Friday, October 28, 2011

Unwrapping: Paranormal Romance featuring Angels and Fallen Angels aka Devils

We're getting closer and closer to that bewitching night, Halloween, so it's only appropriate that we explore the stories of angels and fallen angels or as some refer to them, devils and demons. I like to think of them as fallen angels for once upon a time they were in the good graces of the Creator. Don't worry, I'm not going to go all biblical on you but I will have to point out the stories behind fallen angels in order for you to understand how our Romance authors took myths and legends and created their own stories.  Raised as a good Catholic girl, I was taught to trust angels and fear fallen angels but I can't help but be drawn to stories and movies featuring angels of all kinds. One of my favorite movies is DEVIL'S ADVOCATE starring Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. If you haven't seen it, check it out ... it's a good one!


     Another fabulous one, CONSTANTINE, that also stars Keanu Reeves is based on DC Comics/Vertigo Hellblazer graphic novels, - some great images and demons in this one.


     It is said that there was a War in Heaven. Certain angels, some say led by Lucifer who was the highest ranking angel in Heaven, having misused the free will given them by the Creator rebelled against Him and His remaining heavenly angels. After losing the battle, these rebelling angels were banished from Heaven and fell from His Grace thus they became Fallen Angels.

     Now banished to a plane far beneath the glory of Heaven, these fallen angels became even more jealous of the Creator's special pets, Mortals, and set out to demean Mortals in the Creator's eyes.  Labeled as soulless and heartless, these fallen angels, like any bad child, act out in response. Good angel or bad angel, they are still angels and so some Romance writers have created incredible stories that bring forth that hidden heart and soul endearing them to us. 

     Authors such as Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook, Sharon Shinn, and Terri Garey have created characters that intrigue and capture our attention.

     ANGELS OF DARKNESS is a wonderful collection of tales of alpha angels...from four alpha authors - Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Mejean Brook and Sharon Shinn.

They soar through the night, unearthly creatures of legends and lore. Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance explore the rapture of the heavens above, and the darkness below in four all-new stories of angels and guardians, and good and evil.  

This is a good one for that Christmas list you're making or just for yourself ... a great introduction to four wonderful authors if you're not already acquainted.

But my personal favorite Fallen Angel is Samael from the new Devil's Bargain series by Terri Garey. We first met Sammy in the Nicki Styx series when he tried to win dear Nicki for himself but now he's truly where he wants to be - the center of attention - even if things don't always go his way.

DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE is the first book in the Devil's Bargain series by Terri Garey and it's everything you want in a book about a fallen angel. We visit Sammy's domain. We feel his frustration and heartbreak over Nicki. Then watch as he fights back that little bit of humanity that Nicki brought forth as he works his deals with the Mortals. Love that devil, Sammy. Am eagerly looking forward to the next one.

If you haven't met Sammy then let me share an excerpt from DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE to help you get to know him.

Dressed and ready, Samael paused before the full-length mirror that stood beside his be, and smiled. No mortals observing him now would realize who they were facing. They would see only what he wanted them to see, a virile, good-looking male in the prime of his life. The ability to blend was a talent he'd mastered long ago, and if he wanted someone's attention, he knew full well how to get it. Running a careless hand through his short blond hair and smiling a grim smile, he left his chamber behind and strode down hallways made of stone toward the cavernous room known as the outer temple.

It was a long walk, but he was in no hurry, despite what he'd said to Nyx. He could've willed himself there in an instant if he'd cared to, but instead he walked, and as he walked, he remembered.

Wind, cool and invigorating, and the glorious sense of weightlessness that accompanied flight. The pinpricks of distant stars against the night sky, the brilliant smear of a million galaxies, like glitter tossed carelessly across the heavens. Innocence, laughter, and joy as he and his brother angels darted in and out among the cosmos, their wings outspread, naked and unashamed as they played, secure in the knowledge that they were loved and protected by the One who created them.

He remembered, too, the shame and fear of that day in the Garden, when he had lost his innocence and angered his Creator. Oh, how he'd wept, how he'd begged to be forgiven - to no avail. He'd been cast down from the lofty heights, stripped of his wings; sometimes, in the night, he felt a faint tingle between his shoulder blades and felt anew the pain of his loss. He'd been blamed for defiling mankind, and bringing an end to Paradise, when it was mankind, and their emphasis on the flesh, who'd defiled him.

