eBook buy links
   Kindle
- $2.99
   Nook - $4.95
   iBookstore - $4.99
   Google - $3.79
   Smashwords - $4.99
   PDF - $4.95

Click to like The Angel Chronicles Facebook fan page.

Click to add A Privilege to your GoodReads to-read list.

Click to request a Kindlegraph autograph from Amy Lignor for A Privilege.

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.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Amy talks about...A Bestseller Always Begins with a Best Friend!

There are thousands of books out there on writing techniques, character building and ‘how-to’ guides covering everything that should come out of your imagination. After being an editor in this industry for around twenty years, and a writer for the same, I have to tell you the one ‘solid’ piece of advice that should be given is that all of this comes from YOU. YOUR characters, YOUR plot - this is YOUR work of art, so nothing you do is actually wrong. I can ‘feel’ the shaking heads right now. But I’m not talking about grammar, margin width, spacing, paragraphs, or POV’s; I am talking about the core, the gist of what YOU are trying to say.

With The Write Companion I have received books that are not grammatically correct. I have seen many where the quotation marks are nonexistent and even where the POV’s change so rapidly you wonder who on earth is speaking at the time, BUT the characters were so intriguing that the book, itself, was an A+. It just needed to go through that ‘cleaning up’ process. And even Stephen King goes through that after all these years, so I wouldn’t get overly upset about it. That’s what the editorial world is for.

To me, characters are the most important facet of a book. I love the hideous, bone-chilling bad guy, or the sweet princess who’s about to become the warrior princess because of the battles she’s up against. I love the strong, independent women like J.D. Robb’s, Eve Dallas, and I also love the wit and charm of Sherlock Holmes. Why? Because these characters have a voice. They literally jump off the page and become a reader’s new ‘best friend.’

YOU are the tale-teller. YOU are the person who must ‘live’ with the characters you create, and any reader who picks up that book is going to know if YOU care about them. I knew that Jane Austen loved Mr. Darcy. That was a man who was sincerely a pain in the proverbial corset, yet he was also masking the deepest love that a man could hold for a woman. Was he based on someone? Perhaps. Or, he could’ve been one of those amazing characters that was imbedded in Austen’s imagination who she wanted to be real. Either way, the reader knew that Austen cared so much for him and Pride and Prejudice that it’s still being heralded (and copied) in 2012.

I know that Harry Potter is J.K. Rowling’s friend and confidant. She wanted a hero and the YA world needed one - Harry Potter was it. Why has it become the biggest seller of all time? Simple. The reader felt all of the emotions that the author had for her characters. They could ‘see’ the castles, dragons, giants - and the world of Hogwarts became a place we wanted to go.

As an author, when your mind begins that formulation of a friend, hero, heroine, or bad guy - you are the one telling their story to the world. Character development is finding each and very facet of the people you love, despise and honor, and this is your mission when you sit in front of that computer. Of course the plot is necessary, and you must follow the rules and make sure everything is ‘clean’ before it heads out to those agents. But when you’re alone and it’s just you and your Mr. Darcy or Harry Potter, that is YOUR time. It’s all up to you to find a way to show the reader how much you care about these people. And trust me, when you gift the world with that new best friend, the response from readers will be absolutely phenomenal!

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Amy talks about...A Vision of A Warrior and His Angel

I have said that the inspiration for Until Next Time truly came when I was a teenager going through a tough time. I actually began to think about angels and wonder why the heck they would come here in the first place? As far as I was concerned, at that time, life was just awful down here in this world, and I believed that the "winged ones" certainly wouldn't want to waste their time trying to save us. (I know, it's negative, but what can I say? I was 13, upset and the hormones were raging.)

Matt, the warrior, was the first one I really recognized inside my own head. I didn't have a visual from a television show, or a book, or a 'real life' event; what I did have was a series of dreams when my brain was going in all different directions (not unlike it is now. LOL).

Matt was tall and blond, with hair that kind of went all over the place - like the power of his gilded wings had whipped his hair into a frenzy and he had no place to go to buy styling gel. No, I'm not going to go down the path of Matt being the most handsome glittering boy on the planet. :) In my dream, Matt was a friend. He smiled a lot, he tilted his head to the side as if he was wondering what on earth I was talking about most of the time, and he kept screwing up my name in my dreams. I'm Amy, yet every time he said something he called me Em. I didn't correct him. A) He was a dream and, B), I don't really think you should correct a being that could snuff you out in an instant if they felt like it.

Seeing as that my beloved grandfather had just died, my imagination was probably already soaring into that unknown world above, wondering if he'd made it there, or if 'there' even existed.

I remember doors with funny labels on them; a hallway of glass which was really awesome because when I looked out the top there was this mass of 'winged ones' - a group went in one direction, while the other half headed the other way. And through all this, Matt was a guide. I even remember a huge library that he walked me into. That library was just about the coolest thing I'd ever seen (think the NYPL but even HIGHER ceilings filled with books, cubbyholes of scrolls, and a librarian who looked like someone I would not want to mess with.)

I asked Matt a ton of questions, and he told me about a room he trained in with his teacher. He kept calling himself a warrior, but he looked more like a gangly teen who was pretty much just having fun. He even took me to a door that, when it opened, contained my grandfather's house. He showed me that the people I loved were just fine. But the more Matt and I spoke, the more I began to notice that he really wanted to be down here as much as I really wanted to stay up there.

Was I ready for the rubber room? I don't think so, (even though my teenage daughter would tell you different). I think I was just a kid going through a hard time, who loved to read and used her imagination to get away from it all.

Years later Matt reappeared on the pages of Until Next Time with his partner, Em, and I was finally able to tell their tale. From the ground up, The Angel Chronicles are their stories; a look at two beings who are friends, partners, guides - a team that have faith in each other. And I can't wait to tell the rest!

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vote for the title of The Angel Chronicles, Book 2

We'd love for you to vote on the title of Book 2 of The Angel Chronicles - coming November 1, 2012!

Set in the Gilded Age of New York City, it is an adventure with Matt and Emily that you'll be sure to enjoy.

