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Penelope Marzec: Spotlight on Angel of the L Train

I hope you enjoy this spotlight by Penelope Marzec about her Romantic Suspense novel, Angel of the L Train. Comment below by September 20 for a chance to win a digital copy of the book!

Welcome to the blog, Penelope!

Several threads from my life are woven into Angel of the L Train. One of those threads is due to my father’s career as a serious journalist. He made sure none of his articles contained libel or slander. He was a stickler for the truth. However, my mother loved gossip magazines. The popularity of gossip tabloids persists, even though rumors can cause enormous distress for those affected by hearsay and lies.

Another thread for the story came about after my mother died and my father became gravely ill. I watched the cash dwindle away. My siblings and I decided to sell my parents’ house to pay for my father’s care. It hurt to empty the house and toss the contents into a dumpster. It was like throwing out all the cherished memories of my young life. 

So, I put Thea, the heroine of Angel of the L Train, in a similar quandary. She sold her childhood home to pay for her mother’s care in a nursing home. Thea snatches at an offer for a job as a gossip tabloid, a poor choice for her but she takes it anyway since she is desperate for a steady income, believing she can hide the past and move on with her life. Her hope at that point is a job with a substantial paycheck.

Using New York City as a setting was an easy choice. I don’t live far from the city and I watch the New York news on television every night. 

Many years ago, our Brooklyn daughter required two serious surgeries. Hubby and I stayed at her apartment and visited her at the hospital every day. That was a tense time in our lives, but I learned much about the New York subway system where there is always entertainment of some sort, which ranges from classically trained musicians to the bucket banging maniac in the tunnel or the poet who will compose a poem on the spot just for you.

There are also renegade entertainers who do not apply for a permit but entertain anyway. Performers actually don’t need a permit but they must adhere to a long list of the transit authority’s strict rules. These include no amplification and not impeding passenger movement. Most importantly, musicians are not allowed to perform inside a subway car. Some do it anyway. Once, hubby and I were on the subway and a gang of musicians with congo drums invaded the car. They pounded those drums with all their might, passed around a hat for money, and exited the car at the next stop. They didn’t get caught. 

I decided the subway was the perfect setting for the incident that turns the heroine’s life upside down. Her trials give her a new understanding of forgiveness. She realizes there is hope for everyone and that God’s mercy extends to all—no matter what sins they committed in the past.

Thanks so much for sharing about your novel, Penelope. It sounds so interesting, and I love that the idea came from your past experience, although I’m sorry for the difficult circumstances you lived through. I pray God will bless you in your writing and future endeavors.

Join the conversation. Do you enjoy stories based in New York City? What about those inspired by an author’s personal history? Have you experienced any performances on the subway like Penelope described?

Comment below by September 20 for a chance to win a digital copy of Penelope’s book!

Angel of the L Train by Penelope Marzec

Click the book cover for purchase link

Thea Ahern desperately needs a job, so when she lands a job at LetSlip, a New York City gossip magazine, she takes it even though it will mean hiding her heritage. When she helps a man who is attacked on the subway, she’s hailed as the Angel of the L Train, and people notice her striking resemblance to a once famous actress. This sparks a renewed interest in Paris Hulette and her whereabouts. What happened to the award-winning actress after her husband shot her? And is Thea Ahern really the actress’s daughter?

Thea’s coworker, John, understands what it means to hide from your past, and so he shields Thea from the ensuing media frenzy. She falls for him, and he falls for her, but LetSlip’s CEO orders John to investigate Thea. Now he has to choose between protecting Thea or losing his job.

When LetSlip’s CEO is murdered while John is in the building, John is thrust into the public spotlight along with Thea, and his past is revealed. Can Thea ever trust him again? And can he ever be forgiven for what he’s done?

Penelope Marzec grew up along the Jersey shore. She started reading romances at a young age and fell hopelessly in love with happy endings. Two of her inspirational romances won EPIC’s eBook Award and another was a finalist in that contest. Her paranormal, Irons in the Fire, was a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award. Her Christian historical, Patriot’s Courage, placed First in the Inspirational category of the 2021 National Excellence in Story Telling (NEST) Contest. 

 Visit her website at for more information. 

She can also be found at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Please share Penelope’s spotlight on social media to help spread the word about her book.

If you missed last week’s interview with Toni Shiloh, find it here.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Dave

    I enjoyed this introduction!

    The closest I have been to the subway of NYC was in 1964, on our way to JFK. We took the wrong exit off the freeway and found ourselves in a scary neighborhood of NYC. Before any bandits captured us, we got back on and made it to JFK.

    Since then, I have learned the subway systems of Mexico City and Beijing. Bless ’em.

    • Penelope Marzec


      I’ve been on the Metro in Washington D.C. and found it far more civilized than the subway in NY. 🙂

      I’m glad you made it to JFK. There are scary neighborhoods in NY but there are some extremely beautiful ones, too. I was in awe when I saw Gramercy Park.

    • Deena Adams

      Hi, Dave. My husband and I had a similar experience in the early eighties. We just wanted to lay eyes on the Statue of Liberty and took a wrong exit. We went round and round, lost for hours in the scary burroughs pulling a U-haul behind our Pinto. It was terrifying. I’ve never wanted to visit NYC since. I’ve never ridden a subway but the Metro in Washington D.C. and the bus system in Paris was experience enough for me!

  • Carol James

    Great interview, Penny and Deena. I have enjoyed my visits to New York City. There is always something new to discover. It’s a great setting for your story.

    • Deena Adams

      So glad you enjoyed the interview, Carol. I’ve never visited NYC. After getting lost there for hours after taking a wrong exit in 1982, at age 19 pulling a U-haul behind our Pinto, I’ve never wanted to go back. But I don’t mind reading about characters there! I can live vicariously through them. LOL

  • Deb Gorman

    Love this! This novel/story sounds like a prime example of the writer’s maxim, “Write scared”. It sounds like you dug deep into your hard memories and wove them into Thea’s story. I believe when we authors dig deep, we connect with our readers . . . because all of us have those scary stories down there somewhere.

    Thanks for sharing Ms. Marzec with us, Deena!


    • Deena Adams

      No I haven’t, and to be honest, I don’t want to! LOL I’m not a very adventurous person and I’m not a fan of big cities. It’s a pleasure having you on the blog this week. 🙂

      • Penelope Marzec

        It is a pleasure being here!

        I’m not a fan of big cities either. I like trees and grass, peace and quiet. However, NYC is not far away and our daughter lives there. The museums are wonderful. I went with my husband when he bought my engagement ring in Manhattan. So, lots of good memories there. ❤️

        • Deena Adams

          Hi, Linda. You traded one big city for another. I grew up about an hour and a half north of Atlanta. We always try to avoid driving through the city, especially close to rush hour! Thanks so much for joining the conversation!

    • Traci Winget

      Excellent interview and I will be adding you to my TBR list on Goodreads!
      I’ve been on the Subway in DC and NYC. DC for the win, but I doubt I would go up there now. Either of them.
      My NYC ride was when I was 18 years old and was visiting the city from Fairfax VA with my fashion merchandising class from high school. We got on the Subway, we had no idea it was a “local”, which I understand takes you directly to a location farther away without stopping, and the rocking made me nauseous! I was expecting stops every now and again to relieve my nausea, but we made it to our destination just in time!

      • Penelope Marzec


        My daughter taught me some of the things I needed to know about the subway. She could even tell by the way the train moved through the tunnel whether it was being driven by an engineer or whether it was on an automatic setting. To me, the automatic setting was disconcerting. The subway zipped through the tunnel and then slowed downed quickly. I didn’t get nauseous, but I had to hold on tight!