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Publisher: Tribute Books
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780985792237
ISBN: 9781301031795
Release: April 16, 2013

Summary:
The beloved Angel/Warrior team face pure evil in their final climactic story!

The first time they were sent down, Irish lives were led. Emily, the angel, ended up embedded in murder and lost in the realm of true love. While Matthew, the warrior, took over a life that left blood on his hands and anger in his soul.

With their second coming, Emily found herself facing an oncoming war that brought her to the shores of America. While Matthew tried desperately to unveil the evil character of a young man who was intent on locking his partner in a ‘gilded’ cage.

Now...Emily and Matthew find that their lives are all their own. Yet, all the memories, hatred, longing and regret have come hand-in-hand with this newfound freedom.

In small town U.S.A., Matthew finds himself loving his new life. From his military school existence to a new, ‘odd’ friend who’s arrived in town, Matthew’s looking forward to graduation and heading off into a brilliant future with Emily by his side.

Emily wants nothing more than to hide. Although doing her best to fit in, she lives a life on the edge, wondering when her past love will reappear to either forgive or seek revenge on the angel who let him down. Battling the shadows that seem to be breaking her soul in two, Emily soon discovers that her small, quiet town has a secret that’s beyond dangerous...

As she and Matthew join forces to help a ‘haunted’ victim, they open the door on a mystery neither of them can believe. A true villain has returned from the past, and not even their heavenly family will be able to save them. This time they’re on their own, as they face a fight that could lead them straight to Hell…and end the angel/warrior team forever.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amy talks about...Book 2 in this web radio interview!


Listen to internet radio with Cowboy Wisdom NLP Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Amy talks about...her dream movie cast

The ‘Angels’ in Lights!
When I think about seeing Matt and Emily up on the big screen I always make sure to look into my dog’s eyes so he can roll them and bring me back to reality , although that is a killer dream.
I have to say this is the most difficult question thus far that I’ve been asked because I actually want the girl who is on the cover of Until Next Time.  But unless one of the graphic artists at the publishing company also moonlights as Dr. Frankenstein, I suppose that’s out. 
There are many out there who automatically would shout out that Taylor Lautner should be Matt, my warrior.  Problem is, I need his muscles, Shia Labeouf’s sense of humor, the startlingly blue eyes that Daniel Radcliffe owns, and dirty-blond hair.  And they do have to be the right age.  I just can’t have a twenty-four-year-old play a seventeen-year-old.  As things stand in the industry right now, Callan McAuliffe would be my choice for Matt.  I say this because of his acting ability as well as the long, lean form he has.  I’ve seen him look into the camera and laugh, tear up, stay strong, get angry - so he most definitely has the acting chops to carry Matt off. And he has that innocent face still that looks unharmed by the rest of the world.  I’m looking forward to his turn as young Gatsby in the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby that‘s coming in our future.  This, I believe, will really show his range.  He’s truly a face to watch, and being from Australia he adds that little added-extra kick of the ‘unknown foreigner’ factor.

The female is even more difficult; I wish that Emma Stone could be ten years younger.  I need Emily to be able to come across with so many emotions.  She needs that anger (without a pout, preferably), and she needs to be able to roll her eyes and fall very hard in love, almost at the same time.  The actresses in the age range are lean.  I like Nina Dobrev and Abigail Breslin, but I would have to go with India Eisley.  (The Secret Life of the American Teenager).

She will need those emerald green contacts, but she has the innocent face - like McAuliffe - that would really show the viewer she’s having a very hard time with all these human emotions, but still seem believable and strong to her soul mate.  And now that India has experienced the Underworld, she should be allowed to come from somewhere a little higher up .
For the older readers, I have to add this one thing.  Mike and Gabe are the teachers, the fire starters, friends, fathers, mentors, etc., so I have to say that Keifer Sutherland and Johnny Depp get those jobs hand down.  Certain types of ‘cool’ do NOT go out of style!


And there is a love interest in this one that Dan Radcliffe would be perfect for!  I hope I’ll see all of you at the movie!
Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Amy talks about...what readers can gain from reading her story

This idea actually began percolating when I was thirteen. I lost my grandfather at that time, who was the absolute coolest man you could ever meet. He was one of those people who could draw you into his stories. I remember seeing people spellbound when he spoke, like my nephew was decades later when he visited Hogwarts for the first time.

I’d been writing, using my imagination to tell tales like he did. In fact, I stayed up nights a lot of the time and just wrote. I’m not going to speak about some odd supernatural phenomenon, though. My belief in angels came from dreams I’d have when I finally let myself get some sleep.

They were full-color and focused on a familiar landscape - my grandparent’s house. My grandmother would always wave through the window, and a huge cat was curled up somewhere in the sun with one eye open, upset that I was still disturbing him after all this time. My grandfather was always outside by the light green boat of a car he used to drive, and it was all completely normal. I would sit, and he’d keep right on telling his stories. He even had new ones that I hadn’t heard before. Unfortunately, the alarm would ring and teenage life would descend.

I started to wonder back then, looking around at the toughness in the world, whether or not an angel would even bother coming down here to help? I mean, say an innocent soul that’d never been up against human emotions came down here and fell face-first into the issues we have. They’d have to take on everything from love to hate to war…the list goes on. And at 13, I couldn’t figure out what was remotely good enough about us as a species to save. I know, a very angry befuddled teenage view on the whole thing, but the idea stuck with me. Thankfully, so did that dream. It’s a great imagination to have, seeing as that my father is now ‘up there,’ and I still get to talk to him.

Living life, paying bills, raising a child, working - everything compounded with age. The upside is that the good things compounded, too. But when I still see the headlines nothing much has changed. A war was still fought, people still died, and the pain of two iconic towers falling will never fade. I really want to know what a team would do, how they would react, and how they would keep their faith in each other in a human world.

Matt and Emily were born from that idea and I have an absolute ball with them. They deal with things completely differently, and they are so strong that they make the world still seem like a place that should be defended and protected no matter what. I hope readers identify with that. I hope they have fun with them as they go up against these things, fall in love, and see the strength they use to understand it all. Matt and Emily are fighters with faith…which basically sums up the rest of us.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Friday, May 25, 2012

Amy talks about...all things writing

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Amy E. Lignor whose first book in her Angel Chronicles series, Until Next Time, was released in February.