Here's the link to add it to your Goodreads to-read list:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15725493-the-angel-chronicles-book-2

Please reply with your choice of the following selections (by July 15):

1. Gilded Wings


2. Their Second Coming


3. The Gilded Team

We have a poll listed on the top left corner of http://www.the-angel-chronicles.com for you to vote.

Please feel free to spread the word!


Amy talks about...a twist on the love triangle

The most romantic book of all time that still seems to reside on everyone’s bookshelf, had a very real love triangle dead center in the middle of it. Elizabeth Bennet had more than a passing fancy for the superficially charming George Wickham. In fact, she detested Mr. Darcy for how he’d treated Wickham in the past, not knowing that the man she was standing up for was a real loser. From that point on, to me, love triangles became an integral part of the novel. Whether it’s adventure, supernatural, historical or YA, the love triangle is what stands out and keeps drawing readers into the fold; not to mention that it has become part of the ‘formula’ that most publishers look for.

It’s not a big shock that readers dream of the hero, but to have two of them after you, well…that takes it from “Happily Ever After, Cinderella” to sheer “Miracle!” The triangle isn’t just about the passion, however, it’s about how a writer can increase their characters’ likeability and charm as they delve into the conflict that their love triangle promotes.

But some do end up to be ‘seen’ by readers pretty early on. Take The Hunger Games. Katness, Peeta and Gale were beyond cool, but at the heart of it all, one does come across as the friend fairly clearly, while the other is that soulmate who the girl will never be able to get over. And even though the reader knows who will be chosen eventually, the fun is just to sit back and enjoy the ride.

The same goes for Lauren Kate’s wonderful series, Fallen. Most readers know that after all this time Daniel and Luce will find a way to be together in a lifetime that doesn’t involve her death. Cam is that heartthrob - the dark and dangerous one who a great number of readers would choose. But, again, the choice really was made early on. If Luce picked Cam now, I would assume the author would have to move out of her house and head to Neptune in order to get away from the horde of broken-hearted fans.

Yes, I know…the biggest of them all was Edward versus Jacob. But, again, there was really no hope for Jacob after Edward first stood in front of the van and saved Bella in Twilight.

I personally thought it would be interesting to mix things up a bit where the whole love triangle is concerned. I wanted fans to really have no idea who to route for when The Angel Chronicles began. Matt and Emily are already soulmates, but Jason isn’t a friend - he’s the epitome of the soulmate on earth. Writing a triangle in a series that involves the one you love suddenly becoming an enemy, and the one you rely on suddenly being the one who may or may not destroy you, was extremely intriguing. Battle lines will be drawn, of course, but some readers will fall for one, some for the other, yet Emily will have to one day choose between a soulmate and a…soulmate.

The warrior angel is a significant character because I wanted to create a defender/protector who was not ‘fallen’ or tormented; he was simply given a job to do and he wants to do it. Yes, the warrior brings that strength, courage and dreaminess of the supernatural entity to the pages, but Matt also has one of the largest hearts that can be torn to shreds by a human. After all, when you’re busy protecting others, you don’t think about protecting yourself. To be able to have a character that’s warrior, friend, as well as heartthrob is fascinating.

My biggest hope is that readers let me know who they would pick if they had but one choice and very little time.

Until Next Time, Everybody,
Amy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Amy talks about...being a 21st century writer

Good Morning, Dave

Of course, mine says: Good Morning, Amy. And my 21st century technology – even though it’s supposedly miles ahead of HAL – still doesn’t seem to work as well, but the thought is the same.

Once upon a time super-computers, the internet, eBooks – all of these things were simply an idea in a writer’s, or young future millionaire’s mind. People thought these ideas were ‘cool,’ and wanted a world that gave them superior technology. In some respects these inventions have been a gift. In others…not so much.

The very first YA that stuck with me was by Judy Blume, who became the name in YA fiction during her time period. The book was, Forever, and it was one of the most controversial novels ever to hit the shelves. I remember my mother – the head librarian of our town’s ‘gift to knowledge and wisdom,’ – was made to put this book into the adult fiction section by the townspeople. (I know, the town sounds a bit like Salem and their hunt for witches). Everyone was upset that their children would have the chance to read about a sexual experience.

It’s absolutely hysterical to me when you think about it now. Today you can see far more on soap operas aired in the afternoon. Not to mention Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, video games, and a trillion other sites that bring subjects far more dark, obsessive and grisly into the young adult eye.

We’ve gone miles in the past few decades. Being a writer in the 21st century offers a vast amount of choice. The leeway that’s given makes it far easier for the author to introduce subjects, such as: sex, teenage pregnancy, suicide, bullying, and more. We can also offer the supernatural worlds of vampires, zombies, ghosts, goblins and angels.

For a book to be controversial nowadays, it usually has to ‘knock’ on the door of either politics or religion. Yet, angels have become one of the most well-read and talked about entities in fiction. Perhaps everyone has noticed that having a protector or defender with wings doesn’t mean they are promoting or bashing religion. Nowadays, a protector is something we all WANT to have, with the horrific things that are happening in the real world where teenagers can hear all about it on the six o’clock news.

Choice has arrived in the 21st century and authors benefit from that. In a world that’s actually being bashed for taking away freedom, the world of writing is still very much enjoying it. I’m always thrilled, as an editor, to receive novels filled with very real characters. They may not be real ‘beings,’ but even the fantastical are focusing on human emotions, and addressing subjects that are affecting our teenagers. I admire those authors, and I’m thrilled that the 21st century has allowed them a ‘microphone’ to talk about the issues.

I really love the fact that teenagers have gotten back into reading. When Rowling came along and built an empire, and when Meyer introduced a new ‘Romeo and Juliet’ who were actually happy to be dead – reading became a ‘must’ again. It also spawned a whole new generation of writers that have exciting careers in front of them.

In the end, the 21st century has proven to be an invigorating time for writers. And I, for one, hope it grows even stronger over the next few decades.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Monday, June 25, 2012

Amy talks about...When it Comes to Getting Published There are Do’s and Don’ts: But Only One BIG Won’t!

Working in the publishing industry back in the 80’s and 90’s was a different scene. There were still agents who sent out form rejection letters without actually reading the query; and there were publishers you could only get if that agent had read your query. But there was also a growing faction that promised a whole bunch to the author, as long as they paid a ridiculous amount of money to get it.

