Please welcome my friend and fellow author Janine Ashbless to my blog today - Janine has an amazing new novel out that I can't wait to lose myself in. Here are the details…
If You Loved an Angel... How Far Would You Fall with Him?
What happens when the daughter of the village priest falls in love with an archangel banished from heaven? Milja’s heart is struck when she catches a glimpse of the preternaturally beautiful prisoner her father keeps captive beneath his church’s altar. Torn between tradition, loyalty and her growing obsession with the fallen angel, will Milja risk losing her family, and her eternal soul, for the love of this divine being? Janine Ashbless will transport you to a world where good and evil battle for true love.
Ten things I learned writing “Cover him with Darkness” by Janine Ashbless
1. Orthodox Christians cross themselves backwards
Compared to Catholics that is – though in fact the Orthodox right-to-left version is older by many centuries. Actually I had to do quite a lot of research on Orthodoxy for Cover Him with Darkness, and though this sounds utterly trivial to an outsider, the direction-of-crossing turns out to be pretty significant for two of my characters…
2. Montenegro is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, and more people should go there as tourists to appreciate it.
Having set the start of my book there, I had to visit on holiday for the sake of research! It’s just amazing: hot Mediterranean coastline, a vast fjord, Alpine meadows and craggy snow-capped mountain – all within a tiny country the size of Wales.
3. Nobody can agree how many archangels there are
Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox (of various types), Muslims, medieval kabbalists, Renaissance occultists … they’ve all got angel lists with different numbers, different names, and different roles.
4. Montenegrins are the tallest people in Europe
Well possibly (there’s some argument for first place with the Dutch), but with a mean at around 6ft for men across all age groups including the elderly, they are pretty bloody tall … and very proud of it too!
5. The Israelites in the Old Testament were told to sacrifice a goat to a fallen angel every year.
The annual scapegoat ritual on the Day of Atonement, wherein a goat was symbolically heaped with the sins of the people and thrown out to die in the wilderness, was quite specific: ‘And Aaron shall place lots upon the two he-goats: one lot "For the Lord," and the other lot, "For Azazel” … The goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel."’ (Lev 16:8-10)
6. I like hot guys tied up and angry
No further comment necessary, I feel…
7. Satan isn’t evil in the Old Testament
Actually Satan (who is all over the shop in the Gospels, and repeatedly reviled in the Letters of Paul) barely appears at all in the Old Testament. Nor do those hoards of possessing demons. When he does show up it is the Book of Job, where he is very much a part of the Court of Heaven. His name/title means “The Adversary” and his role seems to have as been a kind of prosecuting council, rooting out hidden sin. He’s very much doing the will of God.
Somewhere in the centuries of exile between the Old and the New Testaments, Jewish theology changed a LOT.
If you’re thinking “What about the Garden of Eden episode then?” – go back and read it. There’s nothing in Genesis or the OT to identify ‘the serpent’ as Satan, or indeed an angel of any kind. It is literally a talking animal. Everything else is meaning that has accreted from later commentators.
8. There are ‘giants’ trapped inside mountains all over the world
Prometheus in Greece, Amirani in Georgia, Loki in Scandinavia, Hobbomock in Connecticut, Finn MacCool in Ireland, Montezuma in Arizona … if they ever all wake up and get out, it’ll make one heck of a mess.
9. About 70,000 years ago, humans nearly went extinct. And it was really good for us as a species.
They reckon, looking at the genetic evidence, that the human population was reduced to maybe only 3000+ people. And in the years following that point there was an explosion in brand new human creativity – art; music; ritual; cooking food for the first time; fishing and hunting and pottery technology – all our cultural achievements seem to have kicked off after that bottleneck. You’ve got to wonder what happened!
10. I really can’t write 10,000 words a day, like some authors urge
No, not even when holed up in a locked room with no TV, no communication with the outside world and all the coffee I can drink. Even when I know exactly where the plot is going and I’m brimming with enthusiasm. I think I once made it to 4K. I have to accept that I’m a slow writer.
Buy Links for Cover Him With Darkness
Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure – and that’s “fantasy” in the sense of swords ‘n’ sandals, contemporary paranormal, fairytale, and stories based on mythology and folklore. She likes to write about magic and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.
Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000, and her novels and single-author collections now run into double figures. She’s also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora’s Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology Geek Love.
Her work has been described as: "hardcore and literate" (Madeline Moore) and "vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love." (Portia Da Costa)
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