THE BOOK:  Fallen

PUBLISHED IN: December 2015

THE AUTHOR:  Melinda Viergever Inman

THE EDITOR: Joe Coccaro

THE PUBLISHER: Koehler Books – this publishing house produced my first novel Refuge; and now, after my successful Kickstarter campaign, I’m indie publishing Fallen with them. I love their work!

SUMMARY:  Love takes action: The Creator God establishes the cosmos and shapes a man. Adam rises from the dust. Envious, the powerful angel Lucifer despises him. Oblivious to the threat, Adam is captivated by his strong, intuitive wife Eve. In the Garden of Eden, they enjoy abundant food, gorgeous vistas, and intriguing challenges, including their budding love and passion. They have it all!
But Lucifer’Melinda Viergever Inmans deceptive brilliance tricks them into disobeying God. They eat the one forbidden fruit. Their innocence is shattered. Their unity with one another and with God is destroyed. Death will follow. Lucifer’s jealousy threatens mankind’s tenuous beginning. But God is merciful. What astonishing promise does He make? How will Adam and Eve survive – broken, shattered, and separated from God? Is there any hope?
THE BACK STORY: I spent twenty years researching the biblical and the mythological stories surrounding the Garden of Eden. My own curiosity inspired my research.  First, I examined the ancient Hebrew record. I was then delighted to find many similarities to the biblical version in myth, each with their own twist, depending on the culture. This common story spanned cultures. But I was disturbed to see misogynistic ideas arise within myth across all cultures. Spending so much time mulling over the implications of our human roots, the novel took shape in my mind, and I began to write in 2008.

I submitted my earliest draft to a female theologian and other scholarly friends who had studied. Each person’s comments helped me to see how I had absorbed some of the story ideas from what I had been told as a young woman, rather than from what I had just researched. 
So I weeded through my draft repeatedly (revising approximately sixty times), examining each faulty idea I had brought to the story. Unfortunately, much I had been told when I was young was also misogynistic, so this was also an awakening for me of a stronger sense of womanhood found within the ancient biblical record than I had ever been told or had known before. Writing the story became transformational, and this story became more personal than any of the others I’ve written.
WHY THIS TITLE?: There’s much “falling” in this story! Lucifer’s fall, falling in love, the fall of humankind, falling into newly learned broken behavior, falling away from one another. Gradually the overarching theme of Fallen became clear, and this became the title.
WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO READ IT: I write fiction that is raw and real. I put the reader inside the heads of the main characters to feel the intensity of their emotions. I’ve rarely seen the emotions of the first couple examined by a woman writer. This story is a balanced, non-misogynistic account of the biblical story with nods to content from myth. I believe myth has its root in real life. My story is a unique tale. For those reasons I’d want to read Fallen.
REVIEW COMMENTS: Readers interested in the biblical record will appreciate this review:  “Oh, my goodness, I bought this with low expectations. I have taken Precepts classes on the book of Genesis, which is a very deep study on books of the Bible,and learned a lot. So in picking Fallen to read, I was hoping that it would be accurate in theory at the very least. From the first page I was hooked! Melinda captured the creation events perfectly, from Adam and Eves original names, to the description of the garden, to the Fall itself and what happened afterward, went way beyond my expectations. I could go on and on but seriously,I have just finished the sequel “Refuge” (which was actually written first but chose to wait to read Fallen prior to Refuge), and am going to reread it again. If you want a more in depth view of what happened “In the beginning” then read Genesis in the Bible, then read Fallen and Refuge. You won’t be disappointed. The author fills in the blanks beautifully and most importantly follows scripture. As a bonus,following the final pages, she added group discussion questions that are thought provoking and will be used well in a group setting. Am thinking of starting a woman’s summer discussion using these books.
Other readers will find guidance in this editorial review: “Fallen, the prequel to Melinda Inman’s novel Refuge, goes back to the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. In the garden, Adam names the living creatures and finds delight when his companion Eve is made from his rib. Joy rings through each passage, each word. Inman also brings alive Lucifer and shows his rage that the earth is not his to rule. Observing God’s love for the “insignificant humans,” Lucifer determines he will attack God by destroying them. After their fall and loss of Eden, the tone of the book changes when Adam and Eve must fight their own sinful natures as they learn to cope in their new environment. To their surprise, Yahweh is still present when they approach Him in prayers and still demonstrates His love for them.This book blends what we learn from the Bible with all the details that Inman imagines about the couple’s daily existence. It concludes with the fulfillment of the promise that sustains them in this new environment.The book is a triumph both in scholarship (It is well researched) and in its demonstration of God’s grace for those who choose to turn to Him after they realize their fallen state.”

AUTHOR PROFILE: My roots were sunk in a storytelling Oklahoma family. During years of relocation, tragedy struck. Wounded and heartbroken, I forsook my roots and ran from myself and from God. A journey of trial and heartache brought me home again. A prodigal now returned to my secure foundation, I write with passion to illustrate God’s love for wounded people as he makes beauty from ashes. I serve and teach women in prison through a 12-step program. With my husband and family I’m involved with Mission India, rescuing orphans and providing theological and job training for impoverished students. More of my story can be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnAMzuJGPlE.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR: Website: http://melinainman.com. 

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MelindaViergeverInman/posts/p/pub

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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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