Viola Ryan - Author of Compelling Disturbing Paranormal Fiction

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Welcome to The Firsts Blog Hop

I am very happy to be part of this blog hop, my first.  The Mark of Abel is so many firsts--first published  book, first book in the series, first murder, first vampire, first man and woman--it was difficult deciding what to write about. That's when it hit me, write about what was most difficult to write for the book, namely where to begin the book with. Several of the scenes were once first chapters. One of my favorites is when the heroine sees the culmination of all her nightmares in the mirror. Fortunately, the scene survived the editing process.

The book belongs to Lucifer and his story starts millennia before the heroines. After much trial and error, I realized the book needed to begin with the beginning, namely in  Eden with Lucifer stalking Eve. A big part of Lucifer's mythology happens in the Garden of Eden and his role in original sin. I needed to put my own spin on it, to transform Lucifer from a creature of pure evil into one the reader can sympathize with. 

Below is the excerpt of that fateful moment. Enjoy.

Eve stood with her hand on her chin in front of a tree with yellowish-orange 
fruit hanging in bunches. Lucifer appeared behind her. She shivered. 

“Adam, would you care for a date?” She emphasized the word date and 
continued to inspect the tree. 

Lucifer smiled. Adam wasn’t anywhere around. Lucifer reached toward her 
and froze. The memory of God’s earlier command played in his head. 

“Contact with Adam, Lilith, and their descendants will have disastrous 
consequences. Angels must stay away from humans.” 

At least he hoped it was a memory. 

Contact with Eve wouldn’t be disastrous. It would be wonderful. Besides, he 
was no longer an angel.

“I’d love one.” He closed his hand over hers. 

Eve yanked her hand away and whipped around. Her face was more radiant 
than yesterday, every feature more alive than the garden around her. She backed up 
until she was pressed against the tree. 

“You’re…you’re...you’re not Adam.” Surprise and uncertainty replaced her 
warm smile. 

“I’m Lucifer. The Bearer of Light.” He spoke gently, lest he spook her more. 

His breath caught. From a distance, Eve’s brown eyes were pretty. Close-up 
they were magnificent. Two circles of nurturing soil, their brown depth held 
potential for beauty and life. He lightly traced each eye. 

“You’re eyes aren’t like Adam’s.” She stood on tiptoes and examined each 
one. “They glow. Each one has splashes of blue like the sky, and green like the 
grass.” Her voice was wary, but curiosity drew her out. 

His eyes were what? Angel’s eyes were luminescent white, like their skin. This 
must be one of the side effects of drinking the blood. Something to consider 
another day. 

His smile coaxed one from Eve. Her smile was even more dazzling. Come to 
think about it, everything was brighter and the animals’ voices were clearer. So 
was Adam’s. 

In the distance a voice called out, “Goat.” A bleat answered him. 

Lucifer clenched his jaw. Seriously? That guttural noise was the best that 
overgrown ape could come up with? At least Lilith’s names had poetry to them. 
Butterfly. Swan. Dove. 

Eve dashed behind the date tree. 

“Your eyes flickered red like fire.” She gulped. “And your hands…” She 
shivered and looked frantically around. 

Unsure what was happening to him, Lucifer shoved all his doubts aside. He 
took a deep breath and pictured the fire in the center of heaven. It would soon be 
his home with Eve. His talons receded. He stepped around the tree. 

“May I please help you?” He smiled and offered his hand. 

“You asked my permission? Adam never does.” Her tone was a mixture of 
disappointment and frustration with a hint of anger. She looked down. 

With one gentle finger, Lucifer tipped her head up. Eve was the more exquisite 
creature. Adam should be subordinate to her. Heaven was being remade for Adam? 
What was God thinking? 

Lucifer laughed. That was something no one ever knew. Not even the angels. 
Eve placed her hand on her chin and studied Lucifer. 

“Yes. You may help. I’m naming things we can eat. This is a date.” She 
handed him the fruit. 

