Saints, Angels, and Pagans

It’s November 1:  Samhain, All Saints Day, the beginning of NaNoWriMo.

So I have three questions:

1. Anyone participating in NaNoWriMo? Or are most of the writers reading here novel-writing in any and all months of their choosing?

2. Anyone ever read a romance that they enjoyed in which an angel served as a character, perhaps a protagonist?

I remember vaguely seeing a few of “angel romances” around the time Jude Deveraux’s An Angel For Emily was published. I read that one – and here’s Sarah’s lightning review: F for insipid, shallow, annoying heroine with the personality of a sheet of paper, and an angel hero who was way, way too good to be surrounded by the characters and plot in this novel. F for the number of times I thought, “You’re pretty hot in all the right ways; so why are you so fixated on this dimwit?” Another F for the trite and cliched makeover scene, and yet another F for a complete absence of believable circumstances establishing romantic tension. Plus, one more F for a really annoying “villain” and a gullible heroine with a tenuous grip on reality. Wait, did I already give her an F? Well, she gets another one.

Since I didn’t like that book at all, I never picked up another. Anyone read any books where there’s some excellent angel action?

3. What about pagan or Wiccan romance characters – as in, characters who would celebrate Samhain, Beltane, and the rest?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Shaunee says:

    Does it count if the angel is fallen?

    If so, I can’t say enough good things about Jeri Smith-Ready’s REQUIEM FOR THE DEVIL.  Lucifer et al are a group of political consultant in Washington, DC and the heroine is an advocate for the poor.  Smart, funny, edgy, and sexy. 

    Michael and Raphael make an appearance if your a stickler for recommendation that has angels in good standing and the ending WILL make you snot cry.

  2. 2
    Lorelie says:

    1.  No.  Though I keep going back and forth on if I should.  I’m in my worst trimester of pregnancy, my husband has a broken ankle and we’re making a trans-atlantic move at the end of the month.  But I really wanna do it.  Am I psychotic to even consider it?

    2.  Never got into the angel thing much.  I never could get over the fact that they’re not supposed to be able to poop and all, so how do they have sex?

    3.  I really like Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series.  They’re Druids.  Samhain and all are a big part of their “we’re saving the WORLD” schtick.

  3. 3
    Meljean says:

    I remember that Justine Dare had an angel romance for Silhouette Desire that I liked—probably late 80’s, early 90s. Angel for Hire, methinks.

    Although he wasn’t a real angel, more like a dead guy working for heaven.

  4. 4
    FeyRhi says:

    Big yes to NaNoWriMo! Did it last year, didn’t hav much hair left at the end of the month (due to continual pulling) but I made it.

    I love reading about all sorts of diferent pagan characters and different gods. I can honestly say I’ve never read a romantic story involving angels. Go for it. *G*

  5. 5
    Caro says:

    Yes to NaNo—it’s a good execuse to get out of cooking for Thanksgiving (long story).

    I vaguely remember a regency with an angel, but the name’s escaping me at the moment.  That was about six or seven years ago and it was entertaining, but it was also a stand out because it definitely wasn’t inspirational, but it was definitely an angel.

  6. 6
    Amanda says:

    1.  Yup.  Unlike last year, I’m not attempting a romance novel but instead a collection of spy short stories.  There’ll probably be some romance in there though.

    2. Not that I can recall…they tend to feel, well, hokey.

    3.  This can be done well, I think, but most of the time it still feels hokey.  I think I enjoyed Elizabeth Lowell’s “Untamed” though, and Meg was Druid in there I think.

  7. 7
    Deb says:

    1. Yes. I think. We’ll see. Yes I know it starts today…

    2. ANGEL WITH ATTITUDE. Michelle Rowen.

    3. I haven’t read any that are more than superficial, or aren’t too detailed and alienate readers. My critique partner’s latest is wiccan, and I love it, no contract yet though.

    Cheers, Deb

  8. 8
    Carrie Lofty says:

    NaNoWriMo – too busy revising for Golden Heart.  I dream big. 

    Angels – I agree with the hokey thing. 

    Lorelie – write something!  I want more for my massive crit pile :)  Unless, of course, writing results in your death by overwork.  Can’t have that.

  9. 9
    CantateForever says:

    2)Sharon Shinn’s novels, especially the first in the Samaria collection… what was it called? Well, it was good even though the name escapes me.

  10. 10
    Robin C. says:

    1) Nope…I did Nano 3 years ago (and won!) but haven’t had the time in November since.

    2) Debbie Macomber did a series of 3 Christmas Romances that featured Angels working behind the scenes as bumbling self-appointed cupids. I don’t remember titles (I think one was the Trouble with Angels) but I’ll always remember their names – Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy. The books were pretty G-rated, and very cutesy, but for a holiday selection, rather fun.

