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Writing Corner: Heaven Sent

Updated: Oct 17, 2020

One might be surprised to learn that Angels are fearsome creatures to behold. In fact, Daniel in the Bible recounts his meeting with an angel, describing a man with a face like lightning and eyes that were similar to burning torches (Daniel 10:5-6). Angels also have a pecking order and rest assured, they are all Heaven Sent. Meet this week's Writing Corner Wednesday author, J.L. Rothstein of Twitter and Instagram.

Photo of Author J.L. Rothstein

Born in Boston, Massachusetts J.L. Rothstein currently resides in

Charlestown, MA. If the name sounds familiar, then you have probably seen "The Town" starring Ben Affleck.

However, this author told us she chooses "to remember other famous things about the town. There is plenty of revolutionary war history in Charlestown including the Battle of Bunker Hill. The resolve of the soldiers who fought there prompted then General George Washington to famously say “Virginia stands with Massachusetts” prompting a coalition to begin to form around fighting the British. The one square mile town was also famous for producing ice hockey players, some of whom were on the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic victory and later went on to play for the NHL."

Her first book, Atonement: Heaven Sent Book One is a fantasy supernatural suspense story and one in a series. "When I finish the series, I would love to write a thriller," J.L. told us.

What sparked her love of writing was the love she had for it overall.

"Writing was something I always loved to do but felt could not support me financially. I went to school for Finance and I have had a successful career in Accounting. I always found reasons to write and I have written many policy documents and even a handbook. I think if you are a writer at heart, you never really let it go. "

There is no denying that most writers will conduct research when writing a book however, there is no denying the benefits of research mainly because it is not just about the writing, but a learning opportunity too. J.L. said the most fascinating piece of information she learned during her time researching was about a very historic library.

"I think the most interesting aspect was the information regarding the Vatican Library in Rome, Italy. Most know the Catholic Church has artifacts and artwork. I doubt they know the massive library they keep underground and how elaborate the main entrance is. It’s beautiful and so little is known or photographed of it, it was great fun searching for a short home video of the black and white marble tile entrance.

As more and more writers consider publishing for the first time, and it is J.L. Rothstein's advice on the topic that really brings to light all the research besides material that one does for their book, that must be done.

"Self-publishing is such a personal decision, one every writer makes with hope," J.L. began and admitted that she would encourage individuals considering this route to study the industry because there are many aspects to self-publication. "As great as it is to control your content, the hours you work, the pace you work at. Having to wear all those hats and how hard you work to self-promote is no small task. It’s also not cheap, you’ll have to invest in marketing material, books to give away, and some form of advertising."

Since Atonement's debute J.L. told the blog that her life has changed. For instance, she is married now, moved, and said the book first started for her in Boston near Cape Cod. At times she would write the story at the Plymouth, MA public library. A charming historic building with large floors, windows, and a garden. "It was the perfect setting to get sucked into a fantasy fictional universe," She admitted.

This author even pulls inspiration from places that most historians do and a good example is museums. "I love visiting museums and looking at the artwork. I like walks and I love the ocean. Having the chance to be near or on the beach feels like coming home to me."

When asked if she had based her main characters on anyone from her life J.L. explained, " I made up nine siblings in Atonement, but I named them after my nine nieces and nephews. It was a real treat being able to do that for them. It was a small thank you for the enormous joy they have brought into my life."

So, what is this supernatural suspense author reading? When we caught up with her J.L. said she was reading an indie book titled No Longer Me by Ally Parkes. "Ally’s book is loosely based on her real-life story of heartbreak, loss, hope, and survival. I was truly inspired after meeting her and committed to reading her book before the end of 2020."

Like most of us though, J.L. said it is often hard to pick a favorite genre and confessed that she will read anything. "I like both fiction and non-fiction. I read a lot of romance in the summer when I have more time off, a “beach read” to me is a romance novel. I think my most enjoyable are suspense or thriller novels, I especially like them when they have a supernatural twist."

In her spare time, J.L. told the blog that she enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys long walks or day trips with her husband. In her alone time though, this author stated"if I am not writing, I like reading, watching movies or documentaries on Netflix and I have recently picked dup etching glass."

The best news for fans of her book, Atonement, is the sequel which should be out early next year, around March or April 2021.

A favorite quote of our Writing Corner Wednesday author also sums up her book very well. It's Neil Gaiman's quote, "I like stories where women save themselves”.

