Sunday, February 17, 2013

Swept Away - Day Four - Time to say good-bye

Today is the fourth and final day of the Swept Away Valentine's Day Blog Hop. I hope everyone has had great fun visiting with familiar authors and meeting new ones. Today I'm going to talk about the couple who star in my newest release, Revelations, that was published by Museit Up Publishing on February 8th. Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ. To some, that might seem a surprising choice, maybe even a shocking one. But it was one that felt very right to me.

Revelations takes place in modern times, but the story actually began over two thousand years ago. That's how long Judas has been in love with Jesus. But  he's never had the nerve to tell him. That's understandable. Being in love with the son of God must be rather intimidating. Add to that Judas was given the role of "the betrayer", his part in the drama being clearly laid out as to what he is to do, and for which he has long been reviled.

But now something is stirring inside of Judas. He decides that he is tired of seeing Jesus die far too young - he believes he deserves to live a long and happy life and die peacefully in his bed. And he's determined to make that happen, even if he has to go against the script to do it - and even if he has to make a deal with the devil himself.

I first wanted to tell Judas' story some forty years ago, but I didn't have the words yet, and there was much I needed to learn. I read and I watched and I listened. Then one day, Judas began to speak to me. And the result was Revelations.

I offer Revelations with love. Here's a little excerpt between Judas and Jesus.

My amazing cover done by Marion Sipe

“Goddammit, Jesus…”

            “Please don't take the name of my father in vain…”
            His words are serious, but his eyes twinkle. How many times is he going to say that to me, how many times has he already said it, knowing how very much I hate it? And yet I gaze into those soulful dark eyes—so inky, inkier than the darkest night sky I’ve ever seen, which is saying something as I’ve seen quite a few in my time…times…whatever— and I drown in their liquid depths once again. That voice—a silken purr that wraps me around his fingers in the most complicated geometric progressions; like a human cat’s cradle he manipulates my soul with consummate skill. As well as my fluttering emotions.
            “Gah! You’re impossible!” I quickly retreat, taking refuge within myself, fearful lest he attempt to follow me, pierce the vulnerability of this protective shell I’ve built about myself. Not that taking flight will help—and well I know it—for he is all-seeing, all-knowing, everlastingly immortal and all of that. Not to mention he possesses the only key to my heart, thereby making any attempts on my part to lock the door behind me futile. So why do I even try?
            Because my heart tells me if I don’t, I shall be eternally damned.
            He ruffles my hair lightly. What a contrast we make, he and I. For at least the millionth time I ponder what genetic quirk has filled him with the darkest of shadows, while I possess the airy lightness generally attributed to the heavenly beings that wait upon his father; when everyone from the most innocent of babes to the oldest of senior citizens knows he is goodness incarnate, he is the salvation of our world, while I’m the evil one, the liar, the betrayer—the Judas.
            “Lighten up,” he admonishes me. He reaches down and lays a soft kiss upon my lips, and then turns his profile to the rising sun. What does he see, as he watches that distant ball of fire begin its daily ascent into the heavens, what does he think? This too shall all be mine someday?  Or does he even think in those terms?  Knowing Jesus, he’s thinking how marvelous the growing sun feels upon his bare skin—not pale and washed out like mine, but a beautiful brown, evenly distributed over his lithe young body, a result of his fondness for bathing in the caress of Sol’s rays. Whereas no matter how often I lay beside him beneath that same blazing star, the most I can hope for is a temporary tan once the sunburn fades, followed by an inevitable return to pallid winter white. Not even a creamy white, which would be somewhat acceptable, even if a bit girly, but a corpselike hue that makes me look like I just escaped from the morgue.
            “You’re evading the issue. As usual.” I attempt to bring the conversation back to where it began. He has such an ability to throw me into a tizzy, to derail my very thoughts. Does he do it on purpose; is this something conscious within him? And is it just me he does this to? Do I want it to be just me? Am I so very possessive and jealous-minded that I’m hoping he saves this convoluted irrational form of love for me and me alone? Yes, I think I am—and the idea he belongs solely to me, even though an unrealistic, idealistic one, pleases me most mightily, and warms the very cockles of my heart—my Lord, did I really just say that? Apparently so.
            “Am I, Jude?” he asks absentmindedly, disregarding my tone, and ignoring my frown as I glower at his profile. He knows I hate the nickname he’s fastened upon me—and yet he continues to use it. If I dare to object, he simply gives me one of his warm, fulfilling glances, and says, “But everyone loves the Beatles! Lennon was where it was at, dude!” And if I retaliate by calling him Jesu, Jeez, or even Su on rare occasions, he only laughs, ’cause nothing bothers him, he is a veritable Buddha—serene, spiritual, and unflappable.
            “Yes, you are, and if you keep staring like that, you’ll burn your retinas out.” I’m simply being irrational now. I know that no matter how long he fastens his gaze upon yon distant heavenly body, his eyesight shall remain happily and gloriously intact—for he is His son, after all, and Perfect—with a capital P and that rhymes with B, and that stands for beautiful. “And don’t call me Jude…”
“Oh but Jude, it suits you so well,” he parries, “I’ve always said you look like a Jude, and you are a Jude—my Jude, aren’t you? My pretty, sweet Jude, even though the others call you vain, pompous, arrogant, and traitorous. They don’t see the real you. They don’t see the Jude I see, do they? You save that side of yourself for me, I think, for me and me alone…”   His radiant smile takes whatever sting might lie within his words away—not to mention he’s totally correct.  That is what the others think of me, have long felt about me, for having infallibly played out the part that is mine, down to the very letter of the script set before us. He and he alone understands, and forgives me for it.
            “Dammit!” I snarl, heeding his admonition and leaving his father’s name out of my curse —this time. “Why must you twist everything around so prettily, why do you seek to confuse me with your sweet asides which have no bearing whatsoever on the topic at hand? Why will you not address this issue—for once in your life?”
            “Which life?” he teases, but he casts his eyes down, and I watch as a sigh passes through his frame, a soft shudder that runs from head to toe, and I restrain myself from simply putting my arms around him and telling him everything will be all right. I can’t do that, can’t put voice to the lie, when he and I both know it won’t be, we’re simply going through the cycle again, and the end is ordained and inevitable. But just this once I’d like to change the journey just a little bit, which is what I’m attempting to do, in my own inimitable way.

Revelations is available through Museit Up, as well as at Amazon, ARe and other retailers. I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love to hear from you!

I've enjoyed having you visit my blog, do come again! I will announce the winners of both blog hops on Wednesday before my newest piece of flash fiction. 

Until then, take care!

♥ Julie


  1. I Like the way it combines so many different hings. Thanks
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Sounds great! Thank you for the awesome hop and giveaway!!! :)

  3. Loved all the excerpts and the covers, they're great! Thanks for the giveaway!