Thursday, February 21, 2013
Angels Inspired Me
By Catherine Greenfeder
The idea for Angels Among Us, my paranormal romance, came to me during a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City at Christmas time. I always enjoyed viewing the museum's Christmas tree with its nativity display and ornaments created in Italy. The ornaments included angels which appeared to fly down or up the tree. I had been searching for ideas for a story, and as I glanced at one of the angels, it "communicated" to me about telling a story with an angel as a main character.
Thus, the idea for Angels Among Us came about with a character named Eviance Angelique, as the guardian angel of Kay Lassiter, an artist with psychic abilities. Eviance makes his presence known to Kay at a crisis moment and acts as a guiding force in helping Kay find the answers to a life-long mystery about the deaths of her parents. Eviance also protects Kay from the enemy who returns to fight against her and her brother, a local detective in their New Jersey community. Eviance also encourages the romance between Kay and her brother's friend Jake, a teacher who had once had a crush on Kay.
Long before this inspiration, I had been fascinated with angels. In fact, my home is filled with angel imagery including statues, pictures, mugs, and angel pins. I'm fond of reading about angels. This includes readings from traditional sources such as the Bible and stories of both well-known individuals and ordinary people who have had experiences with the angelic realm.
Many years ago, an Irish American woman went to visit her dying father in County Cavan. Both of her parents were ill, but her father's condition seemed the worst. One night as she drank tea in the kitchen, a mysterious light emanated from her father's bedroom. Surprised but not alarmed, the daughter speculated that her ailing mother might have lit a votive candle and forgotten about it. The woman went to her father's room, and as she neared it, the light faded. It went out when she reached the doorway. When she went to her father's bed, she found him dead. Puzzled, yet not wanting to upset her mother, she remained quiet about the event. Then she began preparations for her father's funeral. A day later, the daughter once more sat in the kitchen and drank her tea. Once again, a light appeared, this time from her mother's room. She raced toward the room, but the light began to fade. By the time she reached the doorway, the light went out. She knew that she'd find her mother dead. Afterward the daughter realized that what she'd witnessed had been the presence of the Angel of Death and that her trip to Ireland intended as her final visit with one parent, ended up to be her last with both.
There are happier encounters with angels. In the Bible, the angel Gabriel, the messenger archangel, delivered the famous message to a young woman named Mary that she was with child, and that child was the Son of God whom she would name Jesus. The Three Wise Men had been led by a star and watched over by the angels on their way to Bethlehem to honor the Baby Jesus. A belief in angels is not restricted to Christianity, but it is in other religious beliefs as well.
A student of mine had been traveling with her family when their car stalled on a road in the middle of a desert. Out of nowhere a truck passed them. It soon returned. The driver, a young man, got out and talked to her parents. He helped them with their car and offered words that cheered them. When he smiled at her and her brother, she felt a warm radiance. The stranger returned to his truck and left. Shortly afterward a patrol car came and stopped to check on them. When her parents told the officer of the kind truck driver, the officer said that there had been no other vehicle on that road which fit the description of the truck. The family got the help they needed and continued on their journey without further incident. However, the student remained grateful to the stranger, an angel of mercy in disguise, who helped her and her family that night on a deserted road.
According to some sources, the Angel of Mercy is Archangel Gabriel. However, there are other angels who can be called upon for specific phenomenon, such as natural disasters. The Angel Zamiel is considered a protector in the event of hurricanes; Riddia, revered in Hebrew law, wards against drought; Angel Suiel helps mortals jeopardized by earthquakes; the Angel of Nourishment, Asda, can be called on to prevent famine; the Angel Lahabiel assists the Archangel Michael in protection against evil.
From my research on the topic of angels, I learned that angels co-exist with their mortal counterparts in many ways. There are angels who appear at the birth of a child. Once more, the Archangel Gabriel plays a role in both the birth and the death of mortals. He is there to instruct the unborn child, and at the end of life he is there to welcome him or her into the transition to the next phase. The Angel Armisael is said to assist in childbirth. The Archangel Raphael rules over health matters. Raphael also rules the mental processes, so he is one to be called upon before exams. If you've lost something, a prayer to the Angel Rochel might help you find it. The Angel Camael is said to help athletes. For those with a green thumb, assistance is given by Habuhiah, the Angel of Gardening. In a new business venture? The Angel Teaoael, once invoked to protect ships with their precious cargoes, is considered a helper for new entrepreneurs.
What is important in all this is to keep in mind that while angels are here among us, they are not divinities to be idolized. They do not expect worship, only gratitude and acknowledgement for what they are.
To read more about what I wrote on the topic of angels, please check out my website, and to find out about my heroic guardian angel Eviance Angelique, read my book Angels Among Us. www.catherinegreenfeder.vpweb.com
Catherine Greenfeder is a published author of three romance novels including Angels Among Us, a paranormal romance, Wildflowers, a western historical romance, and award winning paranormal romance Sacred Fires. She currently awaits publication of her first young adult paranormal romance, Kiss Out of Time, which is set at the Jersey Shore.
She attributes her love of writing to growing up in a household of storytellers, especially her mother who loves to entertain with stories about the past. Catherine received a B.A. in English from St. John’s University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Montclair State University. She worked in the fields of advertising and education.
She is a member of the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey based Liberty State Fiction Writers, and Teachers and Writers Collaborative.
In addition to writing books, Catherine Greenfeder is a language arts teacher who encourages her students to pursue their own literary talents. She lives in Nutley with her husband, son, and their mixed Labrador retriever.