Frankie’s attempts at getting Iris alcohol and drug treatment. Rather
than accept grief for her beloved sister’s loss, Frankie turned to her music. A renowned cellist, Frankie
has managed to ignore the pain and suffering of losing the person she loved most in this world. With Iris
out of her mind and out of her life, Frankie was able to move on…or so she thought. Until Iris really
Topher went to war in 2001 only to return two years later damaged and broken. Unable to
reconcile the war vet with the boy he used to be, Topher gave up on life. When Iris Rios, his long-lost
childhood best friend, dies from liver failure at thirty-two years-old, Topher is forced to confront his
past. He must decide whether he deserves to heal. He must decide whether he will take that first step
and then take another until he can recover what he lost: himself.
Weeping Angels is a story of grief carried and grief ignored. It’s about learning to love and
moving on. Mourning someone once is hard enough, but mourning someone twice is unimaginably
Genre: Women’s fiction, romance
Release date: June 27, 2014
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A woman hurls herself into the parking lot without even checking to see if a car is coming. Long
blonde hair flies like a cape and she moves as though propelled by a rocket. Black, slinky heels flick off
her feet, smacking into the asphalt with every rapid step. The scarf wrapped around her neck, despite
this god-forsaken humidity, flaps over her shoulder. Any other day, I might have tried to stop her. If not,
I might have fallen to the ground and covered my head with my hands, brought back to Afghanistan by
some misapprehending synapse fire. But not tonight. Tonight, I merely stand by and watch her go.
She stops abruptly at the edge of the parking lot and just stands there. Her back to us, she drops
her arms to her sides and her shoulders slump. I’m not sure what I’m looking at, but whatever it is
unfurls as I watch. A woman like that doesn’t need to be crying at the end of the parking lot alone, and
we’re watching like a couple of jackals who are just man enough to smoke outside a funeral, but not
man enough to rescue her from herself. I’m not sure what it is about her, but I can’t stop staring, so I
don’t even try.
I suck on my cigarette, taking the longest pull I can to give myself time to keep from engaging in
conversation, when the woman slams her palms to her thighs. If she were any closer or if there was any
less traffic on the highway, we might have heard the smacking sound echoing in the air. Even without
sound, I feel it. A sonic wave crashes into my chest. My heart stops beating for a second in its wake.
Through a stream of white smoke, I jut my chin to the woman.
”Who’s that?” I ask Jose.
“That’s Frances.” He’s curt, and the sharpness when he says her name makes it sound like an
offense. “I thought you knew her,” he adds, raising an eyebrow skeptically.
There’s a silence between us as we keep our eyes trained on Frankie. For the life of me, I would
have never known it was her had he not just told me. I wonder now why no one makes his or her way
toward her. If there’s a husband or a boyfriend standing about inside, someone needs to tell him that
she’s out there alone, grieving.
“Frankie loved Iris. She’s probably taking this hard.”
As soon as the last word has fallen from my lips, Jose chuckles humorlessly and again my
eyebrows furrow. I can feel the anger lining my forehead. Jose brings the cigarette to his lips and smoke
pours from his nostrils as he inhales and exhales simultaneously like a fuming dragon. He shakes his
head as his gaze wanders back to Frankie.
“Frankie loved Iris, that’s true, but Frankie also disappeared and refused to come when Iris got
“I don’t believe you.”
Shock slaps across Jose’s face when I declare him a liar. There is absolutely no way I can know if
what Jose said is true or not.
An ephemeral summer breeze catches her hair. When it passes, she combs her fingers through
her hair and twists it into a knot that she promptly releases. Even though she’s far away, I make out the
shaking of her shoulders, as if she might burst.
I’ve never felt as intimate with Frankie as I do right now. Sharing in her private, raw space is
wrong. I want is to throw a curtain between her and the rest of the world. I want to put my body
between Frankie and all the smokers, spread my arms, puff my chest, and yell out, “There’s nothing to
see here! Move along!”like some cop directing rubberneckers forward in traffic.
I take my first step off the curb so that I can go to her and do I don’t know what,
when she turns around and hugs herself so tightly you’d think it was freezing, when it’s actually a humid
ninety degrees Fahrenheit. Her head tilts forward and her blonde bangs sway, falling over her eyes.