Both of these issues brought about something that was heartbreaking, and being someone who was sitting amidst the industry, I saw that heartbreak grow. Authors were burying their manuscripts in a filing cabinet and simply moving on.

Nowadays there still exists the wolves among the sheep, but with the technology of eBooks and the internet many authors have become seen, read and loved. There are many rules about the publishing industry, from the query to the manuscript to the polishing and editing – it’s tough, with many more writers than ever before.

When I opened The Write Companion, I did so because I wanted to help debut authors become known. I can’t tell you what a thrill it is for me to work with people who are so full of excitement; they actually rejuvenate and energize me. I love hearing the news that they’ve found that publisher, or they’ve booked that first radio show and autograph signing. The only thing that comes first, however, is the rejection – which brings me back to the one big, “I won’t” that exists in the publishing world. I won’t give up!

No, this is not an infomercial, this is absolute honesty. I have been rejected as often as a Lady Gaga wig. It’s a well-known fact that the ‘best of the best’ out there were rejected. I remember reading Stephen King when he said that rejections came daily. J.K. Rowling got rejected by many who said that Harry Potter would just never ‘catch on.’ After creating a world that includes bestsellers, top movies, and her very own theme park, something tells me the Rowling ‘rejecters’ have more than eaten their words. I shudder to think of a world where Rowling, or Stephen King had given up.

Being a writer comes with everything from fun to rejection. Being an editor comes with the ‘hats’ of a psychiatrist, friend and supporter. Rejections are nine times out of ten completely unemotional and usually a ‘form’ letter. But to see someone simply stop after a few rejections is quite sad, especially when – if they’d kept going – the acceptance letter would’ve been right around the corner. Am I saying all writers are Rowling? No. What I’m saying is there are future Rowling’s who need to build that iron will and strong backbone they give to their characters.

I hope the writers out there with the passion and determination to reach their pinnacle recite the mantra: “I won’t give up!” Because, in the end, being a ‘fighting monkey’ is the best advice I can give.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Friday, June 22, 2012

Amy talks about...Without Inspiration There’s No Imagination

Inspiration can come from absolutely anywhere. I’ve been inspired by things ranging from sunsets to puppies to Jane Austen (God bless her); to more intense inspirations, like my daughter’s first smile. At the age of nineteen she still has a smile, and both of these inspirations led me down a different path.

The baby was the challenge. That came with fear, doubt, and prayers galore that I wouldn’t screw up a human life that I loved this much. When they placed Shelby in my arms for the first time I told her: “We’re in this together.” Without so much as a cry or a shudder, Shelby looked up at me, took in the full picture of this odd, sweaty person who was going to be her mother, and proceeded to fall asleep. At nineteen she still looks at an oddly sweaty mother - especially after workouts or pulling my hair out because this whole Facebook/Twitter/Big Brother cell phone thing is driving me nuts - and sends me that encouraging smile. Of course, now it comes with words like: “I’m so proud of you, Mom,” After which, she still goes to sleep. (Although now it’s at 1:00 am because of those cell phone beasts that allow her friends to text in the middle of the bloody night.)

The thought for Until Next Time came to me during the period in my own life where I was a teen who still wasn’t quite sure if I was going to make it. I was bullied, I was tired of it all, and I turned to books and movies for a way out. I didn’t have a Harry Potter (which was a shame), but I did have the wonderful John Hughes’ movies to tell me that I was okay. I could be the geek, prom queen, basket case, criminal, or jock - and everything was cool. In fact, The Breakfast Club is something I passed down to my own daughter so she’d know that all of the above was alright.

It was during this confusing time that I remember questioning ‘angelic’ stuff. Why would they possibly want to come down here? What would they end up becoming if they were one of us? Angels were obviously stronger, but what if all these human emotions we have just got to them and they went home and said: “Those guys down there are way too messed up!” (I wouldn’t blame them).

In Until Next Time, Emily and Matt want freedom. They are angels who’ve been trained to embark on journeys to protect, defend, or destroy. But they are also teens and ‘out of the house,’ so to speak, for the first time. When I saw the trends moving toward the ‘winged ones’ in the literary world, I thought it was time for Emily and Matt to join us. It’s not about religion, or belief vs. non-belief - Emily and Matt are all about being young and trying to figure out what the next step is going to be; and how they keep their faith in each other while they stand in a world that’s trying to rip them apart.

My daughter’s eyes, and my own staring back at me from the mirror as a teen, blended together to create the adventures of Emily and Matt. And they inspire me to continue their story.

Whether it’s a child, a sunset, or a puppy, I hope all writers and readers can take what they see, hear and feel to heart so they can enjoy the paths they choose. Because without that inspiration, I don’t think the imagination has the slightest opportunity to fire!

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Amy talks about...Why Angels Are Truly Great Characters

I know this is not an opinion shared by all, but I have to say that I’m one who is a bit happy that the ‘winged ones’ are taking over the ‘fanged ones’ seat at the top. And no, before anyone gets upset, I’m not bashing vampires, but as a reviewer who reads over thirty books per month, I’m just a tad bit weary of the vampire realm.

Angels, I believe, are more fun - certainly for writers. Not only do vampires have very important characteristics that most all of them must share (or at least two really big ones), angels have the ability to be a little bit of everything. Angels can be among the fallen, tormented, mythical, defenders and executioners, wise mentors, skilled warriors - the list of what an angel can be and do is incredibly long, which offers fiction writers a big ‘vat’ that they can delve into to make that next angelic character into a household name.

Lauren Kate was the first who caught my eye. I have to say her Fallen series is really outstanding. Not to mention the Hush, Hush series deserves a big “shout-out!”

When it came to the angel/warrior team of Matt and Emily in Until Next Time, I really wanted to delve into that endless vat of characters and write about angels that did two separate jobs; were trained by the absolute elite; and, who were headed to this world with completely innocent eyes, unfettered hearts, and extremely stoked about their newfound freedom.

I always wondered what would happen to a purely ‘new, fresh’ angel who came here to simply do a job and do it well. The life experience, to them, would originally be something they’d look forward to. Having no background where human emotions were concerned, when they meet up against the ‘nightmarish’ word that humans live in, they have to seriously struggle to find a way to keep themselves in check and do the job they were assigned, without life destroying their faith or ripping them apart.