Eve regarded him with anticipation as he bit. The flavor called to something 
deep inside, and his stomach rumbled. The noise and vibrations were startling. He 
examined the fruit. The flesh contained juice. It ran down his hand. It was cool and 
sticky. He devoured the date. Eve’s smile was more beautiful this time. 

Because it was for him. 

Eve named the plants. His help consisted of applauding her choices. She was 
especially proud of grapes and apricots. 

He needed to give her something. A variety of flowers surrounded them. There 
were different colors, sizes, and shapes. He picked a small pink one. The wind 
scattered the five petals. He scanned the ground. A rock the size of Eve’s delicate 
hand caught his attention. He lifted it and closed his hand around it. 

“My turn,” he told her. 

“For what? We’ve named everything.” Her voice held a tinge of 

“For this.” He opened his hand. It cradled a diamond flower.

Her fingers were tiny next to his, her skin darker. She took the flower and held 
it up to the sun. The rays turned to rainbows as they shone through the diamond. 

“What’s this?” She continued to inspect the flower. She held her other hand 
next to the flower to watch the rainbows on it. As she moved the flower, the 
rainbows moved. 

“A gift.” Please smile so I know you like it. “A flower that will never blow 

She lightly traced the petals, but didn’t smile. 

“I don’t know what to say.” Her attention was absorbed by the flower. 

“If you don’t like it…” He reached for it. 

She held it away. 

“I don’t like it. I love it.” Her smile wrapped around her face, and she hugged 
Lucifer around the neck. She mashed her body against his. 

He gently put his arms around her. He didn’t squeeze. She looked delicate 
enough to break. They stood for what seemed like both an eternity and not long 

“It’s beautiful. No one has ever given me anything. I give things to Adam, but 
he never—” 

“I never what?” Adam’s voice was more annoying close up. 

He grabbed Eve’s hand and yanked her away. The diamond flower fell. Lucifer 
caught it. He tried to hand it back, but Adam blocked his way. 

“Who is this?” Adam shoved Eve behind him. He spoke to Eve, but his 
attention was on Lucifer. 

Eve peeked around him, rubbing her shoulder. Her eyes said everything. You 
would never shove me around. 

Lucifer stood in Adam’s face and reached for Eve. Adam blocked his way, and 
they glared at each other. Eve squeezed between them.

“This is Lucifer. He’s my friend.” Her confidence was beautiful, a far cry from 
her earlier timidity. 

What a beautiful word. Friend. It possessed a strong energy, but Eve couldn’t 
know power words. 

“He helped me name the plants,” she continued, not aware of the magnitude of 
the word she’d spoken. 

“I want to name the plants. God put me in charge, not you.” Lucifer wasn’t 
sure who the words were directed to. Adam glared at Lucifer. 

“Too bad.” Lucifer’s laugh nearly ate his words. “We’ve already named them 
all.” He didn’t hide his glee. Every time Eve ate anything, she’d remember the day 
they’d spent together. 

Not one day. Adam’s arrogance and dominance proved he wasn’t right for her. 
Let God make another mate for Adam. Eve belonged with Lucifer, and he 
belonged with her. They would make their own Eden in heaven. Then their 
descendants would fill the heavenly vault. 

Eve clung to Lucifer’s arm and kept looking between the two men. Lucifer 
patted her hand and smiled at her. Even though she returned the smile, it didn’t 
reach her eyes. Her fingers uncurled, and she moved to Adam’s right side. 

Lucifer took a deep breath. Eve needed more time before she left Adam. He 
could give her that. It didn’t mean he couldn’t needle Adam. 

“We didn’t name all of them. There’s still that one.” Lucifer pointed to the 
large tree in the center and strolled over to it. 

Eve rushed to him. 

The branches were a few feet above his head. He plucked a fruit. The weight 
was surprising. He compared it to the diamond flower, weighing both in his hands. 

The fruit looked like a blue apple, but was heavier than diamond. It was a wonder 
it didn’t fall from the tree.

Eve grabbed it and tried to place it in the tree, but was too short to touch the 
branches. Lucifer reached for it. She hid it behind her back and shook her head. 

