Thursday, April 2, 2015

Character Interview: Marie, Guardian Angel in Scott J. Abel's SUNRISE

1. Where are you from? Did you have a happy childhood?
I’m a guardian angel, a celestial being, so I didn’t have a childhood. Except for a few minor bumps here and there my existence has been relatively happy.
2. Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing?
As a celestial being, I reside in Paradise, though I do frequent Creation – probably more than I should. I have a tendency of getting into trouble (smiles sheepishly).
I've only been a guardian angel for about five hundred years. I was originally a messenger for Gabriel, but was promoted to the Protectorate in 1512. Basically, I'm assigned a human to whom I'm charged with protecting his or her soul. We call these humans our "charges." I'm on my eleventh charge right now. We have two standing rules: stay in the background and never harm your charge.
I can’t imagine doing anything else. But…being a pastry chef looks kinda fun. I know humans have a sweet tooth, so I think I’d like to dabble in some chocolate just to see what it’s like.
3. What's going on in your life right now?
I’m busy looking after my current charge, Parker. It’s a full-time job.
4. Is there someone special in your life?
(blushes slightly). Um … yeah. It’s Parker. I just adore him. He's a senior in high school and is quarterback of the football team. He's got dark brown hair, broad chest and shoulders that are to die for, and the most gorgeous blue eyes you've ever seen. I mean, they're just a pair of hypnotic sapphires. And whenever I stare into them, I just melt…
5. How did you meet? What's his/her family like?
(snaps out of dreamy trance, clears throat) We met because I’m his guardian.
His family is nice. Good parents, they work hard. His little sister was born with cerebral palsy, and he's fiercely protective of her. Parker can be a little bit of a hot head, but I kinda like that.
6. What's keeping you two apart?
Since he’s my charge, I’ve been with him every day for the past eighteen years – though we’ve never actually met. It’s kind of taboo for angels to reveal themselves to their charges. Too much can go wrong.
Still … I often wonder what it would be like to appear human and reveal myself to him. Would he like the way I look? Would he like the sound of my voice? Would he
7. What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out?
Wow. Good question. I don’t know. It’s forbidden for us to become involved with humans. Still…gazes off into the distance for a moment) I can’t help but think that I feel this way about him for a reason. And if there’s a reason, then there’s a chance it could work. Right?
8. Any last comments?
Sure. I just want to set the record straight about angels. I mean, we’re not robots. We have thoughts, feelings, and personalities just like humans. Sometimes that helps us relate well with our charges. But, sometimes…well, let's just say that things can get kinda complicated.
About the Author:
Scott works in state government and is the author of several short stories and the young adult paranormal romance novel, Sunrise. He is also a public speaker and often presents to organizations, non-profits, and churches on leadership, communication, teamwork, and motivational messages.
Scott has a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Texas Wesleyan University, but is a rabid, life-long fan of the TCU Horned Frogs. He lives in the suburbs of Austin with his wife and two precocious daughters - who enthusiastically assist him in his search for the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter. 
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Book Blurb:
When the shadows come and your world goes dark, can you hang on until sunrise...or will you give in to the darkness?
Eighteen-year old Parker, big brother, and high school quarterback, dreams of glory on the football field. But on the night of the shooting, his entire world shatters. In a chilling span of sixty seconds, a mass tragedy wreaks havoc upon his life, family, and community.
Although hailed a hero, Parker is horror-struck to discover an incident from his past was the motive for the killings and that he was the intended target. When someone threatens to get the one that got away, Parker finds himself hunted. Help comes from an unexpected source--an angel named Marie.
A spunky, impulsive guardian, Marie is dedicated to saving Parker at all costs. When confronted by a sinister nemesis who covets Parker's soul, a desperate struggle is waged over Parker's fate. With time running out, Marie must face her growing, but secret affections for Parker that she can no longer ignore. Affections that will force her to make the ultimate decision: sacrifice herself and all that she believes, or lose Parker to the darkness forever. 

Marie continued to watch him, still unable to speak. His fiendish yellow eyes and the pale ghastliness of his skin stood out even in the dimly lit balcony.
He turned his head toward her, grinned, and whispered, “Forzieri.”
Marie blinked and tried to concentrate. What had he said? Forza what?
“The jacket. It’s Forzieri. Only the finest in leather fashions. I find their product line quite superior to Armani.” He held out his arm to her. “Go ahead, feel it. You’ll notice the quality.”
The bogeyman was here, speaking to her in person for the first time, and he wanted to talk about fashion? She held his cocky gaze, but found it difficult to find words. She hadn’t been expecting to be confronted like this, not by him. And certainly not about fashion.
After a long, awkward silence, he smiled, put out a thin, sinewy hand. “My apologies, that was awfully forward of me. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m—”
“I know who you are,” she quietly interrupted him and studied his white, translucent face. His hollow, yellow eyes seemed to glow in the darkened sanctuary, making him look even more otherworldly.
“You’re Seth,” she whispered. “Disciple of the fallen angels who took the names ‘Sin’ and ‘Death.’ Any guardian who doesn’t know who you are would be sent to the mailroom.”
“I’m flattered.” He withdrew his hand. His yellow eyes sized her up. “Nice suede. Ralph Lauren?”
Marie ran her fingers along the inside seam of her jacket.
He nodded in approval. “It’s nice. Trendy and hip, yet not too chic.” He surveyed her again with a cool air bordering on arrogance.
“I thought I knew most of the old guard. What’s your name?”
“Marie,” she replied softly. “My name is Marie.”
His eyes locked onto hers.
Marie sensed him probing for something, a weakness most likely. Conversation might break his concentration. “So what are you doing here?” she asked, careful to keep her voice down.
Seth shrugged. “Why not? I’ve had a very busy day so far, and this place looks as good as any to relax.” He looked around the sanctuary in a disinterested fashion. “Besides, you know there’s no place that’s off-limits to us. We go where we please.”
Marie’s mind raced. What was Seth up to? 

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