Paranormal fantasy author Sabrina Benulis is releasing the second novel in her Books of Raziel series COVENANT on April 1st. She’s here to share a bit about why angels fascinate and inspire her. She’s also giving away three print copies of ARCHON, the first book in her series (US only) to celebrate her release. The Rafflecopter link is at the end of this post. Welcome, Sabrina!

Sabrina Benulis, paranormal, fantasy, gothic, angels, Books of Raziel

Don’t Be Afraid

Almost every author I know does research when they’re writing a fantasy novel. Of course, I’m no exception. Years ago (this makes me feel oddly old) when I first started writing The Books of Raziel series, I knew as much about angels as any other Catholic school girl or Hallmark devotee. Angels were always depicted much the same: typically a woman or androgynous figure with wings stuck to their back and an inviting smile. These angels weren’t scary or intimidating. They held hands with cherubs and sometimes you could catch them carrying bunches of flowers.

But I was always fascinated by what I remembered from my Religion classes. They were the stories of St. Michael fighting Satan, the harrowing accounts of Catholic saints being beaten up by demons, and the memory that when an angel appears in the Bible, the first thing they typically say is “Don’t be afraid.”

That last sentence intrigued me.

I knew when I sat down to write this book series that I wanted a different feel to whatever angels I put in the story. They of course needed to be beautiful, and enticing, and fascinating. But the more I researched, the more I wanted them to also reflect the true image of angels that our sentimentality has dismantled over the centuries. Those angels are perfect, but they are also alien. They’re simply on a different plane, and if you want to get technical, from another dimension. The human beings in the Bible instinctively sensed this and tended to shiver like idiots when a good angel appeared to them. I’m not sure I want to know what someone’s reaction would have been in front of a fallen angel.

Anyway, it was this sense of ‘otherness’ that I found irresistible.

The Books of Raziel series presents angels not merely as symbols of pure good or pure evil, but as a species separate from humans that shares the same gray areas. They are living beings, yes. They are people. But they are also above us. Their loves and losses are on a grander scale, and their world is something we can recognize, but also regard with fear and awe. What to us is supernatural, is natural to them. Their powers seem like magic, but as ever, anything that’s beyond our human abilities feels like grasping at stars.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that angels have become a popular subject in fantasy fiction in the past few years, and there are many authors who have taken the theme and run with it–for good reason. In a culture where science is everything, people need an escape. As an author I’d like to offer you one more vision of these incredible beings in my own personal fantastical flavor. Sure, it’s a gothic one, but there are plenty of cathedrals out there to match.

Don’t be afraid of angels?

Well, you probably should be. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy the thrill.

In closing, I’d like to thank blog owner Jill Archer for hosting me as a guest, and of course, visitors to the site who have been kind enough to share this glimpse into my writing adventures. Happy reading!

More About Covenant

The haunting gothic tale started in Archon continues-a mesmerizing work of the paranormal in which a young woman discovers that she is caught in a labyrinth of intrigue where angels, demons, and all the creatures between Heaven and Hell will stop at nothing to possess her.

A year ago, Angela Mathers, a talented artist with a tortured soul, enrolled at the Westwood Academy and encountered the angels who haunted her dreams. Then she discovered the dark truth … she is the Archon, a being of supreme power who will determine the fate of the universe. But with such power comes great danger, and for every force seeking to aid Angela there is another burning to stop her. After a scheming demon kidnaps the Book of Raziel, Angela must find her way through a nightmarish game and enter the Door to Hell to rescue her only friend before it is too late.

The perilous fate of both Heaven and Hell rests on her success.

More About Sabrina

Sabrina Benulis
Sabrina Benulis

Sabrina Benulis graduated with a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She currently resides in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband Mike, and her spoiled cockatiel Caesar. COVENANT is the follow-up to ARCHON, her first novel.

Click here to enter to win one of three print copies of ARCHON, book 1 in the Books of Raziel.

So how about you? If you met an angel and they told you not to be afraid, would you believe them? Do you like books that feature angel and demon characters? (If you follow my blog, I’m betting you do! 🙂 ). Do you think that angel and demon archetypes can be used in myriad ways, serving as inspiration for all sorts of different otherworld stories? (I do! 😀 ) Congratulations, Sabrina, on Covenant’s release. Thank you for guest blogging today!

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