Soul Taker Secrets – The Council Of Twelve Is Fantasy!

I was asked a short while ago: “The Council Of Twelve” series is a series of religious books, right?” I almost laughed. However, I kept my cool and smiled. “No, it’s not. I’m writing a YA fantasy series!” And it is important to me that my readers take it as such!

The Council of Twelve series is a work of fiction, it won’t proclaim truth or even faith.

The Catholic Bible mentions seven Archangels, some of them named, and some are not. According to old scriptures, four Archangels’ names are known: Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Uriel. I ‘borrowed’ these names and added eight more Archangels to form the ‘Council of Twelve’. (Also, who tells me, these names are correct? We know them, yes. But I doubt very much anyone on Earth can remember, that our Lord God named four of his Archangels Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Uriel). Still, through history, these names, in connection with a strong, powerful creature called an ‘Archangel’, represent the ‘ultimate’ Good.

In my series, I wanted the ‘ultimate Good’. I wanted the fight ‘Good vs. Evil’… And angels and demons are the ones fighting that war. The characters of Archangels, angels, demons, and their respective hierarchies give me freedom any fantasy writer can only dream of!

Now, while Michael has on occasion been called the ‘Angel of Death’, others called him the ‘Archangel of War and Conflict’, on further websites and in articles he was the ‘Archangel of Peace and Safety’… who is right? Nobody knows for sure. And that’s why Archangel Michael in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series, is exactly, what I made him; the strongest, most powerful individual in existence, except his creator, of course, the oldest existing Archangel, and the leader of the Council.

Who said, Raphael was ‘the Healer’? In other essays, he’s described as ‘the Guardian’, and nobody can tell for sure, what and who he is, right? I made him both; the protector and keeper of the Healers and the Guardians…

It seems different sources are clear about Gabriel being ‘The Messenger’… and I kept it that way. The bible is clear about Gabriel being the Archangel sent to inform Virgin Mary about her being the mother of God’s son. Gabriel was also the Archangel who announced the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Bethlehem.

As for Uriel, nobody is sure about his sources and roots. He’s described as ‘the Fire of God’, in other articles he’s been called the ‘balance of the world’, and other sources claim him to be ‘the Angel of Death’. It is said in certain books, that Uriel was the Archangel who killed the firstborn sons of Egypt when the Pharao didn’t let Moses’ people leave the country. The bible only talks about the ‘Angel of Perdition’, no name was mentioned there. But since it was talked about a powerful angel with a ‘fire sword’, it was assumed that Uriel was the one fulfilling God’s orders in that case. But again, nobody can tell for sure. In ‘The Council of Twelve’ series, Uriel is God’s beloved son, made out of fire and ashes, with flames in his wings. My Uriel is an Archangel existing in my fantasy… he’s caring, loving, and protecting, and he looks fabulous.

I purposely refrained from using any further Archangel names as they were mentioned in additional articles, books, or the ‘lost books of the bible’, the Apocrypha. I made up eight Archangels, born in my imagination and fantasy, each one strong, powerful, unique, and with his own set of skills. Each of these Archangels brings his own personality, talents, and voice into the ‘Council of Twelve’ and completes his brothers. Each of the Archangels is good to the core, fights the evil side, and protects his troops. They all fight, discuss, plan, protect… sometimes they joke, they laugh, they support each other, and they fall in love.

I have been writing about doing ‘research’ for ‘The Council of Twelve’ series. We are talking about the list of demons of the Ars Goetia, which helped me get my ‘Evil’ side organized and set up. The Good side needs an antagonist, and Lucifer doesn’t fight all alone. Again, we aren’t talking about a fact list… We’re talking about a lot of fantasy being involved in getting ‘The Council of Twelve’ series created. Of course, I didn’t take every demon’s name and transferred the creature into my book. I made some of them up, I gave them a voice, a look, a truly hateable creature. But all this is rooted in my fantasy and imagination.