  11. 11
    Trac says:

    I once had a Christmas anthology with angels as heroines in all three novellas. I thought they were pretty good at the time, but I was young and impressionable. I don’t remember what they were called, so it but not have been that good.

    I enjoyed the Nora Roberts trilogy with the three witches in modern times: Three Sisters Island Trilogy.

  12. 12
    cassie says:

    Does Sharon Shinn’s “Archangel” count?

    It’s YA and not exactly a romance, but Carol Plum-Ucci’s “What Happened to Lani Garver?” has a character in it who might be an angel (IIRC, it’s left rather ambiguous).  I thought it was a great book; haven’t re-read it in a while, though.

    Also YA, but with much more romance, are O.R. Melling’s books.  They don’t have angels in them, but do have a lot of Irish mythology, including Beltane, Samhain, etc.

    I think P.C. Cast’s books also use some pagan rites/days?  I really liked “Goddess of the Spring” and the one with Apollo, but not so much the Beauty and the Beast one.

  13. 13
    Estelle Chauvelin says:

    1.  I renewed my account so I can poke around on the boards if I want, but I don’t think I’m actually going to write it.  Getting adjusted to grad. school and being a substitute librarian means I have no idea how much time I’d be able to devote to it.

    2.  I haven’t read any angel romances, but I wanted to mention that angel sex is arguably mentioned in Genesis 6.  Translations may vary-the actual phrase used is “sons of God,” but that’s used to mean “angels” in several places in the old testement.  And the next verse is about Nephilim, so I’m inclined to believe it means angels, and not God’s favorite humans.  (Also, because it gives a fun possible explanation for the bit in the new testement where Paul says women should have their hair covered in worship, “because of the angels.”  “There are angels watching this!  You know how horny angels are.  The women ought to make sure they dress modestly so they don’t get ideas.”)  So if one is starting with the theory that there are Judeo-Christian style angels, then said angels having sex isn’t at all an unrealistic conclusion.

    3.  Not Romance romances, but most of Juliet Marillier’s fantasy series are close cousins to that catagory.

  14. 14
    Emily says:

    I’ll do my own novel in my own darn time. Plus I’ll have to be keeping all my NaNoing friends sane this month. I’m like the control group in the mental experiment.

    As for pagan things—the closest I can think of was Circle in the Water by someone named Wiggs and there was a gypsy wedding involved but the book kind of sucked in general, so whatever.

    Oh! Then there’s that Three Sisters Island trilogy by Nora Roberts that I’ve got stashed behind the Steinbeck and Anne of Green Gables so my mother won’t find them. Witches! Lots of witches!

  15. 15
    Emily says:

    Also recalled O.R. Melling’s Chronicles of Faerie series, which is YA fiction, so there’s not much by way of teenage smecksing, but it’s pretty heavy into Celtic myth and paganism and other-worldly stuff.

    I could also get into The Mists of Avalon, but I won’t.

  16. 16
    dillene says:

    (1) Yes, this is my first NaNoWriMo.  Also, I’m moving on Saturday, going out of town on business twice this weekend, and hosting Thanksgiving at my new place in a few weeks.

    (1.a)  Speed- it’s what’s for dinner!

    (2) No.  There’s something off-putting about an angelic romance. 

    (3)  I’m too much of a classicist snob to get into Celtic gods and heroes, so- no.  I’ve always found Hades to have some delightfully sympathetic qualities though.

  17. 17
    Jade Lee says:

    1.  My attitude:  Writers write.  if you’re not sitting down on a regular basis to write, what makes you think that a month of intensive “you-go-girl!” will make you write?
      HOWEVER, I seem to have to be in a cafe to write really focused work.  DOn’t know why.  I used to be able to do it from home, but now e-mail and blogs such as this one seem to be more fun.  Therefore, if a month of “you-go-girl” gets it done—go for it.  Whatever works.

    2.  I thought the angel/reincarnation book I wrote was pretty good—Almost an Angel, by Kathy Greyle.  But, of course, it was more reincarnation than angel, wasn’t sappy at all, and didn’t sell all that well.  So I guess I should erase this part of the comment…

    3.  Evelyn Vaughn is actually wiccen and her bombshell books—AKA Goddess (won a Rita) and Something Wicked …and a bunch of her others are all very wiccen-based and extremely good.

  18. 18
    Jennifer says:

    Doing NaNo for the sixth year. Fear me.

  19. 19
    Katie says:

    I enjoyed Sharon Shinn’s angel books, especially the first three: Archangel, Jovah’s Angel, and The Alleluia Files.

