Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Mark of Abel by Viola Ryan - Virtual Tour and giveaway

Holy Hell Tour

Today I'd like to welcome author Viola Ryan here to talk about her paranormal romance, "The Mark of Abel". She has a rafflecopter drawing below for a $50 Amazon GC and will also give a swag pack from Book Worm Bags to one commenter today -- so make sure you leave her a message!

Thanks for stopping by, Viola, and for answering all my pesky questions. The floor is yours!

Why do you write in your genre?

I love fantasy. When I met Tinkerbell at Disney World a few summer ago, I told her I was going to tell her something no one ever did. She got all excited and said “What?” in her cute Tinkerbell voice. I said, “I’m a writer because of you.” She replied, “No one has ever told me that before.” I’ve tried to write straight romance, but a faerie, elf or vampire always ends up in it.

What draws you to it?

I am a world builder as much as a storyteller. I like being able to create my own universes, while remaining true to an established norm. That’s why the series The Mark of Abel reimagines Judeo-Christian stories. I play with them the way other authors play with Greek or Celtic mythology.

What research and world-building is required?

For The Mark of Abel, I did tons. I didn’t want to be like Dan Brown and have tons of shows/books debunking my work. I spent days researching the heroine’s past lives, looking for primary and secondary sources whenever possible. Thank the heavens for the internet. I found some fascinating sites. The various characters are from different places and points in history. I would spend hours looking up a Coptic or Aramaic word. Occasionally, I’d spend all that time and then remember a character spoke a different language. I use English, Aramaic, Coptic, Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, and French. Just a word or two here and there, but I wanted them to be the right word.

Name one thing you learned from your hero.

My hero is Lucifer and the book is about redemption. Redemption means more than being forgiven by whomever you wronged. It means moving on with your life and living it in a way that helps others.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I have to be chewing gum, or I have trouble concentrating, and It still must have flavor. I buy the big 60 piece car cups and run through one a week. When I’m out of gum, I panic.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I started out a pantser. Then I had to edit the sucker that created. What a mess. It took me years to shape it up. Then I took Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel and How to Think Sideways courses. Now I’m more of a plotter. I have the majority of scenes on index cards strung together. I use mind maps a lot, especially when I get stuck. I also make character collages.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My pencil cup. It’s a tall coffee cup with US Coast Guard Sister on it. My brother is stationed in Alaska. He’s part of a crew that goes up in helicopters to rescue people. He may even appear on Coast Guard Alaska on the Weather Channel one day. My husband is also in the Coast Guard. He’s a Marine Safety Technician and inspects other Coast Guard bases in New England. When I picked up the cup and said I wanted it, he said, “Who do you want that for?” I replied, “Me. I’m the Coast Guard sister.” It took him a minute to remember my brother was in the Coast Guard. I had just picked out a Coast Guard Wife shirt to wear.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

I’m working on the sequel, The Chalice of Creation. Lucifer’s redemption isn’t finished yet. He needs to learn how to dedicate his life to helping others. The tagline for it is: Lucifer must protect the Chalice of Creation from fallen angels or face the extermination of humanity.

Do you have a question for our readers?

One of the joys of being a newly published author is getting that first cover. When I was writing it, I made my own to make the pages I printed out feel more like a real book. The cover that Marion Sipe designed for me surpassed anything I could have done. I love putting it on things to give away. My question is what draws you to a book? How important is the cover to you?

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.

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 (16) 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.


Amazon Author Page:

Buy links:


Barnes and Noble:

Give away:
Comment below to be entered into the Holy Hell Tour’s grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card, to be drawn on Easter Sunday at the end of the month. Want more entries for the grand prize? Share this tour on your social media. Then visit and comment letting me know where you shared it.

One person on today’s blog will win a swag pack from a multitude of authors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. The cover of the book is very important, it is what first draws me to a book.


  2. Do your children mind moving so much?


  3. My children HATE moving. It isn't just them leaving their friends. Their friends leave them. We are fortunate. The Coast Guard tends to move us during the summer. Their friends in different services move all times during the year.

    My husband retires in a little over 2 years, just in time for the older to go to college and the younger to start high school. At least they can start fresh with new schools.

  4. Awesome author interview! I like the part about Tinkerbell being the reason she writes! I also think the book sounds great! The description is usually what draws me to a book but I will admit to reading some books because they had awesome covers. I think the cover is like a first impression, it's what makes you stop to look at the book. The book blurb is kind of like the pick up line, so it needs to be equally good.


  5. Sounds really good!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!


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