If an author takes fantastic creatures and magic and transfers both into our existing world, in combination with falling in love and kissing, the genre is called ‘Paranormal Romance’. The Council of Twelve series is taking place in Heaven, on Earth, and in Hell, two of the three places are unknown to living organisms, which made me consider ‘my genre’ as ‘Fantasy’. There are too many unknown factors to call it ‘Paranormal Romance’.

Now, we know what the genre is called, but I downright refuse to consider ‘The Council of Twelve’ series ‘Christian or Religious Fantasy’. There’s too much fantasy in these books to truly consider them religious. It is an undeniable fact that the author of these books is a believer in God. It’s clearly readable that the Creator of the World has my highest respect. I never describe Him in detail. When He shows up within the stories, only His voice is mentioned. Heaven and Hell are formed and described after my imagination.

I’m not going into religious discussions, I don’t use bible quotes, and I am not going to argue with anyone about whether my fantasy is the ‘real’ Heaven, Hell, or story. The Good side is, what’s close to my heart, and you won’t find anything better to fight for the ‘Good side’ than a dozen Archangels with their love interests. Not to talk about the fact that I added a bit of humor to the stories, and I expect my readers to laugh, enjoy the stories and fall in love with the characters, just like other authors do. I’d like my readers to be entertained, and not to think too intensely about religious beliefs when reading ‘The Council of Twelve’ series. Read, be entertained, and enjoy.

Find ‘The Council of Twelve’ books here below:

Soul Taker: https://books2read.com/u/m2roOj

Sundance: https://books2read.com/u/mgGGeX

Demon Tracker: https://books2read.com/u/3yEx6l

Bounty Hunter: https://books2read.com/u/mgzd5X

Book 5 – to follow soon!

Read the books and enjoy the read! And don’t forget, I’m a writer, I’d be enthusiastic about your good review.

Soul Taker Secrets – Simin’s Birthday Surprise

It was Simin’s Birthday, and Katie had planned to surprise her with a meal. Zepheira told her about a dish containing chicken meat, fruit, and rice. That sounded wonderful, and Katie decided to cook that for the entire Council of Twelve and their consorts, including Sundance, of course. It wasn’t easy to keep Simin away, since she was, first of all, the best cook of the consorts, and also, to keep it secret from her. Zye decided to support Katie, while Sundance made sure, Simin was decently distracted, so she wouldn’t get suspicious.

It worked wonderfully, and Katie and Zepheira earned their praise for this meal. In case you feel like cooking it, here we go. Feel free to let me know how you like it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Onion, small, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Fresh Garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Flakes
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 cup Fresh Cream, (whipping cream)
  • 450 grams Half Shell Mussels, ( 1 pound )
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup Parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. .Melt the Butter in a large skillet (with a lid) – saute the Onion, Garlic and Chili Flakes until soft
  2. Add the White Wine and simmer until reduced by two thirds – add the Cream and simmer 2 – 3 minutes
  3. Add the Mussels and cover the skillet – over low heat, steam the Mussels until cooked – about 8 – 10 minutes
  4. Remove from heat – season to taste with Salt and Black Pepper – stir through the Lemon Juice, finely grated Zest and Parsley
  5. Serve as an appetizer with fresh, crusty bread slices

(Source: https://www.withablast.net/mussels-in-lemon-garlic-butter-sauce/ )

Interview With One Of My Characters VII

Hello Alfred, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I really appreciate you took the time to visit me here.

Thank you very much for the invitation, A.J. I enjoy being here.

It’s a little impertinent to ask, but how was your trip?

*booming laughter* Thank you, it was as fast and pleasant as ever.

Does that mean, that your kind teleports, just as Archangels, and many other supernatural creatures?

Of course, we do. Cherubim are Angels, after all.

I’m trying to hide a giggle, to be honest. I’m so sorry… but I always imagined, Cherubim to be short, little overweight boys in diapers, just sprouting their first wings?

*amused laughter again* Yeah, I don’t hear that the first time. Koyu told me the very same thing, once she found out who I am. But I have to disappoint you, just as I had to disillusion her. In Middle Eastern art, we were represented as lions or bulls with eagle wings and a human face. According to Christian beliefs, we belonged to the angels who guarded the entrance of the Garden of Eden… later, in Renaissance art, we were represented as little chubby kids with tiny wings. But the truth is, we are angels of the second highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy. We serve and praise our Highest, and very often, we serve as observers, just like I do. And just like every other angel, we look as we look. We blend in.