For Amy, characters are the main thing.

For a book to be good, in her opinion, the author has to really love their characters-whether they be evil and dark or heroic and romantic. If the writer doesn't feel the characters and understand what they are going through, Amy believes the reader will know it.

"I’ve seen some situations where a writer has chosen to deliver a book with a plotline that is simply 'in vogue; at the moment, to perhaps ride the wave of that particular pop culture phenomenon that’s making money at the time. And, you can tell - the reader can always tell if the author and the characters simply don’t mesh, so the most important element is to love the subject you’re writing about," she explained.

When Amy is developing her own books, the characters are the first thing that she works on.

"I want to know what they look like, how they walk, the tone of their voice, etc. I need to know what makes them tick - everything from their favorite foods to how they would carry a sword, to their emotions to whether they are a ‘head’ or ‘heart’ kind of person. My biggest need is to know exactly what they have faith in," she told me.

After that, it's the location. Where would these particular characters go in order to do the job that needs to be done. Then, the plot comes from everything else blended together.

"Only after I’ve met and gotten to know the characters can I even begin to know what they’re going to do. I always believe it’s fate," she said. "I start with a small premise and build everything around it, but the plot is what essentially changes. You can have a complete blueprint in front of you, but when you sit down to write the tale, the twists and turns can come on you at a moment’s notice and you have to be willing to alter the plot at any given moment."

"Do you ever suffer from writer's block?" I asked. "If so, what do you do about it?"

"Okay, this may sound like I am ready right now for that mental hospital, but I swear there’s nothing to worry about (and my daughter will put me into one sooner than you think). I sit in my room, in the dark, in peace and quiet, and I talk to the characters. I ask them what they think they would do in this situation, or what’s wrong with them, etc. I figure, this is their life and I’m just telling their story, so I get them to help me through the writer’s block."

Amy doesn't come up with her titles until the end of her book.

"It has to be at the end. I need to know and be beside my characters as they go through their adventures and ups and downs, heartbreaks, etc. before I can even attempt to throw a title on it. The title is just like the cover. It’s very important and has to really sum up your entire novel in just seconds. So it always just comes to me when the characters and I say goodbye or, Until Next Time," she said.

That's the hardest part of writing for her—when she has to say goodbye. She always wants to stay with her characters. It's one of the reasons she's happy about the fact that both The Angel Chronicles and Tallent & Lowery are series—she gets to stay by their side for a long time.

I asked Amy about her writing space.

"I love emerald green; I think it is the only soothing color in existence. So I write in a room with emerald green walls, and a turbo fan in the corner because I need the noise. I lived in a city for a long time and this desert life is a little too quiet for me at times to concentrate. I have shelves and shelves of books because they’re inspiring, and I have a great big black dog on the floor who sits by my side day after day and night after night - most likely wondering what the heck I’m doing and why I refuse to shut the light off."

It's hard for Amy to find time for her own writing, because she is also a reviewer for many sites as well as writing articles for magazines, companies, and newspapers.

"I made a rule a long time ago that I WILL give two hours a day at some point in the 24-hour period to just be with my characters and get it done," she told me. "It’s a good rule, even if you’re not up for it or you’re tired from the job, kids, work, school, whatever it may be - it is SO important to give yourself the gift of time, and that’s what I’ve always tried to maintain."

"What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?" I wondered.

"I feel all the emotions that my characters are feeling, so I cry (which requires tissues on the computer table); I get mad (which means a stuffed animal has to be in the vicinity to throw, because I don’t want to hit the dog by mistake with anything too hard); and I laugh a lot - so my family tells me. Apparently, I have a very deep laugh so they join in all over the house and the dog gets really confused by that one. I also have to have that fan on - if there’s absolutely no noise I might as well turn to Spider Solitaire because my brain will have nothing to work with."

When Amy was a young adult, her favorite author, hands down, was Judy Blume.

"When her 'controversial' book, Forever, came on to the market, I remember that the library board in our town made my mother put the book into the adult section because the townspeople thought it was absolutely atrocious that their sons and daughters could read about a girl’s first love and first sexual experience," she said. "Of course, now that book is one of the most tame books ever created. YA covers every subject across the board in this day and age. As a reviewer I read about suicide, drug abuse, AIDS, sex, violence - every subject that used to be taboo can now be brought to the surface. To me, this means that at least we’re talking to our kids this time around. The violence is far worse in the world, but no one has to bury their head in the sand anymore which is way healthier."

"As an adult, how do you keep your finger on the pulse of today’s youth?" I wanted to know.

"I’m lucky because I tried to never grow up in the first place," she said with a laugh. "I mean, I do the whole job/pay the bills side of life, but my daughter and I have always been a team. We’ve run the roads of America and lived in various cities and towns across the country, and have been able to hear people’s stories. Now, with the internet, I can do the same thing from my own home. It’s an amazing gift to be able to talk to people and see what’s going on in their lives. You can also keep up with everything from music to books to pop culture, and as long as you never forget what it was like to be that age, then you’ll always be able to understand. And for good YA writing, I think you must understand."

Finally, I asked Amy, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"

"Please don’t quit. I’ve said this before in so many interviews, but I’ve seen so many good writers call it quits because of the fact that their query letter was turned down by agents or publishers. That really drove me nuts because, yes, it is a real pain and you need an iron will for this career, but you have to stick with it through all the ‘negative’ replies. You’ve got to remember that people like Stephen King, J.K Rowling - these writers got turned down by hundreds, but they did not throw their books into a filing cabinet and forget about it. And, thank goodness, seeing as that I could not even imagine a world where the Overlook Hotel or Harry Potter didn’t exist. Actually…I don’t think I’d want to live in that world. So, please, no matter the rejection, do NOT give up!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Amy talks about...what inspired THE ANGEL CHRONICLES

This idea actually began percolating when I was thirteen. I lost my grandfather at that time, who was the absolute coolest man you could ever meet. He was one of those people who could draw you into his stories. I remember seeing people spellbound when he spoke, like my nephew was decades later when he visited Hogwarts for the first time.

I’d been writing, using my imagination to tell tales like he did. In fact, I stayed up nights a lot of the time and just wrote. I’m not going to speak about some odd supernatural phenomenon, though. My belief in angels came from dreams I’d have when I finally let myself get some sleep.

