Guest Blog – Scott A. Lerner
One of the common themes in Ruler of Demons as well as Cocaine Zombies is the concept of good vs. evil. In books and movies it tends to be easy to determine which is which.
Sometimes it is as simple as looking to see who is wearing a white hat and who is donning a black one. Realty is more complicated. Few people are pure good or pure evil. Hitler was a vegetarian and spoke about his love of animals. Stalin was said to have loved his mother. Mother Teresa wasn't particular about who she accepted donations from, including some strongmen who probably didn't come by their money honestly. She apparently had a few other faults as well.
In the world of the paranormal identifying good and evil is even easier. Demons, Vampires, and Zombies are often portrayed as soulless creatures of the night, without qualms when it comes to murdering the innocent. Writers also tend to portray evil characters as ugly and good ones as attractive. In Ruler of Demons, a character's goodness or evilness cannot be determined just by looking at them.
Ruler of Demons revolves around the idea that sacrificing innocent people can bring about the End of Days. This seems like an easy call on the good vs. evil scale. Yet it is not. Since ancient times, there have always been people who believe that performing acts of great evil will summon the messiah to earth. Thus, they practice evil to bring about a positive outcome.
In Ruler of Demons it is unclear if the ancient cult is seeking to summon the messiah or the devil. I also explore the question of whether or not the devil is a creature of pure evil. Did the devil simply get bad press in the Bible?
These issues are relevant in our day and age. Terrorists believe they are doing the Lord’s work when they murder the innocent. Perpetrators of evil usually claim they are in the "right"--whatever that means. Religion has often been used to justify bad acts, from slavery to war. Religion has also helped feed the poor and clothe the needy.
Yet, all of these heavy philosophical issues need not be resolved in order to enjoy Ruler of Demons. There are problems fiction can’t solve. I know, crazy, right? In fact a hug and a bottle of bourbon will do more to bring people together than any novel. That said, you never know.
I also find that snacks have the ability to help bring people closer together. It is hard to be angry at a person, no matter what your philosophical differences, when there is a snack tray in front of you. My suggestion would be to cuddle up by the fire with a special someone along with a tray filled with chocolate, cheese and a copy of Ruler of Demons. Unless you read the book, you'll never know if Sam will actually save the world or if mankind has run out of time.
When you're done, you may still have questions about the nature of good and evil. Sam, Bob, and Susan are--in the end--just regular people confronted by unusually powerful religious zealots. Mostly I just hope you enjoy their company.
Ruler of Demons
A Samuel Roberts Thriller
Scott A. Lerner
Publisher: Camel Press
Release date: December 15, 2013
Paperback: 214 pages
Human sacrifice and an impending apocalypse sure can throw a wrench in the holiday season.
Only eleven shopping days till Christmas. And less than a week to save the world.
Three nuns--in Chicago, Paris, and Jerusalem--have been killed in a religious ritual. The choice of victims and the macabre details of their deaths indicate that someone is following a recipe provided on an ancient text--a recipe to unleash the forces of hell on earth. The final sacrifice must occur on the Winter Solstice.
Samuel Roberts, a small-town attorney in Urbana, Illinois, knows a bit about the supernatural, having triumphed at least once over the forces of evil. Thanks to a friend who is aware of Sam's little known previous efforts on behalf of mankind, Sam is hired by a big Chicago law firm to take on a sensitive case. His mission? Nothing less than halting the impending apocalypse.
Sam and his good buddy Bob travel first to Jerusalem then Paris in a desperate race to save mankind.
About the Author
Author and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign.
He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of Criminal law and Family Law. Mr. Lerner lives with his wife, their two children, and their cat Fern.
Lerner collects unusual antiques and enjoys gardening, traveling, reading fiction and going to the movies. Scott's first novel featuring Samuel Roberts, Cocaine Zombies, won a Bronze 2012 IPPY Award.
You can find him online at www.scottlerner.camelpress.com
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