The Laurel Defense Series
ABOUT THE LAUREL DEFENSE SERIES
In the state of Maryland, halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., there is a large town named Laurel that spans three counties and is home to a supernatural police force better known as the Laurel Defense. The Defense, as it’s known within the supernatural community, protects the whole Mid-Atlantic region of the United States from paranormal threats. It is a branch of the American Defense, and was established in 1955 in response to an accidental breach in a physics laboratory and subsequent aperture of several portals to Hell in and around the area of the City of Laurel. After the Supernatural War of the Second Millennium, during which the Laurel Defense lost many from its ranks, emphasis was placed on recruitment of the most powerful within the remaining supernatural population.
Book 1: I Am Lightning
Abby Parker, a lightning sprite, joins the Laurel Defense thanks to her cousin Mark. It is a bid for freedom from the strict rules concerning mating and marriage within her village in Mount Airy. As one of only and handful of lightning sprites, the strongest of her species, her marriage has been arranged to none other than Mark himself – a strong earth sprite in his own right. Neither of them wants to be attached to the other this way. Mark helped Abby move away from her family in Mount Airy and join the Defense. Now she’s free to pursue the life she chooses.
Robert Ackermann is also a new addition to the Laurel Defense. As far as Abby can detect, he is a vampire, the very first one on the force. Something about him attracts her. Perhaps is the secret of what he used to be before he was turned into a vampire. Perhaps is the way he can manipulate her energy. When Mark disappears, Abby depends on Robert more than ever and finally uncovers his secret.
Book 2: I Am Magic
Tandy Robson, a witch part of the Laurel Defense is paired with a brand new partner, the fire demon Brenton. Large in size and temperamental, he can be intimidating but is otherwise the only person Tandy would ever trust. When her own life is turned upside down, Brenton is the only one willing and able to lend a helping hand. Brenton is Tandy’s only friend, the only one who can make her magic blossom, and the only one who could ever hurt her.
Falling in love with a demon is not easy, especially given Tandy’s battered heart, but she’s willing to break the rules for Brenton just as he has broken the rules for her. Neither of them can see that the biggest betrayal is just around the corner from the most unexpected source.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Where are you from?
I often answer this question with another question: do you want the short or long answer? The long answer is that I’m originally from Puerto Rico. When I was fourteen, my family moved to New Jersey. When I was twenty-two we all moved again, this time to Maryland. A couple of years later I married my darling husband. Then my family kept on moving but I stayed in Maryland with him. Of the thirteen years that I lived in Maryland, I spent twelve living in Laurel. This year we all decided to move down to Florida and join the rest of my family and I don’t have any plans on leaving it. It’s nice down here!
What were you like at school?
For the most part I was quiet and I liked to pay attention. I don’t think I ever fell asleep in class, come to think of it! I’ve never like working in groups, though. My best work was always done alone. I had a small group of very close friends, most of whom are still my friends now.
Were you good at English?
My English teacher in ninth grade, the last year that I was in Puerto Rico, would always say to me that if I wasn’t lazy and did my work I would be great. My English has always been very good, even while I was living in a Spanish-speaking country. But, actually, I have to thank my country of birth for making English a requisite to learn. Everyone in Puerto Rico is expected to be bilingual in English and Spanish, and I happen to be “kinda” language-intelligent.
Why do you write?
When I was growing up, I was introduced to (what I now know to be) fanfiction. It was great to be able to put into words all those imaginings about a favorite person, book, or movie. When I was fourteen I wrote my first work of fanfiction, unbeknownst to me, but at that time there was no such thing as the internet. Then I dabbled in poetry, particularly during those tough late teens – what with living in a new country and all. In every case I poured all my emotions into my writing to either tell the story that was inside my head, or just to vent. Nowadays my “muse” plants little seeds and I find myself writing things out simply to see where that crazy lady wants to go.
Do you ever get writer’s block and how do you get past it?
I get writer’s block all the time, particularly when my “muse” starts to misbehave. That usually happens during times of great stress in my life. The last time I had a really terrible block was when I was pregnant with my youngest. Everything turned out perfectly, but it was a difficult pregnancy. Whenever I have the day-to-day burnout of ideas and nothing is quite flowing correctly, I take my characters and make them do silly things, like play Monopoly, eat Chinese food, just do ordinary, everyday things and imagine what their reactions would be given their individual temperaments. It gives me insight into what I want my characters to do and how they behave, and usually it also gives me a starting point to continue the story.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
For the most part I work without an outline. The few times I’ve tried to outline a story, I’ve ended up with something completely different. Usually, I blame my muse when something like that happens. She likes to take my characters out to play and do her own bidding instead of mine. Invariably, I go along with it because her ideas are better than mine.
Do you see writing as a career?
Actually, I have a career that has nothing to do with writing. I work in Human Resources and writing is my hobby. Writing keeps me sane when I’m tired of being the “evil lady in HR.”
What is your favorite quote?
There are two favorite quotes that mean more or less the same to me:
From Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116: “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds/Or bends with the remover to remove/O no! It is an ever fixed mark…
And from “Doctor Love” Leo Buscaglia: “Love is not fickle; the human heart is.”
Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
This question is funny to me because my husband used to work in law enforcement. Have I ever been in trouble with my husband? Heck yeah! But not as often as he is trouble with me!