They were full-color and focused on a familiar landscape - my grandparent’s house. My grandmother would always wave through the window, and a huge cat was curled up somewhere in the sun with one eye open, upset that I was still disturbing him after all this time. My grandfather was always outside by the light green boat of a car he used to drive, and it was all completely normal. I would sit, and he’d keep right on telling his stories. He even had new ones that I hadn’t heard before. Unfortunately, the alarm would ring and teenage life would descend.

I started to wonder back then, looking around at the toughness in the world, whether or not an angel would even bother coming down here to help? I mean, say an innocent soul that’d never been up against human emotions came down here and fell face-first into the issues we have. They’d have to take on everything from love to hate to war…the list goes on. And at 13, I couldn’t figure out what was remotely good enough about us as a species to save. I know, a very angry befuddled teenage view on the whole thing, but the idea stuck with me. Thankfully, so did that dream. It’s a great imagination to have, seeing as that my father is now ‘up there,’ and I still get to talk to him.

Living life, paying bills, raising a child, working - everything compounded with age. The upside is that the good things compounded, too. But when I still see the headlines nothing much has changed. A war was still fought, people still died, and the pain of two iconic towers falling will never fade. I really want to know what a team would do, how they would react, and how they would keep their faith in each other in a human world.

Matt and Emily were born from that idea and I have an absolute ball with them. They deal with things completely differently, and they are so strong that they make the world still seem like a place that should be defended and protected no matter what. I hope readers identify with that. I hope they have fun with them as they go up against these things, fall in love, and see the strength they use to understand it all. Matt and Emily are fighters with faith…which basically sums up the rest of us.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Amy talks about...the winged ones

The reason angels have come to be such a ‘hot topic’ at this point in time is really three-fold, and it stems from J.K. Rowling. When she introduced a character into the marketplace that took children of all ages (and then millions of adults) away from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and texting, and got them to open a book and enjoy the heck out of it - it was a great day. In fact, as a YA author I owe her a big ‘thank you’ for bringing the audience back, and then turning them into the fastest-growing group of readers in the world.

The second reason the door opened for the angels has to do with readers’ undeniable love of the ‘fanged ones.’ I know, we all realize that Edward Cullen became the biggest, but it was really because of the romance, trials and love triangle with the swoon-worthy werewolf that readers came in droves, and YA authors began to write vampires left and right. The ‘fanged ones’ took over the marketplace, thus paving the way for paranormal romance novels to become the ‘chosen ones.’

When the ‘winged ones’ came on the scene, they took time to grow on readers. But as the ‘fallen’ angels caught on, readers saw that they could also offer paranormal romance and love triangles that were just as interesting as the dark creatures of the fantasy universe. Having a ‘fallen’ angel struggling to find a way to get back the ‘light’ they once had, was very much like having a vamp attempt to be as human as possible and ditch the ‘dark’ side of him.

You have to add in the fact that the world in the past decade has gotten more than a bit depressing at times. With wars, the economy, jobless rates - our reality has made it so that most readers want to bury themselves in fantasy - ‘escape’ with the books they love. In that world there are always heroes and saviors; and the romance is usually a huge facet of the story which makes people feel even better.

When I ventured into the angel world, I really wanted to step back from the ‘fallen’ and begin with what you would call a pure, angel/warrior team. Being able to pair them up as they jumped (not fell) to Earth to do a job, I thought was be interesting to see them face human emotions, which they had no idea about when they began. Watching these powerful beings get so wrapped up in love, heartache, adventure, darkness, romance - it was fascinating to watch them struggle to keep their faith in each other while being in the human world that was ripping them apart.

It was like being emancipated when Matt and Emily first ‘came down.’ They were teenagers who were finally free from ‘home,’ and got to experience their first taste of life. I liked watching them learn, stumble, succeed, and get immersed in love. To be able to write a love triangle where the reader really doesn’t know who Emily will choose because there is no line between “this one’s a friend and this one’s my soulmate’ was an added bonus. And it does the heart good to see that a few sites have already put up ‘Team Matt’ buttons. (LOL)

All in all, I think it’s time for the angels. Not only do they have the ingredients necessary for a good paranormal story, but they are also something that people really want to believe in; a team that is down here trying to protect, save and help the rest of us. Hopefully, that trend and belief will continue for a long time to come.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Amy talks about...soulmates versus kindred spirits

At the risk of my daughter being without a mother, I have to say this anyway. At the beginning of the worldwide phenomenon, I could not understand the ‘Team Jacob/Team Edward’ thing. I mean, everyone kind of knew Bella was going to pick the hot vamp from the minute he saved her from the oncoming van. But then you ask yourself, should she have chosen differently? That’s what I really like about these love triangles. Not only do they give the readers a side to take and a fun discussion, but it also offers the author a great deal of insight into what their series or book may have been like if they’d chosen a different path.

Lately I have been getting letters regarding the need for more Matt in Book II. I understand, believe me, and Matt will be taking a much more prominent role this time around. I promise that the stunningly handsome, humorous warrior is going to find his voice in more ways than one. (In fact, look for him on the cover this time around.) Others have asked about Jason - how beautiful their love story was and how he should return again and again as the angel’s soulmate. For those letter writer’s, Jason will be back, and often. After all, what’s a triangle without the other guy? :) This is a subject I’m having a great deal of fun with because, unlike most writers, I really haven’t solidified the love triangle in my mind yet. In other words, it’s still up in the air.

You see, when I started Until Next Time, I wanted to make very sure that Emily‘s love triangle was not like ‘all the rest.’ So after doing some hard thinking - and research - I found that the word ‘soulmate’ is defined as the one eternal partner that you have every time out - the one that was created just for you. All of that seems like a really easy concept however, what the angel/warrior team didn’t know is that when they are human, they can fail to recognize their soulmate. And, ultimately, can end up feeling attracted or even falling in love with people in another life or time. Therefore, when Emily does believe she’s run into her soulmate - at least her earthly one - she and her partner end up with a very hard decision.

Of course, Emily is young. This is her and Matt’s first time ‘away from home’ and they have a great deal to learn when it comes to human emotions. From love to jealousy to envy to anger - this is all new to them, and they have to figure out how to keep their faith in each other in a world that’s ripping them apart.