    As for pagan characters…these aren’t romances but they have definite romantic themes: Sherwood by Parke Godwin, Juliet Marillier’s books, CE Murphy’s Urban Shaman.  All excellent reads!

  20. 20
    Lorelie says:

    Experimenting to see if I can close the open italics tag. . .

    Okay, now that I fixed that (I think) – I know Salome, I know!  I owe you a Hot Kiss story too.

  21. 21
    Megan says:

    1. No.  It’s a bit too rah! rah! for me.  I’ve done a novel in a month, but I specifically did not write it in November.  Because sometimes I just need to be an ornery bitch.

    2. I liked the first Samaria book, the later two a bit less so.  I didn’t like the genre balancing act in Lyda Morehouse’s Archangel Protocol (and its Shamus win is still rather mystifying to me since I thought the PI elements were downplayed overall).  YMMV:  I approached it primarily as SF, then as a PI book; maybe if you read it primarily as romance its more satisfying.

    3. I could be a brazen hussy and suggest Waxing, but the Wiccan elements are too minor to satisfy, I think.  :)  If you want pagan in the polytheistic sense, try Bujold’s Paladin of Souls (technically a sequel to Chalion, but it can be read as a standalone and there’s a stronger romance plot, IMHO, as well as more interaction with the divine characters).

  22. 22
    Helen M says:

    I’m not sure Elizabeth Lowell’s heroines in her Forbidden Lands (Untamed, Forbidden and Enchanted) books would celebrate Samhain, Beltane, etc, but IIRC they were pagan ( ‘Glenduid’/ ‘Learned’/ ‘Gifted’). I thought all three books were brilliant.

    I have to agree with every criticism SB Sarah has of An Angel for Emily, and would add that the whole inhabiting the body of a dead guy thing seriously grossed me out…yet…I really like this book. The plot and heroine are mediocre, but there’s something very compelling / charming about the hero – I mean, he gives up everything he is for her! Wow.

  23. 23
    JulieT says:

    One of the worst books I ever read was some vampire novel by Linda Lael Miller (forget the title, sorry). After she wrote herself into a corner with the hero/evil vampire person, she had his guardian angel (never mentioned in the story until that moment) pop in and fix everything. Poof. (Worst plot device since waking up and realizing it was all a dream.) I threw it against a wall a couple times and then used it for kindling to build a fire.

    One of the best treatments of a witch that I’ve read in romance is Catriona from “Scandal’s Bride” by Stephanie Laurens. I don’t know if she was celebrating Samhain per se, but she was fairly accurately pagan in terms of attitude and behavior. The Forbidden Lands books by Elizabeth Lowell, mentioned before, are similar and also good.

  24. 24
    Kaite says:

    1 Yes, doing NaNoWriMo. Not sure what I’m going to write though. Eh, it will be what it will be.

    2 No, no angel fiction that I can recall.

    3 I’ve read lots of romance with non-Christian themes and stuff. The Robin D. Owens series comes immediately to mind. I’ve read others, too. I seem to be drawn to it!

  25. 25
    NTE says:

    1) I’m not writing a novel, but I am doing NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month).  (http://www.fussy.org/nablopomo.html)

    2) I can’t remember any angel stories that i really enjoyed.

    3)I’m going to ditto PC Cast’s Goddess series & Nora’s Three Sisters Trilogy.  Nora also has a Donovan Trilogy (witches) & her current Circle Trilogy (witches, shapeshifters, vampires, goddesses, you name it), both of which were very good.

  26. 26
    maya says:

    1.  Yes ! Did it for the first time last year (won !) and figure if it worked once, it’ll work again.  Trying not to think too much of my built-in excuse in case I don’t make it – first trimester horrendous symptoms….

    2. My lovely local writing colleague (and Nanowrimo participant) Michelle Rowen writes funny Angel books

  27. 27
    L. Francesca says:

    Nano, yes.

    It’s also the beginning of the National “Learn Chinese” month.

  28. 28
    EmmyS says:

    I agree with the Moning Highlander series, as far as Druids go. Disagree with Angel with Attitude, though. I really enjoyed her vampire novel, Bitten and Smitten, so wanted to enjoy the angel story as well. Just couldn’t get into it.

  29. 29

    ANGEL WITH ATTITUDE by Michelle Rowan. Romantic comedy. And very good!

    Yes to NaNoWriMo, and yes to writing all year.

    Cheers!

  30. 30
    Meredydd says:

    I’m always looking for well written pagan romance, something that shows the author actually did research or knows the subject and isn’t pulling things out of thin air or rumor/innuendo about the paths of thousands if not millions of people the world over.  I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year and I think I’m going to sate my own yen and write a pagan romance instead of working on my other books I’m mucking around with lol.

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