Scroll down to read an official excerpt from J.L. Rothstein's book Atonement: Heaven Sent, Book One.

Excerpt from Atonement Heaven Sent Book One

Gen looked up as the sky shook with thunder and lightning pierced the darkness. A large reddish-brown glow formed around them, something was coming.

“Get back, go to the tree line, now!” Michael shouted as he ran motioning with his hands. Gen watched her brothers run toward the trees and followed them. As they got to the relative safety of the forest, they turned back just as a Hell Fighter and two Hellions arrived in the middle of the field noticeably pissed at the number of fallen comrades that lay at their feet.

Hell Fighters hadn’t been seen on earth in decades. Gen couldn’t remember the last time they encountered one.

At least it’s not a newborn, Gen sighed in minor relief. Watching the demon’s somewhat labored movements she thought, He’s older, he shouldn’t be able to stick around too long.

The demon was set ablaze in Hell fire. His large frame, long arms, and dragon-like head just a mere outline in a shadow of rolling flame. Once away from Hell, the flame dwindled, and its skin cooled to a leathery black veined with streaks of red. The Hell Fighter’s blood was made of venom, cast from those tormented in Hell, it was Hell’s deadliest weapon against Heaven. The upper level demon’s venom was fatal, even its sweat was enough to cause serious damage. Newborn Hell Fighters carried the most lethal dose of the venom in their blood, because the essence of the tortured still lingered. Though the Hell Fighter’s venom was poisonous, its physical strength faded over time, which meant they couldn’t stay away from the source that manifested them for very long.

The arrival of a Hell Fighter would typically signal the end of the battle. In most cases a Guardian would be forced to vacate the scene, but the O’Mara’s had a weapon of their own.

Before the Hell Fighter could make a move, Kelly arrived, taking a stance between the demons and her siblings. One of the Hellions lunged wildly at Kelly’s head, but she ducked and the demon’s momentum sent him tumbling across the field behind her. Michael stepped out from under the treelined covering and stabbed the beast through the ankle, quickly stepping back away from the animal in case its blood had been tainted by the Hell Fighter. The hideous beast howled like a rabid animal. Michael’s blade had penetrated all the way through to the ground, effectively pinning the hound in place.

Kelly threw a knife at the second Hellion’s ear landing a blow that sent the monster to the ground in a heap. It attempted to gain relief by clawing at the blade, trying to remove it as it rolled back and forth across the grass. Blood gushed from the dog-like creature’s head and he squealed as his skin began to burn, puffs of steam wafted above its head.

She must have dipped the blade in Holy water, Gen presumed. Nice touch, Gen thought.

The odds were even now, it would be Kelly one-on-one against the Hell Fighter. The demon stomped forward taking an enormous swing toward Kelly. She blocked it and then used the demon’s own momentum against him. Kelly pulled down as the demon’s weight was propelled forward. The demon fell to one knee and Kelly grabbed onto his neck and swung up and onto his back, harnessing her legs around his shoulders and tucking her feet under his arms for stability. The Hell Fighter got back to his feet, grabbing at her twisting and bucking as he tried to pull her off, but she held on. She threw a katar at the second wounded Hellion’s heart and its chaotic rolling movements instantly halted.

The pinned Hellion pulled at its leg until it ripped and tore away from the ankle still tethered to the ground by Michael’s sword. The beast hobbled toward Kelly leaving a bloody trail behind it. By the time the wounded Hellion reached its master, Kelly had killed the Hell Fighter. As the Hell Fighter collapsed to the ground, Kelly jumped off the demon kicking the wounded Hellion lurching toward her. Jumping onto the Hellion’s back, Kelly pulled out a long silver blade and plunged it into its head, killing it instantly.

Getting to her feet Kelly turned to her siblings. “Sorry, I couldn’t find my stupid boots.”

Follow J.L. Rothstein and her Heaven Sent series on social media, or purchase her book on See the links below for details.


J.L. has also interviewed Ally Parkes author of No Longer Me, and if you would like to watch that interview to learn more click here: YouTube.

A new Writer of the Week is featured every Monday. Be sure to also follow The Writing Wall on Twitter @TheWritingWall, or on Instagram @writingsonthewall85 for the latest. You can also listen to the podcast every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. Just search for The Writing Wall on Spotify, Google Cast, Breaker, and more. Thank you to our Writing Corner Wednesday authors, writers, and poets!

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