Emily will have to face a hard decision down the road, as she tries to really figure out who it was she was meant for. And if she does pick Matt, would they be able to even attempt a relationship? After all, they are both so powerful that if they had even an argument, human beings could pay the price. Or, maybe they would have to give up their jobs - forsake the life they have and the lives they’ve led in order to be together as humans? Maybe it’s Jason who will win her heart because he is the soulmate of her dreams, whereas Matt will always be nothing more than the partner. Huh?

In Book II, there will be an even greater emphasis on the heart, soul and future of all the characters, and when it all finally comes to a close it will be interesting to see what ‘Team’ will win. I love the Matt versus Jason that’s going on right now and, rest assured, all readers’ thoughts and choices are taken into consideration.

It’s a good thing real life isn’t as complicated as a warrior versus an Adonis, or a vampire versus a werewolf. Although…it would be a whole heck of a lot of fun walking through this world with handsome heroes everywhere you looked.

Now that’s paradise!

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Monday, May 21, 2012

Amy talks about...from the mouths of angels - Matt & Emily speak

My name is Matthew, but you’ll call me Matt. After all, after you read my…our (Emily’s sitting beside me rolling her eyes) story, you’ll know a great deal about me. I’m a warrior angel. No, that’s not like those fictional guys out there like Superman (although, he’s cool). I was actually trained to fight an enemy, or Emily. I defend and protect and, unfortunately, I rid your lives of evil souls, but it’s not glamorous by any means. I’ve met warriors before, though. There was one man who actually took care of his family working a gazillion jobs, and made sure to be on the bleachers at his oldest son’s baseball game every Saturday. No, I’m not trying to sound like a bad commercial, I actually did meet warriors like this down there and thought they were way cooler than I was. But if I had to be something else, I would be a vet. I spend almost all my down time either training with Gabe in the ‘pit,’ or on a field with a man named Frank. There, I’m constantly surrounded by animals, and I think they have way more interesting souls than we do. I seriously love the panthers, jaguars - all the big cats, actually. Not only are they warriors, but we get along.

+++

I’m Emily, and I really do try not to roll my eyes, but we’re together a lot. I spend most of my time in our library. I love to read (not to suck up to you guys, of course). I actually got to meet a real librarian up here who suffered a harsh demise doing what she loved. Her name was Hypatia, but she doesn’t talk about the horrific thing that happened to her in Egypt a long time ago. What she does talk about is the Royal Library of Alexandria. It sounds amazing. The walls were lined with shelves that had millions of small squares cut out in them that held scrolls. Famous scrolls; everything from politics to law to the stars. She makes it sound so amazing. So if I wasn’t an angel; if I wasn’t made to walk beside Matt and try to figure out what we’re going to do down there the next time around, I would be a librarian. One of my teachers says that it’s impossible, seeing as that Matt and I are attached and he couldn’t stay quiet if anyone’s life depended on it.

When you head into our stories and see these places for yourselves, I hope our ultimate choice makes sense to you. Maybe we should’ve been a vet and a librarian, but it’s too late to think about that now. ‘Next time’ is here…

Friday, May 18, 2012

Amy talks about...The Ethereal Escape

It comes as no big shock whatsoever that the world of the paranormal has become the most sought-after genre in the world. Reality - no offense - is not exactly at its ‘brightest’ right now. From war to unemployment to poverty to crime and the bullying that’s taking over the headlines, it’s actually healthy to pick up a book and get lost in a different world for a while.

Whether you’re headed to a ‘regular’ town that just happens to have angels or vampires living there, or you head into the future - to a dystopian world that is actually a calming influence because in some cases it’s way worse than present-day - being somewhere else for a while makes real life a whole lot easier to deal with.

I even love the debate that’s occurring between the ‘winged ones’ versus the ‘fanged ones’ right now. There was certainly a vampire takeover for a while. As a full-time book reviewer, I swear to you I’ve read about vampires that are everything from gardeners to CIA agents to circus performers. But as they begin to fade just a tad, the ‘winged ones’ are taking over. Lauren Kate, Becca Fitzpatrick, Cassandra Clare, Kami Garcia and a slew of others, have brought angels back to life.

I like to think of this literary movement as the Ethereal Escape. Whether you are a fan of vamps, werewolves, witches, or angels - they bring us into a new dimension. We can experience battles that go well beyond the human experience; we can fall in love, feel the desperation of two characters from completely different times, and route for the hero or heroine. These eternal beings give us hope. They also spur the imagination to the point where a great deal of people are sitting down in front of their computers to tell a tale. It’s like the ‘divine’ button has been pushed, allowing people who didn’t believe they could write to take a chance because of the passion they feel for these eternal characters.

I always wondered if a ‘new’ angel would even want to come down here and protect, defend, save, judge, forgive, and all that other good stuff. I wondered if once they were in this environment if the human emotions would tear them apart, seeing as that a ‘fresh’ angel right off the line would have to put up with the ‘darkness’ that’s down here. That’s why I created Matt and Emily. I really wanted readers to see a true team that was going through what we were going through, and how they handled keeping their faith and love in each other in a world filled with brand new things - good and bad.

I hope this new eternal partnership will entice, thrill, and excite all readers, and allow Matt and Emily to become your new ‘divine’ friends. In my mind, they are a true set who bring a whole lot of light and faith into a sometimes dark and difficult reality.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop

Congratulations to our winner!
jenbook4 [at] gmail [dot] com

Enter to win the young adult ebook release, Until Next Time: The Angel Chronicles, Book 1 from Tribute Books.

1) Email subscribe to this blog (in the left sidebar) and confirm your subscription in the follow-up email you will receive.

2) Leave a comment with your email address.


***


Until Next Time:
The Angel Chronicles, Book 1

by Amy Lignor


How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?


Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.


When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.


From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart.


http://www.the-angel-chronicles.com

Amy talks about...strong female heroines

I would love to begin by speaking briefly about strong female heroines. I am a fan of tough, intelligent females in novels, and I believe that comes from two places.

My mother is the strongest, most courageous woman I know. Being a career librarian, she taught my sister and I at a very young age that books were magic and T.V. and video games were not. Although I really didn’t like that idea when I was a teen, I learned pretty early on that she was absolutely right. It’s because of that lady, that I became an avid reader and writer. I also got the love for strong female characters from my daughter. She’s a reader extraordinaire, but when she wasn’t reading, Buffy was playing in the background. Shelby always loved the fact that the girl was able to kick major butt, and that she was the ultimate hero in a world full of men…and vampires, of course.

