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 penelopemarzec.com for more information.
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If you missed last week’s interview with Toni Shiloh, find it here.