Saturday, December 22, 2012

It’s the End of the World and We Know It. And I Feel Fine...sorta.

By Jean Viola Ryan (Guest Blogger)

A tiny part of me is always disappointed when they predict the world is going to end and it doesn’t. It’s not that I want to die or I hate the world. It’s more that I’m curious what comes next.

The rest of me is super duper uber happy the world is continuing. After all my debut novel, The Mark of Abel, released yesterday. I’m pretty sure that no matter whatever comes next, book sales require the world to still exist.

No one is more glad the world is continuing than my villains, the Grigori, also known as the Watchers in The Book of Genesis. I’ve taken these fallen angels and put a unique spin on them. They convinced Cain to murder Abel so they could drink his blood, thus gaining free will and becoming vampires.

As if getting kicked out of heaven isn’t bad enough, God tells the Grigori after the Day of Judgement, they will be tormented for the rest of eternity. This appears in the Book of Enoch, one of my inspirations.

The Grigori will do anything, and I mean anything, to prevent the end of the world. That doesn’t sound so evil. In the sequel I’m working on, The Chalice of Creation, they are willing to destroy all of humanity in order to prevent the events of The Book of Revelations from unfolding. If they have the chalice, they won’t need humans for food and can destroy them. In The Mark of Abel, their goal is to prevent Lucifer from returning to heaven.

I love playing with old source material, like the Book of Enoch and the Book of Revelations. The flow of the language and interpreting the metaphors are great inspiration. The Mayan end of the world is a bit of a disappointment. There aren’t any great symbols to play with. I love things like Nostradamous’ quatrains.

Even modern doomsday preachers, like Jack Van Impe, are guilty pleasures. On Jack Van Impe Presents, he artfully weaves Biblical verses with current events to show the world is about to end any minute now. It’s been just about to end ever since I started watching him back when Y2K was going to destroy the world. I love how unapologetic he is. He never admits he was wrong and when the world doesn’t end as predicted, he simply continues that the world is about to end without pausing for breath.

But as usual, he was wrong once again. The world didn’t end. No massive meteor crashed into the earth. The poles didn’t reverse. The earth didn’t explode. Nope. We’re all still here. The Grigori are thrilled. Are you? What are you looking forward to this upcoming year? Why are you glad the world didn’t end yesterday?


Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.

Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.

Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.