In a historical series I write called, Tallent & Lowery, the main character is a very tough, very intelligent woman who bas a card catalogue for a brain. She can pull up all sorts of information and head out on adventures and solve puzzles that no one else even understands. She actually brings the mysteries to life. Funny – a bit sarcastic, at times – she’s the ultimate heroine.

So when I began my foray into the young adult world, I decided that I very much wanted to tell a unique angel story (not ‘fallen’ or tormented…at least, not at first). I wanted that female angel to be the toughest of the tough; not by wielding swords, but using her talents to go against the most difficult things you can possibly think of – human emotions. When this angel meets up against love, fear, anger, envy – she’s beyond confused, but she keeps going. Her mind and her heart were bent at times, frayed a bit around the edges, but she never gives up who she is or what she believes in, and I think that’s really the best type of character in the world. Whether the female characters are strong and powerful with their hearts or minds or talents, etc., doesn’t matter. Whatever their ultimate fate is makes the story, and I hope that readers really understand and feel that with Emily in, Until Next Time.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Amy talks about...the return of inspiration

For a long time the younger generation was seen as simply the age of Youtube, Facebook, cell phones and video games. But in the last few years they have become the largest group of readers in the world. The reason for that, I believe, is two-fold. Number one, the young adult genre has become huge, with authors who really know their subjects. From the vamps to the werewolves to the dystopian lands that they’ve created, teens have jumped on board with these titles. (So have adults, by the way). The other reason the YA market has become so grand is truly because of the world in which we live today. There are a great many things in this life to be thankful for; there are blessings, good people, faith and hope that still exist in this day and age. Unfortunately, there’s a darker side that’s also come on strong. From unemployment to poverty to politics to war to bullying – you name it, it’s in the headlines. So a restoration of faith and hope is a truly wonderful thing, and it’s being led by some amazing and enlightening fiction.

Lately, the ‘fanged ones’ – those vampires that everyone loves – have gotten a great deal of competition from the ‘winged ones.’ There are a majority of angels that are of the ‘fallen’ variety who are trying heir absolute best to redeem themselves. There are also love stories that are becoming as heralded as “Romeo and Juliet,” and more of these characters are showing up on the big screen every month.

The idea for my book really stemmed from wanting to do a YA series based on ‘new’ angels; a fresh team that had yet to come down here. Matt and Emily are a partnership – an angel/warrior team that still believes in all the good, faith, hope, etc., that their teachers have taught them. They’re also extremely excited to get their first taste of freedom and succeed at their very first assignment.

I originally wondered whether or not a ‘fresh’ team that’s been surrounded by ‘good’ could even make it down here among the seriously dark and sometimes dangerous world that humans dwell in. I wondered if they’d even want to? Told from a different perspective, I tried to bring back inspiration with this batch of divine beings. They certainly still have the adventure, suspense, heartache, etc., that others have experienced, but their biggest challenge is trying to keep their faith in each other while being faced with a brand new world that’s tearing them apart.

Some, perhaps, will get angry. Matt and Emily have teachers – familiar teachers by the name of Mike and Gabe. They also have a great deal of friends ‘up above’ and they do return home to talk to them and get advice. They sometimes go home angry, sad, confused, happy – all depending on the twists and turns that their human lives have taken. But these characters are mentors who offer humor and friendship to the team – no preaching involved.

Inspiration is the key to The Angel Chronicles, and I truly hope it brings a little more light into everyone’s world.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Amy talks about...small town angels

I have to say the magic of words is definitely something I believe in. Because I came from a small town where - I promise you - the only thing to do was watch the cars rust. Not to mention, at least six months out of the year we were buried in snow. So…I read. Anything I could get my hands on, actually. My Mom was a librarian so my sister and I were able to get all the new releases the second they came out - which was seriously cool.

There are a lot of people who love small towns, and I understand that it’s more peaceful and calm - less violence and crime, etc. - but the boredom factor is a forty on a scale of 1-10. Without books I would’ve seriously thrown myself into a snow bank. I loved everything - from YA’s to classics like Jane Austen - and the subject of angels was really big for me. I can’t tell you how much I love the fact that the ‘winged ones’ have come back so strong lately.

The characters in Until Next Time - Emily and Matt - are a huge extension of that small town life in their own way. They come from a world where there isn’t a whole lot to do either. There are certainly more people, but they spend a lot of their time in school, training and waiting around - desperate to enjoy that taste of freedom that they’re about to experience full-force. Of course, with freedom comes some seriously hard lessons. The human emotions they run into are strong and brand new to them, which causes a whole lot of problems. From love to fear to hate to heartache, they’re the innocents that are trying to keep their faith in one another in a world that’s filled with things that are trying to rip them apart.

I love the magic of books. The fact that, as a reader, I can sit in a room and be taken on an adventure with the Matt’s and Emily’s of the world is amazing. I can stand by the side of characters as they head back into history to see something truly monumental that we can only read about now; or, head into the future and find worlds that amaze and excite. I can also fall in love through someone else’s eyes with the new ‘Romeo and Juliet’s’ of this world (or, you may call them the ‘Edward and Bella’s). I can cheer for the hero and heroine, or despise the villain with everything I’ve got. Boredom never comes from these creations, so being able to escape and become someone else for a while is a real ‘gift.’

Your whole life, even when you have the gray hair (yuck), and your own teenager in their bedroom complaining about how boring it all is, the characters of Lord Voldemort, Patch, Katniss Everdeen, Lisbeth Salander - even Mr. Darcy - will still be there for entertainment. Not to mention a slew of new ones that are just waiting to be taken into the fold. No matter what happens in time, or how bad things get, books are eternal.

To me, that’s the real ‘magic.’ No dragon or wand necessary - just an imagination!

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Amy talks about...a new kind of hero

Seeing as that the lady who runs this blog is a fan of the ‘paranormal romance’ genre, I began to think about the history of the romantic hero. I used to do that every Monday night when Jack Bauer came on the screen and saved the world in 24 hours, but this time I thought about the true heroic men who have graced the pages of literary marvels. It seems funny when you look back now and realize that Mr. Darcy is still the one most women of all ages see as the most romantic male in the history of literature. Heck, even my own nineteen-year-old daughter saw Pride and Prejudice a while back and now makes sure to watch it when she feels down and out.