People believe in angels. Since the beginning of history angels have been a part of the human existence. Whereas other beings, like vamps, werewolves, zombies, etc., are more supernatural and mythical - angels are beings that most of the world readily accepts. No, I’m not talking religion, I’m simply talking about the ‘protectors’ or the souls we feel could very well be watching out for us, taking care of us, or leading us in whatever direction we may be headed into.

Although my series does touch upon the fact that Emily and Matt’s teachers are divine, I hope readers see the fact that this is very much a tale of two beings who became human for a reason, and are trying to get their questions answered. Of course, they can’t until they personally experience each and every one of these emotions.

The love story is very real, seeing as that they were actually born, bred and trained to be soul mate’s. So when that particular ‘link’ is tested, it’s interesting to see how they retain their faith in each other. Especially when another young man lurks on the horizon…

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UNTIL NEXT TIME cover designer interviews Amy

Until Next Time
by Amy Lignor
Interview with the author 


 Just for fun, What is the worst possible cover concept you could imagine for your novel?

God, there are so many… I despise those clip art characters and those pencil drawings that are supposed to look like etchings but they just look like a Kindergarten project. I think books need reality; even when it comes to angels and warriors, and other paranormal characters. I love the cover for Until Next Time because it actually shows the emotion and the wealth of pain and feelings my angel had to go through. Readers really identified with her. Oh, and seeing as we’re talking YA paranormal, if I had a painting of white and red (i.e. Heaven vs. Hell) I would cry. (LOL)

What do you feel is the scene in your novel with the most imagery? 

There is a scene when Emily has passed on and she is sent to ‘retrieve’ the boy she’d fallen in love with while down on Earth. He is now a man, of course, an old man who had a very amazing life that, without her sacrifice, wouldn’t have been possible. I love that part because of the way they meet once again, and how it’s completely happy and sad for Emily because she also knows there’s another who may be her true soulmate.

Did you have any cover art or publishing fears? Which fear was worst?

I think authors have that picture in their mind and the cover artist just makes that so much better. My worst fear is that the cover artist simply hates, or has no feeling for the book whatsoever. If they dislike it, they won’t really put their ‘all’ into the cover. The writer puts their soul into the story, so you really want that artist who will put their soul into the cover.

Out of the books on your shelf or your wish list which has your favorite cover?

This is going to sound beyond egotistical, but - what are you gonna’ do? (LOL)

Until Next Time (Book I of The Angel Chronicles) is the most stunning cover I’ve ever seen. I am so proud of it. You have to understand, I’ve lived with Emily in my head for the last decade, so seeing her finally look back at me was amazing.

Last but not least, after going through the cover art process yourself from the author's point of view, what would you suggest to other authors who are facing their own cover art process or facing their own publishing fears? 

Try desperately to find great teammates. Always make sure you have the publisher, editor, artist, that really cares as much about your book as you do. I still think a great working relationship makes for a great book and a fantastic career. So I would say never settle for less than the best. And, in my personal opinion, Emma Michaels IS the best!

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

To enter use the Rafflecopter form at this link.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Story Behind the Cover

Until Next Time
by Amy Lignor
The Story Behind the Cover 


This cover was so much fun to make. When a novel has characters that stand out and have that special spark, a fantastic concept and imagery that you automatically associate with the novel, is becomes more then just a cover art job, it is a cover artist's dream come true. I was given a concept but after reading Until Next Time I decided to suggest a new concept because I couldn't get the image of stone Amy out of my mind, her heart breaking visibly across her chest.

I will admit, I was worried. I had never suggested a concept to anyone before unless it was for one of my own novels through Bokheim Publishing. Thankfully, everyone agreed to have me try it out and IT WORKED! I don't know how long it took me to do that piece but I remember that it hardly felt like time was passing, it was all pure art. I started first thing in the morning and when I looked up again (after being reminded that food is a necessity by my fiancé three times that day when he set it in front of me) it was dark. After a few finishing touches and a fantastic suggestion from Amy and Tribute Books to have the hair be red, I changed the hair to make the stone slowly start coming to life and this was the result:



To enter the giveaway use the Rafflecopter form at this link.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Amy talks about...Building a Perfect Paranormal World with Imperfections

In this day and age it would be a glorious thing to be able to build our own world instead of dealing with the pain and anguish in this one. When I was asked to write on the topic of paranormal world building, I was very excited. I thought I would go into a ‘blueprint’ of what the buildings would look like, how the people would act, etc. But then I realized something…I’ve read books that are set in pure ‘Paradise,’ and I’ve read dystopian novels that show a devastated world that makes readers feel like THIS is ‘Paradise.’ And I suddenly realized that I wanted something in-between.

Seeing as that the characters of Until Next Time are of an ‘angelic’ nature, I assume that right off the bat readers would think of bright white lights, heavenly music, and all that peace and harmony that comes along with it. But when I began to ‘build’ my world, I wanted to go in a different direction. I didn’t want my angel/warrior team to be tormented, fallen, or be in a situation where they started out with everyone and everything against them. So, in the beginning, my angels do reside in the place of their birth.

Emily and Matt were trained by the very best, and readers do get a glimpse of that world, but bright lights and pure loveliness is not what it contains. In their home, Matt and Emily have sat in classrooms, they’ve witnessed types of ‘magic,’ they’ve even trained in a ‘pit’ that’s far more fiery and painful than anything found in a zombie/walking dead novel. But the one thing that they lacked in their lives was the one thing they were about to run into head-first – imperfection. And, oddly enough, that’s what made their lives more perfect.

I loved the fact that innocents were given a job to do – many jobs in fact – but the angel/warrior team was a partnership that absolutely wanted freedom. They wanted to see what ‘life’ was like and what all the fuss was about down here. But once they came to this ‘new place,’ they ran into a world that contained anger, jealousy, true love, heartbreak, love triangles, suspense, mystery, envy – all that stuff. The twists and turns they had to accept made them confused; they were used to a world where things were exactly as they seemed. The underlying theme, however, as I got further and further into the novel, was the fact that the world they had entered was filled with all of these imperfections – which made it perfect. They had their freedom. They had their faith in each other. And they soon learned that with the bad came a wealth of good; knowledge of true love and friendship, loyalty and adventure – and all of this they would never have experienced unless they’d come to our world.

