We host the Relic Book Tour today. We were able to interview author Deena Remiel and she shares an excerpt from this exciting angel series, the second in her Brethren series. Laurie is reading this book and will post her review soon.
Summary: Raphael, a Brethren Savior, an angel with a forgotten past, has lost his power to heal and is on a self-imposed guilt trip to get it back. If he can’t, his tour of eternal duty as Brethren Savior will be revoked. On his journey, he winds up enmeshed in a web of attempted murder and resurrection all thanks to a woman he’s only seen in a photograph and by chance on an Arizona desert hiking trail.
Serena Sikes is a wanted woman. Desired by “undesirables” for a gift her brother gave her- a stolen relic with suspected healing powers. Hunted down in the Arizona desert and left for dead, she is found by none other than the angel who cannot heal.
Raphael and Serena are inexorably bound together, for locked deep within the relic’s heart had lived the soul of his long lost wife. Now, it resides inside Serena. Evil lurks around every corner as Raphael tries to keep both Serena and his dead wife’s soul alive and lustful temptation at bay.
Three souls bound together by an ancient relic, bound by a timeless gift, and bound by a love that is eternal.
An interview with Deena Remiel
Why choose angels for your Brethren series?
When the concept for the Brethren first came to me, I wanted to showcase a group of otherwordly beings that hadn't been widely examined as of yet. I also wanted this group to have the ability to walk beside humans without them even knowing, to live parallel lives. We all knkow about guardian angels, and I wanted to have a group of "superheroes", if you will, champion the good people of the world.
What is it about the battle between good and evil that attracts so many writers?
For me, it's the sense of urgency and a winner-takes-all scenario that draws me. The battles between Good and Evil are fights to the finish, and both sides are "all in". There's nothing quite like an apocalyptic war to raise emotional tension and send it soaring to the heavens.
Do you have a favorite character in your series?
I adore them all, but I just might favor Raphael just a little bit more! He is so sensual and strong, and okay, he's also a bit on the tortured side. I can tell you, fans of the Brethren sure have their favorites. The girls go crazy over Gabriel, Cassiel, and Nathanael. Come join a rousing game of Virtual Brethren Twister some time on my fan page and you'll see what I'm talking about! LOL
Were any characters particularly challenging to create? Were any easy?
Serena was very difficult to create because of the nature of her story. She's basically two souls in one, harboring Raphael's long-lost wife's soul within her. Writing dual personalities is tricky business! Hannah, from Trinity, was easy because I based her mannerisms and personality on a combination of my two daughters and me when I was a child.
Tell us about your worldbuilding.
First, I had to decide what the nature of my group would be. Then, I had to decide whether they would coexist with the humans or flit in and out like gods. I created a character sketch for each Brethren including body features and special skills. I explained the way of things in the prologue of Trinity, and continue to reveal more and more throughout the stories. I keep everything about them in one file so I can refer back and be consistent with my rules.
What inspires you and how do you call about your muse?
Until recently, I hadn't thought I had a muse. But apparently, after having a psychic reading, I do! She's an angel muse who has spurred me to write about angels. Initially though, it was the Superstition Mountains by my home that swept me away and opened my mind to infinite worlds and stories to be told. I still feel it is the land that speaks to me, whispering little nuggets of ideas through the breeze.
An excerpt from Relic:
Serena lay asleep in her hospital bed, a small, seemingly fragile wisp of a woman. The way the setting sun cast a glow about her face, she looked enchanting and more like a delicate flower. He could almost smell the sweet scent of a Lily of the Valley in the air. He shook himself free of his musings as he moved into her room and quietly took a seat next to her.
Glancing around the room, he found the sweet-smelling culprit that had captivated him—a small bottle of perfume. Returning to gaze upon his enchantress, he noticed the bruising along her jaw line much more pronounced since he’d first come upon her. A cold, steel anger welled within him. His eyes trailed down to her slender arm outfitted with an IV, and to all the machines with their bells and beeps.
“I’m sorry, Serena,” he whispered. “You wouldn’t have needed all of this if I could’ve done my job properly.” He bristled in frustration and leaned his head against his arms resting on the bedrail. He noticed her stirring in her sleep. She seemed agitated and surprised him by blindly reaching out to grab hold of his hand.
“Mmm…I cannot die. I am immortal. An feidir le heinne cuidiu liom? Can anyone help me? Graim thu, Raphael, anam chara. I love you, my soul mate.” Serena whimpered and fell silent once again.
The chair screeched across the floor as Raphael sprung out of it like a Jack-in-the-box. Her hand stayed firmly gripped around his, and a flood of memories—well-hidden for centuries—came crashing through unbidden. Sirona, Goddess of Healing—the love of his immortal life, his wife—smiled at him as they walked in the mountains. She bathed him in the hot roman baths. She made love with him under the stars. She was lifeless in his arms as he carried her to her temple. He was asking E.L. to wipe his memory clean of all remembrances of her and to harden his heart.
Raphael wrenched his hand away from Serena’s tight grasp, involuntarily backing up to the door. He clutched his chest over his racing heart, now filled with centuries of unresolved anguish, his mind buzzed with too many questions.
Serena’s eyes fluttered open. He must have had a look of utter horror on his face because she raised her hand to her face shielding the bruise. “It appears worse than it feels,” she stated quietly. “Really. Have you come to fix the TV? They told me someone would be coming by this afternoon to fix it.”
“Uh…no,” Raphael croaked. “I, uh…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I’ll be on my way.” I have to get out of here. Who the hell is she, some kind of witch? Why is this happening now? And where do I begin to process what I just experienced?
“But wait. Who are you? Why did you come to my room?”
Now she doesn’t know who I am? What gives? “I’m the one who found you and brought you here to the hospital, actually. I was checking to see how you were doing. Now I see you’re doing much better, so I’m going to leave you to your rest.” Raphael headed to the exit.
“Wait! Please, before you go I’d like to say something.” He turned around slowly and stood transfixed by her glittering emerald eyes. “Thank you. You saved my life, and I’m forever grateful.” She smiled, and her eyes brimmed with unshed tears.
“Make no mistake,” he grumbled. “I didn’t save you. The doctors did. But you’re welcome for bringing you here. Now, I really must go.”
“Hey,” Serena shouted as he walked out the door, “what did you say your name was?”
He stopped but couldn’t face her again. “I didn’t.”
About the author: It was the mystique of Arizona’s history and landscape that called to Deena and catapulted her career as an author. When she’s not writing romance novels and poetry in the wee, small hours of the morning or in the deep, dark of night, Deena teaches language arts to middle school students.
She currently lives in Gilbert with her husband and two children, but New Jersey will always tug at her heartstrings. She loves connecting with her fans, so find her at deenaremiel.com.
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We thank Deena Remiel and Sizzling PR.