She starts walking, slumped and dejected, in my direction. If a car whizzed by her, she might
look up, but given by the way she ejected herself from the building, I’m not fully convinced she doesn’t
have a death wish. So I do the only thing I can think of, I finish taking that first step and then take
What Frankie says breaks me. It breaks me. And it’s not even about Iris or me; it’s about Frankie.
Everything she said about Iris fills me in on years that I’ve missed. Even when I’d been
standing right beside her, I was ignoring what now seems so obvious it’s blinding. Yet, for all the talk
about Iris’s alcoholism and suicidal tendencies, what Frankie’s opened up about is herself.
I’m not even sure she notices because she’s so guarded. Never once has she reflected on what
she’s said. She’s been stating facts, telling stories. That’s what she thinks, anyway. I know this like I know
myself, because it’s what I do. I state facts and I tell stories, and what I’m actually doing is diverting
attention from what’s going on inside.
Frankie’s all Iris this, Iris that, but what I hear is: I can’t live with myself
because Iris was never happy and I couldn’t save her. It’s what I hear inside myself every minute
of every day, and my heart breaks for Frankie and for me. What I do next comes so naturally that it
scares the living shit out of me. I don’t let her leave. I hold her as close as I can because what I want is
for her to be inside of me the way she’s let me be inside of her.
In this space and time, Frankie and I are one person. I’m angry with her. I’m aggressive about it,
maybe even hurting her, but I reason that it can’t be any worse than how she’s been hurting herself by
balling this all up for decades.
As much as I need her to be close, I want to push her away. I want her to leave and never come
back. I want Frankie to take flight tomorrow morning, and I want to be the one to deliver her to the
airport because what I’m feeling is something that I’m not ready to deal with. I tell myself to let her stay
here, to give her this space from death that she needs. I’m surer now more than ever that we have an
unbreakable bond, but I don’t want it.
We have right now and I need it right now, but I can’t want to have it tomorrow. I can’t want to
have it ever again. It’s like being with yourself all the time, but only with the ugliest parts of you. It’s
looking at all the broken pieces of your psyche and being forced to confront them.
That’s what Frankie is to me. That’s what she’s been to me all day if I cop to it. Maybe it was like
that last night when I went out after her in the parking lot and walked her back to the service. Maybe it’s
why I couldn’t believe that she could be out there alone with no one to hide her sadness from the world.
I’m making up for it today, though. Right now, I’m making up for leaving her naked and on a slab for the
world to pick apart. The more I hold her, the more I fear that I’ll never be able to let her go, but I keep
doing it because she’s something worth saving and, if she can be saved, then maybe I can be, too.
Ten Fun Facts about Cristy Rey
1. I am a librarian.
2. For the holidays last year, I knit a Cthulhu scarflette for
my good friend, Dre.
3. I have harvested over 100 mangoes from the tree in my
yard in the last three weeks. (Please, no more mangoes!) I don’t even like mangoes.
4. My parents are Cuban.
5. I was a vegetarian and, later, a pescatarian for over
fifteen years. Thanksgiving 2012 was the first time I had poultry, beef, or pork in half my life.
6. I thought of Weeping Angels as I stood at the
funeral of a good friend – the real Iris – observing the mourners, looking at photos of a woman who
didn’t match the one I used to know, and holding the hand of my sister, her ex-fiancée.
7. My dog is named after Indiana Jones and Sherlock, and
my cat is named after a comic book character by Roman Dirge and a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.
8. I am almost 6’ tall.
9. I am a fangirl through and through: I read comics, I am a
Whovian, I am a Sherlockian, I am committed to the Whedonverse, and I have a Fringe tattoo.
10. I make my own Halloween costumes.
About Cristy Rey
Cristy Rey is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Incarnate series. The first book, Taking
Back Sunday, and a short prequel novelette, Edge of Seventeen, are available now at online retailers.
She also writes and publishes unconventional romantic women’s fiction. Her first standalone, Weeping
Angels, is available now, and her second, Heart Grow Fonder, will be out in winter 2014/2015.
Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she is a reader and writer most of the time, and a knitter much
less of the time than she was six months before she took up writing again. She writes the books that she
likes to read. She describes her writing style as riot grrrl Jane Austen sprinkled with a little magic. There’s
always a killer soundtrack running in the background of her novels – all you need to do is turn to the
playlist to know what’s up.
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A few of Cristy’s other novels
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