Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guest Blogger: Margay Leah Justice

The winner of Margay's book is: Melanie Card! Congrats! Send me your contact information and I'll pass it along to Margay. Thanks to everyone who participated.

In The Presence Of Angels

In the paranormal world, walking amongst the vampires and shapeshifters, the demons and fairies, there are angels. Not the pink-cheeked cherubs adorning Christmas cards, but full-bodied, living, breathing angels. Angels with enough angst and dilemmas to rival their human counterparts. And with enough sensuality and charisma to bring a mere mortal to her knees with just a look. Angels are the new models for heroes taking their stand in the paranormal world. But what is the fascination with angels?

I have been trying to answer this question for myself ever since a certain wayward angel took up residence in my brain and started telling me his story. Or, in actuality, demanded that I tell his story. Before that, I was content with writing about mere mortals who lived, loved, lost and rediscovered along the journey that we call life. But once that angel first began to speak to me, I have become fascinated by stories of angels, be they real or fictionalized. Still I wonder, what is it about these heavenly beings that spawns such fascination?

Whether you believe in angels or not, they permeate our culture like no other symbol of hope and purity. Faith and belief. Awe and inspiration. Perhaps one of the most iconic renditions of angels is that of The Sistine Madonna, better known as Raphael’s Angels. Who hasn’t seen this painting of two cherubs watching the heavens with daydreaming expressions staring back at them from a Christmas card or festive ornament? A quick search through Google will show that, although this is perhaps Raphael’s most famous painting of angelic beings, it is not the only one in which they appear. Indeed, they show up in the backgrounds of several others, but are not limited to Raphael’s paintings. Other artists, including Bouguereau, depict angels in their works.

So is it any wonder that Hollywood would follow suit? One of my favorite movies about angels is called Michael in which John Travolta gives a tour de force performance as a bad boy angel living amongst humans. From smoking to burping after a meal, he is the antithesis of the heavenly being we associate with the word angel. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t wise. On the contrary, he gets to the heart of the matter without seeming to care if he does get there. The trick is, he gets the humans to do most of the work. And who can forget that dance sequence to “Chain of Fools” where he manages to seduce every woman in the bar away from her date?

One of the most successful shows on television was “Touched by an Angel,” which always delivered a story with an uplifting message without sounding too preachy. Della Reese was perfect as Tess, a feisty, put-upon angel who was a rallying force behind her charges and loved them like a mother. She guided everyone, including the other angels in her care, with a firm yet gentle hand, nurturing when needed and doling out the tough love when the situation called for it. On the flipside was the ABCFamily miniseries called Fallen, in which a young man, upon his seventeenth birthday, discovered that he was one of the Nephilim, which put his life – and those of everyone he loved – in danger. A somewhat darker tale, it dealt with morality and good versus evil on a different scale than its more uplifting counterpart.

Which brings me to literature and the new fascination with angelic characters. Whether they are heroes or secondary characters, angels are cropping up everywhere. Debbie Macomber writes uplifting stories about angels called Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, who make it their mission to grant people hope and give them the will to love again. One could argue that the angels are secondary characters to those they come to help. On the darker side is a series by Erin McCarthy, the Seven Deadly Sins. In book one, My Immortal, the hero, Damien du Bourg, makes a deal with a fallen angle for immortality, which poses some unique problems when he meets the woman he might want to spend eternity with. In book two, Fallen, the hero is the fallen angel Gabriel whose penance on earth is to be without love forever. So whether you like your angels lighthearted and madcap, like Macomber’s angels, or dark and tortured like McCarthy’s, there is a story out there for every taste.

Thank you for traveling with me on this little journey through angels in our culture and feel free to leave a comment on your favorite angel in art, film, or literature. You tell me, have you ever found yourself in the presence of angels?

For another take on angels, why not take a look at my debut novel, Nora’s Soul? Available on For more information, you can find me at, or on Facebook or Twitter.
Leave a comment here to enter Margay's giveaway. Her winner will be posted here on Tuesday evening.


Blogger Barbara Martin said...

I have had two near death experiences which involved communication with angels; the first where I asked to come back, and the second when I was told it wasn't my time yet as I had something to complete first. Both times I experienced a feeling of complete relaxation with the saturation of unconditional love. In my circumstances the angels were very loving, kind and succinct in their telepathic communication.

Since those two incidents I have had another four instances of telepathic communication over complicated issues I was working on. With very few precise words they clarify the answer to the issue, or a short question is asked to ensure I really wanted that change to occur.

