Sunday, April 17, 2011

Malakh a novella by Sharon Gerlach

I'm very excited and honored to be featuring my good friend Sharon Gerlach on my blog for her blog tour! Her novella is a fascinating story that I hope everyone takes the time to read! Sharon explains the background and about how her story came to life:


An angelic serial killer. That's the subject of my novella Malakh, released on April 8th by Running Ink Press. The word "angelic" has morphed over the ages and has come to mean, to most people, sweet and kindly, selfless, Godly.

My angels are dark. Even the good ones make mistakes.

When I decided to write this story in the urban fantasy genre, I wanted to be sure it was something a bit off the beaten path. No vampires. No werewolves. No half-breeds. No government-related antagonist. No superhuman, butt-kicking heroine in law enforcement. Instead, my heroine was to be flawed. She has been selfish, deceitful, and unfaithful. She has betrayed the two most important people in her life. And so Suzanne Harper was born, a flawed bank executive who is merely human.

I didn't want this to be a love story, so I removed both love interests from her present life and put them into the background. And the antagonist…oh, what to do about that? What could possibly inspire a woman to behave in such a manner?

I had a quirky kind of Baptist/Mormon/unchurched upbringing. By the time I was 11, we'd stopped attending any church except on the rare occasion I went to mass with a Catholic friend. But one thing remained constant despite the absence of Sunday reinforcement: my belief in God, His Son, and in scripture. I believe in the rebellion of the angels, believe in the power of both sides to speak into and influence our hearts.

Angels…those messengers of God, guardians of His human creations…and rebels against God's sovereignty, determined to bring about the destruction of the human race. Oh yes, the latter would make the perfect supernatural antagonists! I started a broad internet search to gather information about angels, and one scripture reference caught my attention and wouldn't let go. Genesis 6:2 – "The Sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose."

I delved deeper into the Bible to keep my angels as true as possible in a work of fiction. Colossians tells us that angels are spirits, and don't have to be visible to humankind. Genesis 18 and 19 describe how angels usually appear as human, and generally appear as male rather than female. The angel who rolled back the stone from Christ's tomb after his crucifixion appeared to be made of light. Daniel describes an angel made of metal and precious stones. Isaiah describes some angels with wings. Other passages throughout the Old and New Testaments describe them as stronger than men but not invincible; knowledgeable but not all-knowing, and not omnipresent. Scripture also speaks of different classes of angels, who perform different duties (the mal'akhim, for instance, are messengers of God; mal'akh is also the word for angel in general in Aramaic, Arabic, Ethiopic, and modern Hebrew).

These references gave me everything I needed: physical descriptions; abilities and purposes; a precedent for forbidden relations between angels and humans, and a reason for a messenger to be dispatched from God.

I marvel at the unseen world around us, at beings that can interact with us, influence our decisions and behavior, visible only when it suits their purpose. I've always rather simplistically thought of them as angels and demons—the good angels and the bad angels. But what if even the good angels made bad decisions? Mind you, I don't place any scriptural truth to this notion, as scripture clearly states that an angel who sins will be cast into hell and reserved for judgment, but oh, what a great What If!

So that is how Malakh was born. What are your beliefs regarding angels and demons?

MALAKH can be purchased at Smashwords, Amazon, and Amazon UK.

Follow the amazing and talented Sharon Gerlach on Twitter at @SharonGerlach and read her blog here. Follow Running Ink Press at @RunningInkPress and check out their website here.

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