“God said we can eat from any tree, but this one.” Her words were frantic. “If 
we do, we’ll die.” 

Trembling hands threw the fruit behind her. It rolled and nearly hit Adam’s 
feet. He leaped out of the way. It landed in the flowers near Adam. He backed 
away from it. 

“Why would God make something that could hurt you, and why place it in the 
center?” Lucifer mused out loud. “Centers are important. God created everything 
in the center of heaven. Heaven is the center of the universe. God has deliberately 
placed this tree in the center of Eden, the center of earth.” 

Eve shrugged, but her eyes were ripe with fear. She tugged Lucifer away with 
both hands. He planted his feet. He’d pushed aside too many questions. Eve lost 
her grip. She nearly fell. Adam steadied her with a hand wrapped around her upper 

Lucifer placed the diamond flower on the ground. He picked another fruit and 
peered into its nature. It possessed energy like nothing on earth, except for… He 
gazed into Eve’s frantic eyes. This energy lived inside one, make that four things— 
Lilith, Adam, Eve, and him. 

The fruit contained the blood of humanity and something else, something he’d 
only felt in one other place. 

In the presence of God. 

“This fruit won’t hurt you.” Lucifer squeezed it, and blood dripped onto his 
outstretched palm. He licked it. Definitely the blood of humanity. The juice didn’t 
contain God’s special energy. The flesh did. “It will make you gods.” 

“God’s what?” Eve’s curiosity drew her out, however her fear kept her rooted. 

“No. Gods as in plural. If you eat this fruit, you’ll become like God, so…” So 
would he. He stared at the fruit. He wouldn’t need that sanctuary in heaven. He 
wouldn’t have to stay in heaven or earth. He could be as far from Adam as 
possible. He could make his own universe for him and Eve. 

He’d already gone through one transformation. That change had nearly 
destroyed him. Did he dare risk another? 

Eve’s fear was so strong, it coated everything, including the fruit. Her body 
shook, and her eyes glistened with tears. If her heart beat any faster, it would stop 
beating. Nothing so delicate should ever experience fear. 

Eve was terrified of God. Lucifer would not only take her far away from 
Adam, but from God. She would never be scared of anything ever again. 

“Contact with Adam, Lilith, and their descendants will have disastrous 
consequences.” The words rumbled through his mind. He looked at Eve. She 
hadn’t moved. Neither had Adam. They hadn’t heard the words. 

“You lied,” Lucifer shouted at heaven. “This won’t kill them.” 

He bit the fruit. His throat constricted, trapping the fruit. He grabbed the tree 
and readied himself for the pain that had engulfed him in heaven. It came and he 
gripped the tree harder. Tears poured down his cheeks. 

Eve gasped and fell to her knees at his feet, crying. 

“Please don’t hurt him,” she begged. Her tears fell on Lucifer’s feet. 

Words tumbled through his mind. He grabbed on to them. 

“To love me is to love what I have created. To love what I have created is to 
love me.” His heart leaped at God’s words. 

“Bring light and justice to all creation, my son.” Tears washed down Lucifer’s 

He is my friend. The memory of Eve’s gentle voice warmed him. 

His throat relaxed. He took another bite. Warmth flooded him. Eve’s warmth. 

Peace followed, and a veil lifted. Each bite made everything clearer.

His name made sense. Lucifer, the bearer of light. He was to shine this light on 
the world and bring justice. His hand flexed. His sword was in heaven. He’d 
retrieve it as soon as they were done here. 

He reached down and touched Eve’s hand to let her know he was okay. Her 
eyes were still downcast. His gentle caress made her glance up. He smiled at her, 
and she returned it. She leaped up and hugged him tightly. 

Adam took several steps toward him. Lucifer let his anger turn his eyes to 
flame. Despite not wanting Eve to be afraid, fear could be a good thing. Now to 
quell Eve’s fear. Then they could create a whole new world together. He picked 
another fruit and offered it to her. Adam growled. 

