Girls*Heart* Books: Tammy's Two Cents with Jennifer Laurens, author of Heavenly

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tammy's Two Cents with Jennifer Laurens, author of Heavenly

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. Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe 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.

This book was way more than I expected; by the end I was standing up in the middle of my bed screaming “NO”! It’s not a bad thing, mind you but, Jennifer did leave us in a cliff hanger. Thankfully book 2 (Penitence) and book 3 (Absolution) are already out for our viewing pleasure!
As a mom to an Autistic child myself I LOVE it when I find a book that presents the condition accurately and not as a negative, as the author has done here. Our heroin Zoe has to deal with so much in her young life it will break your heart; her parents rapid decline in the aftermath of her sister Abria’s condition and having to cope with it; her brothers drug abuse as he attempts to cope as well and her drinking.. again a coping mechanism. There is so much contained in this 200 something pages and each issue gets equal attention from our author.
Matthias is Abria’s guardian angel, he swoops in to save the day when Abria gets into sticky situations, not that she’s unsupervised mind you, this precious little child just will not be contained! Zoe is leary of him at first but as the book moves forward so does their relationship. As the story unfolds your right there in the passenger’s seat with Zoe as she makes her mistakes and learns from them, becomes a young women and brings her family closer together in the process. By the end you see just how much she loves Abria and you will shed a tear!
This is a beautifully, touching, uplifting story about family, first love, making mistakes and getting second chances.

My Rating: 

Now on to the good part! Jennifer Laurens was kind enough to answer some questions for us; she has also graciously offered up some free goodies. Contest details to follow, here is my interview with Mrs. Jennifer Laurens….
*Tell us a bit about yourself. As a mother of 6 I always had something fun going on the side to enjoy outside of raising my family: wood crafts, a baking business, ceramics, doll making and dollhouses to name a few. I've been in show business and I had anorexia when I was a teenager. I come from a long line of vain, beautiful women in my family - the pressure is extensive. And I've been joyfully married for 28 years.

*Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Southern California and raised in the oasis of Palos Verdes - a place I've written about in A Season of Eden and An Open Vein.

*What was your inspiration for Heavenly?
My family. Our 5th child has autism, and our family challenges have been huge dealing with it.

*Was there a particular person that was the inspiration for Zoe?
Yes, Zoe is a combination of my two oldest daughters.

For those that aren't familiar with your book; how would you describe it to them? Heavenly is the story of a girl struggling to juggle her emotions, her life, her discontent, her guilt -- and she falls in love with her autistic sister's guardian angel.

*What are some of the struggles you've experienced while getting your books out to the masses?
I've had two NYC literary agents, both incredibly capable, great people. When they both couldn't sell the project at the time ( Magic Hands ) I decided to take my career into my own hands and learned the publishing industry from A to Z. It's been an educational and rewarding, yet frustrating process. Distribution is the biggest problem. The old NYC publishing model is failing, and more opportunities are opening up -- thankfully. It's great to be a part of it.

*What are some of the Pro's and Con's to being an Indie Author?
Distribution is the con. I love being in control of every process from writing to putting the actual book together - that's the pro!! I don't have to worry about something happening to my work I don't approve of. Another pro is I can write whatever I want. No one's telling me to change this or make my hero a fallen angel because that would make him more marketable. In my head, he either is or he isn't - but he's true to my muse whatever he is. He's not some editor's idea of what he should be.

*Whom in your life would you say has influenced you the most?
I believe in being Christ-like to everyone I come in contact with.

*What has been the most interesting comment (or review) about your books?
I don't read reviews. Art is subjective and what appeals to one repulses another. I write for myself first, and hope others will have joy reading the final product. People will email me and say, "Heavenly was life changing! It felt so real!" Those comments mean the most because the story IS real, based on my family. Nothing makes me happier than when someone's soul has been touched by Heavenly.

*Tell us your latest news. I'm putting together my next release due out the end of this year.
Shooting the cover this month, the trailer next month. Russia's versions of Heavenly will be out in autumn - all three books in 3 months.

*What book are YOU currently reading?
I just finished The Lonely Doll, the Search for Dare Wright. A fascinating biography about a women who wrote children's books about a lonely doll ( a series a adored in my youth )

*Who is your favorite Author?
I have many. Josephine Hart is my current love. Her book DAMAGE is amazing.

*Do you have any current projects in the works you'd like to share with us?
I just started a dystopian. I've had so many readers ask me to write one. I wasn't sure my brain could go there in conjuring something up but it has and so I've started one. It'll be a new and interesting journey for me.

To enter the giveaway see the rafflecopter form here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everybody, contest ends on April 22nd!


  1. Watching son with PDD get his kindergarten pics

  2. I have worked with adults and children with Autism and they are very special and yet challenging at the same time. I think I would LOVE to read this story!! Thank you for sharing your opinion on Heavenly and the author interview and the awesome giveaway!!

  3. I won an amazing giveaway :D And my marks at school are great ;)

  4. My PDD-NOS daughter walking around in her new Sleeping Beauty dress up dress having a ball!

  5. Seeing new flowers blooming made me smile!

  6. I started and finished this amazing book called Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (heard of it? im sure you have).
    Thanks for the giveaway!!!
    Alyssa Susanna

  7. Hanging out with my daughter and her friends! BTW:I am going to college for my teacher certification in SPED(I student teach in the Fall) and I have two kids with emotional/behavior disorders,so seeing ya'll post about ya'll special need kids making you smile,makes me smile!

  8. Hearing my grandson say his first word made me incredibly happy!!

  9. Watching New Girl! Love that show!

    Thanks Tammy! You're amazing as always

  10. It does my heart good to see the love for our special needs kids and adults in the comments above!


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