Jaw set, Samael kept walking, not noticing or caring that Nyx followed several feet behind, a silent and shadowy figure at his back. After the Fall, he'd made sure mankind suffered, just as he had suffered. Abandoned by the One, shunned by his angelic brothers, he tempted, as he had been tempted. He lied, as he had been lied to. And when they succumbed to lies and temptation - just as he had - he punished them as he had been punished, by everlasting damnation in the pit of despair.

The hallways rang with his footsteps, but he didn't hear them. Another memory surfaced: a young woman with laughing eyes and a kind heart, streaks of pink in her dark hair. He'd lost her, too - lost her to the Light that had already cost him so much. There'd been other women through the centuries, of course, long dead now, but she still lived. She lived, and she laughed, and she'd clutched her pink tulips during her wedding to the man she'd chosen over him, and try as he might, he couldn't bring himself to hate her for it. For she had been the one who'd known him for what he was, and forgiven him anyway - the only one in all these eons who'd shown him an ounce of genuine compassion, despite the blackness that stained his soul.

Light gleamed at the end of the corridor, as unwelcome as the one who brought it. A few steps more and he was in a chamber, huge and vaulted, full of echoes and dust and silence. A man stood waiting at the far end, his features obscured by the brilliance that seemed to emanate from his very pores.

"What's the matter, Gabriel?" Samael asked coldly. "Afraid of the dark?"

"Samael," said the figure, in a voice filled with sorrow. "My long-lost-brother." The light dimmed, fading to reveal a tall man with brown hair, worn long and free, dressed in a white robe and sandals. "My eyes delight in the sight of you, yet my soul will forever grieve over what you've become."

"Spare me your pit," Sammy said, planting his booted feet and crossing his arms over his chest. "The time I could've used it is long past." He raked a scornful gaze over his visitor. "You look like a wandering prophet. This is the twenty-first century, you know; camels and cave markings have been replaced with cars and computers."

Gabriel shook his head, a slight smile lifting one corner of his lips. His garb changed, morphing into plain khaki pants and a blue chambray shirt, long hair clubbed into a ponytail. "Better?" he asked his host.

"No," Sammy growled. Despite his open hostility, a small part of him was pleased to see his old friend and erstwhile brother. He clamped down viciously on the feeling, and trampled it into dust. "What do you want?"

Gabriel was silent for a moment, merely looking into his eyes.

Uncomfortable to find he could not easily meet them, Sammy felt his anger rise.

"Speak and be done with it, damn you," he ground out. "My patience grows short."

"Your patience was ever short," said Gabriel, "as was your humility. Even now you taunt the heavens with your pride and your hubris, establishing yourself within these once hallowed wall" -- he gestured toward the vaulted ceiling -- "built to proclaim the glory of the One."

Samael made a noise of disgust. "Solomon built this temple to proclaim his own glory." He smiled grimly. "His spells and incantations are what keep this temple hidden in plain sight, invisible to the eyes of mortals. He used that same magic to force my demons to build it, so why shouldn't I use it now that he's dead?" He shook his head, smiling wryly. "The mighty King Solomon, keeper of all the world's mysteries, save one - that of death itself. All the treasures he collected in the name of the One now belong to me, including this dusty monument to greed and glory."

Gabriel frowned, looking troubled. "You take such joy in profaning what was intended as [a] house of worship."

"Is that why you're here? An avenging angel, come to smite me with your flaming sword of righteousness?" Sammy spread his arms wide, as if baring himself to a blow. "Go ahead. Oblivion would be a welcome change after all these years in Hell."

Want more? You'll have to get your own copy of DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE by Terri Garey.

So - do you believe in angels, good or bad?

Next posting is on Halloween! It will be a little different and I hope you'll find it titillatingly spoooooooky!

Happy Reading Everyone!


Sharon said...

I sure wish Angels like Samael and Gabriel from Terri's book were real! Tortured Smexy angels taste good. That is all. ;)

don't enter me, cause I have a copy. I just wanted to share the love :)

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Sharon,
I know what you mean, it would be more than tempting to make a deal with Sammy and then have Gabriel come to my rescue ... I can't wait for Terri's next one featuring Gabriel. Yum! Thanks for visiting and following. : )