“Eve, this won’t hurt you. I vow I will never let anything or anyone”—Lucifer 
glared at Adam—“hurt you. This is the fruit of life itself. Not merely to live, but to 
create life.” He took Eve’s hand and placed it around the fruit. “This is why God 
lied. He doesn’t want you to become like the angels, like me, or especially like 
him.” He tucked a damp lock of hair behind her ear. 

Eve looked between Adam and Lucifer. Slowly she brought the fruit to her 
lips. Adam grabbed her hands. 

“You aren’t doing this without me.” There was no arguing with Adam’s tone, 
though Lucifer would have loved to. This wasn’t the time for that. This was a 
special moment between him and Eve. Let Adam do whatever he wanted. Lilith 
knew how irrelevant Adam was. Now so would Eve. 

Adam snatched Eve’s fruit. She stood and with shaking hands, tried to pick 
another. Even on tiptoes, she couldn’t reach. Lucifer grabbed the fruit from Adam 
and resisted the urge to punch him in the gut. He wasn’t going to sully the hands 
that would soon touch Eve. 

“That’s hers.” Lucifer shined and presented it to her. 

Trembling hands accepted the second gift he’d given her.

“Wait for me,” Adam commanded. He yanked a fruit down, glaring at Lucifer. 

Lucifer resisted the urge to laugh. Adam was so pathetic. He tried to shove 
Lucifer aside, but it was like a fly landing on a cow. Adam stood on the other side 
of Eve. 

Sweating, she slowly raised the fruit to her mouth. Her teeth pierced the skin, 
and a trickle of blood ran down her chin. 

Her scream barely squeezed around the fruit. She dropped it, and her pain 
echoed through Eden. Her eyes rolled back in her head, and she collapsed. A 
breath later, Adam fell next to her. 

Lucifer scooped up Eve’s limp form and carried her to the flowers. He rested 
her head on his lap and brushed damp hair out of her face. Not Eve. She was what 
made Eden paradise. His tears washed away the blood marring her perfect 

Maybe she needed to eat more. The first bite was hard on him, and he used to 
be an angel, not a fragile human. The fruit she’d tossed away lay next to them. He 
held the fruit to her mouth. She didn’t stir. He bit off a piece and placed it in her 


His heart stuttered. God hadn’t lied. Contact with humans had had disastrous 

Lucifer called the diamond flower to his outstretched hand and laid it on her 
chest. He covered it with both her hands. 

Everything grew dark, though it was still day without a cloud in the sky. 

“You dare think to disobey me.” God’s voice boomed from the tree. 

To find out more, check out my website http://www.violaryan.com

Starting next month, I will begin the Holy Hell Tour. It will begin here at the blog on March 1 and culminate on Easter with a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway. There will be smaller prizes awarded throughout the month. I  hope to see you there.


  1. Hi Jeanie! *waves* Nice excerpt.

  2. Sounds amazing, I'll have to remember to follow the tour!

    dreammie_angel at yahoo dot com

  3. Thanks. I had a lot of fun writing this. I joke that this book is mostly first chapters.

  4. What an interesting story concept. Nice excerpt.

  5. Oh, I like this!!! I want to read more!
    jennirv4967 @ gmail. com

  6. This is a fun hop, and what an excerpt!
    sherifredricks @charter .net

  7. Just wanted to stop by and say great job everyone. You all have done MFRW so proud!

  8. Enjoying the blog hop so much fun to see different author sites.

  9. Very fetching cover and title. I think you have a winner there, Viola!
    Warm regards,
    Christine London

  10. Love the sound and look of this book Im hooked cannot wait to read this.


  11. Scary stuff! I'm a fellow hopper, stopping in to say hi. Have a great hop!

  12. Terrific concept. Love the cover and the blog.

  13. Love the excerpt. I want more...
    Thanks for sharing

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing! And thanks for the awesome hop and giveaway!

  16. Very intriguing concept! On my wishlist it goes!

  17. Great beginning! Thanks for sharing.