Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Interview: Covenant (The Books of Raziel #2) by Sabrina Benulis

Covenant (The Books of Raziel #2)
by Sabrina Benulis

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Date of Publication: 4/1/2014
Number of pages: 400

The haunting gothic tale started in Archon continues-a mesmerizing work of the paranormal in which a young woman discovers that she is caught in a labyrinth of intrigue where angels, demons, and all the creatures between Heaven and Hell will stop at nothing to possess her.

A year ago, Angela Mathers, a talented artist with a tortured soul, enrolled at the Westwood Academy and encountered the angels who haunted her dreams. Then she discovered the dark truth … she is the Archon, a being of supreme power who will determine the fate of the universe. But with such power comes great danger, and for every force seeking to aid Angela there is another burning to stop her. After a scheming demon kidnaps the Book of Raziel, Angela must find her way through a nightmarish game and enter the Door to Hell to rescue her only friend before it is too late.

The perilous fate of both Heaven and Hell rests on her success.

Shut Up & Read would like to welcome Sabrina Benulis today!  Thanks for joining us!
Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
There are a few, so bear with me here! The protagonist of Covenant is Angela Mathers. She's a young woman who's suffered some painful abuse in the past, but over time she's only grown stronger for it. By the start of Covenant, she is much better at making friends and sorting out her feelings than before. Angela is known for her striking blood red hair and blue eyes. Those features marked her as the possible fulfillment of a dire prophecy of Ruin, but even if that's the case, she's adamant that she can change fate no matter the circumstances.

Her friend Sophia would be next. Sophia isn't really a human being, but she looks and behaves exactly like one. Some people have called her 'nothing more than a thing,' which is painful to her, because despite the facts, she has a soul and feelings. Sophia's relationship with Angela soon becomes quite strong. They're each other's rock in times of difficulty. So when Sophia is kidnapped by a demon and stolen to Hell, it's only natural for Angela to storm the proverbial gates to save her friend.

The other major players are Israfel, an androgynous angel trapped on Earth, but desperate to escape, enter Hell, and help Angela before it’s too late. There is Troy, who is a Jinn, and her half-Jinn cousin, a handsome man who likes to go by the name 'Kim.' They have a deadly game of cat and mouse going on, but are firmly united in their desire to see Angela succeed. There is Nina, one of Angela's dearest friends who has come back from the dead to assist her. Last but not least, we can't forget Python, the demon who offers to guide Angela through a deadly labyrinth in Hell to reach Sophia, and his master Lucifel, the Devil herself.

Q:  What was your favorite scene to write?
There is a crucial scene in the novel between Angela and Sophia that I wanted to fill with as much emotion as possible. I wanted readers to really feel their relationship strongly, and that it is something so much more than a mere friendship, that in another character's words it needed a new word to describe it: "Covenant."

3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? Hectic and stressful! But I seem to get the most accomplished under pressure, so I've learned to deal with it over time. The only thing I hate is having to pull an all-nighter to get a manuscript done. I really love my sleep.

Q:  How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
I think the most important way my upbringing affected my writing is that I was always encouraged to engage with my imagination as much as possible. Now, that tends to lead to some seriously crazy details in my books. I'm often asked just where I come up with some of this stuff! But I also have to really credit my Mom here. She introduced me to fantasy classics like The Lord of the Rings at a very early age, and I've been a devoted speculative fiction reader since.

  Q:  If you could be any character from your book, who would you be and why?
Troy, definitely. I really like Angela too, but Troy is one badass Jinn. She can fly, she has sharp nails and teeth, and she's just darn cool and doesn't take crap from anyone. She can really be the epitome of a strong female--if not necessarily a human one.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love going out to eat or spending the day with friends and family, especially my husband. It's so nice sometimes to just have fun and forget the world for a while.

Q:  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I've always wanted to see Alaska. People have told me it can be breathtaking. Then again, it's hard to say no to a tropical beach and some palm trees!

Q:  What book are you reading now?
Actually, I just finished A Wrinkle in Time not too long ago. I'd been meaning to read that book for years. If you're curious what it's about, think Narnia meets sci-fi.


Sabrina Benulis graduated with a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She currently resides in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband Mike, and her spoiled cockatiel Caesar. COVENANT is the follow-up to ARCHON, her first novel.


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