Thank you for your detailed information. I really appreciate it. Now, you mentioned being an observer. That’s what you do in your bookstore?

You’re welcome – and that’s exactly right. I met Koyu there. Sometimes we drank a cup of coffee together. She’s an unusual personality, but I wasn’t sure what she was up to. At one point I had to report her. She understood I had my duties, and we remained friends.

So, she wasn’t mad about you reporting her? She was taken in front of the Council Of Twelve, wasn’t she?

Yes, she was. And no, she never held a grudge. She still visits me in my bookstore, and occasionally we have a cup of coffee. Of course, now she’s got her own duties and tasks, and our meetings became rare. But I appreciate each one of her visits and consider her a friend.

Can you tell us more about her? I mean, how did the story start, and how did you know she isn’t human?

I cannot tell you more about her. Don’t forget, her story isn’t generally known yet. I told you, we occasionally met on the backstairs of my bookstore in the alley and drank a cup of coffee. Everything else you will read when her story will be published. As for me realizing she’s not human… I’m an Angel, that’s what I do. I have that talent, just as each one of my brothers and sisters has it.

You said Cherubim are the second highest order in the divine hierarchy. Does that mean you’re a good friend with the Council Of Twelve members?

*laughs* Yes, and No. Don’t forget, an Archangel is as different from an Angel, as an Angel is from a Human. The power an Archangel radiates intimidates many of us. We do have commanders, supervisors, and higher officers. I’m on a more friendly term with Andreas, the Council of Twelve assistant. He’s an amazing angel, and we get help from him, no matter when we call. I know the Council Members, yes, and I spoke to the one or the other before. But these Archangels are a powerful lot. On the other hand, they carry the burden of the World on their shoulders, taking over the responsibility as custodians for our Father and Lord. That’s not an easy task and they have my highest respect for that.

I understand a bit better now. Thank you for telling us. Now…

I’m sorry for interrupting here. But I’m called. I will have to leave you for now. But it was a pleasure meeting you in person. And one day, we might meet again.

Goodbye, Alfred.


Koyu’s Story Is Ready To Be Told

COMING SOON!!!

The fifth book of “The Council Of Twelve” series

DREAM WALKER

Soul Taker Secrets – A Rich Family Dinner

It was one of these days when Katie invited the family to an informal dinner. As usual, she had her head full of work and came home late. And here she was, panicking. We all know she’s not the best cook between Heaven and Earth, and being late and not having an enormous choice in the pantry, made her hyperventilate.

She was lucky to have Zepheira peeking in and finding her, almost in tears. Zye, helpful as ever, jumped in and found whatever was around. Together with Katie, she created a wonderful, rich dinner for The Council Of Twelve and their consorts:


Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (a rotisserie chicken works great for this recipe)
  • 2 cans (10 ounces, each) cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) frozen broccoli florets OR 2 cups fresh steamed chopped broccoli
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the cooked shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Then add in all the remaining ingredients. Gently stir to combine mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread out evenly. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with cooked rice or egg noodles! (we prefer the rice)

The Council Of Twelve Series Continues

After quite some waiting time now, many life changes and a lot of traveling, I can finally come up with some news:

The Council of Twelve Series will continue soon.

Check out the four books that are already available:


A. J. Alexander’s Books

SOUL TAKER

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.


SUNDANCE

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


DEMON TRACKER

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her. She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?


Bounty Hunter

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…


There still needs to be some work done. The filing for the copyright will be done, knocking on my Beta-Reader’s windows was done this week, and I was in contact with my cover designer just now. She will start working on the cover of the new book.

It’s time book five will be published, and you will find out who is the new addition to our growing consort circle. I will keep you updated!