“Where’s Eve?” Lucifer shouted. The columns shook, but remained standing. He balled his fists until talons pierced his palms and blood ran down his hands.
With Adam in Sumeria.” God warmed his hands by the fire.
“What will happen to Eve?” Quiet resignation filled his words, though his thoughts were spinning a mile a minute.
You don’t care what happens to Adam. They both ate the fruit.” God shook his head and turned around. “They suffer for their disobedience.”
Eve’s scream squeezed around Lucifer’s heart, making it stop. He covered his ears and shut his eyes. In the dark, she collapsed. He leaped up.
“Punish me.” He could better withstand God’s wrath than Eve. He promised her he wouldn’t let anyone hurt her, including God. Maybe especially God.
They expect to be punished. If they are not, they will not learn anything.” With a wave, the pedestals righted.
“You lied.” Lucifer stood in God’s face. “The fruit did not kill them.”
That isn’t what I told them. I said if they ate the fruit, they would die. I did not say when.” God placed his hand on Lucifer’s shoulder. “I told them what they were ready for, just like heaven is being made in an image they can understand.”
“Adam gets that big palace.” It was an accusation more than a statement. “I named the angels. Heaven should be mine. I am a far more benevolent master.”
God’s laughter made Lucifer’s talons grow longer. The edges of the world turned red.
The palace is for me. They expect their creator to be exalted.”
“What will happen to Eve?” Lucifer could still help her, somehow circumvent God’s punishment or at least mitigate it. He would find a way to take it for her.
They have been expelled from Eden. By the sweat of Adam’s brow shall he get bread to eat. In pain shall Eve bring forth children.”
Eve in pain? He didn’t know what was worse. Eve in pain, or having Adam’s children.
“So because they expect it, Eve must suffer. That is wrong.” The words were directed at himself as much as they were to God. If only he had left Eve alone.
“Wrong.” Another power word, one that tasted similar to justice.
That is not for you to determine.” God’s eyes swirled gold, and a pulsing white aura surrounded him.
Lucifer recoiled and shielded his eyes.
Not for him to determine? That’s exactly what he’d done. He turned his back on God and scratched his head. Wrong. Justice. These were words that made no sense yesterday. Now they were power words.
Justice. Friend. Wrong. Strong words demanding strong action, even if that action was against God.
He froze. Against God. Abba. His heavenly father. A voice inside him cried. A louder voice spurred him on. He was the only one who could protect Eve. His heart beat strong and steady. At his feet the Sword of Justice glinted in the firelight.
Keeping Eve in Eden was definitely an act of justice.
In one smooth motion, he kicked up the sword, grabbed it, raised it above his head, and plunged it through God’s back into his heart. He twisted the sword, and God slid down into a crumpled heap at Lucifer’s feet.
“Now it is.” Lucifer held the sword above his head. It didn’t ignite. Who cared? Justice had been served. Little did God know the sword he’d created would be his death.
Eve appeared next to Lucifer. He couldn’t contain his joy. Now they would fashion the universe how they wanted.
She touched the sword with one delicate finger. Blue flame consumed the hilt, and he dropped it. Before it hit the ground, it disappeared.
You are not ready for this.” Eve/God’s thoughts held a tinge of disappointment.
Lucifer appeared outside of heaven. A high wall of the same gleaming material as the palace formed around heaven. Eve appeared behind an open gate. Its gleaming bars stretched up and down into infinity until up became down and down became up. It swung shut.
He raced for it, but was too late. The clang echoed in his soul, and he collapsed to his knees.
You are no longer an angel. You don’t belong in heaven. You must find your way home.” God turned away.
“What am I?” Lucifer rose and sent a burst of energy at the gate. It remained shut.
“Am I human?” His soul bled at the question and darkness surrounded him. As a human he had nothing to offer Eve. He couldn’t protect her. He couldn’t create another Eden for her. She would beget Adam’s children in pain. Lucifer cringed.
Eve/God appeared next to him and traced three triangles above his heart, each attached to the other two at the corners of its base to form a fourth triangle in the center. They burned, and he screamed until his voice was raw. He collapsed and gulped fire.
Standing above him, God laid her hand on his shoulders. Pain shot down his back. He reached around, and his hands passed through wings of fire. God ran her hand along his arms. His skin itched, and then burned, as it morphed into swirling red, orange and yellow. With sweat pouring down his face, he allowed God to help him up.
Your re-creation occurred in fire. This is now your true form. To maintain your angelic powers, you must feed on the intense energy of fire.” A ball of fire appeared on God’s outstretched hand. She shoved this into his heart.
A sharp pain stole his breath, but Lucifer refused to collapse again. He grit his teeth, and his entire body shook.
“What am I?” He stared at his arms.
To maintain free will, you must drink the blood of humanity every three generations.”
God vanished.
“What am I?” he shouted toward the center of heaven.
A vampire.”
The Mark of Abel available for pre-order at 20% off

Releases Dec 21, 2012


A very good friend of Viola Ryan in high school said, “You don’t think outside the box. You blow the thing up.” Sometimes boxes need exploding. That’s why she’s here. She has a whole bag of C4 and isn’t afraid to use it. She’s blessed with people who treasure her eccentricities or at least put up with them.

Sometimes the box can be a cozy place. Without some sort of stability, her two daughters’ and her life would be unmanageable. That stability comes from her husband. He’s the rock holding her family together.

On the flip side, his career is anything but stable. He’s a Chief Marine Safety Technician in the US Coast Guard. They’ve lived from Kittery, Maine to Yorktown, Virginia. Fortunately, the moves have all been on the east coast. Then again, the Coast Guard tends to guard the coast.

Her oldest daughter (15) was born on Cape Cod, not far from Plymouth. Massachusetts. Her youngest (12) was born in Yorktown, Virginia, down the road from Williamsburg. Viola jokes they’re doing the colonial America tour.


Lisabet Sarai said...

Greetings, Jean!

Welcome to Beyond Romance, and huge congratulations on your new release. The series concept sounds fascinating, though possibly controversial. I wish you great success with this book and the sequels.

Anonymous said...

My major in college was religious studies. I find this concept very intriguing. I also collect Bibles! I can't wait to read this debut novel.

Unknown said...

Thanks. I'm having a lot of fun writing the series.

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