Times have changed, of course. When the beautiful Edward began climbing trees and throwing moony-eyed looks in Bella’s direction, the world went nuts; they waited with breathless anticipation to see how it would all end up. And even though the guy had no heartbeat, had the ability to attack you while you slept, and was cold-as-ice, he still remained her supernatural soulmate choice over the much warmer (and hotter…no offense) werewolf.

The supernatural romantic hero always has one very important trait, besides the fact that he’s more beautiful than any human or nonhuman alive. This hero must be tormented in some way. He must have one of those hearts (even if he’s heartless) that can break when the woman he loves causes him pain. So I wondered…what would fans like to see from a supernatural being that wasn’t tormented? What if he was the ultimate guy - the hot guy from everyone’s dream - but was already with his so-called soulmate when our story began? This is why Matt was created.

Matt is a warrior angel. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s one of the ‘fallen,’ it means he was an angel who actually chose the road of the warrior. He trained in the ‘pit,’ he learned how to use every sword, shield and scythe in order to do his job down below, and when he sets off for a life of freedom the girl he loves and was actually ‘made for,’ is right beside him.

I also began to think about taking this hero and having him run smack dab into the real forces of evil - humans. Let’s face it, human emotions - heartbreak, envy, jealousy, obsession - we‘ve got them all, and it would be absolutely fun for me to put a perfectly innocent species into a world where his heart is now more important than his head. Could the ‘good guy’ remain good? Or, would he eventually have to play dirty in order to keep up with the handsome human males who are simply better at wooing and winning because they’ve had more practice?

As Until Next Time began to take shape, I thought a great deal about the paranormal romances that have become the biggest ‘Romeo & Juliet’ tragedies this generation has ever known…and I wanted to be unique. In most ‘triangles’ the reader already knows pretty early on who’s going to be the friend and who the soulmate is that the girl will eventually choose, but what if being a human changed all the rules? As this series is continuing in my own home with Book II now closed, I very much wanted to know if Matt and Emily could keep their faith and love in one another in a world that was ripping them apart?

Perhaps the warrior angel will be a new way to look at our beloved romantic triangle. But will he top Mr. Darcy? Come on, guys. The man was elegant, classy and said: “I love you most ardently.” That line alone will live forever. What I can give you is how Emily sees Matt when it all begins…

His eyes were the color of the thin line that separated the ocean from the sky. His gaze was that brilliant horizon that kept her steady so she wouldn’t lose herself in the wide majesty of the stars, or the treacherous depths of the ocean. Their souls were one, keeping each other on the right course, oblivious to the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, the world came knocking on their door…

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Amy talks about...a teenage obsession

When you hit the core of it all, I became a writer at thirteen because I was pretty much sick of the real world all around me. I suppose we’re all like that, but I was tired of conforming to things I didn’t agree with. (I still am, so apparently that doesn’t go away with age.)

My inspiration was also the one I butted heads with most when I was a teenager. Her name is Mary and she’s a woman who’s beyond strong, has a backbone like steel that no vampire, or any other supernatural creature could bend, and she has the most overpowering sense of loyalty for her family.

Mary is my Mom. She’s the woman whose life revolved around her husband, her two kids, and her job as a career librarian. I’m telling you, this woman has a card catalogue for a brain. In fact, I still tease her to this day about why she hasn’t tried to get on Jeopardy - we could be billionaires by now. I always wonder if Google and Wikipedia used her brain to fill in all their ‘blanks.’

When we were growing up she made sure that my sister and I knew that television, video games, phones - all of that stuff - was absolute nonsense and that books were the only way to go. Of course, being a teen, I so wanted the T.V. (until I figured out that there was nothing on and I actually DID have more fun reading books).

We came from a small town, although my Mom would’ve loved to be in charge of research at the New York Public Library. Instead she was in charge of our hometown library and everyone loved her. She could recommend any title to anyone and know they would like it; and she read everything just to make sure if someone had a question, she could answer it correctly.

I remember when a book called Forever came out by Judy Blume and it had to be put in the adult section because it was supposedly too risqué for teens. Believe me, when you look at YA nowadays, Forever was absolutely tame. But Mom wanted me to read it, and I did. We’ve graduated over the years and we are now reviewers; she’s also a huge and supportive part of the company, The Write Companion, which we opened to help debut authors get the shots they just weren’t getting.

From Judy Blume to Stephen King and his frightening Overlook Hotel; from the puzzles of The DaVinci Code to the flashing wand of a boy named Harry Potter who actually took over the globe; and, from vamps to witches to zombies to things that go bump in the night, I have enjoyed it all. I am so unbelievably lucky (which I realize more and more every day) that I had an inspiration in my life who knew the power and magic of words. She’s the reason I read, she’s the reason I write, and she’s the reason I teach the same to my own daughter who constantly has her face buried in a book.

Monday, May 7, 2012

#UntilNextTime Twitter Party - May 8th

Just a reminder that the #UntilNextTime Twitter Party is tomorrow Tuesday, May 8th at 8 p.m. EST on Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/ 

The hashtag is #UntilNextTime - and can be easily followed using the Twitter app found at http://www.tweetchat.com/ 

Author Amy Lignor (@HelloWritersAmy) will answer your questions for 90 minutes.

We're also giving away a vast assortment of prizes including:

1) $50 cash prize to the person who has a receipt confirming an ebook purchase of Until Next Time and tweets at least once during the Twitter Party. To purchase the ebook now, go to http://www.the-angel-chronicles.com/ 

2) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern hardcover

3) Archon by Sabrina Benulis hardcover

4) Spectral by Shannon Duffy ebook

5) Knee Deep by Jolene Perry ebook

We look forward to tweeting with you!

Amy talks about...becoming a warrior angel

Just from the ‘job title’ comes the fact that a great deal of physical effort has to be given when an angel makes the final choice to become the protector of the team. Whereas their partner will spend a majority of their time garnering wisdom and learning as much as possible about the ‘ins-and-outs’ of the human mind and human emotions, both sides of the team have to ready themselves for a world they can’t possibly understand until they’re stuck directly in the middle of it.