An oasis – an Eden – that would be magnificent, but it would also be boring. Knowing that every single day is going to be perfect no matter what; that nothing will ever change. You will never leave your job, because it’s perfect, but what if there was something else you were destined to do? You’d never know. You would never have that “What if?” factor anymore; which means running into that handsome stranger, or finding that new best friend would never happen. This would become depressing.

So building my perfect paranormal world soon became a journey where I learned to love the imperfections that I already have. I learned to love the bad days because the good days seemed all that much better. The warrior was at his finest once he learned what it really meant to ‘feel’ for the people he saved or judged to be wrong; not to mention when he learned that he really loved his partner, and not just in the ‘work’ sense.

Emily, the angel, found something she never thought she’d find. She is the one with the argument to stay in that perfection up above, but she knows if she had, her life never would’ve changed. She never would’ve met Jason, nor would she suddenly look at her partner in a whole different light. When the heart comes into play the world can become one of darkness. But, without the heart – as Emily and Matt prove to readers – life is simply not worth it.

War, desperation, pain, poverty – these are the things I would take out of our present-day world in order to ‘polish it.’ But without the unknown, the love, and the things fate has in store for us, then our days would be as boring as math class was in high school.

I love not knowing what’s waiting for me around the next corner. And in my perfect paranormal world, Emily and Matt truly live because of the imperfections they discover.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Friday, June 15, 2012

Amy talks about...the Expectations of a Writing in a Popular Genre

Before this ‘jump’ into YA, I concentrated mainly on historical fiction. I love doing research about famous characters throughout history, as well as events - real and legendary - of fantastical treasures, and the good and ‘evil’ that happened in our past. Tallent & Lowery is my largest project. This is a seven-book series that’s basically along the lines of Indiana Jones meets The DaVinci Code, and it’s a great deal of fun. My mother is a research librarian, so I think I got that ‘gene’ from her, being able to take completely different facts from the past and finding a way to combine them into a mystery for a reader to really sink their teeth into.

YA, as far as the pressure you face, is astronomical. Let’s face it, YA is now the largest and most popular genre in the world. When J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter she didn’t end up with a series of books, she wrote herself into history. Then, with the huge outpouring of love for the ‘fanged ones’ that seemed to begin full-force when Twilight turned into a phenomenon, even attempting to write a unique YA seems almost impossible. There are so many titles out there right now that young adults have actually formed fan clubs for, and the characters have become household names.

I am having fun watching the ‘winged ones’ appear more forcefully and try to unseat the vamps. I took a chance with my series because I truly wanted to do something that went down a different path. It still has adventure, romance, characters that are trying to keep their faith in each other while buried in a world that’s intent on tearing them apart, but I wanted to move away from the ‘fallen’ angel category and begin with some truly innocent souls.

I wanted to know, if there was an angel/warrior team that’d trained and worked for the express purpose of coming here and saving humans, would they even stay? Human emotions are the hardest things in the world to learn and be able to live with. I mean, romance, anger, hate, fear, evil, heartache, true love - these are subjects that are hard enough for a human to deal with on a daily basis, let alone a being that’s never experienced any of them before. I certainly wanted to make Emily and Matt a team that readers would love and want to see more of, and get them involved with a romance that was completely unexpected, but I also wanted to make characters that were new to YA fiction. Hence…the fear.

All passionate readers are extremely loyal to the characters they love, so all I can do is hope and have faith that people will see the mystique of this team when they see themselves in Emily and Matt. We’ve all faced these emotions, so it’s interesting to see how Emily and Matt deal with them.

Expectations I have? I’m hoping not to get too much hate mail because I have a daughter who’s very proud of me…and Book II is completed. :) But I’ll just have to wait and see.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Amy talks about...the male point of view

Nope, I’m not male. But the point I wanted to talk about today is the character I most identify with. I have to tell you, the female characters in YA fiction are great. They range from sweet to tough to sarcastic to ‘kick-butt’ to a tad bit whiny at times, depending on the series, but the males are the ones who seem to have more fun.

The character I most identify with is the warrior side of my angel/warrior team. Emily is a great character and I love her a lot, but she’s like me and most other females. She works hard, tries her best to not be tormented, demands answers to questions that no one seems to be able to provide, and has to be everything to everyone. Matt has a different kind of power, and a whole different perspective on life. He works just as hard when it comes to being judge, jury, defender, protector, etc., but he has to have more mental strength, in a way, because of his physical abilities.

Matt has been trained to master each and every weapon possible, and be able to swing the ‘hits’ that save lives, or end them. The thing is, however, he also has to stay calm, which is a real impossibility when it comes to being ‘down here’ and meeting human emotions head on. When Matt gets ‘wrapped up’ in a world that’s slowing ripping his divine soul mate away from him, he’s drawn into the jealousy, envy, heartache, and anger he was trained to stay away from. His sense of humor and his ability to look at life as if it’s just a ‘job’ and a gift of freedom that he’s been waiting for, changes when he has to take over his ‘assignment,’ learning pretty early on that human ‘nightmares’ really do exist.

Emily, his partner, gets wrapped up, as well. In her case she heads into a romance she clearly doesn’t understand, and begins to reject her ‘job,’ wanting nothing more than to return home while Matt charges forward. It’s as if even when he’s at his lowest point, the one thing that remains true is his loyalty. Whereas Emily sees the wolves, Matt can still see the sheep among them, and I very much like the fact that he’s one of the very few who still can.

Angels are a great subject for me because I love YA fiction that focuses on the ‘winged ones.’ But to be honest, I was not really a YA reader until Rowling came along. Then I fell into Rachel Hawkins’ world of ‘Hex Hall’ and found myself absolutely riveted to YA fiction from then on out.