I have a strong faith in God and angels are his messengers. They provide assistance only if asked or if the person is not supposed to die at that particular time.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Barbara, thanks for sharing your stories with us! Amazing!

7:40 AM  
Blogger Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Wow, Barbara; that is truly amazing. I do believe that angels surround us at all times. We all receive the email that angels are around us as friends, co-workers, relatives, email friends, whatever. Well, whatever form they may take, I am glad to have each one around me. Life sure is blessed with more angels around!

Margay, your books sounds awesome!

9:12 AM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Cecile, thank you. And let's not forget the angels in mortal clothing that help us in our daily lives - like our local firemen and police officers and the stranger who gives up his seat on a bus. Angels are all around us, in various forms, so be nice to everyone!

9:37 AM  
Blogger Patricia Altner said...

The subject of angels fascinates me, and I enjoy reading fiction stories that include them and speculate on their presence here on Earth.

Your post was especially well written. I look forward to reading your novel.

10:37 AM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Patricia, thank you, that is high praise. I am also fascinated by the presence of angels here on earth and I think I just skimmed the possibilities, so I am happy to get feedback on the subject.

10:50 AM  
Blogger donnas said...

What a great post. I will have to look up your book.

I have not had any experiences with Angels but my mom has had a couple. They can be truely life changing experiences.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the concept of “angel as bad boy”, too. One of my favorite angel movies is the horror movie “The Prophecy” (1995) where Gabriel (played by the fabulous Christopher Walken) has fallen. I was a teenager when I first watched it and it really influenced how I saw angel mythology. And while “angel as warrior of God” is not a new concept it certainly opens up interesting characterization and development possibilities. Your book sounds fascinating, Margay. I look forward to reading your book.


1:00 PM  
Blogger Vickie said...

My grandmother is my guardian angel. She was caregiver when she was alive and now takes care of me and mine in her afterlife.

Lighter side to angels, I actually was 'channeling' that scene from the movie 'Michael' on Saturday at Gunther Toody's Diner. Chain of Fools came on the speaker as I accompanied my 5 year old daughter to the ladies room. I could not help myself and started scootin' along and danced throughout the whole song (most of which was actually in the ladies' room, so limited audience) = )

1:50 PM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Thank you,donnas. Yes, encounters with angels can be truly life-changing. Maybe some day I'll post about my own encounters.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Melanie,thank you so much for your interest. I must admit I'm having fun with the concept of bad boy angels for their path to redemption is going to be more angst-ridden than a mere mortals - which is why it's going to cover a few books!

6:38 PM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Vickie, I love it! and if you're going to channel anyone, who better than John Travolta's Michael? Thanks for commenting!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Lori T said...

Great post. Angels are fascinating and I think that they are so interesting because they do offer such hope. I loved Michael, too. Your upcoming novel sounds great! I would love to be entered.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Thank you for the kind comments, Lori. And just a head's up for all who are entering the contest, Nora's Soul is the first book in a series that explores the plight of these good and bad angels. I tried, but Dante just wouldn't be contained in one book!

5:22 AM  
Blogger Debora said...

My husband saw an angel one night when hew as drowsing on the sofa in the family room. He opened his eyes and saw a female with long blonde hair, clad in long white robes, and who had wings. It was summer, and our cat Sherlock was in the window, and he turned and saw her too, dh said. Sherlock gave out a startled 'meow' and jumped out of the window towards
where she was standing and she then disappeared...

Your books sounds fascinating and I'm looking forward to reading it! Best of luck with your writing career!
Sincerely, Debora Hosey

7:48 AM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Debora, thank you for commenting. What an interesting story! I don't think I've ever heard of an animal being able to see an angel, so that is very intriguing to me.

7:55 AM  
Blogger tetewa said...

Enjoyed the post and looking forward to your take on angels!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Thank you, tetewa. I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

10:53 AM  
Blogger Barbara Martin said...

Margay, when I had my second angel visitation mentioned in my first comment, my two poodles were watching it in the corner of the living room and they were wagging their tails.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

That is wild!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Margay! Thank you for blogging at Paranormality! It was great having you. Your book sounds wonderful.
Hugs, Lynda

9:29 PM  
Blogger Barbara Martin said...

Linda, thank you for this opportunity to viewer another wonderful book. I'm coming back now on a more regular basis instead of just having the link sit on my sidebar.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Lynda, thanks so much for having me! It was a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed the interaction with your readers.

4:47 AM  
Blogger Margay Leah Justice said...

Barbara, this is one of those blogs I read on a regular basis, as well, which made my time here even more special.

4:48 AM  

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