Although the angel half of the equation may seem more difficult, Matt’s job was just as hard in a very different way. You see, a warrior is not all about brute strength. Yes, the training with Gabe includes many weapons, which readers will see when Matt returns home to train with his teacher and beg for guidance. The room he spends time in with his mentor has walls lined with every type of weapon imaginable - from sword to scythe. The warrior must spend 50% of his time learning how to handle each and every one of these weapons, seeing as that he never knows where he will be sent. He needs to understand the weight, the force needed to wield the weapon, the cause and the effect of what will happen if he strikes his foe - every nuance of battle. He must be able to sustain his power and strength in order to fight a war that could last decades, not just a few rounds in the ring.

However, the object during training is not to win or even outdo his teacher; the object is to make sure his body and mind can work together to defend and protect - but only when he absolutely must. The intensity of the battle is increased when Matt must face his foes within the ‘pit,’ which is a place that’s located in the floor of Gabe’s classroom. The ‘pit’ is not supernatural, there are no demons or mechanical men to go after, the ‘pit’ simply intensifies the battle with heat that comes from the flames kept inside, as well as the temperature of the warrior’s anger.

The ‘pit’ is a lesson to be learned; it teaches the warrior patience. If Matt’s anger becomes as overheated as the ‘pit,’ he cannot do his job well. If he heats up to the breaking point down below, then he’s letting his emotions run him, and the warrior can not afford to do that. If his emotions take hold he can make mistakes, fail, or injure an innocent. Battle, Matt must learn, is the last resort.

The other 50% of the warrior’s time is spent with his angel. Warriors do not get a ‘free pass’ from learning. They must go into their lives with knowledge about the beings they will deal with, and what a human’s feelings can accomplish…or destroy. Even though the angel can get involved with the humans and try to help them and guide them, the warrior must make sure to read every situation correctly. He needs to be able to sense the fact that an emotion is taking hold before it causes pain. But if he allows his feelings of love, jealousy, or anger to take over - then he has the power to make a frightening decision that can perhaps end someone’s life.

In the end, a warrior’s true power is in his mind. Mastering the weaponry and the fighting skills he needs is one thing, but mastering the heart is far more difficult. Matt is a great warrior; he excels at his job. But he’s a ‘fresh’ warrior - a new soul - who has never run face-first into the dreams and nightmares that humans can create. Most of all, he was not expecting love to become the ultimate weapon.

Until Next Time, Everybody.

Amy

Friday, May 4, 2012

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop

Congratulations to our winner!
draoi7383 [at] yahoo [dot] com


Enter to win the young adult ebook release, Until Next Time: The Angel Chronicles, Book 1 from Tribute Books.


1) Email subscribe to this blog (in the left sidebar) and confirm your subscription in the follow-up email you will receive.

2) Leave a comment with your email address.


***


Until Next Time:
The Angel Chronicles, Book 1

by Amy Lignor


How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?


Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.


When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.


From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart.


http://www.the-angel-chronicles.com

Amy talks about...how The Angel Chronicles came to be

Matt and I were innocents.  Excited, upbeat, happy – we were thrilled to be leaving home for the very first time…

And that’s how it all began.  That’s how the warrior and the angel came here.

Inside my home we have a huge library filled with books – some that weren’t even written yet when we came down the first time.  I have to say the books have gotten better over the generations.  No offense.  I mean, I would never say anything bad about Austen or Poe – they were the best!  But lately I’ve been getting really into what you call ‘YA books.’  Young adult is an odd term.  I know it’s based on age, but most of the books are so good they would appeal to all ages.  Heck, even my divine teachers really liked that whole ‘Harry Potter’ phenomenon.

Matt and I love the angel books that have been published, even though there are a lot of ‘fallen’ ones.  They’re fun, of course, but not when you have to go up against one of them for real.  Believe me, then it just hurts. But in a fictional world they’re interesting.  Matt is into the ‘evil’ beings, sort of like that ‘old’ YA show I saw once about a girl named Buffy.  There were a whole bunch of creatures in there, but they really seemed to have a good time.  And that Angel, guy?  Don’t tell anyone, but I would definitely pick him over that Edward guy…although they both had really nice hair.

Anyway, I figured since all these other stories were out heralding our species, that it would be a good idea to tell our tale.  I have to definitely give a shout-out to the Hush, Hush crowd, and the Fallen crowd, and others who talk about our world and our troubled souls.  They’ve all been great, and they do come pretty close to the way it is, but it’s a bit more difficult for Matt and I because, well…we’re real.  We’ve been at this for a long time.  Our lives haven’t been easy, that’s for sure, and the soul I keep meeting down here – his name was Jason the first time around – is still a bit of a problem between us.  But our stories are adventurous, and we went through some seriously cool historical times.  I loved the ‘Roaring 20’s,’ but that comes in the next book.  Until Next Time is simply how it all began; how we got to experience life, adventure, fun, freedom, love and…pain, for the very first time.

Our mentors asked Tribute Books to put out this story because their name is perfect.  The book is a real ‘tribute’ to all we’ve been through – the choices we made and the lessons we learned.  They call it fiction and I understand that.  If it was called non-fiction it would probably cause all kinds of issues.

And I do like the cover; I look like one of those rock-and-roll chicks.  Matt will be on the next cover; he’s already primping for his picture right now.  All that’s left is to see how he decides to style his hair.  I know, he’s a little vain about his looks, but warriors usually are.  I hope you like our first trip.  There’s always another one.  After all, our lives don’t end…they just begin all over again.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Amy talks about...the Divine Fight Club

One of my most vivid memories is of my grandmother at Sunday dinner. She owned one of those cookie-cutter faces, and her food - Holy BeJeezus! - we are talking the food of the gods atop the Acropolis. But when it was time to cut dessert her serving knife would’ve made Jack the Ripper look like a poor pickpocket. She would stand above the delicious ending of the meal, wave that scythe around and say, in her cute little voice, “WHO WANTS PIE?!” (This is the point where the cat would leave the room in fear for his life.)

That memory brought to mind the Divine Fight Club that’s coming to pass. The vampires were the ones who began this wave, and series after series has taken us into all the high schools and woodsy, barely lit, rainy areas that this world has to offer. However, there were ‘glimpses’ of a lighter being on the horizon a couple of years back.

Although angels have been mostly ‘fallen’ or, God forbid, worked for the ‘other side,’ they all had one thing in common; they protected the chick in order to attain that broken-hearted love match we all know so well. They also all have an enemy who they need to stop in order for everyone to live happily ever after. Dead, perhaps, but happy nonetheless.