Preparing For More ‘Council Of Twelve’ Adventures


Last week, as of Tuesday, I surprisingly found myself in a situation when I suddenly had a lot of time at my hands, but unfortunately, my books were as far away from me, you could have counted the distance in lightyears…

What do you do, when you’re a writer, you cannot stare into your phone all the time, you have certain limitations in movement, pen, and paper – and feel the need to continue your work? Right, you ask for pen and paper and start drafting.

  1. Make a list of the published, written, and WIP titles of ‘The Council of Twelve’ series
  2. Plan the two last books in the series
  3. plan the second and third of the collected ‘The Council of Twelve’ novelette books
  4. Start drafting character sheets for the two last books in the series’ new consort characters
  5. Find names for the very same two consort characters
  6. Draft a character description of one of the most unusual novelettes that will be part of the collections.

I did all that by hand, considering to type it into my OneNotes at a later time – and then decided I wouldn’t. Why should I do that? I wrote it once, and I got the notes. I would have to work out the characters eventually, but at this time these are new ideas, which means, they go into the OneNotes ‘New Ideas’ folder and will stay there, until I’m ready to take on the challenge to start writing these books.

So I took pictures of my notes and moved them into the app.

And once more I’m grateful for today’s helpful and supportive technology. Remember typewriters? Oh yes, we could type there, with ‘blue sheets’ in between, and if you permitted yourself one typo, everybody could see it. And we could use copy machines. But then we still had to keep the paper. Now I can take a picture and move it to wherever it’s needed. I’m lucky. I’m happy, I’m relieved…

The Council of Twelve series is still progressing… but I also permit myself the thought to develop ideas outside of the series. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I don’t want to ‘end up’ only to be defined by one style, by one genre, or by one series. I know I can do more than that, and that’s what I’m working on.

When you’re writing in your genre and feel like peeking into another one, which one would that be – and why? Let us know in the comments, we’re curious.

Soul Taker Secrets – Valentine’s Dinner A La Katie

Lately, we celebrated Valentine’s Day, the day for loved ones, and the ones that mean the most to us. Katie decided to have the Council Members over with their respective consorts. We know, our consorts love to cook together, but unfortunately, this year, the only one who had time to help Katie, was Simin. Sundance had to answer a call and Zepheira needed to take over a tracker class. That left our two consorts Simin and Katie with the dinner preparations.

They decided to take it easy and keep it light and served Easy Lemon Butter Fish with rice for dinner. Of course, the mandatory tiramisu followed the main course, but that goes without saying.

The ladies were complimented on their cooking, and the fish was excellent (because Simin made it). Since Katie took responsibility for the rice, it was a bit dry, but our Council members didn’t expect anything else and ate it like warriors do: without complaints or groaning.


(Of course, the Council of Twelve with consorts, is a group of 16 people… but this recipe I decided to show you for a group of four instead)

Ingredients

  • 4 good-sized firm white fish fillets, about 6 inches long, 1-inch thickness (cod, halibut, or mahi would work well.)
  • 3 TB melted butter (I use salted, but unsalted is fine)
  • Juice and zest from 1 medium lemon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • freshly chopped basil or parsley leaves, for garnish and flavor
  • extra lemon slices for serving

Instructions

  1. Use paper towels to thoroughly pat-dry excess moisture from fish fillets – this step is crucial for fish to brown nicely in pan. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine melted butter, lemon juice and zest, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Stir to combine well. Taste and add a bit more kosher salt, if desired.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 tsp kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Evenly press spice mixture onto all sides of fish fillets.
  4. In a large, heavy pan over medium high heat, heat up the olive oil until hot. Once your oil is sizzling,  Cook 2 fish fillets at a time to avoid overcrowding (allows for even browning.) Cook each side just until fish becomes opaque, feels somewhat firm in the center, and is browned – lightly drizzle some of the lemon butter sauce as you cook, reserving the rest for serving. Take care not to over-cook, as that will result in a tougher texture. Season with extra kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve fish with with remaining lemon butter sauce, basil or parsley, and lemon wedges.

Notes

** Be sure to use coarse kosher salt, not fine table salt. Kosher salt is much milder and less salty. ** The actual cook time varies, depending on type, cut, and starting temp of fish. Katie typically cooks about 3-4 minutes per side. She checks for doneness by lightly pressing fillet centers for firmness. Once it feels somewhat firm, it’s usually done. ** She served it with white lemon rice with parsley.