I remember doing the ‘Hex Hall’ review for the publishing company and beginning with the line: Bravo and Bring on the Movie! A line that I still agree with 100%. Although we’re not talking angels, I love the way her character, Sophie Mercer, can look at life with the same dry, sarcasm that most of us feel. The dialogue and scenes were masterful, and Jenna, Archer, Taylor - all of them - became much loved in my eyes. I would have to say that her YA was really what made me begin writing them. And I truly hope you enjoy the adventure that Matt and Emily bring!

Until Next Time, Everybody,
Amy

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Amy talks about...true characters

One of the ideas that this fantastic site and its host gave to me for today was: What are my favorite characters to write? And when I looked back on everything I’ve been lucky enough to put together so far, I have to say my favorites are the really strong ones. Like my fav, Harry Potter, but minus the wand.

When I researched my first book in New Mexico, The Heart of a Legend, about Billy the Kid and his love for Paulita Maxwell, what really blew me away was Ms. Maxwell. Paulita became a side note in history, but she was a strong woman living in the desert trying her best to put up with her overbearingly masculine family, while dealing with the fact that her sibling may just have set up Billy’s demise because he didn’t want the outlaw to marry his sister. What she left behind was a mystery. There’s a picture of a young man who was said to have been the son of Paulita and Billy. When the legend blended with the evidence, I ‘met’ this woman who was stronger than the rest of the world around her, and kept her loyalty and love until the day she died.

When I began my adventure series (Tallent & Lowery, which is a blend of Indiana Jones and The DaVinci Code) a character entered my life by the name of Leah Tallent. Being the Head of Research at the New York Public Library, her favorite thing is to walk into work between Patience (a gift she wishes she had) and Fortitude (something she has a ton of). She’s hard-headed, big-hearted and has more secrets than even she knows about. Her mind works like a card catalogue; she’s able to sift through facts in seconds and find answers that others didn’t even know about. When she’s in any situation, like buried inside the haunted Winchester Mansion in California, or walking down the streets where Jack the Ripper once roamed, she’s as calm as she could possibly be. Her backbone’s made of steel, and the passion and protection she feels for the people she loves is truly incredible.

But women aren’t the only characters I love to write. With Until Next Time comes a young man who has that same sort of strength. After all, Matt has to defend and protect, being the warrior side of the angel + warrior equation. When he’s in the human realm he feels the same type of emotions we all do, but he must find a way to go through the love, anger, pain and heartache - while still keeping his faith in the partner he was born to walk beside. Emily’s the angel, and when the two of these extremely cool characters come together their strength and loyalty are boundless, and offer the reader a great ride.

So my favorites are definitely the strong characters who have their flaws. When I write characters like these they can be from any genre. Whether historical, adventure, romance, or fantastical, they've ended up being an extremely awesome group to be around. And Im looking forward to adding new “characters” to the team.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Amy talks about...what it would be like to be interviewed by her angels

As we sit here in our favorite library, my partner and I have to look at this lady and wonder why she chose us to write about? My name is Matt, I’m a warrior. Beside me, sits Emily. She’s a little quiet. I think she’s worried about what she’s about to hear…

Amy…why us? Why now?

Well, Matt. As you know, you’ve been stuck in my head for a long time. Remember? When I was 13, I started thinking about you - angels, I mean. You were my guide. You were the one I saw in my dreams when I was struggling. You told me about your training, and even showed me around some of the rooms - including this cool library. When my father passed away a few years ago you came again, and that’s when I realized that the world should know about you both, and how different you are from all the rest.

I know there are a lot of books about angels out there, so what makes us different?

Because you’re not ‘fallen.’ (Emily sighs) You may be tormented right now, Emily, but your story will show you how much you gained from coming out of a perfect world into our imperfect one. When you and Matt were up here you were training for a job. And you, the angel, had your work cut out for you when you were placed down below to make things right. You were both so new and fresh and wanted that taste of freedom that every teenager wants. So, it was a real adventure to be able to see you keep your faith in each other in a world that was attempting to rip you apart.

I like it down there but Emily’s getting a bit “hardened” to the whole idea of coming back. Are we?

Yes, Matt. You and Emily have much farther to go. You’ll have to play the roles of defender, guide, protector - even judge and jury when it comes to you, the warrior. There are a lot of journeys you and the people you met still have to take.

Speaking of that…(Matt sits up in his chair, as a bit of fire appears in his eyes.) I like some of the people we met - Faith and Charles were great! But, why did Jason have to be there?

Well…Emily has a bit of an issue, Matt. She loves you, of course. You’re her soul mate up here; you’re her partner and you were ‘made’ to be a team. But Emily has a soul mate down there, too. And she’s going to have a real tough job in front of her trying to figure out what she’s going to do about that.

Will she choose him…?

I can’t tell you that Matt. That’s up to Emily

(Emily jumps in, trying her best to stop her partner from continuing on this track.) People are talking about the cover a lot - even up here - why am I the one on it?

In this tale, you and Matt both had the scrapes, cuts, and damage from the humans you ran up against. The envy, anger, secrets, lies - everything came at you at once. But your heart, and not your power, was the thing you used in order to get through it. That’s why you’re on the cover, because your innocence was tested. You had to experience life, and in order to have the good, both of you figured out that you had to take the bad.

So you’re going to tell everyone what we’ve done?

I have to. Readers will want to feel the fire from the training pit; see the romance spark; and they’ll want to see the mistakes you make along the way. But they’ll also be routing for you, and will really want to find out how the adventure comes to an end.

You’ve written our next story, right?

Yes. You were kind enough to share your next trip, and I wanted to make sure readers saw what you did in your ‘gilded’ time on earth. It was extremely exciting.

And then?

We’ll have to wait and see. Until Next Time…

Indie Author Giveaway Hop


Congratulations to our winner!
dantalionofthegoetia [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

Monday, June 11, 2012

Amy talks about...from the desk of Matt, the warrior angel

I know that these are usually always told from the female perspective, but Emily owes me one. My name is Matt. I’m the warrior side of this angelic partnership, and I’m the one who desperately wants to come back down there.

Emily told me that our ‘story’ was coming out for all to read. I suppose that’s a good thing, even though I didn’t look all that great the first time around. But after you read it, you’ll understand that I was there to do my job. I had no idea that I would end up getting wrapped up in all that human emotion stuff. I mean, I like being down there, but I had no clue that my best friend would become the girl who would steal my heart and then have the nerve to fall in love with Daniel. Boy, is HE a pain in the wing!

