Heaven Sent: Atonement
Updated: Jan 23
Today I am talking to J.L. Rothstein, author of Heaven Sent: Atonement
Supernatural fans will love to read this book! Heaven and Hell, light and dark, angels and demons, do I need to say any more? The O’Mara siblings are a group of nine guardians on earth who are sent to protect their charges (humans who find themselves in danger) when odd things start to happen. An uprising of anger, aggression and destruction has taken over and they need to work together to uncover what is causing it. A mystery unfolds, bringing their past with it. Atonement was a captivating read that had me turning the pages even when I was too tired to continue. I highly recommend it.
Before we begin, let’s read the synopsis for Atonement:
To Hell, this world is fractured and faithless, perfectly ripe for the picking. Sent by Heaven, Guardians defend against a malevolent onslaught of demonic intrusion. For hundreds of years the nine siblings of the O’Mara family have been engaged in this merciless battle, fighting to protect the souls of all humanity. Heaven and Hell have been waging this infernal war bound only by the rules of a contentious accord. On the anniversary of her husband Gabriel’s disappearance, Genevieve O’Mara’s lingering sorrow manifests into a murderous rage unfurled upon a demon. Vengeance is coming, not just for Genevieve, but for all those she loves.
J.C. - I met J.L. Rothstein when she interviewed me for her “3 questions with,” YouTube series. Jennifer, I am so excited to be interviewing you now. Before we start, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
J.L. - I am a fantasy fiction author. I was born and raised in Boston MA in a small one square mile section of the city. I am currently working on book three of my trilogy series Heaven Sent. The themes of the book were inspired by my Irish Catholic upbringing. The series has three amazing, beautiful, strong female leads which were inspired by my adult nieces.
J.C. - I absolutely loved Atonement. What made you come up with the idea?
J.L. - I dreamt of the character Gabriel. He was in trouble, there were sounds of war in the background and he kept telling me that I had to tell his story. It was one of those scenarios that makes no sense, but no matter how many times I tried blowing it off, the dream persisted. I think it was my subconscious mind telling me that I should write; that I should set my self-doubts aside and tell that story. Flash forward ten years later and I am on book three of the trilogy. It’s pretty crazy when I think about it.
J.C. - The story revolves around a family of nine siblings who are guardians sent from heaven to protect their charges (humans in need). They have supernatural abilities but each one of them has their own special talent. If you had an ability, what would you want it to be?
J.L. - I really like Deb’s ability to project her shield. All of them can shield themselves and a smaller immediate area, but Deb can project it onto someone else and I thought that was pretty cool. It’s been fun seeing her powers expand a little more in book two as well.
J.C. - The O’Mara clan is made up of three sisters and six brothers. I identified with Kelly because she is a spitfire and loves to eat! Are you like any of the sisters?
J.L. - The siblings are named after my nine nieces and nephews. The real life Kelly is also a spitfire who loves to eat. I think there are probably more of their personalities in the characters than mine, but as an author I think things about yourself do seep through whether you mean for them to or not. I think Deb’s loyalty to family, Gen’s desire to keep the peace amongst the siblings, and Kelly’s protective impulse are things most people can relate to.
J.C. - Do you have a large family and were any of the characters inspired by anyone in your own life?
J.L. - I do have a large family & extended family as well. As I mentioned the siblings are named after my nine nieces & nephews, but I am particularly close to my three nieces. Watching them grow up to become the incredible young women they are today has been an absolute joy to me. They were the inspiration for the strong female leads in the series.
J.C. - I say in my review that Supernatural fans will love this book. Are you a fan of the TV show Supernatural? If so, are you team Sam or team Dean?
J.L. - I love that show! I liked the themes they covered and the fact they were brothers. I am on team Dean, but I know my nieces are split on that.
I also enjoyed the movie Constantine, which tacked the subject of Heaven & Hell but with a narrower view of the supernatural universe.
I enjoyed Buffy & Angel. I loved how well they portrayed a strong female in Buffy and in recent years I enjoyed watching Jessica Jones. Her character is very damaged (not a fan of that part) but I do like how she’s tough and kicks bad guys butts. There aren’t enough of these women represented on tv, but it’s getting better.
J.C. - Who has been your biggest support system while on this writing adventure?
J.L. - My husband has partnered with me on this endeavor. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his help and encouragement. My sister and my nieces have been wonderful listeners and supporters as well. I am so grateful for my family and close friends. They have been amazing. The social media indie author community has been an incredible positive surprise. I cannot thank them enough, yourself included!!
J.C. - Finish the sentence. In ten years I’d like to…
J.L. - Oh no…this is such a tough question. It’s just like the “where do you see yourself in five years?” question during job interviews. I am trying really hard to not look too far into the future and enjoy the now. I’m a bit older than the average indie author just starting out and I have been focusing on the present as much as possible. I am very grateful for all that has happened in the last few years. It hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have learned so much and have met so many brilliant and talented people. Wherever this path takes me will be an adventure worth taking.
J.C. - The story is most definitely not over! Book two, Hellbound, is out now. What can you tell us about it?
J.L. - Deb is the focus of book two. We get to see her step outside her comfort zone and take her own heroine’s journey. She begins to question the very mission of the O’Mara family and what the role of a Guardian should be in this supernatural war. We’re going to see the siblings tested in ways they haven’t been before.
J.C. - Lastly, where can readers find you and your work?
If any of your readers are located in Massachusetts, they can also find my books at local Indie bookstores; All She Wrote Books & Tatnuck Booksellers.
J.C. - Like me, you have Multiple Sclerosis. How has the disease affected your writing?
J.L. - I celebrated the twenty year anniversary of my MS diagnosis this month. I spent the day with my sister Grace, which is who was with me the day I was diagnosed. We spent the day shopping, wine tasting, and relaxing at her cottage in New Hampshire. It was a truly special day. I tell newly diagnosed people with MS, you aren’t dying, but the life you knew before is over. What you decide to do with that reality is very much up to you.
Like most people with a chronic illness, I have good and bad days. I suffer from numbness, neuropathy, and pain. Most days it’s manageable, but there are bad days. I do what I can to stick to a schedule and to not beat myself up if I cannot accomplish my writing goals. I do what I can, when I can, that’s sort of how I live my life. I am not defined by my MS, it’s just something I have. When you get to a certain age in life you realize that everyone has “something”. Whether it’s a sick child, caring for an aging parent, dealing with health issues, or challenges with their career. I came to a point where I realized my MS is just my “something”. I work at staying positive and being present when possible. That is the best gift I can give myself and I would recommend it to all.
In truth I met J.L. Rothstein on Instagram but we spoke face to face when she interviewed me for her “3 questions with,” YouTube series. We chatted for over an hour and I EASILY could have talked to her for hours on end! If you have some down time, hop over to Youtube and subscribe to Jen's channel. You can even watch 3 questions with ME!