Series: Fallen Redemption #1
on May 19th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Guardian angel Enael can’t seem to keep her human Wards in check. They’re the ones who choose their paths before reincarnating—she’s just there to help make sure they stay on track. But it’s not as easy as it might look.
When she meets and falls in love with charismatic Kaspen, a fellow Guardian, Enael’s feelings about Heaven, Hell, demons, and the life she’s known are turned upside down. Worse, angel-turned-demon Yasva, Kaspen’s former love, still holds him in her clutches. Even as Yasva works toward obtaining complete control of Earth, she taunts and haunts Kaspen’s and Enael’s lives.
Now Enael is forced to face her past (which is centuries long and bursting with secrets), her present (which is terribly unfulfilling and full of questions), and her future (which becomes more uncertain as time passes). Armed with a newfound love and fear of losing it all, she must figure out how to save the world—-and the angel she loves. Which side will win? Who will Kaspen choose? Will Heaven and Earth continue to exist, or will everything go to Hell?
A Time Before Blogs
I have a confession to make. I have a hard time with blogging.
Not with reading them or commenting or interacting with bloggers, but with writing a blog. I resisted starting one for a long time, even though it’s high on the author marketing to-do list. Now that I do have a blog, the subject is something I feel is almost a cop-out because it’s so simple—reviews on other books rather than my own generated thoughts.
I’ll tell you why that is.
In the summer of 1999, just after my high school graduation, I discovered a website that allowed members to keep an online journal. This wasn’t any site, though. It had a specific purpose, and its name was Open Diary.
A Diary, Open to the World
The idea behind the site was more than just journaling, chronicling one’s day, or putting down random thoughts. Instead, it was a diary, something the participants took quite seriously. We’d write out innermost thoughts, hopes and dreams that we didn’t share with others; we’d bare our souls.
A journal, on the other hand, is a log of events that happened in a day. Maybe it delves into what the journaler thinks of the day, but mostly it’s a surface look at someone’s life. A blog, to me anyway, is even less personal: how-to’s or random thoughts or lists of things we think are cool. Yet the blog posts I enjoy the most are the more personal ones—the ones I see bloggers apologize in advance for, before opening their souls.
Opendiary.com was full of people being honest and writing those personal blog posts I love. They were people struggling with something in their lives—secrets they kept, lies they told, and the dropping of the mask they wore to the rest of the world. And I was one of those people.
The Only Way to Get to the Other Side Is to Slog Through
My difficulties weren’t as dramatic as some of my diary friends’. I didn’t cut myself, harbor suicidal thoughts, or battle with how to tell my parents I was gay. No, my problem was crippling shyness and a mountain of guilt from the “sins” my religion, born-again Christianity, taught me that I had committed. I found that the more I tried to overcome my “sin,” the more obsessive I became. Yet only in retrospect do I realize that was the heart of my true struggle.
As I went off to college in the fall of 1999, my diary became my companion. Sometimes I would spend hours at night writing out what happened in my day. It was a time of growth in my life, of moving from an extremely timid teenager to a more confident and happy new adult.
I had the challenge of being away from a stable, happy home for the first time. I loved it because I’ve always been independent but was frightened because I was so young and sheltered. I had the challenge of mingling with all types of people, of all types of backgrounds, ethnicities, and moral structure, outside my 1,200-person white Christian small town.
I found that, as I documented my struggles, my tears over rejections from crushes, difficulties keeping up with the amount of classwork I kept piling on myself (because who takes the minimum credit requirements? To the max!), and frustrations with roommates and their boyfriends, I had a narration of the growth of a person.
If You’re Not Honest With Yourself, How Can You Be Honest With Others?
I gradually opened up to my diary. I was surprised at how difficult it was to be honest with myself, even in the entries I marked “private.” But as the years wore on and I grew more self-aware, I realized that honesty was the only way I could overcome the mental barriers I had erected over two decades of living. Admitting that I had negative thoughts, about myself, about my life, even about my religion, was the first step toward becoming a whole person.
It took five years of keeping a diary before I moved from terrible shyness, brought on by feelings of unworthiness, into something better. My growth has continued over the last fifteen years, and I’m sure it’s not at an end. The catalyst is honesty, first to myself and then to a group of anonymous supportive friends going through the same struggle—if not over the same thing. Being truthful helped me become a whole person.
The most succinct way of summarizing my most important lesson is that no matter what your thought is, ignoring it and pushing it down will never make it go away. Whether you’re ashamed because you’re overweight or because you’re jealous of your sister’s success in life or because the baby you’ve wanted so badly didn’t push aside the dark depression you’ve always suffered, you heal when you bring those thoughts into the light. Being honest with the ugly, naked truth is the only way I’ve found to stop the negativity.
What about you? Have you ever journaled or kept a diary? Has it helped you as a person?
Kaspen said, “I’m so sorry, Enael. I can’t do this anymore.”
I stopped. The humans disappeared around a corner. “Come with me, Kaspen.” I clenched my hands in my skirt again. “Please.”
“I can’t watch them be whipped for something I did.”
I turned. Kaspen’s head was bowed. His wings trembled. A feeling of resolution blasted through the bond. “Kaspen, don’t!”
“It’s the only way, Enael. I don’t belong here. I don’t deserve Leon, just as I didn’t deserve Miriam.” Kaspen looked up. His white eyes pinned me. I was stuck to the ground, unable to move, unable to speak. “Just as I don’t deserve you.”
I went numb. It was as though I watched the scene from a great distance. My human Wards had experienced this in stressful times, but I didn’t know it could happen to disembodied angels. “I love you, Kaspen. Please, stay.”
A look of sadness and compassion—For me!—came over him. “There’s only one place in the universe that I belong. And it isn’t here.”
I was unable to move anything but my mouth. “We’ll be together, Kaspen, forever, just don’t go. Please, stay with me and I’ll tell you my true name. It’s what you want, isn’t it?”
Kaspen stood and walked toward me. Another carriage, this time from the other direction, rushed through him. He brushed a hand through my hair and kissed me. “It doesn’t matter. I just wanted to be close to you. Forever. I love you, too.”
Other angels stared at us, but I didn’t care. “Then stay. Stay and we’ll—”
Kaspen stepped backward and spread his arms.
Samantha grew up in a small town in Iowa but now lives in the suburbs of Toronto with her Canadian husband and expatriate cat. In her spare time, she reads, writes, and thinks about reading and writing—along with playing the occasional video game or eight.