Emily told me that whole thing is over now. She says that she knows I’m her soulmate and the feelings she had for this other one will pass. I hope so. After all, I’m not exactly from a ‘line’ that gives up easily.

In the beginning you’ll read about a location that seems a bit harsh, but we’ve been training and fighting forever in that pit; it’s part of what we do. Besides, when we’re in there it’s not like I can even cause a bruise. Emily is an angel, after all. She’s still quick, and even though she knows that she deserves to take a ‘blow’ once in a while her pride (which she’s not even supposed to have) just won’t let her do it. Her wings always expand when she’s had enough. They’re bright pearl, which is actually nice to look at except when she’s about to win the match and disappear on me.

I’ve trained with Gabe for a long time, and Emily and I have sat beside each other in classes that taught us everything from how to deal with ‘dark’ situations to how to save, defend and protect our ‘assignments.’ I think the thing that really hit us was the love factor. I mean, I have to give you all credit down there; you certainly have huge hearts. Whether they’re used for the infliction of pain, or for the absolute love and passion you have for one another, they certainly are big. Of course…the bigger a heart the more painful the break. And, your imaginations? I give you credit for those too. I swear, humans are the only creatures I’ve ever met who have the power to have such amazingly fantastic dreams and such horrific nightmares all at the same time.

When you read our tale I hope you can see that there was a reason for everything. My name is Matt, hers is Emily, and this the first tale of our very first life. I know a whole lot more now, yet the hardest thing is still trying to keep our faith in each other in a world that’s trying to rip us apart. But no matter what happens…we will.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Matt

Friday, June 8, 2012

Amy talks about...her perfect writing experience

My writing routine is my own brand of unique. I’m very easy to please, actually. All I need is an industrial fan and my dog. No, I know this sounds like a bad reality show prank, but there are actual reasons for both.

Getting the time to write is actually the hardest part. Some days it feels like I need the fedora and whip of Indiana Jones in order to fight the good fight so I can sit in front of a computer for more than two minutes. But when the gods smile and I do succeed, I have to immediately turn on the huge fan that sits in the corner of the office. I lived in a big city for a long time and I’m used to the world’s noise. Although I love the blissful silence of the desert, I still need something repetitive so I can relax and listen to my own head. Some people choose music, I need the fan.

Unfortunately, I also only need that noise. If anything’s speaking – people, the cat, the television, the radio – I can’t write a word. I actually do need to be trapped inside this crazed mind I have to be able to hear all the characters in my head. I know, soon there will be rubber walls on the room around me, but I really do need my brain to concentrate on the story, see the landscape, and step into the world where my characters live and far away from my own.

Needing the dog would seem to be odd, going against the whole ‘quiet’ rule. My dog, however, is a huge rhinoceros of a gentle beast who spends most all his time lying beside me wherever I happen to be sitting. He is the best editor in the world. I can bounce ideas off him and he looks really interested. His eyes get wide, his ears stand up straight (well…one does) and he cocks his head to the side. He’s either liking the path I’m taking with my characters, or he simply believes that every word in the English language means ‘treat.’

He breathes slowly and evenly, blending with the fan perfectly. With the exception of the UPS man stopping by, it’s the perfect relationship. When that brown truck with the horrific brakes pulls up (I swear it’s got to be a rule that all UPS trucks sound like a dolphin is screaming for it’s life between the tires), my dog has a tendency to let out a bellow without giving any pre-warning whatsoever. If I’m typing when that occurs, my heart stops, and whatever I haven’t saved ends up deleted when I fall forward from shock and land on the keyboard. Other than that, my dog is the perfect writing partner and I’m completely lost without him.

So…Fan on, check. Hair blowing like I’m caught in a jet engine, check. Reuben, the canine grizzly, fed, watered, and sleeping soundly just waiting for that one harsh squeak that will allow him his exercise for the day, check. Only then can the writing begin.

Although I do not live at the local Starbucks, my coffee pot is always on and the cup is always full. Except for when UPS arrives and I end up wearing the coffee. I really do hate that. As all of you know, once a keyboard’s sticky there’s just no fixing it.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Amy talks about...crazed minds

My Mom always told me that a crazed mind was an active mind, which meant I would read my books and stay out of trouble. (That worked…sort of).

My mind became more crazed as I aged, and everything went from carefree to a 24/7 experience. I’m doing what I love, but life is making my once pretty auburn hair resemble Einstein’s. I was really lucky as a kid because I had fantastic parents and my mom, being a career librarian, made every book in the world available to me, making me a reading fanatic. I also began to write when I was 13 - just a whole bunch of stories because my imagination was always going crazy.

Right now I have a nineteen-year-old daughter who is about ready to swim with sharks. Nope. Not kidding. She wants to be a marine biologist and is ready to dive into that ocean. All I can do is sit by and listen to the Jaws theme play in my head.

Dad passed suddenly and my Mom is now living with us. We come from back East, but when I was younger I took off to meet people who I hoped would someday become characters in my books. I loved traveling the highways and listening to all the stories out there, but when it was time for Shelby’s schooling we settled in Dallas, Texas. I loved the Lone Star State, but for high school (and research on a book) we ended up in New Mexico.

As time moves forward it presses down on my Mom, who has osteoporosis and can barely walk without pain. Shelby helps but it’s her ‘time in the sun,’ so to speak, and I want to make sure that she’s able to ‘take flight’ and live her dream now that it’s arrived.

Until a little over a year ago, I was working full-time at one of those jobs you really can’t stand. (You know the ones, where watching a car rust is more exciting?) But gradually, more magazines, sites, clients, etc. began hiring me to write articles, reviews, commentary…and I started up a company called The Write Companion. With my earlier background in publishing, I was beginning to get a bit upset that debut authors were not being looked at. There were some great plots and memorable characters out there, but the polishing and marketing became an impossible expense for writers. I understand. I know about ‘bill worrying’ and the fact that there will never be a J.K. Rowling income in my life (although, you guys could help me with that. LOL.) I was lucky when The Write Companion became bigger and made a name for itself, and the fun I get to have meeting new authors, polishing their novels, and then working to see them go on to publish is just a thrill I can’t explain.

