Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blog Tour {Interview & Giveaway}—The Mark of Abel by Viola Ryan

Stopping by The LUV'NV today is the The Holy Hell blog tour.
Amanda a.k.a. LadyWhitlock89 interviews Viola Ryan, author of The Mark of Abel.

The Mark of Abel
Viola Ryan
Book #1 of The Mark of Abel series
Publication: December 21st 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy

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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.

Tell us about your book in five words.
Lucifer’s struggle - redemption or heart

What inspired the The Mark of Abel?
The original scene was a vampire who bit the woman he loved, giving her the greatest gift he knew. She didn’t understand, was abhorred and rejected him. The original title was Rejection: A Vampire’s Tale. The biggest rejection is Lucifer being expelled from heaven, so he decided he wanted to be the hero. For the heroine, I was watching a show about the Roman extermination of the Dacians in present-day Romania. That cried to be in a vampire novel. Then I thought, what about MY vampire novel. I gave the heroine past lives so I could talk about Dacia and it snowballed.

What was the most fun part of writing it?
I love doing research and playing with established stories. I loved when I could lift lines out of the Bible (and not have to worry about copyright). I loved learning about all the massacres the heroine dies in. Writing her nightmares was a lot of fun.

What was the most challenging?
Figuring out where to start the story. Many chapters in the book were once first chapters. Then I realized I needed to begin in the beginning, with Eden.

Is there anything you from the book you hope the readers will pick up but might not?
Lucifer’s son wears a t-shirt “Kiss My Asphalt.” It was given to me by Angie Fox for her Demon Slayers series. I wear it when I get writer’s block. It is my tribute to Angie.

What kind of life would you lead if you were living in the world you created in The Mark of Abel?
It exists simultaneously with ours. We just don’t know about all the things that go bump in the night. If I was a vampire, I’d be with the Gnostics, the good vampires, fighting the Grigori, the bad vampires, to protect others. Every superhero knows with great powers come great responsibility.

What are some of your writing quirks and habits?
I have to be chewing gum or I can’t concentrate. The gum still has to have flavor. I go through a 60 piece car cup every week. When I’m in the zone writing, I can’t listen to music. Normally, my day is never silent. There is always music in my house, except when I’m writing.

What is your writing process? Very detailed outlines, or more as you go?
Yes. It’s the sequel to The Mark of Abel. Lucifer’s redemption isn’t done yet. The book is titled The Chalice of Creation. Lucifer must find and protect the Chalice of Creation from fallen angels/vampires or face humanity’s destruction.

What three things about you would surprise your readers?
1) Even though I study the origins of Christian dogma and early Christian history, I’m basically an atheist. 2) Even though I’m an atheist, I’ve gotten into several net battles where I defend Christianity. I used to joke, I’m an apologist with nothing to apologize for. 3) I couldn’t paint to save my life before I started The Mark of Abel. The paintings on my site are because I needed to learn how to paint for Janie’s scenes.

What are you currently reading?
This month I ‘m focusing on the Holy Hell tour, but I just finished Angie Fox’s last book. It’s about a supernatural MASH unit in a war between factions of gods. It has all her humor and sensitivity in it. I highly recommend it.

What book would you recommend to all your readers?
That list is too long to begin. I read a lot of series. It’s hard to recommend a book to everyone. I find out what people like. Then I make recommendations.

What book are you eagerly anticipating at the moment?
Biggest is the end of Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mystery series. Rachel Vincent’s Oath Bound is another. Same with Janet Evanovich’s next Wicked book.

Top ten books that inspired The Mark of Abel.
Obviously, first is The Bible.
Next comes the Book of Enoch
Lilith comes from the Alphabet of Ben Sira
Neil Gaiman’s American Gods
Patty Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series
Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series
Dante’s Inferno
Not a book, but a script, Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity
Any of the Marvel superheroes
The anthology By Blood We Live

Viola Ryan

Her Website | Facebook | Goodreads
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.

In leui with the tour, Viola Ryan is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!


  1. Thank you for having me. Feel free to ask anything else. I'm having a blast on tour.

  2. Great interview, thank you.


  3. Another interesting sounding read. Thanks for yet another recommendation. ;)

  4. OMG... this sounds so good! I love books in which Satan is purely misunderstood. And, it sounds like there's potential for a love story here.
    My question for the author is how much of an inspiration does your husband play in your writing?

    mestith at gmail dot com

    1. He is incredibly supportive. I married a great guy, almost too great to put in a book. No one would believe he was real. The real inspiration he gives me is to keep going. He believes in me and it helps me believe in myself during those inevitable moments of doubt

      Thanks for coming.

  5. This sounds like a great book! Such an interesting twist on the good vs. evil story! Question for the author - I see this is book #1 in a series...What do you see happening in the next book(s)?

    1. The path to Lucifer's redemption only begins in The Mark of Abel. It continues in The Chalice of Creation. Lucifer must find and protect the Chalice of Creation from fallen angels/vampires or face humanity's destruction. After that, there are several characters who need to find their paths, including Adam. The basic plot running through this series is the Grigori have been told after Armageddon, they will be tortured for all eternity. They will do anything to prevent Armageddon permanently. Their ways aren't nice. Usually they involve destroying humans. No humans mean no final battle. It is up to Lucifer and friends to stop this.

      Thanks for coming.

  6. This sounds like a truly amazing read. I am adding this to my TBR shelf on Goodreads. I really want to read this book. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!!

  7. When did you decide that you wanted to become a writer?

  8. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

  9. That's a lot of books for inspiration

  10. Thank you for this giveaway!. What do you love the most about blogging?

  11. Thanks for the giveaway!