Picture courtesy of ‘Chew Out Loud’. Full link below

(Recipe Source: https://www.chewoutloud.com/easy-lemon-butter-fish-15-minutes/)

Books As Christmas Presents – The Council Of Twelve Series – By A. J. Alexander

It’s Christmas Time!

Books make the best presents!

Picture courtesy of Google.com

A. J. Alexander’s Books

SOUL TAKER

After long years in the line of duty as a ‘Soul Taker’, Kate is worn out.

When she gets a new job offer from the ‘Powers Above’, she accepts her new job as a Guardian gratefully without knowing that her teacher is one of the most powerful beings in existence, the Archangel Raphael.

Along with Raphael, she takes on her new task and the connection between them grows.

Raphael helps, protects and supports Kate, but suddenly, she becomes a target for the Demons of Hell.

Raphael realizes that Kate means more to him than he expected, which causes him to fight furiously against danger. If he fails, Kate’s future will contain eternal darkness, evil, and torture.


SUNDANCE

Sundance is a promising young Warrior Angel, the first in centuries to join the Divine Army. With the help of one of the most powerful Archangels, her skill and talent develop, allowing her to master some of the most difficult tasks that face her kind.

Sundance, under the supervision of the ‘Council of Twelve’ seeks to prove that she deserves her unusual gifts in the eternal fight between good and evil. Follow her adventures as she discovers love, fights the good fight, and finds herself in the heat of battle trying to keep her wings from being singed.


DEMON TRACKER

Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her. She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?


Bounty Hunter

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.

Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…

Soul Taker Secrets – Exotic Salad For Busy Council Members

In the past ‘Soul Taker Secret’ posts, we learned that Katie loves cooking, not only for Raphael but all Council members with their consorts. Now, Katie is an enthusiastic cook, but not a particularly good one, even though she made progress by constant learning and her consort friends’ help.

With the help of her ‘sisters,’ Katie developed an exotic salad for the busy members of the ‘Council of Twelve.’

I heard they all loved it – and so do I.


Ingredients:

  – 1 1/3 cups brown rice

  – 5.29 ounces salmon (steamed)

-   2 slices fresh pineapple

-   1 mozzarella (ball)

 – 1 bunch fresh thyme

 – grated lemon peel (as needed)

 – salt

  – ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook the rice in a stockpot full of boiling salted water for approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Drain the rice and allow it to cool.
  3. While the rice cools, prepare the dressing by steaming the salmon with lemon peel and thyme.
  4. Cook the salmon for approximately 10 minutes, let it cool slightly, then break it up delicately into small pieces.
  5. Next cut up the mozzarella into cubes and place it on a paper towel for 10 minutes.
  6. Peel the pineapple and cut two slices into small cubes.
  7. Plate the salad by placing the cooled rice in a large bowl, add the salmon pieces, the diced mozzarella and pineapple, some grated lemon peel, salt and pepper to taste, and the fresh thyme.
  8. Refrigerate the salad for a few hours before serving.

Picture courtesy of: Yummly.com

(Source: https://www.yummly.com/recipe/Exotic-Salmon_-Mozzarella_-and-Pineapple-Salad-632343)

Bounty Hunter Also Accepted On ‘Indie California’

For the fourth time now I got exciting news! I was informed that Bounty Hunter, the fourth book in ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, too, now is available in “Indie California’! Read more about it below – This is so wonderful. Please, help me spread the word! Thank you!

See the message I got here below


Hi A. J. Alexander,

Congratulations, you have successfully moved into the library space!

Your book, Bounty Hunter, is now available in Indie California, a collection of books from local indie authors available exclusively on the BiblioBoard Library mobile and web platform. This collection is available to patrons of participating libraries all across your state/region. That’s right, your book is now available with just one click of a button to thousands of new readers in your state/region!

 

 

Your Book
http://library.biblioboard.com/content/1bb52116-94c9-4c39-825e-73c79a5d463d