There are a great many times when I feel like I have a stack of fine china in each hand while I’m taking care of Mom, making sure Shelby’s following the path she wants, working to make sure manuscripts are finished in time and the authors are happy, reviews are done and then - for the last two seconds before the next wave begins - trying to throw a word or two on the computer to write a book. Some days I feel like the dog has raced under my foot and the china has now smashed all over the floor, but the desire and passion I have for what I do seems to keep the dishes safe - precarious, but safe.

I have always believed in angels. No matter what religion you are, where you live, what you have faith in - it doesn’t matter. Angels are those protectors that stand behind you when you need support, beside you when you need someone to talk to, and in front of you to defend and protect. My angel has been doing that job for a long time, and I can’t tell you how much this crazed mind thanks him for that! By the way? You have one, too!

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Amy talks about...can angels take down bullies?

I was thirteen, I was overweight, and I became a target for a bully who liked to do things like ‘moo’ when I walked down the hallway. His bullying seems like ‘old school’ now but his goal was the same - he wanted to make me cry. He never got the satisfaction because I waited to cry until I got home; there was no way I was going to give him more fodder. I began to write books then. I loved to escape into a world where I was the one who kicked butt and people like him were the demons who fell.

Decades have gone by and I’m no longer bullied. I found out years ago that this man went home, shot his wife, and then shot himself. A really bitter person would say, “he got what he deserved.” Unfortunately, he took someone else’s life in the process.

I talk about this for a reason. I recently read a book where one of the main subjects was a group of bullies. They practiced ‘crowding’ - a process where a group targets a specific child and they work together to harass them. They surround the child while they walk down the hall in order to threaten and promote their superiority.

Cyberbullying has also been going on for a while now; even second graders have reported being victims. And this is no joke - this is a crime. We run on technology, and most people are truly happy that the internet/cell phone world exists. But with every so-called fantastic invention, bad comes along with the good. There are people out there who truly have nothing better to do with their time then send or post text intended to hurt another. They use threats, hate lingo, ridicule, images - anything aimed at utterly humiliating a fellow human. The worst part is, some of their victims are taking their own lives.

Humanity was founded on some seriously horrific emotions. With all the good, like faith, hope, love and friendship comes fear, envy, hatred and anger. We’re a far more confusing species than any vampire, werewolf, zombie, or witch that fiction provides.

In a 1997 movie titled, Contact, (based on the novel by Carl Sagan), there was a perfect line that described the human race: You’re capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares. That is us. For a species that has the power to do so much good, it’s pitiful when we choose to destroy. But what the persecutors don’t seem to understand is that, what goes around does come back around.

I began my angel series based on a question that I had looming in the back of my mind. If there were ‘new’ angels that’d been trained to help us, would they even want to? Would a team specifically created to play judge and jury, offer forgiveness, defend and protect, be able to handle human emotions? I hope my angel/warrior team can show the world that it’s okay to become frustrated. The angels learn lessons. They fight, love, cry and figure out a way to keep their faith in a world that they don’t understand. And I hope we can, too. It is time to bring back our self-respect.

There are angels out there. They even outnumber the cruel; it just doesn’t seem like it because the ‘good’ don’t make interesting enough headlines. But, trust me, they’re here!

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Amy talks about...angel warrior training

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

Monday, June 4, 2012

Amy talks about...faith in literature

No, I’m not going into a debate over religion. The basic plot of The Angel Chronicles is not religion, it is a story of absolute, unwavering faith. Whether that be faith in life, faith in the one you love, or simply having faith in the fact that you’re doing the right thing, it doesn’t really matter. Every reader will find something different to have faith in when Emily and Matt enter their world.

The angel and warrior team are based on every teen. They’re based on how I felt living in a small town where the snow fell and…well, that’s pretty much it. Great family, but I was thirteen, bored out of my mind and wondering if that dreaded adulthood would be any different? My mom is a career librarian and made me a true book lover. Besides my daughter, they re the one thing I never want to be without. When I was younger I could walk with Judy Blume and begin to see what romance was really all about; and then later in life I could soar on Harry Potter’s broomstick. I can always catch up with Elizabeth Bennet and see her fall head-over-heels for Mr. Darcy, and I can be scared out of my mind as the clipped hedges come get me in front of Mr. King’s famous, Overlook Hotel. I have faith in books. I have faith that the author is going to take me on a journey that I’ll never forget and, more often than not, they do.

It was a great day for me when the “winged ones” began to appear in YA literature. The “fanged ones” had been at the top of the podium for so long that many readers believed that the vamps had taken over for the rest of time. But slowly those angels fell and created a new adventure for all of us to get into.

Matt and Emily were a spark, an idea that came when I was very young and I wondered if those ‘beings’ would actually lose their faith if they came down here. I mean, you only have to call up MSN once a day to see the hideous news we have going on. Would an angel be able to do their job while running face-first into the world of human emotions? Then I began to really ‘see’ what would occur. As I aged, I began to see the love triangle, and I wanted to find that unique button that didn’t involve the torment of the ‘fallen’ who were up against the ultimate bad guy; I wanted them to be up against the ones they were defending. I wanted that romantic factor to be one that no reader could guess. Would the girl choose the human or the angel? What happens if both were her soulmate - just in different locations? When real life comes into play, things change. The good can suddenly want something with so much passion and fierceness that they stop playing by the rules and become that warrior hero that everyone wants to know. And vice versa. The warrior who thinks with their head can sometimes fall so deeply in love that all reason goes out the window and they let their heart lead them on.

Matt and Emily have a job to do - many, in fact. But when they get to that magic age where they can leave home for the first time and venture into the world, freedom comes with a very high price - humanity. So watching these two fight to keep their faith in each other in a world that’s tearing them apart is extremely exciting.

As the editing has now come to a close on Book II of The Angel Chronicles, I can only say that it’s been a thrilling ride for me. The characters are charming and a great deal of fun, the humor sparks the imagination and, above all, Emily and Matt are still providing me with that one very important thing…faith. I hope they provide that to you, as well.

Until Next Time, Everybody.
Amy