Angels are slowly taking over, but as a writer I always wanted to know…would they even bother? What would the ‘fresh’ angels right off the line really do if they were suddenly faced with humanity and told to solve issues. Would they? And when these Divine beings get into warrior mode, who could kick whose butt the fastest? Would the ‘winged ones’ be totally turned off by the emotions like jealousy and anger that happen down here? And what if the angel’s Divine partner wanted to fight for humans but the angel didn’t? And the biggest question remains: Could a ‘halo’ destroy a ‘fanged one?’ Well…for this one I’m gonna have to give the edge to the Divine. After all, they do come from pretty good stock, not to mention the wings, bright lights and their backup defense really helps.

From YA novels to the movies, there are many exciting battles to think about. Could Edward Cullen outsmart Indiana Jones? Could Patch from Hush, Hush take out the Vampire Academy? And just think about Optimus Prime versus a vampire. It would be really hard to bite Prime. Perhaps you could shatter him into pieces, but chances are Bumble Bee would be right behind him and that fire he could shoot would turn a vamp to dust. Imagining the best battles is fun. Who do you think would make the coolest ‘Fight Club’ match imaginable?

And I also hope you enjoy the new ‘take’ that Until Next Time has to offer. If not, I may turn towards the Stephen King genre, and the next knock on your door could just be my grandmother. As another movie hero once said, “Now, that’s a knife!”

Until Next Time, Everybody.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Amy talks about...the only upside of high school

Taxes and death are not the only things you can count on. Let’s face it, high school being a real pain in the butt (unless you’re that lucky cheerleader or star quarterback) is a given. But that place did give me one thing…the desire to be a writer was ‘born’ inside those hallowed halls of bad food and smelly lockers. (We had no handsome vampires or wolves to fall in love with in CT - just a whole lot of snow and ice).

I was overweight, frustrated and - worse - a freshman. How much lower on the totem pole can you get, right? I had an English teacher who actually sat with his desk in the back of the class while we watched Macbeth on TV over and over and over again. Upside? I got an A on the final. I had a Science teacher who was actually frightening. Almost everyone failed her class because her pet boa constrictor named, B.C. (I know, very creative) was loose in the classroom the entire time during the lesson. I’m serious. This thing would rub up against you or you’d feel it wrap around your ankle…I mean, come on, there was no way to learn about the Earth’s core when you felt like you were stuck in a scene from “The Crocodile Hunter.”

But there was one teacher who definitely was her own breed; a teacher that all kids and parents long for. She taught history and she loved her job. She was also beyond adorable. About four feet in height with long dark hair that hung practically to the ground, she was a true character from Tolkien’s mind. We had an assignment around Christmastime where we all studied and watched a movie on Nicholas and Alexandra. (The amount of snow they had made me forget about the disgusting stuff piling up outside.)

We were to write a paper about one of the characters from the “Romanov” tragedy over the holiday. When we returned to the classroom all of the girls had their papers done on Alexandra and the boys - naturally - on the Tsar. I was so completely taken with the character of Rasputin that I was the only one to veer away from the ‘high school norm’ and delve into research about that ‘villainous’ human who basically destroyed an entire family. That Christmas vacation was beyond cool. For the first time - where school was concerned - I was thrilled to be doing something. And when I turned in my paper this ‘little educator’ gave me an A, and told me that no matter what I wanted to do with my life, I had to be a writer. She still teaches there, and most likely has set many kids on their career paths by opening doors they never even knew existed.

So, with her help, I began my writing journey much like Frodo did in order to secure the famous ‘ring.’ And I have been so taken with that character ever since that Rasputin actually appears in a couple of my stories - forever paying homage to the teacher I will never forget.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Amy talks about...her writing journey

Believe it or not, my writing journey began at the age of twelve when my parents, sister and I went on vacation to Cape Cod and stayed with friends of my mom’s. This was one of those vacations where Folsom Prison would’ve seemed like paradise. The little ladies we stayed with had a house where, once their cat went “nightsie,” all lights, talking, TV - everything had to stop - so as not to disturb the kitty. These ladies would take us into town (driving three miles an hour the whole way, and blaring their horn at pedestrians in the crosswalk), while my sister and I were locked in the back of the station wagon with faces pressed up against the glass. Drivers going by must’ve thought we were puppies going to get fixed, considering the looks of pure desperation we had on our faces. Because TV was unavailable, I began to write. It was a fairly large book for a kid called, My Life: A Comedy and a Tragedy.

In my freshman year of high school, a writing assignment came along from our history teacher about Nicholas & Alexandra. I was the only one who wrote about Rasputin (who actually appears in one of my Tallent & Lowery adventure novels). The teacher loved it and told me to become a writer. She was so cute. Four-foot-two, hair that hung to the floor and a voice that was louder than Lady Ga Ga stuck in a blender.

I went on to write my first YA novel (Mind Made), after I brought a stunning little girl into the world named Shelby. One day we went to the ‘grand opening’ of an Inn located in my very small hometown. I picked up a coffee table book and pages began to fall out of it. Seeing as how this place looked like it would charge guests a million dollars to stay there, I figured I’d just destroyed some priceless work of art. When I reached down to pick up one of the photographs, it was of a girl standing outside the Inn back in the early 1900’s. The tagline read, The Connecticut Home for Imbeciles, and she was leaning against a road sign that read, ‘Dip.’ That girl looked up at me with eyes that literally said “Run!” and very soon after, my daughter and I fled.

I went back to my historical routes and delved into a subject that hadn’t been touched on before concerning a woman by the name of Paulita Maxwell who was said to have been the mother of Billy the Kid’s son. I moved to New Mexico to research the project and my book, Heart of a Legend, was born.

I love putting puzzles together from history with my Tallent & Lowery series. With the first book, 13, I had to find a way to link the NYPL with Jack the Ripper, Loch Ness, and the King Arthur legend - which was a whole lot of fun.

When my father was taken away from us far too soon I began thinking about angels, and what life was like ‘up there’ versus down here. Would an angel/warrior ‘team’ be able to survive humanity, fight for them, and stay together all at the same time? The Angel Chronicles answers that question.

So, in the end, I guess I owe my writing to a cat who had to go “nightsie.”