By: Jennifer Laurens
Published By: Grove Creek Publishing
Book Summary: I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister’s guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoë’s sister darts in front of cars. Her brother’s a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don’t see Zoë lost in her broken life. Zoë escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoë’s autistic sister. After Zoë is convinced he’s legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can’t last forever.
Penitence Heavenly #2
By Jennifer Laurens
Published by Grove Creek Publishing
Book Summary from Goodreads: Seeing good and evil spirits is a gift Zoe guards with her life. Despite her guardian angel’s disappearance, Zoe forces herself to accept that she still has a purpose—but how does she carry the weight of her brother’s drug abuse, the hardship of living with an autistic sister, and a best friend who’s obsessed with a guy who only wants Zoe? She’s never felt more alone.
When a mysterious spirit appears, Zoe thinks she has a new guardian angel. Instead, her brother’s addiction worsens, her parents are on the brink of separation, and her best friend tries to kill her. The spirit she thinks is her new guardian isn’t there to protect her: he’s out to destroy her family and seize Zoe’s soul. . . for Hell.
Will Matthias’ return mean that he is Zoe’s guardian angel again? Or is their love the reason the jaws of Hell now gape open?
By: Jennifer Laurens
Published By: Grove Creek Publishing
Book Summary from Goodreads: Zoe’s secret is out. And the powers of Hell are ravenous to claim her soul. Her brother, Luke, knows her secret: that she sees both good and evil spirits. Her boyfriend knows. At least Matthias is her guardian angel again. But now Hell’s most ruthless leader will stop at nothing to have her soul. Albert, Matthias’ father, is relentless in his hunger for Zoe. He wants to destroy Matthias and will use Zoe to do so. The battle between Heaven and Hell tests everything Zoe has. As she witnesses everyone important in her life suffering, she’s brought to the ultimate choice: will she sacrifice her soul to save the ones she loves?
As a mother of autism spectrum children and a former substance abuse counselor aide, I picked up Jennifer’s book Heavenly a couple of months ago. I was impressed by the realistic picture it painted. She addresses teenage drug addiction, driving under the influence and the affect autism and friends can have on a High Schooler’s life. Jennifer’s teen voice is authentic. I loved guardian angel Matthias’ calming influence on the family and the hope he adds of life after death. Here’s our exclusive interview with Jennifer Laurens about the series:
Tell us a little bit about how the Heavenly Series was born. I’ve always believed in life after death, but the topic became more important to me when my 5th child was diagnosed with autism. I was left with too many unanswerable questions. As the years passed, I went through the grieving process, believing I’d “lost” a child. She’d never have friends, never love, marry and have a family of her own. The thought came to me that, maybe she’d find someone in the next life. Surely, if God loved her like he loves everyone else, he wouldn’t deny her? That was the nutshell idea that became Heavenly: that two people from totally different time periods could meet in Heaven and fall in love.
Is main hero Matthias based on a real person in history? No.
What do you imagine him looking like? See photo linked here
How do you think Zoe’s sister’s autism affects Zoe and her family? Since Heavenly is heavily based on my family, I know first hand how autism can take its toll on a family. Nothing is easy ever again. Even going on a walk has to be done in shifts. A child with autism’s behavior is so unpredictable, you never know what ( sounds, smells, sights ) will set them off into a tantrum, or some other kind of socially unacceptable act. My son, ( who Luke is patterned after ) dealt with her ( and other family issues ) by associating with kids who used drugs and using them himself. My daughter turned to partying and drinking. A handicap like autism with it’s erratic behaviors can create havoc.
What advice would you give to teenagers facing similar trials and addictions? Personally, I believe that if you value who you are deep down, you don’t have to seek out self-defeating behaviors. In that vein, teens need to develop their gifts and talents, share them with others ( helping others always broadens perspective – something many teens need, characteristically living for themselves and for the moment as teenagers ) and having faith in a higher power. Being supportive of parents trying to do their best is vital to harmony in the family.
What other books have you written? Falling for Romeo, Magic Hands, Nailed, A Season of Eden, An Open Vein, Heavenly, Penitence, Absolution and Overprotected. And a series of women’s romance novels. Any in the works? Yes, another YA paranormal due out next year.
Do you have a playlist for the series? Yes, they can all be found at the book site: www.heavenlythebook.com/
What message do you hope readers take away from your books? Hope when life is difficult. Love and miracles can overcome the most difficult of obstacles.
Top three must reads… ohhh tough question. Reading is subjective. Can’t answer that one.
From her site “Jennifer started writing when she was in her youth, choosing to hole up in her bedroom creating stories rather than going out to play with friends. She attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she took classes in English and Theater Arts. Later, life took her back to her home in Palos Verdes, California where she worked in the entertainment business before meeting her husband and marrying. They have been married for 24 years. Jennifer is the mother of six children, ages 11- 23, one of whom has autism. She fell back into writing after lengthy jaunts into the fascinating hobbies of ceramics, porcelain dolls, tole painting and muffin making. Her perfect day is spent writing from 9 until 5 while her family is at school and at work. She considers herself blessed that most every day is perfect. “
She has kindly offered up one copy of one of her books for BIR2010. The winner may choose one of Heavenly, Penitence or Absolution and shipping on this giveaway is International. Simply fill out this form to enter. Ends December 15, 2010. Winners will be announced December 20, 2010.