Today I am featuring Viola Ryan and her book, The Mark of Abel. The Mark of Abel is a unique blend of paranormal romance and suspense. Viola Ryan weaves a wonderful story that brings in a mixture of Christian beliefs/history and paranormal. Be sure to check out my review of this unique Paranormal Romance after the book blurb.
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.
When I first read the description of Viola Ryan’s The Mark of Abel I was very intrigued. I have read numerous books about both paranormal and religious blends. I felt like this could be a very interesting concept if it is carried out well. I was not disappointed. The Mark of Abel begins with life in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. It shows Lucifer in his beginning as the angel he originally was. Lucifer falls in love with Eve and dislikes Adam. It becomes Lucifer’s goal to bring Eve back up to heaven to live with him. Not long after Lucifer’s first forbidden contact with Eve does he eat from the Tree of Knowledge and then so does Eve and Adam respectively getting them thrown out of the Garden of Eden and Lucifer thrown out of Heaven, becoming the first fallen angel. This beginning is only one twist on the accepted religious notions of the beginning of man. This is not the only twists Viola throws at us. We are also show Jesus as Lucifer’s brother (another angel) and Lilith is Lucifer’s mistress of Hell. Lucifer even father’s twins with Lilith.
It is amongst these alternative interpretations that Lucifer becomes the first vampire and Jesus leaves a way for Lucifer to find his way back to heaven. Lucifer must find an artist that depicts gruesome nightmares on canvas. This is where Janie comes into the pictures. Janie has horrible nightmares and no matter what she tries she can only paint gruesome images. Janie, like all the others before her, lives unknowingly in danger. All of her predecessors have been murdered to prevent Lucifer from ascending back to Heaven. So, it is up to Lucifer to keep Janie safe and find through her his salvation.
This was a wonderfully unique story. I really enjoyed the different takes on modern Christian beliefs and popular paranormal ideas. I think this blend of religion and paranormal was done so well. It definitely took a unique approach to an already inundated genre. Viola’s thoroughly done story and complete characters make’s this a geniunely phenomenal read. For anyone who likes angels, vampires and a good love story you will enjoy Mark of Abel.
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.